Tuesday, July 29, 2008

African Moments

Seems like everyday there is some picturesque African moment to take in..whether it be a gorgeous sunset, some type of indigenous wildlife, or chicken feet in the grocery store (ha).

My picturesque moment today happened in a squatter camp where I met these two little cuties...

They were just too precious walking down the road hand-in-hand carrying their teddy bears, that were half the size of them, African style....

Admittedly I did not capture their bright, smiling faces yet it remained an adorable African moment to behold!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kung Fu Cheap

I took my kids to see Kung Fu Panda during their school break. My favorite part: It cost R18 for all 4 of us to see the movie. That would be the equivalent of $2.40 or $.60 per person. Now that is Kung Fu Cheap!

Movies are cheap here and on top of that we get discounts through our health insurance so they are even cheaper. And apparently kids that have had a dental check up this year see movies for free….so Skyler and Blake were free!

Nice to know with increasing prices on just about everything that somethings are still inexpensive!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Trip Highlights

We returned from our week trip to squatty potty heaven. It was a great week of ministry and there were many laughs in relation to our rough living conditions.

I had a few firsts like driving a large truck (I swear it is as long as a boat) with a trailer pulled behind it…thankfully I never had to back up. Marci and I were also the resident shoppers, purchasing food for 65 people (and toilet paper in bulk).

Definitely hit some LOL moments during our shopping sprees (which were often)…especially when we decided to save 20 cents per loaf of bread by using the bread slicer in the front of the store to slice our own loaves. After slicing 30 loaves of bread it was agreed we’d find cost savings elsewhere.

We filled the back of the truck multiple times with food and by weeks end our bread total hit 110 loaves.

The shining moments for me came with relation to my 9 year old daughter, Skyler. She decided to give up a week of her vacation (kids were on a 3 week break from school) and rough it with a bunch of strangers. She did an amazing job! The squatty potties, cold and bucket showers did not even seem to phase her. She even ate PB&J (a Teen Mania lunch staple) without complaints everyday with the team (not one of her favorites). Of course she had the best of both worlds as she got some of the leadership perks by hanging out with me but let’s face it how many perks can there be when roughing it?

I am so grateful for the things she is “catching” from the teenagers here. She worshiped freely with the team, had her own quiet times when the group did and learned the memory verses the teens were learning. She even jumped in on ministry when she was able (teaching in high schools was a bit over her head).

My favorite was when she researched scripture verses on how to lead someone to the Lord to help the ministry groups. It is in these moments I thank God she is “getting it” despite my parenting!

Okay enough bragging, I will return to wit…. This was another thing we came across when shopping for the teams…..

Yep that would be butter. They say it like it is here.

I was hoping "Fat Spread" in large print would deter the team from using so much butter but they would not be deterred.

If you'd like to read about the ministry highlights and see how we lived this past week you can do so on my ministry blog.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I'd like to be a Bear

Well it is multi-layer, curl up in warm blankets with hot chocolate cold in Johannesburg today and these arctic temps are forecast to stay. Tomorrow Skyler and I head out of town with our mission team here and will remain away for a week. Unfortunately where we are heading it is long underwear, hats and gloves, carry a hot water bottle with you cold (aka colder). Did I mention I hate being cold...really hate it?

Our destination is pretty remote so internet access is unlikely. Thus I leave you with this special post in honor of the frosty weather and my attempt to grin and bear it!

If I were an animal these are the reasons why I would be a bear....

As a bear, you get to hibernate. You are robed in a massive coat of fur and do nothing but sleep through winter. Skip the cold, I could deal with that!

Prior to hibernating, a bear is supposed to eat themselves stupid. I could deal with that too!

As a female bear, you birth your children (which are the size of walnuts) while your sleeping and wake to partially grown cuddly cubs. Again I could deal with that!

As a momma bear everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs and if your cubs get out of line you swat them too. Another attribute I could deal with.

If you are a bear your mate expects you to wake up growling. He expects you to have hairy legs and excess body fat.

And did I mention you get to hibernate through winter?

Yup, I'd definitely be a bear!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


How about some chicken for dinner?

Chicken feet that is!

I was in the meat section of my local supermarket and stumbled on these fun little guys. I decided they were too good to pass up. My kids were horrified when I showed them what was for dinner. Hey when in Africa be African right?


Monday, July 07, 2008

All About Ministry

Ever wonder what we are doing in South Africa? Well wonder no more instead click here and check out our new ministry blog!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A South Amerafrican 4th

When raising children especially from a young age in a culture other than their own it is natural that they would absorb much if not more of the culture they are immersed in than their own. I understand this about my children but there are times it is drastically apparent. The 4th was one of those times.

It became clear that I am a slacker regarding my children’s education about their heritage when my nine year old (who is very bright) asked, “So what is the big deal about the 4th again?” Later while exercising her new found patriotism in making an American flag for the occasion she asked, “How many stars are there on the American flag?”

Yeah, I need to pull out the American history books soon!

We have a small group of Americans here so to celebrate the big day we organized a hot dog dinner (one of my least favorite meals of all time!) and a kickin’ bonfire with Smores. Nope no fireworks--too dry & quite anticlimactic compared to the good ole USA!

Everything had a South African flare to it...from the cold weather (thus the bonfire), to Smores made with Marie biscuits (they call cookies, biscuits here), Cadbury Chocolate bars and colored/flavored marshmallows (no plain white marshmallows).

We were so intent on making the biggest bonfire possible we did not take into account how difficult the blaze would make getting even arms length to roast the marshmallows……

A few brave souls risked the flames for a gooey dose of sugar....

The rest of us enjoyed the warmth until the blaze waned and then enjoyed African Smores…..

After singing patriotic songs to commemorate the occasion, my South African raised child decided to venture back to her culture of immersion. Skyler perched herself on a large rock and attempted to teach 22 teenagers the South African National anthem…..

It was a memorable South Amerafrican 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Notice anything different about Skyler....

(other than the fact she is a bit blurry)

I'll give you a hint....click here