28 May 2007

Celebrating a Dolphin-lovin,' Decade-old Delightful Daughter

Happy 10th Birthday, Rebekah Joy!

It is so hard to believe that she is actually 10 years old... Wow!

Wow again!

Actually make that a double: Wow, wow!

The 25th of May,we had a "dolphin party" with about 22 silly, screaming girls. Imagine that: 22 girls, about half who speak French while the other half speak English; at least 4 or 5 don't know how to swim; and culturally, birthday parties are very different. But by the grace of God, everyone stayed safe, everyone stayed cool and wet, and Rebekah and her friends all say they had a great time.
Daddy and Mama are, however, breathing sighs of relief that the next big birthday (for them) isn't until Victoria turns 5 next February. Elsie Mae turns 1 in September - but one year olds just aren't the partiers the older kids are.

23 May 2007

Mission Impossible

Just about a year ago, our kids participated in their 1st "Mission Impossible." And boy did it make an impression - they've been literally holding their breaths, waiting for this year's event... ...which took place last Friday night.

Imagine 60 or so kids, dressed in camoflauge and dark colors, faces and all exposed skin painted black, creeping stealthily through the African night searching for clues which they then have to deposit for safe keeping, at the same time trying to avoid enemy agents who can take their lives - and trying to earn enough points that they outscore the other team who is trying to do the same thing.

Brendan and Anna were on one team; Rebekah and Nadia were on the other team. After over 2 hours of sweating and stumbling around in the dark, running like mad people around the Sahel Academy campus and trying to work together as a team to earn points, all players were called back to the dining hall to hear the results...

Can you find Brendan and Anna amidst the cheering, screaming children? ????????????????

...And the saga begins all over again - as for approximately the next 12 months, we'll have 4 children begging to know when the next "Mission Impossible" will be held.

21 May 2007

Polo and Pools

Most people who know me know that I LOVE swimming. One of my most favorite places to be is at the side of a pool. So it is a real privilege and blessing to be able to use skills and abilities I've developed after years of hanging out at pools to encourage and help others! Beginning early in April, I've had the opportunity to teach a swimming and water polo unit to the high school students at Sahel Academy. This is the second year I've done so, and I enjoyed it even more this year than last. In addition to the water polo, the students loved "just good 'ole racin,' " so we gave them that opportunity, too.
Last minute instruction from the "ref" before the game begins...

Brendan, Rebekah Joy, Nadia and Anna enjoyed tagging along for water polo/swimming classes every Friday afternoon. As far as they were concerned, the 15 minute early dismissal from school and "free time" made it more than worth their while.

Then, I allowed the students to slide down the slide, jump and dive from the 1 m platform,

and the "most favoritest" of all activity: jumping, diving, falling or flipping from the...

3 m platform...

"Let the game begin!"- tossing the ball out to start the competition...


Water polo is a physically exhausting and demanding game. Players get pretty aggressive and as ref, you can't see everything that happens under the water. But players, spectators and this ref alike, all seemed to enjoy it. It's really nice when you get to teach and work with a great group of kids!

19 May 2007


Curious to know why they are all laughing? Our family doesn't say "Cheese" to get everyone to smile for a picture. They all yell, as loudly as possible,
Of course, if you don't snap the picture quickly enough, everything deteriorates into silliness and giggles - but that makes for great candids.

16 May 2007

Turbanned Twosome

Who could that masked man be??

...Just in case you ever wondered what Tim looked like in a turban...

Like father, like daughter - Any guesses who this "little Tuareg" might be?
Yep! It's Tori!
Tim & Tori, our turbanned twosome - and we sure do love 'em!
Thanks to Grandpa Stewart for taking these pictures when he and Grandma were out to visit in January!

14 May 2007

I Wonder... Did They Get It?

One day as the Little Red Hen was scratching in a field, she found a grain of wheat.

"This wheat should be planted," she said. "Who will plant this grain of wheat?"

"Not I," said the Duck.

"Not I," said the Cat.

"Not I," said the Dog.

"Then I will," said the Little Red Hen. And she did.

Soon the wheat grew to be tall and yellow. "The wheat is ripe," said the Little Red Hen. "Who will cut the wheat?"

"Not I," said the Duck.

"Not I," said the Cat.

"Not I," said the Dog.

"Then I will," said the Little Red Hen. And she did.

When the wheat was cut, the Little Red Hen said, "Who will thresh the wheat?"

"Not I," said the Duck.

"Not I," said the Cat.

"Not I," said the Dog.

"Then I will," said the Little Red Hen. And she did.

When the wheat was threshed, the Little Red Hen said, "Who will take this wheat to the mill?"

"Not I," said the Duck.

"Not I," said the Cat.

"Not I," said the Dog.

"Then I will," said the Little Red Hen. And she did.

She took the wheat to the mill and had it ground into flour. Then she said, "Who will make this flour into bread?"

"Not I," said the Duck.

"Not I," said the Cat.

"Not I," said the Dog.

"Then I will," said the Little Red Hen. And she did.

She made and baked the bread. Then she said, "Who will eat this bread?"

"Oh! I will," said the Duck.

"And I will," said the Cat.

"And I will," said the Dog.

"No, No!" said the Little Red Hen. "I will do that." And she did.

Last night, we wrote our own version of this story: One busy Mother's Day, Mama decided she didn't want to fix dinner after Sunday Evening Church. So Daddy ordered some yummy nems and rice for us to pick up after church. When we got home, Mama was busy with the baby and Daddy was trying to get ready to talk with Grandpa Gene and Grandma Betty. They asked their 7 children: "Who will help us get the table ready to eat our yummy nems and rice?"

"I will," said Jonathan. And he killed lots of big black ants that like to come out at night and hurt like crazy when they bite you.

"I will," said Victoria. And she helped to set the table.

"I will," said Anna. And she removed all the old bowls and cups from lunch off the table and carefully wiped off the table and chairs.

Guess who got first dibs on those delicious nems???

Take a minute and write the "I wont-ers," who were back hanging out in the air-conditioning and are not here mentioned by name, to see if they learned their lesson.... :)

..."And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."

10 May 2007

Beach Party Fun

Sand is not something we lack, as we live right on the edge of a desert.
Sand next to a relatively large expanse of water, however, was a novelty for our gang!

our Pastor,
his wife
and children
invited us
to join them
for a picnic
- and it was
truly a
was great;
fries and
fruit salad
are always
a treat!

07 May 2007

A Little Tribute for Soleil - by Rebekah Joy

Soleil came to live at our house about a month ago. I saw him in a bird cage near where my mom shops for fruits and vegetables. He was so bright and beautiful. I asked her if we could get him, but she said, "Not today."

I was so surprised when Mama came home with him from grocery shopping the next Saturday. I named him Soleil, which means sun in French. Soleil is an African Golden Oriole, and he is the most beautiful bird I think I have ever seen.

Mom helped me look up on the Internet what types of food they eat, since he didn't seem too interested in millet, and they eat little insects and fruits and berries. So each day, about 3 times a day, I would go out and feed him fruit - bananas, apples and mangoes.

I was very sad this morning when I went outside to leave for school, and I saw that Soleil had died during the night. I don't think he liked living in a cage, but when we got him, his feathers had been clipped so he couldn't fly. Daddy thinks he was tired of living in a cage. Mama says she likes watching the birds better when they are free. If they hadn't clipped his wings, I think I would have let Soleil go. If he had lived long enough, I would have let him go and it would have been so neat to watch him fly, a pretty bright yellow flash across a blue desert sky. I'm very, very sad that he died.

Mama and I are talking about making an open-to-the-top aviary (to protect the birds from our cats) where we would have a bird bath, fruit, millet and seeds. Then we could still enjoy watching and listening to the birds, but they would also be free. Maybe we'll name our aviary after Soleil.

03 May 2007

Things I've Learned from Silver, my Whitefaced Scops Owl

-written by Brendan & Richelle
  • Reading Silver's body language is not too difficult & raw lizard meat is a delicacy. (A corollary is never forget to feed him - he gets GRUMPY!).

  • Car rides are the most miserable rides in the world, with a grumpy owl.

  • Owls can jump really high compared to their height - like from my floor to the table.
  • Barn owls and little owls DO NOT get along. Silver doesn't even like the feathers of my friend's barn owl.

Taking care of Silver had been lots of fun and lots of work. I shoot lizards (and hopefully pigeons

one of these days when I get stronger with my slingshot)

every day to feed him. He eats from my hands and likes to ride around on my head or my shoulder.

Mama insists that I clean the dead lizard parts from my bedroom, his cage and the porch. But she does let me freeze dead lizards to keep for later. I go on-line to "The Falcon Forum" sometimes with friends of mine to learn more about birds of prey. His talons hurt worse on my fingers than if he's standing on my arm. He likes to play with (actually, attack) my hair. He's got the nicest bright orange eyes with purple eyelids. He's not afraid of our cats or our dog.

Having Silver teaches me to be responsible. I'm like his mom and his dad.(I think Dad and Mom still think I have a lot to learn.)





01 May 2007

Elsie Mae's 'almost' crawling!!

You really expect me to do this, Mom?
You know how hard these tile floors are... it's really hard on the 'ole knees!


Related Posts with Thumbnails