Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rules of Etiquette

This will be short and sweet as it is late. Today the kids sang a special children's choir number in Bamenda. I just love this picture. I love the white missionary kids singing with the African kids. I love little Hulda on the front row picking her nose (haha!!) That is so typical! It is socially acceptable to pick your nose here in Cameroon. I cringe everytime I see it and still get on to my kids when they do it, but let's face it....They don't stand a chance!! When my friend Susan had her baby here, I went with her and Matt to the hospital. She introduced me to her mid-wife. He was picking his nose (more like digging) with his left hand, and extending his right hand to greet me. Wow...of course I was thinking "Susan, this guy is gonna deliver your baby?!?" Anyway, we continue to teach our kids that even though they see it, it is NOT acceptable to pick their noses. :)

Services went well. Today was the last Sunday that our men preached the Sunday service. From here on out they will do a monthly rotation. There will be one national preacher to preach the service each month, and Ben will do the other three. That will give these men some opportunities to get behind the pulpit and get some practice!

I'll close as it is late.I hope you all had a wonderful Sunday!!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

It's A Date!

Yes, Ben and I were able to have a much needed and long awaited date together today. Rosemary Craven, a single missionary who lives nearby, offered to come and watch the kids while we went to Bamenda and got some lunch together and did some shopping. It was just so nice to be able to be alone, hold hands and not have to constantly reprimand and control the kids. was great. We arrived home to squeals of I missed you. What was really funny was that when Rosemary arrived at our house this morning, the kids kept saying, "Mom, Dad...isn't it time for you to leave?" They love Miss Rosemary...or Miss Mary as Faith Ann calls her. They went on an adventure hike in search of chameleons, read books and watched a movie together. Ben and I ate at a little hole in the wall (literally...this restaurant is the size of most of your hallways in your house) and walked around Commercial avenue. Here we are after our meal together. One of the shops we went to was the local handicraft store in Bamenda. They have some really cool stuff...I wanted to just buy up everything! Look at these handcarved giraffes: And I want about 4 of these stools in our house to replace the cheesy end tables we have. They can be end tables, and also double as extra seating if we need it. I especially love the elephant ones at the very top. Most of this stuff is hand carved out of ebony and mahogony wood. And here is just a shot from the entrance looking inside the store. It is just a fun place to browse.
We also found a small gas station that had some American candy. They had a bag of conversation hearts from CVS. The bag had the stamped price of 99 cents...and they were asking 1,000 francs (which is over $2). We did find some chocolate for dipping. We thought it would be fun to dip pretzels for a fun snack in the future.
Our day was really enjoyable. I came home and took a much needed nap. I didn't get enough sleep this week and it is catching up to me. I haven't felt that great today. As soon as I finish here it is off to bed for me! 'Night!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day with Friends

I recently sold my kitchenaid mixer. My mom bought me a new one that runs on 220 current and so a missionary living close by mentioned that he needed something to grind his meat. I told him the kitchenaid does a great job. If he could get a hold of the grinder attachment, I would sell him my kitchenaid at a good price. So...he finally bought it and Ben and I were frantically digging to find it today. Ben said that I'd taken it back to the states, but I was SURE I hadn't (at least I was pretty sure!) That little doubt kept nagging at the back of my mind as we hunted closets and shelves. While we were hunting we happened to dig in an old suitcase. Inside was a Christmas gift that was intended for Drew...oh, maybe three years ago!! oops! It was a spiderman book that goes to our story reader. Drew is a big spidey fan. I ran in the house and said, "Drew, you are NOT going to believe what I found." I showed him and boy was he pumped. He had just finished his school and went looking for the story reader. The girls weren't done with school, but I let them all sit around and listen to the story. That sure made his day!

And I am happy to report that we DID in fact find the kitchenaid...whew!

Susan invited us down to spend the afternoon at her house again...and I'm SO thankful. We haven't had water for a week now, and my laundry was piled out the whazoo. It was very spur of the moment, but I jumped out of my chair and gathered my laundry and was in our car in about 5 minutes. As soon as we got to her house I was able to take a MUCH needed shower! I mean...not that I haven't bathed (lol)...I bathe every day (with a bucket of water and a cup), but there is nothing like a shower. Those of you who are in a first world country...say a big prayer of thanksgiving when you jump in the shower tomorrow morning. I know I said a big prayer of thanks today! And if you think about it...please pray that they can figure out our water situation so we can at least get enough water to fill our reserve tank.

We had an enjoyable afternoon and evening and the kids of course were on cloud 9...they love spending time with their friends. And as always, Susan and I enjoyed our fellowship with one another. I'm so thankful for our friendship!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pastor Hawks

The kids did great in school today finishing in record time. They spent the rest of the afternoon playing so well together. They actually went chameleon hunting. Ever since we went up to Needham's house, Drew has been talking non-stop about getting a chameleon. I told him that they are around, just hard to find b/c they blend in. Our neighbors have brought them to us before. The people here won't touch them. They think they are poisonous. They think really large moths are poisonous too. It is kind of funny. They look at us wide eyed as we let the chameleon critters crawl all over us.
Ben came back from his Thursday visitation pretty excited today. He was able to lead a lady to Christ. He was actually able to lead one of her employees to Christ on Tuesday and went to follow up with him, and he introduced Ben to his boss, Margaret, and then she trusted Christ. The wonderful thing was they were all in church tonight! That is the hard part. Getting the people to confess Christ can sometimes be easy, but getting them to actually follow Christ is a whole different story. They are so steeped in their traditionalism and are very superstitious.

My photo of the day should have been of my kids chameleon hunting, but I was on the "phone" with my Mom. Ben was outside with his camera though and snagged this series of shots. The Cameroonians call these birds hawks and some call them preacher birds b/c of the white around their neck...we would call them crows.
Well, I'm glad to see that they are keeping the mouse population to a minimum around our house. :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ordinary Day

I totally forgot to take a picture today. Oops! I'm so glad Ben took his camera into town and snapped this shot of the back streets of Bamenda in the middle of a rain storm! He said it downpoured for over an hour. We didn't see that kind of rain in Bambili unfortunately. But it did get cloudy and sprinkle. And it was for that I'm thankful! Everyone seems to be in a quandry about this rain. It is over a month early for it to actually be rainy season. They keep saying that it will dry up again and then we won't see rain until May! I hope that isn't the case!!

The kids did well on their school. Drew is struggling with Math and we are starting to get aggressive with his times tables. He recently took a test on division and it was clear that he didn't understand. He and Kate are so different. When it comes to math...Kate seems to have no trouble at all. But her spelling test is another story! And Drew...he can take his spelling pre-test (they take it at the beginning of the week before even seeing the list) and get a 100 percent the first time! Go figure. He loves language! It is amazing at how different my kids are! So precious and unique!

It is really late, so I am going to close this out. I'm hoping I can get to sleep. We have a pentacostal church across the valley from us that holds their Wed. services by loudspeaker! is like having someone preach in our front yard. Any other time wouldn't be quite as bad...but it is after midnight and they are still going strong. Last week, they were still having a party at 5:30 a.m.!!! I was exhausted that day! And poor Yeiters! Their house is right next to that church. I can't even imagine! They brace themselves f0r getting no sleep on Wed. nights. I can't imagine why the village people don't complain ( that just sounded funny! Village People??)...but the church is still going strong week after week. Hopefully the entire of villages of Bambili and Bambui will complain enough that they have to either cut their services shorter...or shut down the loudspeaker at say...even 11 pm would make me happy. We will see....

I hope you all had a great day!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Enjoyable Day

We went to eat dinner with some friends tonight, the Needhams. Their house is like a regular zoo with all sorts of fun for the kids. The kids were SO excited to see their chameleon. Kathy found it on one of her treks in the bush, just walking across the road. She picked it up and put it in her camera bag. These things are the bomb to have in the house when you have a fly population. We don't have too many flies b/c we have screens on the windows, but the Needams don't have screens, so as soon as they brought this guy out, he had his full of them. He eventually just started ignoring them, so he was obviously full. He is the prettiest chameleon I have ever seen. So green...turquoise in some places. They told us that when they put him in front of a mirror he gets scared and turns black. He does the same thing when you put him in front of a cat...if I were him I'd be scared too. The kids also enjoyed playing on the swings. We had a great evening of fellowship. They are such good friends!

The rest of our day was filled with school, more rain (Yippee), and Bible study. It was a full, but very enjoyable day! I hope you enjoyed yours!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

short and sweet

This will be short and sweet. I actually forgot to take a photo today. I thought I'd make a blog post tomorrow and find something to pop up on the blog, but when I went into my bathroom tonight to get ready for bed, this is what greeted me.
Yep...a nice slimy snail. Ewwww. All the rain must have brought it out. One story is that some former missionaries that lived in this house had a snake come in through the bathroom plumbing. That has crossed my mind at times when getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom...but thankfully we have never seen a snake. Inside the house that is. We have seen several outside the house.
The extra rain this past weekend has been glorious! I can't even describe how wonderful it is after not seeing one little drop since before Thanksgiving! It is just plain chilly outside and I love it. It has been sweltering...for Bambili anyway. (The people living in Douala would laugh at me probably b/c it is genuinely sweltering there.) Everyone says that it will dry up soon for one more month, and then the real rains will come. I keep wondering if maybe the rains just came early? I guess we will soon find out!
A brief cap of our up, kids did school, went to eat lunch as a family, came home and enjoyed the rainy afternoon, Ben did school, had sandwiches for dinner, devos and bed. That is it in a nutshell!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Rainy Sunday!

Unfortunately this picture doesn't give you the full effect of how dirty Faith Ann is. :) It is hard to capture on film. One of these days I just need to get a shot of the mud washing down the drain as I bathe them! :) Another great thing about this picture is that awesome rain in the background!! When I got up this morning it was so hot. I was dreading going to Bamenda, b/c Bamenda is about 20 degrees hotter than Bambili. But this great rainstorm rolled in and it downpoured. It felt SO good!

Services were great today. We enjoyed the rain shower as we headed home and had a relaxing evening as a family. I got a nap! Wow...I just crashed on the bed and an hour and 15 minutes later I woke up to the kids laughing. Ben was playing a game with them. I probably could have just stayed right there and slept for the night, but I didn't. I got up, made some pudding for the kids. It wasn't too much later that it was time for devos. I did enjoy that nap though! Haven't had one in a while...I can't even remember the last time!

Well, even though it will probably take me a while to get to sleep, I better head there and try. Tomorrow is school after all. Hope you all had a great Sunday as well!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

First of all I have to share with you my layout for my creative team work with WM[squared] designs. Her kit was called Fat Tuesday and was basically a Mardi Gras kit. I have never been to New Orleans so had nothing to go with this kit. I really wanted to be creative though b/c shoppers need to see that a kit can be used for everyday layouts too. Then, I came up with my opera idea and took that pic of Emma and here is what I scrapped with it. I just love the look on her face. She cracks me up...and that girl has ONE head of hair! Wow. Dry season hair!So now for my second post of the day. Hope I can make it. Our internet is acting funky again. It took me about 10 refreshes to get blogger to come up. I'm thankful that it is a general thing and not just a problem with us alone. If that were the case it could take weeks to get a technician up here to fix it. With a general problem, all the customers will complain and it will get fixed much faster. :) And, I can still get online, it just takes a lot of patience sometimes.

Today was relaxing. The kids played outside for a while. Ben did some video classes for his Master's course. I scrapped and surfed the web. Diane came and washed my floors. It rained. Our tank filled up. The water wasn't on very long, but our tank overflowed, so that brought relief. Tomorrow I'll try to do a load of laundry. One thing we didn't have today was power. It was off most of the day, otherwise I would have done a load of laundry today. I didn't do too much in the way of cooking...just took a break today.

One BIG highlight for Kate today was a phone call from her friend, Miss Michelle. Michelle and Rudy Hausler go to our church in Chattanooga and they just love Kate and dote on her. And Kate loves to be doted on! When we are home she sits with them in church and Michelle takes Kate on special outings and just treats her like a queen. Kate absolutely loves it. She has been telling me off and on for the past month that Miss Michelle hasn't called her. Last week I recommended that we type her a letter, but we never did sit down and do it, since really I'm the one who has to type it. But today, that phone rang and Kate brought it to me and just sat there waiting as I answered it. She was really expecting it to be Michelle...and it was! Michelle couldn't hear us at first, so she hung up. Kate and I rushed down to my bedroom b/c I seem to have the best reception there, and she waiting on my bed, with the phone in her hand until Michelle called back. That totally made her night. Well, her day, week, month in fact! Kate had the hardest time of all the kids coming back to Cameroon. She is such a people person...and just really missed her friends in America. I imagine every trek back and forth will be hard on her. It took her a bit longer than the others, but she adjusted back eventually. Here she is on the phone:

Well, it is time for devos. Have a great Saturday!

When it rains it pours

Some people will do crazy things for free stuff...and that includes me. I've been spending some time at this past week. It is a digital store of course and they are giving away a ton of free stuff. They have fun threads that if you keep posting, a designer will randomly drop in and if you happened to be the last to post, you will get some money to spend in their store. That is how I won the mariposa kit. Anyway, all this hoop-la is b/c they are celebrating their 4th birthday. So, one of the challenges is to make a birthday cupcake. 4 people will be chosen out of the entries for a $24 GC to the store! So, uh, yeah...I'm makin cupcakes. I just coincided it with dessert for the kids last night to make it happen. Susan and I actually did it together. She invited us over and I was SO glad b/c I just needed out of my house. Being without water has been stressing me out. I can't explain just wears me down. So, I accepted her offer to spend the afternoon and took about 3 huge loads of dirty laundry with me (would you believe the power was out most of the day! I did manage to get 2 loads done thank God.) We started browsing the web and were going to host another speed scrap for ourselves but the power went out, and we both have the same junky model of computer so both of our batteries last about 10 minutes (max!) without power. We had no other choice but to head to the kitchen and bake. It was fun and her cupcake turned out SO cute! Mine...hmmm....not so much, but I was lacking some materials. I'm hoping the contest is just a random drawing! I don't think mine will win for aesthetics! My uncle Marshall gave me this awesome cupcake cookbook and we copied some of the ideas from there. The guys went shopping and visiting in Bamenda. Ben was able to lead a man to Christ...he loves outreach. They are the highlight of his week. Oh, and another highlight was that it rained! Not that light sprinkle that we've had a couple times...I mean a genuine thunder/lightening downpour! Oh wow...that was so nice. I'm so ready for the rain. Of course we are about to have our roof ripped off and repaired so I hope it holds off this week...but then...let 'er rip! We came home at about 10 pm. I threw my wet clothes in the dryer here and we stayed up so that I could get one load dried and then switch it over. We did hear our tank slowly filling with water. I'm not sure if it completely filled, but it is more than we had yesterday. We are just going to have to be very conservative for the next month. It is really I'm not going to talk about it anymore.
I didn't post my blog entry last night because our internet was down. (In my Mom's words, "when it rains it pours.")It has been struggling the last couple of days, but started working some this morning so I wanted to get my post up for yesterday. I can't guarantee that it will work will know if there is no entry :) They usually fix the internet pretty quickly because they have so many customers, but this is Africa after one never knows exactly what will happen! Have a great Saturday and hopefully I will see you tonight!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Our water came in today...don't get too excited. It was only for 25 minutes (yes...I timed it!) Not sure what is wrong, but I must say that it is getting me down. I've got laundry piled out the whazoo...and the plumber for our water system is at a loss. We might not see water until the rainy season. I want to cry just thinking about it. We've never had to haul water before, but we might have to figure out how.

Well, I went outside to check on our water situation, and there were a ton of these gorgeous butterflies fluttering about. I see these things from time to time, but they are so fast, I never even consider getting a picture. If I hadn't had my camera with me, I wouldn't have gotten one today, but I grabbed it before walking outside. I wish it were clearer, but I have tons of shots of just the bushes or of 1/4 of the butterfly as it is flying away. I was happy with this one shot I was able to get!

Aside from that, the Kids did school as usual and we had a normal routine. I did win a free digital kit today which was pretty fun. I like free stuff! And how ironic that the kit I got is entitled "Mariposa" which is spanish for butterfly. :)

Well, I'm hoping for an epic day tomorrow of fresh running water filling our pipes! Please pray that our water will come in!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Little House on the Prarie

Yeah tonight was a little Little House on the prairieish...the power went out and I didn't feel like hookin' up the generator so I got the lanters out. We run a lantern every night in the hallway for the kids in case the power goes out, so they were full of kerosene. I put the kids in front of a dvd player while I took the lanterns into the kitchen to fix them some dinner. As you can see, I had french toast in the works! :)

Ben and I joke about the big 3...power, water, and internet. It is very rarely that they are all working at the same time. We haven't had water for 2 days now, and have been on our reserve tank during this time. It lasts for 3 days, so I'm praying that it comes in by tomorrow. I'm really behind on my laundry! I've completely given up on showers during this dry season. Did you know you can bathe with 1 1/2 gallons of water?

Tonight is date night, so after I made french toast for the kids, I put together a yummy stromboli for Ben and I. Now we are sitting together watching a movie and I'm blogging at the same time. I'll close out so I don't miss too many details. :) 'Nite!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An Important Reminder

The kids wanted to paint today. I usually say no b/c paint is messy and I detest clean up :) (who doesn't, right?) But, today I figured it would be something different and I gave the ok. We had trouble finding paint brushes and Kate and Drew ended up using these fat ones, but they didn't seem to care. They had a blast painting for about an hour. Drew brings me his creation and told me that he painted a picture for Autumn (his bff!) and asked if I wanted to know what it was. Of course I did! Well, it was a picture of he and Autumn climbing rainbow mountain. And at rainbow mountain you could make a wish and it would come true. He made a wish that he didn't have to wear glasses ever again. "See, are my glasses at the bottom of the mountain."(see black shape resembling glasses in is obscure b/c remember the brush size??)
"I wished that I wouldn't have to wear glasses and that I'd be able to see."
Oh man...made me want to cry!! But honestly, he said it so cheerfully, with such a happy smile. I just smiled back, but inside wanting to burst into tears. He never complains about his vision. Never! We always tell him how GOOD God is...the doctors told us he would be blind!!! Now he can see and read all of his school material on his own. Yes, his vision is awful. But he gets by just fine and quite frankly, I'm just thankful he is here and so full of life! The doctors also told us that he wouldn't live to see two months of life...and yet, here he is and in perfect health aside from some vision problems. Thank God! How grateful I am today for Andrew and answered prayer. I'm sure some of you reading my blog don't know the full story about our son, so you can head over to and read Drew's story. He is a miracle and too often I forget what God did for our family. Today I just needed that reminder.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Manic Monday

Well, my Monday was a bit manic. I thought my posts regarding fire were all over, but another one popped up today and scared me silly. Ben left early in the morning for his moral instruction classes and I was here with the kids doing school. After our fire last night, we had a large tree that was burning and smoldering all night long. We tried and tried to put it out, but our water was so low, that we just couldn't. We asked our nightwatchman to keep a vigil on it through the night. This morning I woke up and my house smelled like a smoke stack. We have a big trash pit that was smoldering all night too and so I went outside and sprayed the pit down with water for 10 minutes to put it out. I noticed that the big tree was still burning strong. I went into the house and about an hour later heard a roaring fire. I rushed outside to see a big group of cypress bushes near that burning tree just blazing with flames. I got the hose turned on, but the water pressure wasn't enough to help. The wind was so strong and the flames just got bigger and bigger. It was really frightening. I finally gave up on the hose, rushed to the courtyard to get some buckets and was SO relieved to see Hillary! He watches our house on Mondays when we go to town, so I screamed his name and told him the cypress was on fire. He rushed to the front with me and we got buckets and together were able to fight the flames. Wow...that was a really scary start to my day! Joe is not the only firefighter in our family anymore! Ben and myself have joined the ranks too! haha. Just kidding really, but I have a new appreciation for firefighters. I inhaled quite a bit of smoke today, and my lungs were burning! I can't imagine what fire survivors feel. I didn't even inhale that much, but it still hurt. I'm thankful that the fire didn't spread through the trees towards the house. It could have been much, much worse! We did lose a bunch of our cypress bushes which is kind of sad. It took us five years to grow them to the height they are. But, I'm thankful it was just a few bushes and not our home...or a family member! Ok...unless our house burns down, I promise not to write another fire entry this year!! :)

Emma was one highlight in my day. I am a creative team member for a digital designer. When she comes out with a new kit, I get to create a layout with it that she will use to display her digital kit being put to use. It is easy work...I create one layout per kit and I have full access to her digital store for free. Quite a trade! My husband likes it b/c I don't spend as much money on scrapbooking products either! Anyway, there is a product release this Friday and I was racking my brain to find something to create with this kit. It is pretty theme specific so was kind of struggling. An idea finally came to me, and I grabbed Emma for a photo shoot. Without giving too much away, I will say that one of the main colors in the kit is purple. So, I had Emma get her royal, purple robe on and sing me some opera. Several weeks ago she informed us that she wanted to be an opera singer when she grows up. She is so cute. She loves to sing operatic style all through the house. So, I snapped a picture of her singing Jesus Loves Me in her signature opera style. I am really happy with how my layout turned out and will share it in my Friday post when the kit is released.

Well, I had really intended for my 365 blog posts to be short and sweet, but I am learning that I'm a verbose person when it comes to writing. It is just that our days seem so full of memorable activities. Is this life in general? Or is it partly b/c I'm a missionary living in West Africa?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Heart Day!

Remember how I told you we would have to deal with our grass burning again? Well, it finally burned tonight and it was quite a show! We were all watching a cartoon as a family tonight. For our snack, we decided to have ice cream floats and so I had the ice cream maker running in the kitchen. The movie finished and Kate ran to check on the ice cream. She ran back down the hall screaming and crying that our house was on fire. Oh my heart stopped. Instantly I thought it might be an electrical fire and ran out of our room. There is a door in the hallway that we have covered with a curtain. All I could see through the curtain was glowing orange. I thought for sure my kitchen was in flames! Once I rushed towards the kitchen I was so relieved to see that it was just a bush fire outside. They are still a bit scary. Ben and I rushed outside to hook up the hose and try to keep our cypress bushes from burning. He was out there controlling the fire for over an hour and half. Everything burned controllably and I'm thankful that it is done and over with!

Other than our exciting evening, my day started out wonderfully with valentines from my beautiful kiddos...three of them anyway. Faith Ann made it very clear that the valentine she made was for her. haha! But Drew, Kate and Emma were proud to show me theirs and I got a sweet card from my hubby as well. Our church services went great. We have some men in our church, "preacher boys", taking over all of our services for the month of February. Our neighbor, Jude, preached in Bambili, and Patrick preached in Bamenda. Patrick is usually a long winded speaker, so I was surprised when we got out of church on time...maybe even slightly early! We came home and I threw together some French Bread pizzas. That has become our Sunday routine. We buy french bread on the way home and it is something I can make quickly. We end up eating at 3 pm, so pizza makes a good meal as it really is lunch and supper combined. We end up eating light snacks a bit later, like popcorn or cookies or something. Tonight, it was ice cream floats as I mentioned earlier.

Well, I'm on yahoo messenger with Mom, so I'll close this out! Happy Valentines Day!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ladies day

It was a full day for me as we had a ladies meeting today. The ladies from several churches all met at Gateway Baptist Church here in Cameroon and shared a great time of fellowship. Victoreen, who is a national Pastor's wife, spoke about faith. She also prepared a meal for everyone of fufu and njamajama (I have no idea if I spelled that right! LOL). I didn't eat any today, but have had this particular meal several times. I can tolerate it, but it isn't my favorite. Ben on the other hand, loves it, which is a good thing since he gets to eat it a lot when visiting neighbors. I don't cook African dishes here. For one thing, I don't know how, and for another, they aren't my favorite as I'm not used to eating them. And thirdly...they are very time consuming to make! A friend of mine, Diane, came up and taught me how to make Jelloff rice (spelling again??) and anyone visiting Cameroon could eat that with no problem provided they like rice. It is just a rice dish with carrots and green beans. Sometimes they add meat, but I definitely prefer it with just veggies. Then, one of my favorite dishes here in Cameroon is Koki beans. You have no idea that it is beans when you eat it. It has the consistency of a moist cornbread and is usually spicy. It is yummmy. I'm sure throughout the year I'll post some pics of some different African dishes so my blog readers can get a picture of African life. Here is a picture of all the ladies today... All those white people are fellow missionaries who live near us. Front row, all the way to the right, is Susan Yeiter. She and her husband, Matt, are our co-workers. It is so nice having a team! We work so well together and our kids are the same ages and are buddies! The two ladies next to Susan are Barb and Kathy Needham. Their family took us under their wing when we first moved here and helped us buy a car, find a house, etc...We lived with them for 2 months. We couldn't have done it without them! Then the next white girl in the row with the white top and blue skirt and headwrap, is Rosemary Craven. We actually went to college together for a year and then she transferred. She is a single missionary working here with ladies and children. She is amazing! She already speaks pidgin perfectly and also speaks fulfulde, which is the language that the Cameroonian Muslims (Fulani tribe) speak. And she moved here after we did! Talk about a gift in languages...and hard work studying it! Then since I talked about food, here is my friend Diane serving some of that fufu and njamajama... Look interesting?? Well, you all are welcome to come for a visit and try some! Have a great Valentines day tomorrow.

Friday, February 12, 2010

What a pair

The girls were outside playing this evening and I snapped this shot of them. It's a bit blurry, but I like how it turned out. I just added a texture to it to make it look a little more vintage. Can you see my scrapbook page idea coming through. :) It is already in the works.

My kids fight, like normal kids do I presume, but I would say for the most part that they play really well together. They play hours and hours of make-believe and create lines that they tell each other to recite to make the story go the way they want it too. It is funny. Emma might be playing along, acting as a puppy dog, and Kate will tell her, "No, pretend you are a kitty and say this..." and Emma will oblige without complaint. They are hilarious to listen to. This past Saturday they were pretending that they found Drew, who was an orphan, and he couldn't speak. So, Emma and Kate were pretending to teach him to say words. It doesn't sound funny, but I was sitting right there next to them, pretending NOT to listen, and not doing a good job of it because my giggles finally exploded. It really was hilarious listening to them.

Okay, a quick summary of our day. It started out furiously b/c our landlady called and said she would be here by 9 to have a meeting in our parlour with one of the ministers in Cameroon who is buying a portion of the property that we live on. Well, my house was far from clean, as that is the last thing I want to do after the kids go to bed, so we rushed around and cleaned. The landlady came early and even she was helping! haha! So, Dr. Abetty showed up and the meeting went smoothly I guess and he paid for the property and hopefully he won't turn out to be a bad neighbor. :)

Ben left for town for outreach/evengelism/shopping, and the kids and I were here doing school. When they finished I forced them into the play room to watch a movie so I could take a nap. It didn't work too well. They kids weren't being quiet and a neighbor was building and hammering. Oh well. At least I rested. I finally got up and made pizza. Ben came home, we ate dinner. The power went out right after dinner, and we all crammed into the office and browsed through old pictures with the kids. That was a lot of fun. Then we had devotions and sent the kids to bed. We finally broke down and turned the generator on and that is how I'm updating my blog post now.

Before I close out, I have to share this link of a friend of ours,
We went to college with him and he is a traveling evangelist now and this guy is so talented. He came out with this accapella music video with him singing all the parts. It really is amazing. Ben and I have watched it a couple times tonight. You have to check it out if you get a chance.
Have a great night!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Isn't she lovely

Isn't she though? I captured this picture of Kate tonight right after our mid-week prayer meeting and I just love it. She is so beautiful. Oh, how we pray that she understands true beauty comes from within!
Our attendance tends to be low during our midweek prayer meeting. Today was youth day, so all the students marched and that might have had something to do with it. It really is quite a sight to behold actually. Ben went to Bamenda on youth day a couple years ago, and thousands of kids march down Commercial avenue. It is amazing. You wonder how so many people seem to pack into a city that size. Every divisional headquarters has a there was also a march in Bambui even closer to where we live. Because of youth day, they don't do much school during this week either. Yesterday all the kids were sent home at 10 a.m. They came up to our house to play and we had to send them home. I explained that it wasn't youth day at the Sinclair was still in full session! :)
After church the kids and I walked home. That was some good exercise for me as I carry Faith on my back the whole way. The hills are just to steep for her to climb them on her own, but the other kids do a great job. They love it! Other than the AWFUL dust, we enjoyed our hike home and even beat daddy!! We thought it would be great fun to go into the house, lock the door and hide. So we did. Ben got home and just assumed we weren't there yet b/c the door was still locked. He came inside and checked around and then went outside and walked around the house. He figured we got held up by a neighbor wanting to talk. We were all quietly hiding behind the couch and when he finally came in and settled into his office chair at the computer, we decided to sneak over there and scare him. The kids thought it was so funny that we tricked him!
Then baths, dinner, devotions and bed! G'night!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

more internet delays

Well, I missed blogging yesterday b/c of internet troubles. I was bummed too, b/c I had a speed scrap planned. It started at 7 p.m. and wouldn't you know it...the internet went off at 7:04 p.m. Oh well. I scrapped a page anyway. I was excited to share my picture for the day too, so I was disappointed that I couldn't do that. But, I get to share them today!! :) Yesterday was clown day at our house. Kate's recent unit in school has been about clowns, so I thought it would be a lot of fun for the kids to dress up like clowns! I had some face paint that I brought with us from the states, so I painted all the kids faces and they picked out what their idea of clown clothes were and we dubbed it clown day! Here they are in all their face-painted glory.
Then today nothing too terribly exciting happened...that is until Ben came home from town at about 8 p.m. tonight with this treat...The kids were So excited to see this box of Cheerios and Drew even commented on how BIG the box was. Ben said, "Yeah...2 for the price of 5!" He even made the comment to the clerk at the store that he couldn't believe they had Cheerios...but we have to practically take a loan out to buy them! So, this was definitely a one time treat. These things are straight from Sam's club or some bulk item store like any import is very expensive for us, but we sure do love it when we see them! It is just a nice treat and we are all looking forward to breakfast in the morning!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Family Day!

We had a fun day today. Monday is family day and we always look forward to it. Ben left early this morning to teach moral instruction classes. He was able to give out 500 New Testaments to all the students that were there...a donation from the local chapter of the Gideons. What a blessing that was for him! He got home at about 10:30 and we headed into Bamenda to do some shopping. We went to a little store called Manasata. We dub it our American Garage Sale store. Someone has quite a business of packing containers full of what appears to be yard sale items. All of it comes from the states. Each time they get a container it is so fun to pick through that store. I have found attachments for my kitchenaid in there. Last term I got a brand new pampered chef stoneware pan for less than 5 dollars!! Then sometimes they have something you want and it will have a big orange $1 sale sticker on it and they will ask for the equivalent of $20! But it is a neat place to visit from time to time. The kids loved browsing through all the junky toys and we found this fun little thing that we had a great time with. The photo is a little dark but you get the point.
We went there to look at Microwaves. I have been wanting one, but the brand new 220 current ones are so expensive. Around $400! Well, they had one there that came from the states. It was a GE, looked barely used ... and was only $80. It did have some very minor dents and stuff, but the inside was mint and it just needed some tape residue and the thick layer of dust cleaned off and now it looks like new! We have a step up/ step down transformer, so we can run 110 appliances here. We tested it before we left the store and it worked like a charm. I am so excited!! It was my early valentines day gift! We also found a Disney VHS tape for the kids, The Mouse Detective (I think), and they have never seen it, so that was something they looked forward to watching all day! I told them they could watch it after Faith took her nap.

Anyway, after we shopped we headed to our favorite restaurant. We have forbidden Faith Ann to sit in the infamous chair that was the cause of her broken nose. I chuckled when we walked in because the owner had taken the chair outside ... apparently he didn't want the kids sitting in it anymore either! We didn't have to convince Faith...she is staying as far away from that chair as possible! Our hamburgers were great and he even made us some hashbrown patties or something to try out. I was impressed - they were very good and they were free! Like a free appetizer! Maybe he thinks we are his guinea pigs to try out his American cooking. I don't know...but bring it! :) Then tonight I spent most of the evening in the kitchen doing dishes and scrubbing the microwave and my extremely dirty stove. Ben changed out a bunch of light fixtures that have been out. It was a very productive day!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

We interrupt this broadcast.....

Today was our normal church routine. Get up, get ready, head to Bambili by 9 a.m. There were actually some people there before us which is so unusual!! But yay...we were happy. Sometimes we start church with just a bunch of white folk! lol It definitely is a part of the culture to be late. My Sunday School room had been cleaned out by Hillary on Saturday and that was SUCH a blessing. We were having sunday school in a work zone for weeks. The floor was covered with dirt, .... and OH MY is raining outside!!! We interrupt this broadcast to bring a very important announcement - as I sit here typing on my computer, I hear rain!!! YAY!! I shouldn't get too excited b/c I can barely hear it and having a metal roof, that means it is basically only misting....but at least it is something. I can't tell you how happy that makes me. Oh blessed rain!!! Can you tell I'm ready for dry season to be over.

Speaking of dry season, Ben snapped a shot of Kate's feet during church this morning and he thought, and I agreed, that it would be the perfect picture to post.I just can't describe how dirty my kids get here (this picture is even pretty mild). Particularly in the dry season. He thought of a funny joke too..."You might be a missionary kid get to church and realize you forgot your shoes" LOL! Emma actually did walk out of the house barefoot this morning and it dawned on her that she forgot her shoes! My kids do wear shoes, though sometimes their feet are so dirty it looks like they walk around barefoot. Even this small, light rain will help a bit...I hope! I'm not complaining, it just makes things like rain seem that much sweeter when you are without it for 5 months! Oh is still falling and even SMELLS like rain! I love it!! Oh, oh, is picking up now! The smallest things make me a happy person. Rain, water for a shower, chocolate, water for a shower, coke, water for a shower, rain. Oh, and did I mention rain and water for a shower?! Haha! even my kids are cheering in their beds right now! They are excited too...except for Faith. Rain can be kind of scary here for a little one. Our tin roof makes it extremely loud in a heavy rain. She will have to be re-accustomed to the noise it makes.

Well, I'm off to relax with my hubby and watch some tv and E.N.J.O.Y this rain. Oh...I'm so excited!!! 'Night!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

2 posts in 1

Well, if you follow the blog you already know I missed my first post. That will happen from time to time, while I'm posting from Africa anyway. Our internet was out. I scrapped a page and waited a bit, but I could see it wasn't coming back on, so I headed to bed. We had a great friday. I was busy preparing a big meal in the kitchen. We invited the Needham family over for dinner (fellow missionaries that live about 20 min. from us) and also Rosemary Craven. I made lasagna and was so proud of myself that I had two 9x13 pans of it ready at about 10 a.m. Lasanga is a bit of a chore here as we don't have canned spaghetti sauce and containers of ricotta or even cottage cheese at the local grocers. I make all that myself. Here is my ricotta:

It is so easy! I just mix up a gallon of powdered milk. Bring it to a boil and stir in 3 TB of vinegar. Voila! I strain it in a cheese cloth, stir in some egg, italian spices, salt, parmesan cheese sometimes. It is perfect for lasagna. And cheaper than if I bought it at walmart. I'm not too fancy with my spaghetti sauce...just a seasoning packet - Great value brand! haha
Anyway, we enjoyed our meal...and our visit with friends. I was going to post a picture of all of us sitting at the table, but it is on my husbands little point and shoot, and I'm too lazy (and my computer too slow) to get it off of there. So anyway, it turned out to be a wonderful evening!

And now for today. Not too eventful. I spent most of my day on the computer and got two layouts done. The kids spent most of their day outside playing. I did take a break b/c I want my oldest, Drew, to learn how to ride our infamous bike! LOL My mom and I were discussing it today and decided to give it a name. Since that bike is often on a journey...we decided it should be named Gulliver...and I can document all of Gulliver's travels! So many of you have commented on that bike, so it has become a dear friend of our family now! Here is a picture of Drew attempting to ride GulliverYou can see Kate cheering him on...well, she was actually gloating about how she was only 7 and Drew 9 and she could already ride it. They are SO different in personality. Kate took that bike out one day and said to herself, "I'm going to learn how to ride the bike today." And she did! She got lots of scraped knees in the process, but she was determined to ride that bike. She is a go-getter. My most troublesome of all four kids, but such spunk. I love that girl! Even if she does make me cry a lot! Drew on the other hand has NO interest. I told him he HAD to learn to ride whether he wants to or not, b/c every kid should know how to ride a bike. We spent 30 min. working on it today, but he wasn't getting it. He was getting frustrated though, so I decided to end the lesson. I told him we were going to work on it until he gets it. I know once he learns he will love it!

Well, I'm off to attempt to take a shower. Our water has been horrible, so I might end up taking a cup and trying to bathe...I do hope the shower works though. I'm SO ready for the rainy season!!! Just over a month and we should see some rain fall. I can hardly wait!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Every day is an exciting one!

Another exciting day at the Sinclair house. I'm telling you, there is rarely a dull day as a missionary. Every day is ripe with opportunities. We wake up wondering what exciting thing we will encounter on that day. was a rat mole. Just looking at this first picture doesn't give you an idea of how big these things are. They are almost the size of my cat. In fact we carried her over to this thing, and she wanted nothing to do with it!
Ben went out to turn our water tank off and saw this thing crawling around outside. We soon learned that it was sick b/c they are nocturnal and rarely venture out in the daylight. This one wasn't even scared when we were right next to it. It was really out of it. I'm not sure what was wrong with it, other than it had a big sore on it's face. I was afraid that it might be rabid, and I wanted it killed. I sure didn't want the thing snapping out of it's lethargy and going on a crazy rampage when my kids were out playing.
Ewwww...look how LONG his tail is!!

Well, one of our friends, Hillary, eats rat moles. We were pretty sure he wouldn't want this one, but we called him to be sure. We figured that if he didn't want it for dinner, he could at least "dispose" of it for us. He rushed right up, pulled it out of the action packer Ben had managed to shovel him into and claimed it to be sick. He then took it and banged it against some rocks a few time and threw it down the hill. I kinda felt bad...yet I was glad. As I mentioned, I was just concerned about it having rabies and biting the kids.
Other than that interesting event, we did school, I scrapped a layout, we went to church and came home and enjoyed our evening of dinner and then devotions. Our story of Josiah is getting exciting. The kids don't want to stop at just one chapter!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Huckle, Buckle, Beanstalk

While making lunch today, I heard Ben call all the kids to the parlour to play Huckle, Buckle, Beanstalk. It is an old game where one person hides an object and the rest of the players have to find it. Whoever finds it first shouts huckle, buckle, beanstalk. (Wiki it to find out it's origin). I didn't know what in the world they were searching for...but soon found out as Ben pointed to the curtain across the room. There was perched the Mama praying mantis to yesterday's baby. I promise I won't constantly write about praying mantis', but we had fun with this one today. Here is a shot of Drew holding it (we learned today that they aren't agressive when being least not this one.)Ben played around trying to get a bunch of macros of the thing and it was being very cooperative. At one point It climbed right on top of the camera lense while he was taking a close up. Right before we let it go, it became bff's with Drew and wouldn't let go of his finger. We had to pry the thing off with a pen.

So, that was our excitement for the day. Everything else was the norm. School work, naps, dishes, etc...nothing too terribly exciting. I found that after our exciting day of Faith's broken nose...I prefer the norm!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


When looking at the above picture...what do you see? A lot of dust, yes, that is true (it is dry season here and I have a nice coating of dust greeting me EVERY pardon our dust! lol). Can you see that amazingly small praying mantis perched on that tiny little screw? of the kids came in the office and noticed it. I think it was Emma...she has good eyes! It took me a minute to focus on what she was talking about! Here are a couple closer looks:
We see varieties of praying mantis' around a lot. I love the bright green ones. Not too long ago the kids found one at church. It was a big one too. They were having a blast with that thing, but too afraid to touch it. I was getting up the guts when Drew reached it's hand near the thing, and I'm telling you...It turned it's head and stared Drew down! It was the wierdest thing!! I changed my mind about trying to pick it up. I'm not sure if they bite out of defense or not...
I'm Off to google it!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Dragon's Egg

Every night at 8 p.m. sharp...well, ok, it isn't always sharp. Usually Ben is begging me to close photoshop...anyway, at approximately 8 p.m. our family sits down in our "cushy chairs" for family devotions. The kids rotate sitting in the recliner with their daddy, and I'm always forgetting who sat with me last and usually make someone upset. I try to bribe them actually, "Whoever wants to play with my hair can sit with me!" haha! I love it when the kids play with my hair...especially Drew. He puts me to sleep. Faith Ann usually grabs two hunks and pretends she's holding the reins to a horse....ouch. Anyway, 8 p.m. is family devotions.

We have read through the entire Bible one chapter at a time (that took a while - 3 years I think), we have read children's Bible story books, and devotional books. Recently we have been reading a series of books called The Terrestria Chronicles by Ed Dunlop. My brother, Jay, bought Drew two of these books for Christmas and we have really enjoyed them. They are allegorical stories about Biblical truths, similar to Pilgrim's Progress. In the story, Josiah is a young boy that is bound by the chain of iniquity and the weight of guilt. He is freed from his iniquity by King Emmanuel and adopted into His family. On and on the story goes and each night we bring out the application from the allegory. The kids are learning a lot, but even aside from the learning...the story line is exciting. After we read our chapter, we sing Bible songs. Usually sunday school songs, but we try to sings hymns from time to time so the children start learning the words. Then we quote our memory verse. We learn a new verse every two weeks in our churches. This last week in Bamenda, we had 21 people quote the memory verse, Eph. 3:20! So, we take our family devotion time to memorize it. It is really interesting that Faith Ann, my 3 1/2 year old, usually has the verse memorized second. Drew generally gets it first...he is pretty smart. It always cracks me up too, b/c Faith seems to be lost in her little imagination land during devos...I'm not sure how much she gets when we read the story, but I'm learning that even though it doesn't show...she is listening. She shocks us. She is one smart cookie.

After our verse we spend time in prayer and then it is "potties and pillows" as Ben announces. Everyone comes and kisses their Mommy...heads to the bathroom and on to bed! G'night all!