Learning to Swim

Our kids didn’t have many opportunities to swim in our time in Peru. Ana took lessons one summer, but it was like one teacher to 15 kids… impossible. For the last two weeks, 2 sweet sisters have been teaching my kids the way of swimming. I couldn’t be prouder of how much they learned. We literally went from all three in floaties to no one in floaties! Cohen even went from being scared of the water to jumping in and getting rings from the bottom. Our little fish are ready for the CA summers now. Thank you Sarah and Amanda for two amazing weeks! You have forever impacted my kids in the ways of water games. 🙂swimcollage5

We literally went from sitting by the pool and sprinkling water… to jumping into the deep end!





Hooray for swimming!!!

Learning to Swim

February 2013

What a month. Here are some highlights to remember in pictures:

1. Haircuts

she requested “a short hair cut for swim lessons”
Daddy officially takes little man since it is still a major fight when he goes

2. the end of Jeremy and Katie’s stay with us was the beginning of the month/they switched over to the Smith casa

My kids love visitors, and Jeremy and Katie were no exception.

3. Our house church multiplied. At times we had 20+ people sitting around our big dining room table. Alfredo and Judith (with their 2 little boys), Roberto and Silvia (with Gabriel and Briana almost here), and Emilia are now meeting over on the side of town where they all live. We did have a big group of little kids for house church, and now it is down to just mine again.

Our last Sunday school lesson with Gabriel present.

4. Swim lessons. I paid for both Ana and Maggie to take a month’s worth of swim lessons being offered in ASA at the big indoor pool. Maggie ended up not being ready. But Ana ended up having a blast with her two amigas, Baylee and Shaye. She went from swimming laps with 2 floaties on her back to no floaties. I’d say that is majoy improvement! I enjoyed the visiting time I got in with Jenna and Larissa.

ready to go the first day (I think they look like cafeteria workers myself, but these caps are required and they only cost 1 sol 50 each!)
Ana loved hanging out with Baylee and Shaye at swim lessons.
love her form here!
weaned from two floaties (on the back) to one
last day with no floaties!

5. Reading. We have picked up the pace on homeschooling in English. Ana did a lot of work in February with sight words. She will be attending an all-Spanish speaking school, but I will be supplementing at home with reading and writing English practice.

reading Dr. Seuss to Mags

6. Worst flooding in Arequipa history. (so they say) One evening, the sky opened up and it rained a solid 5 hours of heavy rain. It would have been nothing unusual for a TN summer day, but this city just isn’t constructed to hold together against so much rain. Many of the little pueblo jovens were hit hardest because the rain entered their homes and damaged everything. People had their mattresses laying on top of their houses to dry. On of the major avenues (right down from Kyle and Larissa’s home) caved into the large ditch built for extra water flow. Underpasses were flooded with floating combis. It was crazy.

The aftermath, it is now March and they are still cutting the water off in our community every morning. The whole city isn’t this way, but we must live close to something they are constantly monitoring during the rainy season. I have never been so on top of laundry and washing dishes!

the neighbors below us flooded. Thankfully we sit one story above all of this.
But the Volcano sure is beautiful during the rainy season when the sky clears up in the morning. What is rain to us was snow on her peak.
the community going to get water at the truck tanks the city provided
no water = lots of dirty dishes

7. Valentine’s Day. Sugar cookies with icing were a big hit with the Peruvians that tasted them so I was commissioned to make them as a V-day special this month. I made them 3 different times (that is about 66 cookies that I sold through the cafe). And I thought Emilia did a great job bagging them up.

Greg and I ended up going out with Jeremy and Katie on Valentines night. We ate at an Italian pizza place, headed over to the cafe for the brownie and ice cream special (which has remained a hit ever since), and played Spades for the last time with them. It was an enjoyable evening.

I did lots of baking and icing this month
Emilia with the finished product. I thought they turned out really cute.

8. a run for the border. I am so pleased to say that this is behind us. I am actually working on a separarte post for this, but in a nutshell, Greg and I are legal now. Praise God!

driving out of Arequipa.

9. Bible studies. I met with a group of 12 year-olds this summer (Isa’s friends) every Wednesday afternoon at the cafe. We read through the book of Mark (we got to Chapter 6!). I really enjoyed this time. I wanted to provide a Bible study for Isabel and others her age since she is kind of the loan youth in our house church network. It was really enjoyable. School starts next week, and the girls are going to decided if their is a day that would work to continue the study during the school year. We shall see, but I thoroughly enjoyed working with this age group that I love so much.

wrapping up a girls BIble study with Isa and her friends at the cafe

Also, Areli and I finished the book of Mark. We had another study after finishing Mark, and she told me that she is ready to be baptized. Praise God! I love this girl. She is such a special friend to me here, and I am elated that we will share our friendship in Christ now.

Katie, me and Areli celebrating my birthday back in January

10. Library work. We are trying to get all of our ducks in a row for the library program. What is exciting is that Alfredo scored us a meeting with the ministry of education. We met twice in February, and we will be meeting the first week of March to sign a contract with the ministry (in order to have their support in offering teachers staff development hours). This is all really exciting. Also, we are actually working on library spaces in both schools. I wish I could take a before and after picture. They are not complete but are in progress. We hope for the library program to be going full-force in the schools by the first week of April.

behind this wall is the education headquarters for the Arequipa region

11. Jeremy and Katie’s last day. We sure enjoyed having the Daggetts here for a long visit. We are super excited about TA 2.0 coming in 2014. The time will fly, and I am sure we will see them this fall sometime.

one last picture (Cohen was asleep)

12. Missio Dei 4.1 February has been crunch time for the February edition of Greg’s semiannual mission journal. I am always so proud of him, and I know the hard work he and so many others put into this journal to make it what it is. Click on the caption to get to the online journal.

the February edition
taking a break for some Cohen cuddles
February 2013