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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sunny and Rainy Day Fun

Posted by Jeri on February 20, 2011

It’s been so incredibly hot over the past few weeks.  We  sweat, sweat, and sweat some more.  The great thing about this time of year is always the variety of fresh fruit at the market.  The fruit totally makes all the sweating worth it!  Mangoes, papaya, pineapples, watermelon, mmmmmm … so refreshing.

I can’t believe I haven’t posted for so long.  I do have at least 3 good excuses though: Hannah, Caleb, and Elizabeth.  They keep me so busy that I often forget I’m supposed to be taking pictures and writing about them, too.

For basically all of January, Elizabeth demanded most of my time.  She got an infection (maybe staph) that caused her to get multiple boils (abscesses) on her little bottom.  Those things are incredibly painful, so I’ve heard.  She had one a couple of months ago, but we managed to get rid of it within a couple of weeks without any antibiotics.  This round of infection just wouldn’t go away!  She ended up having to be put under so the surgeons could lance and drain those huge boils.  The poor girl couldn’t even sit down for at least 3 weeks before she had her little procedure.  So, I spent many, many hours at the hospital seeking treatment for her.  It was a tiring month, needless to say.  She seems to be on the mend now.  Her incision is healing nicely, she’s sitting down again, and she is happy.  (So is her mother.)

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My two little princesses are such a blessing.

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So is my little prince!

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With the hot weather, we’ve taken advantage of some outdoor time.  There is a manmade beach at the International Hotel here in town.  We like to go play in the sand and then swim in the pool there.  The view is amazing!  Since we are right on the bay, we can see the ocean with the beautiful mountains in the distance.

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E and D

There’s plenty for us to do on rainy days, too.  Yesterday we had a HUGE rain.  Maybe it was a little aftermath from Cyclone Yasi.  It looked like we had a river for a backyard!

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We had a hard time being responsible with all those huge puddles outside.  They were just calling our names to come and jump in them.  We delayed school and took advantage of playing in the rain (until we got too cold).  Craig even slipped out of his office and into his swim trunks for a little rainy day fun.

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E in rain

Our gargantuan water tank was overflowing like crazy because of all the rain.

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Once we were back inside, we savored some hot tea and warm baths.  Then we had more rainy day projects.  Hannah and Caleb made some newspaper hats.

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Elizabeth enjoyed a good Dora book.

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School is going really well, and we enjoy the flexibility that home schooling offers.  All of the kids especially like the science projects we do. While I was writing this, Hannah just walked in and said, “If you find a container with mud and water, it’s my experiment.”  Seems like we have a lot of things like that sitting around lately … 

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Rain or shine, we’re usually having a good time. 

C, H, E

Christmas in PNG 2010

Posted by Jeri on December 28, 2010

When I think of Christmas, I usually imagine being with family, seeing beautiful lights, wearing warm socks, hearing holiday music, and feeling sparkling snow.  I still think of those things, but don’t get to experience them all. 

The shops here decorate with tinsel and trees, lights, and even Father Christmas himself.  (Did you know that Santa Claus is actually Papua New Guinean, by the way?  I saw him with my own two eyes dancing around at the Pharmacy the other day!)  There is music in the air (though it’s usually blaring way too loudly), and best of all, I have my own little family here.  But the snow is replaced with sweaty trips to town wearing flip-flops to return with fresh, juicy pineapples.  I really love white Christmases, but it might be hard for me to give up these fresh pineapples and trips to the beach in a couple of years when we’re celebrating Stateside!

We put up our Christmas tree after Thanksgiving and have been enjoying it ever since.  It’s only been (almost) knocked over 3 times – at least to my knowledge.  Hannah and I always make sure there is Christmas music playing when we are doing work around the house.  I think she takes after her mother when it comes to having the Christmas spirit.  Someone’s gotta’ do it!

It’s just such a special time of year.  I’m enjoying it with the kids, especially now that they’re getting a bit older. I can see the excitement in their eyes.  It’s so magical to them.

One of my favorite memories from this holiday season was when I took Hannah Christmas shopping.  She’d been saving up her toeas (PNG coins) from her household job so she could buy some gifts.  It was a blessing to see her excitement about buying gifts for her family and friends.  She could hardly wait for Caleb to open his gift from her. 

I also really enjoyed our Christmas cookie baking day, though it left the house a big mess.  The kids loved helping.  Elizabeth had a ball clearing out my kitchen cabinets and licking the beaters.  Hannah and Caleb were actually quite helpful when it came to making the cookies.

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H & C cookies

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We’ve been blessed with packages and Christmas greetings from afar.  We always feel a bit spoiled by our families this time of year.  One of the gifts we received was a kit for making a gingerbread house.  (Thanks, Philip & Andrea!!)  We had a blast making it together.  After enjoying it as a decoration for a few days, it started to melt.   (I suppose it could last a couple of weeks somewhere other than the tropics!)  So we cut it apart and shared it with our 60+ guests we hosted for our church  Christmas party on Sunday.

Gingerbread House Blog

We took a one night getaway to our favorite local guesthouse.  It’s a beautiful, secluded place near a beach.  We loved the time away – despite all of the insect bites.  Those mosquitoes just love Hannah and me.

It was fun watching our kids open their gifts.  Caleb looks great as a pirate, Elizabeth is already attached to her new baby doll, and Hannah has been playing games on her Leapster2.  We had fun blowing bubbles outside on Christmas Day, going for a family walk, playing games, and just relaxing.  It was quite cloudy and a bit rainy, so I guess you could say we had a white Christmas if you took the cloudy sky into consideration. 

Caleb pirate

Craig & Hannah

Girls & Doll

Jeri & Caleb

Craig and I were meant for each other.  We bought each other the exact same stocking stuffer – Cinnamon & Apple tea.

Craig&Jeri 

For supper, we spoiled ourselves with our annual ham.  It was delicious.  I’m not convinced that it’s because of my cooking.  Rather, things just taste really good when you haven’t had them for a while.  We also enjoyed baked pumpkin, fresh pineapple, honey wheat rolls, and mashed potatoes.  (Please excuse our casual attire.  It’s hot here!)

Christmas Dinner

Hope your Christmas was as merry as ours.  Happy New Year to you and yours.

Termites, Band-Aids, and the Beach

Posted by Craig on October 29, 2010

About a year ago, we had the pest control guys come and spray our house with hopes of getting rid of our dry wood termites.  Well, it wasn’t successful since the little things fly and they just returned again.  We decided to take more serious action since we were noticing the problem was getting worse.  So, last weekend we left the house so all of our kitchen cabinets and bedroom wardrobes could be fumigated.  Supposedly the gas is supposed to get rid of these termites.  We removed everything from every cabinet.  It was no small job, and it reminded me of moving – ugh!  The benefit was that we got rid of a bunch of stuff we really don’t need.

Below is a picture of Craig removing the ceiling in his office to find out where the termites were.  During the process, we find evidence of rats and a few bee hives.  What a learning experience for the kids!

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A couple of weeks ago, we had Joel and his son, Philip, over after church so we could take care of Philip’s sores on his legs.  A simple sore can turn into a nasty tropical ulcer in a matter of hours or days, and lots of people develop sores that don’t get treated and turn into horrible scars.  Though I’m certainly not even close to being a qualified doctor, I try to teach people to at least keep their sores clean and covered.  We had Philip soak his legs in salt water while we ate lunch together, then I covered his sores with lots of Band-Aids.

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Speaking of band-aids, Hannah got to don her fair share after our recent trip to Doini Island.  There are always lots of sand flies there and they seem to especially love Hannah.  She got so many bites, which then turned into sores after all of her scratching.  Most of the time we were there, Hannah insisted on wearing my long sleeved shirt and long pants for protection.

We definitely enjoyed our trip to Doini Island with our team mates, though.  We took a 1 1/2 hour boat ride to this beautiful island.

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Elizabeth really enjoyed the boat ride.  Isn’t this a beautiful place?

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Caleb rode inside the boat cabin with Hannah Reese.  That makes most of us sick, but he sure enjoyed himself.

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At Doini, I braided Hadassah Reese’s hair to match Hannah and me.  (Hannah’s right eye was almost swollen shut after getting a bug bite by it.)

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We enjoyed taking a trailer ride to some skull caves. 

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Here we are on our hike to the skull caves.  And, yes, there are real skulls there!  (Notice Hannah in my long sleeved shirt!)

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On Sunday morning, we had a church service with our team on the island.  Caleb and Elizabeth were sitting together during church.

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We stayed at Doini for 2 nights while our house was being fumigated.  The second night when we went to eat at the restaurant, the sunset was beautiful.  Here we are on the pier going to watch the sunset.  (I forgot my camera, so I didn’t get any pictures of the amazing sky, but Diane Reese snapped this photo of Craig & I and the girls).  The significance of this picture is that we’re holding hands – something we NEVER do in PNG. It’s taboo for men and women to hold hands in public.  But on this mostly deserted island, we thought, why not??

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Returning home was not the most exciting thing since we had a whole house to put back in order.  I spent the majority of the week moving back in.  But we’re thankful for the time we had away and we thoroughly enjoyed God’s creation.

Ford Family Fun

Posted by Jeri on October 1, 2010

I think it’s been a while since I posted some pictures of every day life in the Ford household. So here are some for you to enjoy.

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Isn’t this one handsome young fellow?  I love his really big “Cheese” face that he does at picture time. 

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Recipe for homemade fun: (see picture above)

1 step stool

* (at least) 1 parent

a kid or 2 … or 3

an old cloth diaper

lots of giggles and smiles

camera for taking pictures

Directions: Turn the step stool upside down.  If you don’t want to scratch your nice rosewood floors, put the cloth diaper underneath the stool.  Place one child in the “car”.  Push the car as fast as the child wants to go.  Take turns, and don’t forget to snap a few pictures while you’re at it. 

*Teach older children to push younger children so parents don’t have to break their backs playing the game over and over and over  …

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There’s always lots of reading going on in our house.  I think it’s contagious.  (There are also lots of book-picking-up-parties.)

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We tried some shoes on Elizabeth for the first time last week.  She loved them!  Once she got used to how heavy they were, she stopped walking around like a chicken.  Isn’t our newest walker so cute?

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Here are Elizabeth and Hannah building a tall tower of blocks together. 

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I’m getting a hug from Caleb here.  (picture compliments of Hannah Ford Photography)  Caleb keeps us hopping with his energy.  He loves helping me make pancakes and always asks what’s for dinner.  He makes Elizabeth laugh a lot.  Caleb also loves doing science experiments during school with us.

PA010050Cuddling with Hannah here.  (picture compliments of Caleb Ford Photography.  At least most of my head is in this one!)  Hannah is doing a great job in kindergarten.  She loves to write stories and especially likes reading the Bible stories we have in our curriculum.  Science experiments are at the top of her list of favorites, too.

PA010038Hard to believe Elizabeth is 15 1/2 months old already.  She’s saying a bunch of words, walking all around the place, and playing with her big bro and sis.  She carries a little soft duckie blanket around with her everywhere.  I never thought I would have a kid who has a security blanket!  No pacifier – just a blanket, thank you very much.

So, there you have it.  Life in the Ford household.

National Church of Christ Kibung 2010

Posted by Jeri on September 23, 2010

September 16-19 we welcomed many guests from all over the country to participate in the Church of Christ kibung.  (“Kibung” is the Melanesian Pidgin word for “gathering”.) 

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The theme was Kam Yumi Lotu – Come Let Us Worship. 

This kibung travels from place to place and is hosted by a different church throughout the country annually (except for last year).  Two years ago, we attended the kibung in Emagave and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was at that kibung that the church here in Alotau committed to hosting the kibung to be held in 2010. 

The task was a bit overwhelming since the kibung at Emagave two years ago had over 1000 people in attendance.  Our church of about 100 people and the area churches were in for a BIG undertaking.

Fortunately, we had a much smaller group of attendees due to the location of Alotau to the rest of the country.  In order to get here, people must travel by boat or plane, which is expensive for the average citizen. 

We had less than 200 in attendance at the kibung.  It was a wonderful time of fellowship, lessons, and encouragement.  Many of the lessons were given in Melanesian Pidgin (a trade language spoken throughout most of the country).  Milne Bay Province, where Alotau is located, is the only English speaking part of the country.  It was interesting to be joined with even more of the languages and cultures that the attendees brought.  (PNG is incredibly diverse with over 750 languages spoken throughout the country.  Many of those languages represent different cultures and practices.)

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Here is part of our welcoming parade.  These four children from church agreed to dress traditionally for the special occasion to welcome all of our out-of-town guests.

Preparing for the Kibung

We’ve known for two years that we were going to host this year’s kibung.  The church here appointed a committee (which they named the “servant team”) to get things organized.  Craig was on the committee and did a lot of work administratively getting everything ready.  We had so many people that helped in the planning process and joined in the effort.

Two weeks before the actual kibung started, we had a big crew who started setting up the camp.  This included making “houses” for people to sleep in, digging pit toilets, and cleaning and preparing the venue area. Others worked on arranging speakers and lessons, sewing coconut leaves together for walls, getting wood posts for the meeting areas, collecting fire wood for cooking, peeling LOTS of veggies, finding huge pots in which to cook, and much, much more.

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Here we are loading sago leaves to take to the campsite.  We had to stop halfway home and unload and reload it all because they were so heavy and were falling out of the truck. The sago leaves were woven together to make walls on the sleeping houses.

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The Kibung venue – the two structures on the left and right housed some of our guests.  They were made of natural materials, except for the tarps to cover the top.  People slept on mats on the ground and most used mosquito nets.

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Caleb was worn out after an afternoon of driving around collecting sago leaves and fell asleep like this on the way home in the truck.

Let’s just say that this made camps in North America seem like a piece of cake!

Enjoying the Kibung

The days were packed full of lessons, singing, telling stories, eating together, and a little bit of rest.  I enjoyed seeing some people from other parts of PNG who knew Craig when he was a little boy. 

Along with the help of some other wonderful women here, I prepared a children’s program.  We entertained about 25 children for a few hours each day with singing, Bible lessons, puppet shows, games, and activities.  They looked like they had a great time.

P9170700Singing songs with the children 

The camp was a wonderful time even though we had massive amounts of rain.  One day we moved everyone to a warehouse in town because the campsite was so wet.  While there, the warehouse actually started to flood because of the heavy rain and we had to move everyone again.  People who have lived here for most of their lives said this was the worst flooding they’d ever seen.  Somehow I didn’t get any pictures of all the water.  I guess you’ll just have to trust me when I say that there was a TON of water.  I think we were all too wet and tired to even think about taking pictures.

P9160639Joe Dobadoba and John Kirarata leading singing in Pidgin and English

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A snapshot of one of the evening sessions.  The leaves you see on the floor were woven coconut leaf mats.

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Hannah and Elizabeth taking a little rest during the day

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Some young Milne Bay girls performing a song for everyone

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Vani Igo preached at the town market one day.  Seems like there was a good crowd that gathered around.  It doesn’t take much to draw a crowd here.  (Makes me think of how the apostles might’ve preached at the marketplace in Bible times!)

Finishing Up

After all was said and done, we had a short ceremony to pass on the hosting of the kibung to the next group of people.  The church in Mount Hagen agreed to host it next year.  This was a special (and emotional) time for many gathered to watch the exchange.

100_3004These women from here in Milne Bay presented those from Mount Hagen with a basket of flowers and Bibles.

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Melva tied the grass skirt around Rose’s waist and placed the basket on her head.  It was a touching demonstration.

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Here are the rest of the Christians watching this exchange.

Since many people in PNG rely heavily on their family to provide financial assistance, finding boat and airplane fares is not always easy.  There were a handful of people who arrived having only paid for a one-way ticket, expecting that someone would pay to get them back home.  Also, many people who came on the ship had to find more money and fly back home since the ship was broken down after the kibung.  This meant that the church here in Alotau ending up hosting many people for an extra 3 or 4 days. 

It was a blessing, though, to be able to spend some extra time with people.  We enjoyed having the five extra people we hosted in our home. 

Our last guests left on Thursday morning.  It’s quiet in the house and we don’t know exactly what to do without extra people around or any kibung preparation.  This has probably been the busiest month for us since we’ve been missionaries here.

Maybe we’ll actually have a normal Family Day tomorrow.  We’ve been missing that!

Caleb is Three!

Posted by Jeri on July 30, 2010

Well, we ought to be partied out by now.  We just celebrated Caleb’s 3rd birthday on July 22, 2010, which followed Elizabeth’s 1st in June and Hannah’s 5th earlier this month.

It seems like just yesterday I was at a wedding on my due date with everyone watching me as if I were a ticking time bomb.  Thankfully, he waited to erupt the next day – and even had the courtesy to give me a few hours of sleep after the reception before I went into labor.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget Trevor and Sarah’s wedding and the little blessing that arrived less than a full day later.

Caleb has brought an unbelievable amount of energy to our home over the last three years.  He has one of those magnetic personalities and seems to draw people to him.  We are so thankful for him – orneriness and all!  His sisters adore him. 

100_2690Spaghetti is always a fun meal at our house.  

I especially adore Caleb’s loving nature.  He’s so cuddly, but loves to wrestle and be tickled.  I love when he comes in the kitchen and says, “That sure smells like some good dinner, Mom.”  Always nice to have someone appreciate your cooking.  :)

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He was more than happy to lick the bowl for the chocolate icing I made for his birthday cake. 

P7250040 A chocolaty mess!

He is usually running around, jumping off things, and playing with his sisters (and its hard to catch him in a photo!), but he also loves to be read to, do puzzles, and watch Dora.

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We invited a few friends over for lunch and cake to celebrate his third birthday with us.  I didn’t realize until the party got started that he was the only boy!  Apparently we just don’t know too many little boys.  (I’m praying that’ll make him an amazing husband someday.)

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Happy 3rd Birthday, Caleb!

Elizabeth’s First Birthday

Posted by Jeri on June 18, 2010

It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been a whole year since our sweet Elizabeth joined the family.  On June 18, 2009, I became the mother of our third beautiful child, who was born with a shocking amount of hair.  It has been a fun first year with Elizabeth in our family, and it’s hard to imagine life without her.

Though she is too young to know exactly what it means to have a birthday, she is blessed to have Hannah and Caleb to plan the fun.  They helped me bake her birthday cake and made hats for the celebration. They were so excited about the day.  When I put them to bed the night before her birthday, they said they were having a hard time sleeping because they were just so excited for her birthday. 

We had a fun-filled day on Friday for her birthday. 

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Here is Elizabeth opening gifts that Hannah and Caleb wrapped for her.

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A new book for the birthday girl!                

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The family (minus me) after the gift opening.

100_2449After lunch, we celebrated by eating banana cake and strawberry ice cream.  Good thing she has a big bro and sis to help with the candle!

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The cake was great, but she wasn’t so sure about the freezing cold ice cream.  After she warmed up to the idea, she liked the ice cream after all.

100_2480Hannah helped me make party hats for the occasion.  Here are Hannah and Caleb waiting for Elizabeth to wake up from her nap so we can go for a swim.

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Caleb and Hannah loved playing in the sand beach at the International Hotel in town.

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I think Elizabeth’s got a ways to go before she walks on her own, but she did enjoy walking in the sand with me.

100_2515 Our family (minus Craig) at the beach.

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The kids are learning to jump in the pool.

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Caleb is finally becoming more comfortable in the water and was even able to smile in the pool!

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Happy 1st Birthday, Elizabeth!  We love you.

Sydney, Australia Vacation 2010

Posted by Jeri on June 11, 2010

100_2039 Getting the suitcases out is always fun.  Here we are trying to decide which one we should take on our trip.

100_2065Craig was in North America for almost two weeks before he met us in Sydney.  We were so excited to see him!  Here we are in our hotel in Sydney the afternoon he arrived.  Get used to these outfits – we wore them nearly every day.  Since we were going to Sydney in the winter, we had to round up a few things besides flip flops and t-shirts so we wouldn’t freeze!

 100_2076We stayed in Darling Harbour, Sydney.  On our first day, we just took the monorail train around and enjoyed the area.  Here are Craig and the kids waiting on the train.

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Good thing these two know how to stick together when strangers are around.  They were holding hands on the train – it was so cute!

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We got off the train and walked to a nice park.  Here are the 3 kiddos there.

100_2097My beautiful  Hannah – inside and out.

100_2104  Caleb was so funny.  He insisted on wearing his hood every time he wore his sweatshirt.  I bought him another sweater, but he only wanted to wear this one.  It wasn’t THAT cold, silly boy!

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At the park, there was a man making huge bubbles.  Hannah and Caleb loved it.  Why do we ever pay for entertainment anyway??

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There were some nice fountains in the park there.  Elizabeth loved getting a ride everywhere.  She likes facing out in the Baby Bjorn so she can get a good look at everything.

100_2131We all enjoyed Sydney’s Wildlife World.  Yes, that is a REAL snake.  Any guesses why Craig wanted to be the photographer??  Hannah looks a little nervous, but she did end up touching the snake for at least a fraction of a second.  Caleb wasn’t nervous about the ordeal at all.

100_2141We sat and watched the kangaroos for a long time.  Too bad we couldn’t pet them.  At a wildlife sanctuary we went to in Brisbane two years ago, we were able to pet the kangaroos.

100_2163Caleb loved these animals!

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Our kids get to see a cassowary at church here in Alotau every Sunday, but they were still thrilled with the display there.

100_2167It’s not every day you get to sit on a big tree frog, either.

100_2205 We also visited the Sydney Aquarium.  Hannah was excited because she doesn’t get to snorkel like Craig and I do and she wanted to see fish like we get to see when we snorkel.  Elizabeth was totally enamored by the fish.  If you’re ever in Sydney, I highly recommend the Aquarium.  It’s really amazing.

100_2190Part of our holiday fun was just being able to sleep in a hotel.  Our family is too big for one room at the Four Points by Sheraton there, so we had two rooms – which was a blessing.  Here’s Caleb performing for us in the window.  He and Hannah loved singing for us then closing the curtains and opening them again for our show.

100_2326After our 5 days in Sydney, we drove to Wollongong to be with our friends, Jason, Nicole, Ella, and Noah Whaley, who are doing a church plant there.  We had a marvelous time.

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Nicole and I taught our 5 children (under 5 years) Bible class on Sunday at their house.

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We really enjoyed the parks there  The kids could just play for hours!

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Elizabeth’s first time swinging – and lovin’ it!

100_2225 Could her smile get any bigger?

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Elizabeth started pulling up on everything while we were on our trip.  Look at that almost-one-year-old!

100_2301 Here are Caleb and Hannah with Ella Whaley.  She was so sweet to share her toys and put up with all the extra noise in her house for a few days.

100_2324 Jason and Nicole took us to a play area for young children called Green Bean.  On our way there, Hannah asked why it wasn’t called “Black Bean.”  I have no idea why it would have either name, but they sure had lots of fun – especially in the ball pit.  Now this is a first world experience!

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Elizabeth was a little nervous about the whole thing at first, but she soon became comfortable and had a great time.

Things we loved about our family vacation:

  • Lots of time together
  • Watching the kids experience new things
  • Parks
  • McDonald’s (yeah, yeah, I know…)
  • Telling stories, laughing, and eating Thai food with the Whaleys
  • Not cooking
  • Riding the train
  • Using disposable diapers
  • Feeling a little bit chilly and not sweating
  • Eating lots of apples and pears
  • Relaxing

We had a wonderful time.  Do you think you need a vacation?

Hellos and Good-byes

Posted by Jeri on April 9, 2010

The Hellos

We are saying hello to lots of new things in our house, especially with 9-month-old Elizabeth.

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Hello, scrunch face!  If you were around us when Hannah was this age, you’ll remember that she made the exact same face.  So funny!

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Hello, teeth!  She’s got two on the bottom now. 

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Hello, mobility!  Elizabeth is almost a crawler.  She can certainly get around – even though she doesn’t quite crawl yet.  Let the baby proofing begin!

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This girl is just too cute for her own good.  I had to include this picture!  By the way, we do dress her – sometimes.  :)   This is the outfit my children have worn most often as babies.  It’s much cooler this way, and it sure saves on laundry!!

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Hello, Bookworm!  For as active as Caleb is, he sure loves to read.  He’s enjoying Your Big Backyard magazine.  Thanks to the Chitwoods in Houston for subscribing to it for us.  Hannah and Caleb love those magazines!  (I like them, too.)

Now for the Good-byes

You know you are a missionary if you are used to saying good-bye.  It seems like it’s a part of life.  We say good-bye to our friends in PNG when we leave for furlough.  We say good-bye to our friends and family when we leave North America from a furlough.  And we say good-bye to our teammates when they go on their furloughs.

This week, our teammates, Marcus & Diane Reese and their 4 lovely girls, left for furlough.  Before they left, we had a party to celebrate Hannah and Rochelle’s preschool accomplishments.  Diane and I have been taking turns teaching them once a week and have thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Rochelle, Hannah (with a sticker on her nose), and Caleb had a great time at the party.

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Here are the girls with their graduation hats, made by Rochelle’s big sister.  (Caleb was an honorary classmate.)

100_1727 Diane Reese and Loopie Williams (our teammates) enjoyed watching the kiddos.  What a great party it was – popcorn, chocolate cake, and kool-aid (thanks to the Logsdons in OK!)  We shared some fun moments before the Reeses had to leave.

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Hannah and Rochelle shared one last hug at the airport.  We’ll miss you, Rochelle!  Looking forward to saying hello again in 3 months.

Puppies, Preschool, Pony Rides, and Other Priceless Pictures

Posted by Jeri on March 26, 2010

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Our dog had 10 puppies about 6 weeks ago.  We had 3 die, so we’re left with 7 cute ones still.  It’s been a ton of work (for me!), but the kids have LOVED having the puppies.  I didn’t realize there were so many life lessons to be learned with puppies around.  It’s been a great experience.  Hannah has especially gone out of her way to look after the pups. (We’re hoping to give the pups away soon.)

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I’m not so sure the puppies like when Caleb carries them, but he has fun doing it!

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Hannah likes carrying the puppies like a baby.

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Gotta’ love this boy!!  We’re guessing he has an “otter” type personality, but maybe we’ll have him take a personality test in a few years to confirm that.

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Elizabeth always enjoys baths.  Look at those big eyes!!

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When I ask Caleb to smile, this is what he does.

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Hannah’s Silly Face (I love her dimple!)

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Once a week, Hannah has preschool with her friend, Rochelle.  Last week we studied the letter Z.  We made a zither together and they had lots of fun playing it and singing.  Rochelle is going on furlough in about 2 weeks.  We will sure miss her!

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Elizabeth is starting to enjoy all kinds of foods.  She really loves bananas – it’s a good thing since we have a lot of those around here.  She also really likes papaya, avocado, and carrots.  She almost always manages to get food in her head full of hair.

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I wish you could hear all of them laughing when I took this picture of Craig giving them horsey rides!  (No, I didn’t get video…)  Elizabeth is cracking up!

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My precious family!

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I never knew that I’d have one of those “stair-step” families.  But here they are: Hannah – age 4 1/2, Caleb – 2 1/2, and Elizabeth – 9 months.