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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