Showing posts from July, 2012

Prayers Please!

Tomorrow Tyson and Jori start their third week of school. As we expected, this transition from home school to "real" school has not been without its difficulties. We are all adjusting to a school that is a mix of cultures that are unfamiliar to us. Tyson's teacher is Afrikaans, nice, but very strict. Jori's teacher is black, very nice, and not strict at all. It is difficult to not compare the school and some of its policies to the school that Tyson attended in Hudsonville. We are more familiar and comfortable with the American school system, which only makes sense, so it might take us a while to feel comfortable with the school situation we now find ourselves in. Please pray that we will be patient and understanding with this new system we are in and that Darin and I would have wisdom to know when an issue needs to be confronted and when we need to just sit back and relax. More urgently, please pray for our sweet Tyson. We have a very sad 8 year old boy . I talked

Very Random News of the Week

I have a lot of little things I've been wanting to write about, but haven't taken the time to sit down and flesh them out. So here is the short version. Animal Stuff: On Sunday we saw a male impala and a jackal in a face-off. I think it was one of the oddest animal sightings we've had. The jackal ran off when it noticed us watching, and soon after the impala limped off. We're guessing the impala was already injured and the jackal was looking for a nice big dinner. On Monday we saw an albino jackal at the watering hole. We've seen albino jackals before, but it's been several months since our last sighting. On Tuesday we saw 4 giraffes, including 2 babies. We also saw 5 Red Hartebeests at the watering hole. We've only seen one lone Hartebeest in the past, so it was fun to see more of them together. We have squirrels living in our roof. They are kind of creepy, but also endearing. I can't help but picture Theodore and Eleanor f

First week of school recap

It is Sunday evening and the kids are in bed. Their backpacks are packed, their uniforms are laid out and they've put in their lunch orders for tomorrow. Week two of school will be starting in the morning, but before that happens, I thought I should give a rundown of how the first week of school went. Overall, the whole family had a great week. Tyson and Jori were both eager to go to school each morning and got ready without complaint. Darin was able to spend a lot of time working on his new venture (details coming soon, I promise!) and I started feeling like the mom again. Having a schedule and routine seems to be a good thing for all of us. Other than a year of preschool and Sunday school, this week was Jori's first classroom experience. Her teacher said it's like she's been with the class all year, which was a pleasure to hear. Jori always has a lot of little details to report about her day and she just seems thrilled by every aspect of being in s

First day at Jabulane

The first day of school has come and gone. This morning the kids were up early, eager for the school day to begin. We all cuddled in bed for a while, and then it was time to get cracking. Since moving to South Africa over a year ago, we’ve been living a pretty freestyle kind of life, so it was strange waking up and having a list of things to do and a time limit to have everything accomplished. Darin was on breakfast duty while I packed each kid a lunch. After eating and brushing their teeth it was time to put on their school uniforms. Here’s a pic we took the night before school started:   We planned to get to school a bit early so the kids could meet their teachers and get settled in a bit. Jori’s teacher, Mr. Mahlangu, greeted her with a big hug. He invited her to go with him to put her things away and with one glance at us, she took his hand and disappeared into the room. Tyson’s teacher, Ms. De Clerq, was waiting for him to arrive as well. She showed him where to put his

Getting Ready for the First Day of School

This week we have been busy preparing for the start of school. For the last year, I've been home schooling Tyson and Jori. We had planned to home school for 6 months and then enroll the kids in the new school year in January. As you know, like in many other areas, things did not go according to plan. Home schooling was never what we had in mind for our family long term, and now that we've decided to extend our stay here in South Africa, we've also decided it's time to enroll the kids in school. On Tuesday, we took the kids to Jabulane Christian Academy for their enrollment testing. Jabulane is the closest English speaking school to us. It is part of Bethesda Outreach, which is an organization that has a children's village here in Hammanskraal. Most of the 80+ children at the school are from this children's village and the rest are from the surrounding communities. We met the principal at the school and she took Tyson and Jori to administer their

Want to play a game?

What’s wrong with this picture? First of all, there are so many things right with this picture, so let’s focus on that first, shall we? Can you see three children in a bed without any tears? A sister allowing her brother to sit on her bed amidst all her precious, princess-y stuff is a beautiful sight for this mother to behold. Can you see the little lovey in the middle of our two blondies? We kind of love this little girl and being able to spend time with her is always A-okay in our book. Can you see the sun shining outside the window? Yes, we have been enjoying this past week of non-wintery weather. I’m even sleeping without any socks on, which means it is warm out indeed! Can you see two kids learning to be more patient? It’s kind of hard to see it, but our little visitor is not able to move and groove much on her own, so our kids, who love to run and jump and thrive in chaos had many opportunities to sit quietly and hand toys to their friend and then watch

What's up with the Feys in South Africa

Ok, the time has come to try and succinctly put into words what's been happening over here in South Africa the past few months. Who am I kidding, I am never succinct, but I will try to be less wordy than usual. We came to South Africa a little over a year ago with plans to open and run a petrol station in order to support our family so that we could get involved with projects in the Hammanskraal area both physically and financially. So far, half of our plan has worked out great, while the other half has hit a few brick walls. Over the past year, we have been able to deepen our involvement with two organizations in particular; Tshwaraganang, aka Mama Cathrine's, and Tshepo Ya Bana, aka across the road. The petrol station, on the other hand, continues to be an elusive beast. Suffice it to say, our plans to move to South Africa and be self supported have eluded us as well. Over the past few months, the last 2 in particular, Darin and I have been having a lot of

Happy 4th of July!

We just finished our Independence Day celebration. It included wearing flag stickers on our faces, grilling hamburgers and potatoes and roasting marshmallows. It was the best night ever, according to Jori. Tyson was also quite enthralled with the evening’s events, but he was too tired to express his joy as he was awake several times last night (at least 2 hours time total by Darin’s estimation) because of the mosquitoes in his room. As an aside, what is up with the mosquitoes this year? We arrived last June and have no recollection of mosquitoes being a problem until the end of August, early September. This winter is a different story as they are all over our house and cause 3/4ths of our family a lot of grief (I’m the lucky 1/4 th that the mosquitoes don’t like!). Jori was in rare form tonight. She told Darin and I that she wanted to serve us because there was no one else around to do things for us and it was a special day. She was doling out the praise left and right. “Dad


We are back out in the bush again after a week in Pretoria. It was a wonderful week, for sure. The kids went to Holiday Club at our church and had an absolute blast. They were gone from 8-1 for 5 days, which is the longest amount of time we've spent apart in over a year! We enjoyed the abundance of internet data and cable TV. Tyson and Jori spent a lot of time outside, chasing rabbits and playing at the park. It has been really nice out the past few days (mid 70's) and we are all enjoying the warmer weather. We left the house we were staying at a little before 3. On our way back to Hammanskraal we made a stop at a salon that my friend Annie told me about. Jori and I both got our hair cut for under $20 total, and can I just tell you that sitting in a salon and having my hair washed was such a treat! It was the first time in over a year that I've had a "real" haircut. Jori is looking so cute and I received some helpful tips from the stylist to try an