Sunday, May 20, 2012


Despedida is the Spanish word for a going away party.
We gave one to Marisol before she got married – kind of a going-away-from-being-single party.
Bethany and Julie organized and planned our Argentine one and we were surrounded by precious friends on Saturday night.

We were again reminded of the many prayers that have been prayed on our behalf
and of our faithful God who has provided us with such amazing friends in a country very far away.
Never in a million years did we imagine that we would have developed such deep friendships here.
I feel like a broken record, but God is so faithful.

I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately – mostly in Spanish – and that lumpy throat feeling is still ever present.
[Bethany and Roman leave a week before we do for 3 months in the States to continue Roman’s master’s program in Linguistics which made the despedida feel extra heavy.]
It was an incredibly special time, one that we will never forget.
So, without further words, here are some photos of our Argentine despedida.  

We wrapped up the evening with a spontaneous acto given by the girls... the boys watched and tried to understand.
We stayed for dinner with the Fields and Caceres and, unfortunately, even Mr. Bean showed up.
It couldn't have been a more perfect gathering.
We are thankful.
We realized that while we were continuing the process of saying good-bye to our Argentine friends,
some USA friends and family were moving our stuff out of storage and into our garage. 
Steve, thanks for showing up. 
Mike, nice AFA shirt and awesome pose (is it a pose??). 
Ramon, we love the loyalty to La Patera and your organization skillage. 
And, of course, thanks to Brad for snapping the photo. 
Muchas gracias a todos.

And thank you to all of our wonderful friends - both here and there - who are helping us process this transition and making it as smooth as possible (even when that involves dusting off boxes and recovering chairs).

We definitely feel the love... amor.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

On Sharing Meals

 It has been a full couple of weeks and I'm guessing this pace will continue until May 31. 
I try to remember -- but often fail -- to take photos of our experiences. 
Here are some highlights of the last few days.

David's classmates planned a suprise going away party for him last Friday, complete with covering his body with shaving cream, flour, and sand.  They ate a hamburger dinner together while hanging out, talking, and playing. 
All his amigos wrote David thoughtful notes and compiled them in a book and the above poster. 
As Chris left him at the party, he heard the chants of "el David no se va... el David no se va."

Chris and I had a double date with Bethany and Roman AND one with Guille and Susy. 
(Of course, I didn't have the camera for the time with Guille and Susy.  Lame-o.)
We are so incredibly blessed by our friendship with these couples and the very special memories we share with them. 
It's amazing the way God has provided these precious people to us.

We enjoyed a family dinner with the Lencina family at their beautiful home.  Ignacio is in Andrew's class and Sofia is in David's.  They are some of the nicest people and it was a gift to share a meal with them.
(Andrew ate 3 chicken legs!  You'd have thought I don't feed the child!)
I spent some good time with Sofia looking at her baby pictures and talking about life. 
The boys enjoyed lots of video game time. 

Andrea, Raquel and Ricardo are sweet friends from church.
These brave souls invited our family, the Field family, and the Caceres family over to share a meal around their table(s).
We had a yummy mix of Armenian and Argentine food based on the origins of Raquel and Ricardo. 
(I think Chris and I ate half of the homemade hummus.)

It was another delicious meal time, seasoned with engaging life stories and conversations.

One of the many things I've (re)learned here is the importance of sitting around the table:
sharing life through sharing meals.
Doing so has allowed us to enter in to many peoples' lives in a way that is otherwise not possible.
We are so thankful for the warm hospitality we have experienced from our Argentine friends.
(And this absolutely includes the friends we've met in Argentina who have a different passport country... maybe say Australia or Los EEUU.)
I'm pretty sure all 5 of us Frohlings are walking around with lumps in our throats most of the time.
We're so excited to come home and say hola, yet at the same time we're very sad to leave and say chau.

In those emotions, however, the overriding feeling is one of gratitude.
Gratitude for the good advice followed to stick it out here.
Gratitude for the healing God gave as a result.
Gratitude that one of the ways God heals us is through relationships with His children.
We are so very thankful... even with our lumpy throats.

Monday, April 30, 2012

2nd Chances

On Saturday, we celebrated with Marisol and Alan as they exchanged their marriage vows. 
When I think of these dear friends, I think of "new creations". 
This is the second marriage for them both and Chris and I have enjoyed being a part of their new beginning.
And to be a part of the festive day with our favorite Argentine friends.

Yes, David is that tall. 
And, yes, they're wearing the same outfits as the last wedding. 

I love love love these ladies. 

 This was the first part of the wedding, the civil ceremony.
Marisol asked me to be one of her "witnesses" and it was a gift to sit beside her.
I even got to sign the official books, but only the judge got to use the stamp.

After the civil ceremony, Ruben Salcedo performed the Christian one.
Aren't they happy and beautiful??

 After the ceremonies, we had the traditional champagne toast and cake eating at the church.
Then we got to drop the boys off with Guille and Susy (they were all thrilled!) and we headed to Villa Allende for the fiesta.

Our good friend Valentin came down for the wedding from Corrientes and stayed with us for the weekend.
He is so much fun and we all loved having the three days with him.

Two great men.
Alan is also our dentist.
(I much prefer him in his role as Marisol's husband.)

They both did a sweet job of expressing their thankfulness for each other, their family, their friends,
and especially their Heavenly Father.

They are a class-act, I'm telling you. 

I'm not trying to be mean or exclusive or anything, but we had -- by far -- the best and most fun table, aun con colas huesadas.
I haven't laughed that hard in a very, very long time.

¡Viva los novios... y los amigos!

Monday, April 23, 2012

On Weddings, Soybean Fields, and Joy

This past weekend has me reflecting on the life we have chosen.

We spent Saturday evening at a wedding celebrating the marriage of two dear friends, Pamela and Josiah. It was a beautiful ceremony in the midst of a picturesque setting, surrounded by attractive people dressed in their most formal attire. We experienced joy being a part of this special event, talking with lots of friends, and dancing to all genres of music while decked out in the traditional handmade costumes.

We got home at 1 am, slept a bit, and then made the trip to Las Bajadas later in the morning.

Las Bajadas is about an hour drive out of the city and Leti and Juan’s house sits in the middle of soybean fields and chickens.  It was a marked difference from the experience we had the night before. There weren’t any twinkling lights or white cloth napkins or silver plate chargers.  No tuxedo clad waiter serving us food or people dancing under a disco ball. 

However, there were similarities.  There were beautiful people.  There was a shared meal.  There was a picturesque setting.  And we felt a lot of joy.

I feel really thankful that I’m comfortable in both of these settings. I definitely prefer to be wearing a t-shirt with jeans instead of a fancy dress with dreaded nylons; but that aside, I am reflective on the joy we experienced in both of these venues.

In the book Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, Ronald Sider writes, “We have been brainwashed to believe that bigger houses, more prosperous businesses, and more sophisticated gadgets are the way to joy and fulfillment.…Sharing with others is the way to real joy”

We are convinced of this.  One of the best lessons we’ve learned in these past 2 years is that being with people, or as Dr. Sider writes, “sharing with others” is the way to real joy. Sharing our time, our stuff, our laughter, our tears, our thoughts, our Jesus.

The wedding celebrated the love between Pamela and Josiah and the lifelong covenant they are making together.
     Las Bajadas celebrated the friendships we have on Earth and the family we will have in the eternal Kingdom of God.
          The settings were profoundly different, yet they were both abounding in peace and joy.
               We are very aware of -- and thankful for -- these sweet gifts we've been given.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Panadería Fragueiro

Our good friend Lucia opened a bakery, Panadería Fraguerio, last week.  It has been a dream of hers for a long time and it was a privilege to walk with her through the different stages.  We loved being there on opening day and we all helped pass out the flyers with the important information included: pan, facturas, criollos, lácteos, gaseosas, sandwiches, golosinas...

My favorite Argentines: Bethany, Marisol, and Lucia

I love that Lu and that great smile of hers!
Wouldn't you buy bread from her??

Friday, April 13, 2012

Doggy and Shiny Teeth

As you must know, Johnny has a very special friend named Doggy who has been an extremely important part of our family since Johnny was an infant.  Doggy has been through many things, including various maulings by the real dog in the family.  He only has half an ear, an open (though bandaged) wound on his arm, no stuffing left in his neck, and not even a speck of a tail.  Doggy, I've noticed, has a high pain tolerance, a deep voice, and is king of the animal kingdom living on Johnny's bed.

Recently, Johnny decided that Doggy missed his life on Dog Island (which is where he lived before being kidnapped, placed in a toystore, and bought as a gift for the baby-Johnny) and that Doggy needed to have his girlfriend, Shiny Teeth, come to live with us.  Doggy was getting desperate to see his long-lost love and so, she made her miraculous appearance (do you know how difficult it is to get off of Dog Island??) on Johnny's 7th birthday last month and all is well again in the Frohling household.

Johnny reading a silly dog book to Shiny Teeth (left) and Doggy (right)

In the midst of all the handmade happy faces taped on the wall beside Johnny's bed, you can see 2 additional drawings:
The other is a drawing of Shiny Teeth and Doggy kissing.
What I wouldn't give to be in that head of his...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Felices Pascuas

As is our custom, we went to Las Bajadas yesterday to do an hora feliz with the kiddos and a discipleship time with the adults. Since it was Easter, Bethany did a lesson using Resurrection Eggs and the kids really seemed to understand the true meaning of Easter and the reason why Jesus came, died, and rose again. We talked about the difference between life on earth (which for these particular children is not so great) and life eternal in heaven with Jesus. I love these kids and I love our time with them.

Chris and I live for these moments... 

Tati and Paola got a hold of our camera and caught Leti, Bethany, and I attending the very hot asado.  
We decided to grill the empenadas and ended up burning ourselves as well.   
I think the guys must have been drinking mate or playing fútbol or something.

And, of course, a day to the campo wouldn't be complete without a photo of the humongous pig...
I have a couple of nicknames for her, but I'll refrain from putting them in print.