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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

Friday, October 3, 2014

Ostrich Egg for Lunch

 While Paul was speaking/drawing in Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world, we bought a full ostrich egg to bring home to share with the rest of the family.  First we had to drill a little hole. 
 Then we had to goof off a bit with fake mustaches and lips.  Nathanael was a little puzzled about his blue mustache.  We watched while James drilled a bigger hole, and then....
 Josh blew it out withe a straw.  Next thing you know, we had....
 ostrich egg quiche!  We got 8 little one, with cheese, and
 two large ones, with spinach and cheese, and still had enough egg left over for scrambled eggs for breakfast!  Wow!  One ostrich egg is supposed to be about 24 chicken eggs. 
 There were Sunny-side Up "Ostrich Eggs" for Dessert.  Daniel was uncertain about this at first. 
 When he discovered what they're made of, though, he tucked right in! 
Don't they look like real eggs?   We want to serve them to everyone now.  We did add a little fructose to the yoghurt as it was without any sweetener.

                 This is some good merry-heart medicine for anyone who needs it. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


11 Years ago today Cherish Faith Young arrived to delight her whole family, and all the friends of the family.  She was  most beloved little person.  I hope everyone enjoys just seeing her sweet face again. 

Not too happy about something, but still adorable. 

A little person in a crowd of bigger people-at Josh's 5th birthday. 

CD hair ornaments, Cherish made us all laugh.  Her cousin Gloria loved her. 

We're thankful for our little cutie.  She's having a great day in Heaven.  We're missing her, but love the happy memories.

It's amazing to me how great of an influence her short life had. 

She, being dead, yet speaketh! 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tasty Travel Tidbits

 I get questions occasionally about what we eat when we're traveling so much.  We have been gone from home for 9 and a half weeks right now.  I guess my 3 guiding principles would be
  1. Simplicity
  2. Economy
  3. Adaptability--making do with what we've got. 
 An example of adaptability in the kichen is above.  See that thing that looks like an egg carton with dishes on it?  That is a dish drainer in disguise, or you could say an upcycled egg carton.   The one leaning on the wall is in reserve, since these things don't last very long.  They get soggy.

And those 3 principles are along with the usual concerns for healthy and delicious.  

 Another example of making do, is using that messy can of chili as a rolling pin to make tortillas.  I'm on a mission to make the perfect tortilla, thwarted in part by my desire to use whole wheat flour.  At the moment our accommodation has electric fry pans so I've tried 2 recipes, and we like 'em, but they're not any where near perfect yet. 
 Recently we've started carrying our own spices around, (those green things are Tupperware salt and pepper shakers) mostly at Paul's initiative.  They are garlic, cayenne pepper, salt, and cinnamon.  Garlic may not be just a spice.  Paul eats it raw, more like an ordinary vegetable, and he's killing every germ around.  We also carry fructose to substitute for sugar. 
 When we don't have anything else to cook in, we use the electric tea kettle to boil eggs for breakfast.  My husband doesn't think it's breakfast if there's no eggs.  He has hypoglycemia and depends on a high protein diet to keep feeling good. 
 Occasionally we have to eat a cat fresh from the fridge.  They are best when very fresh.  :-)   OK, I'm just kidding.  We made friends with this cutie who we nicknamed Ricebowl because he was a like a rice Christian, just friends for the food he could get out of us.  But we enjoyed his curiosity.  He had to know what was in the little fridge.  "So...

"So whether therefore ye eat or drink, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31

"Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?"Matthew 6:25.

I don't know too many people who travel as much as we do, but I'd love to hear others' ideas for eating on the trot around the globe. 

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.