Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Meet me on Monday, 16

I'm linking up to Java's today again. I wanted to do this last night, but we didn't have internet access yesterday. I won't spend too much time with pictures today, because I just got back from our 7 km walk and I really have to get the laundry started, the dishes washed, lunch started, etc. I think you know what I mean.:)


1. How many TV’s do you have in your home?

One! (I'm not counting the struck-by-lightning-broken-TV in our guesthouse:)

2. What is on your bedside table (nightstand)?

A lot of jewelry, nail clipper, hair accessories, and a little bit of a mess. And some bandaids for my blisters from Saturday:)

3. How many pair of shoes do you own?

I think around 10, but I mostly wear flip-flops. I love all kinds of  flip-flops (remember when we used to be allowed to call them "thongs"?), and our neighbor country of Brazil makes the best ones. These are my favorites right now.

4. Can you change a flat tire?

I never have alone, but I probably could do it. My sisters can!

5. Do you prefer sweet treats or salty treats?

It depends on my mood. I love all treats! I'm craving something salty now, and I can't find anything edible in my cupboards now, except for some rice cakes with honey flavor. (It's like chewing cardboard with a light honey taste:P)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fun-Run 2010

This was before we started our 7 km fun-run this afternoon.
Note that we are smiling, except for me, because someone passed on the street and I had to see who it was:) From left to right: Rosella, me, Carola

This was afterwards. We finished the 7 km in our personal record of 55 minutes. YES! Thank you, Mom, C and your girls for cheering us on. I wouldn't have (maybe) made it without you:) (And yes, we are still smiling!)

Char is one of my missionary friends here. She jogged the whole race, so we were actually walking in her dust (except that it wasn't dusty:) She started the race listening to Nivaclé (Indian language she is learning), but switched to some music with a beat to jog to! She and her son both participated!

 Anna is my daughters friend, she received a trophy for second place in her category. Her brother and her mom (who you can see in the upper left corner) also took second place trophies home! Congrats, Christel!

This picture is kinda gross, but I really want to show you the pain I went through to finish this event! I have a blister on two toes that are almost as big as my toe. Anyone know a home remedy? Like maybe breakfast in bed and some chocolate?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

No turning back now...

I just signed my 2 friends and myself up for the first "Corre-caminata" ever to be held in our town. This is the first time I've ever done anything like this, too.

I tried to find a translation to Corre-caminata. It's not a Walk-a-thon, because we don't pledge anything or raise money through it. I found the term Fun-Run, and I like that. We can walk or run 7 km (4.3 miles). Whoever makes it to the finish line receives a certificate.

My friends and I had started walking over a month ago, and last week we heard about this Fun-Run and decided to try it.

  • I hope I don't embarass myself.
  • I hope I don't come in last.
  • I hope I don't get blisters.
  •  I hope I have fun!
Wish us luck!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday, the one where I'm happy

Check out Java's blog and her linky to Wordless Wednesday here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Meet me on Monday, chapter 15

I sent the family to the volleyball game without me tonight. I have a headache and a sore throat aaaaannndddd I wanted to finish watching a movie! I hope my husband's team won the game tonight, because if they win this game and a game next week, they're champions! WooHoo!!!

(Ok, the family just came back, and they didn't win. Too bad!)

So, I'm checking into my Google Reader and I see that Java has her questions posted already. This will be the last thing I'll do tonight: post my "Meet me on Monday" answers on my blog.


1. What is your favorite all time movie?

I always loved "The Princess Bride" The right mixture of silliness, fantasy and romance! As you wish!

2. How often do you go over the speed limit?

Sometimes when I'm in town, I'm slightly over the speed limit. Please don't tell anyone! :) The picture is from the entrance to our one-street village. The speed limit is listed in km/h, not miles per hour.  
 3. What really gives you the creeps?

Horror movies with dolls with wierd eyes. "Chucky" is the creepiest movie of all times for me!

4. What is your favorite snack?

It's a tie between chocolate and potato chips. But I would like them seperately, please!

5. Would you rather be a dog named Killer or a cat named Fluffy?

I'd always rather be a cat!

Polyvore set I made of my cat a while ago

 Join the fun and check out Java's links to other blogs!

I need to get my beauty sleep now, because tomorrow I'll be sewing! On MY own sewing machine. I picked it up yesterday, and it works so good. I just hope it'll stay that way for a while.

Hugs to all my friends and lurkers! :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Fragments

I'll be linking to Mrs. 4444 with some fragments about what I'm up to this week.

Monday: Brianna and I went to the dentist and she had to get 6 babyteeth pulled. Ouch! She was very brave about it, but is scared she'll look like this forever. I assured her that her other teeth will finally be able to come out better now. She's such a worrier, at the ripe old age of 9. The tooth fairy brought her a very rare treat: a Polly Pocket doll. (They are almost impossible to find here.)

Tuesday: Our ladies bible study group got together. I'm always touched and honored to be a part of this group of wonderful ladies! We're almost done Colossians, and next year in February we will start a study by Beth Moore.

Wednesday: My neighbor's daughter, who just finished beauty school, came and gave me a mani/pedi in the comfort of my own home. And I sewed some orange curtains for a friend. I can't wait to see them in her bedroom! She's so talented with decorating her home.

Thursday: My friend (the one with the orange curtains) and I went to the neighbor town of Loma Plata, about 30 km from here. We went spent all morning checking out different stores and eating delish ice cream:)

In the afternoon, while I was in town, I got a call on my cell from the lady at the sewing machine shop in Asuncion. She said they had recieved the part from the U.S. (the part we had ordered from Canada didn't fit, they said) and the machine would be ready today! HipHipHorray!!!! After three loooong months of waiting, finally my Brother (sewing machine) will be coming home again. I'm attaching a little note here, that I would like to direct to my Mom's sewing machine. I hope you hear the humor and the gratefulness in it.

Dear Miss Elna, ( I call her "Miss" because she is a dignified old lady)

I'm sorry that we cannot be more than friends. You have helped me out in a time of sewing-machine crisis. But I need someone who can give me more than just straight seams through cotton muslin. I need someone who will sew crazy corners into slinky jerseys, who will zigzag the most delicate chiffon, who will race down the side of second-hand jeans in a flash.
Miss Elna, you could not give me these things, but you have given me more. In a time where I seriously started to doubt if I could even sew anymore, you showed me that sewing is like riding a bike, just with a knee press.

Thank you, Miss Elna and thank you Mom, for lending her to me. I love you, Mom.

with the deepest respect, Brenda

Thanks to anyone reading my rambling, random, Friday Fragments.

I'm leaving you with a picture of Cindy and Grayson, just to get you wondering what in the world they are doing! :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday, the one where Spring starts

You might not be able to see this properly, but this is an armadillo, running away from the camera:)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I won an award!!!

As many of you know, some bloggers are awarded for their blogs. This is not my goal for blogging, but I appreciate it, if someone likes my blog enough to award me with a award button. Patrice over at Everyday Ruralty sent me a message this week, that she had awarded my blog:) I just got to know Patrice through Java's meme: "Meet me on Monday" and loved her country blogging style. She made me drool with her pictures of picking apples and pears!

I would like to forward this award to the following 11 blogs!

1. Shilo is one of my close friends in real life! She moved to Paraguay a little over a year ago and I have gotten to know and cherish her in this past year. You'll find her inspiring blog here:

2. Betty is a blogger that I also know in real life. Her blog describes her journey through her 40's, empty nesting and caring for aging parents. I've learned so much from her posts. She's taking a break from blogging now, but I hope she'll start again some day.

3. My aunt is also a blogger and I'm so proud to have an author of various books as my relative. T. Dora's blog is here:

4. The girls over at "Mennonite Girls can cook" deserve more than an award. I'd like to give them a hug for all of the delicious recipes they have been posting so regularly. Find them here:

5. While we're already looking at recipe blogs, I can't forget to mention Bakerella. She's famous in blogland! Check out her cakepops and all the other delish stuff she has on her blog:

6. Cake Wrecks is hilarious! It makes me look like a professional cake decorater!

7. Donna lives in a house on a corner. I also met her through Meet me on Monday, and we have a lot of things in common. I love her picture on her blog title:)

8. Weezer is one of my sweetest commenters! She's having surgery this week and she can use our prayers. Check her blog out here:

9. Ann's blog is one of the first I ever followed. Her Virtual-Girls-Night-Out meme was the first I ever participated in, even before I knew how to pronounce "meme":) (sounds like "dream")

10. Ellen is sweet and smart. I like that she researched an "urban legend" the other day, it made me start thinking about not believing everything I read on blogs! Thanks, Ellie

11. Julie is a fellow paraguayan. She's a missionary living in the southern part of Paraguay, and I love reading about her family and work with the people of Paraguay.

Those of you who receive this:

1. Post the award on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Award it to 15 other bloggers.

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know.
Sorry for not nominating 15 blogs, as I was supposed to. I hope you take the time to check out some of my blogging friends some time. 

Hugs, from Paraguay, Brenda

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Meet me on Monday, the fourteenth

It's almost Monday, and I'm getting a head start on my weekly post. Check out Java's blog and her new questions for Meet me on Monday!


1. What is your favorite pasta dish?

Pasta Primavera with chicken! Love to make and eat it!

2. What is the last thing you do before going to bed?

Go to the bathroom :-)

Great T-shirt, for those of us who forget what to do:)
 3. How many nights a week do you go out to eat?

Maybe once a month.

4. Are you an avid book reader?

YES! I love to read and usually have 3 books lying around that I read at once. I finished reading some Lawrence Sanders, and am reading a Max Lucado (Cast of Characters) for review purposes.

5. Would you rather have x-ray vision or bionic hearing?

This is a tough one, but I’ll go with bionic hearing. If I really think about this one, I think I’d go crazy if I could have either one. Over-stimulation drives me up the wall!


 And just for fun, so that we remember that we are all Super-Heros:

Have a SUPER week!

Silent Sunday, September so far...

Bottle tree, getting ready for spring

My green pepper smiled at me

Back-to-school cookies for a children's day care center

Lady Gak-Gak and her 11 chicklets

A foggy morning this week

Helping my hubby at the corral

Momma cow and calf through the thorn tree

2 of our Brahman bulls

The trees are starting to bloom, cows see it too:)

This cows expression cracked me up!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Meet me on Monday for the 13th time!

Good Monday morning, everyone! Did you all sleep well? Did you go to bed too late yesterday? Funny that I want to know that, because that is one of the questions Java is asking over here.

She has the best Monday meme called Meet me on Monday! I got to know a lot of bloggers this way, and I would like to name 2 of my favorite blogging friends today. Weezer is soooo sweet! She encouraged me to write my heritage story. Audrey is so funny and sweet. I still think we might be related somewhere! Check them out on their blogs!

So now come the questions, and really fun ones, too!


1. Do you wear socks to bed?

Only in the winter, I can’t get my feet warm enough to fall asleep. Usually I even have a hot water bottle at my feet, but then again it doesn’t get that cold very often here.

2. Do you have any pets?

 Where should I start? :) 2 parrots, 2 rabbits, 2 cats, 1 German shepherd, 1 dwarf rooster, 2 dwarf hens (11 chicks as of yesterday:), 13 laying hens, the cattle doesn’t count as pets, so I won’t list them.

3. What topping(s) do you like on your pizza?

I love pizza!!! Tomatoes, mushrooms, corn, pepperoni, palmitos (palm hearts), bacon and mozzarella.

4. What time do you go to bed?

It depends. Sometimes as early as 9:00 pm, but sometimes I like to watch a DVD after the kids go to bed, then maybe 12:00am. But I try not to stay up later, because my alarm goes off at 5:30 am.

5. Would you rather get free chocolate for one year or free potatoes forever?

Dumb question, Java! Everyone knows the answer to this one. CHOCOLATE! Because you have to buy potatoes anyway:) !!!

Soooo, now I have to feed my zoo! Come back soon!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

From Prussia to Paraguay, part 2

From Prussia to Paraguay, part 2

In Russia…

The schools in Russia in the Mennonite colonies were held in German. Often a teacher was a craftsperson or herder, untrained but willing to fit teaching class around his occupation. In 1820 they started a secondary school in Orloff, with a teacher brought in from Prussia. More higher schools followed and those who wanted to pursue a further education attended universities in Switzerland, Germany and also in Russia.


Typically each village or group of villages formed an independent congregation. Each had slightly different traditions, but all believed in the fundamental Mennonite beliefs such as believer’s baptism (choosing by your own free will to be baptized, adult baptism), nonresistance (choosing not to join the military), and avoidance of oaths (“Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "Yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned.” James 5:12).

Pastors were untrained, lay-preachers, and chosen from within the congregation.


As nationalism grew in central Europe, the Russian government couldn’t justify the special status of the German colonists any longer. In 1870 they announced a plan to “Russificate” the colonists and end all special privileges by 1880. The Mennonites were worried about losing the right to stay out of the military, their German schools and their religious and cultural life as they knew it.

They sent delegates to Petersburg, but they failed to present the czar with their petition. A year later they tried again, but to no success.

Mennonites do not want to take part in any war making, so many of them started to look for immigration options. A delegation was sent to North America in 1873 to look for fertile land, and many started leaving Russia to start again in Manitoba, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.

When the Russian government noticed that they could lose up to 40.000 of the country’s best farmers, they met with community leaders. The Russians exaggerated the difficulties that they would find in North America and offered an alternative national service, which would not be connected in any way to the military. That convinced some of the Mennonites to stay.

In 1880 the government offered the four-year forestry service plan for men of military age.

During the period of the “Great War”, the Mennonites were very prosperous and had a reputation for outstanding efficiency and were noted across Russia for their farming and organizational abilities. During World War I, 5000 Mennonite men served in both forestry and hospital units.

After the war, the conditions in Russia turned from bad to worse. Famine struck and an ex-guerilla leader turned army commander named Nestor Machno created fear in the hearts of the Mennonites.

Quote from Wiki: The image of Makhno as leader of the peasant uprising has been called "legendary" and a "colorful personality". However, in the view of the German and German Mennonite community in Ukraine, he was viewed as the instigator of "military ravages" against innocent farmers, an "inhuman monster" whose path is "literally drenched with blood.”

The Mennonites were looking for a new home. A larger migration of Mennonites from Russia occurred after World War I when in 1922-30 some 25,000 Mennonites went to Canada (21,000), Mexico, Brazil, and Paraguay. Many applied to go to Canada, but could not pass the medical exams, usually because of trachoma. The reasons for this mass migration were the threat of complete disintegration of the religious, cultural, and economic way of life of the Mennonites. A much larger number would have escaped, had not the Second World War intervened. Those that remained in their home villages were subject to exile to Siberia and other remote regions east of the Urals. From 1929 to 1940, one in eight men were removed, usually under the pretext of political accusations, to labor camps from which few ever returned or were heard from again.

So, that is how my grandparents came to Paraguay.

My aunt, Dora Dueck, wrote a wonderful fictional novel called: Under the Still Standing Sun. It describes the start of our colony in the 1930. Here’s a link to read a review of this book.

After my parents married in the 60’s, they decided to pack up their baby daughter (my big sister, Daniela) and move to Manitoba, Canada. They lived there for a total of 11 years, in which Caroline, Me and Andrea were all born there. I went to grade school in Winnipeg and later in Calgary until I was 10. Then we moved back to Paraguay. That’s why I’m “Tri-lingual” (can you say it like that?) My first language is English, because I spoke only English until we moved here. Then I quickly learned German, because that is the main language in our schools and colony here. Then I learned Spanish in school, because it’s the language spoken in Paraguay.

I hope I didn’t bore you with my history. If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask. I’d like to post some recipes soon that our grandparents brought along from Russia. I hope you drop in again soon. Have a great weekend!

I went to the new Heritage park in town with my girls. This is one of the first trains in the Chaco. With trains similar to this one, my grandparents came to the Chaco and finished their trip from Russia to Fernheim, Paraguay on an oxcart.