Friday, October 31, 2008

And we picketh some more...

This week has come and gone. Everyday has been so jam packed full of stuff I don't even know what we've been up to.

I went to the dentist who discovered the problem (that was causing my mouth pain). It's pretty gross what happened so I won't expound here but I'm happy the problem is solved and that a root canal next week should take care of it.

The bummer is that the tooth that is causing the problems is one that I just had worked on in March (by the most expensive dentist in town) and wasn't done properly. It's a bummer to pay an arm and a leg to get a tooth fixed and it's a really big bummer to have to pay twice to have it fixed since it wasn't done right the first time! The good news (in a cheery voice) is that thankfully this time it won't cost an arm and a leg. Hopefully it will get fixed next Thursday when we don't have to pay an arm and a leg to get it worked on.

I am at a complete loss as to what to post about except the same ol' same ol' jabuticaba tree. Here I am about to tell you all again that the fruit is ripe, we're picking the fruit and trying to figure out what to do with it. I think I'm going to make a TON of jelly and just give it away (we're not real jelly kind of people, except for when it comes to the texture of our waste lines).

Before I go off and show 11 pictures of our tree (or rather of the almost-3-year-old who picks the fruit off of the tree) let me interject a random picture that I just love! This is from our other weekend in Brasilia with our friends Mike and Kelli (pictured is their baby girl Emily). I just love little girls:-)

Ok, back to the tree. Here the child picketh the fruit...

And here the child picketh more fruit with a goofy look on her face (that child's father tells her that these faces come from her mother's side of the family)...

Are you worried that this might be the end of the pictures? Don't lose heart!

This is what the fruit looks like on the inside. It's sweet and yummy but has seeds that you have to chew to get the meat off. I think I'd overdose on them if it weren't so much work to eat them...

And here the child helpeth squeeze out the fruit to make juice...

And that same dear child is the only one willing to drink the juice...

And the very same, dear child stood on a wall with a flower in her hand and smiled after she drank the juice that only she would drink...

For those of you who are related to me and check frequently for pictures of your grandchild (or grandniece, or niece, etc) I added a new gadget to the side of my blog that I think (THINK) will email you every time I post. Is that what it does? I wasn't going to add it out of pure vanity because I'm not going to have zillions of "followers" to display on the side and be proud of but I do think it would be rather convenient for the relatives who aren't avid blog followers to know when to come back. If this gadget does nothing of the sort then let me know!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday Madness

Has it really been almost a week since my last post? I didn't think I'd have much time for posting this morning but the child still sleepeth so here I sit.

Sometimes I feel like I should title my blog "Daughter of a Polish Man who Blogs about the Granddaughter of that Polish Man". You may go away feeling the same after you read yet another post centered around this child of mine...

Yesterday she listened intently while Jonathan and I chatted about a few things (we were both completely unaware of this fact but I'm sure this is normal almost-3-year-old stuff!). I asked him where the camera was because I wanted to take a picture of the Jabuticaba tree out back now that the fruit is ripening. "I'll take a picture mommy!" Karis chimed in and ran to go get her camera. Her camera in reality is our first real digital camera. A whopping 2 mega pixels and weighing about 3 pounds made this gadget something to be proud of (6 years ago). Anyway, turns out it makes a better toy than it does a camera (it is usually one of the toys that kiddos fight over when they come to our house).

So as Karis came trotting into the kitchen with her camera she asked "what shall I take a picture of?" I told her "go take a picture of the fruit on the tree out back". She ran out, ran in and then exclaimed "Mama, do you want to see a picture of the fruit saying cheese?!" (as she held the used-to-be-screen of the camera up to my face). We laughed about that all afternoon, I think.

Here is a picture that I took of the Jabuticaba fruit (you can tell me whether or not the fruit is saying cheese.)

I've never been the owner of a pool before (until now) but I did have friends who had pools when I was growing up and I remember all sorts of creatures we found trapped in the water. Snakes, turtles, bugs, name it. Here we have the daily ritual of cleaning out the 236 beetles that flew into the water overnight but yesterday we had another surprise (this is actually the 2nd time this has happened!). Scroll down to see what pleasant creature was awaiting us and actually swimming around in the pool!

No, flip-flops can't swim and mine wasn't left in the pool. I threw it in next to the terantulla so that you could have an idea on how big this thing was. Honestly, it still doesn't look nearly as ginormous as it did when I took this picture but still, this sucker was huge. We've had tons of smaller terantullas show up in our house but the little ones aren't agressive. These bigguns though, they rear up on their hind legs and hiss if they feel threatened. I've heard that they can spit poison but I've never bothered to look that up.

I was about to scoop this guy out of the water and throw him over the wall 'til Jonathan saw me and said (because he knows me) "if you're getting him out you have to kill him!" You know me (well, most of you do)...I can't kill anything. It's just not in me. Not even a huge terantulla that may spit poison into my eyes (now if he were threatening Karis I am sure a new spirit would arise within me and I would find the courage to do so!). So I said, "ok, I'll leave him for you to take care of but please don't spray him...that is such an awful way to die and he's so big he'd suffer for a long time".

10am came and went....

12pm came and went...



and there our terantulla friend was still swimming around in the pool. I couldn't take it. I asked Jonathan "please take care of the spider...I can't stand it any longer!" (he's suffering, you know!) Well Jonathan had things to do so he said "ok, you can throw him over the wall but go to the front house to do it". So that's what I did...I scooped him up, he reared up on his back legs, hissed and then I threw him over the wall. We'll see if he manages to find his way back.

Whew, that was a very wordy story.

Onto some less-wordy stuff. I'm still making carrot juice and Karis still loves the stuff. This is what she does when you tell her to "hold the carrot up for the picture"! I still chose this picture because even though you can't see her face it makes me look skinnier than I really am. After weeks of walking at 5:30am and no sugar (hardly any sugar, I should say) for almost 2 weeks I've lost a whoppin' 2 lbs. Things just aren't as they used to be.

I took a few pictures of Karis on Sunday before we headed to church. We usually go to our Brazilian church first and then to an English service that some of the missionaries have. In the English service Karis gets to go to Sunday School which she absolutely loves. Here she is ready to take her Bible with her.

This picture is now the background of our computer screen.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

7 Random facts and almost 7 friends...

Well, as hardly any of you remember I was tagged last week. This means that I get to talk about any 7 random things (that have something to do with me) that I want! Here, once again are the rules.

Mamajil is the friend who tagged me...

And here we go....

1.) I have a hilarious daughter who is two (anybody who has so much as glanced at my blog already knows that fact...or at least knows I have a 2-year old who I think is the greatest.) She is fascinated with roaches and beetles. Maybe because they are everywhere (more so beetles than roaches, hallelujah) and have become a new toy to her (she collects them around the house and before throwing them outside for me will put them in her little toy car and push them around for a ride. I'm sure the ones that are still living when she does this enjoys the joyride). This morning when we were about to make a run to the grocery store on my bike she exclaimed "Mommy! Do you see the beetle? Look at the beetle!" It still amazes me that they still amaze her. I mean, doesn't she get tired of looking at beetles when the whole patio is full of them? And we get in a new batch everyday? Either way she saw one particular beetle that she wanted me to look at. Like a good mommy I went over, looked at the beetle and replied "Yes, he is a beetle. Looks like he's dead". "Oh" she replied. "Did he die all by himself?" Just like Chicky this poor little beetle did manage to die all by himself. I guess we have special beetles flocking (gathering, congregating) to our house!

Here is a picture of the beetle-lover with her toy of the week (her "umbrella" as she calls it, made out of a laundry basket lid and a piece of pipe) and her carrot juice (she loves carrot juice!)

Random fact numero dois. I bought a shrimp plant last week. I really like my shrimp plant (is this an interesting post or what?)

3.) We have a German Shepherd named Pepper. I've never mentioned Pepper before because, well, up until this week she has kind of been a loser pet. We brought her from the mission base where she spent the first 1 1/2 years of her life chained up to a tree. She was scared of everything but we both thought we could help her overcome her fears with a little tlc. That's not what happened folks. We've been feeding and caring for a dog that wouldn't so much as leave the doghouse unless she needed to take care of business. She would take care of her business in the middle of the night when no one was in sight and one time we parked our truck in the back yard (at the rental house) she didn't even come out to do that for 3 days 'til we moved the truck! You truly have no idea how afraid of everything she has been. I could stick a raw piece of meat up to her face but she wouldn't eat it because she was so scared of me and trying to think of a way to escape. Up until this week she would only come to Jonathan (if NOBODY else was in sight). Then all of a sudden she decided she liked me! I have NO idea why. Just one day this week I walked up and she got up, wagged her tail and instead of jumping the wall (which is what she does when she sees people, vehicles, beetles or anything that moves) she came up to me. This is HUGE progress folks. I really thought it was a lost cause. We even talked to the vet in town to see if she would put Pepper to sleep (she wouldn't) since she lived such a miserable existence and because we didn't want to feed, care for and spend money on a dog (that was supposed to be my security when Jonathan travels) that didn't do anything. Literally didn't do anything but eat, sleep and, yeah. This morning she came up to me when I went out for my 5:45am walk so I put a leash on her and took her with me! I think she liked it...we'll see what she does tomorrow morning. Anyway, the only problem now is that when we were at the rental house she was in heat towards the end. It never occured to me that a male dog would be able to fit through the grades of our front gate. Even if it had occured to me I don't think it would have occured to me that a dog that small could find a way to impregnate our German Shepherd. Too bad neither of those occured to me because it looks like we'll be having 9-12 puppies arrive in the next 3 weeks.

Here she is semi-rehabilitated doggie (can you tell she's just a BIT frightened of the camera?)

4.) I bought a random plant last week ($2). I don't know what it's called but I really like it.

5.) I've been making yogurt for the past few weeks. Now I have a question. If I use Activa yogurt as a starter that has probiotics in it will each batch continue to have probiotics in it as I use a part of the last batch as a starter? I'd love to not have to google that if anybody knows. Also, in this picture what you see is my jar of yogurt on a candle warmer that is plugged into a transformer (everything is 220 here!)...

6.) I bought some awesome flowers at the hippie fair. I hope this doesn't disqualify me as a P.O.O.P.I.E. (hit the link if you have no idea what I'm talking about!) The flowers are actually handmade out of leaves. The lady who made this arrangement wanted way more for it than I wanted to spend. I told her I'd talk to my hubby and pass back by on our way out. We went by for me to say "no thanks" but she was so excited that I did return that she gave it to me for almost 1/2 off! She was so pleased that I returned (I almost didn't because we were so ready to leave at that point). When I left she blessed me and said goodbye with a huge smile on her face. That makes me enjoy these flowers even more :-)

7.) We have a ton of hummingbirds that live in our yard and occasionally fly through our house. This guy got stuck in the diningroom for quite a while. He was getting weaker by the minute 'til finally Jonathan held the pool net up to him which he gladly sat on and then Jonathan just slowly took the net outside. We enjoy watching them come to our honey-filled feeder on the front porch! And I feel good about offereing a healthy substitute for refined-sugar-water. ha!

Now I'm supposed to tag 7 random people...I'm not so sure I'll make it to 7.

1.) Laura at Dance Mommy's Odessey
2.) Jenny at Stamped and Sealed
3.) My cousin Jen at Jen's Musings
4.) Kim at My 1 Chronicles 29:15 Experience (she'll love me for this!)
5.) Karis at Bennetts in Brazil

Yeah, didn't quite make it to 7. Oh well!

The whole right side of my face is throbbing in pain now (something is up with a tooth or teeth). I'm not sure if I'm going to go try to find some pain meds, run to the dentist or take some nighttime meds and sleep it out.Ugh, I really don't like mouth pain!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Vaca over.

We went, we partied, we returned and now I'm pooped. It was a fabulous weekend and one worth repeating! Only in Brazil can you pay a buck to enter an amazing zoo and then spoil your child by spending 50 cents on a toy! Actually, even though we did some really fun things what made it fun was spending time with our good friends Mike & Kelli and their little girl Emily. Before we went on furlough the four of us (before Emily came into the picture) did a lot together but then we went on furlough and when we returned life went into chaos mode. So it was really nice to have a few days with nothing pressing on the agenda and visit with them!

Ok, not to get off track. Here are a few pics of the animals. The first guy we saw was this hippo. He (she?) was HUGE. I mean, MASSIVE. It was amazing to see the little stubby legs and try to figure out how they were supporting all that weight. Karis was thrilled to see these in person. 90% of the doodles Karis draws on her doodle pad are either 1) A beetle 2) A roach or 3) A hippo (or so she tells us...amazingly all three of these drawings look very much alike:-) Ok, here's hippo...

This dude was hilarious. Obviously quite bored with the thousands of onlookers who stare, laugh and talk about him...sitting there.

Jonathan took this great picture of the tiger. Doesn't it look like a postcard?

All throughout the zoo there were food stands with popcorn and these little handmade fans stuck in the ground for sale. Karis kept asking for a fan but I guess we were in the don't-indulge-them-by-buying-their-expensive-souvenirs mindset and kept telling her no 'til we asked how much they were. R$1 (equivalent of 45 cents with today's exchange rate). Hmmm...$1 for the entrance fee and 45 cents for a toy? I think we can handle that. We even spent an extra 45 cents on a bag of popcorn for her (what can I say, we like to spoil her).

So here she is with her 45 cent fan (that she is still carrying around and playing with)...

We also went to the hippie fair downtown. There are a ton of booths with lots of handmade items from woodworkings to soapstone to paintings to handwoven clothing to dried flowers...a very dangerous place to send me! It is very difficult for me to stay controlled and not buy lots of house items that I don't need but want to buy and then find a place for them to go. I was very good and only came home with a hippie skirt, a few adorable hippie shirts for Karis and some dried flowers to go in a clay pot that the previous owners of our home left.

There is also a tall tower in the middle of the hippie fair (don't remember what kind of tower or what the purpose of it is) that you can take an elevator ride up and go to a lookout point. It is an amazing view! I wasn't planning on going up since the elevator ride is a bit frightening (all the thoughts of "do they maintain this elevator?" and "I wonder if the cable is 200 years old and strong enough to hold the 25 people who just crammed into this 4x4 elevator?" kept going through my mind a few years ago.) But I was a good wifey and went for the enjoyment of my hubby (those thought still went through my head but it wasn't quite as frightening as last time). All of that to say I have a few pictures from the lookout point! I'm going to quit typing and show the pictures now...

I just love the hippie shirts we got for her.

I'm actually writing this at ladies night while the other ladies are working on crafts. Looks like it's time to go!

PS. Don't have time to proof read so here's my apology if my post doesn't even deserve the elementary reading level rating it received...

PPS. I have been informed via email that what I have been calling a fan is actually a pinwheel. Awesome. A pinwheel for 45 cents sounds even more impressive than a fan for 45 cents!

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's 98 degrees in my house! But who's complaining?

"Those who complain the most suffer the least." Isn't that a great quote? Convicting but still great...

If I were to complain about something (besides the hot temperatures) today it would be this....

blog readability test

Movie Reviews

I probably wouldn't have had the guts to actually post this on my blog but since Meg did first I feel like I owe the rest of those who's blog receive this reading level a bit of humble encouragement:-) Actually, since you can check ANY blog to figure out the reading level I went ahead and checked a few. Since the Princesses and Lea's blog received the same elementary level then I felt much, much better about myself (it's all about comparing, you know...Meg, the Princess and Lea all have great blogs and use very educated words so I feel better about receiving the same rating as them...even if they didn't deserve it). Although afterward I checked my cousin Jen's blog and it received the college level rating. But we won't think about that. Perhaps we'll try to forget about that (I should have stopped after checking the Princesses and Lea's!).

We're going to spend the weekend in Brasilia, the capital! I am really excited about getting away for a few days. We have some friends who are doing some linguistic studies there so we're going to go spend some time with them. We'll get to hit the zoo, the hippie fair and maybe even find a decoupage store (I am probably the only one in hopes of squeezing that last item into the agenda!). You know what, I just realized that I spelled hippie fair wrong on my facebook status (hippy fair is what I wrote). I think I'll go change that quickly! (I wouldn't want anyone to think I can only write on an elementary level.)

A few random things happening in the Kroeker home this week....

I began a new decoupage project (hence the desire to find a decoupage store in Brasilia)!!

I've had this idea to make a picture using pieces of napkin (like a mosaic) for a few years now. This project will be much more timeconsuming than other projects I've worked on but I'm excited about it. There isn't much to it now but I thought it'd be fun to come back and remember what it looked like in the beginning stages! It's been sitting on my dining room table all week; ignored for the most part yet still keeping us from eating at the table together (can somebody above an elementary writing level PLEASE tell me if I used that semicolon correctly? Aunt Jan? Anyone??) (Side Note: Thanks to the college-reading-level blogger Jen I discovered via her comment that it should be a comma, not a semicolon. I am now in the know but don't want to change it or her comment won't make sense. We'll see if I can figure out when to use one! Maybe next time!)

It is springtime here! The flamboyant tree behind our guesthouse is beautiful! The ground is completely red from the flowers. Flamboyant trees are a pain to care for but are worth having during this time of year.

The jabuticaba fruit are appearing on the tree as well.

And now for today's Karis funny...

While I was working in the yard Karis played with the hose and drenched herself. Pretty soon she yelled "Mom! Can you get me a towel? I'm sockin' wet!"

I've been tagged again! Mamajil tagged me and here are the rules....

I love having opportunities to share (blab) about my life but have too much to do before we leave. This little gem will just have to wait 'til next week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everybody!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Just another Tuesday...

I learned a lesson today that I thought I learned over a week ago! And that is...even though we use and wash the same cups everyday it is still wise to check cups while pulling them out of the cabinet before pouring juice or water into them. For the second time today I poured juice into a cup only to see a dead beetle rise to the top! Ugh. And in case you are wondering, I did not throw the juice out...just the beetle. Guess after living here a few years I'm getting past some of the fear of bug cooties. Somehow, I'm not sure why, I feel a little prideful of that fact. Is drinking juice that carried a dead beetle in it something to be proud of? I would think not but I still feel sorta proud about I've accomplished something. Oh well, I'm probably just quirky which seems to be a prerequisite to being a missionary (ok, just kidding...I am surrounded by very non-quirky missionary friends:-)

We've had a few Karis funnies the past few days. Yesterday she had drawn lots of squiggles onto a piece of paper with her markers. This is how our conversation went...

Karis: "Look mommy, I drew a hippopotamus!" (pointing to the orange squiggle)
Me: "Oh wow. So what is that?" (pointing to the blue squiggle)
Karis: "A bird"
Me: "and what is that?" (pointing to another squiggle)
Karis: "an airplane"
Me: "and that?" (yet another squiggle)
Karis: "another airplane"

This went on for a while as she told me the remainder of her squiggles were airplanes. But then I got back to the orange squiggle...

Me: "and what is that?" (pointing to the original orange squiggle)
Karis: "an airplane"
Me: "But I thought you said it was a hippopotamus. Where is the hippopotamus?"
Karis: "I dunno. Maybe at the zoo."

Then this morning we had a tea party together (which mostly is sitting down to a little stool with two tiny tea-cups full of milk and a few crackers). I usually change my voice to have an English accent and ask her how her day has been, etc. I always refer to her as "daaaaaaahling" and she has picked up on that and done the same to me. But this morning when I called her "daaaaaaahling" she looked at me and said "I'm not daaaaaaaaahling. I'm Karis!".

She said something else funny this morning that Jonathan and I both laughed at together yet neither of us can remember what she said! Good thing I decided to post now and not this afternoon or I probably would have forgotten about the other two by then...

A few pictures of my genius child to end today's post. Can you tell what those noodles are in the shape of?

Whenever I would write Karis' name down on paper I would say out loud to her "K-A-R-I-S" (not sure why) but she learned to say the letters of her name very quickly. It surprised me so lately I've been trying to help her identify those 5 letters (just to see). I didn't think she had caught on 'til this one day at lunch when she said "look mommy. K-A!".

It really is amazing what little kiddos can pick up on!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A day at some waterfalls.

Yesterday we joined two other families and drove a few hours away to spend the day at a park that has waterfalls. It was a long day but a good one! We packed our lunches and off we went...

I did join the group on the first hike. It was to a waterhole about a kilometer away. That little green puffalump you see on a man's shoulder would be my child (the man is mine, too).

The waterhole was kinda cool. Not overly impressive but very peaceful.

The water itself appeared to be rather stagnant. Stinky too. No thank you, I'll just watch the rest of you swim in the stinky, freezing cold water from this rock.

Ten years ago I probably would have felt pressure to prove myself and get in the water (perhaps do some kind of a flip off of a rock?). It sure is nice being old sometimes...nobody cares whether or not one of the moms is crazy enough to get in. Karis loved the water and didn't mind the cold temperatures!

Lunch time.

Wanting to be like the big girls!

Hike #2. I stayed behind with the munchkin for this one. It took the group a few hours to get to these falls and back.

I guess some of the guys felt like they needed to prove themselves. That or they really do enjoy jumping from large rocks into freezing cold water...

The view was pretty but everything still looks so brown! Just a few more weeks 'til it starts raining every day and then it will all be nice and green!

Ok, I really was impressed with this colorful bug (you can't tell in the picture that the pattern on it's back has red, yellow and green). Some of the girls saw me commenting on it, kind of giggled and said "Aunt Kelley, that's just a stink bug." Really? Guess I'm not up to par on my stink bug identification skills. After we took a picture it flew off my finger and underneath Jonathan's shoe as he was walking away. Yeah, guess it was a stink bug after all.