Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Love You Sew!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's Me Again!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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