Monday, October 30, 2006

Birthday Wish

There are no words to describe the enormous power a woman has to positively or negatively totally change the people around her. I and my kids have the blessing of a wife and mother that has relentlessly used her influence to help us fulfill and become all the Lord would have us become. I see her greatness in our 3 children and how incredible each one of them are. I see her heart for the world and yet how it impacts the simple individuals she encounters. I’m privileged to be her husband and today on her birthday honor the woman who made me who I am today!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Fashion Faux Pas

When I was a school teacher I felt it a great compliment when people would say to me, “You don’t look like a school teacher." Don’t get me wrong, I am a far cry from a fashion Diva but there was something about those wooden schoolhouse, apple, and chalkboard button-covers that never quite captured my fashion sense.

Now as a ‘missionary’, one of my fears is that I will return to the USA one day to find out that I look like a “missionary”. Hard to articulate what that means but I am convinced that as you read that statement you got a vivid picture in your mind of exactly what I meant. Well…..

Last night was the beloved ‘date night’ and I convinced Rich that going to see The Devil Wears Prada would make for a great date. I know what you are thinking, “Didn’t that come out months ago?” Yes, it did in America but remember I live in Africa….hey, at least we have movie theaters. Anyway, besides the fact that I now have to go see the next shoot ‘em up, sci-fi, gangster movie as ‘pay off’ for Rich having to endure this chic-flick; my fashion sense fears are definitely becoming a reality.

As the credits were rolling after the film and the list of actors names began to unfold I noticed a number of fashion designers & models names…Valentino, Bridget Hall, etc. Next to their names it stated, ‘as himself’. Foolishly, I muttered to myself, “I didn’t know that was actually Valentino?!" I realized my muttering was overheard by the man that sighed 100 times throughout the movie, when Rich turned to me and said, “You didn’t?” (insert “a-duh” tone here)

So when my ‘missionary’ transformation begins with the ankle length khaki jumper, Birkenstocks and long, mousy hair pulled up into a bun PLEASE send help!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Face Lift

…….no I did not get one, although it wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Our website received a MUCH needed makeover.

Take a gander if you please,

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fun with Dad

You may have seen this photo before. It is titled, “Why men shouldn’t baby-sit”.

Here is my rendition.........

I chose the title, “What can happen when dad is left with the kids for too long.”

After five days and much scrubbing Blake’s hair still had a greenish hue. And although Skyler’s hair doesn’t look too bad, pink specks remained at the roots for days making it look like she had lice. Nice!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Simba's Pride

I have some guests from America visiting this week. So I have been showing them some of the local African sights….thus my lapse in blog posts.

One of the highlights for guests (& us) is always the Lion Park. It is a fun 'African' experience. It is a small safari park of sorts containing many different types of African wildlife with an emphasis on lions….thus the name. Basically, it is made up of large lion enclosures that you drive through allowing for up-close and personal views of the furry fellows. Additionally, there is an area where you can pet and play with baby lion cubs.

There are also some other friendly animals like my giraffe friend.

So when you come to visit I promise to take you for your very own lion experience. Any takers?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Gogo Joanna

The Zulu (one of the 11 official languages of South Africa) word for grandmother is Gogo.

The picture is of Gogo Joanna. She is 83 years old and lives in a sprawling community referred to as a squatter camp. Its landscape uncomely, the dirt roads teem with sewage and the odor is repulsive. A one, 8x10, room made of scrap metal adorned with wallpaper of magazine photos is her home. Joanna's neighbors are 150,000 others living just like her.

A wonderful, African-operated, hospice group that we work with introduced me to Joanna. It was a very special meeting albeit a cold winter day in July. I will long remember and forever cherish that day.

Joanna sat outside robed in a blanket; I sat alongside her on an upside down bucket. As our customary banter came to an end, a life-changing conversation ensued. This precious Gogo, in all her 83 years, claimed to have never heard of Jesus or have any knowledge about Him. What a precious time it was to share with her bible stories usually told to children, scripture verses of God’s love and grace and the Master’s redemptive plan.

I purposed not to share ministry updates and/or stories in my blog entries as these can be found in our monthly e-updates but was reminded today of this precious encounter while again visiting Gogo Joanna. I decided it was not “ministry” as usual but an account of a new friend.

We sat nestled inside her shack today. Her legs were swollen and sore from hypertension, her face worn with life’s hardships but her joy renewed. We laughed, we talked, we prayed. She asked if I would visit more often; I assured her I would. Biscuits (cookies) were requested to accompany my next visit. As I parted she said, “You are my friend; you brought me Jesus.”

I am grateful to be living in Africa and to be a meager instrument in the Master’s hand. Today was a special day; I spent time with a new friend!

Monday, October 09, 2006

African Piggy Back

Caution: Do not try this at home...

This picture portrays a common African sight. I am awed at what an African lady can balance on her head while her baby rides piggy back. It truly is an amazing feat! I know I tried it….thus the reason for prefacing this post with ‘Caution’. Thankfully, no one was injured in my attempt.

When Tori was a baby, I would often find her strapped to Elizabeth’s (our domestic worker) back leaving Lizzy (as my kids refer to her) free to do other things. The APB really is a wonder for multi-tasking.

Now this lady is taking the African piggy back to an all new level.

I only hope the chicken’s brood escaped their mother’s fate!
Chicken for dinner anyone?

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Although he has only watched selected scenes from the trilogy, Blake is enamored with Star Wars. He knows every character, he mimics their voices and actions, and he loves his daily lightsaber duel with Dad. Being that Rich and I are SW fans too, we are enjoying this obsession.

Blake is also a charmer. I call him “my little Romeo”. When I wake-up in the morning in my pre-coffee fog, face with no make-up and hair so big I could win a big hair contest, he will look at me with his big blue eyes and say, “Mommy, you look pretty today!” His compliments turn me to mush every time!

The other day I was driving him to school when the following compliment came from his mouth. “Mom, you look like Darth Vader today.”

It took me a few seconds to realize that although this is not the look I was hoping for; to my little SW fan this was intended as a great compliment. I should also insert that it was a cold morning so I was wearing a black coat and black leather gloves.

I turned to him (keeping one eye on the road, of course) and in the best James Earl Jones voice I could muster replied, “Blaaake, come with me and together as mother and son we will rule the Universe!”

And then the real compliment came from my young Padawan, “Mom, you’re the coolest!”

Monday, October 02, 2006

Mountain Maker

We spent the weekend three hours from Joburg in the Drakensberg Mountains. It was absolutely magnificent! Here are a few pictures captioned by the eloquence of Chris Tomlin……

You made it all

Said let there be and there was all that we see

The sound of your voice

The works of your hands

You do all things well!