Friday, July 31, 2009

Picnicking Emma Grace Style

This is what an impromptu picnic organized by my little girl looks like...

picnic basket

crackers
Her choices of food in her little pink basket.

monkey acting

monkeyiness
Acting like a monkey.

joshua

isabelle
Lots of friends.

joshua's flower

emma grace's flower
Flowers for everyone (oh, and green nails painted with markers!)

knitting a purse
A knitting project for mommy.

sun shining
Lots of sunlight.

kisses
And lots of love!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Birthday Crafting :: Final Round

Well, for July anyways! The needles have been my nightly pastime this month. Of course, I didn't mind. It gave me the chance to try some new patterns that have been on the waiting list for some time. Including Rae's birthday gift, the Peaked Cap by Elle. Unfortunately I couldn't find this pattern online. It is found on a poster given to me by the lady at my favorite knitting shop! Isn't it cute!?

peaked cap

side shot

August is quiet for birthdays (only mine :)) but September is full of fun! Here's a sneak peak of what I'm working on for September birthday festivities...

sassy frass purse

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tender Treasure :: The Sifumdza Family

mom with kids

We drove as far as we could to visit the Sifumdza family. When the road stopped, the hike began up the mountain to a little wooden house at the top. Initially, upon seeing the house, I didn't think it looked so bad. But as I heard her story and looked inside the little wooden dwelling, my heart broke.

house

You will have to imagine their living situation through my words, as I couldn't bear to take photos of the place they called home. Sunlight shining through the cracks in the walls and roof. Barely any food on the small table in their living/bedroom. Mattresses on the floor to sleep this family of four. I could tell life was tough for this sweet family.

daughter

Originally from Swaziland, Ncobile, met her husband and found a home here in S. Africa. While pregnant with their 3rd child, her husband left her, alone and without an income to feed her precious children.

looking

The Kabokweni volunteers discovered her situation when her children, Simphiwe and Lando, started coming to the drop-in center. Elizabeth now tries to help her out with food. I've seen Ncobile, with 2 month old Hendrikah strapped to her back, at the drop-in center cooking the food for the kids. This precious woman is thankful for the help she has received and wants to give back!

kids

Please pray for this family. Pray that God would continue to provide food for them. There's already love flowing freely, but pray that this family would have an adequate dwelling, keeping them safe and warm from the weather elements.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ministry Reflections

cooking on the fire

The other day I noticed that most of my posts lately have had the label "ministry" attached to them. I want this blog to reflect my life, and "ministry" is definitely a part of my life. I try to blog about several aspects of my life and not just the ministry side, but there's been so much to write about lately! It makes me sit back and say, "Wow! God you are doing something here!"

circle of fun

Sometimes, no, actually many times, you look around and get overwhelmed with the number of orphans who need care and all the work that needs to be done. If you're not careful, you end up doing nothing. We always tell ourselves that we must do what we can, even if it's one child at a time.

kicking the ball

And then we get these moments where we sit back, and realize God is doing so much through willing hearts! Just 2 weeks ago, we started feeding about 85 children in a community called Dwaleni. We had a team here from the states who brought the Gospel message through drama and dance. Not only did they receive physical nourishment but they received spiritual nourishment!

sin...do not touch

In just 2 years of living here, feeding programs are going strong in 3 communities, reaching around 300 kids weekly. One child at a time...growing to hundreds...and thousands...

Praise be to Jesus!


Monday, July 27, 2009

Random Staff Shots

One of my favorite things to do when I'm in photography mode is to take random photos without the person ever knowing it. You capture so much more heart and expression! I'm unofficially the TTH photographer now (just takes a quality camera and a willingness!) The fun thing for me is I get to go and visit and the projects and snap away. It's so relaxing and enjoyable for me! I've also used this opportunity to take photos of our staff in action. These are some of my favorites.

Amanda was having lots of fun spinning this little girl around.
twirling around

Mangaliso, throwing this little girl in the air.
fun and laughter

Ryan, studying this boy, as he studied Ryan's necklace.
studying

Brittany, bringing smiles and laughter to little Khethiwe.
creating smiles

Sweet little, Zoe, brings smiles to this little boy's face.
sweet interaction

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chocolate Florentines

chocolate florentine

Tried a new dessert for dinner guests. Risky, I know but they were so good with a good cup o' joe! This recipe comes courtesy of my Nestle recipe book!

2/3 cup butter
2 cups oats
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups milk or dark chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Melt butter in saucepan; remove from heat. Stir in oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk, vanilla, and salt; mix well. Drop by level teaspoon onto baking sheets. Spread thinly with rubber spatula.

Bake for 6-8 min. or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Peel cookies from foil.

Microwave chocolate in microwave in 10 to 20 second intervals until melted. Spread thin layer of chocolate onto flat side of cookie. Top with another cookie to make a sandwich.

**This is the recipe with my modifications. I used dark chocolate instead of milk and they were delicious! The first batch I cooked just on the foil, like the directions said, and they stuck. So I decided to spray the foil and they came right off. And make sure you spread the cookies really thin. These are awesome!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It's Called Bonding...Family Bonding

Girls on an adventure...

explorers

What did Aunt Anneke let them watch??

scary??

Footed pajamas are so fun!

pajama girls

When you don't have a bathtub...

bathtime

Reading with Bigfoot, otherwise known as Daddy.

reading with big foot

**I can only take credit for taking the last photo, but I think the others are so cute!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Holy Smokes!

Batman lotht a tooth!

holy smokes!

!!*@$!*&%@!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

All Kinds Of Adventures

roots

A beautiful sunny afternoon, sitting on the grass with Anneke as the kids laughed and played outside, commenting on how Zoe has seemed to grow up overnight.

drainage ditch

arielle

walking through the roots

I hear my name but don't see the youngsters. As the sound grows louder, I see them walking up the newly dug drainage ditch. They convince me to follow them on this adventure in the dirt, through the roots. Along the way, Joshua swears he hears a snake and decides this adventure is over. So began the next one that warranted this...

all bandaged up

As I'm standing in the sun's rays, Joshua runs up screaming, his hand covering the right side of his head. "What happened?" Through tears and explanations, I see that the right side of his head is covered in blood. We quickly go and rinse off the blood. Jeremy and I make a decision to take him to our doctor. Almost closing time, but she graciously agrees to see us. Joshua was beyond relief when she decided against stitches. A butterfly plaster and a bandage (a bit dramatic, she admitted, but necessary to keep it in place overnight) and we were good to go! The next morning it looked like it was healing nicely. And Joshua had a cool head wound to show his friends!

the wound

I'm actually thankful that we haven't had any broken bones or stitches or anything. I know with a boy it's inevitable, but for now I'm thankful for that clean bill of health!



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