30 April 2007

The "I Lost My Tooth Story" - by Anna

Anna's officially entered the next phase of her life- loosing teeth, and boy is she proud! Just take a look at that grin - and that is even knowing that there is only one more day of her vacation left. As you can tell, she is also feeling much better and for that, we are praising God.

I asked her if there was anything she'd like to talk about today and she said she wanted to tell everyone all about it:

"I was surprised when my tooth fell out. I was at the Western Night and it was after I rode King. I sat down and was wiggling my tooth and it fell out! I went to tell Nadia and we told my friend Heidi. Heidi congratulated me. My mouth had a little bit of blood in it, so Nadia helped me find Mama and then helped me go rinse my mouth out. Later I put my tooth under my pillow, to see if I would get some money. When I woke up, I was so excited because I had some money. What I did next was I decided to look for more. I did, but I don't remember where. Sometimes Daddy gives me money when I ask, so maybe I'll just have to ask him.

My favorite things about vacation is resting and doing fun stuff like eating breakfast three times in the morning, getting to play, going to the pool more often, and having a slumber party in the living room.

My favorite things about school is Math, English, saying poems and singing French songs and my teacher Madame Pascale. She gets mad at the other kids but not usually at me because I don't talk. Some of my favorite friends are: Yamina, Audrée, Bakisa, Ibrahim, Brennan and Fahrid. I like to play tag and chase with the other kids, especially the boys because they run the fastest."

29 April 2007

THE River Crossing

Sahel Academy (the school where Brendan will be enrolling next year... if he passes CM2 and his French Exams in June) asked if they could borrow our horse, King, for a "Western Night." We were happy to have them do so, except there was one huge obstacle - getting the horse from our side of the Niger River to their side. Neither Tim nor I are accomplished riders (although we are learning), and King can be a bit spooky sometimes, so neither of us was going to volunteer. So Amber (one of our EBM colleagues who will try just about anything) was asked. And, she succeeded - we think King even enjoyed his dips in the water, but he was totally exhausted by the time he returned home!
As you can see, we had several "local" spectators who enjoyed watching, as well as two boatmen who helped show Amber the "best" path to traverse the river - shallow enough that the horse mostly walked, yet without a terribly fast current. What excitement!! And how's this for exciting - I successfully posted twice today, including uploading pictures. Yippee! Maybe we can get this blog thing to work.

"Are we there yet???"

No, we aren't traveling - just with the craziness of Internet connections, it has taken me about 2 weeks to get through the registration and setting up process to actually post on our brand new blog site. Can you hear us cheering all the way from the other side of the Atlantic?

Seriously, however, we hope that this will help us keep you more up to date with the more mundane side of our lives - and you can check at your leisure instead of me sending you an email you might not really be interested in. Today, I'm staying home from church with Anna, Tori, Jonathan and Elsie Mae, 'cause they are all sickly - no fun! Seems like we've been struggling with health quite a bit lately. Mostly, it is just colds and stuff, but Anna has strep throat and malaria. I feel a bit funny missing church, however, as just yesterday afternoon, I challenged the ladies at church on the importance of being there... As a total aside, that was my first experience teaching in French, and having what I said translated into Zarma. Makes me appreciate what my husband is often asked to do - I was exhausted afterwards and my brain was spinning. But it was also exciting, as I do love to teach and I think the ladies appreciated what the Lord had me share with them.

The "big" four have two more days of vacation before heading back to school for their last 8 weeks. It has been so nice having them home, and we've recently made a big decision. Most of you know that our children attend a local private school, and except for the "after-schooling" I do at home, their education is in French. Next year, however, Brendan will make the switch to the local missionary school. It will mean more running around for us, but after several weeks of prayer, we really believe this is the best decision, for several reasons. Still, I'm a bit sad that the kids won't be continuing beyond primary school - having our children attend École Alliance has been a neat way to meet people outside the western expat community.

Yesterday, Rebekah and Nadia spent the afternoon with one of their friends from school. They went to the race track where they road horses. They competed in some sort of a climbing/race course (Nadia won!), and came home with oranges, grapefruit and ostrich feathers that they picked up along the way. They said they had lots more fun than they would have had at the pool! This is a family we hope to get to know better. We are also looking forward to a visit by the dunes on the river with our pastor, his wife and their children next weekend - so we are praying that everyone is healthy by then.

Let us know what you think of our "blog." We will try (Internet and busy schedule permitting) to update this, with pictures, at least once a week, if not more! And please feel free to comment or email - we'd love to hear from you, too. ;-)


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