Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kate is 8!

We had a blast of a party last night for Kate's 8th birthday. It was so much girly fun! Kate woke up ready to open her presents. It killed her to have to do school and then have to wait until after we ate supper to open gifts, but she survived! haha!

She requested lasagna, which turned out SO yummy!! I made it the night before to save myself some stress and it was so moist and delish...if I do say so myself. I made garlic herb braid and a salad. We invited Yeiters over and our evening was a lot of fun! Here are some pictures to sum it up:
Emma wanted to bring the cake in. When I handed it to her, she was like, "This is too heavy!" So we brought it in together. Kate requested Hello Kitty, and I went the easy way out this time. Mom brought this little thing from a cake shop and I just plopped it on there. But hey, the kids were still impressed with the "flower" frosting (thanks to the star tip!) and all is well!

The girls were a HOOT the entire night screaming and oohing and ahhing over all things girly. The Hello Kitty napkins and plates were a hit!

Kate surrounded by her friends. She got some great presents and I think she was thrilled. She got a barbie, which is something she really wanted. (You should have heard the girls when that gift was opened!) The Yeiters gave her some really cool gifts. One was a pet shop pen, that had a little tiny remote control car that is stored in the top of the pen. Kind of hard to explain, but Kate said it was her favorite gift. All in all the evening was a success.

There is a lot of other stuff I haven't blogged about. It is a busy time of year. That is my excuse for now haha! This past Friday we went to Yeiters for a Christmas party. The kids had a blast exchanging gifts and it was just an overall fun time. We got a super gift for Yeiters. They are pickle lovers, and we found huge Sam's Club jars of pickles at an American import store in Bamenda. There is a bit of a story behind it all, but they were so thrilled with their gift. There were two jars left in the store, so we bought them both so Matt and Susan didn't have to share! :D Susan got me some Chex Cereal. My favorite Christmas dessert is the candy that you make with that. There are a ton of different names for that candy...Chocolate treasures, Muddy buddies, dog chow! Whatever the name it is yummy stuff and I make it once a year if I have the cereal on hand. I was so pumped about my gift. It will make my Christmas eve snack night complete!

My sewing machine has been staying busy. I bought a pattern for barbie clothes and had to try those out. takes some patience to sew those little tiny seams, but the girls have been ecstatic with the results. Here is my most recent dress.
I'm also using my newfound sewing skills to create organizational helps around the house. I made this for the girls barbie dolls. Emma is a quick one. She saw me making it and said, "Mommy, we only have three dolls, but you have five pockets..." Hmmmm...little stinker! haha! I told her that she needed to keep a secret and then explained that Kate was getting a barbie for her birthday. Then Emma said, "But that is still only 4 dolls and there are 5 pockets." She was obviously fishing for some hints to what is under the Christmas tree! I told her the extra pocket was for accessories! :D Anyway, here is the little barbie holder that I made.

We are looking forward to Christmas. We have a great program planned for our Christmas morning service. This is the first year that we have a lot of special music planned and things of that sort. I'm pretty excited about it! I'll be sure to update with pictures after this week is over. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas as well!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Friday

I always love Fridays. I'm not sure why...maybe because it is pizza night. And even though I have to make it, we all love pizza, so it is still a treat! :D

Today was spent doing school with the kids and then off to the sewing room for me :D I found some of the girl's old jeans in the closet and decided I was going to do something with them. I found some directions online and tackled the project of turning those jeans into a skirt. It was surprisingly easy and I finished it in about an hour. That doesn't include the time I spent ripping the seams though. Oh my word!! They have like three layers of stitching in jeans! It took me a while to rip the seams and I was very thankful it was a kid's size 5 and not an adult pair of jeans! Once I ripped the seams it was cake from there. I was really happy with the results and Faith loves her new skirt! This past week was a pretty busy one. I'll start with this past Sunday since I got some pictures on that day. It was a rough day for Emma. She woke up and got dressed for church. Before we were even out the door she sliced her finger open with a razor blade. We'd been digging a jigger out of Faith Ann's foot (yes...another one!) the night before, and the razor blade didn't get put away. Emma didn't even know what it was and cut the pointer finger of her left hand open. We were late for church because I needed to get the bleeding stopped, and it took a little while. After church in Bambili, Drew kept complaining that he didn't feel good. He was coming down with a sore throat, headache and just all around yuckiness. He has since been coughing his brains out and not sleeping well at night. Anyway, I stayed home from Bamenda with everyone but Kate. She went to church with her daddy. We worked on our little drums while we were home. Drew and Emma took turns making theirs. Here are the finished products.

Emma's...she stepped out of the box and chose pink as her color!


And Kate's:

Kate made hers as soon as she came home from Bamenda. She was helping me glue with the hot glue gun and a huge glob of glue came from the gun. I don't know what Emma was thinking, but before I could get a big loud "NO" out of my mouth, Emma had stuck her finger in the glue. Oh man...she was screaming and Kate was screaming. (Kate is so dramatic! haha). I felt really bad for her because burns are one of the worst things. They just keep on burning and burning. She said she thought that it was already hardened and not hot. I had drilled into them how hot the glue was and to avoid touching it. Poor Emma. So, we got a container of ice water and she stood at the counter soaking her finger and crying for about an hour. I knew it hurt and there was nothing I could do. I just wish we could take the pain for our kids. By the time she sat down to eat, she wasn't crying anymore, but her finger was in ice water the remainder of the day. At bed time she finally took her finger out of the water and we put some neosporin on it and a bandaid. Poor girl...her pointer fingers had a rough day on Sunday.

The rest of the week has been busy for Ben. Friend day is coming up and he has been out inviting and getting gifts to give all the friends that come. He had a hiccup in his plans on Wed. The president of Cameroon, Paul Biya, came to Bamenda to visit for the first time in his entire presidency (of 30 years!). Ben tried to get stuff done in town but he ended up having to turn around and come home. He thought he was going to get thrown in jail at one point! He got on the wrong street at the wrong time! The presidential motorcade was coming down that street and he got stuck. He parked on the side of the street until a police officer came and yelled at him and told him to get OFF the road. So he pulled off the road right in front of a store. A short time later a man in a suit came and got right in his face and yelled at him. Ben told me when he got home that it really shook him up. He had to get out his ID card and the guy kept yelling to GET OFF THE ROAD!!!! Ben had no idea where to go and told the man that he was off the road. But when he would try to ask, the guy would just keep yelling at him to get off the road. He finally found his way off the road and drove into the quarter (basically a neighborhood of roads really run through a quarter). He stayed there until the motorcade was through and then stayed there a little while longer just to be safe! :D

Later that night after we got the kids in bed, I kept hearing a banging noise. I thought someone was outside and I tried to look out the window to see if I could see someone. Through the bushes I saw lights off in the distance and it dawned on me that it was fireworks! This is the second time we have ever seen fireworks here. The first display we'd seen was for new years and it was pretty puny. This display was for the president, however, and it was the longest fireworks display I have ever seen in my life! We got the kids out of bed and after watching them for 20 minutes (at least!) I finally sent them to bed. I can't imagine how much money went into that display. And they were beautiful too! It was definitely a treat that night. The kids kept saying it was the best night of their life! haha! I don't know how far away the fireworks were from us. We are about 12 miles out of Bamenda, but I'm not sure how far out as the crow flies. Ben did dig out his camera and attempt to get a shot, and this is how it came out:
Not very impressive, but I can assure you that it was a very impressive show. It was impressive for us all the way out of town. I imagine in town it was amazing! I bet most Cameroonians have never seen anything like it!

So, anyway, that is a bit of an update from this last week. As I mentioned earlier, this Sunday is our annual Friend Day. We encourage everyone to bring a friend, and we usually have quite a crowd. It is a great opportunity for the gospel to go forth and we are praying that we will have many visitors. Pray that our family can get over this icky cold. I can feel a sore throat, and sinus headache coming on tonight, so I hope I'm not getting it. Drew has struggled with it all week. The cough is what he's really been battling. So far Kate is the only one who has been unaffected. We have certainly had our share of sickness this season change, but I'm thankful it has been minor things.

Until next time...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Trim The Tree

I thought I'd share a cute little ornament idea that you can do with your kids. Or for youself if you are feeling crafty! :D

One of my readers, Melanie, is one of my digital scrapbooking buddies. She mentioned in one of her comments recently that she was looking for cute ornament ideas to make with her daughter. By the way Mel...thanks for reading and always commenting. I really appreciate it! :D

So, in school this week, Drew's Bible teacher made an ornament for the craft in one of his lessons. I told the kids that we'd make it after school sometime this week. We put it off and put it off. Finally tonight I dug out all of the materials and gave it a test run. I plan on doing it with the kids tomorrow night, but I thought it would be fun to show you how to make it.

Here is what you need for materials:

A toilet paper roll cut in half, two different kinds of ribbon, one piece of white felt and one piece of red (or color of your choice), tothpicks, hot glue gun, scissors. I think that is it! :D

You don't need both the green and the red felt. You just need to choose one color other than white. You can get creative and go outside of the Christmas "box" and pick pink if you want to! Also, the shape of your ornament is made by using the toilet paper roll. I cut mine in half with my serrated bread knife and it worked great!

Ok, using a pencil, trace the end of your toilet paper roll onto your piece of white felt. Cut it larger than the shape you have drawn so you can actually glue the edges down over the toilet paper roll.
Using a glue gun, glue it over the edges of your toilet paper roll. Make sure you press the felt into the glue real well. Do this for the top and the bottom of your roll.

Next you will need to cut a strip of red felt the width of the roll. Next time I cut mine, I will actually cut it slightly shorter b/c it looked a little messy when the red was right up to the edge. You can judge about how long you need to cut it by wrapping the felt around the toilet paper roll and making a mark. It is better to cut it a tad long too and go back and trim. Here is my piece:
You will then glue the red piece all the way around being sure to cover the edges of the white pieces of felt.
Once you have the white and the red felt on, you are going to take a small ribbon and glue it in V shapes all the way around your roll. I just tacked it at the edges rather than glueing every inch of the ribbon.You will cut a small piece of the same ribbon to make a hangar. Glue it near the top edge of your drum. You can see that the place where you glue it will be hidden by the final piece of trim. Then take a different kind of ribbon to trim the edges. This can also hide all the seams where you glued the felt down. I had silver on hand, but Drew's teacher used gold. Get creative!

Take two toothpicks, cross them and glue them somewhere on the top of your drum for the drumsticks. And Voila! You have a cute little ornament on your tree!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas!

In my house...and on my blog! Do you like my new blogwear?? I think it is pretty cute. I am a CT member for Zoe Pearn Designs at The Sweet Shoppe, and she lets us download her products and show them off for free. The first time I set up my blog by myself, I about pulled my hair out. Her instructions, however, were SO easy!

It is also Christmas in our house and we are really enjoying our tree. We planned to decorate the tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It was a good plan too, b/c the kids really didn't want to leave Foumban, but the plans to decorate for Christmas did give them something to look forward too. The kids helped Daddy organize all the branches by color, and used their imaginations in the process!The kids loved going through all the ornaments again. Grandma often gives them ornaments with their name and date written on it. The kids love to go through the boxes of ornaments to find their own! Kate has several of her own ornaments. Since she is the second oldest, she's collected a few more, not to mention that she was the first girl in our family and she was also born a few days before Christmas. She has a lot of Baby's first Christmas ornaments! She enjoyed finding special spots in the tree for hers.
After we finished the tree, we had a blast making ornaments. I've had some of that crayola air dry clay sitting around for a while and I've made ornaments with it before. It works great. So we dug out the Christmas cookie cutters and went to work creating some new ornaments for our tree.
We used the eraser end of a pencil to make the holes. I think Emma ended up making the most. She really enjoyed it.
Drew used up most of his clay to hand make his own ornament...Rudolph! I think he did a pretty good job for free handing it!
After letting it dry for 24 hours, out came the paint.
The kids loved this part the most I think and some of their creations went from clean and pretty, to messy! haha! (Don't tell them I said that!), but they had a blast, and when all was said and done, they look pretty hanging from a ribbon on the tree. Speaking of tree...Here is a shot of it, along with our 2010 ornament that my Mom brought with her when she visited.

A couple more things before I close out my blog post. I have to share a little treasure that Ben found in town:
It's definitely the little things that make me a happy girl. :D
And another blessing of the day....

I know it doesn't look like it...but it is actually...WATER! Looks Yummy, huh? :D Even as I type this we have our outside taps running to clear out all the muck. I figured that once the water finally came on that it would be pretty gross and I was right! It has mostly cleared at this point, though I wouldn't quite wash dishes with it yet unless I boil it. The plumber informed us that their might be several breaks and mishaps before this new source is hooked up and added to our water line, so we will be keeping all our spare containers filled. Now that I've had a week to practice living without running water...I know that I can manage and I don't think I'll panic as much as I have in the past. I've learned that you can actually live without running water, and we really consume more water than is actually necessary!

Ben and I were laughing today because as soon as the water came in...the power went out. Ben said, "What are we going to do when we get to heaven and we have the river of life running freely for all of eternity...and there will be no power outages because the "SON" is there!" What a great thing to look forward to! I think that our family might have an even greater appreciation for it after this year than ever before!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holiday Recap

I haven't posted since Thanksgiving! Shame on me. I hope yours was special...and I'll take a moment to tell you a little bit about mine.

The Yeiters met us over here around 10-ish to head to Foumban (a three hour trip from here). We switched people around so we could ride and caravan together. Ben and Matt captained the lead car. Their passengers were Drew, Autumn, Riah, and Kate. Susan and I captained the second car with Faith, Trinity, Emma and DJ. It was nice to switch around like that. The kids enjoyed the three hour trip a lot better with their friends! We arrived at the Mossman's house and helped put the last minute meal preparations together. It was a ridiculously hot day, and Foumban is even hotter than Bamenda, so I knew it would be a scorcher there. However, the Mossman's home is situated on top of a hill, and the breeze that blew through there made their home so comfortable! It was really refreshing!

Our meal was YUMMO! We had chicken (no turkey here for us), Mashed potatoes, two kinds of stuffing (all our stuff was home made!), carrot souffle, sweet potatoe casserole, Green bean casserole, corn and dinner rolls. We spent the afternoon visiting and did a lot of laughing. Susan and I split up familes...we got all the ladies to sit at one table and sent our hubby's to the next table! haha! So much for Thanksgiving being a family occasion. In reality though, we see our husbands every day...and love them VERY much! :D However, we do not get to have a group of ladies together often, so we took advantage of the situation. I know the men enjoyed their time of fellowship too!

We gathered again in the evening for a time of praise. Many of the families prepared something and the kids did choral readings, piano solos, and musical numbers of some kind. My kiddos sang "All that I Need" from one of Patch the Pirate music books, while I stumbled through the accompaniment. Excuse all the red eye in the picture. In fact, I tried to fix mine, but it turned my whole face to greyscale! Oh well! :D

They did a great job. You can see my poser, Emma. She was the only one who really made a mistake. She was so busy posing for the camera that she forgot to sing the chorus!

The next day was relaxing as well. I think they had a picnic and a hike planned, but I suggested that we just hang around and visit. Everyone was all for the idea! Many of the missionaries were leaving on Friday (Wrights and Ellen were headed to Zambia, and Rosemary was headed to the airport to start her trip to Greenville, SC), so with such a small group it was a nice plan. We stayed through lunch and then started our trip home. This time we caravaned with the Sanderlins, but we didn't switch up people.

So there you have it...our thanksgiving in a nutshell. We came home to no water. And we haven't had water since. So, that was a little depressing, but God has really given grace and I have learned to manage. My blog readers know that of all the challenges we face here, water shortage is my greatest. I don't know why that is the just is. But I haven't had a choice and God has given me grace and peace of mind to deal with it. It does drain our time a lot more, but in the same token it gives us more opportunities. Ben has to make a daily water run, and in the process he stands in line with neighbors, all waiting to fill their buckets, and he has opportunities that we otherwise might not have with water flowing in our house. Here are a few girls he got a picture of one day. In fact they helped him fill all his buckets.Spunky little things, aren't they?
Since then he has been bringing the kids to help him fill the buckets. Here is Faith Ann helping out. I know they are working on the water and I would appreciate it if you all would pray for them to find the problem and for it to be fixed soon! It would be a big help to us...and also to my pile of laundry! haha!

Another ministry I've started is a one-on-one discipleship with the ladies in the church. Last school term we had a ladies Bible study, but with this year's school schedule it has been really difficult to find one time that is good for everyone. It is nearly impossible when they even hold classes on Saturdays. They have no free days here! There are some new believer's in the church, and I thought it would be good to have a discipleship class. If we can find a time to meet as a group...fine. Or if it is easier for me to meet with them individually, then I'll do that as I'm able, but I felt that this would be the best choice for this term. So,for now I've begun meeting with Ernestine. I had the privilege of meeting with her after a Sunday morning service several weeks ago and she trusted Christ as her Savior. Since then she has been attending church each Sunday and I approached her about going through the Spiritual Growth Series that my husband wrote, and she seemed very excited to learn more about the word of God.

My sewing ministry is progressing...haha! Just kidding! It isn't a ministry. It has turned into a "Me-time" activity. So, I guess it is my ministry to myself! :D Honestly though, I really enjoy it and love the challenge of tackling a project. My mom always asks me what my next sewing project is going to be. I made lot of bags and I wasn't sure what to try my hand at next until we started decorating for Christmas this past Saturday (which will be another post with pictures later). We were hanging all of our stockings and I realized that I'd forgotten to get Faith Ann her own. I keep meaning too, but once the decorations are away it is out of sight and therefore out of mind. Last year I stuffed my stocking with her goodies and she was fine with that, but this year I wanted her to have a stocking. So, I decided to make one. Or at least try to make one.

Mom had brought some christmas material with her when she visited. I'd asked her to slowly buy some on clearance b/c I thought it would be a good thing to wrap gifts with. It can be used over and over. So I took one of the pieces of material, along with some peices of felt that I have for the kids school projects and an old curtain and came up with this:It isn't perfect, but Faith Ann is thrilled. Now that I'm looking at it, it is the perfect stocking for has all the colors of their flag! haha! I was going to omit the yellow, but that is Faith's favorite color (for now anyway) and she wanted it in there. The patterned fabric is candy canes and yellow stars. I'm pretty happy with the end result. I am wondering most people who sew have to use their seam ripper as often as I do? Probably not!:D

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Love You Sew!

I'm having "sew" much fun sewing! Since my last post I have made two more purses and a skort for Faith Ann. I just want to try out patterns to see if I can do them! The skort, as simple a pattern as that is, still had me scratching my head and maybe even fuming at some points. Not really fuming...just frustrated I guess. I don't know why I can't wrap my brain around the instructions sometimes, but I was determined to figure it out. And thank the Lord...I did! :D Here is Faith with her new skort...made out of recycled curtains.

It turned out alright. She won't be wearing it too much longer. Next time I'll play with adjusting the sizes, but she seemed pretty happy.

The project that I worked on today has to be my favorite of all of them so far. I found this purse pattern on If you have never been to that site you should check it out. It is so cool. They sell downloadable pdf patterns, which is great for someone like me, who can't just go running to Joanne Fabrics or Wal-Mart. So, I found this cute purse pattern and bought it and it turned out SO adorable!! Check it out:I think the flower is my favorite part. I found a tutorial on you tube on how to make them and it was so easy. All I did was cut out different size circles from the same fabric that I used for the lining. It is a polyester fabric of some sort and with a candle I just singed the edges of the circle very carefully so as not to light the house on fire. :D As soon as the fabric melted it curled inward and once I layered and stitched them together...voila! I had an adorable fabric flower! Here is Emma, my poser, showing off the purse. Yep, you can already see the dry season hair style setting in. Of course someone should tell that girl's mother to brush her hair for crying out loud! haha!

Speaking of dry season, it is here, unfortunately, and to celebrate we already have no water. :D We are starting off with a bang I guess. I might as well settle in and get used to it, otherwise it will be a miserable 5 months. Supposedly they are hooking up a new water source which will add to the supply, so that might help. But I'm not holding my breath. I'd rather be mentally planning on not having water, and if I do have extra...I'll be super surprised!

We had a suprise guest tonight. Pastor Daniel from Benakuma came here to have his treadle sewing machine repaired. He shewed up around dinner, and we had enough to feed him. I cleaned out the guest room, which was a MESS b/c of all my sewing projects and he is staying the night with us. Tomorrow he should hopefully get his machine repaired. We learned that the amazing woman that gave birth to "Pastor Ben" the last time Ben was there, is his sister-in-law! Wow...small world. Well, really the village is small, so it wasn't a huge surprise that they were related. But it is still neat.

Tomorrow I'll be cooking up a storm for Thanksgiving, and on Thursday morning we will drive the three hours to Foumban to spend Thanksgiving with fellow missionaries. We always enjoy our time there and are greatly looking forward to it. I will come back with pictures and I'm sure stories to tell! I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving holiday as well!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's Me Again!

I bet you thought that I'd left and decided to never come back! Right? Well, you can't get rid of me that easy!

It has been almost an entire month since I last posted! But it was a very full month and I will try to give you a brief re-cap.

My Mom came to visit and the preparations before her arrival and all the hoop-lah that accompanied her visit took up most of my time. I really didn't even give my blog one thought while she was here.

We decided to go to Douala as a family and pick her and Gerald and Kathy Whitely up. The trip there was long, because we were anticipating seeing Mimi!! But the kids did great and we arrived early enough to grab a bite to eat and check in at the Baptist Guest House. We headed to the airport and stood outside on the big veranda that overlooked the tarmac. We heard and saw Mimi's plane come in and waited until we saw her disembark until we headed to the luggage area. Ben got special access and was able to meet them inside baggage claim, but the kids and I went to the second level of the airport where we stood on a balcony overlooking the baggage claim area. It was nice and breezy up there actually, and a great place to wait. Normally they kick you out of there and make you stand outside in the heat, but thankfully they were too busy to notice us.

I told the kids that as soon as they saw Mimi or Mr. Gerald or Miss Kathy to all whistle together. I gave them a little demo of the whistle and we all practiced it. It's actually the Whitely's special little "E-I-E" call that they made up. Those who know the Whitely's know exactly what I'm talking about. So, we finally saw them enter the baggage claim area. I told the kids to whistle as loud as they could and they finally looked up and saw us waiting up there. What was SO, so cute was when Kate saw them. I heard her trying to whistle, but she was so happy and excited, and fighting back tears that she just kept blowing and blowing with all her might, trying to get a whistle to come out of her mouth, but it just wouldn't come. Oh man, that girl melted my heart! When we finally met up with Mimi she just ran to her crying and said that she just couldn't help it...she was so happy. Goodness...I'm teary even typing it! She is just like me actually. I was teary b/c I was so happy to see Mimi too!

Praise God every piece of luggage arrived in tact! That really is almost a miracle here! One of these days I need to type out the Yeiters recent luggage story. Theirs was missing for a month! Anyway...we left the airport and headed to a restaurant called the Mediterranean.

Seriously...that has to be the yummiest pizza joint. It even rivals my pizza! haha! :) It is owned by a Greek family and their pizza is amazing. We got veggie and feta cheese pizza. MmmmMmmm! It is a good thing there isn't one located in Bamenda or we'd be broke!

We spent the night in Douala and headed home the next day. Our trip back was way more fun with Mimi and the Whitely's in the van. We did however have a breakdown. We kept overheating. The first time Gerald and Ben found a ruptured hose. They rigged it and got it repaired. But not long down the road it overheated again. We were in a purely french speaking area and this kid walks up to us and says in french that he is a mechanic. He was so young...I wouldn't even say he was 20 years old. But when all was said and done that kid flat knew what he was doing and God sent him directly to us! We lost a couple hours, but we finally arrived home safe and sound and very tired!

The next couple weeks were absolutely crazy for Ben and Gerald. Gerald was booked solid in all the area schools to share his creation/evolution lectures. Evolution is taught here in all the schools and nobody has ever been taught creationism. Gerald has several video presentations and replica fossils and he lectures on this issue with the ultimate goal of using it to share the gospel. He had 17 meetings and he probably averaged about 200 students in each meeting. Here is one picture of him teaching the smallest group of students during his visit.While the guys were out and about we were basically home a lot. The only downside to the entire visit was that the kids were sick. Really really sick. Drew came down with the virus first, but he ran a fever for so many days that I finally started treating him with an antibiotic and for malaria as well. The kids hadn't been this sick in a while. They wouldn't eat...all they would do was lay around and sleep. It was terrible. I was thankful to have a couple extra Mom's here to offer their advice and it was nice that we could all just be home together rather than running around.

We did venture out the first Saturday to a ladies meeting in Sabga. Mom and Kathy and I shared a plate of Fufu and Njamajama. Well...basically they tried it and I ate most of it. Then, on the next Saturday we hosted a missionary ladies luncheon. I reserved a spot at the new restaurant our family discovered and talked to the Chef. He planned a buffet meal to feed all of us and it turned out wonderfully! The ladies came from Foumban and all of us ladies here met together and had a great time of fellowship. The food was delish...and Kathy was our guest speaker. We had a great time!
Mom could never get over all the critters we constantly have here. We are always oohing and ahhhing over something. We found this huge beetle on our porch one morning. Drew and I will chase stuff down to have a better look. I got a good shot so you could see the perspective of size.
Mom also had a picnic with the kids one day and I got this great group shot of all of them.
On the last Monday that they were here, we decided to go into town as a family. Kate was still kinda down and out, and Emma and Faith were coming down with the nasty virus, but they weren't into the worst part of it yet, so we decided to go ahead and go. We ate at the same restaurant where we had the ladies luncheon and then went to the Pres-Craft store so they could pick up some souvenirs before leaving. The owner of the Pres-Craft is new and we actually couldn't determine his nationality. He was white and had some unique accent...I'll let you know if I find out. :D He told us to check out the coffee shop next door. So...we did! I'm not a coffee fan, but my Mom can't live without it. We bought a coffee pot just for her visits. Anyway, we went next door into this really adorable coffee shop. Mom got a cappucino! Can you believe it? And she said it was really good! They served it with sugar and this adorable little heartshaped biscuit. Wow...who would have thought we'd have a "hip" coffee shop in little 'Ol Bamenda?! Here's Mom enjoying her cappucino: I'm not sure how well it will catch on to the Africans...the shop was full of white people only! In fact, Mom and the Whitely's commented that they'd never seen so many white people in Cameroon before. We met a group of kids in the coffee shop that were from various parts of the states, and then on the other side of them was an older white couple. We never had time to speak to them. It will be interesting to see if that place can actually stay in business. There may be more white people than ever before, but I'm not sure there is enough to sustain an entire restaurant.

Our goodbyes were sad, but it really won't be long until we see them again. Less than a year before we head back to the states for our next furlough. We will start checking off dates on the calendar and looking forward to our visit to America (specifically Taco Bell)...Did I just think that out loud?? :D

Since their visit I have taken up a new hobby. :D Kathy mentioned my sewing machine that is in the guest room where they stayed and I told her I'd love to learn to sew. She said "Well, while we are here, I'll teach you!" I was pretty excited about that. I always tease my Mom that she failed in two areas. She never taught me to play piano or to sew. Both things I've had to learn in my adulthood. She knows I'm just kidding! Anyway, on the day that Mimi had a picnic with the kids, Kathy and I dragged out the sewing machine. We had spent a previous afternoon with the pattern and material and she taught me how to read the pattern and I'd already cut out all the pattern pieces. I was ready to sew it. So, in a few hours time, I made a skirt for Kate all by myself with Kathy's teaching! I have been her pupil since I was a freshman in high school...and she hasn't lost her touch. She is still a great teacher!

I dug out the sewing machine this week with plans on using it to make Christmas gifts. I found a pattern for a little girls purse and tried to make it. The first one turned out cute, though I didn't follow the pattern completely. I rigged it to make it work. I spent a lot of time just staring at the pattern instructions and the material. There was one part I couldn't wrap my head around, so I just took the basic pattern and made it work. I used our market bags from here as the lining and I'm content with the finished product. In the future I'd love to actually do it the correct way, but for now it works ok.
Here is a shot of the market bag that I cut up and used for the inside of the bag:
The part of the pattern instruction that I couldn't get was really bugging me. I spent some time reading and watching sewing tutorials on you tube until I finally figured it out. I actually found a helpful blog with pictures that helped me understand! So, today, with a little more knowledge under my belt, I tried purse number 2. I used a different pattern and did leave out the fusible interfacing (as I don't have that), but I'm SO happy with the results!
Isn't it cute?! I love how it turned out and the great thing is I used all scrap fabric. I used to have red curtains hanging in the kids toy room. I kept them when we changed them out and I'm glad I did. They make a cute little purse if I do say so myself! :D

Ok, so I hope I haven't bored you completely. I'll try to stay updated and please, please keep reading! And if you have time...leave me a comment! Cuz I love comments! :D

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Catchin' Up

Ben came to me tonight and dropped the camera and cables in my lap and said, "This isn't a hint or anything." haha! But I knew what his hidden meaning was... "Make a blog post!" :D

I really do need to catch up. I Hope you've missed me!

First up...Our NEW car!! If you've been reading my blog, you know how I completely destroyed the driver's side passenger door. Well, Genesis came to my aid that night and picked up the car and took it to his body work guy. I finally got a hold of Ben in Benakuma and he decided to re-do the entire car. It was rusted out in so many places and in bad need of a makeover. The guy did a great job and our car looks brand new! He even took out all the seats and scrubbed them! I didn't even recognize our car!

The kids have been diligently working in school and we have a big chart that we made. We mark off the days as we do them. It is fun to see the days disappear. Though we do have a lot of boxes to check off, it still helps them as they work toward a goal. With our kitty and puppy, they usually spend their free time outside. On Saturdays kids usually come up and they play outside with them. We didn't have any kids come up this past Saturday except Louis. He is deathly afraid of our dog...almost ripped my arm off one day trying to hide from Penny! I thought he was gonna pee his pants he was so scared! So, when Louis comes we hook up the dog so he'll stay. It was kind of a rainy day on Saturday, so Drew went outside to just visit with him. Drew had been reading one of those chick tracts and thought he'd go through it with Louis. Ben snapped a picture of them. Drew was reading the tract and then looking up the verses and reading them. I thought it was so cute! Our little missionary in training!And speaking of Penny, Ben found a great treat for her this week. He went to the meat market and saw one of those big cow bones lying there. He asked the meat guy what he did with those. Well, they burn them and feed them to the pigs. Ben asked why they did that...and I don't think that he'd ever been asked that before. His answer was, "That's just what we do!" Well, Ben asked him to dash us (pidgin for 'give us') one of those bones. He gave Ben two of them and he gave them to Penny as a treat and she loved it! This picture cracks me up. Ben wanted to get in there and get a shot of Penny eating her bone...she obviously didn't want to be disturbed! And you can see that Penny and Cuddles are starting to get along better. She was even willing to share her bone with the cat! And here is another sweet picture of them getting along. They do fight like cats and dogs (lol! I kill myself) Seriously though, sometimes Cuddles sounds like she is getting her head ripped off, but she survives and I'm tired of locking her in the store room. She is holding her own now, and I just let her roam and I think she is enjoying her freedom. Plus, I have a mouse in my kitchen and I need her to start earning her keep!
The kids came up with this great strategy to draw perfect pictures. They lay a coloring paper over our big magnadoodle and trace it. They are so proud of their creations and we have had coloring papers scattered all over our floor for a week now!I know these pictures are completely out of order, but they are from the last couple of weeks, so you get the point. Here is a picture of our neighbor, Jude. He is a good friend and we were sad to say goodbye to him as he moved to Younde to go to school. He takes care of our mowing and yard work, and so on his last day of work, he wanted a picture of himself with the lawn mower. He didn't say why, but I just giggled at him and told him I'd be glad to take his picture. He wanted the kids in it too. We are sure going to miss him, but he'll be back over the holidays.

That is pretty much everything new. I've been working on gathering pictures for a series of posts I want to start doing. It will be entitled "Fashion Faux Pas Friday." So be looking forward to that. I think you will get a kick out of some of our African Fashion Faux Pas! :D

My Mom leaves tomorrow to come here!!! I'm so excited and hope to update on her visit from time to time while she is here. She is so nervous about checking in bags, so I'm asking you all to pray for a miracle! haha! We need to save some money, but the airlines aren't very helpful anymore. An international flight is allowed one bag. Do you have any idea how impossible that is for a missionary to be restricted to one bag! A second bag is $50, and any additional bag after that is $200! We used to....a loooong time ago, get two bags at 70 lbs each. Then it went to two bags at 50 lbs each. And now it is one bag at 50 lbs. Pretty soon we will have to pay for any luggage at all. Really frustrating, but that is our life. We just need to deal with it and do the best we can. So in order to get some of the things out here that we'd like to have we have to pay for them. The problem is that their tickets are broken up into two separate trips. So some airline personnel are telling us that we will have to pay for the extra bags in Atlanta...AND in Paris. ugh! Some are saying we don't have to. My mom has done everything she can possibly do to try and get our luggage through for free on the Paris end at least, but to no avail. It is going to be in the hands of whoever is at the check-in counter that day. So, pray with us that God will work that out and save us some money! We know that God will provide and it is always neat to anticipate how He is going to do that!