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Showing posts from December, 2009

A Christmas to forget

Christmas day started out early (5:45!) but good. We had electricity and I knew where to find the coffee in our new kitchen, so what more do you need? Stockings were fun to open with the kids, they loved and appreciated their things, we went through the Christmas story, and then opened gifts. Thanks to a fantastic church partner who sent presents, the kids had things to open since we hadn't made it shopping what with moving. The few gifts we had brought with us from the US were wrapped in napkins and curtains because that's all we could find! The day started to go South when I started cooking for the mission dinner. In a new kitchen and things only partially set-up, everything took longer. I finally got the dough made for orange spirals, got the piecrust baking, and started the pie filling. After stirring it for 45 minutes, I decided it simply was not going to solidify like it was supposed it, and only then did I realize the stovetop was not working. And neither was the oven a…

The Worst Christmas Pageant Ever

Oh wait. That wasn’t a pageant…that was our LIFE!!! This will go down in history as the craziest Christmas ever, and that’s saying a lot since I was recovering from childbirth and moving states and preparing to move continents last year!A time-line may help explain.Monday, 10am, we get the word that renters have been found for our house and they need to move in by Dec 27(Sunday)! No boxes, no packing supplies, no problem. We’re pros at moving! We’ll clear out the apartment so it’s ready for our things to go in. Whoops, the keys to the big front door are locked up and the only one with access to them is out of town for 2 days. Tuesday: we clear the (badly) furnished apartment by carrying everything out a narrow kitchen door, so it takes all day, and then start packing up our house in the 5 boxes we have, unpacking them in the new apartment so we can reuse those boxes for more trips. The truck isn't available because the keys are in the same place as the front door keys.Wednesday: …

Grandpa Harold Kurtz

I know I’m a little young to be considering my own mortality, but then again, I never thought I’d be contemplating my grandfather’s death. I can clearly remember telling a friend (in an awed tone) that he was 60 years old and still traveling the world. Now it’s my parents who are nearly 60 and grandpa passed away on Friday afternoon at age 84. And until last year, he was still traveling the world! He went on donkey treks through the Ethiopian bush, celebrated church growth with leaders in frozen Siberia, worked with untouchables in India and gypsies in Romania, with Korean and Peruvian believers…all with one simple dream. For every people, an indigenous church; for every church, a mission vision. He was a man with a vision, with principles, with passion, and I am so proud to have known him! The world lost a champion for responsible missions, for empowerment of the 3rd World, for us in the 1st World to take note of what they can teach us about faith, and family, and perseverance.He has…

It's beginning to look more like Christmas...

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As of the latest word, we're NOT moving after all, until February or so when our permanent house is available! So, with that in mind, the kids convinced us to get the tree out. By the time the 3rd ornament was up, Isaac had already pulled the whole tree over (thanks, Chad, for catching it just before it crushed him!). So, we got creative, and it now sits on top of our deep freezer. Rather odd vantage point, but you can actually see the ornaments better because they're at eye level! Perhaps we're starting a trend...
I almost didn't bring our ornaments, thinking they would be safer in storage and I would be so sad if we lost them all. But we all had so much fun rediscovering our favorites and recreating the memories of when we got each ornament, I was glad we did bring them after all. There was only one casualty, and it wasn't a critical loss. And bonus!!! Several of the ornaments were wrapped in American Kleenex, and you have NO idea just how soft that feels! (OK, ye…

Swim Gala

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For the end-of-term sports, the kids had a 'swim gala' where the whole school competed over two days. Anya's started at 12 and finished at 5pm, and she raced in race 3 and race 65. Now is that cruel and unusual punishment for parents, or what??? I guess they wanted to make sure everyone stayed the whole time to cheer the other kids on! Anya came in 4th in her individual race and her team won 1st place in the relay.
Ethan raced 3 times (with his 'noodle'!) and came in 1st, 4th, and 2nd. Not too bad for someone scared of the 'big pool' 2 months ago!
Anya continues her swim lessons in January, and we're taking a break with Ethan. He'll still swim during PE once a week, and we may get a membership to the pool so we can all play there when the days get really hot. Who knew there would be such a great pool here in Lilongwe??

Look who's ONE!

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I’ve decided that 1 year old seems a lot older with your first baby than with your 3rd. Compared to Anya’s independence and Ethan’s near-independence, Isaac hardly seems out of the baby stage. Of course Chad suggested having another baby so we could see exactly how much Isaac has grown, but I think I’m going to pass on that one right now! One year ago we were stuck in the biggest snow-storm to hit Salem Oregon since the 1960’s. We were praising God’s timing in that Isaac was born and home from the hospital before we got snowed in, huddled around a pellet-burning stove to keep warm. We had no house, no jobs, no responsibilities, and a ton of unknowns looming ahead of us. Isaac was a tiny, eating-and-pooping machine.Now here we are, sweltering in humid, tropical heat in Southern Africa, settled in semi-permanent housing, with responsibilities and a job as soon as we can learn a foreign language, a few less unknowns ahead…and Isaac is just a bigger eating-and-pooping machine, only now th…

It's stinkin' hot, it must be December

Thanksgiving was a success! We had lots to be thankful for, and tons of great food! The piglets turned to pig-fat jelly (yum!) so we had roast chicken instead. As the only Yankees in our mission, let me pass on words of wisdom to you Northerners...If you ever get the chance to celebrate a food-involved holiday with Southerners, you should take it! Let me tell you, they know how to cook up a Thanksgiving feast!!!
This past week us ladies all got together and quilted Christmas table-runners and mantle scarves! It was my first time quilting, and actually really enjoyed myself. As a rather conservative-art soul, I did quake some at having to pick so many different patterns to be sewn together, but it turns out the earth kept revolving even with florals and plaids and stripes next to each other!
In other news, the computer crashed again (which meant we couldn't transfer money so we couldn't grocery shop) and Malawi is having a major fuel shortage (think 6-8 hour lines, violence and …