Showing posts from June, 2012

Birthday Weekend O' Fun

On Friday night, the birthday fun began. Darin and I tried to sneak into Tyson's room to put up a few streamers and balloons, but he sat up and caught us in the act. All day long he had been asking "How many more hours til midnight?" because that was when he would officially be 8! Tyson woke up bright and early on Saturday morning and came into our room to let us know he was now eight years old. The rest of the morning was pretty uneventful as Darin had to go to town, so the kids spent most of their morning watching movies while I made an extra batch of cupcakes and waited for the sun to pop back through the clouds. Around 1:15, Darin drove back up to the house and let me know we needed a new clutch for the car. Then around 1:30 our guests arrived for an afternoon of birthday fun! We invited the Van Gilders to celebrate with us because their family also would be celebrating 2 birthdays this weekend; Tim's (the dad)was the same day as Tyson's and Ca


One year ago today, we loaded up our trusty minivan for one last time and headed to the airport in Grand Rapids. We were able to check in our 14 pieces of luggage without any problems and spent time with friends, waiting for our plane to depart. I can still remember tripping over my carryon when Rachel called me back for one last hug and one more chance to squeeze my abnormally small and frail hands. We then walked through security and started a journey that has looked much different than the one we started plotting out on our living room floor on Elm Avenue in 2009. Today, we are still living just outside of Hammanskraal in what was supposed to be our temporary residence. This farm and the surrounding area has been such a blessing to us. As Laura Ingalls Wilder said, "We who live in the quiet places have the opportunity to become acquainted with ourselves, to think our own thoughts and live our own lives in a way that is not possible for those who are keeping up w

I almost made it the full year...

We've been here just a few days short of a year and today I had the unfortunate experience of touching an electrified fence. OUCH! I've closed the gate at our neighbors 100's of times without any problems but this afternoon my hand must have slipped because I felt a huge zing shoot from the fingers on my right hand, through my chest and out my left arm. Darin saw the whole thing and was kind enough to laugh at my misfortune. What a dear.  In other electrical news, one of our light bulbs exploded today. We came home from church, Darin flicked on the switch and CRASH! The sound of glass shattering and hitting the tile floor was all around us. We aren't sure why it happened, but we hope it won't happen again!

A Glimpse into our Week

I think most people in the US are busy wrapping up the school year and getting ready to enjoy the summer months, while here in South Africa our kids just started school again on Monday after a 3 week break and we are definitely feeling like winter is here. Darin left for a meeting yesterday morning and it was 34ยบ F out, which may not seem so cold to many of you, but when you remember that we don't have central heating and our brick and tile house doesn't really lend itself to warming up quickly, you might start to feel a little bit sorry for us. Darin is in charge of school this morning. He is teaching the kids fractions. I am thankful he is around to work on math with the kids as it is definitely not my forte. Have I ever mentioned before that I took Math 100(basic math) at Calvin and it was not uncommon for me to get a D on my tests? I am definitely not a math brain. Tyson and Jori tend to take after their dad, but from what I can hear, fractions have them a b

Kids' reports

We headed back to school this week. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we spent our class time working on reports about when Grandma Karen and Israel were here in South Africa. The kids both had a lot of fun talking about all the things we did and the memories we made.  Enjoy their take on things! Me and my Grandma and Israel by Tyson We went to the Rhino and Lion park. We saw a marabou stork which I called an ugly dork. Israel pretended to be an ugly dork. We saw pigmy hippos. They had very sharp teeth. There was a reptile park. We got to pet baby lions. We played with them too.                 We also came back to the Big Swing my buddy signed me in for the zipline. I liked going on it again. My uncle got to go on he loved it. My sister Jori got to go on to she also loved it. My grandma did not want to go on but I asked her!                 On the last night she was here we had a sleepover. First we watched a movie and had candy with it. The candy's names wer

The rest of the week

Ok, I think I had gotten up to Sunday night in my last post, which brings us to… Monday, May 28. We all woke up on time and headed out the door around 9 for the Hartbeespoort Dam. The ride to the dam was uneventful and we made it safely there a little before 10. We got out and walked to the scenic overlook. It was windy and being cold did nothing to improve my spirits. I am not a fan of going to the dam as it is high up and the kids like to hang over the railing and it makes my stomach do a million flip-flops. We took some pictures, and after checking out the green goo they were cleaning on the not-so-scenic side of the road, we piled back into the car and headed to Chameleon Village.  If you have never been to Chameleon Village, I do not really know how to describe it to you. It's like a giant flea market with loads of vendors and tiny stalls all crammed under a giant tent. You will quickly notice that many of the vendors are selling the exact same items and t