Tuesday, October 15, 2013

One Year!

Hello Everyone!!

Ok, so i looked when the last time i had posted was...which was way too long ago! We started getting ready for school, and well here we are now.  :-) So, this is hopefully going to get you all caught up.

WE HAVE BEEN BACK FOR A WHOLE YEAR!!! Praise be to our God!  We are SO thankful to be here and SO blessed by the saints here in Sunyani.  It is kinda hard to believe that it has been a whole year.  Is it me or do the years get shorter as you get older?!  Now that we are back in school, it seems the time is just flying, yet once again. It is finally seeming like we are settled in and things are feeling like "home" again.

Ok, so to get everyone back up to speed...let's see. Back in August...Montana and Corban were able to participate in a kids' camp in Kumasi.  They came back with lots of stories of all the fun times they had.    Very glad and thankful they could be a part of it.  They loved it!

We also got a puppy the end of July. We don't really know what we are doing with a dog....we bought a book online...watched some dog whisperer episodes on youtube.  Hahahaha!! We should be good to go, right??  The reality of it is we are learning as we go...going back and reading the book some...and just trying to use good ol' plain common sense.

We added another member to our family the beginning of September. His name is Stephen Karikari.  His mother used to live with us and was a student in the Christian school here until she became pregnant with him. At which time, she came to live with us on a more permanent basis. We have know him since he was born, literally.  Stephen was born in our van and "caught" by me on the way to the hospital.  :-)  He was able to attend our  mini-camp that we had with Jonny and Jenny Reijgers and Tyson Jacobs back at the beginning of July.  Since then he has wanted to come and stay with us.  His mother agreed, and now he is living with us and attending the Christian school once again.

Much of August was spent getting ready for school to start.  We placed a pace order to South Africa, and were really contemplating how to pick up the thing as they used to send it airfreight and we would have to go to the airport and pick it up in Accra.  Things have changed, and pleasantly so!  We were a little shocked at how much shipping was, but then we found out that they would airmail it directly to Sunyani!  WOO HOO!! All we had to do was go pick it up at the post office.  Praise God!  The extra cost for shipping totally made up for the trip that was going to have to be made if shipped the way it used to be done before.  Now, you may be wondering, or not, about the pace order...since we use the same paces over and over.  There were missing paces/scorekeys...or pages from paces missing that needed replaced. Also, Steve had been doing Saxon math here before we left in 2006...the decision was made to move to Math paces...we needed all the paces that Montana was going to be in for this year. And, of course, all the learning to read paces that i would need for this year.   All that said...it has been a GREAT start to the school year!! Overall, the kids' spoken English has greatly improved as well as reading and comprehension.  We also went to an "official" school uniform this year.  There had kind of been an "unofficial" uniform of white shirts/tops with black pants/skirts.  This simple act of getting a uniform has really brought some cohesion to the school among the students and i think they feel like this is a "real" school.  You must try and understand, the Sunyani school is very small (we have 14 students) and it is VERY different than all the other schools.  So, I think, in the students minds, getting uniforms made it more like a "real" school.  :-) Hey! Whatever works! :-) Also, i think getting things like real star charts (instead of photocopies) to record their progress on tests...real goal cards (again instead of photocopies) are all making things more official in their eyes. And guess what?!  They are performing WAY better!!  They are really working at understanding what they are doing instead of just memorizing answers to pass tests.

We are now in our 8th week of the first quarter.  We will be taking a week break at the end of the quarter. This is something that Mr. Boateng and Mr. Anthony started in our absence, and everyone seems to like it.  Hey! I'm not going to complain! :-)  I mean, really, twist my arm to take a break?!  If you must...but make sure it's my left arm. LOL!!  I would really like to fill some of that time with video chatting...i already have a time or two set up... please let us know if you would like to "see" us, any of us. :-)

So, yeah, it's taken about a year to get back in the swing of things. A lot of that has just been my getting organized so that there can be less stress about things at home and can focus more on the outward things, school, studies, etc...I made a month long menu for our main meal of the day, supper (right now it has a two week cycle in it...but that still counts!).  I also have a week long schedule for breakfasts and lunches.  This alone has been HUGE in reducing stress! I mean coming home from school, i am usually pretty tired, but then to have to think about cooking lunch...and then supper was tough.  I also have been working on a chore chart(we like to call them social responsibilities).  It seems working WITH the kids instead of just having them do their stuff has been way more productive...whodathunkit?!  :-) and that time does lend itself to more opportunities to share and talk with them.  All of these together are really helping.  I know, i know...if only i had done that sooner.  It's done now, and I'm lovin' it!

One last amazing thing over the last year...we haven't gotten malaria. Not one of us.  People around us are getting it, Stephen Karikari who is now living with us, had it when he first came to live with us because he had been out in a village for a month prior.  How can this be? Very simply, we have been taking Shaklee supplements. Mainly just Nutriferon and Vitalea (multivitamin).   Now this doesn't mean that we don't get sick with a cold or something, but we rarely do, and it is very shortlived.  Imagine what Shaklee could do for you.  If you would like to try Shaklee, please email or facebook message me.  I'd love to get you started on a journey of health.  If it's working for us here where disease is rampant, it can work for you too.