Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Vacation

Vacation

The last few days here in Johannesburg it feels more like Fall than it does Spring.  The weather is rainy and chilly.  It is a day made for fireplaces and pumpkin spice lattes.  But since my access to either of things is limited I will return to reality and remind myself that a short while ago Peter was in the pool for swimming lessons.  And soon the days will be warmer and filled with all things summer. 

Last week we had a wonderful vacation about 45 minutes from our home.  We have found a place that we can leave our caravan set up.  This will allow us to go there over the weekend and get away.  The cell coverage is not so great which is actually nice as it forces us to be disconnected.  There are places where we can get coverage so a couple of times a day we would check in and handle anything that needed to be handled.  Otherwise our phones were more used as cameras and a time checking device. 

We had a wonderful time as a family just being.  With no TV, internet, or phone services to distract us we were able to focus on each other and on the beautiful creation around us.  We spent a lot of time outside.  The caravan park has a pool, a river, a playground, a trampoline, sheep and dogs that roam around, and lots of big open spaces for running and playing.  They also have a little “tuck shop” (snack shop) where they have homemade soft serve ice cream.  Peter Loved that.  In fact several mornings after breakfast he would take off towards the tuck shop for ice cream.  We spent lots of time explaining that ice cream was for the afternoon.  One day our goals for the day were to either swim in the pool or to go on a hike along the river and I am happy to report that we did both on the same day.  J  Joe set up our hammock which we all love.  We had several different fires and Peter liked helping collecting sticks for the fire and just sitting and watching the fire.  Peter had his first experience flying a kite, which he loved.  We packed a box of toys for him just in case but we never needed them.  It was a great week of memories that we will be adding to since a quick get away is now close by. 

Unfortunately vacation was cut short a bit and ended with all of with various sicknesses and flus.  But I am happy to report that thanks to antibiotics and other meds we are all on the mend.  

Peter has started swimming lessons once a week at his school.  We are getting ready for several events and visitors that we have coming.  October will be a busy month but we are excited to see how God is going to work and move. 


Until next time: If your son “helps” you mop the kitchen floor you may want to check for puddles before walking around in your socks. J

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Numbers


The last few weeks in our work we have been quite focused on numbers.  Joe has been working on several projects for Alabaster Funds, as well as the budget for the new year.   I have been working to prepare for the upcoming assemblies; lots of reports to complete and figures to verify.  It is easy to get lost in the to do list and checking items off the list.  But each of the figures that we are working with are attached to a person. Each Dollar, Rand, Emalangeni, or Pula was given by a person.  Each new member received into the church of the Nazarene came with a story.  Every new church that was organized is filled by people. 

The reason we are doing what we are doing is not only about numbers, although we spend a lot of time working with those.  The reason we are doing what we are doing is about people.  It is about the lives that are changed through the ministries, churches and outreaches that we help support. 

A number is never just a number, numbers are connected to lives and stories. 

September has flown by.  We were home for most of September which was nice.  It allowed us to get caught up on some work projects and some things around the house as well.  The last week in September we are going to a week of vacation in our caravan in the mountain about 45 minutes away from our home.  The camp ground is along a river and we are looking forward to hiking and exploring those trails.  There is also a pool and playground on the grounds and I am sure Peter will spend lots of time using those. 

October will be busy with 9 assemblies happening, as well as various other meetings and the installation of a new leader for the Africa Region.  Thankfully we are almost done preparing for the assemblies. 

Peter continues to grow and change.  He has an amazing ability to melt our hearts and raise our blood pressure in a short span of time.  He has moved to sleeping in a twin bed and Is making other strides away from baby-land and straight into little boy world.   He has moved to an older class at school and loves it.  He loves being outside, playing with his friends, playing with play dough, and sand, reading books, coloring, riding his bike and playing with cars. He is learning new words everyday and most of the time we can understand what he is trying to say. J Since this blog started off talking about numbers Peter is 2 years and 3 months old now.  He usually sleeps 11-13 hours a day.  I would love to have a step counter on him to know how many tens of thousands of steps he takes a day.  One day in particular he ate a muffin, string cheese, 2 yogurts, 2 fruit and veg pouches, 2 bananas, 3 hot dogs, 3 pieces of pizza and who knows how many cheerios and pretzels.  Thankfully (for now) a day like that is an exception not the norm.  

Until next time: Never show your 2 year old something you aren’t willing to repeat 100 times.  I would list examples but there are too many to list. 


Thursday, August 31, 2017

W&W and Peter

Recently we returned from a week with a Work and Witness team in Botswana.  It was a great week together seeing God work in, through, and around His children both young and old.  The team spent the week in a village of Bokaa about 30 minutes outside of the capitol city of Gaborone.  They were working on a house that will be used when teams return to build the church. They also held afternoon children’s outreach and evening revivals. 

Occasionally Joe and I talk about how raising Peter as a Missionary Kid with our roles is different than it would be to raise him in the States.   For us raising a child in the US is the unknown.  And granted not every week is like this but here is a small picture of Peter’s week last week.  

Peter’s days were filled with playing outside with new friends.  Friends from the W&W team, who loved playing with him, spoiling him and giving him bites of food especially sweets and dessert.  Friends like Muruti Oboy (the local Pastor at the Church we worked at) and others from the church.  Friends like Uncle Peter/Driver Peter/Big Peter who is our field bus driver and a great friend of little Peter’s (and ours).  In fact Uncle Peter let him “drive” the bus, which he loved. 

Peter also thoroughly enjoyed playing with the children from the church and the village. There was a small pile of rocks near where we were working and Peter spent lots of time climbing to the top of the pile and running down or sliding down with the other kids.  He also liked collecting the rocks and sharing with the other kids.  At one point he wanted to go for a walk and at first he wanted my hand and then quickly dropped my hand and grabbed onto the hands of his new friends.  For awhile one afternoon he just wanted to move a chair around the yard.

Peter also enjoyed chasing after the chickens, goats, and dogs that wondered around where we were working.  He also liked “helping” with the work project.  He “helped” measure and hammer and checked to see if the team needed water. Peter got to build and knock down towers with the leftover wood from one of the projects.  And he didn’t understand when I wouldn’t let him play in the mud (aka mortar and grout) that the team was mixing.  I mean to him it looked like they were “playing” in the mud so why couldn’t he.  He also enjoyed the various buckets of waters he would find and thought he should be able to play in.  Thankfully he loves being a helper and so he would help us carry the empty water container where they needed to go.  Which was usually the way mom distracted him from any of a host of other “adventures.”   

During the children’s outreach that we did in the afternoons Peter would try and do the motions of the songs with the kids and enjoyed watching the games they played with the balls.   During lunch (if he wasn’t already napping) and during dinner, Peter would eat from our plate and then wonder around to the different team members and eat anything they would give him.  Of course those bites were taken on breaks in between climbing in the wheelbarrow, playing ball with the other kids, playing in the dirt or trying to coax the dog from under the van. 

Needless to say each evening we had a tired, very dirty, but happy little boy.   After the team went to the tent for the evening revivals.  We would change Peter into his PJ’s, read him a story, pray with him, sing a song and then lay him down to sleep.  Then Joe would stay with him and I would go over to the tent to the revival.  After the service the team would come back to the house and have a team meeting and devotions.  Once the team loaded into the bus we would pick Peter up load him in our van, load up the packn’play and head back to the hotel for the night.  Peter would wake up briefly during all the transitions but then would quickly return to dreamland. 

We didn’t pack any toys for Peter and he didn’t miss them.  We did pack some books that we read to him on the long car ride to and from Botswana and at bedtime.  He was not a huge fan of waiting in line at the border but then who is. 

As he gets older I am sure there will be some times that he doesn’t find the weeks we spend with W&W teams as adventurous but for now he does and so we will enjoy it while it last. 

We are thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the Global Church and allowing our brothers and sisters in Christ from different places and cultures get to know each other, work and serve alongside each other and love and pray for each other. 



Until next time remember- If you leave a curious toddler unattended for a short amount of time (no matter how short) he will find water and play in it.  Thankfully his parents weren’t the only ones keeping him out of mischief.  And I would rather he find the water instead of the power tools.  (Don’t worry Grandma and Grandpa he never even touched the power tools only the boxes they came in.)