CT—Bombero Birthday 2014

Well, buddy. Your momma is all about fun birthday parties. This was your last to celebrate in AQP, and we thought we’d go out with a bang. You LOVE the fire station that sits across from our café in the city center. Fireman is “bombero” in Spanish. So, we rented a room at the cafe to serve guests a late lunch and cupcakes, and we took a mini-field trip to the fire station (that almost didn’t happen–but that is how we roll in Peru).

We had so many little boys attend. That was a lot of fun for me to see. Everything has been so girly with your two big sisters up to this point. This was the first year that you actually had preferences for your birthday. Part of your gift from us was a bombero costume. I found a lady on the street where they rent costumes that would make them for me. She made your bombero outfit and a Zorro costume! No more princess dresses for you… or at least you have other options. Ha!

It was a blessing to be surrounded by our Peruvian family, teammates, and a few other gringo friends with little boys your age. We had almost 40 in attendance! Go big or go home. Your momma has way too much fun naming the food we served and decorating. I even found “cascos” (firemen hats) to hand out to all the kids that attended. You all looked so cute in your hats walking over to the fire station.

You had a great time, Cohen. And you were certainly the cutest little fireman I have ever seen!





















































Happy Birthday, big boy!


CT—Bombero Birthday 2014

CT—3 years old

Look who is three years old!


And look how much you have grown…

Baby newborn Cohen
Baby newborn Cohen
one year old Cohen
one year old Cohen
two year old Cohen
two year old Cohen

It is hard to believe that you have gotten to be such a big boy.  We are planning your 3rd birthday (a bombero party–pictures to come) party, but the 19th is THE DAY.  We will have a mini-celebration with our teammates on your special day.  I made sugar cookies and peanut butter bars to celebrate.

Here are some of the pics I have taken of you recently…

You started school in March with your two big sisters.  You and Maggie leave for school every morning to arrive at 8:30.  Your Spanish is getting better and better.
You started school in March with your two big sisters. You and Maggie leave for school every morning to arrive at 8:30. Your Spanish is getting better and better.
You are crazy about yogurt and apples right now.  Anytime you can get away with a snack in between mealtimes, you go for one of those food items.
You are crazy about yogurt and apples right now. Anytime you can get away with a snack in between mealtimes, you go for one of those food items.
You are still crazy about transportation vehicles.
You are still crazy about transportation vehicles.
We have been so impressed with your puzzle skills.  It is one of your favorite activities to do right now.
We have been so impressed with your puzzle skills. It is one of your favorite activities to do right now.
Your big sisters sure do love you.
Your big sisters sure do love you.
And we wouldn't have it any other way!
And we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Cohen Timothy, we adore you, little one.  You have matured so much in the last few months—starting school was a big part of that.  You are go-with-the-flow most of the time.  You love being outside on the patio riding your bike or out in the sandbox getting dirty.

We really need to set you up with play-doh.  We don’t have any currently, and you have found some of the play-doh toys to play with.  You tell us, “I am playing ‘adobo.'”  Adobo is a famous Arequipan dish.  🙂

You love cee-wee-ul (cereal).  You could eat it for every breakfast and every dinner I believe.  You are usually the first to wake up in the morning.  I will find you playing with your cars in your room or in the playroom, and the first words out of your mouth are, “I want some ceeweeul, please.”

You call most everyone by name correctly.  But one of my favorite names that you mispronounce is Areli’s name.  You call her “Ah-lah-lee.”

If you get to choose a show to watch, you ask for “Thomas the Train,” “Go Gabba Gabba,” or “Monster’s Inko” (Monster’s Inc.!).

You sleep super well at night, and you no longer take afternoon naps.  We find you to be pretty cranky on school days, so it is no surprise that your napless afternoon leads to a 7 pm bedtime.

I have plenty of pictures to blackmail you one day.  Most of them involve princess dresses, tutus, and purses.  You might be receiving some costumes for YOU so that you don’t have to only use your sister’s stuff to play with.  😉

You have shown your stubborn streak and your defiance in the last few months.  You are learning to test the waters.  These occurrences have gotten less and less.  When you are mad, you like to show you are super mad.  But when you are loving, you are super loving.  I guess that makes you a passionate little boy.  I prefer sweet Cohen, though.

Cohen, we love you.  This is your last birthday in Arequipa.  You were born here, and we will never forget the first 3 years of your life spent in this beautiful country.  You may not have many memories because you are so young, but we pray that the memories are kept alive in these photos.  To our little Arequipeño, el príncipe de la casa, ¡Felíz Cumpleaños!

CT—3 years old

AG—7 years old

It is so hard to believe that the 17 month old baby we brought to Arequipa in 2008 is now SEVEN years old.  Ana started second grade during her birth month, and Greg and I both reflected on some very vivid memories we have from second grade.  This is a big year for her.  She is well aware that it is her last school year in Peru, and I guess it feels like a blessing and a curse that she will have so many memories.  A blessing because I want her to remember the wonderful people of Peru and the work our family was able to participate in, but a curse because I dread the heartache she will feel for when we leave.

We couldn’t be prouder of our first born.  She is so tender hearted and loving toward those around her.  She is a great helper in the house and especially with her younger siblings.  And she is in a place where she reflects on the good she observes along with the evil.  We enjoy her developmental process and all the questions she asks.  On the flip side, she is 7 going on 13.  We discuss at the beginning of each week one thing that we need God’s help with in the week.  Ana’s answer many times is her attitude.  🙂  She knows she isn’t perfect, and I love that she already can recognize when her attitude isn’t reflecting the attitude of Christ.

She requested a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and a Frozen slumber party.  She chose Chili’s as our birthday family outing date, and she wanted Nachos for her birthday slumber party dinner (can you tell she is a fan of Tex-Mex).  Ana, here are some pictures to keep the memories alive.  Here is to your last birthday celebration in this chapter of our time in Arequipa.

She requested  cinnamon rolls for house church on her actual birthday since it fell on a Sunday.


I can always count on Ana to want to help with her birthday cake.  She loves to cook and bake with me in the kitchen.DSC_0002

Her birthday cake was a chocolate lover’s dream, and the strawberries were “the icing on the cake”… wait a minute.  🙂DSC_0008


taking some pictures before our family lunch date outing for the birthday girlDSC_0012 DSC_0014 DSC_0015 DSC_0016 DSC_0017 DSC_0018 DSC_0019

She has ALWAYS been a Daddy’s girl.DSC_0020

You can’t eat at Chili’s and not order the skillet queso.DSC_0021

and our 7 year-old went for ribs.  The girl has got some good taste.DSC_0022

birthday presents!!!DSC_0024

Let the slumber party begin!DSC_0025 DSC_0026 DSC_0028

She chose Nachos for her birthday dinner.DSC_0031

making a wishDSC_0032 DSC_0034 DSC_0037

her big present from Daddy and Momma was a Cajón, a type of drum that originated in PerúDSC_0038 DSC_0040

her first Youtube lessonDSC_0041 DSC_0043 DSC_0044

It was a little late, but part of her birthday gift was a girls outing for lunch and manicures.  We finally had a good time to do it.  Momma, Maggie, and Ana headed out for lunch, and they met Areli for manicures.

Ana chose Burger King for her lunch.DSC_0138

we were fascinated with the intricate designs they could doDSC_0140 DSC_0141 DSC_0142

Maggie gearing up for her turnDSC_0143

Ana’s almost finished productDSC_0144 DSC_0145

Ooo-Lah-Lah!DSC_0146 DSC_0147 DSC_0148

Maggie’s finished productDSC_0149 DSC_0152

All three of us got manicures for a grand total of 30 soles (that is just over 10 bucks)DSC_0153

hangin’ with the coolest chica we know in ArequipaDSC_0156

AG—7 years old