Monday, September 28, 2015

Our Trip to Piratininga

Just last week we went on a short ministry trip to a small town about four hours away called Piratininga, which is located in the countryside of our state of São Paulo. We were visiting a Youth With A Mission (YWAM) base called Vila do Louvor, or in English, Praise Village.

Our good friends Jonathan and Johanneke (and their three beautiful daughters) recently moved to this missions base from YWAM Belo Horizonte (where we served together for many years).   Jonathan is currently leading the YWAM School of Design at the Praise Village YWAM base, and he invited Felipe to teach several days of class about photography in missions.

Felipe had a great time sharing his knowledge and experience with the students.

While Felipe taught classes about photography, my girls and I enjoyed spending quality time together with Johanneke and her three girls. It definitely was a work mixed with pleasure kind of trip!

The Matias family and the de Jong family spent five full days of both work and play together! Our two families had lots of fun and wonderful fellowship. Sophia especially enjoyed every single minute to the fullest playing with her friends, and she even did not want to return home.

Here are a few photos of some special memories we made during our trip to Piratininga!

We are thankful Felipe had this awesome opportunity to teach about photography in missions at the YWAM Design school, while also being able to spend quality time with dear friends of ours.
We are already planning to return to the Praise Village YWAM base again!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Jessie is Three Years Old!

This past week our daughter, Jessie, turned three!
I can't believe this princess is now officially a three-year-old!

Here are a few photos from her birthday festivities! 

We made cupcakes for Jessie's birthday.
My girls love helping me bake things, so I thought it would be fun to make cupcakes for Jessie's birthday.

Jessie raising her hand saying, "Me! Me!"  She wanted to put the batter in the cupcake mold.

Big sis helping out too!

We threw a little party for Jessie the day before her actual birthday. 
At the last minute we invited our dear downstairs neighbors to join us in singing "Happy Birthday," and luckily some of our friends just happened to be there visiting so we invited them to join the party too.
This is very Brazilian! The more the merrier! 

Felipe's mother and sister traveled all the way from Belo Horizonte to celebrate Jessie's birthday!
It was so nice to have them spend the weekend with us. 

 Singing, "Happy Birthday" to Jessie.  She was shy and a bit scared of the candles.  We had some sparkling ones on the table and she did not like them one bit!

The kiddos hanging out afterwards! 

 The day after Jessie's little party, on Jessie's actual birthday, our special visitors had to fly back home.

After dropping off our family at the airport (and Jessie cried non-stop because they had to go), we decided to take Jessie on a special birthday outing. 

We had a little bit of time to kill before picking up Sophia from school, and stopped at a nearby mall to grab an icecream and play a bit in an indoor play center.  We never take just Jessie out for fun outings without Sophia, so it was a nice treat for her.

We sang "Happy Birthday" one more time to Jessie the night of her actual birthday, September 8th.

Some of Jessie's favorite things at age THREE:
                                         Favorite color: Orange
                                         Favorite song:  Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
                                         Favorite food:  Rice & Beans (She's a true Brazilian)
                                         Favorite fruit:  Apples
                                         Favorite treat:  Ice Cream
                                         Favorite thing to do: Sing! Jessie actually sings more than she talks. 
                                         Favorite animal: Cats
                                         Favorite toy:  Any kind of baby doll!
                                         Favorite book: Brown Bear
                                         Favorite show: Super Why!
                                         Favorite game: Memory  

Our adorable little Jessica Hope is such blessing to our family!   
Her kind and gentle nature brings a such a spirit of sweetness, peace, and joy to our home.

It is our prayer that Jessie will continue to develop and grow up healthy and strong.  May she grow into a woman who knows and loves the Lord God, and walk closely with Him. 
May Jessica Hope, fulfill the meaning of her name... May she be one who is  "rich in hope," and may her life serve as a testimony of God's unchanging goodness and faithfulness.  

We love you sweet Jessie!  
You are a big girl now!