We're Jason, Beth, Lee Anna, Sawyer, and Sarah Claire, a family of five living, learning, and laughing lots in Northern Africa.
We hope you can learn a little (and maybe laugh a little too) as you read about our latest adventures.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What can you say? He loves his daddy.

We started noticing a trend at meal time some time last week. For the past few weeks, it seems, at some point in every meal Sawyer leans over and puts his head on my shoulder. He doesn't say anything about it. It's not necessarily when he's finished eating. We really don't know why he's doing this, but it sure is sweet.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Flood in the Desert

The other day, Jason brought the kids home from school while I was out running some errands. He walked back to the back of our flat to get something, and when he did, he heard the sound of spraying water coming from outside. He looked out the window to our back porch, and this is what he found... The entire porch under about 2 inches of water! Apparently last time he cleaned the porch, our building guard left the hose on and just turned off the sprayer, which meant that for days and days the water pressure had been building inside the hose. It finally gave way, and created a small geyser that slowly began to cover the porch with water.
We hadn't been out to the porch in several days because of the heat, so we have no idea how long that water might have been spraying into the air. Luckily, though, there's a drain in the middle of the porch, so after Jason turned off the hose, the water slowly drained itself out, leaving only a thin layer of mud behind. It was definitely less work than the time that the INSIDE of our flat flooded.

I think the highwater look works well for Jason. What do you think?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Making the Most of the Digital Age

How My Family is Getting Our Money's Worth Out of All This Newfangled Technology

Yesterday, when I wrote about my sister going off to college, I mentioned that I would have loved to have had some older pictures of her to post along with the new ones. However, because I only have the pictures I've taken with our digital camera here in our overseas home, I was limited to recent photos.

Shortly after I wrote that post, I got a phone call from my parents. Now, my parents were driving along the highways of central Florida, and I was sitting in my house in Africa, but of course, this is the Digital Age, so that's no problem. As we talked, I mentioned that I had made a photo collage but regretted not having any pictures of "little Claire" to put in it.

What do you know? My mom just happened to have a collection of pictures spanning Claire's entire life sitting at her feet. "Give me a minute," she said. "I'll just take a picture of some of these with my camera phone and email them to you." (Let me pause just a moment to say that this is, by far, the most miraculous part of this story. My mother is, at times, a bit technologically challenged. Most camera phones are not too complicated, but I will admit that I was skeptical as to whether she would actually get the picture taken and sent to me. Well, she did!)

So my mom proceeded to take pictures of the pictures and send them to me--again, from the highways of Florida to my computer in the desert on the other side of the ocean. In any other age? Impossible. But in the Digital Age? Piece of cake. Some of them didn't come out so great, considering the fact that it was a camera phone, she was in a car, and she was taking pictures of old pictures. Maybe in whatever Age comes after the Digital Age, they can figure out a solution to all that.

But, this precious one came through, and it's the most fitting one anyway.
Here's little Claire Bear all set to head to preschool and take on the world, brought straight to you from the highways of Florida to the deserts of Africa to whatever corner of the globe you happen to occupy right now.

And to think that someday my kids will probably think that I'm technologically challenged.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Claire-Bear? In College?

As hard as it is for me to believe, it's time for my little baby sister to start college. Starting today, she is a real live university student, and I'm wondering if she's not feeling more like the middle picture in this collage than anything else. I wish I had pictures going back more than 3 years to put in the collage, because we have in fact been sisters a lot longer than 3 years, but unfortunately, it's the same digital photo issue we had on our anniversary. So, it will have to suffice for you to know that I have the greatest sister ever, I love her a lot, and I'm really excited about the new adventure she's beginning today.

And this whole thing is making me feel kind of old.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Role Reversal

The kids are both taking medicine right now for colds and an ear infection, and I think it's affecting their sleeping habits a little bit. Sawyer, who is usually our please-don't-make-me-go-to-bed, toss-and-turn-for-an-hour-or-more-before-falling-asleep kid, has been konking out super early. Last night, before I even told them it was time for bed, he came and put his head down in my lap and said, "I sleepy."

Lee Anna, on the other hand, is usually asleep within minutes of her head hitting the pillow. This week, however, she's been coming to see us an hour or more after we turn off the lights, still not asleep.

Tonight we said good night around 8:30, and an hour and a half later she came out to tell me that she wants blue, white, and pink to be the colors of her birthday cake when she turns five. I told her she'll probably have to remind me, since she won't turn five until next June!

Luckily, colds don't last forever, so I'm sure they'll be back to their old ways by the end of the week.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This and That

I thought I'd post a few pictures we've taken recently. I'll comment under the photos. Sorry they're so huge! I didn't mean for them to be so big, but don't want to go back and change them all now.Here's Sawyer heading off to school one morning.
He didn't keep the hat on long, but it was cute while he did!
Cheese! Just a sweet brother/sister shot.
Sawyer will be proud of this one in about 15 years. He's wearing Lee Anna's Disney princess shoes. At least he's on the scooter--that's kind of a boyish thing, right?
One day while Daddy was gone, Lee Anna found his shirt and devised a more creative way to wear it. She was so proud that she kept it on for about a half hour waiting for him to come back.
That's my girl...
and that's my boy, complete with the everpresent koolaid moustache.

Oh, I am blessed!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Patients

Thanks to all of you who have asked about Jason's dad and aunt. They're both recovering and doing as well as can be expected today. Dad actually went to the hospital to visit Aunt Ellen this morning! Mom said it was quite an ordeal packing Dad and his crutches and wheelchair into the car and then getting them all out of the car when they got there, but they got it done. Dad and Aunt Ellen were calling each other "Stupid" and "Aunt Stupid" for both breaking their legs in preventable accidents. He has to keep his foot elevated most all the time or the pressure builds up and it hurts.

We appreciate all of your concern and prayers for the past several days. It looks like they're both going to be all right.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Injury Update

Thanks to those of you who have been lifting up Jason's Dad, or Grandpa as he is usually referred to on this blog. He finally came out of surgery at 9:00 last night and now has 9 screws and a steel plate holding his ankle together. The doctor has instructed him to keep weight off of it completely for two months. They expect it to heal correctly; it's just going to take a while. The biggest concern right now is the tremendous pain Blimp is in. Last we heard, they were going to switch him to a different pain medication, since whatever he was taking was just not cutting it. Thank you for praying.

Aunt Ellen is also sporting some new steel. She now has a titanium rod supporting her femur, which was broken in several places. She'll also have a long recovery road ahead of her, so thank you for remembering them both.

Here's a picture of Aunt Ellen from several Christmases ago (that's Lee Anna on the left, so you can tell it's been a little while!).

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Special Request

We wanted to ask those of you who read this blog to please be praying for Jason's dad, Blimp (that's him on the camel). He fell from a ladder yesterday and broke his ankle in three places. He'll be having surgery sometime later today, and will then be recovering for several months. We're very grateful that the accident wasn't worse, especially since he was using a chainsaw when he fell!

On top of that, the night before his dad's accident, Jason's Aunt Ellen also fell and broke her leg. She is in a different hospital in Jacksonville and is also scheduled to have surgery today. Jason's mom is busy moving from hospital to hospital and trying to keep all of us far-away relatives up-to-date. As you can imagine, this is hard time for Jason to be so far away, so please remember the whole family.