Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kate is 8!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Friday

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

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

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


And Kate's:

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

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

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

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

Until next time...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Trim The Tree

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

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

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

Here is what you need for materials:

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas!

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holiday Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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