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Showing posts from August, 2014

Reading Aloud

Both John and I grew up in families that loved books.  We passed that love on to our kids.  One of the most enjoyable things I did with our children when they were young was read to them.  Of course, there were the books they ALWAYS chose which we had memorized and which sometimes got old.  

As they got older we continued reading aloud.  The home-school curriculum we used (Sonlight) even included read-aloud books.  Since Niger has a siesta culture, every afternoon after lunch we would lie down as a family in the coolest spot we could find and read their read-aloud book.  We'd all listen and enjoyed almost all the books.

When I was a teacher one of the favorite times of the day for the students was when I read aloud to them.  I remember that being a favorite time for myself as a child as well.

What are the advantages to reading aloud and especially to young children? In an interview with Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, which I must admit I've not read,  he gives t…

Baby Quilt for Tera

I got Tera's quilt pieced together in Niger, but waited to finish it when I got to the USA.  I needed to get batting and I wanted to buy binding.  I've made my own before, but it's a lot of work!

Last weekend I finally got around to buying what I needed....I'm not really a procrastinator, though some would argue with that.  I've just been kind of busy cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and spending time with a certain adorable baby.  

So this week I finally got it all put together.  I had some issues with the bobbin on Suzanne's machine.  She said she's happy to know it isn't just her who has problems with it!  So some of the stitching on the back isn't quite right and I had to completely pull out one row of stitching. 
 I just quilted it "in the ditch" but used a fancier stitch.  Then I machine stitched one side of the binding and hand-stitched the other.

I think the yellow binding finishes it off perfectly.  I'm pleased with how it turned…

On Being Grandparents

Probably each of us have fond memories of our grandparents.  I may have fewer memories of my grandparents than some people have because I lived in Nigeria most of my life until I was 10.  My Grandpa and Grandma Gay truly loved each of their grandchildren.  Grandpa was the kind of grandpa who played with his grandkids.  He had a model train in the basement complete with mountains, towns, lights, whistles, train stations, trees, etc.  He'd sit us on his lap when he watched TV and showed us how to shoot paper wads with rubber bands at the bad guys on his favorite westerns.  We'd comb what little bit of hair he had and all the grandkids fought over who would sit by Grandpa at the table.  He said he needed a round table with a hole in the middle.  He'd sit in the hole and the kids could sit around the table and everybody would be next to Grandpa.  Grandma Gay was a great cook and spoiled us with all her home-made cooking.  Sadly Grandpa Gay died when I was 10.
 I was kind of sca…

She's Here!

Tuesday night we left Niger on Turkish Air.  I slept (fitfully) pretty much from Niger to Burkina Faso where we let off passengers and picked up more to Turkey.  It was an overnight flight.  We had a few hours in Istanbul Airport, so I got a cup of tea and a croissant for breakfast.  
Our flight from Istanbul to Washington DC was ok, just very long.  I slept a bit and watched four movies.  

Daniel and Kelly met us at the airport and we had a good evening and next day with them.  Daniel stayed home from work and Kelly hadn't started her fall teaching schedule yet, so it was nice to just hang out with them all day.

 In the late afternoon we went to a park near Reagan Airport and watched the planes taking off.

Just as we arrived at the park, Suzanne called and said she thought she was in labor.  Then just a little later (around 5:30) she called again and said her water broke.  So we went home, ate supper, packed, and hit the road.  By then rush hour was over and we drove through the nig…

Rental House with Furniture

The day before we left Niger for our vacation, we worked on moving furniture into the house we had rented and had renovated.  By "we" I mean my friend, Beka, and a lot of staff from Sahel Academy.  So here are some photos showing the move and how it looks with furniture.  Unfortunately we didn't get as far as hanging curtains that day, making bed, etc., so I can't show you any photos of the final, final product.

Moving in the furniture:

Washing and putting away dishes.  We'll get more cupboards in the kitchen.

Hanging curtain rods.

Working on the master bedroom.

The living room looking from the kitchen door.  We decided to put the fridge in the dining room/living room right next to the kitchen.  If we put it in the kitchen it would have to be right up against a wall and would overheat with no air flow.

Living room looking towards front door.

Looking towards the kitchen....the dining room area.

The front of the house.  The owner has planted mango, citrus, and moringa tree…

House Repairs

If you follow my blog, you probably remember the post I did here on house hunting.  You may wonder if we took that house or not.  Well, yes we did.  And God has really blessed us by giving us an amazing landlord who has done everything we asked and more.

Here are some before and after pictures.  The kitchen before.  A bit like a cave, don't you think?

When my co-worker, Beka, brought her husband along to see the house, he had the brilliant idea of knocking out the wall between the living room and the kitchen.  It doesn't make the kitchen any's still a small kitchen, but it gives it more light and air.  They also added a small window and a door that can be opened for extra light (the door in this picture would normally be closed as it will be a screen door). The landlord also added a sink and a bit of a bench.  We'll have to add in cupboards....that's not standard in kitchens here.  He also added a second light fixture and about five outlets.

And here is a…