Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cables Up!

Praise the Lord! The cables have been finally set! All clamps have been tightened and the deck is beginning to creep along the cables! Behold!

At this point we'd like to thank God, who rightly deserves all of the credit for this bridge, who answers prayers, who has kept everyone safe, in whose grace we live and for whom we exist. It is He who created us, who plans our steps and carries us through. Thank you, God, for this small success and for the fulfillment and satisfaction that comes with it.

Well we're pushing forward but have decided to bring the bridge work to a close this Saturday. Our laborers' contract ends on Saturday, and we leave for Kenya with the Faders the following Thursday, so that will give us a few days in Yabus to relax as a family, maybe make a few adventure trips in the area around Yabus, and work on a few small chores and odd jobs around the missionary compound.

Thank you all so much for your prayers!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jonathan!

Today was Jonathan's 4th birthday! Here are some pictures from our fun day!

I woke up excited to make him scrambled eggs with some eggs the boys found in the chicken coop here...unfortunately, eight out of the nine little eggs had eyeballs inside, so we had oatmeal! Jonathan said, "I like oatmeal in the United States of America, AND I like oatmeal in Sudan!"

And while we're on the food's what we had for lunch! Canned hot dogs from Nairobi, canned green beans and mac'n'cheese! We invited our friends over for a lunch celebration...

After naps, we filled up a bunch of water balloons!

Three scrawny roosters died for our dinner celebration. Mmmm, Meat!

Here we get a bit out of order (Does anyone else have this problem of moving pictures around in blogger? It drives me crazy!)... After our water balloon fight and before dinner we were surprised by a huge hail storm! It was amazing! Jonathan had fun running out and collecting the ice balls when the worst of it was over. Apparently Phil had to hide under a tree with a shovel over his head at the bridge site!

Bath in a bucket. The blue bucket is always fought over for bath time. Birthday boy got it today!

Here we're back to dinner celebration! I made a chocolate cake in our brick/charcoal oven (it turned out great!), and per Jonathan's request I topped it with chocolate pudding and whipped cream - what a treat!

Presents! A new matchbox car and a card game!

This morning I asked Jonathan how he felt now that's he's four. He told me that he wouldn't be four until after he had his cake and presents. When we came back home to get ready for bed after his party he suddenly realized he was finally four and thought he should try and see how fast he could run now that he was older. He ran as fast as he could back and forth in our small house and was super excited to find that he was indeed much faster than before! He fell asleep a very happy boy with his new car and games around him. Happy Birthday, sweet boy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Some Pics From Yabus

Here are a few more snapshots of our life here in Yabus.
This is our screened-in porch where I read to Em during rest time in the heat of the day. A breeze often comes through here at night, making it a wonderful spot for visiting at the end of the day too, sharing a cup of tea.
Here is a pic of Bethany, Emily, and all six kids riding the quad bike back home after a visit to the bridge site. As you can imagine, the kids love adventures like these and I love to see them when they visit me at work. It is unusual in this culture for fathers to play with their kids, so I always seem to get funny looks and gasps when I throw Eva up in the air or when Jonathan runs to give me a hug.

And here is our sweet daughter Evelyn. She has been very adorable lately and sings to herself all the time. She also does a cute little jig when she eats something she likes (like watermelon).
This is a pic of an afternoon outing that the ladies took with the kids. They spread out a mat in the shade of a big beautiful tree nearby and let the kids play together. Emily and Bethany are loving this new time of togetherness, this time with their kids. Together they are planning a small vacation for our two families at the Kenyan coast when we leave Yabus in May. (!)
And finally, a couple of shots of the bridge. This one is of our team casting the first deadman anchor. The guy in the foreground, Butros, is a real firecracker of a guy. He has become one of my right-hand men, showing great skill in brick-laying. I'll write more about him later.
This pic was taken during the casting of the second deadman anchor, and if you look closely you can see the other tower on the far side of the river.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A day in the life of Jonathan

A lot of you have been asking my mom and dad what I do all day. Mom took a bunch of pictures of me today to give you a peek at what my life in Sudan is like.

6:30am - I wake up and ask mom if I can get out of my tent because I looked out our bamboo wall and saw the sun was coming up! She said to wait 5 more minutes.
6:50am - I notice Eva is awake and reading a book in her bug tent bed, so I run over and help her out and then together we wake up Dad and ask if he'll make us breakfast!
7:00 - Breakfast on our porch with Dad - I LOVE Wheatabix Cereal!
7:30 - A big black ant bites my bottom while I'm trying to get dressed. OWIE!!
8:15 - Off to play with Isaac and Evan. "Bye mom!"
9am -I invite my friends to come play some of my games with me
9:30 - shoes on! Back out to run and play!
10:15 - Home to watch some "Little Rascles" with Evelyn
11:00 - I help Mommy plant some flower seeds by the side of my house. We feed termites to the big black ants and play with a dumptruck.
12:00 - We wash our hands and eat lunch at the dining hall.
12:30 - Daddy's home for lunch and rest time!
1-3pm - Rest time in our bug huts
3:15 - Isaac comes over to play cars at my house
4:30 - Now that the sun isn't so hot, Isaac, Evan and I play outside again. We make rivers and mountains with our "soil." While I'm gone Mom washes dirty diapers, and Eva takes a fun bath to cool off - she uses a big clump of dirt for her soap! Silly girl.
6:00 - Dinner in the dining hall
7:00 - Bathtime, Bible story, and prayers with Dad
7:30 - Bedtime.

What a fun day!

Other things I like to do are riding in the back of Uncle Eli's truck, home school with Isaac Evan and Praise, playing with the puppies, and swinging in the tree swing.

I told my mom that I want to live here forever!