Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas pictures

I'm finding it very hard to keep up with blogging, now that the kids are home on vacation.
Hope you don't forget me.:)

I'll post some pictures I took over Christmas here, ok?

1. Me and my girls, posing for the camera, right before we went to the Christmas Eve program. (Note the artificial color of my hair. Coloring your hair on Christmas Eve with a new color you haven't tried before is a mistake! (CINNAMON IS NOT MY COLOR) There, now I said it, maybe I can forgive myself too, soon.

2. My 2 friends from my village and I decorated the tree in the church that afternoon. It looked better in real life :P

3. Our girls and my sister's kids each got to pick a ribbon sticking out from underneath the table cloth. Attached to the ribbon was a gift. So that way no one could pick the biggest present:) (These were gifts that my sister and I had bought for the kids.)

4. My brother-in-law and my husband each got a thermos (water jug to keep water cold, a must-have in our region)

5. Brianna liked the blouse and shorts she got from Grandma.

 6. We set the table in the kitchen/dining room, where the air conditioning had been on for a few hours.

7. Mom made the most delicious stuffed chicken, mashed potatoes and a lot of other goodies!

8. This was the family gathering at my in-laws house. My husband has 1 brother and 2 sisters, and each one of them have 3 kids.

9. The kids started playing as soon as they opened their gifts.

10. We saw this on our way home. My sister-in-law and her husband fastened the lights on to their fence. I hope you all had a "Frohe Weihnachten!" (Happy Christmas!)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Choco-Lavas, Snickerdoodles, and Teacakes!

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is spending a whole day at my parents house and baking cookies until we're sick and tired of them:)

(sick and tired of cookies, not of my parents:)

When we got to town yesterday morning, C's boys were busy working...

So we all donned our aprons and plunged into the various cookie doughs.

 Cindy and Nicole making Never Fail Sugar Cookies.

 Jopi was tasting the dulce de leche while making Alfajores.

Chocolate Peppermint Stars

 Choco-Lavas, Chocolate Crinkles or Holstein Crinkles.


Gingersnaps, a lot of them!


"Date Rolls" (I don't know what they're really called, my Mom had baked them before we got there)

Russian Teacakes (or Mexican Wedding Cakes)

 Never Fail Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

 12 different kinds of cookies in one day!

(baked and frosted by 7 kids, 3 grown-ups and taste-tested by my Dad!)

 I took this picture after we were done. We were very tired by then, and I usually don't look quite like this! (It's me on the right side, C is on the left)

We had fun, but I don't feel like baking today...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December in Paraguay

This is what December in Paraguay looks like:

The time isn't right, it was about 4:00 pm and the temperature is in Celsius.

Guess who this is.........

It was Jopi's (my nephew) hand and his brother Steve was also hiding in the previous picture.
After swimming snack

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday, the one with the gifted Cacti

 one cactus - two cacti; right?

My friend Maria gave me 38 different cactus plants!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas preparations

I haven't posted anything in a while, but maybe you're too busy to read too many blog posts now anyway:) So I'll make my post like a children's book today: a lot of pictures and a little bit of writing! Here goes:
I started baking some goodies for pre-Christmas snacking. These little cookies are a Mennonite (German maybe even) favorite called Peppernuts or Pfeffernüsse. We all love eating them while drinking Terere.

These cookies are called Lebkuchen. Something like a soft gingerbread cookie with royal icing and sprinkles on top.

Last week my two closest friends in my village brought me a gift. It's an advent's wreath. I didn't get around to lighting any candles yet, it's just too hot! It was 43 C (108 F) here today. We are really waiting for rain by now.

This is a close up. (From up close, I was going to write...) Isn't that straw angel just adorable?

Last night, a few friends and I went to the neighbor colony (Neuland) to participate in a little crafting course. We learned how to make origami stars. :) If you make them big enough and out of strong paper you can even hang a light bulb inside of them. We had a lot of fun crafting and taking a break from our hectic lives at home.

This is how mine turned out. I'd love to make another one soon, but they don't have the right paper in our colony right now.
This is our Christmas tree this year. For the first time we have a tree with a theme:) Purple and gold; Amy made some gold and white angels out of clothes pins. We have them on the tree for now, but we want to use them to attach our Christmas cars onto some ribbon and hang them up.

We set up our inflatable pool this week, and the girls have been enjoying themselves. I think I'll go for a cooling dip before going to bed tonight. :)

What I also wanted to write about is this new (for me) excersise plan my sister found on the internet. (Don't worry, they are not paying me for this ad!)

You can find the site here:

They have some great resoures here on this page too. The one I like the best is the podcasts that you can download (for FREE) for each week, for 8 (in some cases 10) weeks. I like DJ Beatsmith's podcasts, because the music is upbeat and almost totally instrumental (no singing). You can find his download page here:

My walking buddy and I started a few weeks ago, and since we don't always have time to do the programm 3 times a week, it'll take slightly longer than 8 weeks. The goal is to get up from your couch to running a 5 k(m) distance in 8 weeks. (Not that it takes you 8 weeks to run 5 km, but it should take you about 30 minutes to complete this distance)
When you listen to the first week of the plan, you start out pretty easy. It's about 3 minutes of the host talking, during which you start walking already to warm up. Then the music changes and you start running/jogging to the beat for about a minute. The music always lets you know when to walk or run.
I love this program! Since it's so hot here at 6:00 pm, the time we usually walk, I've set the alarm at 5:30 am to start out as soon as it's light enough outside. I recomend this program for everyone who wants to get in shape and needs a little bit of help. Since we started walking in August, I've felt so much healthier. My acid reflux is totally gone. (I had it every night before going to bed) My bladder is stronger (I know, TMI). And I lost 4 kg (8lb). YAY!!!
So, I'm not promising myself that I will continue to lose weight throughout the Christmas season, but I'll try:)
A WARM hug from Paraguay to anyone reading my post. Comment if you want, I love getting feedback!