Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Deep Waters

Golden tones radiated as the sun set. 

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Cows were washed in the ocean.

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And the last of the dhow boats pulled onto shore.

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After our dessert picnic, they raced down to the waves

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Looking through pictures later that night, I noticed something that made us laugh. Can you see what what Little A is doing? She has her nose plugged. She’s so grossed out by the smell of seaweed, she calls this the “smelly beach”. A friend recently described our girls as “deep waters” because emotionally, they process things sensitively and so deeply. Little A has a tough time fully enjoying this vacation because every vacation she has ever known has involved extended family. 

This picture accidentally captured where she is at right now. Witnessing a beautiful sunset on the Indian Ocean, in the arms of her beloved Daddy and she can’t get over the smell. She is so, so homesick for the USA. The stuff doesn’t matter but the people mean everything to her. The places she called home. The security she felt in our old routines, in our church. Her memory is astounding but it is a traitor as she remembers so much what she loved and now lost, she feels she can’t control what’s happening and is slow to open up again. She does so, reluctantly, out of obedience but with a grief in her little heart.

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She did lose her self in the moment eventually, just giggling about the present, reveling in the moment, not in the smell.

 We are navigating some deep waters.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Spice Farms

We drove to a junglish area because the island of Zanzibar (part of the United Republic of Tanzania) is called the spice island. A guide walked us through winding trails to identify what we were seeing.

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This is nutmeg. You use the seed for the spice powder.

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The girls loved the “Touch-Me-Nots”.

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We stopped to see ruins of a persian bath, made by a sultan for his wife, in 832 of coral stone.

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We wound through backyards and enjoyed glimpses of the ocean.

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We made dye that is commonly used in cosmetics, clothing dyes and for deep red curry powder. 

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After painting himself, he painted the girls and I. 

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Little J smelling a root to guess what spice it produces.

In all, we saw coriander, lemongrass, cinnamon, all spice, menthol, cloves, black and white pepper, nutmeg, vanilla, turmeric, iodine, langilangi and masala. God is truly amazing. 

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A young man climbed a tree to cut down four coconuts, which he threw down with flourish.

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The girls hunted them on the forest floor. 

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We then ate avocados, oranges, grapefruit, bananas and coconut picked on our route. The girls were more excited about the coconut juice before they tried it. They thought it would be like a juice box. :)

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Our guide then made us creation out of palm leaves.

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We finished our tour with lunch in a house that had been set up for tourists.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Off The Beaten Path

Our family is on vacation!  We are a bit off the beaten patch. We rented a house with a private pool in a small fishing village that is within walking distance to the beach. However, we were told that it wasn’t a good beach, not for tourists. 


Walking down to the beach was a banana plantation underneath a coconut grove. It was a glorious view of sunshine and God’s creation!

The island we are on is known for beautiful beaches. It’s rainy season so we time our outdoor time between showers. When the sun shines, the Indian Ocean is the fabulous turquoise color. The beach is amazing. Not great to swim on as the water is very rocky. 

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I wonder how many languages in which I have had the adoption conversation. It ends up with a lot of acting to convey, yes, they are twins, yes, they are ours. Usually met with incredulity and joy. 

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And then on to exploring! Dhow fishing boats to peer into, rocks to climb, new things to see...

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A fishing boat comes in before a downpour.

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The Littles investigate the fish that arrive on shore, still alive. They both decided it was gross.

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Hmm. Though off the beaten path, we are amazed at the beauty.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Back To Langano

We didn’t fly out today to our delayed vacation. Bummer. Really big one. However, call us crazy, but we are trying to shuffle tickets and sights so we can still vacation. 

Our weekend in Langano was stellar. God is really showing off there…around every corner there is something to take your breath away. 

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These pelicans swam in a group and would find a school of fish.

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Bottoms up!  All the pelicans would come up with fish.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

On The Road Again

Today was the day we were supposed to go on a beach vacation. Circumstances were such that we couldn’t travel today so we bumped back our trip five days. Lordwilling, we still get to go, but when you are four, or let’s be honest, 30, plans that continually shift can be hard to swallow.

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The Littles were beyond bummed (Ok, so were we). Which is why it is so great to have loyal friends who can you send a last minute text to, “Hey, can we come to visit?” We made it okay by planning a last minute visit to Langano, which you saw a lot of a few weeks back.

I spent the day making food, getting groceries and unpacking for a trip on the Kenyan coast and repacking for a trip in rural Ethiopia.

As always, traveling brings great fun and adventure but certain risks so your prayers for our protection are so appreciated. 

You all love us so well. Thank you.

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And just because she’s cute in my glasses.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Some Days Are Just Meant For Snapping Pictures

After my girls are squeaky clean and freshly detangled, it’s hard to resist the camera.

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Happy Weekend!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I’ll smatter some pictures up here. Some previously published on other social media venues, others first time ever seen right here! :)

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Oh look, how convenient, my chicken cordon bleu has a handle! 

This next picture has a story. I was flattered that so many think I am such a laid back mama as when this was posted on Facebook and Instagram, I quickly realized from the comments, people thought these giraffes were real.

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Thank you for thinking I am chill enough to let my kids ride bareback on a giraffe that would give the girls at least a 6 foot drop should the said giraffe get ornery. :) These are statues, really fun and apparently life like statues. 

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The Littles love to spend time at HQ. We have had some serious problems and for about three weeks haven’t had a washing machine or water (Praise the Lord, as of today, we have water coming out of our faucets!) So, we’ve been having our laundry done at HQ and the girls love the playground.

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This looks like a picture of a picture. It is. Little J was taken by this piece of art as we toured “Women at Risk” and couldn’t move from her viewing perch. She arranged her baby doll in her arms so it looked the same. We negotiated moving on because I took this picture and she can look at it whenever she wants. 

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Out our two story window, this was our view the other day. I would not want to be a tree cutter here.

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Goofballs that melt our hearts.

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We had a toilet paper snow man building contest with some friends.

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They may have won.

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The girls played in these cars at Bingham playground making comments like, “Okay, just be patient, traffic is so bad!"

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J learns to mountain climb at a playground.

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Friends treated us to a day at the nicest swimming pool in town. It was awesome. 

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Our friends, who are from our home state, and have been in language school with us from the beginning, graduated and moved to a private tutor. We still hang out but sad not to see them every morning.  Jon and I actually moved to a private tutor a few weeks later. 

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The girls have been begging for this hairstyle. I’ve repeatedly said no because I don’t love the look and also because it only lasts a day. I was persuaded when Little J sweetly told me one day, “It’s okay mama, I will just do my hair like this every day after you die”. I realized it had potential of being one of those moments my kids would talk about the rest of their lives as they wear this hairstyle and say, “Do you remember when Mom never let us do our hair like this?”