Sunday, August 21, 2016


When Mark and I visited Brazil last November, his boss (Mark Knight) mentioned that we should really think about having a house in Formosa for the weekends.  That way the kids could attend a bigger congregation at church and we would be able to socialize more.  What a great idea!!  If you look at the map below it will give you an idea of where the farm is located.  Brazil is a ginormous country.  When we arrive we fly into Brasilia, which is the capital of Brazil.  The second map shows Formosa to the northeast of Brasilia.  We can go from our home in Formosa to the edge of Brasilia to the Sam's Club & Wal*Mart in just over 30 minutes.  The farm is located past Cabeceiras, which is southeast of Formosa and directly east of Brasilia.  It takes about 1 hour 20 minutes to get to the farm house from Formosa.  So, when we are on the farm we are isolated from most of civilization.  We are lucky enough on the farm to have 2 neighbors and a missionary couple arriving next month.  Plus there is one empty home and a set of duplexes that could get filled.  I like being on the farm, but am not sure for how long I could be there at a time.  It is a HUGE adjustment being there.
So, back to the surprise...a month or two after we arrived a house became available for rent in a nice gated & secured neighborhood.  The company used to own some lots in this neighborhood but decided not to build a house on them and they sold a while back.  It is a desirable neighborhood with lots of kids, a park, dog kennel, soccer fields, and more.  I was so excited about it.  Then the owner decided to sell instead of rent so we were out of that.  Apparently the market for rental houses is hot here, especially in this area.  I would ask Mark occasionally if he had found anything and the answer was always no.  It weighed heavy on my mind as I am very concerned about the kids and helping them to adjust to living in a new country where we don't yet know the language.  I tried not to stress about it, but secretly I did.  We could rent an apartment, but the kids are so used to having space and being able to run and play with other kids.  I didn't think an apartment was an answer for our family.  I ran out of energy to worry about it and felt like it would turn out okay.

Soon after Mark picked us up at the airport he said that he needed to go to the bathroom so we were going to stop in Formosa at a gas station.  He turned off the highway and I said, "Hey, isn't that the neighborhood where we would like to rent a house."  As soon as I said it he turned the car into the entrance.  That's when I saw Rubens and Agnes in the truck in front of us.  I was in complete shock.  A house had become available to rent several months ago so it was secured and then kept a secret.  Agnes is amazing and furnished and decorated the WHOLE thing to get ready for us.  I felt like I was walking into a model home.  The kids were totally confused and I was speechless.  I was too exhausted to cry but felt my emotions bubbling over inside.  I honestly didn't know what to say.  This home in Formosa is perfect for our weekend getaways.  The kids are so happy here and already have friends on the street.  Some of them speak a little English so that is helpful as we learn the language.  It took pictures for documentation sake.
Outside by the pool area:
Boys room.  Since there is a window on the biggest wall, Agnes thought a trundle bed would be better than a bunk bed.  So smart!
 Boys room from the door.  Both houses we are in have amazing closets!
 Girls Room.  Matching bedspreads, cute lamp, little rugs.  Perfect!
 Master bedroom:
 Loving all this storage space!
Boys Bathroom:
 Master Bathroom:
 This is an empty room, we aren't sure what it's for or what we will do with it.  Maybe our little exercise room:
Detached Laundry Room (just a washer).  Another detail is the cute iron.  I should have taken a close up picture.
 Bathroom and storage closet in the laundry room"
 My clothes dryer:
 We call this the party room.  It's located between the dining room and the back yard.  The big glass doors open up on the side to the front yard and in the back out to the pool.  There is a kitchen/bar area, BBQ and a small bathroom.
 The girls bathroom:
I was impressed with all of the small details that Agnes though of.  Opening this drawer in the kitchen and seeing these "home sweet home" hot pads made me smile.
And the fact that she chose red, white and blue hand towels for the kitchen showed that she put a lot of thought into everything.  I cannot express my appreciation enough!
The front yard behind the gate.  Does that make sense?
Dining Room:
 Fresh flowers that Mark brought to the airport:
 Living Room:
 Just inside the front door:
 What greeted us as we walked in.  The kids noticed the family picture right away.  Another detail that helped us feel right at home in another country.
 I think this is the kids favorite feature of the Formosa home.  It's just the right size so I don't worry too much about them as they swim and they love to turn the fountain on.
The kids call this the "Privelege House".  I can see why they call it that.  We don't ever have problems with the wifi.  There are people around.  We can go shopping.  They can swim.  I can relax.  I like this place!


Britt said...

I'm so happy for you guys!

TracieT said...

The final picture of you all reuniting with Mark at the airport, speaks volumes. No matter where you are, if you gather together it's "home". For the long or the short haul home is where your two hearts start.
Your weekend place looks perfect. I'm looking forward to the next three years of stories and adventures.

Kiersten said...

Oh my goodness!!!!! Gretchen what an amazing surprise!!!! It's beautiful and I love seeing the kids smiling faces!!!! We miss u so thank u for sharing your adventures with all of us here at your US home... ��

Maren ODell said...

So happy your family has a place to go away from the ranch That will make life so much nicer for you and the kids . Good luck in your adjustments and adventures in Brazil. At times I miss it, especially all the friends we made there.

Renee Van Pelt said...

This just warmed my heart ❤️❤️

Renee Van Pelt said...

This just warmed my heart ❤️❤️