05 January 2012

Parc W 2011 ~ Note to self: "When sending your family off to an African game park, always make sure the camera battery is completely charged."

Well, as much as I was looking forward to a vacation (any vacation) this year... after staying home last year with the littles while Tim scoped the place out...

The littles and I still missed out.

Our four younger ones were really too sick to go camping {insert very sad face and tiny violins playing as I indulge in a very short self-pity party...} and so Tim headed out with the biggers while I stayed home.

And we forgot to charge the camera batteries before they left, so while they had some great photo opps... and got some pretty awesome photos... they had to be judicious with how much they used the camera.

And they still returned with a plethora of photos!

I'm really not bitter about this, although honesty forces me to admit I shed a few selfish tears being left behind... again... initially... I'm glad we made the choice we did because the younger four would have been miserable had we tried to take them (as would have been their mama) and the bigger five - including Leandra - would have been pretty wretched if they hadn't gone (as would have been their daddy).

So I am glad they had a good time and all stayed safe... although...
  • stories about elephants charging the Land Cruiser,
  • lion and baboons harassing each other less than a kilometer from camp,
  • crazy plunging from a cliff into murky water where crocs could be concealed,
  • hikes into the Gorge where they had to engage an armed guard to go with them... (for protection from what, exactly... or do I really want to know?)

...do lead me to shake my head in wonder at these thrill seeking teens and daddy!

Maybe I'm turning into "Old Fogey"
(i.e. an extremely fussy, old-fashioned, or conservative person, fuddy-duddy,
square, stick-in-the-mud, antique, dinosaur, fossil, relic,
anachronism, dodo...)

So enjoy the rest of the photos...
and don't miss a final question at the very end!

Please do tell..
What's your favorite picture and why?


  1. Hi Richelle, I love the sunset through the branches, the little green birds, and the canoeing pics. Your life seem like what I dream of for mine. I've had a heart for missions in Africa since I was little. And now, pregnant with my 5th child, I battle the: "Are we done now?" question. I've always felt since being married, to trust God with childbearing. That He knows what we/I can handle. But I had been having a hard time being "a good mom", from my point of view. I feel like it's definitely getting better. Putting God first, prayer, and being grateful for the little things has been helping me change my perspective, my focus. How did you manage when they were little? My children are 6, almost 5, 2.5, and 10 months. Did you have help? My family is on the other side of the Canada, so they aren't able to help. My husband realised we should get help for when the baby comes, so he's paid half the flight for my Mom to come. :)

    1. Hi Lisa - you've been wading way back in our blog to find this post. I'd actually forgotten about it. :-)

      You ask several questions - the first about family size was one we wrestled with as well. We "planned" to have three; then we decided to trust God totally - I used to think I was more dependent on God/more spiritual because of our choice. After a long separation and being on two different continents when the last one was born, my husband decided to make a decision, I decided to support him in that decision and I think we are both thankful and feel that it was God's leading. All that to say - I think God gives couples the freedom to make those choices and it has been a much greater challenge for me to trust Him with the health of my children in this place than it was to trust Him in regards to the size of my family or where those children were born.

      No doubt about it - it IS hard to be a mom of many. There's always enough love to go around, but there isn't time to be the mom I think I should be or the mom I think others expect me to be. Number 5 was the hardest transition. When she was born, our oldest was just 8, then 6 then 4 then 2 - and my husband returned to our place of service here when she was a week old and I had all 5 by myself, one week postpartum - and when she was three months old, we flew back to Africa to join him. It was hard. I didn't have help while in the States; here we did employ one gal to help clean the house and bake bread.

      Start training your olders to help. Ages 5 and 6 can wash and dry dishes and put the dishes away, fold laundry and put it away, help peel potatoes, cut up veggies, sweep, mop, dust, pick up their room, rake leaves - our society tends to say they should only play or do their music and sports activities and be free to be a kid. I used educational programs to entertain on the TV. And I didn't get out much. Remember it is a season and if God does bless you with more beyond this one, having the biggers able to serve and help is wonderful. I've asked my biggers (my oldest graduates this year) and they don't resent it at all. We also give our biggers a lot of freedom and responsibility for themselves, decisions and choices - as we feel they've earned it.

      I'm so glad your mom will be there for the delivery because that will help. My mom helped me with the flight back to Africa after #5 was born. I don't think I could have done it without her... and my husband met us in Paris. But a few years later, after number 8 was born, I made the flight the whole way with my 4 by myself - 4 years, 2 years, newborn and an 11 year old - and my wallet disappeared in Detroit. :-) God still took care of us.

      It isn't ever easy - but should we expect it to be? Or do we welcome the challenges, the sufferings, the joys, the delights, the unexpected surprises and even the mundane day to day. It is good, though - always. I wouldn't change a thing... most days. ;-)


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