Showing posts from May, 2011

Tyson's Speech on South Africa

This week, Tyson's class started a unit on South Africa. His teacher, Mrs. G., put together activities for the kids to do, like coloring the map of South Africa, decorating a traditional mask, and putting together a book of interesting facts about the country. She also checked out a variety of books on South Africa and has been reading them to the class. They'll be continuing to learn more about South Africa through next week. This has been SUCH a great thing for Tyson. He's been coming home from school telling us facts about South Africa and just seems more excited about going. On Monday, Tyson was able to share about his experience in South Africa back when he was a wee lad of 4. I stopped by so that I could hear what he said and answer any additional questions. He LOVED being in the spotlight. Loved it. It did my heart good to see him in the classroom beaming. Handing out pictures Here are the pictures that Tyson chose to share with his class: Feeding the e

My girl

I love having a little girl. It's true. I really do. When we first found out we were having a girl, I almost cried, and they were not happy tears. Our kids due dates were a day apart (they both ended up being early and their birthdays are two days apart) and we were pretty much living in boy world with Tyson (trucks, motorcycles, diggers, oh my!) and I had so many clothes and the sizes and seasons would have been a perfect match! Yet God saw fit to give us a girl and we have been blessed by our little bubba. So blessed. Now that she's all done with preschool, Jori spends her day saying things that I find funny, which I then write down so I can tell Darin about them later. My recent faves: Referring to the movie "Rio" as "Mango". I don't know why, but this cracks me up.  The other day in the van, she said "Mom, I have two talents. One is flying (seriously, she believes she can fly, so if she ever gives you a demo, don't burst her bubble) and

Being Authentic

On our way home from church this Sunday, I turned to Darin and said "I think Pastor Larry was in our bedroom last night". I did not mean this in a creepy way, but while listening to Pastor Larry's sermon that morning our conversation from the night before kept popping into my head. The message was titled Authenticity and by the end of it I had tears streaming down my face. Late Saturday night, Darin and I had one of those "talks", you know the kind I'm talking about. They are usually not very fun, but they are necessary. Anyways, at one point I was telling Darin how sick I was of people telling me how lucky I am to be moving to South Africa and how they wish they could be going and how blessed we are to have this opportunity. I told him that if anyone else said any of these comments to me, I just might punch them. I didn't feel lucky right then,  I wished someone else was moving instead of me and at the time I didn't feel very blessed. I felt sa

Jori's last day of preschool

Jori had SUCH a great year at preschool. I am so glad we decided to send her to Georgetown Christian this year. If any of you will be sending kids to preschool in the near or not so near future, I would definitely tell you to check out Georgetown. I think Jori would have gladly gone to school every day is she'd been allowed.  Here is a picture of our sweet girl on her first day of school way back in September: And here she is almost 9 months later: She grew so much this year and we are so grateful to her teachers: Mrs. Schut Mrs. Capisciolto  Jori had a picnic the last day of school. Before we ate, the kids sang us a few songs: Then it was time for some dancing! Thankfully Darin was able to attend the picnic, so Jori chose him as her partner: If you want to watch the rest of the videos, just head over here . Jori, we are so proud of you. You have learned so much this year and we love it when we hear you singing your little songs and practicing your letter sounds

Student of the Week!

From May 9-May 13, Tyson was Student of the Week. He had been looking forward to this week for so long. The week before, we received a letter from his teacher with instructions about what special things he needed to bring each day. The letter also included a little note about Tyson and it really just touched my heart. Here is part of what Tyson's teacher said about him: Tyson is a wonderful first grade student. He is a hard worker, a great listener, and a nice friend. I love how excited he is to learn new things. Tyson is kind and polite both to myself and to those around him. He has a great heart. He loves to help others. We love having him in our classroom. Thank you, Mrs. G. for your sweet words!!  Here are a few pictures from Tyson's special week:  On Wednesday he had to bring his favorite snack, so we decided to celebrate his birthday (early) and bring cupcakes. Darin frosted them all. Great job honey : ) Tyson Alan, we love you more than you'll ever know. Y

More thoughts on motivation

When I look back at the decision making process that Darin and I went through, the process which has now brought us so close to a departure date, I have little doubt that Darin felt a call and responded to this call. Yet, when I go back over the different thought processes I went through to get us to this point, I realize that it has been all about me, which might explain why I am now suffering from some "buyer's remorse". It's not that my motivations for moving were necessarily wrong in themselves-I hope that Darin and I will be closer as a couple, I hope that our family will be closer and will do more together, I hope that Tyson will thrive in this new environment, I hope that our family will be able to reach out and help those that we come into contact with, I hope that Darin will be home more often and able to be a bigger part of our family life. Yet as we get closer, these hopes seem to be such small reasons to go. It's not like moving to a new country is goi

What's my motivation?

I think I might stop washing my hair when we move. Well, let me rephrase that. I've been thinking about not using shampoo and conditioner to wash my hair. I've read a few things on line about using vinegar or other natural cleansers and I kind of think I might like to give it a try. There are a few reasons that a person might decide to not use shampoo. Maybe the person has health concerns and is trying to eliminate products with a lot of additives in them. Or maybe the person has an economical reason for trying this out. I mean, we all know that without a coupon, shampoo can be expensive and vinegar, well it's cheap! Perhaps the person has an environmental reason for going Au naturale. Shampoo and conditioner usually comes in plastic bottles, which end up in landfills, and I am certain there are other environmental concerns from the making and using of shampoo. So, what's my motivation? Anyone have a guess? I'd like to say it's because I care about the world a


I LOVE getting comments, like I really love them. I was feeling so sad that not very many people were commenting on my posts, but then a few friends said they had tried to comment but weren't able to. Oops! I changed a few things around and now everyone should be able to comment, so please do!

Friday Favorites

I have been having a hard time sitting down to add anything to this blog lately, so I thought I'd just do a quick post to try and get back in the groove. So, here are some links for you to peruse if you so desire. I am not a huge jewelry wearer. In fact, there are times (many times) that I don't even wear my wedding ring. However, I was introduced to these necklaces by my sister Laurie and I love them. Her friend Michelle creates such beautiful pendants and they are very reasonably priced. Michelle also does special orders if you can't find just what you are looking for on her site. I recently placed 2 orders, including 2 special orders and love how they've turned out. So go check out Michelle's site, lovelywordz , on etsy, place an order, and tell her Laurie's sister sent you! I believe I've mentioned before that I love to read blogs, including blogs of people that I don't know. I have been cutting back on this habit, because I know it can turn into

Happy Mother's Day

It's almost over, but not quite. Mother's Day. Honestly, we usually don't do a whole lot to celebrate this day and I've been ok with that. This year, I think Darin knew that I was just needing a bit of love and we all had such a fun day together. This morning, the kids were both so much more quiet than usual. When I finally rolled out of bed, they had each made me a card. Jori's had toilets all over it (?) and Tyson had written the following: Dear Mom, I love you and you are spectacular and awesome Then we got ready and headed to church, where the kids each made another Mother's Day card (Tyson's had the same message in it for me) then came home to take a quick Mother's Day picture before heading out again. And yes, I am wearing a necklace made out of straws and buttons. Jori was so happy I was wearing it and just seeing her little smile made me so happy. Mother's Day 2011 We decided to head to Grand Rapids for lunch because we needed to me

My Girl

Jori has to be one of the easiest kids to please. We just spent an hour going through her toys and special things-deciding what things to give away, which ones to keep out and which of the keepers we can pack right now. She was just getting so excited about how much room she was going to have. She kept saying, "I am going to have SO much room to play, mom" and "Isn't this going to be so great?" She was so good about being willing to let go of some of her things and even better about letting us pack up her remaining toys and things now instead of right before we leave. I told her we could give her shelves away and told her it would give her more space in her room (also known as the master bedroom closet). She was like "Please, get dad to take the shelves", because she obviously doesn't realize how strong her mother is : ) Then I moved her mattress to the other side of the closet and she said "I can't believe my eyes in here! This is like a

You can't teach an old dog new tricks-or can you?

One of the first things we will have to acquire when we move to South Africa is transportation for our family. When we spent time there in 2008, we were fortunate to have made a connection with a lovely couple that was going to be visiting the USA for almost the same amount of time that we would be in South Africa. We were able to rent their vehicle from them for a much better rate than we ever would have found through a rental agency. To make this deal even sweeter, the car was an automatic. Yes, I am one of those people who has never mastered driving a stick shift. I've tried, many times in fact, but as many people know, sometimes it's just enough that I am able to keep my automatic on the road! There are many, MANY reasons why it would be better for us to by a car with a manual transmission. First off, they cost way less to buy and maintain. Automatics are not very prevalent in South Africa, which means the ones they have cost more and it's harder to get parts for them