30 October 2009

On Target

One of Rebekah's birthday gifts was a junior bow, and she loves practicing.

Dad is always willing to give pointers and as Rebekah keeps practicing...

...she keeps improving! That shot might have actually done some damage.

Of course, anything Rebekah tries, Anna has to try, too. I've never quite figured my girls out... Nadia and Anna are best buddies, but Rebekah and Anna have much more similar interests, even though their personalities are so amazingly different - I sometimes wonder that God placed them in the same family.

Not too bad for her first attempt at letting one fly.

Watch out

(Still sippin' fun memories, but I think we've left summer behind and now have reached early autumn, the first chill in the air and the beginning leaves tumbling from the branch.)

29 October 2009

Ever heard of the "Stroop Test?"

It's not as easy as it sounds...

Say the color you see aloud - DO NOT read the word.

...and exercise your brain!

And if you try it - how'd you do? What do you think of brain teasers like this? I love them!

If you like them, try this! I have, a few times, and I've not "beaten the chimp" yet, but I have figured out a strategy, and will soon! Guess my strategy?

28 October 2009

Not Even an ALMOST Wordless Wednesday ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We took the child out of Africa... but we can't get Africa out of the child!

Don't forget to turn off the music player in our side bar before watching this video.

Sorry this is tipped on its side - I have no idea what to do to turn video into "portrait..." so we just turn our heads sideways to watch. :-) I walked through the door after Brendan's soccer game last Friday and Rebekah couldn't wait to show us this video they took of Elsie Mae in the basement... I can promise you, we DIDN'T teach her THAT... but we certainly chuckled when we saw the video.

On another note - we've now got 5 of our school kids home, sick with the flu, including Elsie Mae, Victoria and Nadia. We do appreciate your prayers.

27 October 2009

A timely read for this mama...

Thanks, Jenny.

For those who were wanting to know ~

Lord willing and health permitting, here it is ~
Our Travel Schedule

  • MACS Semi-finals soccer game (Brendan) ~ Midland, MI - Oct. 27.
  • Grace Baptist Church Missions Conference ~ Westerville, OH – Oct. 30-Nov. 1
  • Calvary Baptist Academy Choir/Drama Tour (Brendan) ~ Traveling around Michigan - Nov.1-5
  • Calvary Baptist Church ~ Midland, MI - Nov. 4, AWANA (Richelle - Truth in Training)
  • First Baptist Church Cass City Missions Conference ~ Cass City, MI - Nov. 6-8
  • Evangelistic Meetings with Mark Herbster, Calvary Baptist Church ~ Midland, MI - Nov. 8-13. (School Students are performing on Tuesday night, Nov. 10.)
  • First day of Rifle Season, Nov. 15 ;-)
  • Ravenna Baptist Church ~ Ravenna, MI - Nov. 15, Sunday School and morning service
  • Calvary Baptist Church ~ Midland, MI - Nov. 15, evening service
  • Elementary School Program, Calvary Baptist Academy ~ Midland, MI - Nov. 20
  • THANKSGIVING! ~ celebrating with family ~ Nov. 26-29
  • First Baptist Church ~ Howard City, MI - Nov. 29
  • Calvary Baptist Church, Missionary Christmas ~ Midland, MI - Dec. 6
  • Calvary Baptist Academy, Elementary Chapel ~ Midland, MI - Dec. 8 (a.m.)
  • Calvary Baptist Academy, Christmas Concert ~ Midland, MI - Dec. 8 (p.m.)
  • Lansing Avenue Baptist Church ~ Jackson, MI - Dec. 13

Two Roads Overcame the Hyena

"A very hungry hyena went out on the plains to hunt for food. He came to a branch in the bush road where the two paths veered off in different directions. He saw two goats caught in the thickets at the far end of the two different paths. With his mouth watering in anticipation, he decided that his left leg would follow the left path and his right leg the right path. As the two paths continued to veer in different directions he tried to follow them both at once. Finally he split in two." (...found in many African languages)

Do you know a proverb from our language or culture that says essentially the same thing? I'm thinking of one...

Story found at afriprov.org
Drawing found at dragoart.com

26 October 2009

We Collected the Bug we were HOPING to Avoid...


We were hoping to catch a-lot-a-bugs... and we did! A bug collection is traditionally a 4th grade project... we were given the heads up before leaving Niger last summer, so we started collecting some good 'ole African bugs - even getting a few duplicates that we brought home to share!

Anna was delighted with her finished project... and although we helped a bit, she worked several hours on this project, and certainly earned the 119/100 points she received as a grade.

Can you figure out which bugs are part of the West African contingent that flew incognito on Air Maroc last summer?

My only questions (and they didn't "hatch" until I started filing and preparing photos to use on the blog the other day) were...

"How come these two critters
didn't make it into the collection?
If they found they in time to photo them,
couldn't they have put them in a kill jar?

Sadly, however, we've captured a few "undesired" bugs... and now another munchkin is manifesting signs of the flu. Please add our little "butterfly," Anna, to your prayer list. I'm super sad that she is sick, but I can't tell you how it delighted my heart that a few tears escaped from her eyes when I told her she'd have to stay home from today... She's loving it, and that is a huge prayer answered!

God is good!


A fish is the last to acknowledge the existence of water.
~W. African Proverb
So.... how do you interpret this proverb? What do you think?

25 October 2009

More Horses... this time the "Redneck" Version ~

~ and this is exactly what I'd expect at a county fair. These animals are magnificent and amazing. Don't you just love God's creation?

Video of the "Big Guys" competing.

24 October 2009

Pray for our Little "Octo - potamus"

Jonathan is just loving school! and ALL his new friends. and his awesome teachers. and getting to leave the house with the big kids two mornings a week. and show and tell. and playing on the playground. and learning about lots of things like "O says 'o' as in ostrich, octagon and octo-potamus!" Each week they work on a new number and letter, and in the process have several fun activities that go along with their letter of the week theme. It just so happened that he picked the "octopus" book to take in for show and tell (he usually tries to find something for show and tell that uses the letter of the week for that week) on the same day they did these "octopus" hats and ate octopus... (a.k.a. "octo-dogs") for snack. He cracked us up when he informed us, however, that the picture of the creature on his book was not an "octopus," but rather an "octo-potamus." Makes sense, after he hears his mom talk about the different animals we might see in Niger in kids' Sunday School classes at our supporting churches.
Yesterday morning, our little octo-potamus was running a fever... and while we weren't sure at first if it was a reaction to immunizations earlier in the week or something more, we've come to the conclusion (sneezing, coughing, not much appetite, high temp) that it is the flu. And since the lady at the Health Department told me (when we were in for said immunizations) that about 90% of all flu right now is H1N1... well, you can figure that we figure that's what we've got. He's quarantined the best we can in a family of 10 ... with the computer, some toys and lots of blankets on a pallet in the floor of our bedroom and is amazingly cheerful for one running a 104' + temp. We'd appreciate prayers for wisdom, strength and stamina, a relatively quick return to health for our family (we don't think he's the only one that will "get it" - and we do have an asthmatic and a younger than 1 year old in the family) as well as lots of grace... the little one is still having a few whooping cough episodes on a nightly basis and now another bug has come to call.

"C'est la vie aux Étas-Unis!"

And, if you know of any sure fire "oinkments" to make it go away... or just to give us all a laugh, send 'em our way! God is good, even when we don't agree with Him, isn't He?

Off to make some chicken noodle soup...

So Sad, but So Excited, ALL at the Same Time

Many tears were cried that day... leaving is hard, being left behind is hard, and our children have been so disappointed that their cousins won't be here in town to hang out, fellow classmates at school. Uncle Steve and Nadia have always had a special "connection." But we are so excited for this opportunity the Lord has given them to be in full-time ministry and can't wait to see what God will do! We hope to visit them in California, too!

23 October 2009

Ever try drinking your pumpkin pie?

Sometimes when we are back in the States, we enjoy the convenience of food already prepared and packaged. But one of those things that I've learned how to do, love to do and definitely prefer, taste-wise, is roasting pumpkins to use in recipes - especially since pumpkins are so plentiful this time of the year. The fact that it is one of my favorite flavors (year round, not just when the leaves are tumbling and fluttering), is a bonus! When I came home to have Mary Michelle last year, Rebekah and I discovered "pumpkin smoothies" - and we introduced the rest of the family to them the other night. The most frequently heard comment (after "Yummy!" ~ said with a huge grin, and "Is there any more?") was:
"It's like drinking a pumpkin pie... whipped cream included!"

So how do we make them? Well, I don't use an exact recipe, so it tastes a little different every time - but here's the recipe with approximate amounts if you'd like to give it a try. Let us know what you think, if you do!

About two cups of roasted pumpkin, still mostly frozen

About 2-3 cups of vanilla yogurt (slightly more than half of 32 oz container, depending on what's left or if I am just opening it)

1/2 cup of brown sugar... or to taste

rounded tsp of pumpkin pie spice... or sprinkle in according to your taste cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, nutmeg... + and extra pinch of cinnamon, just because I love it!

a handful of ice cubes plus cold water to fill up the blender

Blend, pour into individual cups, garnish with orange sprinkles for the kids and kids at heart... or cinnamon and nutmeg for the adults or fellow cinnamon addicts.

It's a hit with 9 out of 10 in our family!
Does your family agree?


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