Tuesday, May 30, 2017

8th Grade Graduation

"I have no greater joy than to know my children are walking in the truth."  3 John 1:4
Happy 8th grade graduation Lydia and Abbie!
Even though we home school I wanted to make Lydia's graduation from middle school to high school special and memorable.  We decided to have our good friends, the Dwires, join us in the celebration since their daughter was graduating too.  We decorated, had a program with singing, awards, and certificates, and a nice dinner.  It was fun preparing for it and celebrating the girls!  We are proud of Lydia for her academic achievement, but even more for her character that is like Christ.  Lydia is incredibly positive, joyful, flexible, kind, selfless, pure, and wise.  She blesses us and challenges us every day.

We made shirts for the special occasion.
We chose the verse 1 Cor. 10:31,
"All for the glory of God!"
Josh kept teasing Lydia what she was going to wear a graduation gomez (the cultural women's dress here - it is big with big puffy sleeves).

We had a great time decorating and getting ready!

Our students and teacher at AACA, Africa Adventure Academy, gave Lydia the award for wisdom.  We studied being wise from the book of Proverbs this year and left Lydia fit God's definition of being wise.
Wisdom comes from God, a wise person follows God's principles, chooses wise friends and is a wise friend, speaks wise words, is humble, recieve correction, is a leader...

Lydia fills our classroom with her smile and thankfulness!

So, here is Josh as a rapper!  He did it because the kids spontaneously started rapping at the dinner table one night and made a rap for graduation.  The kids wanted to do for the celebration but Dad did not.  So he surprised them and wrote and sang his own rap.
Giving the girls their certificates of graduation

Our thanksgiving meal - we are thankful so we had turkey!

Graduation cap cupcakes for dessert
High School here we come!
Congratulations Lydia.
May God continue to grow in you and be your truth, wisdom, way and joy.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday, May 12, 2017

Retreat on the Coast

We were blessed to have a retreat at Diani Beach on the coast of Kenya with our FIC directors, Howard and Aileen.
Honestly, the whole trip could have been a disaster but we chose to make it a blessing.  The girls were recovering from serious colds, I got it and had plugged ears the whole trip from flying, and the others all got it too to various degrees.  And it rained every day!  We were told it never rains on the coast - until we came.  Some day were cloudy with occasional showers and some day were all day rain.  It really could have spoiled our time, but we have amazing kids and positive directors and we were able to have a great time.  We swam in the rain, walked the beach while it sprinkled, played games, eat great food, and chose to be thankful for our VERY MANY  blessings!  What an attitude change when you focus and how blessed we are.  God is with us and so we are blessed.  His world is amazing, creative and big - and we get to see and experience it.  I have a loving husband and we have thankful, fun kids to be with.  Our director and his wife shower us with encouragement and we enjoy being together.  We had a great time in a beautiful house with a pool and a great cook who make us lobster, shrimp, fish and other Kenyan treats.  The kids loved playing on the beach - and we loved playing with them!  We collected sea shells, make sand castles, and swam in the Indian Ocean.  The tide is crazy there, the beach is beautiful white sand, and the water clear.  The dark clouds make the sand and sea even more beautiful with the contrast.  It was low season and with the rain we had the beach to ourselves.  Lots more I could share but I will let the pictures tell our story.  I praise God for His world and my family that I get to share it with.       

Howard and Aileen are our kids African grandparents.  They love and encourage our kids so much!

Our house for the week - across the street from the beach.

Kenya beaches are different from other places.  You have lots of people sell you things, ask to take you on boat rides, or camel rides.

Masai sellers and now friends

We had so much fun swimming with our kids!

Swimming in the rain!

We had fresh lobster being on the coast (and affordable).

Fisherman (snorkel and spear gun) came in with blow fish and octopus! 

Grace found this adorable turtle she really wanted to pay to take with her on the plane

We really enjoyed our meal times together!
We went on a tuk tuk for some fun on our rainy days

Even had hermit crab races

Rain, rain go away come again in Obulle!
You just had to laugh so you could enjoy.

Thanks be to God!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Our Easter Celebration

I know this blog is a bit old but I still wanted to share our meaningful Easter celebration.  For school we had a special passion week devotions each day and Luka memorized Matt. 28:1-10.  Good Friday we went to church in Apapi.  Josh gave a beautiful message.  The people were very encouraged by the fact that Simon of Cyrene was from Africa and that God chose an African to serve Him in His time of need.  Josh challenged then that God still wants to use Africans to serve the Lord.  Saturday I was able to go with Josh to teach in the prison and to do their first Lord's Supper in prison. The girls and I did a dance to Glorious Day for Easter day church service.  Always a joy to praise the Lord with my girls!  The church service was lively and worshipful.  After church we all had lunch together - posho, pork, and cabbage.  Then for evening Bible study we did an active Bible study on Christ's death and resurrection (kinda like Resurrection eggs only using bags with objects in each one to tell the story).  Easter night we had a wonderful supper with our old team and friends; Sliedrechts, Becky and Rudy, Jennifer and Karen.

It was a wonderful Easter remembering our Lord and Savior and celebrating what He has done for us.  I love hearing Emalai now continue to talk about, sing about and tell others about Jesus who died on a cross and now there is an empty tomb.  She is really starting to understand!  What  Good News we have to share with the world.  What an awesome God we serve.  He is the Savior of the world!  And He lives in me today!  

Bible study at church - group activity for Easter

Charles had the children's group

I made an Easter banner

Praise and Worship

The kids said Matt. 28:1-10 in church

Our dance in church
Our art from our passion week devotions in school

Easter lunch