Birthday Week

Elena saying "hi" at the restaurant

Yup, this was our birthday week! Woohoo! Happy Birthday to Us! 🙂 We had a nice time celebrating. Birthdays are big here in Peru, but somehow we’ve avoided being the center of attention on our birthday – and we’re okay with that! [Brian especially.]

Thursday morning, as soon as Dana finished the three small assignments she had, Dana and Diana joined me at the house for Wii games and to watch “Tangled” (in English).

Then in the afternoon, we did our annual tradition of going to our giant mall for the afternoon/evening. We give each other a budget and a time limit and then go shopping! Here, many of the stores make free gift-wrapping available (one of my favorite things about Peru since my idea of “gift-wrapping” is a pretty gift bag!) so we each took advantage of that and got our gifts wrapped. We met up, then headed to a nice restaurant, fancier than we normally go to during the rest of the year.

See? ooooo~ fancy pants bread with dinner!

After our nice dinner, we opened our gifts…

a jacket and nice coffee for the birthday boy...
...and a fancy new bag for the birthday girl!

Today, we continued the celebration with a nice dinner at home.

Our simple birthday spread with a few cards - the long strip is a card from Eva, made to look like a roll of film.

Our 2nd tradition is for me to make a new cheesecake recipe for us. I spend the year scowering the internet and my friends’ recipe boxes until I find just the right one. This year, I made one I found from my favorite website, allrecipes.com: Caramel Macchiato cheesecake.

We love love love caramel macchiato coffee, so this was a perfect fit for us. And OH MY. It was wonderful. It actually has 1/4 cup of strong coffee in it. I didn’t have caramel ice cream topping so I used a wonderful Peruvian substitute called manjar blanco~ it’s condensed milk that they cook and cook for hours until it turns into a caramel spread that’s used on everything from bread to inside donuts to cookies. That’s what I used to write on top and then I spread it like a frosting. Yum. Delicious.

We also made each other gifts! Funny because we both did it separately – it wasn’t something planned. Brian gave me:

A Hummingbird Feeder!

Okay, there’s a sweet story behind this. When we lived in South Dakota, for one of my birthdays Brian made me a wishing well. I loved my wishing well. And, of course, it sold with the house. Now that we live here, the one thing I have said over and over is how much I love all the hummingbirds here. When I was pregnant and sick in bed every morning during the summer, I looked forward to the little hummingbirds coming in the morning to feed outside my bedroom window. I have commented frequently about how much I would love to have a hummingbird feeder outside the house. And voilá. He made me a wishing well/hummingbird feeder. If you look at it, obviously it doesn’t look perfect. From my perfectionist husband, this is not normal. The reason? If it looks too good, it’ll get stolen and this isn’t something we want to have to chain down or bring inside every night. So he even planned that. Have I told you lately how much I love my husband? So thoughtful.

I made Brian:

I thought it would be neat to actually plan out a year of dates for us – one a month, all things that we both love to do or would like to do together. This will force us to do something together that is not obligatory (like grocery shopping). One thing that’s been pressed on me this year is the need to work on our marriage, not just live day by day. So, here is our attempt to take some steps forward. I think it’ll be fun! One of the “rules” I set is that we take pictures each date night, so watch for those once a month from here on out!

Now on the agenda for this week:

  • The annual women’s retreat for our church plants is this Saturday and Sunday! Saturday night, I will be doing a black light choreography with a few other girls. Sunday morning, I will be doing the skit with Shantal that I wrote! I’m very excited about that. Practices are going well! I’m hoping to have Brian video tape it and then I can post it so you can see me act in Spanish, for those interested.
  • Brian’s been working on a new irrigation system for the camp and that will continue this week. Once again… I wish I could give you his list, but since it changes daily, I’m really not sure what that consists of yet!
  • Our co-workers who have been in Ecuador for two weeks get back this week! Yay! So, my students, Jeremy and Janelle, will be returning to classes this week as well.
Thanks to all of you who wished us a happy birthday on Facebook. It was nice to be remembered!
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Brian & Lisa

We are missionaries with Bible Centered Ministries International, living and serving in NEPA.

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