Sunday, July 19, 2009


Who among us has watched The Princess Bride? Since my sister is reading, I can assume at LEAST one person who will quickly grasp the meaning of my title! We have had an outbreak of ROUS-es at our house... (Rodents Of Unusual Size for those of you not fortunate to have watched the movie a million times forwards and backwards.) Here is the most frequent visitor. He even built his own house. Sometimes he has companions as well...

If he were to turn around, you could also see his tail!

Lowly the Worm

Well, we have been living in Africa on and off for almost 8 years now. We are very thankful that we have never caught any strange diseases or anything other than normal viruses; there are a plethora to choose from too! This week, Heidi broke our trend! Ian has named him Lowly after the Richard Scary character... I don't think these are unheard of in the States, but with many more dogs and cats dewormed, and not as many chances to walk barefoot, it is less of a problem. Here these parasites are frequent during rainy season, which we are trying hard to have right now. They don't cause much harm actually, eventually if left to their own devices, they would die and be ousted from the body on their own as they can't reproduce there, but meanwhile, their wiggling is VERY itchy. The solution? We took a worm medicine and crushed it up,put it in vaseline, and applied it topically (that is what the orange blobs are). The red line is Lowly himself! If my sister in law is reading this, she will be saying, "That is so discusting!" but Heidi says you are a nurse, so you should be used to things like this. She was rather grossed out herself at first though too!


I mentioned in another post that they girls and I had matching outfits made, VERY African. Here for a wedding or other celebration often families or organizations have outfits made out of the same material. For example, I recently attended a graduation and the graduates, their families and the school staff all had matching outfits. I had a "uniform" for the wedding I attended earlier this spring, and I also have one from our church women's group. Here is the picture of the girls and I all coordinating!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer Goals: Tom

Tom's efforts this summer have focused on whistling. He is trying really hard, but alas, as of yet no success. I did get some cute pictures of him trying though! Who can whistle when they are trying not to giggle?

Of course, Mom has goals as well. Tom is drying and putting away the silverware and learning to set the table properly, though we haven't gotten very proper yet as I haven't taken the time to show him too much. Here he is celebrating the silverware? What a clown!
He is also helping to gather laundry: all the towels one day, the bathing suits another. Plus he has become our resident expert in putting on pillow cases! He is really teetering between wanting to be big: play with the bigger kids, go to school, read & so many other things, and wanting to stay Mama's baby: he loves to cuddle, wants help with things he knows how to do already. Never thought I would be one to say that I am sad to see the last one off to school, but it is true. I am going to miss his sunny little self at home and work in the mornings when he starts kindergarten!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Fourth!!

Friday night Ian and I started our celebration of our country's birthday by going to a party hosted by the ambassador. We have never gone to one before; it was very interesting, not quite what I expected. For starters, suits & ties and evening attire isn't my interpretation of "business casual" dress! We filed in and shook hands with a whole line up of people whom I could not identify (except for the ambassador). Too bad they didn't wear name tags so we knew who they were and what they did! I was also rather surprised at how many people were invited that were not Americans. Obviously, given our surroundings, there would be some, but 3/4 of the very large crowd were not Americans at all. I guess I should have guessed if they extended the guest list to include me, it must have been quite extensive! :) Mostly it was a reception on the grass with drinks and the occasional munchie if you were willing to use football moves to get near a serving tray. The Marines presented the colors, a band played the our local national anthem as well as the Star Spangled Banner and the ambassador made a speech which no one could hear, I think it was in French? They passed around sparklers which was fun, but over all, I was hot & hungry, my feet hurt and I don't think I would go again! I am not a big fan of social mixing I guess.

Saturday we celebrated in a more traditional way: with our family! Heidi started the day on clothing patrol, insuring we all wore the appropriate red, white and blue. She asked me if I wanted her to pick out my clothes, but I told her I thought I could handle it, thanks anyway! :) Though there weren't any parades or fireworks, swimming and playing softball were on the schedule, as well as dinner outside. Then, in the evening, came the grand fanale which was a big gathering complete with red and blue tablecloths, homemade ice cream (YUM!) and games.
These pictures are for you Amy! We may be far away, but we still did our part of the cousin Fourth of July line up! Krista and I BOTH reminded eachother :) so we were thinking of you all across the ocean.
So, here they are, after a day in the pool and an evening of eatting chocolate ice cream and getting sweaty with their friends, they look pretty decent considering all that!
Oldest to youngest: Heidi, Kay, Kira, Tom, Brynn, Elayna, & Silas
I thought it rather appropriate that though attired in their red, white and blue, they are sitting on a couch that had African themed cushions!

Happy Birthday USA!
As a country, God's grace has truely been "shed on thee," we pray that God's mercy, justice and love would be evidenced through our leaders and citizens from "sea to shining sea."

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Summer Goals: Kay

All of the kids have some things they want to accomplish this summer. Kay really wants to learn how to ride her two wheeler without training wheels. We don't have very many places for beginners to ride here. Our driveway is fairly bumpy and sandy, both of which are hard when you are trying to learn how to balance. The other afternoon was fairly cool and Ian had some time, so we went over to the rec center basketball court to give it a go. She doesn't quite have a feel for the balance yet, but she and Dad had LOTS of exercise and fun! I sat on the sidelines with the camera and finished up Ian's ice tea! :) Someone has to be the cheerleader! She won't give up until she succeeds, so I have a feeling we will be headed to the court many times this summer!

Mom also has summer goals for the kids, mostly involving household skills. Kay has been sorting clothes and loading the washing machine several times a week and drying dishes as well. She and Tom are also learning to put new sheets on the bed. This is a fairly hysterical procedure so far, involving heavy doses of Mom-involvement. This week, Ian and I are sleeping on sheets that are inside out... but they started out inside out and sideways, so we are much improved! :) Summer is a good time to learn and grow in all sorts of ways!