Thursday, December 6, 2012

Happy 8th birthday Hannah!

 Birthday week began on Sunday with some singing at our weekly gathering in the city 1 hour north of us.  I made a triple chocolate peppermint brownie (gluten free!) and my sons were seen standing behind the buffet (one in striped shirt above) grazing with chocolate crumbs dropping down.
 On the actual day, December 4th, we walked to our friend's house and had some cupcakes and a song.

I can't believe that she's already 8!  She is so full of life, observations, and conversations.  I'm so thankful for her, she makes me laugh and warms my heart.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The slaughter

This time of the year rolled around again--the sheep sacrifice.  Here is our neighbor's sheep hanging from their roof.

 It is hard work for the women.  Here our neighbor is taking the intestine and cleaning it and splitting it open with her fingers.  There is a fancy little braid they make and then they cook it in a stew-type dish.

 Here is some fat hanging on a line.  On the first day they barbeque the liver and either wrap it with this thin fat or (for the health conscious) put a small piece of fat between the pieces.  It's quite good, highly seasoned and tasty.

 Our neighborhood friends who have quite a business going--they burn the fur off of the heads and legs of the sheep.  They pull in a bit of money (but notice all of the staff needing to be paid!!).

A very unique time!  The actual slaughter of the sheep usually includes the whole family, kids included.  It's kind of like our "trimming the Christmas tree," a festive and happy time.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

1st Day of School


We did start in early September, but thought I'd still post "First Day of School photos" because they'll remain in these grades for the rest of the year.  They are getting older and hopefully wiser too.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

His kind provision--sorghum

Having to keep a gluten free diet in a developing country can be a bit daunting.  But God has provided every step of the way.  Our recent find was at the feed store as we were getting bunny food.  Having never seen the grain in the photo I immediately asked what it was.  "Food for doves," was the reply.  Hmmm.  We took a few grains home and sure enough, it's sorghum!  Sorghum flour is used a lot in gluten free cooking in the states. It's a whole grain, high in fiber and iron and rich in antioxidants.  Bring it on!  We went back, bought 2 kilos (he said his wife also grinds it up and adds it to her bread), and brought it home and ground it and sifted it.  I'm so thankful to have another option besides rice and corn flour.  Hooray!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Trip to Remember

We were overwhelmed by God's kindness to us this summer.  The boys were planning on going to a boy scout camp.  Instead of just the boys going and flying, the thought of all going and camping on our way there sounded appealing.  With God's provision of a hefty tax return, a trusty car, and a wonderful other family that we travelled with...memories were created that I will relive and savor for a long time.  We packed up our camping gear, got on a ferry that took us across the Strait of Gibraltor, and off we went!

Jumping into an Italian lake.
Learning skills at camp.
"I'm on the top of the world looking down on creation."
Summer tobaggan runs
Eating "Mozartkugal" in Salzburg
Enjoying the scenery and anything minty in Venice

Celebrating our 18th anniversary on the road.  I love him.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Professing and dunking

On June 29th, Elijah and Josiah were baptized.  A special group surrounded them as they professed Christ and were baptized.

A passage from a wonderful song by Andrew Peterson sums it up--
"I heard the call and came, they buried me beneath the water then I rose again.

I believe He is the Christ, Son of the living God.

All I know is that I was blind but now I see
That though I kick and scream Love is leading me.
And every step of the way His grace is making me
With every breath I breathe He is saving me and I believe."

May the Lord continue to "make" our sons by His grace.
So thankful for His salvation in Christ alone.

Monday, October 15, 2012

End of school year photos

 Hannah finished off last year with much joy.  She enjoyed her little friends.

She had a very special French teacher who took care of her and really wanted her to learn.  
We thank God for Soumaya.

16 year old in the house!

Elizabeth turned 16 at Auntie Sara and Uncle Brian's house last June 22nd.  She went back to the states to take part in her online school's "end of the year gathering" and then travelled to my sister's house and had a wonderful time with the nieces and new nephew.  We love family.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Grown up chickens

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hannah's Quilt

After 2+ years I have finally finished sewing Hannah's quilt. I loved matching the colors. I usually would bring it out when the kids were watching a movie and thankfully they didn't mind the sewing machine I could sew and watch at the same time. I especially enjoyed doing the pink trim around the sides. So thankful for this little girlie and for the refreshment that creating something brings.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy 10th birthday John!

Cinnamon rolls for breakfast
 A peach pie with all 10 candles in the middle! We are so glad that you are in our family, John, and pray that Christ in you will glow like those candles on your pie.  We love you!

The wise man builds his house upon rock

In March, this house was started across our street.  Look at the progress!

The man with the hat is bending rebar.
The little hut in the back is where the night watchman slept.  They mixed their cement right there on the street.

See the pulley?  Hard work!
They have been really diligent and creative with their resources.  I'm impressed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


We have welcomed four chickens into our home.
We got them when they were just little peeps, about 5 weeks ago.
 The kids call them Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin.
Now they have grown bigger, but not necessarily wiser.  They are funny and skiddish animals, travelling in a pack. Once I poured out some ends of green beans to see if they would eat them. At first they were afraid, eyeing them but not moving. Then one pecked one of the ends and ran with it in his beak. The others followed him, trying to steal his treasure (not realizing that 75 more bean ends laid right under their feet). Made me laugh and reminded me of (dare I say it?)...teenagers!

Hoping for some hens in our foursome, we invited our neighbor over to see if he could tell if they were female or male. Well, he knew a trick. He held them and pulled their neck out and then by the way it bobbed or shook he could tell what it was. I kid you not! He concluded that we have 3 roosters and 1 hen. Good thing that the hen was named Sam...Samantha now!
Feeding time brings out some anxiety in them. They see one of us coming with the plastic bag of grain and they get giddy. One flies up and pecks the bag causing a stream of grain to pour out. The others follow and make little noises. When the grain is poured into the dish they all start to pick-a-little, talk-a-little, pick-a-little, talk-a-little, cheep cheep cheep, talk-a-lot pick a little more!

I told Patrick today that I'm really enjoying having farm pets on our little patio. They make me laugh!