December Photos and Videos

Here are some Photos and Videos from December.

Beach Photos

Beach Videos

December 2007 Photos

Ill be home for Christmas

This might be a little sad; skip it if your are not in the mood! :)

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents under the tree
Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light beams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

This song never meant anything to me.... until this Christmas. I recall sitting in 95degree heat on the patio of a beautiful little cottage in a remote beach city of Peru. In hearing this song, the last line rang more true then i could ever imagine. We spent Christmas with good friends from the language school. Their daughter Anna and Eliana are the same age, communicate in Spanish and fight most of the time, but are best friends. We also joined three other German families totaling 13 kids and 10 adults. Having a crowd might have been the only familiar thing this Christmas, but all the changes left us to focus on Emmanuel, the meaning of Christmas.

I got some iTunes credit for Christmas and bought the new David Crowder Album "Remedy"

These lyrics ring true-

Here, you are now
With us here
We are found
In You

And this makes all the difference
This changes everything
Making our whole life existence
Worth something...

Although we, our parents, brothers and sisters all experienced something very different this year for Christmas, we are extremely blessed to be were we are are doing what we are doing. We received an abundance of love from our family and from our friends (new and old) this Christmas.

No matter where you are in the world, the day is the same... a celebration of the Birth of God on earth. We are blessed to be able to celebrate and experience Emmanuel, God with us, in Peru.

Cultural Hurdles

Daily I have conversations in Spanish with my practicum teacher about culture. Sometimes I leave with the misguided and arrogant assumption that I understand and that living amidst a foreign culture isn't that hard. Then I have a day like today. During my interactions with our friend Carol, the following situations showed me my true cultural ignorance.

1) I offered for her to use a "modern" kitchen item of ours and in the process belittled her as a person and her country's time-honored methods.
2) I invited her and her daughter over for dinner. Her response was a snappy, "For what?" To which I responded, "For fun!" I still don't know what in my invitation seemed offensive.
3) For a 6:30 dinner I planned for everything to be ready at 7. While waiting for her for 30 additional minutes the food dried out and got cold. In the midst of analyzing my own stress over the situation I was also laughing at myself for even considering that a Peruvian "6:30" dinner would start any time before 8:00 - (the most first and most obvious cultural lesson for a foreigner).

Days like this one I am so grateful that God gave me a love and thirst for learning cultures - to carry me through the embarrassments of doing just that!

Screaming in the Chapman House

No, Im not talking about John doing his Spanish homework.
Josiah has taken to screaming.

He is 15 months old and is quite frustrated with life, unable to walk or to communicate. (Granted- he screams and cries but does not point, reach or say words.) Last week he got a bee sting and his screams were not much different from the ones initiated by a toy out of reach.

It's a good thing he is so stinkin' cute!

Holiday Season in the Air

Christmas music is playing in our house, and the stockings are hung. We are working on finding a tree. However, we found that the only live trees are sold Dec. 24 and kept up for January 6, Kings Day, the celebrated day where the kings visit Jesus. So now we are looking into buying a fake one. Oh my what a stretch! We never wanted a fake one, but you do what you have to do.

This Holiday season came upon us quickly, with no real notice that Thanksgiving was here because it isn't a holiday here. Before we knew it we had been invited to Thanksgiving dinner at another missionary family's house from Tennessee. We had a lovely and grateful holiday and now suddenly Christmas is upon us with summer heat rolling in, beach-wear in the stores right next to the Christmas ornaments. We are singing songs, doing shopping, and experiencing Christmas in a whole new way.

"Yes! Jesus loves me, though it makes me very sad"

Yes, that is what is coming from the mouth our two year old. She sings the chorus over and over and always ends with "it makes me very sad" (confusing lines in the song that don't go together). Truthfully she doesn't exactly know what she is saying. Hey that sounds like me sometimes, not exactly knowing what I am saying. Well, we ARE singing the song around her more and more to attempt to instill the correct words. This is the life of the Chapmans. Trying to change the way we speak to make it sound right to everyone else... and understand it ourselves.

Well life is your typical two child under the age of three family. Plenty of daipers, crying, abrupt moments in the night to wake and care for a crying children. Two kids sleeping in the same room doesn't help the hour we arise in the morning, generally between 5-6am. There are the unexplainable joys as well. Josiah loves to play with his sister and Eliana loves to play with his brother. They laugh at each other, push each other in the toy stroller (see videos in November) and push and hit each other. Ellie loves music and can be found dancing to Jana Alyra or ANY other music she hears. Oh and Josiah is seen pulling up on anything and clapping at any song, laugh, or noise he heres that isn't talking.

God is good and life is grand. Challenges abound with children, life, food, talking, and school, but we are blessed. We have people beating down my door for new Blog posts because people like you care about the lives of the Chapmans and are praying for us. We can feel the prayers like you don't understand. Our lives of full of joys. Our major concerns are "how to learn the language faster?" "how to love our kids and spouse more?" and "how do you adjust to a new culture and country?". God is absolutely in this time and place and we could not be more grateful for who He is in our life. Thank you for reading and being interested in this great adventure. We couldn't and wouldn't be here without those of you who are faithfully praying and supporting us.


November Kid Videos

New November Videos for Eliana

New November Videos for Josiah


We love airline miles! John's dad and brother were able to come visit us for a week. It was amazing. Having them here made our lives feel so much more real! (No one invites their family to come see where they're taking vacation.) The kids loved having time with Papa and Tio (as he has requested to be called). After showing them around Arequipa we went to Puno and Lake Titicaca! It was breathtaking. We took a few tours and passed the time enjoying each other's company.

Click here to see more pictures.

a long weekend

Last weekend was a long one, full of cultural activities for the entire family.
OCT 31 - The kids go to a Christian Preschool and they asked the kids to dress up like one of God's creation. With our ingenuity we came up with a very fast frog and very excited roaring lion!
ALL SAINTS DAY - Our language institute took us on a guided tour of cemeteries, teaching us about the origins, meanings and cultural practices of this catholic holiday.
VISITORS - Friends of a friend are traveling the world for a year (!!!) and crashed at our place for the weekend. We LOVED getting to know them and discovered we ran in very similar circles in California.
FIESTA FAMILIAR - Schools here have these fund-raiser/parties every year and they are VERY elaborate! The kids "performed", there were hired entertainers, traditional peruvian food, trampolines, the works! We were exhausted by the end of the day.

And all this in one weekend!
Click here to see photos

The Beach

That is right, on October 8th spring has arrived and we planned a trip to the beach. We went with some new friends from the institute, (German doctors studying Spanish to move to a new German-Peruvian hospital in the jungle outside of the city of Cusco with their 5 month old boy and 3 year old girl.) The trip: Six hour bus trip (3 hours one way), 10 times of Eliana throwing up on the way there (we did drop almost 7500 feet on winding roads in three hours), 2 hours on the beach and an hour at the restaurant, 20 minutes in the water and 30 minutes cleaning up. Does that all make it sound like it wasn’t fun? We had a blast and though we wont do it again for only one day, we will definitely return to the beach.

kids in the street

Those moments in life that God gives you the glimps of your work for Him in the future - I had one. Just the other day our family was walking in the park. Heather needed to return to the house with Josiah, and Eliana wanted to walk and walk and walk. We found ourselves on a street corner of intersecting cobblestone streets (not used much because of their rough ride and because they are so narrow). There were about 6 kids playing in the street and they all ran up to Ellie and wanted to play with her. We hung out for about 20 minutes. They were amazing... kids... just like kids in Poland, Egypt, the US or anywhere else I have ever been. I told a seven year old girl I didn’t understand and she repeated herself louder and louder. Then the next time she tried to tell me something she actually leaned into my ear and yelled... i still didn’t understand her. Kids all over the world don’t comprehend how someone doesn’t speak the only language they think exists. The same girl asked if Eliana bathes because I had picked a leaf out of her hair. The oldest boy was a hoot. He would translate for the others... not into english, but into spanish I could understand. They loved the small ball I had with me and one boy was extremely sad when i was leaving... because the ball was leaving.
They said “this is where we play” every Saturday and Sunday... I told them it is Thursday...
It was an amazing time. Even now as I write I wish I could be back in that street building relationships with those kids. Letting them know they are special in the Kingdom of God and that God wants them to know him. I can’t wait to start meeting Peruvian teachers and pastors who are called to serve the children of Peru.

Pre-October 2007 Blogs

We have changed our blog. It was getting difficult to update our blog and we decided this would be easier. For any blogs earlier than October 2007 click on this link-
Pre-October 2007 Archive