This weekend we had a "mini-retreat" for our staff at JCS. Friday was teacher training/work on report cards. Daniel showed a hour of Facing the Giants (I blogged on it here) to discuss the idea of victory, working as a team, doing our best for God, etc. That evening, we showed the second half of it, followed by a campfire, singing, discussion, and smores. The next morning we made breakfast for whomever wanted to come, and had a reflection time, more singing, and sharing. The weekend was a good time to fellowship and reflect. So often I find myself thinking I'm not doing enough, or doing the "right things." After all, I'm a "missionary" but I'm home with my child all day. I get this idea that I must be doing "big" things and must have results to be pleasing God. God reminded me that He wants me to do my best in the "small" things and leave the rest up to Him, trusting that He can use the "small" things in BIG ways! Instead of being paralyzed by guilt that I'm not doing enough, I want to take joy in the work that God's given me right now! I'm so thankful for that reminder, and thankful for the peace God brings. We recently had our trees in the back yard trimmed. Before, we did not have much sun. Now, the sun shines brightly and I'm so refreshed (although very warm) from speding time with God outside in the sunshine. My favorite place to reflect is my hammock. Somehow, I feel more peace and can focus better when I'm outdoors. So, I'll leave you with this:
Activity and Play: Jeremiah is walking well now and is almost running! His recent achievements are climbing the step ladder (only the first step) and climbing onto his little-boy chair. He also enjoys hammering things with his toy hammer. Other favorite toys include: The dustpan (with a long handle), the plunger (don't worry, it hasn't been used), the rake, his other plastic tools, and his bucket with shapes (and holes for the shapes). He also loves water. We recently went to a nearby waterfall. He enjoyed playing in the freezing cold water, stripped to the skin. Today we filled our pool and he played in it (also cold, mountain water). One of his favorite games is hide-and-go-seek. I run away saying "Busca Mommy!" (find/get Mommy) Then I run away and he tries to find me. When he finds me he gives me a huge smile.
Learning: He continues to learn. It's amazing how fast children learn new things. He's learned more signs: hot, baby, and bathroom. When he signs "more" I usually sign back "more what?" by making a "what" gesture. So now he sometimes signs "what" after signing "more" by pressing his elbows into his sides and putting out his hands. It's really cute. Obviousy, he has no idea what "what" means! :) I'm trying to speak to him in mostly Spanish (at least short commands and new words). It's been helping me learn more Spanish too! He understands "sit down, "eat," "thank you," "please," "come," "more," "get," "milk," "water," "hello," "goodbye," and other words in Spanish. We're working on parts of the body and colors (very slowly). He has spoken much lately. He babbles, but still only says "mama" and "dada." A few months ago he could say "Amen" and "Hola" but he stopped a while ago. :(
Food: Jeremiah loves to eat! And he eats all sorts of things! The other day we had a get together and some JCS staff and one of them brought guacamole (very good, very garlicy!) Jeremiah signed "eat" and I decided to give him some, expecting him to not like it. Instead, he loved it! He kept going up to whoever had it, and eventually we got a spoon to feed it to him. We've been giving him so "new" foods. One night this week we had mashed yuca with chicken soup and noodles (yuck being the new part). He devoured it. He also liked the fried rice we made, and the eggdrop soup with ginger (well, he liked the broth part). Today he ate half of a stuffed bell pepper and a banana for lunch (and that's a small amount for him). Oh, and he liked the rice with sardines we had last night too. I think he had two bowls of it, along with cooked veggies. Crazy child (actually, it's really good and not too fishy tasting). We've been making Dominican food more often, and he likes rice and beans. And, of course, he likes Italian food as well!
So, that's a "brief" update on Jer. :) Pictures will come (eventually...)
I've been meaning to blog lately. I even think of things I want to blog about. But lately I've been busy. And the days I'm not busy, my brain is too tired to blog. Last week I added Algebra 2 to my tutoring. I'm not doing a lot now- only two hours Monday, two hours Wednesday. I'm teaching writing to three students (who are partly homeschooled) and Algebra 2 to two students (one is homeschooled). Even with only two hours, two days a week (and all the prep time), it takes energy. I enjoy doing it, but I certainly wouldn't want to have more classes. Jeremiah tends to be whiney when I'm tutoring, especially during the second class (which happens to be Algebra 2). It's hard to concentrate and think about math when there's a child throwing a tantrum! My first class is 1:30-2:30. My second is 3:30-4:30. I try to spend the hour in between giving Jeremiah lots of attention. But he's usually so tired by the afternoon (and resists a nap), so he's crabby anyway. I realize that I haven't taken many picture of Jeremiah lately, either. So I haven't had pictures to post. The first quarter at JCS just finished. Yay, Daniel for making it through the first quarter! Ok, I should start on supper now. Fried rice and egg drop soup with cabbage. Mmmmm...
I'm asking for advice from anyone who knows about these things... Daniel and I would like to buy him a PDA to help him stay organized. I admit, I'm pretty clueless about what is out there right now (everytime I visit the States there's some new organizer/cellphone/thing). We're looking for something basic- one that includes calendars, to-do-list, reminders, alarms, etc. I had a PDA a while back (in highschool) and we don't need anything fancier than that (but I no longer have it). So, what inexpensive PDAs are out there? Where's a good place online to look? Thanks!
Well, I am home again. The flights back went well, and my wonderful husband was waiting for me at the airport (with dinner, water, and flowers). It's good to be back, but it's hot! My time in Wheaton was wonderful; I was able to spend time with my parents, my in-laws, and extended family. Brent and Sara even drove in and back on Sunday to see us! Matt and Alisse's wedding was beautiful. Ashley and Joanna (and their hubbies) were also at the wedding, and then stayed the night at my parents house, so I enjoyed extra time with them. My short visit home felt like a real vacation; I was able to relax and not worry about running around as much as we normally do when we're hin the States. And Jeremiah had a blast with his grandparents! While he was in Wheaton, he showed off his walking and his signing. He's been doing so well with signs, and he signed a lot while we were there due to more people being around. His current signs are: milk, more, eat, water, help, please, thank-you, and change (as in diaper change), and he's beginning to sign in "phrases."
Besides waking up at 4:00am, everything went super well! After my flight from Santiago to Miami, I discovered that another Jarabacoian (missionary as well) was on the same flight. Furthermore, she was flying to Chicago on the same flight! She helped me juggle baby and bags through customs, etc. And we discovered we're flying from Miami to Santiago on the same flight next week. What a blessing! On the first flight, Jeremiah was great. We sat by some kind Dominicans. On the second flight, there was an empty seat between me, and a business man who enjoyed interacting with Jeremiah. So, he had extra room to stand, walk, and even sit. All the flights were on time, and I was in Chicago by 1:00PM! So, thanks for all the prayers, and Praise the Lord for great flights!
BTW, we're already enjoying having family time. :)