22 October, 2014

  So many things to write about.....so little time.

  I'm going to start with Marlin's big 4-0!!

 We're getting old, people! I well remember my dad turning 40 and i thot he might as well lay down and die. I mean, what worth is life when you're 40? And here we are and i wouldn't trade 40 for 20 any day.

 I planned, along with a few other sneaky people in the compound, a big 40th birthday party on the day of his birthday. I didn't actually think we would be able to pull off the surprise factor but we did. I had Becky, one of the missionary women who does beautiful cake decorating, make a small cake for lunch to throw him off. She also decorated a big cake for the bday party that evening. The small cake worked and it never even crossed his mind that there might be a party instead of a simple supper invite to Tony and Judith's. We walked in at Tony's to the whole compound singing Happy Birthday.



  Yup, we caught him by surprise. The poor littles were a bit confused to walk into a whole crowd of people singing and laughing, hence the reason Jacob is clinging to my hand.



    .....happy birthday to  you.....just so happened that there were two other birthdays that same day so we sang also sang happy birthday to them and to Zac, whose birthday was two days later.

 

I think he's trying to make it look like MY birthday, but i can assure you, i am still in my thirties. ;) And as usual we have one child digging in the area of his nostrils and poor Jacob looks like he's taking his daddy's old age harder than Marlin himself. 



The cute little toilet paper man made by Tony and Judith, filled with 40 different little gifts. Everyone was supposed to bring 40 things of "something small." People got creative. 


This one was filled with all kinds of useful things like pampers for incontinence.....well suited to a man like mine. ;) 


And we can't forget the food. Judith went out of her way to help me. She did the decorating and made the lattes, (three different kinds). I made the chicken salad sandwiches and another friend, Marji, made the popcorn and chip mix. Thank you friends!! It was a success! 



23 September, 2014

Hangover Hotel...

  Today 4 representatives from Christian Aid Ministries who are here, Tony and Judith (the other Agape/CAM couple), me, myself and i, and of course my husband and a few random children headed out to Hangover Hotel for lunch.

  Sounds bad, doesn't it? Hangover Hotel and a few plainly and soberly dressed missionaries discussing life over sodas at a hotel (meaning restaurant) with the name Hangover attached. As far as we know there's no alcoholic beverages even sold there. Interestingly enough, we didn't notice any people with hangovers. Seems that back in the day it was the place where people went after a night of drinking for a bowl of soup and hence the name.



  To get to the restaurant we strolled back through a small, dirty alley way where at one point a gentleman with large buck teeth and a wide smile hung over a small wall waving at us. We hung a left out of the dirty alley and walked into a rather amazing, spacious for Kenya, restaurant. There were several points of interest that captured out attention. One was a tree growing in the middle of the restaurant, altho it may have been just the stump and not so much growing. We never did find out. The other was a waitress sporting a Cracker Barrel apron with the name Mary wrote across her chest. Neither did we find out if her name was actually Mary or if she just picked the apron up for cheap. It's Kenya and small details like that don't matter so much.

Even you would be welcome!

  We ordered chicken for some, beef for others. French fries (called chips here), a bit of tomato salad, Ugali, (cornmeal mush), and chapatis finished out the meal. I braced myself for tough chicken but to my shock the food was quite tasty and tender. The chapatis were fresh and hot and everything tasted most satisfying.

Making Tomato Salad

  There's another interesting bit of news about the place that makes Americans shake their heads. We were told by other missionaries who eat there that when you order your food, you ask for the "anti-theft" portion. Meaning you want the FULL PORTION of meat, otherwise they will only give you SOME of the amount and sell the rest to others. They will charge you the same price, whether you get the anti-theft version or not. So we ordered the food and before the waiter walked away Marlin informed him we want the "anti-theft" amounts. The waiter cracked the smallest of smiles and agreed pleasantly.

Only the best cuts served here!

 End of story. We got our full portions as far as we know and we realized once again that there are some things we will never understand about this country or their people. 

World Class Chefs... that would make Dwight Miller green with envy!
  I wonder sometimes if America will seem dry and sterile after Africa and if we will miss some of the quirks of this country. I think we might. As i sat there today and watched the people eating and talking loudly (no quiet classy conversations here) i thanked God for the opportunity to experience the craziness and insanity and beauty called Kenya. Somehow i believe we love these people and their "Hangover Hotels" more than we realize. I feel sad sometimes at how little i've really been able to reach out and yet i also know that i'm called right now to stay at home and raise these children that Marlin, God, and i have produced. They are my mission field and i want to live it to the fullest. But anytime Marlin and visiting white people want to visit the Hangover Hotel, i'm available.

 

07 September, 2014

12 weeks

  I can't sleep and maybe, just maybe if i sit and write, then sleep will come.

  This week marks the 12th week of pregnancy and with every other child, even our first, i put away my too tight dresses and donned the wardrobe that told the world that i was to be once again a mother. I always wore them with a sense of relief, at finally looking pregnant instead of just fat.

  Today i put the dress on that i was wearing when we found out we were losing our long waited for little girl. I looked a bit in the mirror and then quietly put it away. I thot it was because it seemed to large but i realized later it was more than that. It seems that i am finding out that even healed people still fill with raw pain and tears.

  How do i wear the same dresses that i wore when carrying her? When i see those dresses i think shock and agony. They seem to me as if they carry pain huddled in their gathers and pleats. Yet somehow, i will put them back on, because sewing a whole new wardrobe is not feasible.

  And strangely, through it all, i seem to see my mother. I know what she would have done. She would have cried and then did the next thing. Which would have been to pull that dress over her head, zipper it up the back, knot those ties and face life. She would have chosen happiness over a new life beginning and refused to allow self pity to pull her down.

  So tonight i cry and allow that grief to happen. I won't pretend that right now all i want is Hadassah. I do.

  But i also know that God is good, good, good and He is bigger than pain filled dresses and hearts. I want to walk with courage and faith and so tomorrow i choose joy. I choose joy only because i am walking with the One who holds both Hadassah and this new child in His hand and His ways are perfect.

  Please pray for me that i would continue to choose joy and trust through this new journey of anticipation mixed with pain.

23 August, 2014

Eggs in the Nest

I think i'm a troubled woman.

Or at the least, a spoiled one.

And it's all the baby's and my husband's fault.

It's heading towards midnight and i just polished off an egg in the nest, fried to perfection with crispy, buttery edges, egg whites firm and just a bit of gooey lusciousness in the egg yolk.

I call that troubled. But really, is it my fault? A woman with child does get such strange cravings at odd times.

Take, for instance, sunday  mornings at church. You would never dream that the missionary lady with the spiritual face and expanding waistline is actually not hearing what the persons behind the pulpit is saying. Instead of reverently searching her heart, she is dreaming of Big Mac's, dripping with sauce and oozing with cheese. She is lifting crispy, salty fries to her mouth and sipping on ice cold coke's from a soda fountain.

I never did get the whole "hungry for a pickle" thing when pregnant. Why a pickle when you can have something that makes you fat?

So tonight as i was laying in bed and dreaming of an egg in the nest, (or hole or whatever you call it) i happen to mention to Marlin about how i was debating going to the kitchen and frying me up one and what do you know but he disappears "to get a shower" and shows up 10 minutes later with a perfectly fried, buttery delight. Buttery because HE never cooks as if a mission board is peering over his shoulder to check on how much butter he's actually using. That's why his food is good and mine mediocre. I can never quite shake the guilt that someone might actually find out we use butter instead of margarine, in spite of me trying faithfully to convince the little ones in the family that toast with Blue Bland is quite delightful.

But really, it's quite disgusting how my self control flees when a new Weaver takes up residence inside myself. I crave mashed potatoes. I eat mashed potatoes. I crave batter fried fish. I eat likewise. Black currant ice cream? Bring it on. (and just in case the mission board reads this, my father paid for  the ice cream, bless his heart)

The list goes on as does my girth. Eventually i'll go back to the lifestyle of no white bread and mashed potatoes but for now, it makes me happy, and we all know if mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy.

And for the record, the mission board is really quite gracious regarding food, and naturally that extends itself to pregnant, spineless ladies. I really do try and watch our butter consumption but sometimes you just need a buttery fried egg in the nest in the late night hours.




16 August, 2014

Baby Weaver

  So i'm 8 weeks pregnant.

  Yay!!

  I have the normal nausea and hormonal upsets that happen with a pregnancy which makes for some interesting and sometimes depressing moments. Such as when i'm holding a conversation with someone and they have no idea that i'm wondering if i can hold my stomach bile down or if i'm going to have to run for the toilet. So far i haven't had to run but it's come close. It's those moments when i wonder what in the world God and ourselves were thinking to try the overwhelming responsibility of bringing another Weaver in the world.

  But we're excited and not really scared. Hadassah is such a part of our lives that there's no way to explain it. She is and was such a little gift and her sweet presence is as much a part of us as any of the children.
Whenever i think of her, or we talk of her, it's always in the context of her being with Jesus. And grandma. I see her so clearly. She's so incredibly beautiful and her spirit will go with us wherever God calls us next.

  However, we will be getting ultra sounds to make sure everything is ok with the new little Weaver. Because it does seem almost impossible to think of having a perfectly healthy child after first a miscarriage and then Hadassah but i can truly say our hearts are at peace. God is in control and that includes this tiny baby. Big Daddy Weav also says that we're going to find out if the babe's a boy or girl and of course everyone's rooting for a girl. And yet even Emily says that she thinks she'll be almost as excited if it's a boy. They all just want a BABY.

  Whether this child is a boy or girl, he or she will be equally longed for and equally loved.

26 July, 2014

Good bye

My dad having devotions at our church the last sunday before they left. 
  So the 10 days were finished and it was time for my family to head home. The last sunday at our church, Jason, my brother in law, had the sermon, and my dad had devotions. After church we all stood at the back as usual and the people came through shaking our hands and it was when the choir came thru that we realized they were singing a special song for the visitors. "We will nevah, nevah, forget you....." It was a tear jerker and i tried not to think of when they sing that song for us.

  Monday, my family experienced the animal market where you can buy all kinds of handmade goodies, and then home for one last meal before they flew out of Kisumu that afternoon.


   Dishon, our Kenyan friend, had eaten several times with us while they were here and my father took a real liking to him. Which isn't surprising because most people do. The first day Dishon ate at our house when dad was here he had ice cream. For the first time ever. My dad loves ice cream and promptly bought two tubs at the grocery store and while my kids inhaled vast amounts in an ice cream induced state of bliss, Dishon watched closely. The adults watched in amazement as he stood up, gripped the ice cream scoop and promptly laid two mounds by his bbq chicken sandwich and coleslaw and began eating it all together. I figured that was the end of the ice cream experience as i simply couldn't fathom bbq sauce, mayo, and ice cream making any kind of happy marriage. But no, after that was polished off, and after seeing that the white children were pouring coke over their ice cream, he proceeded to lay several more mounds of ice cream on his bowl and flooded it with coke, still using his bbq sauce and mayo smeared plate. He then informed us that while he's never had ice cream before, he likes it very much. Which is pretty amazing because many Kenyans, after tasting ice cream, don't like it because it's much to cold and sweet. So we told Dishon to come the last day that my family were here and he could once again indulge in that icy sweetness. And he did.


Marlin, Jason, Dad, and Dishon......i really, really don't want to think of the day when we say good by to Dishon. He has become part of our family and it tears us to pieces to think of someday saying good bye. 
Dishon and my father 
And i had to add this picture. This is the real us. Dirty clothing, torn jeans, and nose excavators. It's who we really are. 

 Marlin and i took my family to the airport by ourselves because Marlin knew that deep down inside i wanted to see them off. I didn't even know i wanted to and was planning on staying home with the littles and letting the older ones go along but wise man that he is, he knew myself better than i do. I was so glad to go, once i got over feeling guilty at all the sad puppy faces back at home, and as i hugged them good by and cried, i knew that having them in Africa was a highlight in my life.
 





Masai Mara

Hippos and more hippos
  Thursday morning Marlin, my father, sister Eileen and her family headed to the Masai Mara. Oh, and Zachary. Me, myself, and i and the remaining gang stayed home to keep the home fires burning and to clean house. The Masai Mara makes me a wee bit nervous since i managed to get an infected appendix the last time. You're in the middle of nowhere so if an emergency happens you simply pray a little harder and hope the doctor/nurse on site knows his stuff. But that's not why i stayed home. The Masai Mara isn't exactly cheap and neither did a 5 hour trip in a van with 19 people crammed in a vehicle with 14 people capacity look very appealing.

So let's get on with some pictures.

Part of the wildlife scene......oh wait, that's my sister and her family. :) 

My dad hanging out with the rhinos.

King Aslan

Yes, seriously, he did have his hand on that rhino. 

The Savannah

How cool is this picture? Love that tree. That's Marlin and my dad wrapped in Masai blankets. It gets downright COLD in the early mornings.

   Good times, good memories.