Monday, 12 September 2016

A Crochet Friend

My little daughter is sitting down to crochet with me. Ok, she has so far learnt to only chain, but after seeing her enjoyment and enthusiasm, with practice, she will be making blankets with me in the not too far distance.

This won't be news to others, but do you know what I am learning is a major key to teaching? Gentleness. Oh, to display more gentleness in my life! After a few failed attempts at teaching Eliana to crochet in earlier years, gentleness (and perhaps age) made this lesson a pleasing memory to last. I love you, my little daughter.

"She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." Proverbs 31:26

"A soft answer turns away wrath..." Proverbs 15:1

"A gentle tongue is a tree of life..." Proverbs 15:4

Thursday, 1 September 2016

nine years

Nate and I celebrated our ninth anniversary a few months ago by pushing for Nate to be released from hospital after a four night stay. He was sick with malaria that he must have gotten from a mosquito bite on our last night in Mozambique. What a going away present!

Together in Nate's hospital bed.

So due to all of that fun, we forgot about our anniversary tradition - to sum up our year of marriage in one word. We've done this each year around our anniversary and have so far come up with the words
1. revealing2. adventure3. abundant4. growth; 5. progress; 6. steady7. settling; and 8. building. After a couple of people asked us about our ninth anniversary word (thanks Amy and Wooz) we finally discussed it on the weekend while driving to Michigan. Not the usual romantic setting for choosing our word (read: four kids in the car), but still enjoyable just the same :)

This year we summed up our marriage with the word "unwavering". As we've caught up with friends in the States, a number of people have asked us how our marriage is going overseas. Without hesitation I can answer: although all else might be going wrong around me, God is my Rock, and my marriage is steadfast.

That's not to say that Nate and I don't have issues to work through. In fact - other than our first revealing year of marriage (note the above summary word) this year's furlough may have presented us with more things to work through together than any other year of marriage. Even so - no matter what happens, we are in this together.

By the grace of God we talk together, pray together, raise our children together and love being together. Our commitment to each other will never change as long as we keep our eyes fixed on God. He is faithful, and will answer those who call to him. One of my constant prayers is that God would keep us faithful to Him and each other, all of our days.

It makes it all the more sweet to be in such a firm commitment with my best friend, who still makes my heart skip a beat when he enters the room.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Four in the Bed

We have been blessed with a lovely house to stay in while in Louisville. It has plenty of space, including two bunk beds. So it seemed like the time was right to put Anastasia in a big bed. She has done well. I think she likes being of the same sleeping status with her older siblings, plus the freedom of getting up on her own after her nap. There were a few times we've caught her roaming the house or have found a bunch of books in her bed. We've even found her sleeping underneath the bed on more than one occasion. But I think she's getting the hang of it.
Another milestone to celebrate. Goodbye pack-n-play, so long port-a-cot, nice knowing you, pea pod!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Ballet Beauties

One of the most exciting shipments arrived today!
While we're in the States we are trying to take advantage of the opportunities we usually don't have in the bush of Africa. So when we found out about a three month ballet class for the girls I signed them up and ordered their uniforms the next day.

How beautiful. My excitement to see the new gear on rivaled the girls'!

Saturday Sweetness

If you remember me mentioning that Nate cooks dinner every Saturday night, over a fire, you might be even more impressed to learn that he also cooks a special breakfast every Saturday morning… Pretty Wow huh? 

We don't always have the chance to get amazing ingredients like the above - but when we do - you can be sure Nate will put them all together in one of his (should be famous) omelets.

So.. what does a mother do when she doesn't have to cook on Saturdays? Being that Saturday is our rest day, I enjoy taking some time to be creative. Below is a blanket that I worked on, on and off, for over a year - finishing just in time to give to Lilah for her 5th birthday before we departed for Australia. Lilah's reaction? Naming it and cuddling it all day. That was worth it. 

What a grace from the Lord it is to have a husband who loves his wife cheerfully. I claim no credit for it. It's because Nate loves God's Word and seeks to follow it with all of his heart. And it's because Jesus, the Lord of Nate's life, loved us first.

"And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us..." Ephesians 5:2

"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Ephesians 5:25

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Bonfire Bliss

During our 2.5 years in the bush of Africa, we managed to make a tradition of Bonfire nights on Saturday nights. The kids would all help Nate gather wood and Nate would cook meat and potatoes over a fire. These are photos of our last Bonfire night before leaving on furlough (which we are currently on). We LOADED UP on meat left over from our trip through Malawi. Count your blessings!

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Ox Cart Boy

This was a drive-by photo I finally took after four years in Africa. I love the ox-drawn carts of Malawi.

And yes, the driver is most certainly posing :)