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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Stop for Stop Motion

Josh has produced another stop motion video, with a little help from Evangel's Apple and Tim's nice bass voice. 
You can see it at    and it's less than a
minute long, but has a very earth-friendly message.  We'd love to hear what you think, unless it's not nice, then you can just keep it to yourself. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Personal Solar Ovens

 I saw this on Pinterest and we had  to try it.  We are past the ages when my cute little homeschoolers would gather at the table, awed by the craft items their mom would dream up.  Now that they're teens, they do their own projects mostly, but we had a little flash back here.  I bought the Pringles and they dutifully ate them.  And they each had a can to chop and poke and tape. 
 A mere 3 hours of hot Karoo sun later, we were munching! 
Now if I only knew how to make those cool plant holders...  Anybody have any ideas? 

"From the rising of the sun, unto the going down of the same, the Lord's name is to be praised!"
Psalm 133:3

To the South!

 Sounds like a Civil War battle cry, "To the South!" but that's the beautiful South African flag waving.  We zipped down to the southern-most tip of Africa yesterday after church. 
 Cape Town is pretty southern-most too, but Cape Agulhas sticks out a bit.  Enticing weather called us out of the car and into the scenery.  I love the board walks. 
 Cape Agulhas has been on my bucket list for years, but I' afraid it's not off yet.  We already want to go back again. 
 The lighthouse was climbable, and had a museum full of fascinating factoids. 
 At the very tip there is a monument...
 which you can read if you zoom.  It points left to the Indian Ocean, right to the Atlantic.  There was another sign telling of all the ship wrecks that happen just off this coast, in centuries gone by, and still happening in this century.  It's not called the Cape of Storms for nothing. 
 A glorious day, with a high climb ahead.
 Though looking at the poster above Josh's head, the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse is sort of small by comparison.  It's the red one as it compares with other lighthouses around the world. 
 But it doesn't feel small when you're climbing the 4 long, steep ladders to get up there!  I found it quite scary. 

Notice how there are no pictures of Tim at the top.  He is there in this one, in the little car furthest to the left.  He avoids heights all he can, and he has my sympathy.  I got trembly at the top of this one. 

On the way home, we did a good deed for mankind, having killed about a million bugs on the front of the car.  Nastiness.  But also fun to show Americans how we still get gas attendants who will clean the car windshield.  One of the little luxuries of Africa that we don't have in the States.

So we went to the end of the earth. God looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole heaven (Job 28:24)  That's either comforting or scary, depending on how we're doing in His eyes.

Psalm 48:10  "According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth, thy right hand is full of righteousness."

Anyone want to go more south than this?  I wonder if ANY missionaries have ever gone to Antarctica.  Anybody know? 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Snow and palm trees

It seems rare to me to have palm trees and snow covered mountains in the same picture, but this is what is outside our window right now.  

"Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations, Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hast formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God!"

Mountains and palm trees will do that to you.
They did it to Moses, and they do it to me!
Psalm 90:1-2   

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Funny from the field :-)

It's raining buckets today, during the winter school holidays.  Paul normally goes to the prison to preach and bring them Christian reading material during the school holidays.  These guys are thrilled!  It's too wet for their exercise time outside in the courtyard, so they give him quite the welcome.

Today, one guy gave him a unique welcome.  He was small and muscular, and when Paul entered the cell, he just launched up into his arms!  Paul said it felt like a chimp.  He just held him for a second, and the other guys in the cell just laughed and cheered.

Well.  That's a nice friendly "welcome to our cell".  Truly, they are bored and grateful for a big guy with Christian newspapers, tracts and booklets he's written.  They love to imitate him and call out, "To read, not to smoke." in their best American-imitation accents.

We're not usually allowed to take pictures in there, so you just get to imagine it, or peek at old pictures on our website. 

Family Project Report

 We're at the half way point for our current ministry trip!!!!  Five weeks down, five to go.  Paul has been very busy in preaching six days a week, but the kids and I get a lot of time to ourselves so we tend to bring projects on trips to try to get them accomplished.  Some of things we have at home like piano lessons, youth group, Joy Club, and close friend visit, are missing, so this is a good time to find satisfaction in projects and never have we had so many interesting ones going on as on this trip.  

 Exercise is one of our daily priorities.  At the moment we are staying on top of hill, and it is about 4 kilometers down the hill to the nearest shop.  The kilometers are even marked!  So each day since Monday we have trotted down the hill to do our shopping, and then we catch a ride back up with Paul. 
 Today we went down, and then hiked back up, carrying the groceries.  Tim carried most of them, bless him, so we had a good workout.  That uphill part will make you breathe deep!
 I found this kit, this rumpled, well-traveled-looking kit in a second hand shop years ago in America, but I finally got started when we went to Zimbabwe earlier this year.  I mostly only work on this during our family Bible reading time.  It's going to say "The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine upon you." from Numbers 6 24, 25.  If I can finish it by March, it'll be done in a year, but I have my doubts. 
 Josh has made two Lego movies recently.  Those can be huge projects.  One of his has 900 pictures and is 4 minutes long.  A mom admires a kid with that kind of patience. 
 More in the exercise department.  Sorry I look goony, but we have really enjoyed tennis when we stay places where it is available. 
 Our kids miss a lot of team sports with all our traveling, so I was delighted that they have been delighted with tennis. 
 Josh and Evangel have also tackled unicycling together.  In the beginning they had to hold each other up, and/or use the tennis court fence, but now they can do it alone. 
It was rough in the beginning, but they are better now.

Some of our biggest projects are not so
 picturesque, but they deserve a mention.  Evangel is working for hours each day on her movie, editing it.  It's exciting to see it coming together.  
While waiting for a ride from someone who was late, we were just hanging around so she was editing again, using Tim's jacket to block out the light.

Tim is writing another book, and loves reading about his time period and all things involved With Sword and Saber.  Josh is also writing a book, but his is a school assignment.  He loves the research part of writing a book. I'm also writing a book.  We're getting to be a booky family.

In the sewing department, Evangel pieced together an old skirt with a top of some jeans to make a new skirt.  My goal is to get the cutting done for a quilt, but I don't want to start sticking it together til we are at a machine.

Evangel's got a whole stack of books she wants to finish reading, including the daunting History of the Irish Race.  She's half done with her stack, as far as books, but not half done the pages.
She also has a blog called Proverbial Womanhood which she is growing with worthwhile pictures and verses.  That's not a project to be finished.

I am just pleased to list these for myself.  It's better to focus on what we can do than on what we are missing, and this has been a busy, profitable trip.  The paper part of school happens 5 days a week, and these other learning experiences will be helpful for us and others. 

"Whatsoever your hand findeth to do, do it with all of your might!"  Your hands find more to do if you go looking for profitable projects. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Home invasion away from home

 Last week we left Evangel home reading a good book while the rest of us went to play tennis.  She was going to join us a few minutes later to get in some practice on her unicycle.  The masked mailbox has nothing to do with the story, it's just a cute picture of Evangel.

While she was home alone, she heard some noises in the rondavel (picture below) where we were staying, but thought it was her Dad running home to get a snack.  Then there was a crash, like plastic crashing down, and then there was a bigger crash, like maybe our toaster hitting the ground.  She finally looked up from her book to see a gang had invaded.

Here is what our kitchen looked like before...

And after...
 Apparently the rogues had cased the joint...
And then perpetrated the crime.  

 This little terrorist didn't even bother to run away before stopping to picnic on the spoils of our kitchen.  They got, among other things, 8 eggs, 3 much anticipated avocados, and all our bananas, of course. 

I see a lesson for us here!  
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth...where thieves break through and steal."
or maybe a lesson on
"Oh Lord how manifold are thy works, in wisdom hast thou made them all,"  because they really are cute, fascinating, rascally little  monkeys.