Thursday, December 22, 2011

How Did That Happen?

I decided it was time to update the blog a little.  The picture at the top was over two years old so I added our newest family picture.  I kind of hated the thought of removing that old picture completely, so I decided I'd put it here along with some other pictures (old and new).  It amazes me to see how much these guys have grown!

the old

the new

age 9 and in need of a haircut

age 6

age 7
If I recall correctly, we had a hard time keeping this guy still for the pictures 2 years ago - some things haven't changed.
the pout

This is his, "How could you possibly get mad at me?" face.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bethany Kids Christmas Party

On Friday we had the privilege of hosting the Bethany Kids at Kijabe Hospital staff members in our home for a Christmas luncheon.  I was unsure about what to serve so Erik and I decided to do a "Christmas Around the World" theme and serve a little bit of everything.  We had lasagna, enchiladas, cashew chicken, spring rolls, sweet and sour meatballs and Kenyan favorites such as chapatis and beef stew.   I was a little nervous that our Kenyan guests would only eat the Kenyan food and would not try the food from other countries, but I was pleasantly surprised that they did eat the other foods.  I'm sure some ate them just to be polite, but many seemed to actually enjoy the enchiladas and lasagna.

We had 60-70 guests and it was a wonderful time.  There was singing, a gift exchange and true to Kenyan tradition, several people gave speeches.  It was a pleasure for me to be able to meet many of Erik's coworkers that I previously only knew by name.  We are so thankful for these people and the way they minister to the sick children and we are blessed to come alongside them in their service.

One of the highlights for me was watching these three men try the desserts.  We served apple pie, Texas Sheet Cake and ice cream.  They were a little hesitant to try the ice cream and the apple pie so they decided they would all try it at the same time.  The ice cream was too sweet (I can't blame them - I'm not a big fan of the ice cream in Kenya either), but the apple pie got good reviews!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Boys and their Toys

According to my husband, the excitement of the safari is capturing the perfect picture.  I actually choose to sit next to the driver and just look at the animals without the worry of having to take the perfect picture - less stress that way. 

Erik got a new camera for an early Christmas present so in preparation for safari, he was reading up on all the tips and tricks for his new toy.  We also took a couple of our less expensive cameras so the boys could take pictures like their daddy (our daughter preferred just looking - that's my girl.)  Since we just turned the kids loose with the cameras, we got some interesting pictures.

the back of the seat in the safari vehicle

part of the safari vehicle window - I just love the composition of this one.

Luckily, we did get some good ones - even from the kids.  Some of the animals made it pretty easy for them.  This lion decided to approach our vehicle on one side, crossed the road right in front of us and then stood on the other side of the vehicle and posed for a while.  He put on a great show for us and here are some of the pics we got.
Our 9 year old took this one

our 7 year old took this one - We may need to work on holding the camera straight, but this is a good start.

Our 3 year old was screaming because he didn't have a camera and I didn't want him to scare the lion away so I desperately handed him my phone.  Pretty impressive, huh??

Here is Erik's.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Safari Pictures

Here are a few of the thousands of pictures that Erik took while we were on safari last week.


Cape Buffalo

An elephant at the end of the rainbow - Who needs a pot of gold??


Lilac Breasted Roller


Superb Starling


Gold crested cranes

King of the jungle - no zoom lens needed for this guy - he was about 10 feet away from us.

the illusive leaopard

None of the rhinos seemed to want to have their pictures taken


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An Overdue Update

I've been absent from the blog for far too long so I need to give you a quick update.

  • Erik's parents have been visiting us for a few weeks and we've loved having them here.  We went on a safari and have had a great time showing them around.  (pictures still to come)
  • There is a doctor's strike in Kenya which means that all government employed doctors have not reported to work for a week and a half.  Actually, they called off the strike last night, but then began striking again this afternoon.  Basically, what this means is that no doctors are staffing public hospitals and patients that go there typically see medical students or nobody at all.  Kijabe Hospital is getting many patients that would normally go to the government hospitals.  Please pray for our doctors as they care for an increased number of patients and as they share the hope of Christ with patients that wouldn't come here otherwise. 
  • On Friday, we will be hosting a Christmas luncheon at our home for the Bethany Kids staff and nurses.  We're expecting 40-50 people and I'm the caterer!  I have lots of cooking to do over the next few days, but I'm looking forward to being able to get to know all the people that Erik works with every day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

After One Year

It is hard to believe that we are approaching our one year anniversary in Kenya.  It has been one year since I've been to a Wal-mart or a Target.  It has been one year since I've seen a television commercial.  It has been one year since I've eaten fast food - yes, we have KFC in Nairobi now, but it can hardly be called fast!   I may need some help from our readers to tell me if I’m a little out of touch with the world.

I am not quite sure what is in fashion now.  Based on what I see here, denim jumpers and Keds are all the rage!  I have heard an ugly rumor that harem pants are in style again - please say it isn't so.  I have even seen some European men in Nairobi sporting knickers lately and I'm really hoping that that is not a trend in the US.  If it is the trend, please send me pictures of the men in your life sporting them so I can get a good laugh more educated about fashion in America.

When I heard that feathers in the hair is a new trend,  I thought that I must be ahead of my time -  Farah Fawcett and I had feathered hair long ago.  Then I realized that people are using rooster feathers - now that is just weird! 

Now that it is time to start thinking about Christmas gifts, my kids have no idea what kids in America are playing with or are asking for for Christmas.  The "Great Big Toys R Us Book" didn't arrive in our mail this year.  Some Kenyan children like to roll metal wheel frames with sticks.  Our two younger boys have caught onto this creativity and have been spotted playing similar games with metal scraps they've found on the ground.  They'd probably be thrilled to receive a Christmas present that I'd collected from the trash, but I feel like I should get them something more typical.  I think I will get them Pound Puppies, pogo balls and troll dolls.  Those are still in style, right??

We get American music here so I am able to stay on top of the latest music trends.  Clearly Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's Islands in the Stream is at the top of the charts because that is what they play here all the time.  Other current chart topping artists are Milli Vanilli and Lionel Richie.  It is a great relief that we are at least able to stay current on music here. 

As much as we try to keep up with the news and trends in America, it sometimes feels like we've stepped into a time warp of sorts.  I feel certain that when we come back for a visit we will be in for a real shock and I will need the help of good friends to take me to the mall for a fashion intervention. 

Well, I better go now.  I need to sneak over to the neighbor's house to pluck a feather from their rooster!

Friday, November 11, 2011


A few weeks ago the school had a carnival where the kids get dressed up in simple, easy, homemade costumes and go around the gym and play games.  Erik and I were not around for the carnival because some friends came and stayed with our kids for the weekend to give Erik and I a little getaway - our first date in 10 months!!  Thankfully, our friends took pictures of the kids so we could enjoy the carnival a little as well! 
The kids all designed their own costumes.  Check out our 3 year old's costume:  Bob the Builder pj pants, a Spider Man pj shirt that doesn't button at his belly, and his red blanket that doubles as a Super Man cape!  LOVE THIS!

You know those Sumo wrestling inflatable games they have at carnivals in the US?  Well, this is our version of it!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I know that many of you have been following the news and are aware of the tensions and threats here in Kenya.  We just wanted to let everyone know that we are fine, we are being alert and cautious and we appreciate your concerns and your prayers.  We are resting in the knowledge that the safest place for us to be is in the center of God's will. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thompson Falls

The Theatre Staff (Theatre is what they call the Operating Rooms here) went on a team building outing this weekend.  Most of the staff (50 or so people) piled onto a big bus with the plans of heading to the Aberdares for a little game drive.  A few families went along in our own vehicles to join in the fun.  Once the bus got to the Aberdares they learned that due to a great deal of rain, the bus would not make it through the roads so the bus turned around and went for Plan B.  We drove another couple of hours to Thompson Falls.

We discovered that Thompson Falls is a bit of a tourist trap with camel rides, face painting, balloon animals - it felt a bit like a carnival.  A couple of guys put chameleons on our kids and then when Erik took a picture tried to charge him 200 shillings ($2).  Erik said he didn't want to buy a chameleon and one of the guys said, "That's not to buy it, that's the cost to take a picture with it."

At Thompson Falls, we had a picnic lunch complete with Nyama Choma (roasted goat) and chapatis (Kenyan flat bread).  There were lots of speeches (Kenyans have speeches at every gathering), singing and fellowship.  I enjoyed getting to meet the people that Erik works with on a daily basis.  It was a lovely time with the staff and friends and I was so thankful to have kids that are great travelers since our ten hour day included 7 hours of driving and 3 hours out of the car.  What great sports they were!

We crossed the equator a few times during this trip.

The chameleon

Thompson Falls

Our daughter was not happy about this camel ride, but apparently, once you get on, there is no getting off of it.

How about a kiss?

Not too sure about the fur on his meat

a little fur won't stop this carnivore

Our Kikuyu entertainment

I'm still new at Kenyan travel and I always forget the bring along some toilet paper.