Friday, March 28, 2014

Some Days Are Just Meant For Snapping Pictures

After my girls are squeaky clean and freshly detangled, it’s hard to resist the camera.

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Happy Weekend!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I’ll smatter some pictures up here. Some previously published on other social media venues, others first time ever seen right here! :)

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Oh look, how convenient, my chicken cordon bleu has a handle! 

This next picture has a story. I was flattered that so many think I am such a laid back mama as when this was posted on Facebook and Instagram, I quickly realized from the comments, people thought these giraffes were real.

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Thank you for thinking I am chill enough to let my kids ride bareback on a giraffe that would give the girls at least a 6 foot drop should the said giraffe get ornery. :) These are statues, really fun and apparently life like statues. 

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The Littles love to spend time at HQ. We have had some serious problems and for about three weeks haven’t had a washing machine or water (Praise the Lord, as of today, we have water coming out of our faucets!) So, we’ve been having our laundry done at HQ and the girls love the playground.

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This looks like a picture of a picture. It is. Little J was taken by this piece of art as we toured “Women at Risk” and couldn’t move from her viewing perch. She arranged her baby doll in her arms so it looked the same. We negotiated moving on because I took this picture and she can look at it whenever she wants. 

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Out our two story window, this was our view the other day. I would not want to be a tree cutter here.

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Goofballs that melt our hearts.

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We had a toilet paper snow man building contest with some friends.

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They may have won.

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The girls played in these cars at Bingham playground making comments like, “Okay, just be patient, traffic is so bad!"

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J learns to mountain climb at a playground.

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Friends treated us to a day at the nicest swimming pool in town. It was awesome. 

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Our friends, who are from our home state, and have been in language school with us from the beginning, graduated and moved to a private tutor. We still hang out but sad not to see them every morning.  Jon and I actually moved to a private tutor a few weeks later. 

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The girls have been begging for this hairstyle. I’ve repeatedly said no because I don’t love the look and also because it only lasts a day. I was persuaded when Little J sweetly told me one day, “It’s okay mama, I will just do my hair like this every day after you die”. I realized it had potential of being one of those moments my kids would talk about the rest of their lives as they wear this hairstyle and say, “Do you remember when Mom never let us do our hair like this?” 




Thursday, March 20, 2014


We finally got this book in the mail.

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When I heard about this project, I couldn’t wait to see the finished product. 

And then I had two very delighted Littles as I read the story but their true wonder came when I read page 14.

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Do you see what I see?  

When I heard a children’s book was being made to celebrate puffy hair and they wanted photo submissions, I sent a picture of the girls and we were delighted their photo was selected and we also were sent a free copy.

Here’s a link for anyone interested in ordering a copy for your family. It’s a cute book, not very long but nicely done, written in Dr. Seuss style.

There is a pricey option where you can do an individualized book and include your child’s picture.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Thank you for praying for Jon. His recovery has been what I can only call a miracle. Please continue to pray for our family, it feels we are in the middle of a storm.

Now today, I have a serious overkill of kayak pictures. I recognize that but am going to try and brake it up with other pictures so you don’t even notice. 

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Jon and Little A head out onto the lake. 

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Monkeys are always watching. I’ve heard they are great imitators and tried to teach them how to wave. No success.

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Charlotte takes out both Littles.

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While the dads coach from shore. 

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And this little peanut. I have never seen a toddler so into her accessorizes (and that’s saying something if we look back on The Littles).

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Matt and Charlotte take their turn.

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Trees to climb

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Little J concentrates on making a thumbs up.

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This portable hammock fits into a small bag about the size of a grape fruit. Talk about a genius invention.

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The girls spent at least an hour on this boat, pretending they were going to India.That was Charlotte’s idea. If The Littles were doing the planning, it would be a direct trip to IndiaNA.

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Jon and the Littles. When the girls would be in the kayak with Jon or I, they would repeatedly say, “This is so cozy”.

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Would you look at this girl? She found another pair of goggles.

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This was taken about 7 feet off shore. We made a rule about solo kayaking, you have to know your left from right and then you can go on your own.

We will be going back soon. :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Process of A Hippo Cruise

And because I cannot possibly show only two pictures, I am going to drag our Langano trip out on the blog because it was so fun.

First, please pray for Jon. He is sicker than I have ever seen him. This morning, if we would have had 9-1-1, I would have called it. Instead I banged on our neighbor’s door who knew another neighbor close by who has an uncle who is a doctor from Norway  who rushed over and this all happened on our bathroom floor before 7:00 am. A friend took him to SIM clinic and we are waiting to hear what is going on…best case scenario would be food poisoning because that usually passes quickly (after much immediate havoc to the system).

Back to Langano, out on the lake, we did a hippo cruise.

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Now, these rides are fun as you look across the water to race to see it first and then it gets hysterical as different personalities on the boat come out. There are the shrieks from people, “Get back! Get out of here!” at the same time other voices are shouting, “There it is, get closer, this way, this way!”. All foreigners pull cameras with big lenses out and try to capture the shot and so they stand while the locals stand up to keep an eye out for safety and have folklore surrounding the dangers of hippos. Add three languages into the yelling and it’s a wonder with the frenzy that we don’t capsize ourselves.

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We were able to get to know another missionary family on our trip too, such a fun, little world.

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Our best hippo picture. 

As I previously mentioned, it felt like we were living in a nature preserve.

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Walking down to the beach. 

But I’ll save the beach pictures for tomorrow. 

Monday, March 17, 2014


Our weekend Langano visit was not only amazing but surprised us by being a mini vacation.

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Even the minibus relaxed. Surrounded by more wildlife than most zoos and beauty that brings the Garden to Eden to mind, all we could do is breather the clean air and clear some headspace.

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And the reunion of these three, pretty sweet.  

A bit heartbreaking for them as they separated again but many sweet memories packed into a few days.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Tomorrow we head to Lake Langano.

We’re so excited to visit friends and visit the station there and maybe squeeze in a swim. :)

I’ll leave you with some 4 year old creativity.

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The girls sat separated by glass, talking on phones-of the granola bar variety.

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We love care packages, not just to eat the food, but to play with it too. :)



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Loads of Addis Ababa

When we got off the plane, the differences between the city of Addis compared to other cities I have lived in were stark. However, time passes and the astounding becomes the normal. 

In thinking of ideas to blog about, I tried to relook at these streets through my American eyes and one thing that these crowded roadways do not lack is some ingenious transporting. 

This post is dedicated to recognizing the masterminds behind these loads. Though not always safe, and an American would maybe choose to take it in five loads, it takes some serious genius to move so much at one time.

Photo quality isn’t great as most of them were taken from my phone through vehicle windows.

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Typical to Isuzu style, usually stuffed beyond all possibility and accompanied by a man or two to keep the load safe.

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Taking this picture from inside our van, you miss at least the top 1/3 of this load. This is a mini bus and as most people travel by public transport, the loads that don’t fit inside are piled on the top.

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Many sodas and also much produce is transported through the city and delivered from the beds of small pick up trucks.

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This is doubled over rebar. From what I can tell, it seems secured in by one rope at the top and one near the bottom. Probably best not to follow along too closely behind this truck.

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This little treat we think was a converted minivan, redesigned with a flat bed.

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"Oh no, I have to taxi somewhere with two large tractor tires." No problem.

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Four men rode atop this load. I don’t know where they came from but I hope it wasn’t through the mountains.

But my favorite loads to see in the city, are hands down from the converted Toyota trucks. They are merkato (largest open air market in Africa happens to be located in Addis Ababa) vehicles.

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The beds haul an extremely high volume of passengers with all their market wares on top. 

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Get a good look at that vehicle remodel. I’m relatively certain that only a Toyota could handle the modifications.

While I believe all Merkato trucks get honorable mention...

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This, is my grand prize winner.


Stay tuned for the loads carried without engine power.