Sunday, January 31, 2010

Last day of January!!

We had a great day in only complaint is the weather. My goodness...I don't remember a dry season being this hot!! I dont think I'd survive in other parts of Cameroon...we are in the cooler part of the country. I guess I have just been spoiled. Well, there is no doubt about one thing...we are counting down the days until the rainy season. It isn't just me either...even the Cameroonians are ready for rain!
I sat by this adorable, sweet baby, Beverly, in church. She is the happiest little thing. I enjoyed every minute of just watching her smile and coo. I finally asked Margarite if I could hold her and so I held her for about 20 minutes. I wasn't sure how she would do being passed off, but it didn't phase her. She was just as happy in my arms. She never cried one time during our long church service. What a little angel!!
We came home from church and I made french bread pizza. Later on in the evening we attempted making slushies in my new blender. We took kool-aid, and ice and frozen banana. It turned out really yummy! The kids loved it. Here is Faith Ann drinking her slushie/smoothie. Her nose is looking better. She still has dark rings under and above her eyes, but I'm sure this week they will dissipate even more. She's been a little trouper through all of this.
I hope your day went great as well!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Speed Scrapper

Whoever read my post yesterday, read that Susan and I held our own speed scrap last night. here is my layout from our hour locked in the computer room.
I was totally happy with how it turned out. I tweaked a few things today before clicking the final save as/jpg though.
Anyway, I get up this morning and one of my morning routines is to jump online and check all of my fave websites. I check my blog to see if anyone posted comments (I really like reading feel free to post them!!), I check facebook, and I check I noticed a thread in the forum entitled spring cleaning. I checked it out and found that they were deleting a bunch of old threads and stuff. Well, the admin that had been working on it were having fun creating titles for all the forum members. How it works is you start out with a title of "I'm new here." Once you post, say 50 times, your title will change to "liking it here a lot." You go up from there to "I'm addicted to this place." etc... I might not be exact, but they are something like that. Well, this is what mine said this morning:
Oh my perfect is that? I was cracking up. I was did they know I held a speed scrap with Susan and we totally ignored our families for an hour?!? (ok...not ignored...we did ask our husbands in advance) Well, they didn't know obviously, but I thought it was so ironic how that ended up being my description. I haven't seen anyone else with that title. I don't know if they just randomly picked people to have fun with or what...but they couldn't have put a more perfect title under my name!

I can't believe I just made a post without pics of my kids! Well, Faith Ann's nose, thankfully, looks the same as yesterday. The kids had a fun day playing outside and inside. Our bike was stolen once again, but somehow found by a man in our church who drives a motorcycle taxi (the 10 year old that stole it was headed to the next village to sell it). It is amazing how that bike makes it's way back to our house each time. All in all it was a great day! I hope you all have a blessed Sunday tomorrow!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fun day with Friends!

(Faith is doing fine...and we are still basking in the goodness of our God! )
We had a great day with friends. Yeiters came over to spend the afternoon at our house. Actually, Ben and Matt went to town for shopping and outreach, and Susan and the kids came to play. We had such a great time. The kids are absolute bff's and love every opportunity to get together. Susan and I love to get some digi scrapping time in when we are together as well. We usually don't actually scrap. We just sit and show each other our pages and sometimes browse digital stores. Tonight we made it a point to scrap one page while we were together. When Ben and Matt got home, we asked them to feed the kids the pizza that was already made. Then Susan and I locked ourselves in the office with our laptops and held our own speed scrap! I called out the first instruction and we had 10 minutes to complete it (#1 was choose an odd number of photos - I chose 5..she chose 3). Then she got to call out the next set of instructions (choose at least three papers, one of them being a patterned paper) and on and on it goes. Normally a speed scrap has 7 instructions, but I think we ended up quitting around 5, maybe 6 b/c dinner was ready, the hubbies were hungry...and quite frankly so were we! But we had a lot of fun and even got a layout done. I'll post the finished product tomorrow if I remember.

They ended up leaving close to 10 pm. We try to get together on a weekly basis but sometimes b/c of sickness and busy schedules it doesn't work. We definitely enjoyed our day today. The picture is of Faith Ann (in all her colorfulness) and Trinity, Yeiters youngest. They aren't the best of friends just yet...but they soon will be. They are still at the age where they are fighting over each others toys. I don't think it will be too much longer til they are paired up like the other 6 kids are!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Colorful Faith

This post will be short and sweet as it is late.
Faith Ann is doing great today, albeit colorful :) She now has lovely shades of yellow in her face. She is still pretty stuffy, but doesn't complain of any pain, and her nose has stopped bleeding completely which is a blessing.
Tonight at church one of our members, Emmanuel, came in and started pointing at her and laughing. He thought she'd colored all over her face. Ben quickly explained that she broke her nose. Emmanuel felt awful and kept saying "ashya." Ashya is a common word here that is kind of hard to explain, but it implies feelings of sympathy. I might pass someone working and say, "Ashya fo work." Or if I see someone in pain like tonight the same thing. Faith is proud of her new colors and thinks she looks beautiful. We only encourage her and constantly tell her how beautiful she really is! She will cringe at these pictures when she is a teenager and wonder why we didn't keep her hidden away in the house!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

God "nose" what we need!

Well our day was a whirlwind really. Faith woke up in good spirits as always, but her nose continued to bleed and that concerned us as we are in the third day of this injury. We called a missionary doctor who lives about 3 hours from us and asked her for a number to an American doctor that works at a hospital about 30 minutes from our house. We just felt better knowing we were being treated by an American doctor for some reason. They know what our noses look like and...I could go on and on, but I'm just being transparent here. We called Dr. Sparks and explained the situation. He said we should have brought her yesterday...and told us to rush to Mbingo Baptist Hospital immediately and he would see her. That was so gracious of him to do really. That hospital is crazy busy and you can wait in line ALL day long. So, Ben grabbed Faith and got something to drink and a package of crackers for her and headed to the hospital. Dr. Sparks saw them quickly and immediately prepared her for surgery. Her nose is indeed broken and she had a septal hematoma (sp?). This can permanently damage the nose and will cause it to collapse basically. It cuts oxygen off to the nasal septum (the middle of the nose) so the tissue dies and the nose essentially caves in. He was ready to rush her into the OR when he thought to ask if she'd eaten...JUNK! Why did I have to pack those crackers? Because of that they had to wait several hours and she ended up having surgery at 5-ish. They put her out right in the private room where they were waiting. Ben said it was pretty funny to watch. The doctor carried her into the OR and they were done in about 10 minutes. The medicine they use in the states to bring someone out of anesthetic is so expensive that they don't use it here. So, they have to just wake up on their own. Ben said that was pretty funny too...she couldn't even open her eyes and was just giggling and saying nonsense. I wish I could have been there, but I wasn't about to drag all 4 kids there.

When all was said and done, she was fine, there is no permanent damage to the nasal septum, and the break will heal on its own. On top of that amazing blessing...the doctor put the entire bill (which isn't a fraction of what it would be in America...but still over 100 dollars) on his account. Wow! We are still in awe of the events of the day. We are broke right now to put it plainly and God is right by our side taking care of every step of the way. Ben told the doctor that normally he would argue with him about the money, but at this moment in our lives...we don't have any! Ben has $60 bucks in his pocket to last us til the end of the month! Praise God for how he takes care of His children.

Here are a few pictures so you can see the events of the day:

Faith Ann and Daddy waiting outside the Operating Room

Poor thing did not like the IV...she looks so cute in her hospital gown though.

While waiting the few hours for the anesthesia, she managed to sneak in a nap.

Here she's woken up from her nap and about to be put back to sleep. :)

She is now home safe and sound and fast asleep in her bed. She had no problems with the anesthesia. She was still a little loopy when she got home. We carried her everywhere since her legs weren't very trustworthy. Other than that, she has an appetite and everything is normal. Other than that IV, the events of the day didn't really phase her. Again, we thank God for the blessings of this day!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Little girl blue

You have to know that I'm going to document the healing process of our little three year old sweetheart, Faith Ann. I cringe every time I look at her. It looks SO painful, but she doesn't complain of any pain at all. I worry about what it will really look like when the swelling goes down. I seem to be having a harder time than she is! lol...she is in such good spirits! The only thing she complains about is being annoyed by a constant bloody nose, but we've read this can happen. She spends a lot of time with tissues stuck up her nostrils. :) She is actually really happy about her new color too. She thinks it is pretty. Ben and I keep calling her our little avatar...doesn't her face kind of look like the characters in that new blockbuster movie? Not only the lovely blue color, but the shape of the nose and eyes? Poor thing!
If she wasn't so constantly happy and silly I'd be going crazy, but she is handling this great. I took a nap with her today and loved every minute of it. She fell asleep with her little arm around my neck. I love that girl!

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Rough Day

Definitely a rough day for Faith Ann at the Sinclair house. The day started out great. Drew is feeling better, the kids got their school done in record time and we headed off to our new restaurant for burgers at around 11:30. We enjoyed watching a bush fire burn right next door while waiting for our food, and also caught up on the news while CNN was playing...actually today it was a foreign news station...and I must interject that America practices a lot of media censorship compared to other countries. Wow...the graphic things we saw on the news! A be-headed man?? Was that really necessary?? Anyway, enough of my rant. Our meal was done and we were waiting for our bill. Faith Ann was sitting in this hand carved African chair that folds up. My brother-in-law would know exactly what kind as he purchased one on his visit here. Well, when little kids scoot to the edge of those things to get off, they fold right up. These chairs are made out of ebony or mahogany too...a very heavy wood! The back of that chair smacked her head down and right into a mahogany coffee table. Of course she screamed instantly. Blood was pouring from her nose and we shoved napkins in her face to mop it up. We pulled them away to have a peak and I knew it was not just a bump...her nose was twice it's size immediately. All the kids are crying now...Faith's siblings are hurting for her...we all are really. I absolutely hate seeing my kids in pain. I would so much rather it be me.
We debated going to the doctor here, but I can't even explain what a procedure that is and we are always concerned about the quality of care. Life is just different here. We consulted a missionary doctor, Carol Loescher, and she said that it was fine to wait. We could see more of what was going on once the swelling went down. We decided to wait. She looks pretty rough. Her nose is even more swollen now than in the above picture, and a bit more blue/purple, but she is in better spirits which makes me feel better.
While just a simple injury really, it brought back the reality of God's protection on our lives. We are so blessed to have a family full of beautiful, happy, healthy children that God has given us to raise for His honor and glory. I told the kids that a broken nose was such a small thing compared to what other families go through. We are thankful today for our health and all the blessings that often go unnoticed on a daily basis!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The 100 club

We have officially completed 100 days of school. I had intended to do our little 100 days of school celebration on Friday, the 100th day of school, but I felt so crummy, I decided to hold off. Today Drew was sick and I was feeling pretty bad myself, so we stayed home from church. After the girls got back from church in Bambili, Ben headed to church in Bamenda by himself. For those that don't know, we have two church planting efforts in progress right now, so that makes for a busy Sunday. Anyway, I told the kids that after lunch I had a craft for them. I figured it would give them something to look forward to. They couldn't wait. I had already printed out our "100's" on card stock Friday afternoon. I then dug out the glue, glitter, pom-pom's, chenille wire and puff paints. The kids were beyond excited. So for an hour they glittered and glued and had a blast decorating their 100 headbands. We will be wearing these during school tomorrow to celebrate our accomplishment. If nothing else interrupts our schedule, we should be completley finished mid April. I can't wait for summer break!!

I also have to mention that Ben shared with me that our church in Bambili had a special guest visitor today...yep...Elvis Presley. Isn't that amazing? He really is still alive! (but he has a serious tan! LOL )

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Down and Out

Drew is such a good kid. He rarely gives me any fits...he eats every meal without complaint, he doesn't get into trouble, he is quick to obey. Just a good kid. We are so blessed. I came home from visiting with a neighbor to this scene:

I knew it wasn't good. While Drew is a good kid, one thing he is, is full of energy. He is constantly going until he crashes at night. Naps are long gone for him, so to see him asleep in the chair at 4 o'clock, I knew something was wrong. Well, the thermometer confirmed it...101.4

Drew almost died at birth, and I guess I always figured he'd be our sickly child. It is quite the opposite though. He is so hearty and rarely gets whatever is floating around the house. I'm so thankful for that. Unfortunately whatever bug is floating around right now just bit him.

There are a couple things to point out about this picture...first, I love the fact that spiderman is his pillow. My Mom got that out of one of those crane machines at her work. Spidey has been by his side for a few years now. And the second thing to note are the bottoms of his feet. Can you see the dirt??? That is what I deal with all the time here. I will tell you, that when we first moved here, it was VERY hard for me to get used to my kids being dirty all the time. You should see the bath water Sunday after church! I don't bother bathing my kids before church, b/c I know what they will look like afterwards! The amount of dirt is unreal. But, after living here for over 5 years, I can honestly say that I'm used to it. It just isn't a big deal anymore. A little dirt never hurt! I know that now! :)

Well, hopefully Drew will be on the mend tomorrow and this bug will stop at him. I hope you all have a blessed Sunday tomorrow!

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Little Helper

Today was relaxing. It isn't that I don't have a ton to do, b/c I do! I have loads of laundry to put away, but I just needed to chill today...and chill I did. I spent most of my morning on the computer checking out all the new products in digi-land, and uploading my layouts for the designer I work for. Then as soon as I finished talking to my Mom, the power went out. We didn't really get to say an official goodbye, but she had to leave for work, and I wasn't going to hook up the generator just to say bye. I waited a bit to see if the power would come back on, but it didn't, so I went to my room and read several chapters in Sophie's Heart. The kids played so quietly with each other. Emma and Kate played Memory, while Drew played a computer game. I finally gave in and turned the generator on at about 4 so I could make some pizza dough. I really didn't want to do the pile of dishes that had accumulated either, so I decided to enlist a helper.Emma has never washed the dishes before. I usually give that job to Kate b/c she is really good at it...even for a 7 year old. But Emma has been wanting to try so I thought I'd give her a shot. She is a very meticulous person, so I figured she'd do a good job. I was in there working on the pizzas and checking her work, and didn't catch one dirty dish. So, it looks like I have a new dishwasher. Yay for me. For now the kids are excited about doing dishes. I better utilize that as long as possible, b/c pretty soon I'll hear moans and groans when I ask for some assistance in the kitchen!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Football Season

Oh yes...the African cup of nations is in progress. I'm not a football (soccer) fan really, but I do enjoy it when Cameroon is playing.
We live in a college town. Hundreds of students pack into these rooms, sometimes 3 people sharing a full size bed. No indoor plumbing for most...just a bed, a hanging space, and a desk of some sort. On a night like tonight, when Cameroon is playing, you see tons of students hanging around the nearest TV, cheering on their country. Usually we are sitting in our parlour and suddenly the whole village, all around us, will erupt in screams, chants, applause. I love it! We don't even need to watch the game to know how Cameroon is faring. If the other team scores, we hear boo's and yells. It is great! We heard some cheering tonight...Cameroon actually tied with Tunisia, but b/c of their point system, they both head into the next level in the cup of nations. Our nightwatchman recently brought a tv to the house so he can watch the games as he is an avid football fan. Ben snapped a picture of him watching his team play. We'll keep cheering them on as well...along with our village, hopefully to the winner's seat!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wed. night is date night...usually I make stromboli, but I had a hankerin' for some bean burritos. Bean burritos means a lot of work, so I don't do it too often. I started earlier than normal by putting my beans in the pressure cooker along with some onion and garlic. While those were cooking I made my tortilla dough.
I let that sit...while heating up my tortilla press. For several years I rolled my tortillas by hand, but my friend, Susan, did the research and found a tortilla maker that she absolutely loved. I tried it out one time and decided I had to get one for myself. It makes the tortilla making process SO much faster!

After my beans were done cooking, I ran them through a grinder so they'd get mashed up well. Then, I put them in a cast iron skillet, added some of the juice from cooking, some cilantro flavored bouillion cubes, some cream cheese, salt and let it cook for a while on low. While that was cooking I started working on my tortillas. Here is my beautiful press:
I must say that dinner was a success. Slap some of those beans and some shredded cheddar onto that tortilla and it is MmmmMmmm good!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A New Chef in the House

Wow, I have been suffering from a headache today, so there isn't much creativity flowing through this pounding head of mine...I'll make my post short and sweet so I can go take some ibuprofen, lay in bed and watch tv and then fall asleep.

Anyone who knows my husband, knows he is no cook. His claim to fame is that he even set the smoke alarm off when making PB&J sandwhiches for the kids! (don't ask...) Anyway, he wanted banana bread for breakfast, and he didn't even ask me to make it...I was so happy! He got out the recipe, and went to work himself, following it to the letter. I was so proud of him when I finally took this amazing work of art out of the oven...
I'm so glad he is expanding his horizons in the arena of he can't claim ignorance when I need some help in the kitchen! He finally understands the meaning of "tsp."

Monday, January 18, 2010

What is in a name?

Today is family day at the Sinclair house. The kids got up and did their school. Ben came home from teaching Moral Instruction classes all morning and we then headed to our new favorite restaurant (I'll make that a future Monday post). The burgers were the best ever today. The buns almost looked like wheat buns, and they were so soft. The restaurant is completely empty every time we are there and we get to sit and watch CNN while we eat our meal. It's great! We came home and I spent the afternoon on my computer. As I sat here my Yahoo instant messenger popped up and my mom got on as she does every day. We are SO blessed to have the internet connection we have. I talk to my Mom via our computer with my little microphone and it really helps me stay connected. Usually on Mondays or Saturdays Mom has a little more free time so that the kids can talk to her too. Both Emma and Kate got to have a lengthy conversation with their Mimi today.
Shortly after I got off the phone with my Mom our neighbor came to our front door with our bicycle. I was confused as we only allow the kids to come and play with the bike on Saturday. So, he informed me that a boy was riding it at a compound up the hill from us. This boy confessed to our neighbor that we had allowed him to take the bike and ride it at his house. Well, our neighbor knew that wasn't true and took the bike from him to return it to us. I began questioning him about this boy, so that I could confront him the next time he came to our house. I asked him what he looked like. His response made me laugh out loud..."well, he's black..." Haha! Well that really helps as we are the only white people in the entire village of Bambili! I'm certain I can narrow him down from that description. He laughed with me, but I'm not sure he understood the reason for my amusement. I just told him that the next time he saw the boy up here playing to please inform me so I could talk with him.
Theft and vandalism is something we deal with on a regular basis and often it can be VERY frustrating. But, I try and use these situations to teach our children. A few weeks ago there was a little boy named Christian who came to our house to ride the bike. I allowed him to take it and ride it, clearly explaining that he was to ride it in our yard alone. 10 minutes later I noticed that he was nowhere to be found. He had stolen the bike. Drew, our oldest, was so confused as I explained that someone had taken his bike. His response was, "If his name is Christian, why did he take the bike?" Definitely a good question. It gave me a great opportunity to explain that it isn't in a name, or how a person acts, or what he looks like that makes him a Christian. It is whether he has put his faith and trust in Jesus Christ. And that is why we are here in Cameroon, to share the gospel with those that have never heard so that they can truly become "Christians."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sinclair Court of Appeals

Recently we've really been working with our kids regarding back-talk. It seems that everything we say they have to immediately come back with, "But Mom....." So, Ben told the kids that if they felt they needed to say something, they first needed to say, "Yes, Maam" or "Yes, Sir" and then say, "May I make an appeal please?" I mean, let's be honest, sometimes we don't know the whole story and our kids should have an outlet to express that. So, this was our solution for them to being able to do that, but with respect. Anyway, the kids have been doing pretty good about remembering with the exception of Faith Ann. She doesn't quite get the whole concept. She will walk right up to us and say, "May I make an appeal please?" and we will say, "Yes" and then she will walk away. Clearly she doesn't understand.

Tonight she asked me to open a banana for her. I was in the middle of making cookies and my hands were a mess, so I told her to take it to her daddy. She walked into the office and said, "Daddy, may I make an appeal please?" haha!! Wow, we had a good, long laugh after that!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Being Goofy!

This is our kids Saturday routine...well, not to be goofy like this, but to play with the neighbors. We happen to have the only bike in the neighborhood and since the kids around here don't have nice toys like that, they come here to play with ours. We take out the bike and the soccer balls and they spend all afternoon running around the front yard, chasing butterflies, kicking soccer balls and riding the bike. So, today I thought I would get a picture of them with their friends.

Playing with the neighbor kids has also helped them to begin developing their language skills in Pidgin (the local trade language). Emma especially has started to speak pidgin more and more, and each time I hear her I giggle. I love it!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pizza Night!

Friday night is pizza night and I usually make two big pizzas for the family. Tonight I had some extra dough in the fridge, so I thought it would be a treat to add breadsticks to the menu. Kate and Drew thought that was a great idea too, and asked if they could make them. So...I gave them a pan, the dough and the flour and let them have fun. Kate had a little too much fun. I ended up cleaning off a mound of flour when all was said and done, but the breadsticks were a hit. Such a hit in fact, that by the time the pizza came out of the oven the kids barely touched it they were so full!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sermon Notes

Well...not really, although when told to, Drew can take pretty good sermon notes. Tonight I gave the kids a notebook to occupy them during our Thursday church meeting. I thought a snapshot of our prayer meeting would be nice, since this is our weekly routine. Church is at 4:30, so I get the girls up from their naps a bit early and we head on down to Bible Baptist Church in Bambili. By the time our music leader gets there and everyone slowly trickles in, the service actually starts at about 5 p.m...."black man time" as they call it. People are rarely on time here.

Jude usually leads the singing and then Matt Yeiter preaches the midweek service. After the message we take "prayer topics" and then pray as a church family. I usually take the kids out to pray, but we have construction going on and our Sunday School room is a bit dusty right now, so for tonight we stayed put. After church I had the wonderful privilege of sharing the gospel with Ophelia, who bowed her head and trusted in Christ as her Saviour. PTL!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dry Season Hair

Ben commented that whatever I post today should have Emma in it, as I haven't highlighted her yet. She is such a sweetie...well, most of the time. :) lol One thing I love about Emma is her awesome hair. She got all the curls from my side of the family. My Mom's mom has curly hair, and my Dad's grandma had red somehow her hair is from me. In the rainy season her hair is beautiful! So easy to take care of. The moisture is her constant hair product and her hair stays so bouncy and curly. I love it! But, the dry season is another story. The above picture is how she looks all the time. Just a straggly, frizzy, mess. We do what we can...but for 4-5 months out of the year she has to look a little ragged. She doesn't mind now, but the budget will be stretched to the limit b/c of hair products once she enters her teen years!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Raw and Uncensored!

Actually, this is censored. We could have taken the camera directly to the meat market and shown you the dirty wooden table, crawling with flies and cow blood (and other sundry cow parts). Instead, we take you to our kitchen, after Ben has carefully trimmed off all of the fat, bone, and gristle. He has even run it through our meat grinder once and is beginning the second run through in this picture.

I appreciate Ben so much for taking care of this very time consuming project about once a month. We usually buy about 8 kilos of cow leg (over 17 lbs.) and after all the trimming and grinding, end up with about 9 lbs. of ground beef. It takes about 3 hours time to get the job done and then we weigh it out and put it in the freezer. After eating this fresh beef in Cameroon, I had a hard time getting the packaged meat at Wal-Mart. It was so gross to me. While it is a lot of work to trim and grind (and clean up! That is my job) sure tastes a lot better!

Monday, January 11, 2010

A little friend

Well, our day was a lot of fun...with moments of frustration, but when is that not a part of raising 4 kids! We ate lunch at a new restaurant, spent the afternoon relaxing. I even got a nap in. And then I spent the evening making brownies with Kate while Ben played games with the other kids.

We also had a visitor. We have had a lizard making it's presence in our parlour for the past couple of days. The kids have tried to catch it, but weren't very successful...until tonight!
Here is a close up
After getting brave enough to actually try and handle the thing, Drew came running into the office with the lizard's twitching tail in his hands. Ewwww!
These guys are pretty common in our homes, and I welcome them as they eat all the other bugs in my house that I don't want to see hanging around. They usually run when they are spotted, although I did have one fall on my head when I opened a kitchen cabinet door once. I didn't appreciate that!

Our family devotion time was especially fun. We all went around choosing songs to sing and Emma was announcing that she wants to be an opera singer when she grows up. We had her sing her song (her choice was Jesus loves me) opera style. I even got it on video, and if I can ever figure out how to post it, I will. It is a little shaky as I was laughing so hard.
You will also notice that my blog is finally looking normal! Thanks so much to a friend I met on scrapmatters, Chelle, who helped me out with that!!
See you tomorrow!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy Sunday!

This is what we say each Sunday here in Cameroon as we greet one another in our village and churches. I got this great shot of the kids (ours and Yeiters) this morning in Bambili. When they came in to church, they were all talking non-stop, one on top of the other, as if they hadn't seen one another for months (it has only been a week)...they are bff's to be sure!

The funniest part of the picture is Faith. I didn't notice her look when I took it, but Ben and I had a laugh over it tonight once I got it up on the computer screen. She is a nut. She sat there singing with that hymn book open in her lap, as if she really knew the words to the song. Too cute!

What a face!

We had a great day of services with three people trusting Christ as Saviour. Thank God! We spent the evening at Yeiters house and had a great time of fellowship there too! I trust you all had a blessed Sunday as well!

Before I sign off, you might notice that my blog looks odd. I'm desperately trying to get the background up and looking neat and tidy, but am having a little bit of trouble. This html code is too confusing...greek to me! I'll continue working on it, and if anyone reading this happens to have an answer for me, I'd be grateful!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Soldiers at Sunset

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a digital scrapbooker. I spend a lot of my "digi time" on It is a digital store that sells kits for people like me. They have these challenges that I also participate in as well. You are given guidelines for creating a layout. If you create the layout and post it in their forum you get a point. You gain 60 points and you get a $5.50 gift certificate to the store! How can you beat that?!? Anyway, this month, one of the challenges focuses on photography and the theme was scrapping a silhouette. So, tonight I sent Ben out to capture a silhouette of the kids. He did get some great shots as it got darker, but I just loved this one of the kids while it was still pretty light outside. You can tell that Ben told them to stand like soldiers - ha! They were being such stinkers though and wouldn't stand still.

Not only did I successfully complete my first week of Project 365, I also successfully scrapped it. Ben's response to that was, "So you are going to have 52 scrapbook pages at the end of the year...and you are going to print them??" lol! Uhhh, Yeah!(click the image to enlarge)

I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday in the Lord's house tomorrow!! I'll be back with another picture!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 8: Royal treatment & Surprises

The girls have been begging me for a bath the last few days. Normally I would oblige, but when the water is out I only give baths when absolutely needed so we don't deplete the stored water supply. But, on day 3 the bath becomes a necessity...especially since we are in an African dry season. So, tonight I promised the girls a bath and also promised that I would paint their toes "like Mommy's" afterward. This is Emma in the picture getting the royal treatment. They love nail polish...what girl doesn't?
I gave the girls a bath and got them ready for bed and came into the kitchen to find this wonderful surprise...actually two wonderful surprises:

First and most important surprise: that Ben was doing my dishes. Second surprise: our water had come in. Oh the blessings!! I actually got to take a shower tonight. Somehow I feel so much cleaner after taking a regular shower as opposed to dumping cups of water over my head. And thank you to my honey for cleaning my kitchen!!

I look forward to sharing another picture tomorrow!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

One of our African Americans

Here is my funny picture from day 7 of p365.

This is my crazy, Kate, setting the breakfast table African style (notice the tupperware - I'm addicted to that stuff!). Everyone who has seen pictures of Africa, has seen the people carrying things on their heads. It amazes me sometimes how much weight those skulls can handle. They are so adept at it too. Of course they have been doing it since they were born.

Anyway, Ben gave Kate the bowls to set on the table and as he turned around he saw her walking into the parlour with them on her head. He whipped out his camera as fast as he could (knowing that the wife needed something to post on her blog for that night) and got a picture of her walking away with them on her head. He then had her pose for the above shot. So funny...I'm sure we will find our kids doing things like this more and more. The Cameroonians tell us that white people can't carry stuff on their heads b/c our hair is too slippery. Well...Kate sure showed them!

On a side note...we found out why we don't have water still. The daughter of some "big man" (that is how they say important man here) was getting married today, so they asked that all the water be directed to their house. I certainly can't blame a bride for wanting something as simple as water on her wedding day, now can I?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January 6

This is the scene that greets us often in the dry season here in water flowing from the faucet. I figured I'd document it for my Jan. 6 post. It was going to be documented at some point, and honestly, I could document the event a lot, but I figured I would just get it done and over with at the very beginning of p365. I am certainly not complaining. Please don't think that I am. We deal with this on a fairly regular basis in the dry season, but we are so blessed because, unlike many missionaries in Africa, we have good, clean water running into our home most of the time. Our water is a clean, spring-fed source that might not even need to be filtered. Our kids end up drinking enough in the bathtub for me to know that it is safe. We also use it to brush our teeth on a daily basis. A visiting dentist once told us that our water was probably the reason our teeth are so strong. During the rainy season we have an abundance of this water. So much so that before we bought a pressure regulator for our property, the walls would groan with the pressure! During the dry season however, it ends up being a bit more sparse. We had a tank restored that is our water reserve and only one time in 5 years of serving in Cameroon have we fully drained it...that took 3 days. So, while my property may not be getting water, I have that blessed reserve tank! Ben's rule is that if we go without water for 24 hours he will call the water project manager to check the line and make sure our line doesn't have any leaks. From the time of this post, we have been without water for about 14 hours. Hopefully it will come in tonight so I can at least get a shower. :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 5

Here is my picture for the day. I actually wasn't quite sure what to many great pics to choose from. But, in the end I chose my silly pic of Faith. She helped me take down the Christmas tree today...I know, I know, some of you are thinking, "You are just now taking down your tree?!?" Well, it has been a bit busy around here. (not a good excuse really - to be perfectly honest I was just plain lazy!) Anyway, enough confession. I started taking down the tree and Faith wanted to help, so we had a fun photo shoot out of it. I told her to give me a frowny everyone how sad she was that Christmas was over and our tree was coming down. We shared a lot of giggles over that half hour that we worked on that tree. Every time she'd attempt a frowny face it came out all wrong and then she'd laugh and I'd laugh. We really had a good time of it! This pic was the best frown she could come up with. I'll have to create a scrapbook page to document the rest of the pictures. They were too funny.

I was also happy to find that my Project 365 inspired my brother, Jay, and he has also started a blog documenting his own version of P365 (or P361 since he started a bit late.) Be sure to check it out here. He is an amazing photographer so you will definitely enjoy following his year in pictures!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 3 & 4

Well, today I play catch up and then from here on out my goal is one post a day. We will see how that goes of course. I am not going to stress about this new project of mine...I will just do my best and if I skip a day or so for whatever reason, so be it.
So, here is our pic from Jan. 3rd.

This is my Sunday school class taking the church bus home (he-he!) By the way, this is not a posed picture...they actually drove home like this!

Here are a couple pics from today, Jan. 4th - I couldn't choose just one.

(He looks so serious!)

Drew had his bi-monthly eye checkup. Every other month on a Monday, Drew leaves at 7 a.m. with his Daddy and accompanies Ben while he teaches two moral instruction classes. Then they head to the eye clinic. For a fee of 6,000 cfa (12 dollars) they will expedite you to the front of the line. Without that fee they would be there until dark! So, today they got right in and we thank and praise God that Drew's pressure remains normal and that he was able to read another line on the eye chart that he'd never read before!!

I'll be back tomorrow with another pic. It is kind of fun to decide on what pictures to take and what to highlight from each day. It really makes me conscious of each moment and definitely thankful for the blessings of our every day routine.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Project 365

Project 365??
I first heard about project 365 last year in the digi-scrapping community and thought it looked very interesting. Of course, by the time I'd heard about it, it was too late to start for that year, but it has been in the back of my mind ever since. So...I made the decision to take the 365 challenge in 2010. What is project 365? Well, my interpretation is to take one picture a day (or more if you want) and document day-to-day life. I think what I'll take away from it, is to appreciate the mundane things in life. We so often take the little things for granted, and my hope is that I'll come to see even the small things as blessings from God. Things that I normally would overlook. So, I hope you will join me on my 365 journey...and maybe even start your own!

Jan. 1...Pizza night! Need I say more?? What an awesome way to celebrate the New year! That loaded pizza was the bomb too! Sausage, pepperoni, black olives, green olives, green peppers, onions, tomatoes. Mmmmmm Good! All from scratch!

Jan. 2 was definitely an adventure filled day. The kids went out directly after breakfast to play with the neighbor kids. Around 2 p.m. the girls came screaming and crying that our house was going to burn down!! The bush fire surrounding our house was scary as you can see from the picture, but the neighbors rushed over immediately to help control it. They actually controlled it a little too well...they put it out! Basically that means that we have to endure another fire since all of our grass didn't burn. These fires keep the mice and snakes at bay, but they are frightening when they take place. We will probably pay some boys to clear away some more grass so that there is less to burn the next time a fire is lit.

Well...I'll add Jan. 3rd and 4th pics tomorrow to catch up!