Friday, February 28, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 21

This has been a busy week for us!

The tree cutting... they are supposed to finish up today, except for the main trunk.  We'll need to hire a chainsaw to take that down.  I came home from the store the other day to see this - Tama balanced with each leg on a different branch.  Yikes!  I'm so glad I wasn't the one up there!

Taking down the last big pieces.  Notice the heavy ropes securing it.  There isn't much room for error, and a piece of wood that big could do some major damage if it fell the wrong way!

 Greg loves his blue umbrella and is always happy to get the chance to use it...even after the rain has stopped.

 The boys snuggling in mom and dad's bed.

The boys love getting to visit dad at his office! 

 Greg discovered an ant colony living within our garden wall.  He has spent quite a bit of time intently watching them crawl in and out.

Greg decided to take a picture of his belly button.

 He took one of me too!

The prop room at the High School.  It is amazing what has been accumulated over the years, through donations or finds from secondhand stores.  I was able to to do costumes for the whole cast of the play with only a moderate amount of alteration and or "re-purposing" clothing items.

 Next week we will have dress rehearsals and performances, so I've been very busy attending rehearsals and doing last-minute costume changes.

It has been very exciting to see the costumes really start to come together!

 Unfortunately, the stomach bug that the rest of us had last week finally caught up with Greg.  He spent about three straight days sleeping, but this morning he was well enough to go back to school.

 Caleb has been extremely full of energy this week... perhaps to make up for Greg being so lethargic!  He loves to run... future track star??

Friday, February 21, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 20

Last Saturday Brian and I went to the annual Valentine's Dinner.  It's a fundraiser put on by the 11th grade class at the High School.  The kids decorate and serve, but I suspect that it's the moms who do most of the cooking.

My date!

This week's post will be dominated by photos of the tree cutting, since that's the most noteworthy thing that happened.  (Plus Caleb was sick half the week, and I spent more time taking care of him than snapping pictures!)

A before shot.

Tama at work.

  I'm glad I'm not the one up there!

The cutting is going fairly slow, because the tree is surrounded by things we don't want to have smooshed.  You know, houses, carport, other trees, power lines... that sort of thing.  This means that there is lots of time spent securing large branches with ropes before cutting so that they can be directed as they fall and then lowered gently to the ground.

 And this is where we were at this morning before the guys started working, after about four and a half days of work

Greg all ready to go to school this morning.   He loves the new green shirt that came in a package from grandma.  Yes, I know that he's wearing his sharp new green polo with blue athletic shorts.  Every day, Greg's arm.. um, I mean crane, picks out his clothes.   I've decided that most days, it's not worth arguing with the crane and it's theories on clothes that match.

Caleb sees a "TRUCK!"

Friday, February 14, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 19

Happy Valentines Day!  Here is a look at our week:

Hamburger night.  This is the one night a week (when school is in session) that we have a chance to eat out in Ukarumpa.  The teens serve up hamburgers, fries, salads and milkshakes.  A lot of our friends go whenever they get the chance.  We don't attend that often, perhaps because we end up chasing our wild kids around a gymnasium-sized room for half an hour while we wait for our food.  This was the first time that we've been since we returned from furlough in August. 

We were surprised (and happy) when Tama showed up at our house one day.  We wanted to have a large tree in our yard cut down, and Tama is the only man that Brian really trusted to do the job.  Unfortunately, he hadn't been seen around in quite a while, and we didn't have a good way to get in touch with him.  Weeks ago we sent word out into the valley through some friends that we wanted to see him.  We had about given up hope when one day he showed up!  

Tomorrow Tama will come back with a friend to start cutting on the tree.  I'll try to get some good photos, as it should be quite a sight.  He can shimmy up a tree with just a hatchet and have limbs dropping exactly where he wants them - he's very good.  I am nervous though, because the tree in question is very close to our house, our neighbor's house, our carport, and a power line too.  So pray for us that everything goes smoothly!

You know that new wood stove we installed over the Christmas break?  We finally got our hands on a can of high-temperature black spray paint, and so Brian was able to paint it this week.  Here he is prepping the surface with a rub on vinegar.

And paint, at last!

Caleb being a cutie.

and another

 Greg getting down and dirty with his trucks.

Greeting dad when he gets home from work.

And this morning we had some water in our basement after a heavy rain, so my plans for a morning run were scrapped in favor of soaking up water with old towels.  This happens a few times each rainy season.  It wasn't too bad today, but it's still a hassle.  We have to keep our rugs rolled up most of the time during rainy season, just in case.  However, this week we got a new sump pump that we have ordered from Australia.  We've considered lots of different ideas over the years to deal with this problem, and we hope that a sump pump might work.  However, the installation will probably have to wait until we've finished cutting down the tree.

And last but not least, a short video clip of Greg singing his favorite Tok Pisin praise song in church.  Imagine him fidgeting in the pew, restless and bored.  Then the band starts playing this song, and he gets a huge grin on his face, stands up and belts it out as loud as he can, garnering grins from everyone sitting within a few rows of where we sit.  And then, in the quiet pause after the song is over when everyone is taking their seats again, Greg says in a voice loud enough for half the church to hear, "Mommy, it was fun that they sang Bikpela Jisas.  I like that song!"  Sorry it's so short, our internet connection is pretty slow right now!

Have a great week!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 18

I nearly forgot to post this week!  Lucky for you, I remembered…

On Saturday I attended a drama workshop with the cast of the High School play –
 The Importance of Being Earnest

These two lovely British ladies put on a proper British tea for the cast and coached them in etiquette, deportment and pronunciation.

Can’t you tell they are working hard to maintain good posture?

Brian was gone for five days this week helping to install a new generator for our center in the city of Lae.  It was hot work, but they were able to get it all working.

I asked him to bring me back some pig fat to use in sausage making and so that I could render some lard.  He walked up to the meat counter and made his request of the butcher.  "How much do you want?" asked the butcher.  "Just give me everything you have," Brian replied.  And thus he came home with six kilos (about 13lbs) of pig fat!  I rendered one crockpot full of fat (about 4lbs) this week and ended up with 2lbs of lard, but there is still a lot of chopped up fat in my freezer!

Greg has somehow convinced Caleb that pushing him around the house is a fun game.

Greg looking down through the trampoline.  I was under there taking photos of him jumping.

The boys' favorite spot in our yard, known officially as "The Dirt."

Caleb is obsessed with spotting trucks, so he likes to watch the road.

A passion fruit flower

A smile.