25 February 2008

Nope, Not Forgotten

The observant among you have noticed that nothing has been said about Nadia's birthday (Please don't remind me that I'm one month "en retard.")

Don't worry - we didn't forget her. January 25th, Nadia turned 9. Her birthday was a quieter celebration... several of her siblings were sick and #9 is not a "big" party birthday celebration. Instead, she got to do something a bit more quiet and sedate with a couple of friends.

So, Nadia invited two of her best friends from school, Zeina and Haifa, over. The original plan was that we'd all go out to dinner and then they'd spend the night, camping out in the living room. But since illness descended, we modified those plans.

Per Nadia's request, I called Miss Mary - our children's most favorite "chosen and adopted" aunt here in Niger, and she and I took the four girls out: Nadia, her two friends and Rebekah. We were very sad that Anna couldn't join us (since Nadia and Anna insist that they are usually "best friends"). We went to a restaurant called the Pizzaria. We had some yummy food. Pizza was the menu item of choice - probably because the girls could stand by a window and watch the cook prepare their pizzas. Pizza was washed down with a pop, and then followed by ice cream, so it was a real treat!

We then came back to the house where we ate cake and Nadia opened her presents.

Afterwards, the four girls watched several movies (in French) until the wee hours of the morning. Rebekah later informed us that the most important thing she learned watching the movie was how to say "chick" - as in the slang term for a young girl - in French - hmmmmmmmmmmmm. Nadia just enjoyed laughing and visiting with her friends until they all drifted off to sleep.

They next morning, they enjoyed playing dress up, playing outside and just being little girls until it was time to take Zeina and Haifa home.

It was such a delight to watch these girls enjoying themselves, so totally comfortable and at home in this world in which they live, a world which traverses two different otherwise very different lands and cultures.

We are proud of Nadia; it is a privilege to be her parents. Nadia loves people and loves to communicate; she so easily makes friends. Everywhere we go as a family, people always remember Nadia because she makes an impression with her enthusiasm and her sincere love for life and people. Her friendliness, caring spirit, genuineness and her desire to learn about and include others are ways that we see God's hand working in her life.

She's a precious masterpiece-in-progress, and it is a treat to be her parents!

Another favorite picture from Christmas chez Gampy and Gammie!

22 February 2008


...regardless of how big or old they get...

...will always be boys!

Aren't you thankful?!!!

I sure am.


17 February 2008

She's a Fiesty Five!

We recently celebrated Victoria's 5th birthday. Those #5 birthdays are big occasions around our house, so Victoria had been looking forward to and planning her party for a long time. Originally, she wanted a birthday with an "elephant" theme. Then she started talking about a "Kanga and Roo Party" (from Winnie the Pooh, of course)... because of this song she really likes called "The Kangaroo Hop!"

Then, around Thanksgiving time, she informed us that she had changed her mind again. She wanted to have a "Jesus rising from the dead" birthday party. That one stumped us a bit (How would you do a kid's birthday party on that theme?) - but it is precious to have a little one who wants her special day to be about Jesus.

They played lots of games - but one of the cutest was charades - where they had to act out scenes from the life of Christ.

Can you figure these two out? The kids were all able to get them.

Tori really liked her cake (though you can't tell from this picture). *SMILE*

Her favorite part was finding the flowers in the garden to decorate the cake.

She was so excited that it took her several tries to blow her candles out...

...and she insisted she didn't get any spit on the cake - I have no idea why that was such a big deal to her.

I wish I knew what "wish" she made - she can be a very mysterious child.

You know, in hindsight, it doesn't surprise me in the least that it was Victoria who chose a "Jesus rising from the dead" birthday party. The day she decided to pray and ask Him to become her Savior, she told me she "...had to ask Jesus to come and live in her heart and clean it up for her... 'cause she wasn't doing a very good job by herself."

12 February 2008

He's Growing Up

Jonathan was helping me put laundry away today. As he carried a pile of his things to his room, he called for help because the light was out. So I went right away to turn the light on for him, but as I walked into the room, he stopped me and said, "No, Mama. No need yo helwp. Me big. Me twoon light on me-self."

It happens so fast. It happens too fast.

After he informed me that he no longer needed my help, he pushed a small tub containing shoes over underneath the light switch. Standing on the shoes inside the tub gave him just enough added height that he was able to turn the light on all by himself.

I'm not yet ready to say goodbye to this delightful preschool stage........

Just a short rant.....

just drives me crazy.

Am I the only one who feels this way? (OK, I feel better now.)

06 February 2008

Skiing at Snow Snake

Tim took Brendan, Rebekah and their cousin Nathan skiing near the end of December at one of the smaller ski hills in Mid-Michigan. They had a blast, and one of our few disppointments during our Stateside vaction was that the snow melted before we were able to go back for a second try with more of the family.

Tim only got a chance to video while the kids were on the bunny hill, learning. Once they tried out the bigger hills, there was no stopping them. Guess which one of the three of them was the first to try the BIGGER hills?

05 February 2008


We celebrated Victoria's birthday yesterday - and this was the gift her daddy picked up for her before we left the States to return to Niger. She is always FREEZING when she first comes out of the shower, no matter how hot it is, so he thought these (see below) would help her...


We think she's really cute, but...

... she's NOT!

- Which, by the way, is quite OK by us! -


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