Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sour Puss

Hahahah!! This pic just cracks me up! Ben was the one who snapped it, and when I was going through the camera I saw it and LoL'd! Faith Ann was bugging me for candy, so I gave her these sour skittles to have. Just typing that makes my mouth water! I hate sour candies...ack! Faith Ann could eat those things with a straight face! Obviously, Drew could not!

Friday, July 30, 2010


That would be Faith Ann's hair...and yes, also her gum. I am not sure how it happened, I just know that she came into the parlour crying. It definitely could have been worse! I tell the kids all the time to keep their gum in their mouth, but she claims that it just fell out - which happens all the time believe it or not. I finally made a rule that if your gum or candy falls out of your mouth...too bad, so sad. I have no idea how stuff falls out of their mouth all the time! I did see it happen the other day though. Faith was showing Emma the color candy she had...and it fell right onto the floor. So, that must be one way they end up losing it. Somtimes it pops right out when they are attempting to blow a bubble too. Oh well...thankfully she didn't lose too much hair. Of course she was more sad about losing her piece of gum than those pieces of her hair!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beautiful Butterfly's

We do get some beautiful butterflies and moths around our house. We also get some HUGE ones. The other night I went outside to talk to our nightwatchman, and I seriously thought a bird was dive bombing me! It was a gargantuous (is that even a word??) moth! I shoulda taken a pic! Oh well. I did get a picture of this beautiful moth/butterfly (I can never really tell the difference, but I do think this is a moth.) Isn't it pretty? The kids love to go critter hunting, and moths and butterflies are their favorite thing to catch. Recently Kate has become pretty adept at catching crickets and grasshoppers. The neighbor kids have taught her how. So, when Rex hasn't eaten well in a couple of days, Kate and Drew will go around the house looking for grasshoppers and crickets. Kate will catch them and hold them in her hand until rex zips his tongue out there and nabs it. It is so funny!

I totally forgot to write about this on Sunday, but we found another new and unique creature (the rainy season must bring them out...I tell ya!). Here is a picture of it:

It looks like a snake, doesn't it? The one in the picture is obviousy very tiny, but the one we found in our yard, was about a foot long! So, imagine our thoughts. The girls come running in the house screaming that they saw a snake. Chastity, the girl that was here over the weekend, has the thing strung over a stick. I told the girls to get in the house and stay in! Ben went out and investigated. He was pretty sure it was dead, but to be sure went to cut the head off. Well, as he began examining it, he found that it was quite hard to determine where the head was because it had no mouth! So, he reasoned that it must not be a snake after all. He came in the house and googled it, and quickly learned that is called a snake worm, or a blind snake. We never got a picture of the one we caught, but I found this shot online so you could see what it looks like. Wierd, huh!? Wierd and cool all at the same time. Our friend Hillary told us that he's seen them before and that one variety is a beautiful bright blue color.

You just never know what a day will hold when living in Cameroon...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Bees Knees

Our house is surrounded by tons of gorgeous bushes, plants and flowers. Because of all the amazing flowers we have, we also have a ton of birds. I hear the most amazing melodies around my house. Today, as I was in the kitchen, I heard one bird singing out in the courtyard I sounded like a beautiful recording! Not only do these birds sound so amazingly beautiful...they also look amazingly beautiful. They are all shimmery and bright! We've tried to get some good photos of them, but nothing ever turns out clear enough for me. One of these days, I'll post some beautiful photos of my birds. Well, our family has turned into bird lovers, and we came up with a great idea to make a bird feeder. These birds we see look kind of like hummingbirds, but they are bigger and land, rather than hover. We thought however, that if we tried making a hummingbird feeder of sorts, with the colored sugar water, that they would like it, and it would also give us a place to watch them. Ben found a chicken feeder, and I boiled and colored sugar water and we placed the feeder right outside our parlour window, so we could literally eat breakfast while watching the birds. Well, our little plan didn't work exactly as we had imagined. Take a look: And here is a closer look: While I do appreciate bees and all that they do for us, this is definitely not what we had in mind. In the end, we had to take down our ingenious bird feeder. Evidently the hummingbird feeders you buy in the store are designed to keep the bees out...and ours obviously wasn't. In fact, several of them drowned in all that sugary goodness!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

We enjoy our family day Monday. Today was chilly and rainy...and I loved it! Ellen and Chastity headed up to Sabga first thing in the morning to help transport a bunch of tables and stuff at camp. Thank the Lord she had her keys :D So, we asked her to join us for lunch at our favorite hamburger joint and they decided to go ahead and eat with us and then continue on their way out of town. We had a yummy meal. The Asa-Neh restaurant is the fastest one I've ever been to in we love it, and today was no exception. The food came out quick and we had a lot and it was yummy!

We said our goodbyes and headed home to relax. It was a perfect day to do that too...dreary, cold, rainy. I put Faith and Emma down for a much needed nap, while Drew and Kate quietly watched a video. I couldn't resist catching a shot of my sleeping beauty: I'll be honest. I snagged a couple of sleepy shots for a scrapbook page I was working on. :) lol! But they still are super cute. I got another one of Emma too. Seriously though...I need to get Faith Ann to quit sucking her thumb! All three of my girls have been finger suckers and I've had to break each of them. I thought I'd never break Kate. She was the worst one of all of them. She sucked her pointer finger, and she sucked it all day long. Thankfully Faith only sucks her thumb in bed. So, she is my next project! But she still looks so sweet!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy Sunday

We had a great Sunday today. Ellen Doyle and a friend of hers, Chastity, were still staying with us, so they rode with us to all the church services. Kind of a funny story...not so funny for Ellen but we can look back and smile now. She got home pretty late after Felix's and Evette's wedding. She has a nice big truck, so she was helping return rental chairs and do a number of other things. Well, she got to our house so late, and was so tired after a long day (long week really) that she locked her keys in her truck. Well, her truck is really nice, so we considered getting someone to try and pick the lock, but she didn't want to ruin her truck and I don't blame her. So she had another set at her house in Foumban (about 3 hours away) and we got someone to send it "voyage." With the "voyage" system you can send just about anything across Cameroon...they just add it to the public buses that are coming your direction. It cost Ellen about $3, so it isn't too expensive. Anyway...all that to say, the car was packed today, but thankfully Ellen got her keys back and was able to unlock her truck tonight! :)

Ben got this adorable picture of Faith Ann singing out of the hymn book. She is always so adamant about having one...and I'm not sure if you can tell which direction it is facing...upside down! She always tells me she is going to read to me. And I humor her...I tell her to go ahead and read to me. Because of that she believes that she can read. Every once in a while I'll catch the kids saying, "Faith you can't even read!" and she'll respond, "Yes I can...Mommy said so!" So, naturally if she can read, she should have a hymn book on Sunday.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Wedding Fun

Well, today was the big wedding day for Pastor Felix and Evette. It started out rainy and dreary, but by the time Ellen and I drove down into the valley of Bamessing it was clearing, and while a bit cool, turned out to be a beautiful day! We had to get the cakes to the church to set up before 10. So, Kate and Emma were our helpers, sitting in the backseat with the cakes to make sure they didn't tumble upside down. While still on our driveway, before we even got to the tar road, Kate let out a big..."Oh no...Mom!!" and she just burst into tears. I was like, "What in the world did you do!!!!!!" She said Emma had told her to look behind them and Kate, without thinking, put her hand on what she was probably thinking was the seat to turn around, but what was actually a cake! Ahhhh!! That girl is SO blonde sometimes. So, one of our cakes had Kate's big handprint in it. Poor Ellen...all that work, and one of my girls has to mess it up. I just felt bad, but it truly was an honest mistake on Kate's part. She just wasn't thinking...she really was trying to take her job seriously and I know she felt awful. Oh well...Ellen is such a good sport and so easy going about the whole thing. When we got there we tried to repair it, but it wasn't really working. Kate managed to just smoosh one side, so we turned that part towards the back wall and the only way you could really see the problem is if you were standing behind it, or directly over it. Most people probably had no idea. It all worked out in the end. Ellen made three box cake mixes...she saved an 8-in round for the groom and bride and cut the rest of the cake to serve over 200 people. Imagine how tiny a piece they got! haha! But that is how they do it just get a teeny tiny bite! Unless, of course, you have big bucks, which most people do not have.

Susan and I just told the kids to stay outside and play during the wedding. They weren't disturbing at all and that way 6 seats were free for other guests, and they weren't crammed in a stuffy room for two hours. Before the ceremony even started, Kate found this amazing that I've NEVER seen before: Here is a closer shot (and you can always click on the image to make it even bigger):
Isn't that the wildest thing you've ever laid eyes on? It was the hugest caterpillar I've ever seen in my life and there was no way in the world I was gonna pick it up. We managed to get it on that stick to get some good photos of it though. The kids also found a big lizard that they played with, saw a chicken eating a frog, and also a chicken laying an egg! What an educational day they had! haha!

The wedding was very similar to last weeks. The differences were the processional time. This one went much faster. Ben also had a different role this week...he officiated the wedding and gave the vows (his very first wedding in Cameroon!) and Matt was the one who preached the message this week. Everything went great and it was a big success. The gospel went forth and I think the entire day brought glory and honor to God! Here is a shot of the bride and groom during the recessional
What a good looking couple!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Amateur Cake Makers

We have another wedding coming up this weekend...Felix and Evette are getting married on Saturday, and Ellen Doyle offered to do the cake for them. She asked me some time ago if I minded her coming and using my oven and kitchen to put some cakes together for the wedding. I said sure, and beginning Thursday night, the cake making began. I didn't do too much on Thursday, but on Friday I began helping Ellen out with the roses for the cake. We had great aspirations for this cake...but it all looked much prettier in the picture and in our minds than it turned out in real life. So, here is what we wanted it to look like...and what it actually looked like:

LOL! It just makes me giggle when I look at that picture. But being Cameroon we were sure that the bride and groom would love it. Cameroonians love bright colors and gaudy things, so this cake was perfect for the occasion!

I've never done too much with buttercream or royal icing. I really wanted to learn how to make a good rose. I even watched youtube vids and tried to do exactly what they do...all to no avail. Maybe I'll take some cake decorating classes next time I'm home. Or maybe I'll just stick to fondant and master that first.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Visiting Neighbors

One of our neighbors came to visit today: Haha! I'm not sure from which house he hails, but we had fun chasing him around the yard. He didn't seem up to chatting with us, and ran the opposite direction whenever we tried to get close, but we had fun chasing him anyway and managed to get a few pictures. The kids had a good laugh about it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Holiday Bible School

We normally call it Vacation Bible School in the states, but because of the Brittish influence a holiday is a vacation here.

Ben took the kids into town with him and I was home with Faith today while they went. Because it is Wed. he kept them with him all day. He got some good visits in while they kids were busy in Bible School. He did get a picture of Drew playing the review game, Zonk, at the end. Poor kid picked a zonk on his first try. Ben was telling me he felt bad for him. spite of that...his team won all three days and came out the final winner for the week! He was so pumped about that, and all the kids came home raving about the week and showing off the fun prizes they got for being there.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Today the kids went to Bible School again, and I was home with Faith and Trinity again. Another relaxing day for me, hehe! Actually, I got a big project accomplished and I'm so glad I got it done! Our hall closet has been such a catch-all. We put doors on it this year, and it is now the perfect place to stash all that last minute stuff when company is coming! So, I tore everything out and started organizing and throwing stuff away. While I was in there I came across this blank DVD. It wasn't labeled at all, and my first thought was to just throw it away. Do you ever just get in those moods? You are on a roll cleaning and you want to toss anything in sight...especially stuff that has been stuffed in a closet for seemingly forever, and you never missed it to begin with? Well, I decided to quickly pop it into a dvd player and I'm SO glad I didn't toss it!

Nearly a year ago Ben dug out our old VHS tapes...home video stuff, and burned it all onto one DVD. Most of it was video of Drew from the time he was little, up until we had Kate and lived in Cameroon. So all the material spanned about 4 years time. He burned it, and that night the kids watched it and it disappeared! I was sure it was a labeled DVD, which is why I just overlooked that one...because it obviously never did get labeled. As soon as I started watching it the kids heard and came in begging to sit and watch the whole thing. They laughed and laughed through that entire thing. Drew was SUCH a ham when he was little! Oh my word...I miss that little baby side to him! Why does time have to move so fast!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mechum Falls

Isn't this waterfall amazing? Ben headed to Befong this morning to pick up some men from Benakuma and take them to Camp Joy as this is men's week. Since we are in rainy season now, this waterfall is a sight to behold!

I spent the day watching Faith Ann and Trinity, while Matt and Susan took the rest of our kids to Bamenda for Holiday Bible School (vacation bible school). Susan came up to me on Sunday and asked if we could make that trade and I am so glad she did. My kids were pumped to be able to go, and it also meant that Trinity would get a nap instead of being in town all day. There are a couple ladies from Matt and Susan's home church in Indianapolis that came to help run the HBS's so that worked out well too. And of course Ben was gone most of the day running the bus from Befong to Bamessing. So, our family was gone in all directions today, but it was a great day, and we all came together at dinner to share our fun experiences. I think I got the better end of the deal really. I stayed home, with two quiet little girls who played together like little angels and took a nap all afternoon! haha!

I also wanted to add a picture of little Anneline. Ben finally found one while he was going through his pictures on his camera. Somehow he overlooked it before.
This is a picture of her and her big brother Luis. He was so pumped about having a baby sister too...I remember when he announced to me that she'd been born. Pray for this little guy, too, as he deals with her loss.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

World Cup Highlights

I didn't watch the world cup. Well, I think I caught about 2 minutes of one of the games when our nightwatchman was watching it one night, but I'm not a big sports fanatic. I do always enjoy hearing the entire village cheering or booing when something happens. I can almost always tell what is happening in the game by the sounds I hear coming from below our hill. It is great! But the biggest highlight of the world cup for me, was this awesome billboard.
Isn't it great? Cameroon's team is the Lions obviously. I just love how cultural this billboard is. That lady, all smiles, fully dressed in her African clothes, donning her football cleats. I just love it!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Here Comes the Bride

Before you read this post about Valentine and Bernadette's sure to head back to this post to read about their traditional wedding. I posted it a bit late, so it doesn't actually show up on this page.

African weddings are always very interesting. This one had me smiling and giggling some...but all in all it was a great day and a beautiful wedding.

Going along with custom, the wedding was to start at 10. Ben left quite early to pick people up in the church bus. Someone borrowed our little red car, but promised to have it back at the house by 8 a.m. I needed to leave at about 9:45. The little red car wasn't returned until after 10, so once Oliver arrived with it, the kids and I hopped in and headed to Bamessing (Gateway Baptist Church). I don't enjoy driving here, but the 30 minute drive was uneventful. I arrived in Sabga, which is just before Bamessing, and passed the groom. He was standing by a taxi, chatting with someone. He was decked out in jeans and a t-shirt. So, even though I was late...I wasn't late. The wedding probably ended up starting at around noon. I was in charge of the video camera. That was fun because I was right up in front of all of the action. The bride and groom finally arrived and Genesis, who was the MC, got the ball rolling. They don't have rehearsals, so he has to announce every single thing... " is time for the bridal party to enter" Then the bridal party starts coming in the back. This part had me laughing inside...I wish I could pop some of the video up on my blog...I'll have to figure it out and give clips, so you can see. The ushers (who were all ladies) came in with palm branches and bamboo (or something like that) all tied together and they stood opposite each other and created a canopy of sorts for the bridal party to walk through. For decoration, they had it tied together with pink.....toilet paper. Yep! Good 'ol Toilet paper. They use colored toilet paper for a lot of decorating here, especially at Christmas time. Anyway, the bridal party comes swaggering in kind of. It is hard to explain. We normally take deliberate steps, but they, arm in arm with their partner, step out in unison and to the side. Each step is taken in rhythm with the music (which was "Seek Ye First" and the girl that sang it probably repeated each verse 50 times!). When I saw them coming down the aisle like that...I thought to myself, "This is gonna be a lONG Day!" haha! Everyone FINALLY made their way in, and each step of the ceremony went smoothly. Ben preached the wedding while Pastor Julius did the vows. Matt and Pastor Earnest prayed a prayer of dedication and there were 2 special musical numbers. After the ceremony...and the bride and groom are announced as husband and wife and they kiss (which was so great!) they have the recieving of the gifts. Genesis called certain groups to come up and give their gifts to the bride and the groom. Talk about humiliating! If he calls you and you didn't bring! After the gifts, came the recessional and then photos. By that time I was ready to corral the kids and head home. I wasn't going to stay for the meal, b/c I knew that they probably weren't going to have enough food for everyone (there were A LOT of people there). So, I found all my kids except...guess who.

Yep, you guessed it...Kate. Ben finally sees Autumn Yeiter and asks her where Kate is. Her response was so cute...Wherever the bride is...that is where Kate is. Kate was enthralled with the bride. And Bernadette was a beautiful bride! Sure enough, we found the bride and we found Kate. I told her to get in the car and she started crying. She said that the bride said she could get a picture taken with her. Well, Bernadette and Valentine were surrounded by people, friends and family. I was pretty sure she wasn't saving a place in her photo shoot for Kate. She doesn't know her that well. We were there to support Valentine mostly. We've known him since before we even moved here and he invested several years into our Bible Baptist Church ministry. Well, Ben told her to run up there and he snapped a quick picture of her. As you can see Valentine and Bernadette had no idea she was even up there. Right after Ben took the shot, he heard someone muttering, "Who is that girl?" haha! But she was SO happy that she got her pic taken with the bride. lol! She couldn't stop talking about how beautiful she looked. She loved her beautiful dress. I think my favorite part of the whole ensemble was that big white purse that she carried down the aisle. And coming in at a close second, are Valentines homemade lace gloves. :D

Friday, July 16, 2010

Car Repairs

Ben goes into town every Friday for outreach and he also does our shopping. Yes...he does all our grocery shopping. You might wonder if I miss that part of life, grocery shopping that is...but don't worry, I fully make up for it when I'm in the states! Wal-Mart here I come!!! lol!

Anyway, today he had to go into town earlier than normal to get some repairs done on the car.

Fix Broken Stabilizer Bar........................$7.00
Rebuild the entire exhaust system...........$8.00
Fix Starter..............................................$5.00
Taking pictures of a Cameroon car lift......Priceless

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sad News

We went to church tonight at 4:30. Our service went well. I had a little class for my kids in the Sunday School room, while one of our young men from Bamenda came to preach for the adults. After church, Hillary informed us that our neighbors little baby died. Ben has been discipling Christopher and his wife on a weekly basis. She had a little baby in January of this year and little Anneline (I'm not sure how to spell her name) has been sick from the time she was born. She had a constant cough, and we helped them financially on several occasions so that they could take her to the hospital and get the medicine that she needed. They recently diagnosed her with asthma, and she seemed to be improving, but she took a turn for the worse this last week and died at 8 this morning. We immediately left church and went to their home. We told the kids no questions...only respond if someone greets them. The house was somber, and many people were there visiting to comfort JoAnne. Christopher was actually on his way to the hospital to get some different medicine for her. They had to call him and tell him to come home. It was very sad...and always very interesting to see how people grieve. The culture is so different here. I wanted to sit there and cry and just thinking about losing a 6 month old baby brought tears to my eyes, but they are dry eyed, and crying is considered shameful. I don't know...sometimes you just need to cry. It helps you grieve. I feel bad that JoAnn can't break down in front of her visitors for fear that they will scold her. Pray for this family as they go through this time of trial. We also learned that this is the second child she has lost...her first baby died as well. We don't know any details, only that it wasn't a newborn. So, she is having to go through this all over again...I can't even imagine. We visited with her for about 10 minutes and tried to comfort her. She told us a little bit of what happened, then Ben had a word of prayer with all that were in the room. The weather seemed to match the spirit of the evening...cold and dreary.

I didn't get a picture for today (shame on me), and I wanted to post a picture of little Anneline as a newborn, but Ben couldn't find the picture. He thinks he deleted it b/c it came out blurry. If we do end up finding it in the future, I'll be sure to post it.

I'm thankful that this family has recently trusted Christ, and pray that they find HIM as their source of comfort during this difficult time.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Birthday Girl

Nothing official happened today, but I had to be sure and take a picture of the birthday girl on her actual birthday. Her adorable little princess nightgown was one of her gifts from Mimi and she wore it all day and for bed...she loves it!

I wanted to give a quick update on the little boy that was hit by a car...amazingly enough, he is home! He had no permanent head trauma, which amazed all who saw him the day of the accident. His arm from the shoulder down was completely shattered, so pray that will heal well. And continue to pray that our friends, their neighbors, can have an impact in their life because of this accident.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Party On!

So, Faith Ann's Birthday party was today and it was a lot of fun...for me anyway. :) And Faith had fun too, although all my kids kinda had a breakdown. I have no idea why. We invited Yeiters over and I decided to do a lunch party and just make a ton of food that we could just snack on through the evening. I cooked up two stromboli's and two pizzas and Susan made a salad and of course we had cake. The cake was a everyone but Faith. Not that she didnt like it, she just didn't notice it. I put a bunch of Beauty and the Beast figurines on the cake tray along with the cake to go along with the theme, and as soon as she saw those she grabbed them off and started playing with them. We had to get her attention to blow the candles out! But hey, she was happy and that is what counts. At least the other kids appreciated the cake! :D We also played some games (this is when my kids had a breakdown)...musical chairs and Who am I. I put a sticker on their backs, either a Sesame Street, Winnie the Pooh, or Princess character and they had to go around asking everyone yes or no questions to try and figure out who they were. It was fun but got frustrating when they couldn't figure it out.

So, all in all it was a fun evening. The kids enjoyed playing together and the adults did too! lol! We ended our evening by playing a close game of tribond, with the men as the winners (this time anyway!) Anyhoo...Here is the birthday girl!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tea for Two

Monday (family day) was a relaxed one. I slept in really late. I took some cold medicine before I went to bed and it knocked me for a loop, so I slept later than normal. We ate lunch on the late side, because Diane came up to mop my house (she usually comes on Wed., but she will be gone this week.) and that put us behind schedule. It was no big deal though, we enjoyed our leisurely day. We got home so late, that the kids didn't even get a nap. I started working on Faith Ann's birthday cake and spent all evening (til 2 a.m. actually) working on it. It was fun though. Sometimes cakes stress me...but I had fun. And they always turn out a little funny looking...this one looks like Mrs. Potts when she has turned 80.
She looks a little saggy and has a granny mouth. But, she still is cute, and hopefully Faith Ann knows who it is haha! I also have a set of Beauty and the Beast Figurines that I'll put around Mrs. Potts as part of her gift. So, her party is tomorrow (Tues.), but her birthday is actually Wednesday. Wednesdays are a bad day for parties though, since Ben is gone til 8 p.m. so we decided to do it a day early like we did with Emma. I'm so excited...I love giving gifts to my kiddos and seeing them excited! Birthdays are so fun!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Puff Corn

Today was a great day in church. My cough has been pretty bad, so I was thankful I made it through teaching Sunday School. Susan was home with Autumn who was sick, and so Matt asked me to teach her class in Bamenda, but I just couldn't do it. My voice was shot and I was coughing my brains out. So...Ben taught the kids and from what I hear, they loved him!

The day ended up being pretty long and we didn't get home and settled down to eat until 5 p.m. which is really late for us. So our evening went pretty quickly and before I knew it, it was time to put the kids to bed.

One nice treat for our evening snack was popcorn. Here in Cameroon they call it Puff Corn and what was so unique about it, is that our Nightwatchman, Michael, grew it in his garden! How cool is that!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A different kind of wedding

That sure doesnt' look like a wedding, does it? Well, this is what they call the traditional wedding here in Cameroon. Most people have three wedding ceremonies here. They have the legal wedding, where they have to go to the courthouse and get married. Then they have the traditional marriage. This normally takes place in the Bride's village. The groom and his family all go to the bride's village and pay the dowry price and give gifts and basically beg for the families permission to marry the bride. This was the traditional wedding of Bernadette and Valentine. Ben took his video camera and also got a couple shots with his regular camera. He said the entire day was a big drama. The grooms family brought a ton of gifts in to the women of the bride (Aunts, mother, grandmothers, cousins, sisters etc...). There were cases of soft drinks, fish, palm nuts, and a bunch of other stuff. I don't even know what was in there. But the ladies kept saying stuff like, "This is all my daughter is worth?" and asking what if question. "What if she loses her arm...are you going to keep her or send her back and get rid of her because she is now useless?" The men were at a loss sometimes of what to say. One guy kept trying his best not to laugh. There were a bowl of palm nuts there and one old Ma was complaining that they weren't covered. So the guy that kept giggling pulled a bill out of his pocket and laid it on top of the nuts. The ladies kept complaining that they could still see the they kept adding money to cover it. Finally Valentine whispered for them to go out and get some banana leaves to cover it. It was hilarious. After the men give their gifts, it is the women in Valentines family that take a turn. They all danced around a bowl of money and were expected to keep tossing money into the bowl. The music kept going and going and the ladies kept looking at each other like....Uh...we don't have anymore! haha! Several ladies from our church were there b/c they are so involved in Valentines life they are like his family. All in all it was a very interesting day to say the least and Bernadette's family gave Valentine permission to marry her and I'm sure Valey's family walked away broke!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Life in Cameroon

Today was an intersting one for Ben. A reminder that life changes in an instant.

He went up to teach at Camp Joy. It is about a 40 minute drive from our house. On his way home, he stopped in Sabga, to talk to a couple ladies that come to our church. They all heard a commotion and saw a woman running up the road with a child in her arms who had just been hit by a taxi driver. The driver took off immediatly and didn't even stick around. Ben was the only one around with a car, so he and the young lady with the child, Mami Regina, and Mirabelle all climbed into his car and they rushed to Mbingo Baptist Hospital...about an hours drive away. As they passed through the first Gendarme checkpoint they saw the taxi driver who'd hit the two year old little boy. Ben later learned that he did the right thing. Often people who run over pedestrians (and it happens often here) will get killed by a mob of people right there. So, they take off to the closest police checkpoint to report what happened and to protect themselves. Ben said that the driver looked awful...he was sure it was a pure accident. The gendarme waved them on through...he continued on to the hospital. He said that the little boy was in and out of consciousness the whole way. One side of his head was swollen and misshaped, the arm that the car hit was twice it's size at least and the other side of his head had a big scrape where he'd been slammed to the pavement. Once they were pretty close to the hospital he woke up and was screaming. Of all the crazy things, they had to go stand in line to register him once they arrived at the hospital!! Rather than have an emergency room for immediate treatment they had to go register and get the "little pink book." (I could tell you some stories about their dumb pink book...for another post.) I just wonder how great an emergency you have to have to get immediate treatment. Ben and I discussed it a bit tonight. Maybe if you'd severed an, they would probably make you stand there with a towel wrapped around it while you waited in registration. Sometimes this country amazes me and makes me really thankful for the health care in the states. I realize that the cost of health care is ridiculous, but we have good doctors, and we can call 911 when an emergency happens. America is blessed beyond measure! Anyway, Ben stayed there for a while until the ladies that he brought were ready to leave with him. He put a big chunk of money on the child's bill and we are praying that he makes it through this accident and that somehow this incident can be used in their life to draw them to God. I know those ladies in Sabga who are neighbors to this little boy have shared the gospel with their family. Hopefully they will have more opportunities to be a light and a testimony to them, and that somehow through this tragedy they might come to know Christ. The mother wasn't even there when her baby was hit...she was in Ndop about 20 minutes up the road. An Auntie was watching him (she was probably only 16.) Evidently she was working in the kitchen when this little guy ran into the road. The way the roads are, so curvy and everything, it is possible that the taxi driver had no chance to react once he saw him in the road. My picture for the day is of the child's ward at Mbingo Baptist Hospital. No private rooms here...Ben said the room was full of small children.This is where that little boy will stay. Pray for this family..for their need for Christ, and for healing for this little boy.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sugar Rush

When Pastor and Julie were here visiting, they brought us a ton of candy. Aside from gum, the kids favorite pick is the "lick-a-sticks." Those things are pure sugar. Whoever came up with that idea was brilliant. Color some sugar and package it up. And kids love it! Unreal. We only have a few really, and I've spread them out over a long period of time. Check out Drew's sugar mouth Yeah, I pretty much made him go brush his teeth immediately.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Puppy Love

We sure love our new puppy...most of the time. When she isn't peeing or pooping on the floor anyway. She isn't doing too bad, but sometimes I just get sick of watching her and send her outside for an hour or so. She sure doesn't like it, but she is getting used to it little by little. I'll admit though...I'm a softy. I feel bad after a while and bring her back in with me. She loves, loves to be with us.

Today Ben bought her some new dog dishes.
We worked out a new system with Michael, our nightwatchman. He is going to cook her dinner every night, and at the same time cook some for himself. It works out well, really. I don't have to worry about feeding the dog, and we buy the ingredients and feed both the dog and our nightwatch. Michael likes it...and I like it. Anyway, we needed some dishes that he could cook the rice in, that would just double as the dogs dish. So...he went and bought these from Hillary - Michael's son. Remember how a few months ago we had our roof completely redone? Well, these bowls were made out of the old zinc that we took off of the roof! Hillary took the old zinc scraps that were too small to do anything with, had them melted down and made into these pots. Pretty amazing!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

In the doghouse

Now that phrase, in the doghouse, has meaning. Ben actually has a place to sleep when I say that to him. haha! Just Kidding! Seriously...I have never said that to him.
The doghouse was Ben's, and the kids big project Monday and Tuesday. It was fun watching it come together. After Daddy and Drew painted the exterior white, the girls and I had fun dolling it all up. It actually has a few more additions than in this picture even. When Emma got up from a nap, she added a few more flowers and some clouds. It was fun, and now Penny has a home. :) She won't go in it...but she has a home. lol!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Puppy Tails

We are enjoying our puppy. I'm sure it will take her a while to feel settled. I put her in a different place to sleep last night. She didn't make as big a mess, but she ended up getting a gash on her leg somehow. I have no idea how that happened. I bathed her and cleaned her wound. She hasn't favored that leg at all, and doesn't complain when I touch it either. So, I think it will be ok. I felt bad. Ben started working on a dog house for her today, so from here on out she will have a place to sleep.
I'm really glad that Faith Ann has taken to our newest family member. She is deathly afraid of dogs and I'm hoping that having our own will erase some of her fears. I don't mind her having a healthy fear of dogs, but when we are with people who have a pet that is calm, I don't want them to have to chain up their dog because Faith Ann is so petrified. Hopefully Penny will help with that.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

RED white and blue

Happy 4th of July. I definitely miss being in the states for the 4th. It is one of my favorite holidays. I hope you all enjoyed the fireworks (or shooting stars as they call them here) for me. We haven't enjoyed a 4th of July celebration in the states for a long time actually. Since Faith was a baby. Every once in a while, Bamenda will shoot fireworks for their independence day and we can actually see a few of them from our parlour. :D

Well, Ben came home from Benakuma on Sunday. He arrived at the house around 4 p.m. He was SO sore...aside from the fact that he rode on a small motorcycle for 3 hours (between two grown men), he also got fried by the sun being out without any hat or sunscreen for several hours. They did drive through the rain for about 45 minutes, and he ducked behind the driver to avoid the bite of the rain as they flew down the roads. The driver was going quite fast too though, so Ben wanted to look and see where he was going. He felt like if he was watching he could brace himself if he thought a wreck was impending. Anyway...all that to say, it was an experience of a lifetime and he came home looking like a lobster.By bedtime he was looking more purple than red. You won't hear him complain though...God really blessed this trip. The believers were encouraged and several people trusted Christ as Saviour!

I woke up late, missing Sunday school. The sinus infection/cold (whatever it is) seemed to be getting better, but this morning I woke with a splitting headache and my sinuses completely blocked. I guess my body decided for me that I needed more sleep because I never even heard my alarm. I jumped out of bed at quarter til 8 to get the kids ready for the main service. I remembered the puppy and went to see what damage had been done. Ewwwww! that is all I can say. I grabbed her up, and held her at arms length and rushed her to the tub. She got a scrub down. Once she was clean, I handed her off to Kate and headed to tackle my hallway. It was pretty gross...but nothing that a rubbermaid mop bucket and a bottle of bleach couldn't handle. So, I cleaned up that mess, and then got the kids ready for church. We worked very hard at penning the dog in the courtyard, but everything we tried to do, she managed to escape from. So, I decided I'd put her on the front porch, hoping she wouldn't chew here way out. We took off for church. We had a great service. I was in Children's church and had 20 kids. They were all very attentive and were able to answer all the questions about David and his being anointed as King of Judah, and ultimately of Israel. We then rushed back home...with my whopping headache, and the fact that Ben was gone, I wasn't planning to go to town.

I told the kids, that as soon as we got home to rush around to the front and check on the dog. Well...that little turkey managed to get out! She chewed a hole in the screen and Kate found her running around the front yard. I'm so glad she didn't run away!

So, there is my day...I kind of told it backwards, but that is ok. We ended our evening with Apple Pie for the 4th of July. The kids had fun introducing their daddy to the newest member of our family and while he won't admit it...I think she is already growing on him. :D

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A New Puppy!

I have been bugging Ben about getting a dog for a while. He has always been "thumbs down" on the idea of getting one. They will bark, and howl etc... Originally I agreed with him, but lately, especially since we lost our kitty, I have thought about how much fun it would be to have a dog. No kid should grow up without owning at least one dog. So, he said he'd give it a try. The Loeschers, a missionary family in Foumban, posted pictures of a recent litter of their dogs puppies. SO, so cute! I knew they would be trying to find homes for them b/c they are heading back to the states soon. So, I started dropping hints to Ben. I wasn't exactly sure if they still had available puppies, but when Carol and Walter Loescher visited us one afternoon, she asked me if we needed a dog. So, I started pressing Ben for an answer. If it was no, I'm sure I'd be sad...maybe even complain, but that would be the end of it. However, He finally agreed, so today Carol headed to camp Joy to pick up some of their campers, and she brought me a puppy! Last night I told the girls (Kate and Emma) that if they went to sleep (they slept in the guest room as a treat and were so rowdy!) that I had a big surprise for them the next day. They went to sleep immediately. All morning they bugged me and discussed amongst themselves what they thought the big surprise was going to be. They finally all agreed that it was going to be a trampoline (????...not sure where in the world that came from!). So, Carol finally called and asked me to meet her at the main road to get the dog. I told all the kids to hop in the car and away we went. I was so excited that I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face. I just knew they would be thrilled! And they were thrilled!! Well....all of them except Drew. Poor kid...he was SO disappointed that it wasn't a trampoline after all. Oh well... The puppy started growing on him though. We decided on the name Penny b/c she is the color of a penny...and it just fit. That is what the Loeschers actually named her, and it was so perfect that it stuck. We still batted a few ideas around. I knew were were getting a female, so I thought the girls would love Princess. Kate wanted to name her Rosebud. But, I think we have decided to stick with Penny.

Poor Penny is without her mommy for the first night of her life, and squalling like a baby in the next room. I'm glad that Ben isn't here for her first night, and hopefully tomorrow night her cries will be less and less (really...just like a baby! haha) I was going to keep her on the front porch. Well, I put her out there while the kids and I watched a movie tonight and she hollered like crazy and I caught her chewing the screen! I was afraid she'd chew her way right off the front porch and run away. So, until we can get some kind of dog chain, she will have to stay inside. I might have a mess on my hands in the morning, but no biggie. My house is all tiled. I actually locked her in the little mud room/entry way between the kitchen and the parlour (it is where we hang all of our shoes and store purses and stuff) and that little stinker got the door open somehow. She ran right over and tried to hop onto the couch. I put her up there just to see what she'd do, and she curled up into a little ball and started falling asleep again. If I let her sleep there tonight she probably wouldn't make a peep, but she needs to start learning to sleep on her own. I hope we can all get some sleep tonight...including my nightwatchman. He is probably on the verge of shooting me right about now! haha!

Anyway, sorry for being so verbose. I can't keep any story simple. Here is Penny.
Isn't she cute! I just love her color. In fact the Cameroonians have commented on her unique coloring. She is part lab, golden retriever and german shepherd. Hopefully she starts behaving so Ben will let me keep her!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

What a mess!

Last night I put the kids to bed because Ben was on the computer talking to his Mom. I had worked very hard all day yesterday b/c we had water, which has been rare lately, so I took full advantage of it and washed everything in sight! All the kids bedding got washed, sheets, pillow shams, comforters, stuffed animals. You name it...I washed it! So, I get them in bed, and light the lantern. I've mentioned that we leave one lit b/c the power goes out quite often in the night and we want the kids to be able to see their way around if they have to get up and go to the bathroom. It is quite dark when the power goes out. Anyway, I didn't realize there was a special trick to lighting the lantern. Ben is usually the one who takes care of that part. So, I light it, and head into the kitchen where I wait for Ben to finish chatting with his Mom so we can spend some time he was leaving the next day (today). About an hour later, we head to our bedroom. The hallway was FULL of smoke. The flame of the lantern was high...licking the very top of the lantern. Thankfully our walls are cement and there is nothing near it that could catch fire. If we'd been in the states, we'd probably have had a fire on our hands. We rushed around and got a fan at the end of the hall, and opened windows and started airing the place out. Thankfully our house is FAR from airtight. None of our windows (and we have a LOT of them) really fully close. They just overlap, so there is tons of ventilation in the house. The smoke and haze cleared out quickly. We took a quick assessment of the damage and realized we had a mess on our hands. Well, this morning you could really tell. Check out the lantern:
Everything was covered in that black ash. All the kids bedding...the kids noses were black where they'd inhaled it. Thankfully we still had water all day today. The kids got a bath immediately, and I also gave my washer and dryer another good workout, and re-washed everything I'd washed the day before. I wiped down all the furniture and mopped the floors twice. I had my nightwatchman, Michael, clean the lantern for me. It really was a huge mess and took me most of today to clean. Tonight, I lit the lantern in the parlour, right before devotions, so I could watch and see how it burned. And thank the Lord for another day of water. I think I would have cried if our water had gone out!

Here is the only cool affect caused by the soot I can't believe that little spider in the middle survived all that smoke inhalation!

(p.s. Be sure to scroll down, I've added about 4 posts. I'm all caught up I think!!)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Picnic on the Porch

Ben is traveling this weekend to Benakuma, so he wanted to do something special with the family today, since he is leaving tomorrow morning. He suggested a picnic. Well, it was raining, so we had a picnic on the porch! It was fun. I wasn't feeling all that great, but I mustered up enough energy to make some biscuit pizzas. They are pretty fast, and better than your average pbj...Kate helped me too, and that made it go faster.

She has become quite a helper lately. I can always call on her to shred cheese, chop veggies, stir something in the pot. And it is good quality time that we can spend together too. The other day we were listening to Patch the Pirate and the song "Cherish the Moment" came on. Goodness that song makes me cry. I try not to really concentrate on the words b/c inevitably I'll cry. When the kids think that song is about to play, they will ask, "Is that the sad song?" Well, when Kate was in the kitchen with me, she asked me why it was so sad. I just told her that it makes me realize what a bad Mom I am. I shouldn't be constantly frustrated with my kids, but cherishing every single moment with them. Kate just looked at me and said, "Mom, you're not a bad mom? I get frustrated too ya know." ... I'll be honest, Kate is the one that makes me pull my hair out the most. That girl is going on 8, and she is so troublesome! Not in a really rebellious way, just like an inquisitive 2 year old. I'll have an important computer or camera cable, or kitchen utensil that I'm missing, and inevitably Kate is the one that took it. She is such a stinker. She literally weighs her decisions in the what I want to do worth the punishment that I'll receive? And usually the answer is yes! I know that if we train and raise her to love the Lord, that God can use that tenacity for His honor and glory, and that is my prayer.