• Grand 2009!

    Thursday, December 31, 2009

    The year is sweeping to an end. For many you are preparing to make these last moments grand. As I look back over 2009 grand is the only word to sum it up. I hardly can put to words the thankfulness I have for the abundance of beautiful moments that have made this year grand for my family and I. It has truly been a special year. I have been thinking all day about the things we have lived that made this year special.

    We have had another thrilling year on the continent of Africa. Even after nearly two years in Nigeria we feel as though every day we experience something foreign and bazaar (to us). The culture differences are wide and often confusing. Both Roger and I have been taught so many things about this country and continent, nothing other then experience could be the teacher. We both shake our heads at our utter ignorance of this nation upon our arrival. There are moments of hardship, of course, and things I most likely will never get use to. There are things I wish I could change with the snap of my fingers, but life is not like that and patience is always a worthy virtue, here more then anywhere!

    Living here has so many upsides that it makes the set backs worth it. Roger’s office is on the same property as our home and so we get to see him much more often then when we lived in Canada. He can join us for breakfast and lunch, and is almost always home by five-thirty. The extra time this allows for our little girls to be with their Daddy is worth so much to us. Our girls adore Roger and have found him to be a wonderful companion in play and learning. Roger loves all this extra time to enjoy things with us he would never be able to if we lived in any other place. Roger loves and thrives in his job. He says every mechanical engineer only dreams of having a job like this. Often, as he explains the job he is working on, sparks of excitement dance through his eyes and I wonder if he will ever be able to leave the excitement of this place behind. Seeing as Roger is my ticket out of here I wonder if I will ever get to leave. I keep leaving MLS listing numbers of country homes for sale around Calgary near his computer with a note saying “please return your wife to this house in Canada!”

    The truth is living in Africa has been very good for me. Learning to turn the set backs into opportunities is a life lesson I have been glad to learn. I rarely leave the compound. There has been some concerning safety threats towards expatriates this last year so we have chosen to lean on the side of safety. The girls and I do not go out unless Roger is their with us. I feel much safer with him around and I am less hassled by locals with a guy at my side. Because of never getting out, I have ample amount of time to focus on my family and home. I have come to appreciate this time investing in the girls and not ‘running around’ like so many young moms have to. I see how good this is for the girls and I marvel that God is teaching me ‘there is no place like home’ while my children and I are young.

    Roger continues to be my delight and I love that we have every evening and weekend uninterrupted, a pure luxury! This spring when I was in Canada I invested in a few ‘gifts’ that would keep me occupied while time is my friend. I purchased a very spiffy camera and am painfully trying to learn the challenging art of photography! I also have a goal to learn to sew. So that after I leave the shopping of Europe and have to return to the bleak landscape of Canadian children shops, I can create as I wish. With this goal I now have a lovely sewing machine, in which I must use or else Roger will make me return it! It has been a nice season in my life, happily at home loving my family.

    Marion is growing, of course. Sadly and grateful, us parents watch in amazement. She is mature and so capable. Marion continues to be bright and an eager learner. She is much like Roger and his very factual mind. She loves numbers and science. I am learning things every day as I read to her from books she is interested in, that I had avoided while growing up! She has a few great friends here on the compound and keeps active in her swimming and dancing lessons, which both take place right in our 'back yard'. She loves to travel. And studies the map and geography books, wondering where we are off to next. I fear we have infected her with a travel bug that will never settle down! Every few weeks she wants to know where we are going, and will actively help in all the travel plans. She thinks everything through and rarely needs reprimanding.

    Which is nice because her little sister has had a year of constant reprimanding! Davina is still a thrill and adventure and brightens our life everyday. Davina is very spunky and has a true mind of her own. She believes she could fly a plane, bake bread, and wash her hair without any assistance! Her second year was a challenge as she thinks she is capable to do everything one her own...she is settling down and we are seeing a very lovely little girl emerge. Though she is very independent she loves to cuddle and is very warm hearted. I think she will 'beat to her own drum' and Roger and I love learning her rhythm! She makes us laugh everyday and is far developed linguistically, making us laugh all the more at her ability to communicate what she is thinking! Davina and Marion are very close and play so nice together. Davina is very sharp and does not miss anything that is going on around her. She is such a fun little girl! Both the girls are beaming with becoming big sisters again. Davina asks everyday if my baby is coming out today.

    We have continued to have the enormous treasure of travel this last year, the new places we have been and seen amaze me. I constantly wonder how a ‘little country girl’ has come to have first class view of this beautiful world. It is a thrill and a gift. We continue to relish in the sweet memories we made while in Canada. Our dear friends and family make living abroad very difficult, simply because they are so wonderful it is hard living day to day life without them!

    For us the word to sum of 2009 would be GRAND!

    As the fresh New Year emerges with hope, I welcome it excitedly. We have much to look forward to in the coming days. The word I wish to christen my heart and life this year would be Joy. I pray my home will be filled moment by moment with joy. I pray I will be a joy to my husband. I desire to be a joy to my friends and family and wish my heart to be joyful in all things. I also see that I will have to find and make joy in times of challenge, as the girls and I prepare to be away from Roger for long months while I finish my pregnancy. I can see how Roger will have to keep ‘joyful’ all alone in Nigeria. I pray that at the end of this coming year we can say joy has been our companion in the simple things of life and in such miraculous moments as new life.

    And that the Joy of the Lord will be my strength! (Nehemiah 8:10)

    Happy New Year Friends.