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Friday, December 11, 2015

Playing Around

Some activities we are witness to  in our house:

Lots of reading happening in our house. It amazes me the books this girl (my 6-year old) is picking up and trying to read. Further proving my claim that after reading books aloud as a family, the kids are far more keen to attempt them independently.

Both girls are really into Rainbow Loom crafts right now. Believe it or not, this elastic-craze as reached the ends of Africa. We have found bands and looms here in a few different places. They love to check out tutorials on YouTube together. And Faith has asked if she can create a tutorial... so one day you might just get to see it.

The latest sewing project of mine. Our 4-year old cushions had definitely seen better days, and the dog hadn't helped that situation one bit. So I sewed these cushions.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Happenings Around Our Place

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Our newsletter should be arriving at your place in the next week or so, if you are on our mailing list. It is also available for download below, if you would like to print a copy and pass it along to other friends.

The garden is bursting with new blooms, and I always love taking photos of how it changes as things grow. These are new this year. The plants under the litchi tree have always struggled to thrive. But one of the neighbors had these Agapanthus planted, and they are doing really well! And so pretty to see some color in that shady place.

Also new to the public yard, are these fruit trees of my neighbor. She is thrilled to see so many apple blossoms and tiny fruits coming!

Faith found a really large grasshopper at the pool this week. The kids thought it was a locust at first!

My girls' hair - growing soooo long!


I had to capture this funny one of the kids - just playing a game they love, being on an airplane, if you can believe it. For some reason they are fascinated with packing suitcases and sitting in cramped spaces. They are even pretending to be somewhat entertained by a half-decent tv system.  ;) LOL

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Back in the Saddle Again

We are back home, Rob is busy in the hangar, and we are busy at home doing our stuff. A common question I encountered in Canada had to do with school and what we were doing. Being a homeschool family, this naturally takes up most of my time during the weekdays. With Faith in Grade 4, Wesley in Grade 2, and Joyanne in Grade 1, it's a busy household with many hands going up asking questions and me kind of everywhere trying to help everyone. But it's working, by God's grace.

Some resources we are using for our history and geography studies.

Joyanne working on some spelling words using Scrabble Tiles.

Finishing up math while waiting in line at the bank.

Having a swim on a warm Monday afternoon.

Concentrating on reading the Children's Bible

Some of our choices for reading aloud as a family this year.

Some Bible resources we use everyday.

If you're interested in more details about our homeschool day, a little peek into the organizational side of things, head on over to my blog There's Grace for That.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Home Assignment Round-Up

With our flights back to Madagascar right around the corner (in 11 days), we are kind of in the final "round-up" mode of home assignment. Sharing about what's happening in Madagascar with MAF is finished for now, and all (most) of our shopping is done.

This summer in BC has been phenomenal, weather-wise. Even after a week (the only week, mind you) of dreary rainy weather, warm sunny skies have returned for us. To have sun and dry weather has been great for the kids--their normal life includes lots of time playing outside, so this hasn't had to stop all summer.

Between presentations at churches, we have had a very full summer! We have seen people we haven't seen in years. Our family made it out to Sunnybrae Bible Camp for a week of family camp with all of Rob's family, and we also made a small camping trip with my brothers and sisters-in-law on Vancouver island. We celebrated my littlest sister's high school graduation. I got to hold my dear friend's second baby hours after she was born. The kids have been to the Imax in Victoria, toured Granville Island in Vancouver, seen Science World, played on countless playgrounds, and visited the library. It has been a full summer, indeed.

And this has all taken place in between the many hours we have spent in the stores--which are so nicely organized with everything under the sun, in a variety of colours and sizes!  :)
So, one question that we seem to get asked a lot when we mention shopping is, "What do you take back with you?"  First, I'll start off by saying, we can get most everything we need in Madagascar. Many other things are simply wants or items that might add a bit of convenience to our lives. Many of the things I prefer to purchase in Canada, however, are much cheaper, easier to find, and of much better quality.

With that disclaimer, I share my list with you  :)

Furlough Shopping List

  • Fireplace door seal  (Rob built a woodstove for upstairs, and he needs a seal, so he can put a nice glass front on the door)
  • Apple Corer
  • Lemon juicer
  • Pencil Sharpener (A heavy duty electric one)
  • Airlock seals (to make mini lacto-fermenting contraptions in my kitchen, for doing pickles and other lacto-fermented foods)
  • Molasses
  • Dried Black beans
  • Mustard Powder
  • Peppermint Extract
  • Lemon Extract
  • Water Kefir Grains
  • Advil or Motrin soft gels (most medicine we can get easily and inexpensive, but I really like soft gels)
  • Badminton net and rackets
  • Battery Candles, LED lights (nice ambiance for long power outages in the evenings, and decorating in general)
  • Good quality mini elastic bands for hair
  • Bathing Suits for us girls: a few sizes
  • Sunscreen
  • Beach Towels
  • Paper trimmer
  • Maple Syrup
  • School books (60lbs worth)
  • misc. School supplies
  • Sharpies
  • Prepared microscope slides, 
  • Christmas gifts (for 2015 and 2016)
  • Birthday gifts (Faith will have 2 birthdays, Joyanne will have 2 birthdays, Wesley will have 1, Calvin 2)
  • New Welding Helmet
  • Transmission rebuild kit
  • Rear axle bearings, seals, fuse box (to repair/maintain the Suzuki Samurai)
  • Clothes, clothes, and more clothes
  • Tom's Toothpaste (a brand I found here and really like)
  • Hairspray
  • New board games
  • Yarn for knitting and crochet projects
  • Router
  • Computer Hard Drive
  • Laptops
  • Sunglasses
  • Camping Tents (2 for a friend, one for us)
  • Shoes for everyone
  • Crocs for the kids
  • Sandals for everyone
  • Scrapbooking paper for crafting
  • Vitamix blender container, and parts to fix our Vitamix machine
  • Power inverter/battery that is charged by solar
  • Gifts from Grandparents for upcoming Christmas/Birthdays
Those are some of the main items we felt we needed/wanted on hand until the next furlough, or until we have visitors. We have a lot of weighing and puzzle-piece-fitting and stuffing into 12 rubbermaid totes ahead of us over the next 10 days.

Our last few days in Canada include early thanksgiving dinners with family, saying goodbye to Grandparents, saying to goodbye to siblings, saying goodbye to friends, and saying goodbye to Walmart and other such stores. Somebody posted online something like, where's the "good" in good-bye? As much as I really am looking forward to settling back in our own family's normal life and routine, and seeing my husband return to work with full energy and excitement, I am feeling sad too. I don't like goodbyes much at all.

And just a few pictures of the last several weeks:

Hatley Castle, Victoria BC

Park in Lantzville

Granville Island

Minetown Days, Lantzville BC

Tea Party for Aunty Samara's birthday

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sneak Peak Into Canada

So it has been far too long since an update. Maybe it's because we are just having far too much fun, and stopping to post anything online is feeling at the bottom of the priority list.  :) But here we are:

Us and our "stuff" standing in line at the airport in Madagascar, beginning the long journey to Canada! 

Sleeping on the plane for a few hours. Oh to be his size again!  :) 

The kids are enjoying Canadian parks immensely. Any chance to play on a play structure here is bound to be a hit.

 Grandma's front loading washing and drying machines are also quite fascinating.

Our relationship with the BC Ferries continues. :)  Car lineups and sailing waits at the busy terminals in this summer holiday season are a somewhat familiar sight now. As we are based in Mission in the Lower Fraser Valley and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, we keep busy ferrying back and forth between the two places. The beauty of this land hasn't ceased to amaze us! It is soooooooo pretty here.

 Waiting for the ferry ... making a silly face for an ice cream.

We have had warm receptions at every church we have visited thus far. We are so thankful for the visiting times we've had over the past several weeks, and the special sharing times at each fellowship.

We have a couple of meetings in churches left:

Nanaimo Alliance:  August 16th
Mission EFree Church: August 23rd
Maple Ridge Alliance LAF group:  August 29th

We will also be planning a few more open house gatherings between the two more places. If you are keen to join us, please please please send us an email.  (  This way we will be sure you know about them.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

One Step Closer to Flying Again!

The Hangar was buzzing with excitement on Tuesday afternoon, when the new engine for our Cessna 182 finally arrived! None too soon either. We have barely 6 working days left to install it before heading off to Canada, as Rob has scheduled mandatory maintenance on the Caravan most of next week. Things have felt somewhat like a pressure-cooker around here. Once the C182 begins flying again, MAF Madagascar can commence the mission to the local church with program like Mamafy.

Please pray for every detail that must be tended to, as we prepare to leave the program for a time. Please pray that the time-pressures won't affect the work being done, and that both aircraft with be ready for service soon!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

At Our House, In Our Garden

The rain has stopped, and now we are actually watering our gardens! Can you believe it. It's amazing how quickly things are drying out. This is, of course, great news for those suffering from the flooding Tana has experienced this rainy season.

 I am so thankful for this beautiful outdoor space we've been blessed to enjoy. It has become a center for family gatherings, lunching, entertaining, quiet times, a haven after braving chaotic traffic, and just taking in the beauty around us.

Hunter. A beloved member of our family. He deserved a picture.

 Intense concentration with the tongue sticking out even!

 Batch of bread ready to go.

The latest project: a chain-link fence with 2 gates on either side of the house. This is so Hunter won't have to be tied up so much.

Loving the greenery, and Faith taking photos. 

The kids have been playing with walkie-talkies in the yard the past few days.

You are welcome to come and visit anytime!  ;)