Friday, August 29, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 47

The photos are few this week, as I've been doing the single mom thing while Brian is away at a work conference.

This past weekend we participated in a family Bible camp held by our church here in Ukarumpa.  At the end of the weekend, five young people made the decision to be baptized, and so we gathered at the river on Sunday morning to witness.

Two girls watch their friend being baptized.

A father helps to baptize his son.

I just love the expressions of joy on the faces of father and son.

Of course, Greg couldn't wait until it was over so that he could splash in the water with the rest of the kids.  As you can see by the jackets, it was a bit on the chilly side, but that didn't seem to phase any of the kids.

On Monday we took Brian to the airstrip and waved goodbye as he flew away.  He is currently in Jakarta, Indonesia to represent our organization at a regional conference.

Brian thinks it's funny to send me photos of good food that he is getting to eat and modern shopping malls and things like that.

 Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I am enjoying a week of minimal cooking with Brian gone.  I made a big pot of soup for myself at the beginning of the week, and have been feeding the boys simple meals.  Still, we are looking forward to having him back home in a few days!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 46

Our week started off with a visit to the bouncy castle - a rare treat that was brought out for a 9th grade fundraiser.

Because of Caleb's afternoon nap, we only made it to the school in time for one 5-minute stint in the bouncy castle, but I made it up to them with some cotton candy (another treat that only comes out a few times a year)

I think he likes it.

Caleb wearing daddy's hat.

Greg's new specialty meal, the "funny bun," as he calls it.  It's a sandwich with peanut butter, jam, and ketchup.  Sounds gross to me, but I can't complain about the fact that my never-eats-protein-without-a-fuss preschooler is now regularly eating peanut butter. 

 Today Greg's preschool class had a little program to show the parents what they are learning.

 Greg and some of the other boys.

 Friday is the day when parents can come and have a picnic lunch with their kids at the primary campus.    This little boy with Greg has rapidly become his best school friend over the past month.  They are pretty inseparable.  Unfortunately, his family will be returning to Sweden while we are in the U.S. having our baby.  Who knows when they will see each other again?  Such is the life of an MK....

Friday, August 15, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 45

Hello again!  We'll start with a quick update on the bridge situation.  (See last week's post.)  The old bridge has been removed, but they had to tear up the bank considerably in order to remove it.  Some work is being done to prepare for a new bridge.

In the meantime, you have the option of crossing one of these homemade foot bridges 
(for a modest fee, of course). [photo: Adam Boyd]

How are we planning to get supplies across the river?  Check out this video below that Brian took this week.  The owners of a local coffee plantation have rigged up this "Flying Fox" in order to transport their coffee to the warehouse.  They have made an arrangement with our organization to allow us to use it for shipping our own cargo.  Brian and another man went into town to test it out this week (that's when the video was taken), and tomorrow he will be going back to town with some others to unload and transport two 10-foot containers of food that are waiting on the Kainantu side of the river.

In other "news":
 This bridge is part of a play structure at the primary school.  Racing across the bridge is a must-do activity whenever we pick up Greg from preschool.

 Caleb was helping me scout out good spots for taking portraits, as I had the opportunity to take family photos for a few friends this week.


 And this is the view from my living room, as the smell of decking oil permeates the house.  Re-finishing the porch steps and railings was another project that we really wanted to take care of before we leave.

That's all for this week!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 44

Well, the BIG news this week is that the Kingston bridge finally fell into the river.  (And did it rather spectacularly too, I might add.)

 About 7am on Wednesday (6 Aug 2014) a commercial fuel tanker attempted to cross the Kingston Bridge traveling from Kainantu towards the Aiyura Valley (where we live). While the truck was on the bridge the bridge collapsed under the load. Both the bridge and the truck fell into the river below. Reports are that the driver is okay, but we have no further information on his condition.

(bridge photos by Andrew Koens)

So what's the big deal?  Well... this bridge was kind of our only connection with the rest of the country by road.  So at the moment, we're stuck.  Thankfully, we all knew this was going to happen one day, and contingency plans have been talked about for years.  Check out this post Brian wrote over two years ago the last time that the bridge almost collapsed.

Brian and I were actually planning to drive into Kainantu that same morning to stock up on dog food and some other supplies (we can buy dog food for half the price in town), but our plans were dashed by an early-morning phone call.

All in all, our situation is not terrible.  Our store had just received a huge shipment of food, so we won't starve.  Our fuel supply is limited, and so fuel sales are being rationed, but we don't really have anywhere to drive to, now do we?  We still have our airplanes, and can fly people and supplies if needed to and from other parts of the country.  A replacement bridge has actually been purchased and just needs to be installed, although we have no idea how long that might take.  Let's just say that Brian and I aren't expecting to drive to Kainantu again before we leave for the U.S. in September.

Please pray that the new bridge would be installed quickly (and properly)!

In other, more mundane news:

The boys enjoyed splashing in their friend's backyard kiddie pool.

 Caleb came up to me one day with this bookend and said, "Look mom - chainsaw!"  He has been carving up our whole house with it this week.

 My last two weeks have been dominated by trying to paint the baby's room.   It's hard to paint with two little kids at home and a husband who, through no fault of his own, has been swamped at work and unable to help.   It's almost done - I still have to finish painting the trim and baseboards.  The old paint (top) was a peeling purple color over green.  It had to be scraped and sanded down before I could paint.  Thankfully a friend came over to help a bit with that tedious part.  I now finally have the walls painted, with a special shade I like to call "leftover paint from living room" because we're trying to do this on the cheap.  I'm going to be giddy once this silly project is done and I can get down to what this pregnant lady really wants to do: get the baby things out of the attic and set it all up for the new baby! 

 Ahh.. the brothers play so nicely together.  (Were they fighting over the "chainsaw?")  Actually, I'm pretty sure Caleb was laughing when I took this photo.  They do place nicely most of the time.

 Caleb fell in the mud yesterday when we were walking Greg to preschool.  All was well again when he discovered some big, muddy rocks to carry home though.  This boy loves rocks and sticks!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Photo Fridays: Week 43

It's August already?  This year is just flying by!  Here is what we've been up to this week:

Grandma Kathy - this board game you sent Greg for his birthday is a huge hit.  We play it multiple times daily.  And it also makes a great track for cars or trains when mom gets tired of playing and needs a break!  (It's Richard Scarry's Busytown: Eye Found It!  game, for any other moms with 4-year-olds...)

 One day this week Caleb was obsessed with having his hands in his pockets.  They pretty much stayed in there the whole day.

Sunrise from my front porch.

One day when Caleb was napping, Greg helped me scrape ice out of the freezer.  We put it in a big bowl and carried it to the front yard.  Greg had fun playing in the "snow" before it melted.

 When Caleb woke up, Greg was really bummed that he missed out on the snow, so I gave them a tray of ice cubes to play with.  That kept them entertained for quite a while too.

Caleb had to taste them, of course.

Caleb finally feels confident to really jump on the trampoline.  Sometimes he can even handle jumping with the big kids without crying.

Random leaf from the back yard. 

 These are photos I took for this week's photo theme: "together."  I actually got Greg to cooperate and voluntarily smile for the camera!  (And no, he didn't get to eat the whole stack of cookies...)

 Milk and cookies and kids do go well together, don't they?