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Friday, February 27, 2015


 That last week in South Africa was intense!  We had so many things to prepare for the trip, and loose ends to tie up.  Included in that was FOUR trips to try to get a driver's license for James and Evangel, two each.  No licenses were scored, but that added to the tension (and tears).  James pulled an all-nighter the last night to finish DVD's for us to take to the States.  Poor guy.  We hope to do better next time.  I'm glad that we could take the time to do a special outing in honor of Connie's 4th birthday!  Gloria and I took these 4 to the World of Birds in Hout Bay. 
 They had enough guinea pigs to make a Peruvian drool!  This could be lunch for 25 people!
 The World of Birds includes many rescued owls, but the thing Connie most wanted to see was the
 monkeys!  We got to go into the squirrel monkey encounter and let them climb all over us. 
 We weren't supposed to touch them, just let them touch us.  They might bite if they feel threatened, but otherwise they're cute little rascals.  It's hard not to touch them, but our kids did well. 

Cousin Josh made the "cake"! 
 On the last day in South Africa, we had a little early pink birthday party for Connie. 
 She liked trying on her clip on earrings, and thought it pretty funny I could wear them on my nose too. 
 Connie testing out her dangerous new stilts.  It was a lovely last day, and very nice and warm.  The next day was all busy and bustling and we flew out to arrive to things like this:
 Brr!  Our kids were very impressed with the first ice storm they remember. 
 I am so pleased they could see all this beauty!
 I think this one will end up on Evangel's blog with a verse like "Behold the beauty of the Lord!" or "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof!"  Iced over pecan trees in the sun make me know there's a beauty loving Creator!  And our God supplies our needs.  Look where we're going to be staying much of the next 4 months!
 Paul's uncle gave this beautiful motorhome to Paul's sisters who are loaning it to us.  We're going in style! 
This is another thing I'm glad the kids get to experience.  We lived in a motorhome for 3 years before we moved to South Africa, but Josh has no memory of it, and Tim doesn't remember much so now they'll have their own memories of the roving, rolling lifestyle. 

I was a little nervous abut driving it, but when the time came, it's just like driving anything else.  You just can't think of all that is behind you.  And it's a good idea to stay on the right side of the road.  That took a while to get our minds switched over, but I think we're there now.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The month at a glance

 Our computer has been acting up this month, particularly in that it wouldn't admit my picture card was in there, so I didn't blog for the whole month.  But Nathanael's 2nd birthday must be mentioned.  Evangel decorated him a whole range of t-shirts with the TWO theme. 
 His parents threw quite a party for him!
 Josh played with all the little guys, and it looks like cousin Daniel flattened him. 
The pinata was the highlight of the party!  Everyone got a whack at it, and no one got hit over the head. 

 On the 26th we gathered with other homeschooling friends for an over-nighter on Table Mountain.  This was daunting for me, but it was worth the agonies.  Dad stayed home to preach and to miss the agonies. 
 Even the teens had to take plenty of breathers along the way.  Evangel and Gabi were the girl crowd, while we had our Tim and Josh and thre of their friends, Luke, Oliver, and Daniel.  Three adults to teach them patience and our crowd was complete. 
 We made it to the Scout Hut!  I just couldn't go up those last few steps for awhile. 
 It was so hot at the bottom, but surprisingly chilly on top.  The kids played lots of games in between hikes. 
 Evangel, Tim and Josh atop McClear's Beacon, which was more McCloudy that day.  It's the highest point on Table Mt.  and was my first time there (and maybe last?)  I hear the view is amazing, but for us it was the cloud we saw. 
 Proteas!  A rare flower in most of the world, but abundant on Table Mountain. 
 Day 3 we started down again, across a dam. 
 Cape Town came into view, and a tiny yellow helicopter.  The kids' youth leader Jason was in it! 
 Josh made his first pie from blackberries we picked along the way. 
 Back to work at home...uh, Josh?  You call that working? 
 Evangel organized us for another family photo. 
 My Christian book club was at our house this month, and Pinterest inspired mini books and bookworms. 
 It has been HOT many days, and swimming is a joy.  Daniel has become a confident swimmer, and Nathanael thinks he can do anything.  Mom's (Gloria's)not convinced. 
Connie is about to turn 4, the princess of the family.  She's a charmer for sure. 

I have no pictures of our outreaches this month, just the play pictures.  Maybe the next ones will be in America. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas and the Crackers

 Merry Christmas everyone!  We had a completely happy one here in South Africa, at our house.  One South African/British tradition we have adopted is making Christmas Crackers for each person to open on Christmas Day.  I have had a few Americans ask me how to make them, so I took pictures as I made them this year. 
 You save toilet paper rolls for a while before Christmas.  Only the best will do. 
 I cut out 10 pieces of wrapping paper, big enough to roll them in.  That skinny brown thing is the cracker part.  When you pull the two ends, it makes a nice, satisfying "BANG".  I don't know where to find them in America.  Here I find them at a store that sells packaging stuff.  You lay that next to your TP Rolls.
 Stuff in a gift of a chocolate...
 and a tiger or whatever you like.  Then you forget to take any more pictures!  Oops.  But you just roll them up in the paper, and tape the paper closed.  You tie a ribbon tightly in between each of the TP Rolls, and then you can remove the end rolls, so just the middle one stays. 
 They go right on your Christmas table where they make a happy, noisy moment at the beginning of the meal.  We had them on our adult table...
 to cheer up little people who got stuck with the adults...

and on our kid table where they quickly got destroyed and devoured.  : - )    I imagine there is a much better tutorial on Pinterest and You Tube.

We wish you all a joyous Jesus' birthday!  and  I wish I could give you all a plate of chocolate covered cherries!

I could blog a whole story about my 3 attempts to make such a simple thing, and my 3 different failures.  The last failure was my failure to deliver some of them to the people they were intended for, but I had no complaints at our house about that one.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Cousin Capers

 For a long time I've wanted to take the 2 biggest little cousins camping, imagining they would be thrilled to sleep in a tent. 
 Our tent hadn't been used since the Zambia trip in 2013, but the boys remembered how to set it up.  One thing to note here, we went camping at the camping area on the end of our street.  Taking a 3 year old means I'm not going to outer Mongolia.  We were about 2 blocks from her house, and 3 blocks from our house which, I know, is a little weird, but it worked! 
 Josh was SUCH a big help.  Notice the solar snowman he's holding to give that Christmas ambiance we needed.  I think Daniel kind of got conked with it, hence the agonized face.

But we did it!  We cooked sausages and marshmallows over the fire Josh made, we played lots of games of Concentration/The Memory Game in the tent, and we went to the playground.  We read 6 new picture books--Daniel liked the one about inventions the best--and we even slept a little!  My air mattress went pancake flat, so I crawled onto Connie's foam mattress.  Daniel started on a mattress and ended up on the ground.  I loved the way Connie woke in the morning--with a huge smile, delighted to still be in the tent.

Another thing on the to-do list was cousin pictures and we did it!  Gloria had the 3 Yarmouth Youngs dressed in orange, so our 3 big kids got into some shade of orange too and ...

 we did it! 
 Nathanael slept through last year's picture so this is his first time to appear in the cousin collection.
He's next to Josh, Connie, Evangel, Daniel, and the inTIMidating Tim. 

 Notice the fancy footwork on 5 out of 6 coordinated Youngs. 
Children are a blessing from the Lord!  and the fruit of the womb is His reward!  We are so thankful for these guys, and so happy to share them with my thousands of readers  :-)  especially the 3 grandmothers and aunts of these guys.  Merry Christmas! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Star of Light-the movie

With great excitement and mounds of relief, we are announcing that Star of Light, the movie, is finished and available for viewing!  We had  a discouraging family premiere where the male part of the audience all fell asleep as it was at the end of a hectic day, and then a premiere for some of the actors which went much better, and NOW, on Saturday, the 15th of November, 2014, we're having a premiere where we're inviting the entire home-school community to a church to see the movie. 

 Evangel has been working on Star of Light for more than two years.  She's been making movies since she was 11 and they keep getting better as she gets older and more skilled, as well as getting access to better equipment. 

In watching Evangel, I've sure learned a lot about what goes into the making of a movie--blood, sweat, and tears, for sure, emphasis on the tears!

She had to write a script that's nearly as long as the book itself, and that took some time.  By the time she was finished with that, she had clear ideas on what she wanted.   


She had to find more than 40 actors and some animals and the right scenery.  She shot scenes from Cape Town to Trompsburg, as well as one in America.  There's even a shot from Zimbabwe.  She had us driving all over Cape Town for an illusive fountain that never quite suited her. 

Her filming days were interrupted by ministry trips with her Dad, leading to some hair problems.  Hamid's  hair was shiny dyed black, chalked black, German shepherd black-and-brown combo, and light brown hidden by a hood in the course of the stretched out filming. 

She was thrilled with getting some of her costumes as "manna from Heaven" as she called some discarded clothes she found in the grass.  Don't worry, we washed it thoroughly before it touched anyone.  She also considered her little "gutter kitten" as "manna from Heaven".  He came to us through the bathroom fan in a place we stayed in Riversdale.  The kitten fell right out of the ceiling,
and Evangel caught it in the fan cover.

Editing has been the thing to do on trips.  For months she has been editing.  Clipping, choosing music that does not have copyright issues and making decisions 'til she was ready to scream.  She did scream a few times, if I remember right. 

It is so satisfying to see it completed! 

My parents read Star of Light to me when I was a little girl, and it was probably my favourite of all the books they read us.  I snagged that same battered paperback to read to our kids and of course, they loved it too.  But Joshua is younger by 3 1/2 years than Timothy, so he didn't remember anything about that first reading so I decided to read it to him as a bedtime story.  He was about 10, and had a little cousin Connie who was just a baby.  Connie and Josh adored each other, and as we read the story, I could just picture them acting it out.  I mentioned it to Evangel who took a while to get used to the idea.  If you see the movie, you'll see she really caught on to the idea. 

As she is saying, "TO GOD BE THE GLORY." 

All are welcome to come Saturday, the 15th of November, 2014 to Medway Community Church in Plumstead, at 6:30 for a prompt 6:45 start to Star of Light, the movie. 

To see the advertisisement, go to