Monday, February 25, 2008

A Favorite Quote

Since we don't have heating or air-conditioning we are at the mercy of the weather outside even when we are in our house. Thankfully here in Coch the weather is pretty nice year round. In fact it's hard to remember you guys back in the States as having four distinct seasons. However being so high up in the Andes mountains, it does tend to get chilly at night. Here's one of my favorite and often quoted quotes of Joe:

"Sometimes going to bed at night with my socks on is the best decision I make all day."

Friday, February 22, 2008

Valentine's Day Father-Daughter Dance

They don't celebrate Valentine's Day least not on February 14th, but another ex-pat family here in Coch hosted their second annual Valentine’s Day Father-Daughter Dance the following weekend. Joe took all four of his girlies and had a wonderful time dancing the evening away. I snapped these pics as they were leaving. They came home with tales of cake walks, the Macarena, the Chicken Dance, games, coloring, romantic dancing with dad, etc.

Aren't they gorgeous....all five of them?
The girls love their Daddy!

Here's a fun story about their dresses....Since Christmas in Bolivia is in the summer all the 'Christmas dresses' look to me like Easter dresses....very springy with pastels and flowers along with white hats to match. There's no red or green velveteen. No black and white taffeta. Nothing. So I broke down and bought the dresses you see in the pics above. Then one day my friend Glenda called from the used clothing section of La Cancha. She had found stores full of "Christmassy dresses" imported from the States. I went that very day and found 4 dresses for the girls to wear at Christmas time no matter what the weather and put the other dresses up for Easter (but of course the dance came first). Of course I paid more for the used dresses than for the new springy ones, but they looked Christmassy (at least in the culture I come from).

Josh's 10th Birthday

Yesterday was Josh's 10th birthday. I can't believe it. My youngest boy is now in the double digits (unless the up and coming one is a boy that is). I can remember so clearly our first trip to South Korea, the country where Josh was born, where we met him and held him for the very first time. What joy! Now my little pumpkin is growing up. Thankfully he still loves to snuggle. He's our most 'touchy' one in fact. He's always rubbing my back or brushing my hair or just coming up to give me hugs. That's why he's my favorite. (I tell each of the kids they are my favorite and I hope they all believe it!) I'm eternally grateful that God saw fit to add Josh to our family. We are so blessed that he is our son. A few years back Joe and I were out on a date in Virginia. We were eating at On the Border (wouldn't I love to be doing that now!) and talking about Josh. Josh had just given his life to the Lord and we were talking about how great it was that God brought him from the other side of the world to be a part of our family and now he was also in the family of God. We both got so emotional talking about it that we started crying...not just small nearly invisible tears, but real crying with lots of tears. Our waitress didn't know what to think so she just gave us our space as we thanked God for His incredible gift of Josh and for saving him.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Thank You Thank You Thank You

I wanted to take this blog space to thank our dear friends (and my parents) that took the time and energy to buy and send down some of our 'desired items' with my dad and mom. It was like Christmas here when they broke out the suitcases full of yummy candy, ibuprofen, GOOD coffee (and coffee accessories), tea, socks (Benjamin said he never thought he'd be so happy to get socks.), index cards, flash cards, Benadryl, taco seasoning (HIP HIP HOORAY!), ranch dressing powder, cayenne pepper, the little powdered packets from mac and cheese, Polly Pockets, a cd, a nebulizer, eye drops, photo paper so we can print out some family pics for our walls, a UV water filter, exercise resistance tubes, a fire wire for the computer so we can upload videos, Sharpie markers, lotion, slippers for my cold feet, various other toiletries, OTC meds, and way too many more things to mention. We can not tell you how much we appreciate each one of you and the gifts you gave to make our lives here in Coch a bit easier. These little reminders and comforts of home will cause us to think of you as well enjoy them. I hope to send out personalized thank yous to each of you soon, but in the mean time I wanted to get this out and let you know how grateful we are for your gifts. And a special thank you to Brian and Amanda Lants for organizing the effort and gathering all our goodies as well as buying several things themselves!! We love and appreciate you!!

A Wonderful Visit With My Parents

This morning at our house there were lots of hugs, kisses, and tears and we said goodbye to my parents who have been visiting with us for the past 3 weeks. (Obviously the reason for my lack of posts recently....that and puking my guts up from morning sickness. On that subject, ladies we MUST campaign for a new name for this horrible loosing of the contents of our entire doesn't just happen in the mornings!!) Anyway on to brighter things. We all had such a good time with my parents. We showed them the sights, sounds and even smells of Coch. I think they probably could have done without the smells. We took them to:

  • the Christo (the large statue of Jesus that is like the one in Rio de Janeiro only a bit bigger),

  • our favorite places to eat (after a few days of letting their stomachs adjust),

  • La Cancha (the biggest outdoor market in all of South America and the source of many of the smells they could've done without) where they saw raw meat hanging and I mean all the parts....tongues, intestines, hearts (which by the way taste great!!), etc. among other things....everything from DVDs (copies of course), bed sheets, microwaves, televisions, and handmade furniture to donkey jaws, blocks and blocks of used clothing and let's not forget the ever popular witches' section with everything they need for all their potions...really...including dead llama fetuses.

  • see a glimpse of the famous Carnival parade...but only a glimpse since the streets were crowded and dangerous from tens of thousands of water balloons. At any given moment we could see hundreds of them in the air at once. Most people cut us slack since we had the honeys with us, but we were still hit in the crossfire. Carnival is the biggest celebration here in Bolivian....bigger than Christmas. Joe and/or I will write more on that later.

  • our church. They enjoyed the service and paid close attention despite not understanding a word.

  • a super bowl party hosted by friends that work here for the DEA.

  • the bike trail where they watched the kids ride.

  • the Saturday market where we buy our fruits and veggies. They got to meet the 'wheel barrow girl', Sondra, that helps us carry our things in her wheel barrow.

  • a nice place a bit out of the city near a large lake to enjoy a Sunday afternoon

  • and numerous other adventures that I will think of as soon as I post this blog. :>)

We were all thrilled to see them and enjoyed our time together. We are grateful that they took the time to come and visit us and see where and how we live. They are bringing back lots of pics and memories to share. The time they spent here will live in the Holman family's hearts and memories for years to come and will brighten our days as we think back on the fun times we shared here showing them the sights, playing cards and dominoes, and just hanging out.

For some pics of their time here check out Joe's blog. I hope to post more here later as well.