Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Mainly for Asher's grandparents

We just returned from three enjoyable days of retreat with our whole mission team. Kingfisher Safaris Resort was the place, situated on a bay in Lake Victoria just next to the point at which it gives birth to the fabled White Nile. Sunday after our worship time together, Phillip Shero and I with several of our boys (and Emily) piled into a boat and took a tour through the neck of the Nile and a mile or so downriver. Saw quite a variety of birds and animals, including a four-foot water monitor lizard that one could be forgiven for mistaking for a small crocodile.

Danetta took these pictures while we were at the retreat. I share them mainly for what they show of Asher rather than for the bits of me that got included. One of Asher's grandmothers told me at Thanksgiving that current pictures of him were way overdue!

Smile, dad!

That's, let's see what I can grab--

...that shirt makes a good handle!

Some things are precious beyond our ability to value, like this little boy's smile.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Day at our house

Thanksgiving morning...while others in the family are still abed, Jonathan and Luke find their way into the living room for a bit of reading before the crowd we're expecting arrives.
Danetta talks with family in the U.S. over the Internet, while she enjoys a cup of tea before heading into the kitchen to make dinner rolls.
Meanwhile, Asher amuses himself on the living room floor (this doesn't usually last very long, but works for a while before he decides he'd rather be entertained by a real live big person).Emily busies herself gluing together strips of construction paper for Thanksgiving meal placemats.By mid-morning friends and coworkers start to show up for the day's festivities. Nathanael , along with neighborhood friends Lydia, Aby, and Nathan, watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade (recorded from a few years back).No leisure in the kitchen this morning! Danetta mixes up dough for dinner rolls, assisted by Jonathan, who's always ready to dive in on cooking/baking projects.That's a lot of rolls! Eric, standing at left, works with Peace Corps. He and his wife Ranji joined us for the day.The dessert table, still in its pristine glory. That didn't last! We did have a few pieces of pie left at the end of the day for folks to take home, but most of the eight or ten pie pans we started with, not to mention the other desserts, were reduced to little more than crumbs.There were enough people and food that we served the meal buffet-style. After filling plates, everyone found a place at any of several tables set up around the living room or on the front porch.Leila, Aby and Lydia made it through the line early.
We eventually had a fairly full living room, with almost all of our mission team present for the feasting, together with a number of American friends from the community here.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday night at the pancakes

One of our long-time weekly family traditions is having pancakes on Sunday evenings. Over the past few years it's developed into an open-house to which coworkers and other friends from the community come to hang out, eat pancakes, visit, converse, sing, strum, drink lots of coffee, etc. I took these pictures last night after several of the crew had already left:

Danetta, Emily and Laura Beth

Nathanael, Josiah, and Nathan giving the new couch a work-out

Stephan and Heidi trying a tune

Resting from the rigors of pancake consumption

Monday, November 13, 2006

Our house: 360

Back in March we moved from the house we had occupied for eight years or so to another one in the neighborhood that is a better fit for our large-ish family. With seven kids, going from three bedrooms to seven has given everyone a little more space! We did the "bare necessities" of the move before leaving for furlough in the U.S. Now that we're back, we've been working on all the remaining loose ends to get things as we want them to be in the house. So even as I write this, we have painting going on in hallways and dining room.

Several asked us while we were in the States what the "new" house looks like. Here are some images of the outside, and I'll upload some from the inside in a later post. The perspective moves 360 degrees around the house, starting from inside the front gate at the lower left corner of the compound and moving to the lower right, then up the slope and around the back to end at the front door and verandah area:

(view from front gate)

(looking right from front gate)

(from lower right corner)

(from upper right corner)

(from upper left corner, looking back to upper right corner)

(from upper left corner again, but looking toward front door/verandah)

(verandah view from front door; Emily at top of steps down to lower level)

(looking left of verandah from front door to balcony on top of garage / storage room)

(front gate from balcony)

(Wanale mountain, looking east from balcony)