Friday, April 7, 2017

All About John

In July we will be heading to the U.S for our second home assignment. I was thinking about all that has changed in the three years since we were last home. Since we go home every three years, so when we first moved to Lima, our kids were 2, 4, and 6. When we went on our first furlough, the were 5, 7, and 9, with a new 6-month-old addition named John. This time, our kids will be 3 (turning 4), 8, 10, and 12!

It is strange and sad to have our families miss out on such huge chunks of our kids' lives. And likewise, to miss out on so much of our nephews/nieces lives, too! Kids grow so fast, and a lot changes in three years. 

I was thinking about how, in some ways, this will be the first time a lot of my family and friends meet Johny. I know they met him as a baby, but they haven't yet met Johny "the kid". So as a sort of introduction for everyone who doesn't yet know Johny the kid, this post is all about my Johny. 
  1. John is what they call "tranquilo" in Spanish. Meaning, he is an easy-going kid. For a three-year-old boy, he is pretty calm and quiet. He can also be shy when he meets new people, but it usually doesn't take long for him to open up. He has a sweet and gentle heart. 

  2. John loves animals. If you want to get John talking, ask him what his favorite animal is. He'll tell you all about jaguars, dolphins, and elephants. He spends a lot of time pretending to be different animals. I don't mind when he is a dog, cat, or cheetah, but his sloth impersonation can test my patience! (Maybe a future wildlife biologist?)
  3. John has always loved to draw. Even when he was just a year and a half, he could sit sometimes for a half an hour, practicing drawing little circles and lines. Next, he started drawing "funny faces" (and I have proof of it all over my walls. 😏) Now, he likes to draw people and animals, and he especially likes to staple pieces of paper together to make "books." (Future author and illustrator, perhaps?)
    The left he calls "Funny Johny".😊The right is a collection of animals.
  4. John adores Spiderman, Superman, Batman, and all things superhero. If he is in a bad mood, I can usually coax him out of it by talking about superheroes. What tickles me most about his love for superheroes, is that what he is most fixated on is not that they have special powers, or that they fight bad guys (though he likes that part too). He is especially impressed that they help people. What does Spiderman do, Mom? Does he help people? Does he save people from the bad guys? Does he beat the bad guys up and take them to jail? And what does Superman do?...That's a conversation we have almost daily. I hope that his super-passion for helping people will always stay with him. (Hmmm, maybe a future police officer?)
And now to let you in on a little secret...John is neither a wildlife biologist, author, or police officer. Watch the video below (made by John and his sisters, and watched by John a thousand times each day) to find out his TRUE IDENTITY!!!


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Through the Eyes of a Kid


I am going to write about what a missionary conference is like for a kid like me. It is much more fun to be a kid and not an adult at these things.


1. You do not have to go to meetings every morning, instead you get to go to a kids program. 😊

2. You get to run crazy. (Most of the time.) But if you are an adult, you just talk. 😑

3. You get lots of candy and you don't care about diets. 😉

At conferences sometimes teams come down from the States or Canada to take care of the kids which is awesome and fun.


1. Teams are always real fun. 😁

2. They bring candy that you can't get here or are too expensive, like Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, Good n' Plenty, candy bracelets, Ring Pops, Butterfingers, Starbursts,  Fun Dip, Goldfish, Tootsie Roll Pops, Jolly Ranchers, Kool Aid Packets, and lots more.😄

3. Super cool crafts, like making our own beach balls, hats, shell, bracelets, etc. 😆

There are two places for our conferences, the beach and the jungle.  This year it was the beach. Here are some pictures.

Every one loved the ocean
And the water slide.

This is all the missionary kids. There are three other kids my age. Three kids around Lydia's age and one kid Davy's age.
There are two kids older than me and nine kids younger than Davy. 

If we walked a little ways we would come to a whole lot of rocks. We found a lot of ocean animals like a squid, an octopus and a starfish and these weird things (below).
I called these asparagus, but they are alive. When you touch them they move. 

Highlights of the Trip
Once when we were down by the beach we saw two destroyer ships. I was standing by two boys and the first one said, "Wouldn't it be awesome if a nuclear bomb shot out?" and the other said "Oh yeah, that would be soooo cool." And I thought, "No, that would be terrible. It is so NOT cool." I told two other girls and they agreed with me.
Another highlight was that it never rains in Lima and it rained at the beach every night, which was so much fun.
One of the kids walked by the pool and found an iguana in the pool. She told every one and we all watched one of the workers try and get it out of the pool.
We swam every day.
Well, that's the 2017 missionary conference.
Written by Lucy

Thursday, January 19, 2017

How We Celebrate Christmas

We are a tad past the holiday season, but...I decided to post this anyway!
A friend of mine asked if celebrating Christmas in Peru is different than in America. So, I thought it might be fun to share what Christmas is like for us.
We just celebrated our sixth Christmas here in Peru, and Christmas for us has become a mix of Peruvian and American traditions--with a couple Anderson-isms thrown in for good measure.

How We Celebrate Christmas

  • Christmas Music: We like all the American classics, and the Michael Buble Christmas album is a fun favorite. But Peruvian/Latino Christmas music has grown on us. In our house you are just as likely to hear "El Burrito Sabanero" playing as you are to hear "Jingle Bells". (Not the kind of burrito you eat...the kind that Mary rode on!) That "tuqui tuqui tuqui" line is catchy!

  • Christmas Cookies: We love Christmas cookies and bake batches and batches all December long!

  • Panetón and Hot Chocolate: Christmas cookies are the American Christmas treat of choice, but here in Peru, it's all about the panetón. Panetón is a sweet Christmas bread with candied fruits and raisins, and we love it. It is almost always served with a cup of hot chocolate, which is never actually hot, but only slightly warm. The weather here at Christmastime isn't exactly hot chocolate weather!

  • Chocolatadas: A chocolatada is a Christmas party, which always ends with the serving of panetón and warm chocolate. We have a chocolatada every year at both the Oasis and the Juniper Tree, and families of the kids are always invited.
Excited for the chocolatada to begin!

The kids always receives lots of goodies at the chocolatadas.

The Juniper Tree houses always have a house decorating competition which is judged during the chocolatada--here is the Purple House celebrating their victory!

  • Christmas Tree: Most people here who have Christmas trees use artificial ones, but we wanted a real one. We bought this unique pine tree (common here in Peru) at a nursery, and potted it. We've used it every Christmas for the last several, and we put it out in the yard the rest of the year. It's a bit (okay, a lot!) Charlie Brownish, but we like it because it is real.

  • Juniper Tree Christmas Dinner: Every year we have a big turkey dinner with all the kids at the Juniper Tree along with "extended family" and friends associated with the Children's Home. We sing together, eat, have a telling of the Christmas story, and the kids usually prepare some sort of skit or choreograph, etc.
The newest addition to the Juniper Tree enjoying her first Christmas with us.

They worked hard on their dance!
  • Christmas Eve Burger King Run:  Yeah, I know that sounds strange. When I was growing up,  we always celebrated Christmas Eve by putting out an assortment of snacks and grazing all evening while hanging out and playing games. But here, with most of our traditional snacks not available, we've been experimenting with new traditions. We've tried lots of different things, most failures or requiring too much work. Last year we had a family meeting and brainstormed what special thing we could on Christmas Eve. We decided it would be great fun to hop in the car and drive to Burger King to get burgers, fries and a shake, coming back after to hang out and play games. But due to the almost two-hour round trip drive to get there, plus the post-fast food stomach pains, we've decided that it wasn't so fun after all. We'll keep looking for a new tradition!

  • Midnight Fireworks: In Peru (and much of Latin America), Christmas is celebrated with fireworks. Most Peruvians let off fireworks at midnight, immediately followed by their big Christmas dinner and opening presents in the middle of the night. Since we celebrate with just our family on the actual Christmas, we prefer to keep our American tradition of opening presents on Christmas morning. But we still get to enjoy the fireworks of all our neighbors!

And that's how we celebrate Christmas!