31 July 2012

Quote of the Day

After a big shopping trip this afternoon, we were unloading items and putting them away in the kitchen and around the house…

“H, would you please put this bag of soap powder in the bathroom for me?” I asked my boy, handing him the bag.

“Sure, Mom!” (Yes, he actually had this response… the kid loves to put shopping away.)

A few seconds later he returns to the kitchen holding the bag outstretched…

“Mom, I perceive that this bag has a hole in it” (Holding up one blue and powdery finger for me to see.)

Laughing, I asked “H, did you just use the word ‘perceive’?”

“Yeah” he said.

“That’s why I love you…”

27 July 2012

Lil’ List Maker

In the fourth grade my astute teacher, Mrs. Grumney saw something inside of me and gave me the “List Maker Award” at the end of the year. While I think it’s maybe a stretch to call it an ‘award’… I admit that Mrs. Grumney was right on with her assessment! 

I could have received that award each year since.

And apparently, so could my boy…

Several days ago, he stopped his game of playing “Shop” and came over to me very seriously and told me he needed to make a list for him so he wouldn’t forget the things he needed to do.  Wanting to support and encourage this wonderful behavior… I quickly agreed!

And then he dictated…


1. Scan (He had forgotten to ‘scan’ one of the items that his Daddy ‘bought’ before he took the item into his office and closed the door. My boy didn’t want to forget to take that item back and scan it when Mikey came back out.)

2. Get dressed (He was already dressed, but I think this was something he just needs to remember to daily.)

3. Brush Teeth (Good boy.)

4. Take a bath. (As if his father would ever let him forget that!)

5.Remember to get more things for my shop. (He loves this game.)

6. Go to the bathroom (Indeed, forgetting this would be very bad.)

7. Do my chart (His chore chart of things he does in the morning to get ready, he means)

8. Remember to read books (Not hard to do! This boy loves to ‘read’.)

9. Remember to water the plants (One of his main chores.)

10. Get on my shoes (Yup… another daily item.)

This list made me smile. Other things my boy has learned from spending so much time with me? He loves to organize! Yay! I’m so proud of him. For this and a thousand other reasons.

20 July 2012


Today is Friday, a weekend day. Also the first day of Ramadan for most of the nationals, although I don’t have much to say about that today. This is what our day consisted of…


We had a morning trip to a… what do I call it? The locals would call it a park. We would call it a patch of grass next to the road.


The kids played a little ball, we had a little snack…


…and we watched planes land and take-off. Good times. H was especially excited that he saw the wheels go up into the the airplane and the doors close under them. You should have seen the joy in his eyes. I love that boy.


Then it was naps for all. Including this normally un-napping boy who fell asleep reading on the couch. Rare moment indeed.


Later was chalk on the balcony.


And pizza on the balcony, using the local bread and our carefully rationed pepperoni. Pretty good!


After dinner we had some swimming pool/filling up the car with ‘gas’ time. Girlie asked “Pwease me sbim wif my cwoos on?” (Please me swim with my clothes on?) Sure baby… if you want to! Why not?


And then after-bath and before-bed-book-time for the kiddos.


Which included this book written by Eric Metaxas.


And for my ‘story time’, I am reading this book, coincidently also authored by Eric Metaxas. Which if you ask me, shows a remarkable diversity in writing style.

That’s about it folks.

Good night.

19 July 2012



This was the water our of our taps this morning.   Really?


Always a surprise around here. Isn’t it fun?!

07 July 2012


Recently I have been teaching my boy H to do some things around the house. He has always been a helper and I thought he was ready for some of his own ‘family responsibilities’ as I sometimes call them. We all have to work to keep things running, right?  He is an eager and quick learner and has the heart of a servant, to be sure.


He sometimes washes the dishes. Yes, you read that right! And he’s only 4 years old. But he loves it. I don’t give him big ones or hard ones. But the usual bowls, plates, cups, silverware… he can do it with no problems. Once, he even asked me if he could please wash the dishes and then told me to go take a rest on the couch. Ha!


He came up with this idea of how he could help me hang up and take down the diapers from the clothesline. He thinks it’s so fun.


He waters the plants on the balcony almost daily. This is his most regular and his biggest job. Such a blessing to have him do this!



And he can run downstairs, grab a stool and open the gate when the doorbell rings. This, too, is such a blessing to me!

Other things we have him do include taking his sister to the bathroom to help her wash her hands after meals and giving himself a bath, start to finish, all by himself (as long as we put the soap on his washcloth)!

I never expected how good it would feel to teach him how to help out around the house or take care of different jobs by himself. And I never expected  how much he would love it or how much he is capable of! I can see that it gives him a sense of accomplishment, a sense of being needed, a sense that he is a blessing and a growing level of  his own independence. It also gives me so many opportunities to thank him, encourage him and build him up in the little man that he is becoming.

My boy is growing up and it’s a beautiful thing.


05 July 2012

Run, Marble, Run!

You never really know what toys kids are gonna like.  Aside from Legos and train sets. that is… those two toys can bring hours of enjoyment for many years!

But my kids have another favorite. We have almost gotten rid of this toy a couple times in the past (one member of this marriage, though I won’t speak his name, looooves to give everything away all the time…). But luckily, we kept it. And since we returned a couple of months ago, the kids have literally spent hours playing with this toy!  And in small-kiddo-land, hours is pretty much the equivalent of days!!) It’s a locally purchased (although gifted to us), Chinese made (but only a couple broken pieces, amazingly enough)… Marble Run!




At first Mike or I had to set it up for them to use it…


… but now H can set it up in lots of creative ways all by himself.



So to whoever gave this to Sweet N for her first birthday… we’re getting tons of use and fun out of it! Thanks!

04 July 2012

Happy Fourth!

The Fourth of July is one of the top two holidays that I loooove to celebrate in the U.S. (Christmas, of course, is number one.) This day can be full of so many fun things… parades, amazing food, relaxing times with friends and family, being outside, swimming, and of course… fireworks! It’s just good quality fun and I appreciate it so much.

Here in Africa, it’s not quite the same. I spent a lot of time today thinking of family we miss. It’s hard not to share holidays with family that loves us and misses us and our sweet kiddos so much.  We did celebrate with some patriotic clothing (except all I had for Sweet N was her big brother’s t-shirt!), time with friends, an amazing burger hot off the grill and the best brownie sundae (with homemade fudge sauce!!!) that I have ever had on this side of the globe.

Before we left for the evening, we took some photos on the balcony. It’s not often I get my picture taken with my kiddos and even more rare that they would actually be decent! So here are some…


First of all, I love this little missy. She’s got sass.


I can’t take it…


They are way too cute.






Mikey did awesome taking these photos, didn’t he? My kiddos are such a blessing to me.

And here’s the tickle reel…


Happy Birthday America. Of all the countries I’ve been to… you’re still my favorite.

01 July 2012

Something Against Comfort?

Most afternoons my girlie takes her nap on the floor next to my side of the big bed in Mike’s and my bedroom. This is the best spot in the house because it is right where the only air conditioner is installed. We roll out a cotton mattress where she snoozes on the floor and I usually rest in the bed beside/above her. Be a shame to not enjoy an A/C break along with her in the middle of a hot humid day!

But she apparently has something against comfort…


Because many days she falls off to sleep in positions such as this.


Or this.


And today this! No pillow on the hard tile floor. What is she thinking?! Silly girl.