Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Story Behind the Picture

It seems these precious girls have become our poster children as this photo has been used in a lot of our ministry materials besides being featured in my side bar. We just adore this photo!

This picture was captured 2 years ago or so; we were having a fun day for the children in a near by squatter camp (poverty striken area). Like so many of the children living in S. Africa these girls plight is a difficult one yet they seem to beam with joy!

Thought I'd share some of the beautiful faces we see everyday here in Africa. Aren't they precious?!

Monday, February 25, 2008

gala2 [ˈgaːlə, ˈgeilə; (American) ˈgeilə] noun
a meeting for certain sports
Example: a swimming gala

Weekend Trivia was....
Skyler was in a Gala at school; what activity did she participate in? The hint was that she wore a costume.

We had one right guess; swimming meets are called gala's here. And a bathing suit denotes a costume.

Can get a bit confusing for the American living abroad. When we were new to the country I almost sent Skyler to a birthday party dressed in her favorite princess costume after reading on the invitation: "bring costumes".

Gayla, to anwser your question, it is actually pronounced "Garla" as the "a" as we know it is pronounced with an "er" sound here.

Things that make you go hmmmm!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Another Week in Review

These reviews seem to give me an excuse for not posting everyday. And it is a guarantee to my readers that it will be my one and only long post of the week.

Obviously if you read yesterday's post you know we celebrated a special birthday in our household this week thus Blake being the featured post picture. (don't ask about the face paint as I'm not really sure what he was hoping for)

Tonsillitis and Sleeping Pills
Blake started a fever accompanied by a fiery red throat over the weekend. The prognosis, Tonsillitis, and home from school two days. He was ecstatic to be back romping around the school halls on Wednesday.

I thought Tori was coming down with it too when she fell asleep on the couch at 11:30 a.m. Monday morning and at 4:15 p.m. she was still sleeping. I later found out that she got into some sleeping pills that were in my nightstand. FORTUNATLY, they are homeopathic so a trip to the hospital for a stomach pump was not necessary. It did give me an idea though; if things get too much with Rich gone I can give the kids some Rescue (the pills) and expect to have a quiet afternoon. I’m only kidding or at least half kidding so don’t call child services on me!

Weekend Trivia
Skyler had a school Gala this week. What type of activity was she engaged in at the Gala?

1) Swimming- Swim Meet
2) Dancing- Dance contest
3) A Festival

I will give you a hint; she had to wear her costume.

In Ministry
Our outreach schedule is at a bit of a lull with Rich and Marci (co-worker) stateside and our newest staff member whom I will blog about soon (he is so cool) is in Zimbabwe setting up a youth conference we will do in September. He is also proposing to his girl! (He is Zimbabwean as is she) If all goes well, Rich and I will be attending an Zimbabwean wedding in March.

I am supposed to be writing our Impact Africa staff manual but supposed to would be the key words. My writing parameters require blocks of uninterrupted, quiet time. And for all the moms reading you know that is quite a rarity when children are involved!

Things I have learned while my husband is away….
I can put a Bionicle together, I pray a lot more for Rich when he is away than when he is here (sad I know) and for myself..hee! How to get the electric garage door open when the power is out and that I am ready for bed by 8:00 p.m.

1 week down…
...that Rich is away; 3 more to go! Thanks for your prayers; I definitely felt them this week!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Finally 6

My boy Blake is finally 6 years old. We have celebrated and celebrated but today is the actual day; I even waited to post until 10 a.m. CST to be legit.

He had his class party today. They do such a nice celebration for the birthdays with songs, prayer and the kids and teacher honor the birthday student.

It was neat to see so many of the kids in the class raise their hand to honor Blake. Most honored him for Joy, always so happy and fun and for being a nice friend to everyone. His teacher added for his faith in Jesus and his beautiful prayers.

I know I am bias but I agree with all that was said. Blake you are a wonderful son. So full of life, always a friend and not only do you love Jesus with your whole heart you are not afraid to show it! I am so proud of you and love you dearly!

And regardless of the masks you love to wear- whether it be Darth Vadar, Transformers, Superman, or Spiderman you will always be my precious little boy, Richard Blake!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ode to My Trampoline

I fondly remember the early days of marriage. When we lived in a one bedroom shoebox most people referred to as an apartment. It was so small we could vacuum the entire place from one outlet. Our furniture consisted of a couch and love seat that someone gave us, our dining table was moving boxes covered with a table cloth and 2 bar stools and our bedroom furniture was Rich’s black lacquer groovin’ 70’s stuff from high school. Yea, I know what you’re thinking---it had to be love.

The worst of it was our bed. It was a double mattress Rich somehow gained from his college dorm apartment. After 2 nights with my 6’2” man, sinking in the middle of this horrid mattress we decided love just wasn’t enough….we needed Sealy!

Our first major purchase as a married couple was a wave-less water mattress. Hey, we were newly weds what did you expect we’d get…..hee!

Thankfully we’ve outlasted most of those early day furnishings…especially the lacquer dresser with brass trim and gargantuan round mirror. Everything except the water mattress. It has been with us the last 13 years; that is until last week.

Over the years our beloved mattress has had a few leaks. Early last week we had yet another. I asked Rich, so to be prepared, to show me how to patch it if it sprung a leak again but while he is away (since it will be for soooo long). He replied, “It will be fine.” You know what they say about famous last words…that night as I retired to bed we did not just have a leak but a flood. We spent the next hour draining the entire bed, had to sleep in separate rooms (hey, what’s one more night away…ugh) and in the morning purchased a brand new mattress.

The other day as I snuck away for a mini-nap (yea right) Tori promptly came to find me. As I lifted her up on the bed with me she uttered, “Mommy, you get a new trampoline?”
Um yea she was referring to the mattress…..

And now we know why the last one had so many leaks!

I do miss my old trampoline!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sunset Review

As the sun sets on the end of a week (well on this side of the globe anyway) I thought I’d post a review of some of the highlights of my week…

In the Dark?
Let’s see since our 17 hour power cut and state of emergency announcement about the SA’s electricity shortage we’ve only had 1 cut. Guess that is good news; praying it continues (the lack of cuts not the shortage)

Rich and I had a wonderful early Valentine dinner…it was exquisite! However I will be dateless for the next MONTH as he left for America on V-Day.

Skyler is studying spiders in school and has been mesmerized by it. I’ve learned that we have a large population of spiders outside and inside my house as she and her brother have successfully captured and caged many. Hoping this study will end soon so my flashbacks to Arachnophobia the movie cease.

Did I mention that my husband left me for a whole month?

I started Beth Moore’s study on Daniel with a group of ladies who are also in ministry. It was only the first lesson and I already LOVE it!

Rich is gone…oh yea, I mentioned that didn’t I…but did I mention that he will be gone 6 weeks over the course of a 3 month period?

Quote of the week
“Mom you are the best cooker in the whole world.” Blake
Amazing what one can do with chicken nuggets, pizza and spaghetti!

Mi hubbyo es Gone-O (Good thing I live in Africa as my Espanol es muy mal!)

Weekend Trivia
In South Africa traffic lights are called robots and you put stuff in the boot of your bakkie (trunk of your car).

29 days and counting
I know I sound bitter that my husband is gone but I am not. I don’t like it nor does he but we both know it is for a very good reason and in it we will find God’s grace. And I just realized he has been gone 24 hours so 1 day down…..29 more to go!

Okay please pray!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Roarin' Wednesday

And yes this photo was taken by a Franzen---no National Geographic needed, we got the real thing!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My Transformer has transformed into a 6 year old boy!

We had Blake’s birthday party this weekend and can you guess the theme? Let me give you a hint….

Technically his birthday falls on the 21st however if we wanted Papa Prime around we’d have to celebrate early. He has transformed into a world traveler as of late.

Blake and his 9 Autobots enjoyed a myriad of themed games and of course a visit from a rather large boy they termed, Decepticon. That would be Rich with a bad guy mask on….his fate entailed 9 boys and Tori bombarding him with water balloons. I must admit it was rather amusing to watch!

My favorite part was watching our 3 year old girl, Tori play every game, traipse around with all the boys and adorn herself in an Optimus Prime mask. She was determined not to miss out and if it meant doing boy things than so be it.

Got me thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to transform into something else whenever you wanted...a car or a really skinny body…hee. What would you transform into?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

What is my Tori doing........

A) Preparing for missionary travels to Arabic countries?
B) Hiding in her pajama drawer?
C) Undergoing a new form of discipline?
E) None of the above; it really isn’t Tori but an imposter with pretty blue eyes.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

A tweenie weekend

This weekend, I joined thousands of mothers and their tween daughters across America (and the globe) in attending the 3D Hannah Montana-Miley Cyrus movie concert.

I must admit I am not a Disney fan. For all the junk they throw at our kids I am grateful most of it does not reach the far corners of the globe—Africa anyway, but the little bit of Hannah we get I’ve been okay with.

Gayla my thoughts of this 3D-movie experience was very different than your U2 post and I admit if the drummer sent my daughter any I love you messages I’d be writing a disgruntled parent letter instead of this post. (hee)

I was so thankful to be viewing this sitting down while eating popcorn than live viewing in a stadium. Can you imagine the high pitched screams from thousands of little girls…yea nails on a chalk board would be soothing in comparison!

Other differences than viewing it in the States would be….we did stand in a long line but it was for concessions and that was due to only one worker at the counter. We also only paid $3 for our movie tickets and an additional $3 for a large popcorn and 2 slush puppies. The movie was sold out but I booked tickets online 3 days ago and there were plenty of seats and it only showed at 1 movie theatre in all of Johannesburg. Furthermore no one dressed up as Hannah Montana and there were not any fathers wearing high heels in attendance (gotta see the movie or news on that comment).

I am pretty sure a rhinestone studded microphone stand will be added to Skyler’s Christmas list after seeing the movie. Secretly, I wouldn’t mind having one around (it was pretty cool) so I can practice my great (HA!) vocal skills after everyone retires to bed.

So as you see I am a missionary in Africa but I am also still a mom with an 8 year old girl…..and a happy one at that! Can’t remember who said it but I guess it is the best of both worlds.