Showing posts from February, 2012


Tonight I am thankful for the words that so many people have shared with me. There are comments on this blog, notes left on facebook, emails from friends, and letters-some that have been mailed to me here and others that I carried along in my luggage when we moved. I am rarely on facebook, which means I don't respond to the comments left for me there, but thank you to the many people who read our blog or my status updates and leave encouraging words and friendly messages. I see them and they make me very happy, inside and out. I also love getting comments on the blog, but if you are logged in as "anonymous" please leave your name as I am so curious about who is reading and responding to the things we post here. A special word to my Wednesday morning Bible study friends-Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for the notes and cards you all wrote, collected and sent along with me. Here we are, over 8 months into this journey and I still haven't read all the notes you put

Sunday Rest

We are enjoying a quiet and restful Sunday. We had a wonderful time at church and were able to catch up with our friends there, even our friend Vongayi who we hadn't seen since December. Vongayi is from Zimbabwe and has come to South Africa to get her Master's in Clinical Psychology, a course of study that is no longer available at the University of Zimbabwe. After talking to her and a few other friends, we headed home. We try not to linger too long at church because the 45 minute drive back to Hammanskraal is especially long when we are all feeling hungry! When we were almost home, Darin said he saw a big animal on the road, so we drove on and were happy to see some giraffe. It had been such a long time since we last saw them, so we all were happy to take some time and watch them cross the road and eat from the leafy tops of the trees. We also saw kudu, zebra and impala. A mini game drive! We had a good lunch of grilled cheese (and fresh garden tomatoes for me!) and then the

The Water Cycle

Here are the kid's reports on the water cycle and the little experiment that we did earlier this week. Adding some science to our week was a nice change of pace, but I can't promise it will become a regular part of our curriculum. Darin did give the kids a little science lesson in the car last night as we drove home from cell. He was explaining how we can see things in the dark, like the grass and the speed limit signs and he said it isn't just the light from our headlights that makes us see, but the objects reflect the light and that is the reason our eyes can see them. I thought this lesson was a bit over their heads, but then Tyson piped up from the backseat, "It's kind of like echolocation, right" and Darin and I just looked at each other and smiled, because the two ideas really are the same, only one deals with light and the other with sound. Why does Tyson know about echolocation? It's all thanks to PBS kids and shows like Cat in the Hat and Wild Kra

School Days

The kids have been hard at work the past couple weeks with all sorts of learning. Jori has been working hard on her long vowel sounds and adding 2 digit numbers while Tyson has been learning about synonyms, antonyms, bar graphs, and the Patriarchs. They have also been doing some writing.  Last week I had the kids do some reading and then Jori had to write up a little report/opinion piece while Tyson had to report some facts. Jori read in her Dick and Jane book and Tyson read a couple different books about George Washington. After reading Jori's report, there should be no doubt that she is 1/4 Canadian : ) Dick and Jane I like to rede aboot dick and Jane and aboot spot and aboot sally and mom and Dad and poof. it is fun reden aboot dick and Jane. i sum day wooto (want to) rede fancy nancy cus she is pritey i sumday woot to be lick hre (her) cus she is pritey. George Washington He won the two wars. he was married in 1759 to martha cutis. he was our first president. he was born in

Five Senses

I know I've said it before, but we are so blessed to be living where we are right now. It's like a gift that God has given us during these times of uncertainty. I have been trying to take time each day to just sit and soak in the beauty that is all around us. It really is a feast for the senses. Everywhere I look, I see amazing displays of God's handiwork. When I manage to roll out of bed on time, I can sit outside with my coffee and watch birds, so many different kinds of birds, flitting from tree to tree or hopping along the ground gobbling up little bugs and other tasty treats. There are bright, metallic blue birds that I try to follow as they move from tree to tree just so I can get just one more glimpse of their shiny azure feathers and there are speckled woodpeckers with a crown of orangey red feathers on their head. There are so many different shades of green to take in; various trees and shrubs, each with their own hue, the grass in the yard that is a bright healt

Random News of the Week

Today in school we learned about the water cycle. Before school even started the kids and I set up a model of the water cycle with a glass jar, some water and a piece of plastic wrap. Our model is out in the sun right now, evaporating away and just waiting for us to come and finish the cycle with an ice cube, which will lead to condensation and precipitation! Over the weekend, I made ranch carrots. They were so good that after gobbling up the first batch, I cooked up more carrots to use up the leftover glaze. Tyson wanted to eat the glaze up with a spoon, but the promise of more carroty goodness held him off Ranch Carrots 1 packet ranch seasoning ¼ cup butter ¼ cup brown sugar 16 oz baby carrots, cooked Heat butter and brown sugar on stove. Add carrots and seasoning. Heat until carrots are well glazed. I halved the recipe and used regular carrots, cut up and cooked. I didn't measure out 16 ounces, or in my case 8 ounces, which is why there was an excess of glaze lef


A couple days ago Darin and I were sitting outside reading while the kids ran around kicking a soccer ball through the yard when I was struck by the irony of our current situation.  Right now we are, without a doubt, at the least financially stable point of our lives. We have no savings, no income, no money of our own, other than the stuff in an IRA and a couple other pockets of money that we cannot touch for many years. We are living off of borrowed money, credit card debt and some gifts from family and friends. We have borrowed money in the past, to make a down payment on a house and to finish off a basement, but when we borrowed Darin had a steady job and we knew we'd be able to pay back the loan in a couple years and keep living as comfortably as we were used to living. We are not poor, not even close. We still have those funds tucked away for the future and we know that we have opportunities available to us to make money, just maybe not in this country. Now, here's the i

Home School Holiday

We had a little home school holiday today. This morning, when I finally rolled out of bed and got myself ready for the day, I came out to make my coffee and found that the kids were nowhere to be seen. They often watch movies in the morning or are just hanging around begging for a snack, even though they just finished breakfast, but today they were gone. Then I heard their sweet little voices coming from Jori's room. They were playing house or school or birthday party or a combination of the three with their "guys". A little while later, as I was reading our emails, Tyson came out to ask if it would be ok if he and Jori got married, "But just for pretend". I said sure, and they've been more or less happily married since that time. They've had a couple moments throughout the day where Tyson's been a little rough or Little Miss Bossy Pants has decided she's "not playing this game anymore", but then they smooth things out and keep on playi