Thursday, August 09, 2012

Erin's Birthday celebrated...

For Erin's birthday she and her friend Cristina went to the movies and then we brought pizza home. They played with the goats, giggled a lot and had a pretty good evening.
Erin's family party was a bit of a flop really. She had a friend overnight and then slept through most of her birthday and was not really awake for her family party. Sad really, as I have no photos of her during the family party. She was not happy that I had it after the sleep over and had food she did not like. That was not very thoughtful of me and I forget exactly how it worked out that way. A week later college foster student Chelsy came over and pampered her with some fun things. We got some photos of that!!!

Summer's End

Summer vacation is rocketing towards it's close.  The "not the best summer ever" is finally coming to a close.  Why so glum?   Well, expectations I suppose.   With Collin being 15 and Chris not having a hired man, I expected Collin and even Erin to help him on the farm.  It never really happened.  I have come to realize my husband is a loner and he prefers to work alone or with another person who can work on their own.  Other than summer workouts there was not a lot going on for them this summer.  Erin kept busier with her friends, often going swimming or for walks or movie nights.  Collin spent most afternoons and evenings playing with his friends online on xbox live. 

Hans' summer started off disappointing as baseball did not pan out as planned.  He had an enjoyable Sterling Rec Season, but the traveling/ tournament team did not work out.  He did pretty well connecting with friends at the pool or getting together.  He also did a wrestling camp with Wendell and football workouts 3 mornings a week. 

Alan had a very disappointmenting summer.  While we were busily running older kids to workouts or events he got to tag along.   None of his friends went to the pool, so even this was not a fun activity.  It seems that when we did plan something for him it did not work out.  He thought he was going to have an awesome baseball season, but alas even that fell apart.  This week he is in football camp and has even managed to be gloomy about that. 

Over arching all of this is a summer plagued with drought and heat since mid May.  It has been over 100F most days with absolutely no signficant rain.   The situation at church has been disappointing so time when we would often find enjoyment have been bittersweet. 

Where does one find joy in such annoying circumstances?  Well, the sin of discontentment has plagued everyone, including me!!!   My hope is in the Lord...not my children's performance or circumstances.Not in the weather or other people.  So i am going to work my way backwards through the summer and even spring to find the blessings and joy and record them here! 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Erin!

Oh boy were we in trouble.  During spring break we had an airsoft party for Hans...on Erin's birthdaay.  I forget exactly why this worked out for him and not for her, but we did it anyway.  I believe we were down to the last weekend of spring break and we just put this together quickly so that we could get it done during the break.  I know, the Schweizers were supposed to have it, but were unable to so we were the substitute location!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Settling In

After our first trip through the park we went to the Chalet, unpacked and settled in a bit.  Phil and Denise made a wonderful lunch of ribs, beans and salad.  It was so good!!!africa game reserve 1702012-01-18_08-52-59_377denise camera 196

The Chalet’s were nice.  The kids went swimming and we prepared for an evening Safari in an open safari vehicle with a tour guide from the resort.  That meant we got to stay out late which was fun!


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We tried very hard and thought maybe we would see a leopard this night, but it was not to be.  We did get to see some lions

Let the vacation begin...

After a good night sleep (and praise the Lord it was a good night) we headed out first thing to the game reserve.  They rented a microbus and trailor and we piled in!  We took a drive through the park before checking into our chalet. We were met by beautiful wild life. 

On our way...

Early in the morning we headed out the door (like 5:30 I think).  It was not a smooth exit, the one laptop bag was not a laptop bag and I had to repack some of that stuff and I lost my cool and my pb sandwich.  Ugh off to KCI with no breakfast!   We got to Shawnee, picked up Paul and headed to the airport.  We got through the check in and security, laughing at the dumbfounded look on people's faces when we said our destination was Johannesburg.  "South Africa?",  they'd say.  Long day!  Unfortunately, there was no food on the other side of security so we went back out of security so we could go to Quiznos.  The flight to Washington DC was uneventful except everyone's electronic devices were losing charge so fast all we wanted to do was plug in.  We found some real food at Fuddruckers, a restaraunt I remember from my friend RuthAnne's Maryland days, not sure why!  BUT when Alan and I returned "early" to the gate to plug our computers and ipods in I heard a staff person calling out our seat numbers in an irritated tone.  Sure enough, we were supposed to be checked in and we weren't.  It was an hour ahead of time, but they were boarding our flight already.  We got everything unplugged, the ones still eating back to the gate and we were on the plane!
South African Airlines gave the boys coloring bags to which they did not know what to say and the stewardess said, "A thank you would be nice."  Oops.  Then she came by asking for our drink order and when Erin looked at her with uncertainty she said, "Do I have to list all the drinks for you?" and then asked if she spoke when spoken too because Erin was looking at her dumbfoundedly.  Sigh, all we needed, a cheeky stewardess on our first international flight.  That was only for the first 8 hours because we stopped in Dakar, the wait staff deplaned and a new crew took over (halleluiah!).  They also sprayed the cabin with very strong disinfectant.  I had mistakenly given the 2 older kids (and myself) a sleeping pill (just unisom) 
Sadly, in Dakar it was in full force, but no one would let me sleep.  Not good.  Somehow we made it through the "night". Praise the Lord we had pancakes for breakfast and landed without incident.  We were greeted by family and aside from a seemingly endless, bumpy, nauseating drive through downtown Johannesburg...we were there safe and sound!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

South Africa in the planning phases

The hope and dream of this trip started at least 2 years prior to our going.  When Phil and Denise started ministry in the Dominican Republic, we desired to go and spend time with them.  Their time there did not work out and they accepted the call to South Africa.  We still had a desire to go see them, especially when the photos of zebra, giraffes, lions and cheetahs started pouring in. 

We were to go December 2010, but that summer of 2010 was rough.  It was a cold wet spring and a wet summer.  Normally this would be wonderful, but too much or too little moisture just is not helpful in farming.  We were short on  funds and time. The summer was hard as was the fall with  both Collin and Erin in Junior High.  When we priced the tickets for going during Christmas break, it seemed way out of our reach, to fly over holiday season was $2000 a person.  So we decided to back up and pray about it.

2011 was not farmer friendly at all, however fall 2010 was and Chris tucked some money away when the grain prices rallied the end of 2010.  We were plagued with drought and heat this summer.  Yet the desire to go see Phil and Denise for a work and witness trip was still present.   But the details were downright scary!  It was homecoming weekend when we finally had a Saturday morning available to get into the post office for passports.  To get the kid's passports both Chris and I had to be present.  It was crazy.  We thought we had veverything together but when we got there Collin's birth certificate was not with everyone elses.  Ugh.  Chris found it and we were able to get it done, but it was stressful! As we were finishing up we took some seriously funny monkey shots!

Christmas 2011 we sent out support letters to inform our friends of our trip