Sunday, October 28, 2012

Thank You!

South Africa has eleven official languages, and we figured the best way to show how thankful we are for the gifts we have been given was to express our thanks in each language!

Dankie * Ro Livhuwa Ngiyathokoza * Ke a leboha * Siyabonga * InkomuNgiyabonga * Enkosi * Ndo livhuwa Ke a leboga Thank you

We received the offering from Darin’s home church in Edgerton this week and this gift has been such a blessing to us. With these gifts, we have been able to get caught up on two months of back rent and utility bills and we will also be able to pay the registration fees for the 2013 school year. It feels so good to get these things taken care of and also know that we are set for a few more months of worry free living!

We cannot thank each individual and family who gave as we don’t know who you are. We know that many checks were sent to Edgerton from Michigan and also from friends and family all over the US. We have also heard from a few people who want to sponsor our family on a monthly basis and are thankful for these gifts as well.

Thank you all for your generosity. We look forward to seeing how God will use our family in this next part of our journey and we will trust that where He wills us to be, He will make a way for us to be there!

Afrikaans - Dankie
Ndebele - Ngiyathokoza
Sesotho - Ke a leboha
Northern Sotho - Ke a leboga
Setswana - Ke a leboga
Siswati - Siyabonga
Tsonga - Inkomu
Venda - Ndo livhuwa / Ro livhuwa
Xhosa - Enkosi
Zulu - Ngiyabonga

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Big Kid Stuff

Tyson is really into Ben 10, a US cartoon that is very popular out here. He has even made up a song that he usually sings in the shower, complete with motions. I often find this song running through my head, so I thought I’d share it with you all “It’s Ben Ten, in the house here. Singing Whoa-oh-oh, singing ma-ma-ma” and repeat.

Jori informed me that they call periods “fool stops” in her class. I said “You mean full stop”, but she insisted it was a “fool stop”. I finally convinced her that her teacher and classmates were saying “full” and it only sounded like “fool”.

During dinner a few nights ago, both kids got up to show us how drunk people walk. We asked them how they had gathered this information and they said they learned it at school, during Tswana lessons. Neither of them was quite sure why their teacher had been walking like a drunk person, but as you probably figured out from the “fool stop/full stop” debate, a lot of stuff is lost in translation for our kids.

We have been having a lot of rain lately. A lot. It is much needed and good for the country, but frankly, I’m a little sick of it all. Our kids, however, had a wonderful time getting down and dirty in a big puddle on our driveway. I was happy to let them play until I realized it had started lightning and then I called their party to a halt. Even after we told them they could be fried by lightning, they still didn’t want to come in. We held firm out of love.

Tyson has two loose front teeth. He lost both of the bottom middle teeth, but getting him to pull those out was a battle. Now, we are preparing for a major war as the new top middle teeth are coming in, pushing his front teeth out and causing them to cross each other. He does not seem bothered by his new, goofy grin, but the farther out his teeth come, the more inclined I am to pin him down and have Darin pry them out.

During our family prayer time tonight Jori thanked God for our house. She then continued “and thank you God that James is letting us stay in his house (sorry, Juliet, but both kids call this James’ house) and actually God, James isn’t letting us stay here, but you told him ‘Let the Fey family stay in your house’ and James said ‘Yes God’, so thank you for that.”

We are so blessed by these two kids. They definitely keep us on our toes and make us realize daily what an enormous task God has given to us as parents. There are many days that we don’t feel up to the challenge and really miss our support system back in Michigan, but we know that there are many people praying for us. So thanks, and please don’t stop!

Friday, October 19, 2012

O's Therapy

Yesterday we took Miss O to therapy. We hadn’t been in a few weeks due to school holidays and some scheduling issues, but we finally made it! This was the first time that O didn’t cry during her therapy session. Miss Bridget had a lot of new things for O to try and there was NO tummy time today, which definitely helped keep a smile on our girl’s face.

Miss Bridget started off by having O go from standing to sitting and she was really impressed with how much stronger O seemed. O was able to get up from sitting on a little platform with some support from Miss Bridget, but she really used her legs and tummy and did the hard work herself.

O also got to play with shaving cream. She seemed to really enjoy feeling the texture of the cream and the little beads Miss Bridget added and her clenched fists relaxed a lot as she moved them through the foamy mess. She sat on her knees and raised herself up a bit to reach for some animal cutouts that were in the foam.

We were really excited to see that the standing frame had been returned to Miss Bridget so that we could use it for O. It looks a bit like a medieval torture device, but O was really excited to be standing upright. Miss Bridget showed us how to get her body placed in the right way; feet flat, butt pushed in, body straight.

Taken at our house. Don't mind the mess.
While O was standing, Miss Bridget brought out a cool homemade toy that she uses to encourage kids to push/give pressure with their hands. This is something we need to work on and Darin is pretty sure he can rig up a similar contraption. O loved seeing the helicopter blades whirring around and it was exciting to see the light come on when she realized that she was controlling the blades by pushing on the green box.

Yesterday’s appointment  was a real encouragement for Darin and I. Miss Bridget pointed out a lot of changes that she noticed in O’s body, including how much more she is using her trunk for support.  We are with O every day now and at times it seems like she isn’t learning and that her body isn’t responding to the exercises we do with her, so it was just great to hear such positive feedback. We hope and pray that O will continue to progress and regain the mobility and abilities that she lost a year ago. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

More Random News

I haven’t been sleeping well the past few weeks. I try to take captive the thoughts that roll through my head, but it’s like herding cats. I also feel like there are things crawling on me. Like all the time. This feeling increases while I lay in bed NOT sleeping and makes a slightly miserable sleepless night even more unpleasant. Maybe I’m going crazy. This would explain a lot of things, sleep issues and crawling skin being only 2 of the many.

Tyson has been coming home with cursive handwriting homework every day. To say that this homework is making us all a bit on edge would be an understatement. He struggles so much, which makes me want to take his homework and rip it up, but that wouldn’t really be such a great example. Instead we just tell him over and over that we only want him to do his best, which is hard for a budding perfectionist to handle.

We are taking Miss O to therapy tomorrow. Hooray. We have lots of questions, including “How do we motivate this child to roll and crawl?” Right now, we are at a loss. She seems to have no internal motivation and there are very few external things that motivate her. We know she can roll and she can crawl (not proper crawling, mind you, but the girl can get herself around), but she prefers to lay on her back look at the toys surrounding her and cry instead of moving her body to get to these toys.

Jori is going through a phase I call “Foreshadowing of the teenage years”. It is a scary thing. I keep thinking “This foot stomping, arm crossing, back talking beast could not possibly be my sweet 6 year old”, but alas, she is. This week she has told me that I am teaching her to be a mean mommy when she grows up and she has asked me why I haven’t apologized for getting upset at her after she came out of bed. Oh dear Jori, I love you so, but I am missing your sweet, easy to please self.

Darin is keeping steady under pressure. He is a rock. He’s been selling filters, washing dishes, wrestling with the kids after school, and juggling all the stuff that would put me over the edge if I had to think about it too much.

And the final random bit:

As I typed this, I saw one snake, one squirrel and a flock of birds right outside the window. I was hoping the birds would eat the snake so I didn’t have to worry about it being poisonous and biting one of the kids. That did not happen. The snake slithered up a tree and will hopefully stay there and not make its way onto the thatch and into our house. If it tries to get in, I hope the new squirrel living in our roof has the power to take it out! 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Two Week Wrap-up

It is Saturday morning, a very quiet Saturday morning. Darin, Tyson and Jori are camping with a group of dads and kids from our church. They left yesterday afternoon and will be back sometime later today. Darin has sent me a few pictures and it looks like they are having lots of fun. I’ll see if I can get him and the kids to write up a post telling all about their camping adventure later this week!

With the three of them gone, that left me and O at home alone. She took an extra long nap yesterday, which might have been why she was up twice during the night (not normal) for reasons unknown to me. She did sleep in til after 8 this morning though so I’m not feeling too tired from her nocturnal activity. I did two loads of laundry while she sat in her chair watching a pair of hornbills fly into a window. She seemed to enjoy the show they put on. Now she is sitting outside in her swing watching the birds and enjoying the cool breeze from under the lapa. It is HOT here, almost 100 yesterday and I’m not sure what it is already today, but it’s almost too hot to enjoy my morning coffee.

Since I last wrote, we’ve been keeping busy. Darin celebrated his 35th birthday on the 22nd of September. We went to cell group in the morning and had breakfast for lunch at Wimpy. On the 23rd, we went to lunch at the Warrens and met another family that also recently moved here from Virginia. The kids had a great time playing with their boys and Darin and I enjoyed having a time of fellowship with other adults. The kids had a holiday on the 24th, Heritage Day I believe. The rest of the week was pretty quiet for them and us. I spent some time across the road, Darin had some meetings, lots of phone calls and tons of emails shooting back and forth.

On Friday, the 28th, we went to court for Miss O. We found out we’ve been spelling and saying her name slightly wrong. It’s Oarabile, pronounced O-are-ah-bee-lay, and not Orabile, O-ra-bee-lay, but really, you say it so fast that it basically sounds the same either way J We arrived at the court at 9, which is when the social worker told us to be there. The social worker showed up at 10, and we were finally seen around 11 by the magistrate. The whole process went very quickly and O has been granted a 6 month leave of absence from TYB and has been placed in our care for that time.

We had cell again on the 29th and went to the Van Gilders for lunch afterwards. We are so thankful to have found such good friends out here in South Africa!

Sunday, the 30th, Darin and his partners, Blessing and Carel, were supposed to have a meeting in the township closest to us to present the water filters to the local community. They arrived at their meeting at 9 in the morning and found out at 9:30 that the meeting had been cancelled. This is Africa!! Thankfully, Jeanne, who runs the Art Therapy program, had also shown up for this meeting, and she took the guys around to meet some people in the community. Blessing and Carel stayed for lunch, which was nice because I hadn’t met either of them yet.

The kids had this past week off from school for midterm break. They now have one term left until summer holidays and then they’ll be starting 2nd and 3rd grades! Wow. We had a nice week together. We went across the road a few times and the kids even swam one day. Tyson and Darin worked on our garden and Tyson helped Darin with some errands in town. Jori and I played Polly Pockets and she painted O’s toenails. On Wednesday, the Crone’s, who we met at the Warren’s house, came to visit. They played so hard together and were tired out for the rest of the day. On Thursday morning, Tyson and Jori stayed home (with Amos to keep an eye on them), while Darin and I went to a meeting for the Take Action group. Then yesterday they headed off for some camping fun and that brings us back to today! 

Build Them a Home Progress Report #3

Wow, wow, wow!!! We are only $50 away from reaching our goal!! Thank you to everyone who gave over the past week. The house is really taki...