Friday, July 3, 2015

Photo Friday [91]

This week:

Caleb is having a really rough week injury-wise.  Saturday he fell off a bed and got a cut in his scalp that required stitches (yes... again!!), but only three this time.  Then a few days later he tripped on the stairs and scraped his nose and lip up on the concrete.  The following day he slammed his fingers into the door of the truck!  But as you can see, he is taking it all in stride!

 Sunday Skype chat with Brian's parents (if you look close you can see Greg taking the photo).

Greg has really gotten into vacuuming this week.   I had to set a time limit for how long he could use it.  Of course, he was mostly trying to suck up ants, but my floor did get a little cleaner in the process.

 And here is the rest of our clean-up crew.  She happily gobbles up whatever is left on her brother's plates after a meal.

 Greg didn't like it when I told him that his scraped knee didn't merit a Band-Aid.  This is what I found later on... I think he put on six.


Watching a new power pole go up across the street.  This is part of an extensive upgrade of our center-wide electrical system which Brian has been heavily involved in (the planning that is, not the actual work).  The whole project has been dominating dinnertime conversations for months, so it's nice to see something tangible starting to come of it!  (Brian would give you tons of technical details about the project, but he's not the one writing this blog, is he?)

 We sat at the end of the driveway and watched too.

 Flowers are starting to bloom in my new flower bed!

And Brian left yesterday on yet another trip to the far corners of PNG.  This time he is off to a Bible dedication celebration on Sudest island.  Though I do envy his chance to see new places, I don't envy him the 10+ hour boat ride he will take today to reach the island.  He told me on the phone last night that the boat may be a bit more crowded than they expected, as they will only have one boat instead of the expected two.  They may have around 30 people riding on a boat that Brian says will fit "8 or 9 expats comfortably."  It's within the safety regulations and they aren't overloading the boat dangerously or anything.  It'll just be... well, cozy.

We went out to the airstrip just after 6am.  We were thankful that skies were pretty clear and it wasn't foggy.

 Watching Daddy board the plane.

While Brian is gone I've got evenings to myself.  Last night I sewed up this dress for Kate.  I can't believe that I finally have a little girl to sew for, and yet this is the first dress I've made for her.  (Maybe it's the fact that I was pretty overwhelmed with the whole parenting three kids thing for the first six months...)

'Till next week!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Photo Friday [90]

Baby girl has a voice and she likes to use it - especially when she is outdoors.  Get this girl out in the sunshine and fresh air and suddenly she's got a lot to say!

And she's 7 months old now!

 Father's Day photo.  My kids have one great dad, don't you think?

 One rainy day when the boys imaginations needed a little shove in the right direction I hung a sheet over Caleb's bed to make a tent.  Actually, they later informed me, it was an old mine, where the engines were searching for long lost treasure.

 The boys have been talking about "jam tarts" ever since they saw an episode of a cartoon that featured them.  So this week we made some.

One last shot of this cutie.

That's all for this week!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Photo Friday [89]

This week is "Cry Week" in Ukarumpa - the week after graduation when many families, especially those of graduating 12th graders, leave Ukarumpa for furlough.  It's called cry week because every morning there is usually an emotional crowd out at the airstrip as many of the teenagers say goodbye to their classmates, unsure of if or when they might see each other again as they scatter across the globe.

 When it comes to goodbyes, I would have to say that Brian and I fall in to the "avoidance" category.  We would rather not make a big deal out of goodbyes.  We don't usually go out to the airstrip to see people off.  We're more likely to casually talk to the person who is leaving a week beforehand and leave it with a "I'll probably see you again before you go..." even if you don't really know that you will see them again.  Whether or not that is a healthy long-term strategy remains to be seen.  So at our house, the only crying has been of the normal "household with small children" type.

Greg finished up preschool with a little class program for the parents.  Can't believe he'll be starting Kindergarten in a month!

The boys needed a new building site, having already exhausted all of the dirt areas around our house.  We took them to the playground to play in the sand box, and they found some friends already there.

 Kate happily sat on a blanket while Brian and I read books.

Someone needs a bath... (this is pretty typical.)

 Since the weather has been mostly dreary, we've had to find some new things to do inside.  When we brought out the Uno cards I was surprised and delighted to find that Caleb can actually play with us now, having a good grasp on his colors and numbers.  (The bigger surprise was that he was actually willing to play by the rules!)

This kitchen gadget is meant to slice hard-boiled eggs, but it rarely gets used for that purpose in our house.  Instead, it's Caleb's favorite instrument.  He loves to strum on the wires as he makes up little ditties about whatever pops into his head.

Until next week!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Photo Friday [88]

I'm pretty sure this is the first time our little girl has worn socks since we left the US at the end of January.  We're starting to get some chilly mornings up here in the mountains.  Dry season is upon us!

Dry season, oddly enough, often means grey, cold, drizzly days.  It's unfortunate that the most cloudy and foggy time of year coincides with the busiest time for our pilots.  It's the end of the school term, which means lots of families are leaving for furlough (or leaving "finish") in the next few weeks.  So the flight schedules are packed, and lots of people will be out at the airstrip early in the morning, anxiously watching the sky, hoping that the fog will lift in time for their plane to leave to take them to the capitol city and onward to an international destination.

To complicate travel matters, a missionary guesthouse in Port Moresby that many of our people use (because to stay at a regular hotel in the capitol is very expensive) experienced an electrical fire this week and has had to close until repairs can be made.  Imagine a bunch of people, already stressed by end-of-school-year craziness, packing up one life here in Papua New Guinea and making arrangements for another life in their home country, having to suddenly change their travel plans.  There are a lot of missionary families who could use your prayers in the next week or two, as they face transition, a necessary evil in our line of work.  It makes me glad that we, Lord willing, will be staying put for another two years!

For those of us who aren't leaving, we have more normal things to occupy us. 

Greg anxiously awaited his friend's birthday party all week.  Greg is among the last of his classmates to turn five.  He has been talking about his birthday (next month) for quite a while now, and has been inviting people left and right to his party (often without consulting his mother first, who has yet to plan said party...)

 At the party, swords made from cardboard tubes that held LED light bulbs were a big hit.

 Gina the hen is back to laying again.  I'm ready for one of the younger hens to start laying soon, because I'm tired of keeping track of whose turn it's supposed to be to collect the egg!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Photo Friday [87]

This week:

 Kate started sitting!  Initially, she had the protection of a concerned older brother, should she decide to fall backwards...

 ...but within a day or two she was sitting like a champ all on her own.

And sitting really shows off those knee rolls to their best advantage.  Gotta love chubby baby legs!

 This pretty moth hung out on our porch all morning, until I made the mistake of pointing it out to the boys, whereupon it immediately thought it prudent to move to another location.

 The flower bed has been the site of a massive construction project this week: multiple skyscrapers, a post office, and who knows what else.  Greg is the foreman, of course.  He even drew up his own set of plans for the project.

 After getting so dirty, all those vehicles needed a trip to the car wash.

And I experimented with taking pictures of smoke.... just because I could.  (That's incense, by the way, not a cigarette!)

Friday, May 29, 2015

Photo Friday [86]

The weather is a changin' here in Papua New Guinea.  We've gone from very very hot weather to cold nights and wet, drizzly days.

But little boys are not made to stay indoors all day, and so we brought out the rain jackets.

 This week also brought major problems with one of the backup generators that powers our center when (not if) the national power supply goes out.  Our house was one of the lucky (?) ones to be without power from around 4pm until 9 the next morning.   Brian helped with a temporary fix that is currently keeping the lights on while they work on ordering a new crank shaft from Australia or the U.S.  Until then, we are praying that the national power stays on!

 Tonight is Banquet - probably the biggest event at the end of the school year.  It's a special dinner for the 11th and 12th graders.  The parents of the graduating class always put together a play poking fun at and celebrating their kids.  The Teen Center building is transformed and decorated with a very top secret theme.  I'm not directly involved with Banquet this year, but I have been doing my part by doing alterations for a few of the students on their dresses and pants.

Our neighbors gifted us a very large lettuce!

 Gina, despite my original misgivings, has been on an impressive egg-laying spree the past two weeks, but now she has gone broody.  Since our hens have no access to a rooster, it's an exercise in futility for her to try to hatch any eggs, and I've been trying to break her mood.  She's not a happy chicken right now.

 It's been a long time since the boys have played in their dirt spot under the front of the house, but this week the construction work has resumed.

 I found a great price on cream cheese at one of the stores in Kainantu, and so I made cream cheese Danish for our Bible study group last night.

Caleb was very excited to have a friend over to play this morning.

That's all for this week!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Photo Friday [85]

As you may remember from last week's post, last weekend was Sports Day here in Ukarumpa.  Friday afternoon there was a fair amount of rain, and so on Saturday it looked like this around the bleachers:

 The field was much the same, so many of the athletes elected to compete barefoot.

 Cooling off with an ice pop.

We waited around all day for Greg's relay race.  These two took a little nap in the shade.

Greg racing toward the finish line with his friend and teammate running alongside to encourage him.

 Yes, my son insisted on running in his Crocs.  He lost one just before the finish line.  He was the last one over the finish line in his heat, but he didn't mind.  I think he really enjoyed getting to run in front of an audience.

I woke one morning to a jaw-dropping sunrise.  Of course, in the two minutes it took me to grab my camera and step outside, it had turned into just a pretty sunrise.  Since we're so close to the equator here, the sun rises and sets pretty rapidly, which means brief sunrises and sunsets.  Really pretty ones are much rarer here than they are in the States.

Six months old!  This week she discovered consonants, so we've been hearing a lot of da-da-da and ga-ga-ga.

Until next Friday...