Monday, March 30, 2009

A Beautiful...Boring Memory

Skyler is in 4th grade this year. This is her teacher’s first year of teaching. She just went from being Miss Mentethe to Mrs. Robinson. Saturday Skyler, Tori and I attended her wedding.

I was having a bit of déjà vu because my first year of teaching 4th grade, I went from being Miss Baumruk to Mrs. Franzen. One Saturday in March (a long, long time ago) a number of my students attended my wedding.

I could not get a picture of Skyler and her teacher both with their eyes open at the same time so here is one of each….

And the beautiful result after lots of primping...

It made me wonder what my students thought of the whole ordeal and if they now fondly recall attending their 4th grade teacher’s wedding.

I decided to glean an answer from Skyler as she is now in their (painful, wedding) shoes.

Me: "Skyler, what did you think of the wedding?"

Skyler: "Well actually it was quite boring!"

I’d suffice to say I got my answer. I am sure as wonderful as my wedding day was for me, my students left feeling the same way….bored!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kamohelo "Conner" Update

Finally an update on “Conner”….I know it has been more than a week already with no news..I am so sorry but these past 2 weeks I haven’t been sure if I am coming or going.

In a nutshell (at this juncture) Conner’s (alleged) father, Lizzy’s son, has found favor with his boss and was moved to the front of the working chain thus giving him more consistent work. If this pans out Michael (L’s son) will be able to help Liz with provisions for Conner.

Lizzy found a “day mom” that will keep Conner from Monday morning til Friday afternoon, all provisions included for R600 ($60) per month. You may say, Wow that is so cheap---yes it is to us but to put it in her is just under half Lizzy’s earnings for the entire month.

Liz (and the day mom) will care for Conner until Michael (the son) can find a suitable home and means to take him. Honestly in this culture that is highly unlikely, meaning it is highly probable that Lizzy will remain Kamohelo's primary care giver. Finding Conner another suitable family and atmosphere is unlikely as well….once this little guy was made known to the family, even if it is extended family, they won’t give him up!

So as quick as Conner became a part of the Franzenfam he disappeared back into the African culture. Tori was very “cross” (as they would state here) that he is not staying with us any longer. She really enjoyed having a little brother not to mention naming him.

I am confident this precious African baby will remain a part of our lives and although he doesn’t rest his head at our house he will be around for visits. I enjoy having an excuse to peruse the baby boy clothing at stores. Found him a cute pair of shoes this week for $1.30! I’ve always been a good shopper and at finding bargains. The bible says to be good stewards of our “talents”, so I'm being obedient. Hee!

Thanks for your prayers and the many emails I received regarding our little friend. Please keep praying for favor, provision and goodness upon Kamohelo, Liz and their family.

Friday, March 20, 2009

An African Surprise

I found myself doing something I never thought I would do again. Something that was a central part of my life for many years but I was pretty confident that season of life was over.

There I stood in the baby aisle of the grocery store placing nappies (diapers), formula, aqueous cream (lotion), teething gel and wipes in my grocery cart.

No, I did not have a baby (much to my children’s chagrin) and no, I am not pregnant (also to my children’s chagrin) it is what we refer to as one of those African surprises.

A 6-8 month (not sure of the exact age) baby boy was dropped on my helper, Lizzy’s doorstep.

It is claimed that the boy is her grandson and for reasons we assume to be the mother’s inability to provide for the boy or him being viewed as one of life’s accidents and intrusions the mother abandoned her boy. So sad!

Now Lizzy, the supposed grandmother, who barely makes ends meet each month has her grandson to look after. She named him Kamohelo, which means “appreciated one”. Her reasoning… she is grateful at least the mother left the boy with someone who will care for him and did not destroy him, which is unfortunately common in the African culture.

Liz stays with us most evenings so this little guy now does too. So wild having a baby around again….my children could not be more thrilled. Tori decided Kamohelo was too hard to remember (I agree) so she’s named him “Conner”.

We are not sure what will happen with “Conner” and are processing things through the best we know how with Lizzy. So please pray for wisdom and discernment on how the Franzenfam can best help these two and pray for her to figure out a permanent solution for this little guy.

My four year old asked, “Why can’t we just keep him”….oh, if the decision was just that simple.

Such is life in Africa; you never know what the day may bring or what may be left on your doorstep.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Good Life

15 Years full of:

Socks left on the bedroom floor
Children (well 10 yrs anyway)
“Heat” (enough said)
Some tough times
More good times
“Shared” restaurant entrees (okay me eating yours because I like it better than what I ordered)
‘Blonde highlights’
World Travel
Being husband & wife

"Find a good spouse, you find a good life and even more the favor of God!" Prov 18:22 msg

Friday, March 06, 2009

The World of Sport

In the blink of an eye it was over and not one picture posted capturing the event…..Until now….

Upon entry of Grade 1, the world of school sport was opened to my Sport’s Boy and there is no stopping him. The fall sport of choice was a new one for all of us but Blake embraced cricket with great excitement.

I won’t share my initial thoughts of the sport; let it suffice to say that I find it quite interesting. And no matter how silly I thought the uniforms were/are, when my skinny boy appeared dressed in his oversized white shorts, collared polo shirt, navy knee-length socks and a wide brimmed (fairy) hat, I thought he was the cutest thing on the planet…well minus the hat.
Here is an action shot…

And a buddy shot..

I love how the knee high socks remained at their ankles.

His last match was yesterday, not sure where the time went but it is over. Apparently, they pick up again with cricket in the spring so the money I spent on the (ridiculous) uniform will be worn again….actually the shorts are so big they will be worn for at least another 2 years.

Blake is finished with Cricket and now onto this………

Rugby, a familiar sport and one Bay embraces with great passion….and thankfully no hat!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Anniversary Eve

So hard to believe but 5 years ago today we boarded a plane with a one-way ticket bound for South Africa.

Blake had just turned 2 prior to our departure……

Skyler was 4 1/2 ………

We left with 10 suitcases/trunks a myriad of carry on’s and two children in tow. At least that is all we thought we were bringing over. Our surprise package, traveling first class, made herself known 3 weeks post arrival.

Victoria’s first class seat….

On this Anniversary Eve of our arrival in South Africa, I am reminiscent of the amazing journey that landed us here. I am also grateful for everything God has done in and through us these five years. I see tomorrow as a mark of a work in progress not a work completed.

"Being confident of this that he who began a good work in the Franzenfam WILL carry it onto completion until the day of Christ Jesus!" Philp 1:6

I am hopeful of many more years of life and ministry for the Franzenfam on African soil!