Showing posts from July, 2011

Chocolate Love!!

A few nights ago, I was desperate for chocolate. There were no Cadbury bars left in the fridge so I decided it was time to pull out the recipe books and make myself a treat. It was already after 6, so I had to find a recipe that called for ingredients I already had in the house as there isn’t a 24 hour Family Fare right next door to us like we had at when we lived in the apartments. My friend Amy, who writes a fantastic blog that I wish I could link to, but can’t because I am offline (I am almost positive her blog is called and if I am wrong, I hope Amy will correct me in the comments!), sent me the Sunnyslope CRC cookbook, which is the church where my dad was a pastor when I was in elementary school, a few months before we moved to South Africa. How’s that for a run-on sentence? Anyways, Amy sent me this cookbook and a few nights ago I made Joan J.’s brownies and they were fantastic!! So here is the recipe for you all to enjoy the next time you find yourself without a

Strange, but true

The kids like to play lots of different role playing games together. Right now they are playing some game and they just said “First, it will be our birthday, then we get married, then we move in together and finally, we get to go swimming!!!” Guess which one of those things made their imaginary characters the most excited? If you guessed swimming, you are correct. I love kids. Our children believe they can speak German. They came into our room this morning just to show us how they can communicate. They make a lot of guttural “g” sounds and speak in low tones. Last night we took part in a very multicultural small group (3 from the states, 1 from Northern Ireland, an Indian who was born in South Africa, 1 from England, 2 Austrians, 2 Germans and a white South African. I think that is all, not counting the children). There are more members of this group who represent other cultures who could not make it tonight. Most of them are missionaries with Operation Mobilization. Our family had

Housing Options

So, I think when I last wrote about housing, we were looking at a place in Twee Riviere and I was telling you all how I wanted something bigger and better than what we were able to afford. Let me give you a quick recap of what’s happened since then before I go off on something else. About a week and a half ago, we made an offer on a house in Twee Riviere. It was one of the smaller units and we were both feeling really good about it. We found out a few days later that our offer was not accepted, which was a HUGE disappointment, but there was another unit that was almost identical to the one we wanted. So last Tuesday, we decided to go back to Twee Riviere just to look around a bit. We didn’t go in the house, but took a quick look around, felt good about what we saw, and were planning to make an offer on it. We decided to drive by the other unit just to see it once more. While we were over there, I saw a lady watering her plants and thought I’d just go ask her a few questions to see what

It’s like living in Michigan…only different

We have bought more juice in our first 6 weeks in South Africa than we bought in 6 months living in the states. The juice here is just so good. Instead of apple and orange, we drink litchi, guava grape, breakfast blend and more. Yum! Tyson’s favorite food out here is 2 minute noodles, also known as South Africa Ramen noodles. Back in Michigan I loved myself a bowl of Ramens, especially chicken or oriental. I will say that I am not such a huge fan of them out here, but Tyson and Darin really enjoy them. Tyson likes cheese, pizza, sweet and sour chicken, barbeque chicken, and beef. He was not a fan of lobster or steak.  In South Africa, French fries are called chips and chips are called crisps. We have already eaten our way through several bags of crisps-too many to count! Our favorites are Simba (brand) Salt and Vinegar. So good. There are a few other brands of Salt and Vinegar crisps that are decent, but some are just weak. If I went to a grocery store and asked someone to help me

Thank you Wycliffe International Cookbook!

We just had such a super dinner. ALL of us ate happily and greedily, which is no small thing when you consider our sweet Jori refuses to eat about 90% of the meals we prepare! So what has left us all with our happy stomachs?? Homemade Flour Tortillas! We found the recipe in the Wycliffe International Cookbook. I have a couple other recipes along, but they call for lard, something we did not have on hand. The Wycliffe recipe called for lard or oil, something we always keep in our pantry. Here is the recipe. You must try them. I am hoping we can make some to freeze and use for quesadillas, but am waiting to hear from a friend about the best way to freeze these beauties! We only made ½ a recipe tonight because we weren’t sure how they’d turn out, but next time we will definitely make a full batch! We all wanted more! Flour Tortillas Combine 4 cups flour and 2 teaspoons salt. Cut in 6 tablespoons shortening or oil (I just used a fork to mix it together and break up the giant clumps) Ad

Every Boy's Dream

Yesterday, I (Darin) got to experience something that almost every boy (at least in the US) has probably told his parents he’d like to do when he grew up.   I got to fight a fire!   Shortly after lunch time, Tyson and I headed into town.   It was a normal sunny, cloudless day.   As we were driving down the driveway, I saw in the distance what looked like a huge cloud, but when I looked closer to the horizon, I saw that it was actually the result of a large fire that looked to be burning off in the distance.   I pointed it out to Tyson and we soon forgot about it.   About 2 hours later, I went across the road to TYB to connect online and I saw Mark(the director of TYB) and Hans(a Dutch businessman who is volunteering at TYB for the next 6 months) standing over by the fire fighting machine that Mark stores on their property.   It belongs to a bunch of neighbors who pitched in to buy it for using on brush fires that are common during the winter here.   There are municipal services in town


I was driving back from town a couple days ago and said to Darin “This is like driving in Holland (Michigan) during Tulip Time”. If you have ever been to Tulip Time, you just might know what I mean. There are so many tourists in the area and they do not understand the rules of driving in Michigan, especially the infamous “Michigan Turn”, which has replaced almost all left turns. A lot of people I know would stay out of Holland during Tulip Time because driving around with people who don’t know the rules of the road can be a bit dangerous and frustrating. The difference out here is that I feel like a lot of the South African drivers here are the tourists. I’m not saying I know all the rules of the road out here, because I so obviously don’t. But when I see a stop sign, I usually stop. Out here there are several stop signs that seem to be ignored by almost every driver. The taxis out here are crazy too. You just never really know what they are going to do. So, if you want a little vie