Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Today is our last full day in Brazil - we head home tomorrow! It seems like it's been so fast, and it also feels like it's been forever. That's "time-warping" for ya. Today I finally saw the Movie M0uth office here in Campinas. It was a lot smaller than I thought it would be, cause I guess I was still thinking too "US-ish" when it came to office space. But then after seeing it, I thought "Well of course it's gonna be small and crowded here, that makes sense." Corey's cubicle is by their front door, so he gets to answer the door everytime mail came or food deliveries.
Corey told me how each office only gets one parking stall in the building's garage. So they have a place around the corner where they all park - Nani Park.
Ah, parking... something I will not miss (along with driving here). We take parking lots so for granted in the US of A. We joke about how whoever designed all the roads and infrastructure here just didn't think cars would ever catch on, so they planned their lives for traveling by bus. There is really hardly any parking anywhere. I am looking forward to the spacious roads and parking lots in the United States!

So, the office wanted to send Corey off with a team lunch. So after seeing the Movie M0uth digs, we all got into our little cars and went to a churasscuria in Barao Geraldo.
Good stuff. I ate too much. I don't have much room in my stomach as it is. But I tried to sample as much as I could. I'm going to miss maracuja pudding, it's good.
After the lunch, Corey and some of the other sales guys had to hurry off to Sao Paulo for a meeting. I went home with plans to start packing. But then I didn't, cause last night our neighbor invited us over to play with her cute granddaughters who were visiting her from Sao Paulo for the week. So at 2:00 I walked the kids over there to play and then we all stayed. She is really nice, Sandra. She made sandwiches, popcorn, juice and cake, she runs a cute little cake shop out of her home. We first met her after our unbirthday party, when Wesley shot his arrow over into their yard. Not the one where he climbed on the roof and almost got electrocuted. This one they just went over to ask for the arrow, and they came home with a cake. :) Nice nice lady. So she and I visited while the kids played. My little girls were so excited to see the toys they had -
I ended up leaving around 4 and then called over the fence for the older kids home at 5 for their final Portuguese lesson with our friend Renata. She has been so nice to take so much time to come give them lessons three times a week. We all got teary when we said goodbye to Renata.
Then I started to pack a little bit. I've only packed two bins, but I also have separated out a lot of clothes and toys and other household items to give to people here. I think I'll have a busy day tomorrow! But our flight doesn't leave until 11:30 at night, so we've got the whole day. But yeah, will be a long busy day, followed by a long trip home. I better get some sleep while I can.

Monday, June 29, 2015


We are leaving Brazil this Wednesday night, so last Wednesday, after the Talent Night was finished, we've been talking about what to do on our last week, and have been all taking note of all of our "lasts". For Corey and I, our last date night was a little walk down the street to the main gate of Parque Portugal to have a bite at the little sandwich shop there, Gordão Lanches. Good chicken sandwich and fries and Guarana. I think the kids will all miss the Guarana. We'll have to see where they sell that in Utah, I'm sure they have it somewhere.

On our last Saturday, I enjoyed my last morning trip to the Campinas Temple and doing a temple session in Portuguese. 
I came home and Corey was gone teaching his last GMAT class. After he got back, he took Mel, Ethan, and Zeb out for the day - they went to a churrascaria and pigged out on meat, then they went to the temple to do baptisms. Corey did a session. Then they went to the mall for souveniers and to a fruit market for their last chance to try the exotic fruits that Brazil has to offer. Corey brought home this to show us - the Sugar Apple, or Annona squamosa. Pretty weird!  
Tastes a little bit like the persimmon, but with the texture of a banana. And a lot more seeds.
And also the part right between the green shell and the fleshy seed part had the texture of a sugar date and was really good. The kids thought it tasted good, but texture was weird and it looks weird.

Natalie saying "eew!" She didn't try it. I thought it was good though. We wish we could bring back some of these fruits to share!
Then yesterday we said goodbye to all our friends at church. Last time going to church in Porkageez! Natalie, with her baby never far away. No more bringing toys to church in Utah kids. 
Also, the schedule for church here has Relief Society and Priesthood first, then Sunday school, and Sacrament meeting last. Everyone brings snacks to sacrament meeting. I didn't the first few weeks, but then people give us snacks, so not wanting to feel like a leech, I've kept packages of crackers and cookies in my Sunday bag so I'm ready for church. As I broke out the cookies and passed them out yesterday, Corey told the kids "Enjoy the last time having snacks at church!" We took some toys to donate to the nursery. Natalie hogged them.
(Little stinker)
Then we all enjoyed our last Sunday nap in Brazil.

And for today, we had our last visit for dinner with friends. A nice family from Peru that is in the ward invited us over tonight. It was nice to be able to speak Spanish instead of Portuguese! We went over at 8 and stayed until 10. The mom taught me how to make the classic Peruvian dish she had prepared for us - lettuce with boiled eggs and boiled potatoes on it covered in a cheese sauce. The cheese sauce was made from Cheddar cheese, mozarella cheese, and a little bit of Provolone cheese. And one clove of garlic, milk, and then you puree it in the blender. Then you pour it over your eggs and potatoes. Pretty good stuff! As we ate, they were all watching the Chile vs. Peru soccer game. We started to tease and cheer for "Chi-Chi-le-le-le!" but then Corey saw one of the husbands give a signal that it wasn't a good idea to tease. The ladies were all really into the game. We watched with them. We were there while all 3 goals of the game were scored, but left before it officially ended, thus hopefully easing their 2-1 loss!
Tomorrow I'll try to pack but also might kick up my feet to prep a little for the long flights home sitting upright. At church yesterday I had indigestion or something - felt like I had heartburn or like I was going to throw up. After we got home I layed down, all the kids came in and felt the baby's hiccups. I have a note from the doctor to let me get on the plane, but I do plan on having bags draped over me and kids in front of me to kinda hide my tummy. I've never had a problem before with our last trimester trips, but people here have made us a little nervous. I thought maybe I shouldn't exercise this week, but did my 400 lunges this morning. I feel okay, just big. I feel like I've been pregnant forever! 10 kids at 9 months each = 90 months = 7.5 years. That kinda is forever. I'm excited to go home mostly cause it means I'm free to have this baby - it was my mother's one condition, that I make it home before he's born. Just 3 days to go.

Friday, June 26, 2015

In The News

On Wednesday during the Talent Night activity, the bishop asked if our kids could do a musical number for a meeting they were going to have on Thursday. We didn't know what it was, but the kids came prepared with a number they had done for a sacrament meeting musical number. I guess the meeting was something somewhat official, cause Corey said there were reporters there and a video camera. Then today we saw that they were in the local news!
So that's pretty fun. Once we make the local news, that's the sign that we've accomplished our task here and can head home. :) Enjoying all of our "lasts" this week. It's always kinda weird during the last week, knowing you're about to wake up and it's all just going to be a dream in a few days.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Wes is 10!

Another day, another birthday~ Happy Birthday to Wesley! What did we do for fun for you? Well, as happened with Lily, he already got his one present in May, which said present I squeezed into all our luggage when we came to Brazil in March. It wasn't much, but as good as I could do under the circumstances - cause I ain't going to buy anything here. Ethan and Hyrum have been nagging me to buy legos, "just one little set!?!? How come you were able to buy legos in Costa Rica but you won't buy them here?" I don't remember how much those cost, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't triple the US price. But, boys, the main reason is cause we're almost done here, and I'm not going to spend triple $ on something that we can buy next week in the US for a less obscene price. "But I've got $20 reais! I'll buy it myself!" Yeah, good luck with that. So we did actually leave the house today for Wes' birthday and we stopped at the toy store in the mall -
...the girls ran to the pink side, and the boys went to the boy side where they were able to see for themselves all their options and all the many things they could buy with $20 reais. I didn't have to explain anything, just let the sticker price do the talking. They were appalled that a small dinky set cost $60 reais. That's what I was telling ya boys. I ain't gonna buy any legos here. We'll give Wes a few more gifts after we get back. As for now, let's go wander around the mall some more. By some miracle, we went into another toy store and found something that Lily had requested - there were only three left - a pink zebra. Ok, we'll get it. This one costs about the same as in the US, so we got it, Happy birthday from your dad, Lily. (and nice photo bomb Abi)
We bought some treats and gifts to give out to family and friends when we return. Anyone want a Kit Kat? (Kit Kat's are a big deal here.)
AND for the birthday boy - lucky Wes got a McDonald's hamburger and his own fries! (Nice photo bomb Mel, what's with my kids?!? I gotta start paying better attention I guess.)
Love ya Wes. We'll have another party for you after we get home. You're a good sport.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Talent Show & Cake Night

Well, the noite de talentos and bolo Americano has come and gone. I think it was a pretty good activity. Good turnout, I was happy that the cakes all came together well. I was thinking I'd have to spend two days cooking them, but made them all today. Yesterday we cut out the cardboard for 9 cakes and wrapped them in foil. Today I made a run to the mall/Walmart for more eggs and for plastic plates and cups, then started cooking around noon. We made 4 chocolate cakes, two big ones and two small heart ones - Devil's food, German Chocolate, Double Fudge and Chocolate Supreme (with a few local chocolate cake mixes to stretch the batter). Two Angel food cakes on the far left, the three oval cakes were Blue Velvet, Strawberry, and Funfetti.
The blue one here was a white/vanilla cake with Aqua Blue frosting. Sophi, are you ready for cake night?
Corey was the master of ceremonies, and only had to have someone come help translate his Porteñol once.
Ethan was the opening act, then we continued the talent show and opened the cake table for people to go enjoy cake. Not sure if it distracted people from listening to the talent, but I think it was okay.
We had ice cream too, provided by the bishop. It was nice to start the activity with all the cakes made and ready, rather than trying to keep up with demand like at the pancake night.
We ended the night with cake to spare: two cakes with 3/4 left and two half cakes that we were able to send home with others.
I think the biggest hit of the talent show was when Corey invited any little girls interested to come up on the stage to sing "Let it Go". I put Natalie up on the stage, and she didn't know why I was abandoning her for a minute, but then she saw Elsa up on the big screen. I stayed close by and encouraged her to let it go!
I was loving it, she's so cute! Yes, I'm biased, but I'd say she stole the show, especially when she'd do the actions like this~
It was so cute. That musical number was my favorite performance of the evening. Overall - I'm glad this activity is over cause they always weigh on me a little bit, and I'm glad and grateful cause I think it all turned out great. Now I can officially relax and start to think about and plan a little for our departure. We leave next Wednesday night, so we're really on the home stretch now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Lily is 6

Today is Lily's happy birthday. She got her present last month at our "un-birthday" party, but we did have cake and ice cream today as promised. We're going to have more cake and ice cream tomorrow at our activity at the church - a Talent Show and American Cake night. I have 10 boxes of cake to make, going to mix them up with a few local chocolate and "baunilha" (vanilla) brands to stretch the batter a little. (The way they spell vanilla makes me think of a vampire.)

So, a few things that happened that made Lily's birthday memorable - first is that she called 911 from our Vonage phone. I hung it up when I heard someone talking as she sat next to me playing with it, then after hanging up saw that she had dialed "91158847..." Oh great. Sure enough, 10 seconds after I hung up they called back to let me know they'd just received a call from our number. "Yes, I'm sorry, my daughter was playing with the phone..." "Ok, just to verify, can you give me the street address associated with this number?" ~ which I did, but then told them "We are in Brazil right now though, I don't know if that shows up on your computer..." "Oh, you're in Brazil?" She didn't say that she knew that I was telling the truth or not, but I hoped she'd take my word for it and that they wouldn't come by our house... "please don't come!" (via Ryan Hamilton, funny guy, 911 joke start at 3:51, quoting there at 5:05)

But sure enough, a little while later a neighbor called to let us know the cops were at our house. Lovely. I told her Lily had called 911. And then the police called our number, and I said again, yes, that is our house, sorry, my 5 year old called, wait, 6 year old. Yes were are in Brazil, we have a Vonage number - internet phone. "Oh, ok! I didn't know how you guys would have called 911 from Brazil, just wanted to make sure it all made sense." and then we said goodbye. Don't ya love it when kids call 911?

We had another fun event after it was dark and dinner was over and I wanted the kids to start to settle down for the night. Of course that is when they started playing a game of tag and running around screaming and being noisy. "Please! You guys can help me clean or I want you to brush your teeth and get ready for bed!" I'm cleaning the kitchen with Mel who is an angel on earth, and they kept running around, I was trying to be patient with them ignoring me. I took out the trash and stopped to look at Venus and Jupiter.
On Father's day when I talked to my dad he asked if I could see them from down here in the southern hemisphere. I looked and yes, I can, Venus is the brighter one. My dad said to watch them cause they are going to be moving closer and closer together over the next week. Anyway, so I come in after a brief moment of star gazing, then I hear children in a panic and can see Hyrum squatting on the floor talking to Lily "It's okay Lily! It's okay!!!" and I hear Ethan and Abi calling me "MOOOOMMMM!!" I go back, blood on the floor dripping from Lily's foot and she's sitting on the floor watching it and freaking out - Abi is in the boys bathroom - she's standing in a pile of glass - they all tell me that in their game, they put Abi and Lily in the shower, cause that was the jail, and Abi opened it really quickly with a "HA!" to show she could escape, and as she thew it open with a "ha" the whole entire door shattered.
Luckily it was tempered glass cause it was mostly sharp glass chunks, not glass spears and shards.
I carry Lily to the kitchen sink and wash off her feet - she walked on the glass in her barefeet to get out. Miraculously she only had a few small cuts. We got the glass out, put some tissue on the big cut that was making the bloody mess on the floor (it was pretty small despite the seemingly lots of blood coming out), so got her injuries under control and put her on the couch in the front room - now back in to help Abi. I picked her up and she was crying, bleeding, and saying "It's all my fault!! Dad's going to be SO mad!!!" I tried to carry her but she was pretty heavy for my pregnant self and I couldn't put her up onto the counter. I called Ethan in to help me lift her up. We get the glass dust all washed off and pick out the little pieces that were in her skin, then she was good to go. I put her on the couch and then I go outside to take a "I need to breathe" break. The kids are sad about how mad Corey will be, and I say "Dad's going to say the same thing that I've been saying, which is that we wish you guys would listen to us and not be running around crazy cause when you do stuff like this happens, which is why we tell you not to do it!!" 
Ethan put on Studio C for them. Abi and Lily held toilet paper compresses to their cuts, and they were all pretty sober. Things like this really are a pretty huge deal in a kid's world. I remember breaking a window as I played catch when I was a kid - these are the times that try children's souls. They huddled together on the couch and consoled one another in their grief. I waited outside with the gate key to let Corey in. He came home, He had called after the incident and Mel gave him the heads up then. When I saw him I told him all the kids already feel really bad about it, and that I'd already played the bad cop roll, he could be the good cop. And they were all happy that they didn't end up being sent to jail or grounded for life or anything.

Last thing, Joseph called to wish Lily a happy birthday. Melodie answered the phone and as she passed it over to Lily, she said "It's a phone magician..." Joseph thought "That's a fun idea!" So he changed his voice lower and pretended to be Fredrick the phone magician. He proceeded to amaze Lily with his incredible knowledge of all things about her... He knew her age, that she likes zebras, you name it. "I can sense that you're in Brazil... and you have 7 of your siblings there. But one of your siblings is gone in Chile. But there is another boy there with you named Zeb..." Lily turned to Abi and said in total amazement "How does he know about Zeb!!!"
It went on for a long time, and eventually it was time to tell her who he really was. But after a few should-be-obvious hints, it was apparent she'd never guess his true identity. So for his final clue, he said "My name starts with a 'Joe' and ends with a 'seph'". After a long pause, Lily said "Joseph!" followed shortly thereafter with a "I knew it was you!"
Happy Birthday Lily, you silly girl. We love your face

Monday, June 22, 2015

Festa Junia

Saturday I started off the day with a trip to the temple. It has been a few weeks since I've gone, cause they were closed for maintenance for three weeks. Then last week they were opened, but I wasn't able to go cause Corey was returning from Rio with the kids. So it was nice to go again today. Then I came home, made a corn cake and woke up the kids and we waited for Corey to come back from teaching his GMAT class so we could head out to the Festival Junio.
What is a "Festival Junio" you ask? I'm not sure. From what I could understand, I think it originally started as a Catholic Saints festival. I don't think it's an official holiday, you're just supposed to have a carnival sometime in June. I got a facebook message telling everyone to dress up as caipira folk, their version of silly country people (google translates caipira as "rednecks") Well, we don't have any costumes here so we just came as we were. But they had lots of straw hats to share, so the kids had fun with that.
Wesley took Sophi out to the square dance. He's such a cute brother.
There were little different booths for different things - Bebidas (drinks), a table of treats (that's where my corn cake went) and a table of side dishes, but we were so full we never got around to trying any of those. Our favorite was the Churrasco (bbq) booth. Delicious steak and chicken. Although I think after we return to Utah, our whole family needs to go on a meat fast... we've had so much meat these past 3 months, it might be a little excessive. Hyrum had a few skewers of chicken hearts.
We gave one to Natalie, I just wanted to see if she would think they tasted good. She chewed up one and then spit it out. So I'll take that as a no.
Down at the field they had games set up for the kids - a bounce slide, a rodeo bull, fishing pond, pin the tail on the donkey, ring toss, etc. The older kids loved the bull ride.
"It's harder than it looks!"

The little kids played the games, and if they did all 4 games they got to go pick out a prize.
Lily helped all the kids get their prizes. And then I think she grabbed a few extras.
This little plastic bunny full of tiny sugar beads kept Natalie and Sophi busy for about an hour.
They got some in their mouths, but also spilled a lot on the floor. They picked up some of those and ate them. Nice.
Then Sophi decided to use her hat. Good approach. We put a pile for Natalie on the plastic chair.
Corey and Ethan played a little bit of soccer.
Hyrum was nice and played with Natalie a lot of the time. He and Mel playing with Natalie and her "baby" in the ball pit.
Kids going down the bouncy slide.
Natalie and her baby.
(Her baby needs a bath, but I might wait until we get back to Utah)
Our friend Zeb had a little group discussion going on with some of the wonderful people in the ward. They were all visiting for a good hour, not bad for a gringo!
Wesley taking a break from the square dance
Sophi, you having fun? 
And that look on Sophi's face right there is the one that lets me know it's time to get this little girl in for an eye exam. Did I mention that the pediatric opthamologists were booked until October 22nd? I am going to try and call a different office if there is one, but they said there are only 5 in the whole state. I might ask around, cause that just seems ridiculously far away. I'm gonna pray for an early appointment.
We were there eating and playing from 11 - 4. The parties never end around here.
Sophi striking a dance pose.
It was a good time, and then we headed home. Corey and I spent the rest of our evening trying our best to be prepared to speak in sacrament meeting tomorrow. First task - write a talk. Then, try to figure out how to say it all in Portuguese. It went pretty well I guess. Corey had Rafael proof read his talk. I just used google translate and copied quotes from the LDS Portuguese website. They all know I don't speak, so I didn't mind too much if I mess up. One more Sunday, this is our last full week, we are excited to go back home. I'll be able to plan for that and think about it if we survive the American cake night and talent show on Wednesday evening.
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