Monday, March 31, 2008

a winning weekend...

This past weekend my 9 year old son took part in Destination Imagination.  
This is an event sponsored by the US, but also used in International schools abroad.  It culminates in a weekend long event  filled with workshops and instant challenges that the teams had to solve.  
As the main focus for every group, they each have a central challenge that they must present. They work on this throughout the year.  They put everything together themselves and have very little help from their team manager.  It is a problem solving theme throughout the weekend, helping children learn how to work as a group as well as having to come up with creative ways to solve the challenges.
My son's group chose DI've got a secret...and won their group!  They were spies that were stealing a secret from a Doctor and his laboratory.

They also make the weekend fun by having pin exchanges...we never exchanged, just kept buying new ones to start our collection for the following years!  

My son's favorite workshop was building a crane...which his group abandoned him, so he got to keep it and bring it home.  He worked very hard on it and is very proud.  Do I have an engineer in my future??

Typically, those that win their group go on to the finals in the US.  This year our group chose not to go, but hopefully we can next year! 

And then as if that wasn't enough....
my son also had a tennis tournament on Sunday.  It was his first on a clay court.

He had a fairly easy opponent.  He won it 6-0.  They were played as a regular set like the pros.  The last point for the win was quite dramatic.  He had to run to get the ball close to the net, he fell face first and dropped his racquet, but he made the point and won!
So, he scraped his knee a little, and it hurt some, but no big deal right?  We were getting ready to leave and go have dinner when the coach came over and said that now he was going to play the final!  Another set to 6.....
well, he wasn't sure because he was hurt and tired...but he did it!  I was very proud of him.  He kept looking over when he was down and wanting to blame his knee hurting, but I nor my husband gave him and ounce of sympathy. (until afterwards of course!)
This opponent was more of a match for him.  They were going back and forth until they got to 6-5, my son was up and he was serving for the match.
For all those tennis challenged out there, you have to win by a difference of two...hence he had to win 7-5.  Well, he lost his serve and went to a 6-6 tie breaker.  It was heart wrenching every time he looked over with his puppy dog eyes almost filed with tears....but I kept my game face and he pulled through!
He won the tie break 7-3.  
What a champ!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Embarrassing situations

So, living overseas, what with all the crime and insecurity of now knowing where to go, how to ask for directions, etc....
many expats have drivers.  It is a bonus, but there are times when it is awkward.
I am sure you all can imagine the normal ones....what to talk about, depending on someone who is not part of your family, telling this stranger what to do,etc....
In some sense they become a small part of who you depend on while you live in the strange land.
Today I had a very different experience...
What does one do with this said person when he farts in the car as you are going somewhere?
I know, I am acting like a young boy who is fascinated with bodily habits, but it struck me as very funny!  
It took everything I had in me to not laugh!  I mean I couldn't tease him like I would my husband or children.  I couldn't open a window to let the smell out...
What is one to do?
Well, luckily for me we were going to my favorite flower market and I bought some very smelly lilies just in case it happened on the way home :)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

even in a land far, far away

Yes, even here in Brazil we color eggs.  I love all the comments....
"wow, what a beautiful purple"
"why does the red always come out pink?"
"can't we dye more?"
This year we painted some wooden eggs that I had found in a sale bin in Target.  The colors were very "Martha Stewart"-ish.  I am sure my kids creations would make Martha cringe...but I love them!

Then there are the dyed eggs!

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 14, 2008


Ok, so I am being a bit judgmental but....
why are people so obsessed with others faults and shortcomings?
The media gives people what they want to hear....all about the sex scandals, all about affairs, who says what against whom, etc.
I think it is so unfair to judge people that are in a public figure.  They must uphold certain moral values, or at least some sort of leadership values, but must we continue to probe further into their lives so that we know EVERYTHING?
There are those that fail, but let us let them be.  They are people and will have their own judgement day, whether it be with their family, or their associates or against themselves.
No one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes....

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Animals and plants in Foz de Iguacu

Here are some of the different species of animals and plants that we found in Foz de Iguacu.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Foz de Iguacu, Brasil

What a beautiful place!  
These waterfalls are on the border between Argentina and Brasil.  The border runs down the middle of the river that the falls flow into.
There is another country, Paraguay, that also borders Argentina and Brasil here, and has the Parana River, which has the world's largest dam called Itaipu.
One can take a boat ride and get so close to the falls that you are drenched in their spray....way too fun!  You can also repel down the sides in certain areas away from the falls, though we did not take part in that sport.
Natural beauty at it's best.....

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Does anyone remember the old Heinz Ketchup adds...where the bottle of ketchup was tilted at angle, and waiting for the ketchup to come out?
Well, that describes my mood for the last book of the Twilight Saga.  I read the last two books in a total of a day and a half each.  They had me reading on the elevator, in the car, waiting for my kids at tennis class, till 1 in the morning...
and technically even longer since I do not live in the U.S. and it will take AT LEAST 2 weeks to get here!
AN...TIC....I.....PATION!!!!  closer to torture if you ask me!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Foz de Iguacu, Brasil

Ok, finished the 2nd book of the Twilight series....waiting until I get the third tomorrow....agh, the agony!

So, I'll start on my trip to Iguacu Falls in Southern Brasil. The falls border Brasil and Argentina...actually the divide is right down the middle of the river.
The hotel we stayed in, Hotel Das Cataratas, though a little older, was beautiful, and tucked into the natural feel of the outdoors without being intrusive (aka-the Sheraton was an eye sore).

They served different naturally flavored waters when you entered the hotel.  
They were yummy...try to make them!  Just put the natural fruit in the cold water!

Monday, March 3, 2008


Ok, so I have been away to Iguacu Falls here in Brasil, ......more on that later!

First, thank you to Gabriela for introducing me to the Twilight series of books!  I took the first one with me on our mini vacation and was "dying" to read the second one when I got home.  I stayed awake until 1 in the a.m. just to see what happened!  I find the books very engrossing, very entertaining.  I read Anne Rice's vampire series ages ago...and loved it also.  I think that she writes a more eloquent version of the vampires, more seductive, more of what we think as "traditional" vampire legend....but there is something about the plain writing of Stephanie Meyer that brings you into the story.  I am into the second book, and have the third waiting for me practically!

Just to update you on my "bad luck" statue...yes, last evening when we returned, the kids wanted to go to the beach.  So, my husband took the statue with him and returned it to where she belongs....I am not sure if he made any wishes??  I'll have to ask him that one tonight :)