• Autumn in Africa

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    Here I am thinking of our fall activities, missing the changing of seasons and the warm colours of a Canadian autumn. One of my most precious nature memories is of Roger and I’s trip across Canada. We drove through Quebec when the maple and poplar were brilliantly displayed in crimson colour. It was breathtaking and since then fall does not disappear without a longing to return to the countryside of Quebec. For us this year, the only reminder of autumn was the changing and welcoming of a more ‘set’ schedule, new activities, and getting the house set for the ‘school’ year.

    This fall has brought the anniversary of a year living abroad! Amazing to know we have been gone one year. We continue to treasure this opportunity of seeing and experiencing so many parts of this alluring world. Roger and I have just completed watching a documentary series by the BBC called Planet Earth, no movie has ever moved Roger and I such as this one. To see and understand the beautiful and delicate nature of this grand world. Who could not worship such a creative and magnificent creator? We were both in awe of this world and so blessed to be able to see some of the different continents, to see Gods hand of beauty all over. The more we see the smaller we feel!

    The true treasures of living abroad for Roger and I has been the time we can spend with are lovely little family. We both delight in being each other’s love and watching and caring for our girls. This fall has been full of growth for the girls. What wonder children are! It never seizes to amaze me a child’s ability to learn, understand and grasp concepts. Marion continues to love to learn, she is always pursuing or studying something of interest. We have re-started our little mommy and Marion learning times! We both love this time together. Roger and I had so much fun preparing some learning activities to use over the next year. Marion loves her custom-made numbers, calendar, seasons, ect, ect. Marion asks every day if we can do school. I have continued to ‘pace’ Marion, as I am a believer in children having ample amount of play/free time, room to imagine, create and explore. A place to learn and discover on their own without a book or adult to interrupt their forming thoughts! Though for you who have asked about her learning to read….yes she is reading and as she says “FINALLY”! Marion is also becoming a wonderful swimmer. She has two swimming lessons a week and two ballet lessons a week, all right here in the compound so no dreaded driving! Marion has blossomed into a wonderful helper. She seems to have my Dad’s skill for lines and organization. I can easily leave her to organize her toys or the shoe cupboard; I am always pleased with the results. The other day I went into the kitchen and was greeted with a very cheerful Marion cleaning my fridge, she said to me “mommy I heard you say you needed the fridge cleaned.” Singing the whole time she washed it out then put everything nicely back! After we un-packed our things from Canada I took a few minutes a day and showed Marion how to put her toys away properly and tidy up each room of the house. I can now ask her to go and tidy any given room and yep she does it wonderfully! She is also a great help in the kitchen! I get her to roll the dough of the bread into loaves, which she does with great care and accuracy. She loves making Daddy special buns made out of her cookie cutters. She helps with the dishes and loves folding the laundry! It is so much fun having a little helper around!

    Davina is always in with the activity! Davina is now talking, a lot! Her voice is so wonderful! It is comical to hear and watch her; she is a ‘lengthy’ talker with some understandable words and some gibberish. But to Davina it is all very real and she demands us all to take her serious, with no interrupting her! I know she is meaning to communicate something because she will be ever so dramatic with changing emotions…quite the scene! We daily get a laugh out of her wild tales! She has also picked up being a patrol! She takes this new-found role very seriously. When we pray before a meal we have always folded our hands and close our eyes. Well Davina has picked up this order and now before the prayer she scopes us all out and then during the prayer she keeps one eye open and if one of us so much as blinks we get an stern ‘mommy’ or ‘Marion’ with quite the look from Davina! It is so funny to watch this wee little thing so attentive and serious…We have put a curb on Davina in this area, as she was becoming quite the little bossy even directing Roger and I! She is very funny but she is also very sweet she loves to be in my or Rogers arms and is our cuddle baby. I cannot believe how many times a day Davina will run up to me a throw her arms around me and give me a kiss…who can put a price tag on that?

    Our girls fill our hearts daily with the purest of joy. We are so amazed that God would gift us with these wonders of his heart. To me parenting is always wonderful, even when I have to put Davina in her crib for the millionth time out of that day! Every time I am challenged by parenting God quickly reminds me of how he is parenting me, always a humbling thought! I am glad God says LOVE NEVER FAILS!

    Roger daily steals my heart, what a beautiful love I get to experience! Most days I float through my home joyous with my privilege to love Roger and care for our little ladies! Could God fill my life any fuller? Roger looks so handsome as he heads of to work every morning. His good looks is not the only reason he was hired, hahah! Roger is thriving in his new job, completing projects above and beyond the set goals. Getting things done and gaining additional responsibilities. Then when he returns home he is inundated with ruffles and lace, pink and dolls and little voices pleading him to be the heroic prince rescuing his girls. The girls and I are very blessed to have such a man watching over us, loving us and truly been are hero.

    I love being devoted to my family. I have enjoyed this fall being creative in my home, making life rich for my children, teaching, working in the community and preparing all my raw food, captivating my husband and seeking my God. I have worked this fall on filling each day with beauty, looking for ways to add sparkle, laughter and joy to our home. I have wanted to be the face of God to my children in ever moment.
    Life is never easy and living here in Africa lets me see every day the darker sides of this world. When I look out my window or into the face of an orphan I am reminded of what a grand life I get to live. I want not only to make my girls (and Rogers) day good; I want their days to be rich with wonder and delight! A real excitement for me this fall was finding a book series I have been on the hunt for since I was thirteen! It is a children story series written about a community of country mice. I had seen one of these books in a library when I was a teen, not taking note of the author or title of the book. For years I have kept my eyes open in search of this book buying anything that seemed similar…many times through the years I have thought I found it only to be disappointed. WELL I was reading a reading blog and the feature book was THE BRAMBLY HEDGE SERIES. My heart was racing (as only a book lover would know) as I read the review! This was it! I had finally found the long desired book, BUT wait it was not a lone book but a series! Could it get any better? Roger, such a dear, searched for days on line from e-bay to rare bookstores…we managed to buy seven of the eleven books. We continue our search for the rest. It was a long few weeks as I awaited my dear books to arrive….they came one by one like dear friends from afar, each one welcomed with love into my library. We all had fun feasting on the pictures allowing our imaginations to be perked!

    We have had to face some of the obstacles of living so very far away. It does take a toll being so reliant on other people. It is not always easy having to need someone for every little job, from driving to getting cooking gas. It requires a great amount of patience (something I lack)! We live in a very different culture then North America and time is the most obvious difference, now is never now, and soon is elusive! (a favourite saying here is “any time from now!”.) One example is that we have been without consistent power on the compound for a few weeks. And though the problem is being ‘worked on’ the baffled look on the faces of the maintenance team at all the white peoples furry, speaks for its self! This has been a giant challenge for my to stay peaceful and self controlled (and cool)! As there is nothing to do for long in the house without electricity! I have had some awful moments of ‘cabin fever’!

    We also had to see my sister Katherine and her wonderful man Josh married through pictures! It was such a hard weekend. I was so emotional. Some other difficult things were going on that weekend and then to know I was missing such an amazing moment in Katherine’s life along with knowing all my family was together in Radium B.C I cried the whole weekend.

    We did our own celebration of sorts. The girls put on the same dresses that were used for the flower girls in Radium; I curled Marion’s hair. Roger and I got all dressed up and we went to the nicest restaurant. Ate some cake, I cried and we took some photos. It at least kept me busy! For all that I have seen of the wedding it looked amazing and everyone loved it. Katherine looked so lovely and what a guy she found; now I have six brothers GOSH! Less then two weeks after Katherine’s wedding my Mom was rushed to the hospital and was quickly receiving surgery. The operation took two hours longer then expected and waiting by the phone through that time made me feel horribly far. My mom is recovering wonderfully and is miraculously resting! I know also in the next few weeks we will be blessed with two new nephews. Katherine and Shannon are both due with boys! Roger and I have never been away from our families through anything important it was difficult and awfully lonely. It is through these times I must remember God called us away…….

    I will have to find ways to keep my self from going crazy during those times!

    We are excited as we are heading off to Italy in a few weeks. We are meeting Roger’s parents at a villa in Tuscany. And we are thrilled to be able to see and spend time with them! Maybe some of the homesickness will leave when I can see their faces!

    We are ever missing you all and pray daily for are beloved country Canada, are treasured family and dear friends.

    All dressed up for a Nigerian celebration. Like my hair peice Katherine?

    Keeping it cool!

    Concentrating on tying my shoes.


    Some loving.....

    and more

    and more

    Keeping up with baby sis!

    Marion was proud of taking this photo of Mommy.

    Please, this shade of green looks great on me Mom!

    Check out my tummy art, I did it myself and these boots are the icicng on the cake!

    Marion talking to Daddy while he was away on buisness. Is that not the face of a little girl in love?

    Marion working on her school...I mean having fun learning her numbers!

    Does beauty come more perfect then this?

    Does lovely come more perfect then this?

    Does sweetness come more perfect then this?

    Happy to have Daddy home....hard to be away from someone so handsom!

    All my loves!

    Davina so cute in pok-a-dots.

    Sitting prety.

    Our girls!

    At the park.

    See Davina swinging....her favorite thing to do at the park.

    Celebrating Katherine and Josh's marriage.

    My date and some cute little flower girls!

    The girls playing laundry.

    Marions (horizontal) sleep over in Mommys bed while daddy was away....



    And blue eyes!

    African braids.

    Mommy 'I cleaned the fridge!'

    Raw sunflower-mango cake.

    Davina helping her self to mango ice-cream.

    Raw mango ice-cream. Yummmy


    Raw chocolate un-cheese cake and avacodo chocolate pudding.

    Raw happiness.

    The girls favorite lunch.

    Raw pizza. My Friday night treat.

    Raw hot sauce.

    My Brambly Hedge books!