Saturday, April 25, 2009


This week when we talked briefly with Grandma and Grandpa (in between claps of thunder) they asked what Anna's new word was this week. As I thought about it, there is not ONE word, there are tons!! She doesn't quite out-talk her brother Joel, but sometimes comes close. The thing she's learned to do this week specifically is run faster and sing along with the doxology, which is SO adorable!

Come to think of it, she now sings several songs, and still likes to play the piano. She's really social and is really big on greetings and leavetakings. HIIIIEEE! BYYEEEE! She's also quite loud about it. We're working on using a quieter voice. She still tends to want to direct the show - "please come now!" with kids who are older than her. And then gets frustrated when they don't listen. She's persistent, I'll give her that. Such is the life of a little girly girl with 2 big brothers...

She pointed a paint brush at me this week and said, "Let's fight!" and proceeded to try fencing. Hm.

Playdate with Brooke

Friday, April 24, 2009


Today I had a reality check.
The lovely lady who helps me in the kitchen had a bad toothache that
started Sunday.

By Wednesday she wasn't sleeping well and looked really tired. She
arrived Thursday working extra hard to finish a full day's work
before 2:30pm to see the dentist on the way home. She missed him.
This morning I find out he only sees patients before noon, so she
wanted to go back this (Fri) morning for the procedure. I told her I
wanted her to go early rather than late (wouldn't want to miss him
and have to wait a couple more days!)

She had what looked to me like a wisdom tooth pulled for $4. She
didn't want to spend the money for the pain medication - it was an
extra $3! I was dumbfounded.

What level of pain must be 'normal' to endure a full-grown wisdom
tooth extraction without drugs?!

For hundreds if not thousands of years, this is how people managed.
But pain like that is so foreign to me.
I'm still dumbfounded.

I told her I would have paid the $3 for her - in a heartbeat! She
said the last two times she had a tooth pulled, it wasn't this bad.
I sent her home with ice and ibuprofen to rest, but she has to walk
over a mile to get there. This is a reality almost totally foreign
to me. And yet quite normal here. She was shocked when I said I had
4 wisdom teeth out at the same time, and now I see why.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Day with colleagues

Joel holding baby Chad on his own (for a few minutes). He loves babies!
Baby Chad is Brooke's baby brother, and Joel informed us shortly thereafter
that we should pray for another baby for our family. Hm...

James with Ed Lauber, good friend and our director visiting this month:

Little girls had a head start (Anna and Brooke).
And no, I didn't curl her hair, it just does that on its own!

That smile says she just figured out that they have 'tandy' inside!!

Kids conspire on how best to get the egg up high on a tree branch.

Run for it!! Akiki, Maziga and James race and search.

Burning hot! (i.e. SO close to an egg! Can you see it?)

Colleagues and neighbors watching

Our most serious hunter (looking for the last egg in the grass)

Easter morn

These are more for Grandma and Grandpa. Just to verify that the kids
had a great time! James is into medieval lego just now and I had a
few things in my 'stash', so he's thrilled! They haven't stopped
playing with the king! Anna carries around her 'giraffy', which is
a zebra. Whatever.

Yes I let them eat ONE piece of candy before breakfast. It's Easter!

We had a wonderful fun-filled day with hymns, songs, verses,
cinnamon rolls and fellowship! Egg hunt pictures next...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Resurrection Day!!

We can only get brown eggs here, but they worked great with white
crayon designs! Tip: When the eggs are still warm, the crayon melts
really well!

The boys wanted tanks and rockets on their eggs. Where have I gone
wrong? Anna wanted flowers, which was more my 'cup of tea'. =)

Off to a potluck and egg hunt with colleagues. Plaintain fries - yum!

Get Well Soon Grampa!

As many of you noticed on facebook, my Dad had emergency quadruple
bypass surgery late Thurs. night. He is now recovering well and out
of ICU. (John had this picture printed for his hospital room since
we can't be there in person.) But it was Good Friday here when we
were pleading with God for mercy on Dad's life, and difficult to be
so far away. The fact that Jesus conquered death and removed its
power and fear in our lives is truly a reason to celebrate Easter!!!

Please pray with us for his complete and timely recovery.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Little friends

Today was a playdate day! Anna and the daughter of one of our MAF
pilots are less than a month apart in age, and have a similar
stature. People here get them confused everywhere. Still, it's a fun
blessing to have a little friend just for Anna. It's a bonus for
Anna that she comes with a baby brother too!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

James and Charles

This is a precious picture to me. Not because of what it looks like,
but because of what it meant for James. Our last Sunday with our
close friends in Kenya was a 'high tea' send-off to remember! At
the end of it all, as we were getting in the car to leave, James was
teary-eyed and hugging his new friend Charles. I'm actually not
quite sure if Charles was there for the first time with extended
family, or if he really is an orphan, but James asked him if his
parents were around. They were not. James could sense his
opportunity to care for someone with needs greater than his own.

It was the first time I've seen such compassion rise out of James'
heart, and it was beautiful to see. He was hugging him repeatedly
and agreed to get a picture of it. Maybe I took the picture more for
me than for James, but it was a beautiful moment. Like James
understands why we go to all this trouble to cross the globe. He
wants to help. Alleluia!

Monkey on my back

As you can tell, I'm catching up on posting pics from the last 2
weeks. I didn't take a lot of pictures in Uganda because we were
either sick or out and about shopping or swimming most of the time.
But many of you asked about how it was living with a monkey. =)
Shida, Swahili for 'trouble/problem', is a red-tailed guenon only 11
mos. old, less than 12" tall, and fully living up to his name! The
kids were a bit nervous the first couple days, but they adjusted
well and have been missing Shida since we left. Joel especially
loved to bend over, have Shida jump on his head and then carry him
around the house 'on parade'. Between active little boys and moving
monkey, my pictures were not so great. Hopefully you get the idea.

Our gracious hosts also have two Jack Russell terriers, Tess and
Griffey who were lots of fun!

Best buddies

We wrote earlier that in Kenya, James and Joel were playing everyday
with their buddy Gabe. So we threw them a little 'goodbye' playdate
at a local playground/restaurant. Gabe - we miss you!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Water park day in Kenya

Anna is so independent. She wanted to 'do it self!' all day long
even when her lips turned blue (they don't heat pools on the equator
=)). Both boys had a fun time driving 4 wheelers with Dad. Yeah for
cheap local vacation days and gorgeous weather!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Random: How differently two Kim's can carry

Something that has been in my blogging 'queue' for months now, just
never happened. I wanted to blog about Anna around her birthday and
came across 'before' and 'after' pictures that are fun. And since
almost none of my American friends have witnessed me in a pregnant
state, I'll share these. My friend Kim and I were expecting around
the same time, 2 weeks apart from each other. They served one
country south of us, but came up for the birth.

Little baby Jack arrived Dec. 23 and Anna arrived Jan. 8! We ended
up delivering in the same room and staying in the same recovery
room! {Joel was utterly confused by that and continued to call his
new sister 'baby Jack' for weeks!} What I find fascinating is that
even weeks later, the babies in our arms are a similar shape to
what they were 'in utero'. Of course, they were upside down then,
but see for yourself how differently two Kim's can carry!

Backyard patio fun in Kenya

How many kids can have fun with one tricycle?