Scorpions, Birthday and the Gospel

My day started with the second scorpion in two days hanging out in our bedroom. Whapping poisonous creatures is always a fun and invigorating way to start the day. The weird thing is how one sighting ignites automatic, learned responses. Shake out the towel before enveloping your dripping post shower self. Flip pillows around before…

My Noisy Neighbors

I'm here in my Mayan granny rocking chair, enjoying the eye candy that is a tropical backyard. I'm also staring unashamedly at my very noisy neighbors. They don't seem to mind. There are four of them, sitting in a row on a swaying maculí branch having brazenly decided our trees are a nice place to…

Maybe Not So Strange

I said last post that it would be the final one of the year unless something very interesting occurred before we pop the confetti on the 31st. Well, something very interesting has occurred and I almost feel it my duty to the christian world to give them some extra context. If you've looked in the…

Penelope’s Kitchen: Little Tricks

It's been a full six months since I created a Kitchen post. This is not a cooking blog so, quite laugheably, that post has 400% more likes than any other. Clearly keto is slightly more popular than christian living or mission sharing. Despite not writing about it, I have indeed still been cooking. Approximately three…

Let’s Have Tea

Maybe you could sit with me here awhile. I'll make you tea in my pretty green pot and set out a tray with chocolates and cookies. There will be a bundle of oleanders and cannas in an old pickle jar, because does anyone actually buy vases any more? I'd like to hold your hand. To…

For the Kids and the Grandpas

There is a gift my children have only half received. I feel in some ways like we've all been gypped, but then, that would be denying God's wisdom. The other half will have to be given them by us, telling the old stories that can't help but embed themselves into their impressionable consciouses. They had…

That Feeling of Smallness

Thursday night I was getting ready for bed when David came in from several visits. “Penelope!!” he whispered lest he rouse little miss G from her light slumber. I heard his excitement but could little guess what the next words would be. “Doña I.... was saved last night during meeting.” “What?!” I replied, incredulous and…

The One Room School House

and a few other points of Interest from the Alves Home Gone are the days of my coveted slow farmhouse breakfast. I distractedly shovel some cheerios and blueberries toward the teething baby who throws most of them to the floor while banging her tray for more. My mind is on Spanish adjectives and math facts…

Hi I’m 30, plus Life Update

My desk is a mess. It's covered in cut out foam letters and stencils and scraps. There's a stack of books and an even huger one behind me. File folders and spreadsheets. Leaning against the wall is a newly framed Rand McNally Map of the World, Classic Edition. I'm wondering how this is all going…