Showing posts from December, 2011

Happy New Year

It is New Years Eve, well almost. It’s only 3 in the afternoon right now, so I guess it’s not technically the “eve” of anything, but it’s close enough. We have moved to our second house sitting location. We’re still in the same security estate, which was very convenient when moving our carload of stuff over! We have been enjoying this last day of 2011. Our friends brought some gifts back with them from Darin’s family, so the kids have been busy building Lego creations and making jewelry and we’ve all played a few rounds of Hi Ho Cherry-O, or Hi Ho the Cherry-O as Jori calls it. The kids have also enjoyed the special treat of riding bikes! Jori even learned how to ride a two wheeler this afternoon! We were invited to a braai (cookout) tonight, but Tyson seems to be feeling a bit under the weather.   We’re hoping it’s just from a lack of sleep and that taking it easy for the day will be the cure. I guess we’ll see how he’s feeling in the morning. It would have been fun to get together

Testing Something New

We are still house sitting in Pretoria and enjoying the change of place, but will be returning to the Hammanskraal area in the middle of next week. Yesterday we decided to bring a load of our stuff back to our place so that we wouldn't have to try and squeeze it all in the car next week. It's a good thing we did that because somehow almost all of our possessions ended up in Pretoria with us! It actually gives me a pit in my stomach to see how much stuff we have after  selling almost a whole houseful of things in Michigan!  Anyways, while we were out in Hammanskraal yesterday we heard some disappointing news regarding the internet we've been bumming off of our friends the Hardings... their internet service is being dropped by their provider. Huge bummer for us! We are hoping that this will end up being a good thing and some internet provider will see that the Dinokeng area would be a prime location to gain some more customers and increase their coverage area so that we can

Merry Christmas!

We had a wonderful Christmas weekend. On Christmas Eve we spent a quiet day together. The kids had one of their precious boxes of mac and cheese for lunch, which makes any day more special. We opened presents later in the afternoon and then spent some time enjoying the fun new things that the kids got from family back home. Magnet sets, Club Penguin cards, Crazy 8’s, books and more! We gave the kids cereal for dinner, then sat down to watch a movie together. I picked Lemony Snicketts Series of Unfortunate Events, or something like that. It was a little dark, but the kids seemed to enjoy it. We had popcorn and shared a really yummy candy bar and had some sparkling apple juice to drink. A very fun way to spend our evening. Once the kids were in bed, I did some reading and Darin watched the Vikings win-their Christmas gift to him. Christmas morning came and we headed off to church. During the service all the kids went out and learned a couple songs that they came back in and performed

10 years!

Today is our 10 year anniversary. December 22, 2001, on a sunny California day, Darin and I exchanged our vows in front of family and friends in my old church in Bellflower. Today we celebrated ten years of marriage on what started out as a sunny South African day.   The day ended with some wind and rain, but that didn’t put a damper on our day. We started our day out in separate beds. Last night Tyson expressed a deep desire to have a sleepover with his buddy so Darin spent the night with him and tossy, turny Jori slept with me. She also woke me up before 6, which was not how I had envisioned starting our anniversary morning, but she soon joined Tyson and Darin downstairs and let me sleep a little bit more. We took some time in the morning to get caught up on some chores, but then it was time to relax. Darin and I spent a lot of time reading and the kids alternated between watching TV and swimming. I had planned to do some school as well, but as with so many of our plans as of late

Christmas Letter 2011

Once again, it’s time for the annual Christmas letter to be written. However, this year it is just not feeling like Christmas at all, so I’m having a hard time getting our letter started. Instead of frigid temperatures, snow, school Christmas programs and all the other little things that make it feel like the holidays, we are celebrating in the Southern Hemisphere, which means hot weather, bright sunshine and swimming pools. We are home schooling and I’m not enough of a home school pro to put together any sort of program. Maybe next year…then again, maybe not! However, the one thing that is true no matter where we are is that this is a time to celebrate Immanuel, God with us. I think that has become my favorite name of Jesus because I need that constant reminder that He is here, even in a place that is unfamiliar and in circumstances that uncertain. The first 6 months of 2011 were full of time spent with family and friends, trying to soak up as much time with loved ones as possible. W

Ant lions by Tyson

Ant lion lifecycle: first they’re an egg second they’re a larva third they ‘re a cacooon that’s made of sand and finally the one I’ve been wating for it’s the fourth thing they’re a adult.   What they look like they’re fat.   They have pinchers with spikes in the inside of their pinchers I think they have hairs on their legs to sense prey. I forgot to put one last thing in here.     it’s the sand trap pit!   That’s how they catch their prey.   How they make their sand trap pit.   They make a funnel of sand that’s how they catch their prey.   Are ghosts real?   I bet there’s a ant lion ghost in your backyard making a sand trap funnel pit. I have been trying to catch one but I couldn’t. One time I thought I caught but no.   I’m never going to give up but I half to give up only on vacation.

Teaching Jori

Teaching Jori Since we are currently business owners without a business we have been utilizing the divide and conquer strategy for home school. While I usually pick out what the kids will be learning for the week, Darin has been teaching Tyson and I have been teaching Jori. For the first month or so, I thought I definitely had chosen the easier child to teach, but lately I am not feeling nearly as smug! Although our sweet girl is usually a joy to work with and really has a good head for learning, she also has a stubborn streak a mile wide. If she decides that she is not into school on a particular day there is really not a thing I can do to change her mind. I can threaten, plead, encourage, bribe, and try to reason with her (“If you were in a real school you would have to sit and listen right now…”), but I cannot make her do much of anything when she is in stubborn mode.  I have been sticking to the basics with Jori. We have a math workbook that Tyson’s 1 st grade teacher, Mrs. G

What we've been up to

I know, I know. I have really been slacking off on our blog. Last night I told Darin that I am determined to do better at keeping up with this thing just so that we can have a record of our time here in South Africa. So, some of what I write may not be very interesting to any of you, but maybe if I just try to write stuff down for our family’s sake, I will actually be able to get back into the blogging groove. Two weeks ago, we celebrated Thanksgiving twice. The first time was on Thanksgiving and we got together with some other American families from church to celebrate, and by celebrate I mean eat a lot of amazing food! As most of you know, I made green bean casserole, something I had never made before, and it actually turned out! I shouldn’t just say that I made it because it really was a team effort between me and my dear husband. He is the man. The next night we celebrated again with our cell group. It was kind of funny to be eating a traditional American Thanksgiving meal with