"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." Angela Schwindt

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I know I have been pretty quiet lately.  We have been very busy this holiday season.  We have also had a case of the stomach flu spread through our house and Matt was in Brazil for ten days.   I think at this point we are as ready as we can be for the holiday season.  Not sure what Jadon will do after Christmas when Mommy puts away the three dvd collection of Sesame Street holidays shows.  There might be a few meltdowns.  We have seen Elmo's World-Happy Holidays, Elmo Saves Christmas, and Christmas Eve on Sesame Street at least 20 times each!  Ugh!  Jadon loves Sesame Street! 

Wishing Everyone a VERY merry Christmas! 


Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 6

Day 6

Wow, have we have stayed busy! Because our tractor was on the moving
assembly line on Friday and production numbers were behind, they
decided to run the line on second shift. That forced our tractor to
need support until midnight. Support from from us, until midnight.
We ended up working 17 hours on Friday and then getting about 4 hours
sleep and heading back in for 12 more hours on Saturday. Luckily, we
had Sunday off though.

On Sunday, after sleeping 12 hours, we took two taxis to the mall
(there are 6 of us here). When we got there, the taxi I was in
dropped us off at the back entrance, and there we waited for the
second taxi for about 15 minutes. Just when we were starting to think
that they ended up at a different mall, they came walking out or the
mall. The second taxi had dropped them off at the front entrance.
That was one of those times that it would be nice to have a couple
working cell phones in the group.

After lunch at the mall and some shopping\people watching, we walked
the 1.5 miles back to the hotel, taking advantage of this nice 85
degree weather. Back at the hotel, we borrowed a monitor cable from
the free access computer in the lobby and hot wired the big screen
lobby TV to a laptop so we could stream NFL games. We watched games
from 4 to 10:30 pm with all kinds of strange looks from the locals.
We also ordered pizza's from a local place, and enjoyed a few beers
from the hotel bar. We only really had two complaints; One, it would
be nice if the hotel lobby was air conditioned, and Two, when we leave
the doors open to the pool area lots of little bugs and lizards come
in. Not a bad way to spend our day off.

Today (Monday), was a much more normal pace. We worked from 7:15 to 5
and enjoyed dinner from the hotel restaurant outside by the pool.
After dinner, Derek got out his guitar to practice a little so we
played some "name that tune". Tomorrow evening, we are going to the
Cat Club so that we can listen to music by Derek and the two local Cat
employees that we met on the last trip. Derek has been working with
them over email to set up a song list so that each of them could
practice ahead of the big show. It should be fun. We plan on
ordering Pizza, having a few drinks, and some international fun.

From Matt


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Where In The World is Matt? Brazil 2nd Edition-Day 1

From Matt-
After a long 10 hour flight from Chicago to Sao Paulo, we met up with
our taxi driver and crammed all four of us along with our luggage into
a small Fiat van for the 2 hour ride to Piracicaba. When we got to
the hotel, we found that our Cat contacts at the factory had cancelled
our taxi ride from the hotel to the factory this afternoon because
this is a local holiday and not much was going on at the factory. We
didn't mind, since it was already 3 pm here and we could all use a
shower and some food.

We regrouped in the hotel lobby at 6 pm and waited for the steakhouse
next door to the hotel to open for dinner at 7:30. Now, I am
extremely full. One extreme to another!

Tomorrow, I have to transport all of the items that I brought along.
I have a few small parts for the build that had to come from the US
because of some late changes, a part to keep one of the machines we
built here in July running at a local mine site and the items that I
was asked to bring as a personal favor. Someone wanted some organic
babyfood so I am hauling 12 jars of that around. I know someone that
like plain Pringles and so I am traveling with 3 cans of those (to be
fair, I was not asked for these. This will be a surprise). And last,
but certainly not least is the toilet seat. This is by far the
strangest and most unexpected item that I have been asked to bring. A
friend here had knee surgery recently and wanted a raised seat with
handles to help him on and off. I ordered it from Walmart for $63 and
he is happy to get it because the closest thing he could get in Brazil
was $700! I think this is due to nothing similar being made locally
and the shipping and import taxes really add up.

Tomorrow, we meet for breakfast and head off to the factory. It is
taxi's all the way this trip! Last time, one of the guys got an
international license and rented a car which really made each day a
new adventure (in this traffic), but 3 months later, he received a $50
speeding ticket in the mail! They have radar and cameras set up, but
we had no idea when or where we got caught. We were also a little
surprised that since we travelled the same route each day, it did not
happen more than once.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Snowy Day

Hi Everyone! Sorry it has been so long! Today we got our first snowfall of the year! Oh how I loved waking up to that beautiful scene. I absolutely love when it snows in my woods. I could just sit and look at the beauty of it all day long!

We normally would got out and play in the snow but this is the second weekend of our hunting season. A drawback to living in the woods and having your property back up to 1500 acres of state wildlife refuge is that you don't play outside when it is hunting season. Of course of first snowfall had to come this weekend! And it was so perfect for playing in. I did allow Jadon to walk around close to the house for a little while when we came home from dropping off Shelby at Teresa's house. He really was fascinated with the snow. It is going to be a fun winter!

 Can you see that smile?  He was LOVING it!  Just like his Mama!
 We have snow pants.....they were not on because we did not plan to stay out long.

I mentioned that Shelby went over to her friend, Teresa's house today.  She went over there so Teresa's mom could take some pictures of the girls.  She is up to something for Christmas I have a feeling.  Don't know what though.   The pictures turned out great.  Here are some of them:

 I may be partial, but isn't she just beautiful! 

Finally, I found out today that I won something!  I almost NEVER win anything!  Today was my lucky day though.  I got an email from the owner of the blog, Thanks, Mail Carrier, saying that I won the contest I entered for a Melissa and Doug Shopping Cart and my choice of TWO Melissa and Doug Food Sets.  Woohoo!!  I am so excited!  I love the shopping cart because it actually looks like the real shopping carts do!  And one of the food sets I picked out was a set where you can slice the food.   Perfect for therapy!  I can't wait until they come!  

 Here is a pic of the cart.  I did end of choosing the slicing fruit set in the upper left corner.  The other set I chose is not pictured.  It was a hard decision.  I love all these food sets!