Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Family Force 5 Concert

It was totally random, but on the way to one of Doodle’s games this summer, I heard a giveaway on a local Christian radio station. I wasn’t interested, but knew how much Fred loves Family Force 5. So I called in and was the 1st caller, but had to be number…5. I tried calling back, but figured, there would be too many people calling in. Guess what?! I won!

So, the boys and I along with Fred and his kids went to the concert at a really small church the day before the boys headed to Minnesota. Unfortunately, I forgot the earmuffs and Doodle wasn’t able to stay in the entire time. His left ear, where he has his hearing loss, was hurting because of how loud it was.

I’d never been to a FF5 concert before and man, they didn’t disappoint! They put on an amazing show and it was fun being there with Fred because he’s not a bump on a log just sitting there tapping his foot. He was totally rocking out!

Be sure to visit Full Time Mama for her WW post, too!

Monday, July 29, 2013

A Day of Church, Adventure and Exploration in Lima, Peru

Our morning started off..quietly. Friday when we got in, the traffic, even late at night was loud and busy. Saturday, as you could see from yesterday’s photo, traffic is everywhere, and it’s constant.

Sunday…nothing. We walked out of the hotel and there wasn’t a car to be seen on our street. All we saw were people walking, running, skateboarding, and riding bikes! They only close the street off on Sundays!

We headed out to Starbucks to start off the day. Yes, there are a ton of them in Peru (who knew?)! With coffee in hand, we headed to morning church at Camino de Vida’s satellite church, which was actually hosted in a casino! We had headphones to wear so we could hear an interpreter sharing the message. I tell you, the way they worship in such a fun way!

Adam, the guy who picked us up from the airport, was their with his wife and daughter. Liliana brought us to church. I think Fred and Dave were so excited to see her because they worked with her last year. It was an inspiring service and I was so thankful to have a way to understand the service.

After church we headed to where the Palace was located and the Catacombs of San Francisco. As we walked around the circle in front of the palace, it was amazing to look at the architecture. I don’t know the first thing about architecture, but it seemed like there were so many different influences! I also loved all of the colors splashed throughout the city. I wanted to take photos of everything!

I actually didn’t even realize we were standing right next to the palace. There was so much to look at I was in overload! When I asked when we would be seeing it, Liliana said we’d be there in just a minute! =) Basically all I had to do was turn around! I was so surprised at how heavily packed the soldiers were!

I think it was Fred who asked these guys if I could stand between them. I wanted to, but seriously, being that close to those guns was scary! I stood between them and got out as fast as I could.

Just like at other palaces with men standing in front of them, I wonder how they can do it! Just stand there, no talking, no smiling, no…nothing! How do they do it? I would go absolutely insane.

We just walked around the area for a little while taking in the area. We made it to a bridge just past the other side of the palace and Liliana told us to not cross the bridge because over the bridge was a not-so-nice area. We were all fine with turning around.

One of my favorite points in our wandering was coming across the cutest little puppy! Someone in our group somehow noticed this random puppy in a doorway with a man. Of course, how could I resist? I asked the man if I could pick it up. I think Fred was more than happy to see me put it down and move on!

When we finished wandering through the city, we headed back to the hotel for about an hour to refresh and then we headed out for an evening of church at the main Camino de Vida church!

We had such an amazing experience. The pastor is actually from the United States, but has lived in Peru for years. Of course, his sermon was in Spanish so we had it interpreted again. The devices we used were really hard to understand. If I could, I would send them brand new ones!

The worship was led by the same band that led the morning one and man, they were just as powerful! How beautiful to worship in a country where we don’t know the language, but feel the Spirit of the Lord! We had an amazing time getting to meet the pastor and his wife! We also met Miguel’s wife, Sarah.

Here’s the fun part of church. The pastor’s wife didn’t know who we were talking about when we were mentioning Miguel. She looked over to him and said, “Oh, MIckey.” Ah yes, Miguel had started introducing me with my given name, and I don’t usually go by that! Well, I was delighted to hear the pastor’s wife call him Mickey, but the icing on the cake was when Sarah called him Migelito. Oh, he wasn’t thrilled with that, but I on the other hand was absolutely delighted!

What an amazing and wonderful day. I was so excited to get to the Lord’s business, I can’t even tell you!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Lima, Peru: The City & People That Stole My Heart

Peru, I’d heard about it from Fred, saw a few of the pictures from last year, but truly had NO clue what was set before me with this trip. We had a team of 7 people, and Fred was the only one I knew. On this trip was: Fred, Courtney, Pastor Christian, Steve, Dave, Bob, and myself. Actually, I met Pastor Christian and Courtney at our movie fund raising night, but we didn’t get a chance to really talk about anything or get to know each other.

We all met bright and early Friday morning at the church and we introduced ourselves. Bob started off by learning how nervous I was to fly and found some random article on his phone about fear of flying. Yea, the article didn’t help. lol Fred learned very quickly how real and intense my fears are!
We were greeted at the Lima, Peru airport by Adam who is an American missionary living there full time with his wife and daughter. He brought us to our hotel and told us we’d have Miguel the next day and Liliana Sunday and then he’d be back with us again.

We woke up the first day and took a ride out to the orphanage that is run by Camina de Vida. They had about 17 kids there ranging in age from 12-22 and are in the process of looking for a different place to live.

Now, getting to the orphanage, like getting anywhere in Lima is rather interesting. The traffic there, well, let’s just say it’s best NOT to look out the windows as you ride along. Toby was our driver for every day, but one and he was amazing. That man could fit our bus into the craziest spots! Every hour seems to be rush hour.

Total rabbit trail here, but when we asked one of our “guides”, “How long does it take to get to XXX?” They would say, “Well, without traffic…” and they’d tell you some random time. It wasn’t until about 5 days in that I mentioned, “Do you ever drive anywhere at any time withOUT traffic?” lol I mean, they really don’t have a “no traffic” barometer, they don’t need to qualify anything before they explain length of time. Getting anywhere in that city should always be based on massive amounts of traffic!

End rabbit trail…

We got to the orphanage and were immediately greeted by Isabel. It was clear she had some sort of disability and by the time our trip was ending, Courtney had deduced it was probably fetal alcohol syndrome or something similar. Next we met some of the workers and they had the biggest, warmest smiles! Thankfully most of them knew English and one of the gals knew it fluently. We got their just in time for lunch. It seemed we always got wherever we were going just in time for a meal (thank you traffic).

We were served an amazing pasta and then it was time to hang out with the kids. I was a bit awkward. The first two girls I had tried talking to didn’t seem interested at all. Of course with my sad Spanish, no wonder! The guys all went and played soccer with the boys and male workers. Courtney was playing volleyball with Isabel and Toby’s son and I just watched for a minute.

God is good. He brought me a girl who had a board game. Her name was Mayte. She wanted to play Scrabble! Mayte (ma-tay) I think was about 12 and said I could play in English and she’d play in Spanish. I thought I might be able to do some simple words in Spanish…and I did. lol One of the gals who works there came in and played with us (probably to help me more than anything) and then Courtney and Isabel came and sat with us.

After a while we all went outside and took group photos and pet the dogs and then we loaded up the van and drove back into the heart of Lima. We went back to our hotel, the Hotel San Blas, to rest for about an hour. From there we went to a humongous fountain park that you have to pay to get into. Now, mind you, it’s winter in Peru so it was about 58 degrees or so. That meant they weren’t doing the big fountain and laser show.

The park was amazing! Fountains of every design and fun water patterns. I don’t even know how long we walked around there, but probably an hour and a half. It would’ve been so fun in the summer because some of the fountains were meant to be played in. It was too late and too cold for us to get wet.

As we were about 1/2 way done with the fountains we came across a show! There were several sets of dancers. I tried catching some stills, but man, there was so many flashing colors and so much movement, my camera couldn’t capture anything clear! Always a blur of beautiful, bright colors.

From there we went back to more fountains. The displays were absolutely amazing! We came to one, where you don’t know if you can make it to the middle in one fell swoop, if you will make it half way through or only to the first row of sprays before the water will start to spray up. It might go up a little, it might go up to above your head! It was hysterical to watch everyone take their chances.

From there we went to dinner right by the ocean. Seems that throughout our trip we never saw the ocean during the day. We were by it 3x and I think each time it was at night! It was a memorable first day and I was looking forward for the ones ahead!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Peru: The Work Begins

I totally have this post out of order. It got lost amongst the other posts I have written. Sorry!
I woke up extremely excited about our 3rd day! It was time to work. I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of work we were going to do, but I was ready to get about it! Adam picked us up along with Daniel and drove us to a hard part of the city. Our group got to the building and we learned that a woman pastor had decided to have a church for delinquent teenagers (I think that’s what we were told). It wasn’t a big church.

It would’ve been bigger and better, but she had been swindled by the contractor who had built the rest of the building. He had used sub-grade products and hand’t done the project right so she had to start over entirely. We were there to lend a helping hand. Pastor Christian and I were sent along with Daniel and one of the construction workers to find plastic bags to cover all of the musical equipment and other things in the sanctuary.

We walked to a nearby neighborhood market and it was our first experience with their “local grocer”. Somehow, the construction guy knew exactly which booth to go to to get the plastic bags. lol It was interesting! We walked back to the church, dropped the bags off and then headed to the hardware store. Ok, we had just talked about suffering while we were down there and I probably should’ve sent someone else because going to a hardware store is hardly suffering to me. *wink*

The ride took us over an hour and a half I’d say. Unfortunately, Toby didn’t know where he was going. lol He kept asking people for directions, doing u-turns, etc. Pastor Christian told me his story and about his family! I can’t wait to meet his wife and daughter. I’d already met his son at the fund raiser we’d held at the church. At one point, we had gotten so close to another van/bus and well, sort of cut him off, the guy was smacking the side of our van!!! It totally freaked me out, but Toby, meh, he didn’t bat an eye.

We got to the hardware store and, sigh, inhaled the hardware smell! It was quite the experience, and I have to tell you, it reminded me a lot of Menards. The workers approached us and one woman sold us the entire job! She took us to each thing we needed and hefted it all down. I totally wanted to hi-5 her!

On our trip back, Daniel explained that the area we were driving through used to be the hub of the city! That it used to be as lively and beautiful as the district we were staying in at our hotel. Looking around, you would’ve never known that. Of course that was 100 yrs ago he said, so I guess maybe not so surprising?

As soon as we got there, everyone went to work. We were sanding, puttying, scraping, mixing things with our hands, painting, priming, etc. We were all trying to get as much work done in the small window of time we had! As we were coming somewhat to the end, I had started painting one of the ceiling beams. As I moved along the beam, I happened to look back and oh my goodness, there were huge air bubbles everywhere. I thought I hadn’t painted right, but what was happening was, the paint underneath was reacting to the new paint.

I had to stop what I was doing. We ended up wetting the entire beam with water, thanks to Fred, and scraping off all the bubbling up paint. In a way it was good because it was peeling off all of the bad paint, but it just took so much longer to get that one more thing done. I think to a degree we had all hoped to get more done, but we were thankful to know another team would be coming in a couple of days and could take over where we left off.

Before we left, Pastor Christian and I took a tour of the upper levels. lol I honestly can’t put into words what an experience that was. We live with so many codes and rules and laws that if any American building inspector would’ve seen it, they probably would’ve had a stroke.

Limbs of trees, bricks, and anything else they could find was all that held up the third floor. Standing on the second floor, we could hear the guys working above us and actually see them. Pastor Christian seemed to have me pegged because he climbed up to the 3rd floor and called to me saying I’d want to see it.

We were up there and the view was beautiful and it was so amazing seeing what they were doing. The workers all pretty much learn on the job and their way of life is to learn pretty much all of the trades so they can do anything when they’re building!

After the day at the church, we headed back to the hotel to rest before we headed to…the cat park. Oh yea, Mira Flores has a cat park! Basically, it’s several streets worth of parks that are filled with cats. Some had been domestic cats and were dropped off by families, others were just feral. I really had no idea what we were headed for.

When we got there I was in absolute heaven! There were literally cats everywhere! I would find one and do some petting and then I’d see another one I just HAD to love on. The rest of the group was just walking along like it was just some everyday park. Fred would call me, “honey, I think there’s a cat you want to see here.” Yea, you think? hahahaha

It was another full and beautiful day! I accidentally did my days out of order! We worked on the wheelchairs the next couple of days.

Buzzworthy Books of Summer iPad Mini Giveaway Event

I know, I'm kind of on a roll right now! So excited to offer another big and awesome giveaway to all of my readers!! Before I started doing product reviews I was a book reviewer and honestly miss reading as often as I used to! Thrilled to be part of this giveaway! Good luck!

When it comes to summer reading indie authors offer a refreshing alternative to predictable plots from big name writers. Here’s a list of ten titles from emerging indie authors, pick your favorite and vote on Facebook for a chance to win an iPad Mini!

The Lights of Sheridan Square by Bob Ford
If you enjoy the office intrigues of The Mad Men and the love story in The Notebook you’ll like this book.

More About The Book 
“Set in New York City in the late 1950's, this love story takes you into the heart of the advertising world. The office politics and drama are equal to that of the series Mad Men.  I could not help but fall in love with the main characters, Jay and Joanna. Their story is a lifelong love affair of twists and turns with a dramatic ending that I did not see coming. A book to enjoy." Published by Deerfield Park Books.

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Reluctant Gods by A.J. Aaron 
If you don't like just plain old vanilla and want something different, Reluctant Gods is a series that transcends fiction fantasy by crossing genres into romance, humor, science fiction, and mystery and is sure to entertain while you enjoy the best of summer.

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“A.J. Aaron is a genius. I loved this book! It had fantastic images but the real story was about Sevilen accepting his power. I understood that everything is as it should be but the author's depiction of this concept is exceptional. The laid-back dialogue and cool characters mixed fantasy with what is usually considered a serious, esoteric subject. Leyna's mindset and sexual exploits are tastefully done. Quotes from Einstein, Toffler and Drucker reinforced the message. This book is highly recommended for teenagers and adults.”
You can find more about A.J.  Aaron on his website and on Amazon, and his publisher.

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Future Tense by Eddie Upnick
A mechanics life is turned upside down when he learns of his fathers top secret past, causing him to team up with a beautiful CIA agent and two beyond gifted teenagers, to try to stop the Russian mob from deploying a futuristic weapon of mass destruction and a pending alien invasion of Earth. You can purchase the e-book here and learn more about the author on his website.

Play or Die by Jen Cole
This summer, see Australia... on the run from a sociopath! Take a heart-thumping tour with Jo as she searches for her father's murderer while fleeing from a killer sent by a future society to bag her.

More About The Book 
Play or Die is amazing. Be prepared for tension that you have never experienced before as Jo tries to evade the psychotic Hunter determined to kill her. The book alternates between nail-biting suspense, action, and stuff that really gets you thinking. Visit the Jen Cole's website for more information.

The Incredible Wedding of a Dictator
by Horacio A. Hernandez
This novel is a mock epic, a satirical, and an allegorical view of a dictator and his evil influences. Two friends share their manuscripts describing one of the first European settlements in the Americas; the finding of the original Journal of Christopher Columbus; the development of a cruel dictator; his extravagant wedding; the struggle of a hero against the dictatorship; and the end of it caused by the destruction of a great tsunami. It is a description of the struggle between good versus evil. This book will be perfect for anybody interested in reading literature: historical fiction, magic realism, religion, mythology, folklore, etc. because of all the entertainment and humor involved in it.

White Thirst by Mike Anka 
True story novel - building a new life from scattered and dangerous pieces.

More About The Book 
"Mr. Anka has truly penned a wonderful novel. I have always been a fan of real life stories, and this one is exceptional. The author has been through so much, and to share his experiences with pen and paper is a remarkable feat. This book is definitely worth a read." Be sure to like Mike Anca on Facebook.

The Crusades Again: A History of the 'Twins'
by Dennis J Foley
'Taking into account terrorist activities of the United States and overseas, Foley explains how the pentagons and rectangles became a part of our past by premeditated terrorist acts. His writing style is intricate and requires the reader to delve deep into each word for clear understanding. His detailed account of how each 
formation appears structurally and by date is commended. It is an eye-opening view of a different perspective on world and terrorist events with both religious and nonreligious undertones". Read more about Mike Foley on Create Space. 

Master of Plagues by D.B. Reynolds
Master of Plagues is a must-read since it captures and holds the reader's attention from beginning to end.

More About The Book 
Master of Plagues is a dazzling journey of magic, redemption, and forgiveness through super powers. Learn more about the book on D.B. Reynolds' website and watch a video about it on YouTube. Also, be sure to check out a great review of Master of Plagues.

Special Must-Read Price Cut! Originally pried at $8.00, Master of Plagues is now available on Amazon Kindle, Nook, and Kobo for a special low discount price of 0.99 cents.

Lunch with Lucille by Annarose Ingarra-Milch
“Lunch with Lucille” whips up a delightful dish of entertainment and inspiration, served by a fun-loving, sassy, female character who has a message of hope and optimism – a message all women need to hear. 

More About The Book 
"Lunch with Lucille" by Annarose Ingarra-Milch is overflowing with humor and entertaining throughout. Lucille is quite the character and her sage advice will whet your appetite for more encounters with this unusually colorful lady. She has lived a rich, full life, and gracefully shares her adventures in an inspiring way. 
The reader is treated to simple, practical solutions to some prickly issues such as aging, confidence, self image, and achievement. This fast-paced novella is thought provoking and leaves you eager for the next installment.

Keep up with the latest book news by Liking Lunch With Lucille on Facebook and watching the Novel Trailer on YouTube. 

Godwar: Hell Rising by D.K. Cherian 
This saga promises action, adventure, history, politics, magic,mythology and twists while transferring the reader into a fantastic realm where anything is possible.

More About The Book 
One great aspect of D.K. Cherian's novel is the excellent integration of background information about the Egyptian Gods without overpowering and deterring from the wonder of the novel. All of the characters are well-rounded, likable, and entertaining. The author does a wonderful job of drawing the reader into the world of Ancient Egypt with his mix of seriousness, humor, action, magic, and adventure. A truly engrossing fantasy adventure, this book is a must-have for any readers who enjoy mythology, magic, time travel, and page-turning plots. Be sure to like Godwar Hell Rising on Facebook!

Ready For Your Chance To Win?
Children Teaching Mama is excited to offer your chance to win this amazing prize sponsored by Reader Spoils
Enter To Win an iPad Mini 
One winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries to receive a 16GB black iPad Mini valued at $339.99! To enter, complete the tasks on the Rafflecopter form below. Don't forget to vote for your favorite book! Good Luck!

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Traveling with SafetyTats

Safety Tat
I can’t believe how much traveling the boys and I have done since school’s been out! Traveling of course means we’re taking backpacks and suitcases with us everywhere we go.

The boys are spending the entire month in Illinois and Minnesota with friends and family. They both went with a backpack and suitcase and of course I wanted to make sure they were able to spot their luggage as it came off the plane so we used Anywhere Labels Metal Tags from SafetyTat.
I actually wasn’t sure how well they’d do on an airplane. I thought it would be possible with the travel on the plane, driving with a bunch of other people down to Illinois, back up to Minnesota, and going from one family to another they could potentially get lost along the way.Thankfully, halfway through their trip, the boys tags are still on everything! Yes, I got confirmation from Buddy!
The only difference I’d make is the color I’d choose. Since our suitcases are black, I’d pick something that would stick out better like, orange or red. That’s personal choice only.
SafetyTat Metal Tags
When the boys flew for the first time on their own, they only had one phone. Well, Buddy had a phone. Doodle had nothing and if he got separated or lost, I wanted a sense of security and that came in a temporary tattoo. I put it on him the morning we went to the airport and I added only my phone number. I didn’t want anyone to be able to walk up and see his name on his arm and act like they knew him.

We used the Quick Stick Write-On! tats in the sports theme. I liked that they have a sports option since he’s too old for little kid themed tats, yet he’s not really in that place to go plain. I told him that if he went to any waterparks or zoos that I wanted him to put on a new tattoo and to share them with his cousins or friends if needed.
Metal Tag Suitcase
Several days later when he and I were on Skype, he raised his arm for some random reason and he still had the tattoo on his arm. He’s so funny. Why do I have this sense that he’ll still have evidence of his tattoo.

I then had the opportunity to use the extra two Metal Tags on my backpack and suitcase that were headed to Peru. Yes, international travel. Would they make it?! I have to say, I just kind of toss my stuff around only paying attention to how well my computer is padded.
Both my backpack and suitcase made it with the tags intact. The entire time we were in Peru, my backpack went with me everywhere because it would’ve been too easy to get ripped off leaving anything laying around. The entire time, my Metal Tag hung on with no problem.

After our crazy flight home, I stayed at a hotel before I actually came home so I could get a good night’s sleep before I drove, I opened up my suitcase and for some reason, my tag was inside my suitcase just sitting on the top of my stuff. I guess one of the baggage people didn’t care for it being on the outside of suitcase or maybe they were concerned it might get lost? lol I have no idea, but it still made it home with me, just on the inside of my suitcase. =)
I’ve got more traveling to do next month to Michigan for my friend, Amy’s wedding and a move that should be happening so that means the luggage and our tags will be getting even more use. And don’t forget, the boys still have 3 more families to visit and a flight home so we’ll see how well the Metal Tags fair, but I’m not worried in the slightest.

*I received the SafetyTat products for review. The opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Buzzworthy Books of Summer iPad Mini Giveaway Facebook Links

Follow @couponmamacita

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Wordless Wednesday: Peru Daily

I’m hoping to write a couple of blog posts about Peru, but wanted to share a couple with you today!
Friday: Flying into Miami – our layover
Saturday: Peruvian traffic is absolutely crazy!
Sunday: Visiting the Palace and then the Catacombs
Monday: Walking through a local market
Tuesday: Loading the truck full of wheelchair parts
Wednesday: Building wheelchairs (Pastor Daniel, Fred, and Bob)
Thursday: Distribution day

Be sure to head over to Full Time Mama for her WW as well!

Creative Commons License
Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.