Monday, January 12, 2009


So, we're in Mississippi this week, visiting a supporting church, Resurrection Life. This Sunday they gave us the the whole service for children's church, both services. There were about 30 kids in the first service, and probably at least double that for the second. They were really excited to have us, and we were pretty pleased with how things turned out.

We weren't really sure what we were going to say to them, but by Sunday morning we had it figured out. Donnie really wanted to have a game for the kids, and he came up with a relay race where they had to bring cups of water to water our camels with. Camels? Really? I didn't see how we were going to construct camels in just a couple of days, but he came home and explained the idea to his dad, and they came up with a design.

Here's a "before" picture. (Kind of reminds me of craft time at the old folks' home...hehehe!) Donnie's dad drew the camels for us. I was quite impressed with how they turned out. The kids loved them, and the game was a huge hit.

One by one, they had to run up and water the camel, and the first team to empty all of their cups won. The girls were watering Sally, and the boys had Bubba.

The boys won both times...but only by one cup the second time.

This was the board I put together to leave at the church so they can remember us by. It's dispayed in their lobby.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Day at the Aquarium

I've never been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Neither had Donnie or Hama. We had the day free today so we decided to go check it out.
It was pretty cool. I think we all enjoyed ourselves. Donnie and Hama in the aviary
Me and Donnie in the aviary

In the kelp forest.

In the afternoon we took one of the guided tours, "behind the scenes". Our guide was a retired dermatologist from Louisiana named Clint. That part was really cool, you got to learn stuff that you normally would not have--like that they have astro turf at the top of the octopus' tank so that he can't sneak into the other tanks at night for a midnight snack. Who knew?

We got to look really cool with our headphones and radio transmitters (it was how we listened to our guide). It was nice that it stopped drizzling because for a portion of the tour we were outside. The only unfortunate part of the day was when we returned home, only to realize that we'd missed a whole section of the aquarium :( I guess we'll have to come back another day to catch the jellyfish.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Tea Time!

So, Friday morning we drove down to Santa Cruz to stay for a few days with the Panza's. Our friend, Hama, from Niger, is currently living with them while he is going to school here in the states. We went out to lunch today on the wharf and after we got home, took a nice long walk, and then had tea, Niger style, out in the garage.
Donnie showing Hama the GPS. He looks intrigued.

Hama making tea.

It was a little cold, actually, it was really cold outside.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

It's official...we are now homeless. New Years Eve found us cleaning our cottage and still removing piles of belongings which seem to have multiplied. Our walk through was supposed to be at 2:00, but as it turned out, I needed a few extra hours to finish up. When I was done, it was sparkling! After the walk through we vacated the premises and went to my mom's house where we're staying for two nights before we embark on our cross-country tour.

At the beginning of the evening we didn't have any plans, so I agreed to watch Madison while my sister went out. But then the Woodke's called and we're going to the Plaza. My mom wasn't home yet, I was secretly glad because I was so tired from moving that I didn't feel like going out. So Maddie and I watched a movie and were going to make brownies, but the brownies didn't happen. Maddie said she was going to stay up until midnight but she didn't quite make it.

I rung in the new year in my sleeping bag, on the couch, reading Gone With the Wind, trying to stay up until midnight. No TV, and no toast at midnight for me this year. I wished my mom Happy New Year, and then went to sleep for awhile until I was woken up by the New Year's Eve revellers coming home from their night on the town.

Finally got up this morning around 10:00. A couch has never felt so good! The past three or four nights we had been sleeping on the floor with nothing but our 2" foam mattress topper (I'd thought that there was an air mattress in the shed, but that was not the case). I have to admit, I really wasn't excited about this big trip coming up, and all of the travelling involved, but after the past couple of weeks of living in a house with dwindling furniture, and four nights of no bed, I am very much looking forward to being a guest in someone else's house! (Although still not super excited about living out of suitcases for the next six weeks.)

The living room looks so spacious when there's nothing in it.As does the kitchen.

We're done!