Friday, December 23, 2011

Kids will be kids!

Claire and Emma dress up for a 1980's birthday party.  I feel like I am looking at myself when I was their age!

Jeremiah going out to hunt stray dogs. He got one, and skinned it (don't ask me why) and now is getting a series of rabies vaccinations as a result.

Levi and all his MK friends enjoying the 4-5th grade Christmas presentations.

Claire presenting the narrative she wrote about the wise men taken from the Gospel of Matthew.  She is dressed up as a wise man.

Claire and her classmates gather after their production of the Christmas story!  I, as their teacher, was very proud of the narratives they wrote which retold the birth of Christ.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

GIving Thanks, Part 2

Claire holding a precious baby!  During Katie and Kristi's visit we were able to go a baby center.  This was my first experience here, and it turned out to be an incredible opportunity to share the love of Jesus with orphaned or abandoned babies and toddlers.

This is the 6-15 month-old group.  When it is mealtime all the babies are placed on the floor and they eat their rice and beans from a bowl.  They do very well feeding themselves in this way, and can even drink from an open two handled cup.


Claire loved feeding the 0-5 month old babies their bottles.  The babies are brought outside often and roll around on gym mats during their wake time.

Katie had many babies wanting her attention.  They needed so much love and touch from us.

  Here Katie is helping give the babies their snack of fruit.

Levi felt a little nervous at first, but warmed up quickly to the babies.

Carolyn, a short term missionary serving at Tenwek, came with us.  Here she is playing with the toddler group.

Kristie especially loved being with the infants!

Lydia, Claire's friend from Tenwek, came with us.  She and Claire were a great help with the 6-15 month olds!

The toddlers were enthralled with the bubbles!  Levi had a challenging time teaching them to take turns and share.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Giving Thanks, Part 1

Claire and Lydia play with the little girl who we took care of for a few days. 

 Kristi and Katie from Rochester, MN, visited us the week of Thanksgiving.  They were such a blessing, help, and encouragment!

We had many adventures during the week of their visit!  Here we all suited up in lead aprons to watch Dan do a surgery.

Refusing to grow old, Dan unwinds with a ride after work on his new/old (1987) pike (pronounced with short i and long e)!

One Saturday, Levi asked me if he could use a tablecloth. I didn't realize he would make it into a hamock in the giggle tree!  Surprisingly, it stayed put!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Meet our new dog, Chuma!

 Levi often escapes to do any reading homework on Daddy's Lazy boy.  Once a week we set it outside and let it sun because of all the mold/mildew - (this chair is ancient and we don't know where it came from, but it was in our house when we moved in and Dan is determined to keep it and rid it of all allergens).

 First pictures of our German Shepherd puppy, Chuma (means "iron" in kiswahili) and is the same word for the "plates" that Dan uses to fix fractures.  He is 16 weeks old which means he needs alot of love, training, and care, so Emma, Claire, and Levi have been taking turns doing "dog duty" all week.  The responsibility is so good for them, and reminds them that having a dog was a family decision and as a family we are going to care and love him.  We didn't go to Nairobi this past weekend planning to get a dog, but the opportunity presented itself and we took it.  Jeremiah was with us and it was special to pick out Chuma together before taking Jeremiah back to school.

He is a handsome dog, smart, and loyal already.  We are still working on the potty training though, and we are relieved that he is  finally figuring it out.

 Levi and his best friend Isaac.  They are an inseparable pair!

 Emma is still as affectionate as ever with dogs and has been a big help to Dan and I with  Chuma! 

A glimpse into the teenage life at Tenwek.  Whether it's organizing the next volleyball game or the next party they bring lots of challenge and fun to our lives!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Midterm Break

Jeremiah didn't expect to spend his break recovering from surgery, but he was glad to get his plates and screws out.  Dan was able to do the surgery and Jeremiah returned to school as scheduled and is recovering fine on his own.

 Claire's surgery was a surprise.  She had an odd mass on the front side of her elbow that we thought was a bug bite, but it turned out to be an abscess that Dan had to remove surgically.  After a week Claire was able to get her sling removed and her incisions site is healing normally.

 These are my favorite little kids!  The oldest has already been adopted, and the Bemm family is in the process of adopting the younger three.  What a blessing these children are! 

Currently,  Piki's are the choice hobby for physicians who refuse to grow old (including Dan).  This picture is of Ben Roberts giving Levi a ride.  Dan says he's buying one next week!

Playing rugby with the RVA boys over Midterm break.  Russ White and Dan risk everything to play. Who is going to operate on them if they get hurt?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fun Times Together

 Jeremiah arrived home just in time for our Friday night pizza tradition!  It was such a blessing and joy to be together again!
 This is the first time since we returned to Kenya that Jeremiah was able to be with us for pizza night.  At RVA he said they don't serve pizza, so he enjoyed every bite because he knew Saturday was coming with leg surgery, pain, and nausea.
 Emma and Kayla Chupp (another MK at Tenwek).  Look closely, they are wearing chameleons.
 This is our homeschooling room.  It is comfortable and inviting because of the natural sunlight streaming in and the entertaining birds that come and go.
Even though this picture looks otherwise, Levi actually enjoys school and loves to learn, which energizes me to teach him.
 When Dan was away on a camping trip with Jeremiah and his dorm brothers, the other three kids and I decided to party!  We all made our own pizzas (including the dough)played games, and watched movies!  I was surprised at how much fun we had and how much they still talk about our night together.
 Emma is making her first apple pies!  We decided to make every food we could think of for Jeremiah while he was home on Midterm break.  Apple pie is one of his favorites!
 We meet, serve, and become friends with many visiting physicians and their wives. They are such an asset to what we do here!
Dan is thankful for help from visiting orthopedic surgeons!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Claire's "baby!"

Claire:  this is Peter Joseph, a little, cute baby I got to hold and love.
 He was abandoned by his mom and left at a Bomet Church and
brought to Tenwek by the police.  I love him so much!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Attending a Kipsigis Wedding

 On the way up to Motigo (largest hill around our area) where the wedding of one of my former househelper's was to take place.  Claire calls the overlook of the valley, "God's Quilt."
 The wedding was held at Motigo AGC church located right next to the local school.
 Emma, Kayla Chupp, and Abby Bemm as well as the rest of our group were seated in the front row of the church, which was quite an honor, and it was a perfect place to take pictures.
 This is one of the many fascinating pictures I took.  In the Kipsigis tradition it is customary for the bride to wrap her train around the groom after they exchange rings.   Both bride and groom wear tinsel around their necks also.  The bride also had a fancy tierra with a bright red flashing light on it.
Pastors and family gather around to pray for the couple. 

What a great experience this wedding was, and it only started 2 hours late!  Those of us who went estimated the "real" start date, and only had to wait 30 minutes for the bride to arrive.  One of the most amazing parts of this wedding for me was the amount of attendants. There were at least 10 flower girls, 40 adolescent girls who lined the aisle making way for the bride, and about 20 groomsmen.  The church was packed with guests, and the motigo area kids crowded in the doorways, while other adults peeked through the church windows.  It was truly one of those cultural experiences I won't forget!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Welcome to the Galat House

This is our house.  It was built in the 1940's and to me looks like a midwestern style home.  It has a wealth of history attached to it.  At first it was only one level, and then later a 2nd story was added to to accomodate more nurses and other staff.

A tradition at Tenwek is to decorate the windows of the house to welcome returning or new families. This is a picture of Claire with her friends Lydia Bemm and Ashley Chupp. 

The back yard of our house.  The Stanfield's (former missionaries who lived in this house) left us a huge and flourishing garden which we are already enjoying.
One of our first visitors was a stray milking cow. I didn't mind because our lawn needed to be mowed anyway. (our van is in the background)

This is Regina and Shiela.  These are the Kipsigis women that are helping me with all the cooking and cleaning.  It is amazing to me how they can walk for miles carrying loads on their heads.
Last picture with Jeremiah before we said good-bye to him at boarding school.  We are standing in front of his dorm.  It was a sad day with lots of tears between us all.  It was so healing to grieve together, and embrace the pain that often comes when God is leading us and not ourselves.