Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Photo Update of our first 2 months back in Chad

It has already been close to 2 months since we left Canada and headed back to Chad. Time has flown by....but it has been a good time thus far. We are preparing for a desert Christmas which is always a bit weird for the Canadian inside of me (although can't say I miss the snow and cold at all!)....but we'll make it memorable despite the fact we'll be wearing t-shirts and flip flops and drinking ice water instead of hot chocolate! Anyways, thanks for thinking of us, praying for us and sending us your love via email and facebook. Our family Christmas gift came a bit early this year....awesome internet!!! So, we plan to be way more in touch with everyone back in Canada via facebook, blog posts and even skype!

In no particular order....these are snapshots of what we do and see on a daily basis....nothing thrilling but a good overall picture of daily life.

Evie loving her bath...a little squished but she doesn't seem to mind.

Chatting with the miracle workers at 'John the Tailor's"...
amazing what they do with a foot powered sewing machine.

Kaitlyn getting a taste of horseback riding at a local horse farm.

Lily the animal lover enjoyed every minute with her pony friend.

Evie and the Tortoise.

Reading buddies.

The MAF Crew.

Lots of people say she looks like him.

Birthday meal! Sharing an oreo milkshake
(aka chocolate milk with whipped cream on top and an oreo on top of that....
for $8. 

Baking beauties.

Josephine displaying one of her many talents.

Abdouleye and Zam enjoying a fresh catch of the day before work.
Zam is one of our guards here and his son Abdouleye does odd jobs around MAF.

Serious money maker here in HOT chad....they made $10 at the garage sale....
oh and that's 100 cfa per glass (.20) not $100! :)

MAF multi family garage sale

My good friend Susan and her daughter Audrey.

Evie smevie as we call her.

This can't be comfortable....but he beelines for it whenever its vacant!

Decorating the Christmas 'plant'. 

Evie knew exactly where to put the candy cane!

Peppermint patties anyone?

Fellowship Day with all the MAF staff.

Abdouleye and his wife Arabe and daughter Merilee
(yes, they named her after moi!)
Paparazzi Phil took this pic of me. Au naturel.

Sweet Evie, 4 months old and already cut two bottom teeth!

Whiskers getting snuggly with Kailtyn's homework.

Whiskers highjacked the bib. :)

Where Phil spent 3 nights this past a village in Eastern Chad.

Lily having a reading the doll bed. 

Phil pulling out all the stops to fix this fan for two single
 ladies living in a remote village in Eastern Chad. He told me he
was desperate enough to use the leatherman and the swiss army knife
in tandem which he said was usually a no-no! A guy thing?

Kaitlyn at her Bestie Anna's birthday party....sporting their 'high tea' hats.

Perhaps I should buckle her up from now on?
Although she seemed quite happy half in her chair and half on the floor!

Lily and Kaitlyn showing off their hats they made and the change purses
 they got from one of the ladies that Phil fixed things for during his 4 day trip out East.

Christmas crafting for Kaitlyn's school mates.
Snowman pencils.

More Christmas crafting....Monster Book Corners.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saying Goodbye....for now.

I can't believe we are leaving for Chad in 2 days......I feel like our departure date has snuck up on me! It has been an awesome whirlwind of a visit these past 6 months.....lots of friends, family, fun things to do and yummy food to eat! We have had our fill, and feel refreshed and ready to head back to our life in Chad.
The beauty of a Canadian Fall

As I type this, Phil is knee deep in suitcases, trying to make the last little things fit and not send the baggage weight over and have to pay the ridiculous fees for that! We have stocked ourselves with some things we can't buy in Chad like......yumminess from Canada (Reese peanut butter cups!!), toiletries, art supplies, clothing, some birthday and Christmas gifts, toys/books for Evie and other baby stuff that she will need, some DVD's for our Friday night movie night tradition, spices and mixes for the kitchen, books for Kaitlyn to read (she is progressing into chapter books) and a slew of other things we will need for the next two years.

We have been blessed by so many of you during our time here.....the generosity that has been shown to us has been A-MAZING! Just another reminder how God always takes care of us....our needs are fully met and we are so thankful for that.

Words cannot express how much we will miss our families and friends....but we are so thankful for the time we had with so many. Lord willing, we will be able to better connect with people via skype, facebook and blog updates (a trip to the hotel for a $6 coke and 'free' internet will be in order!).....and hope to send more pictures and even some video of our life in N'Djamena.

I better get back to helping Phil with the packing....hope I can find him in among all those suitcases!

We'll see ya'll in 2 years!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Catching up on all things Canadian

I cannot believe it is already October 1st! So much for blogging while back here in Canada.....time has just flown by and we have been busy with visiting family and friends, loving baby Evie and going to various appointments, enjoying the pleasant temperatures and taking advantage of all the parks, pool, libraries, bike paths, shopping, restaurants and other things we don't get to enjoy while in Chad. We have had an awesome 5 months here and even though we have been busy, we feel refreshed and ready to go back for the next two years. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about returning to Chad.....part of me is excited to see what life can be like over there when I am not sick or pregnant. I'm also curious to discover the various ministries and ways to reach out to the Chadian people. On the other hand, I am nervous that these next two years are going to be just as challenging as the last....and that scares me. So, it is these thoughts that I take often to the Lord, He knows how I feel and I trust that He will take care of me, all the way from Canada to Chad and during the 2 years we are spending there. No promises that things will be easier or better, I know that.....but to be able to rely on someone who never changes and promises to give us what we need each day....just knowing that gives me the peace that I need to walk this somewhat 'crazy at times' journey. One of my favorite quotes is

"Peace is not the absence of trouble, but the presence of God."

Love that quote. So true. And it is that Truth that I cling to on those "what am I doing here" kind of days.

I love Canada. We are so blessed to be Canadian and to call this country our home. Looking forward to seeing this beautiful country and our friends and family in 2 years. Don't forget about us. Love ya'll.
Lunch in the Park

Saturday, May 3, 2014

We're the land of working Internet!

We're HOME!!
Hi everyone! It has been just over a year since I last posted something on my blog....and I have missed it....sniff. I had every expectation that this blog would continue to be an 'inside' view of our lives....especially living in Chad....a new place for us and a place that is pretty much unknown to the many. Now to explain my blogging absence---one of the first discoveries when arriving in Chad was the fact that the internet just wasn't capable of allowing us to access blogs, facebook, skype and other social media that we had come to rely on for keeping in touch with our far away friends and family. So, my high hopes of continuing to share this mama's heart via my blog had to be put on hold which was super disappointing for me....I really wanted to be able to share pictures of life in N'Djamena (capital city of Chad where we live), stories of the good, bad, exciting, new, frustrating, ridiculous, sad, jaw-dropping, and eye-opening things we would experience.....but, c'est la vie.
The Welcoming Crew (plus Dad)
So, now that we are back in Canada for the next 5ish months, I will try to catch up on all that, and blog about our lives over the past year and also our upcoming time here in Canada.
We have been back for 24 hours now, and have already enjoyed some Timmy's on the drive back from the airport (on smooth roads!!). Looking forward to enjoying all things Canadian....
Oh, one more little thing before I go....the reason we are back here in Canada is that we are joyfully waiting for the birth of our 3rd little one!! Due at the end of July.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lily's 4th Birthday

In keeping with our birthday is my letter to Lily on her 4th birthday...for her to read one day when she is older....and it's a good review of her 3rd year for memory's sake.

Why am I always taken by surprise when your birthday comes around every year? When I look at you, I can't believe how grown up you are these days. You have seen a lot of change in this last year of your life, way more than the average 3 year old, and I sometimes wonder if that will have lasting've had your ups and downs Lily but since arriving in Uganda, you have been your happy, fun self which has been a relief to this mama's heart.  It is such a joy to see you grow into a loving, creative, independent, joyful little girl.....of course that is not to say we don't have our moments are so fiercely independent but sometimes, you just need help Lil.....we just need to work on the asking part! :) You are getting better at 'using your words' to resolve a conflict and putting others first (that's a hard one for even mommy!). I am excited to see how the next year will grow and shape who you are.....some things that make me smile when I remember your 3rd year are:

- Your obsession with 'baby kitty' aka a pink (now brown) lemur
- The inchworm before bed
- Seeing you sitting on the floor with a pile of books around you, 'reading' to yourself
- Hearing you belt out "go tell it on the mountain" or do the actions to "Jesus loves
 me" or "deep and wide"--you love to sing and even make up songs about random
-Your pudgy little hands completing the proper 'how to wash your hands' routine
-Your beautiful blue eyes and perfect smile that light up when you laugh (your 'pee the pants' laughter is hilarious...makes all of us laugh)
- You still love mashed potatoes (you always ask Phil to make them into a 'volcano'
 with butter and ketchup (aka lava)
- You love to help with laundry, make your bed (all by yourself) and bake with me (with lots of 'taste-testing')
- Your drawings have changed over the year.....instead of the arms coming right out of the head, you now draw a proper person, complete with cheeks (circles drawn on the cheeks) and a forehead (a line drawn above the eyes) and love to make patterns on their dresses (polka dots or rainbow stripes)
- You're still obsessed with swinging.....but you are almost ready to pump yourself....I might be out of a job soon!  We also have the best chats while you are just talk and talk and talk....I say the occasional 'ya' and 'uh-huh' but mostly I just listen to you share your heart with me
- Swimming is a highlight for like to wear goggles when you do your 'dolphin dives' in the baby pool and have graduated to doing dives (aka belly flops) in the big pool with your water wings on....and you have been practising hard on your floats and front crawl'll be swimming with Kaitlyn in no time!
- Sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night and want to sleep with Phil and I....I'm going to cherish that while it lasts
- You LOVE Kaitlyn, she is your bestest friend and from the moment you wake up to the moment you close your little eyes, you two are playing together, imagining, creating, pretending, giggling, sometimes fighting and frustrating each other but usually loving each other's company.....we are so thankful for 2 little girls who get along so well
-You still don't really care about what you wear (unlike Kaitlyn who has at least 3 outfits changes before lunch) although sometimes you exercise your will and choose a certain outfit or dress
- You are into baseball these days and have your 'stance' never seem to give up even when you have 'swung and missed' like 20 times in a row....bad pitching from mom right? :) When you do hit the ball...your face lights up and you are that much more determined to do better the next time.....your 'never giving up' attitude is going to come in handy a lot in the future
-You are so good about being quiet when you wake up before anyone else.....reading books or playing quietly until Kaitlyn wakes up or until your tummy tells you it's time for breakfast
-You are officially OUT OF DIAPERS!!! and have done so well at night when we have to wake you up to go pee.....before you used to really dislike being moved in the night....but seem to understand it has a purpose
- You have started seeing other kids as potential friends.....the other day on the swing you met a little girl and actually uttered the words "maybe we could be friends"! It was music to this social mama's heart!
-You love your daddy and always run out to wave him off when he leaves for work and when you hear the beep at the gate, you and Kaitlyn run out to wave him in
- You love taking baths, practicing your floats and bubbles, and playing with the little people
- Your sweet prayers at the end of the day.....praying about the things most important to, those in need, our hearts to be changed and.....your blankie :)

Lily, I love who you are, and who you are becoming and I pray that you will continue to trust in our never-changing, always present God who will be with you no matter where you are.  When things are crazy around you, when you have to make new friends (again), when you are learning to speak a new language, when you are living in a new country/house/place for the 4th time in a year,....just know that you can place your confidence in the One who designed you, the One who created you for a very special purpose Lily......I feel so blessed to be able to walk this life with you.

I will love you for always, my special little Lily.

The Birthday Girl

Ariel Treasure Hunt

Lily means 'pure'

Another Phil Henderson Masterpiece :)

LOVED her cake!


Thank you pinterest!

Bubblegum from the ice cream

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bangers and Mash

With all the transition in January and early February....I didn't ever get around to writing about our time in England....
After packing and shipping CRAZINESS and lots of good-byes, we found ourselves at Pearson airport checking in our 8 duffel bags and giving last minute hugs to our families. We were actually leaving Canada. It was very surreal....but even though we were saying good bye to our families knowing we wouldn't see them for at least 2.5 years, excitement dominated our emotions and fortunately for me, that means I wasn't crying like a baby while going through customs. The overnight flight to England went better then I expected with the kids, I parked myself in the middle seat and after a late night meal, several storybooks and some tickling, the girls were fast asleep on either side of me, heads on my lap. We were scheduled to land in England at 7am England time (2 am Ontario time) and needless to say, I watched the whole plane have some shut-eye. Fun times. It was just me and the parents with the crying baby that stayed awake with the flight crew. Oh well, I knew that I would be able to sleep once we arrived at Ashbourne Place.
We managed to find all our bags and did some serious people watching while we waited for our ride to where the MAF training course was. The next two hours were a blur as I was desperate to close my eyes and sleep, when we arrived, I beelined for the couch and conked out. Phil woke me up half an hour later to bring me to our room and then I slept for the next 5 hours til dinnertime. We had a nice dinner (everything tastes so good when I am not the one making it!) and got a chance to explore the 'castle' a little bit. This English estate was from the 1700's and was as English as you can get with winter gardens, fire places in every room, floor to ceiling windows with wooden shutters, 20 foot ceilings that boasted elaborate designs, stone statues, greenhouse, and an old (not used anymore) dairy and butchery among many other breathtaking details. What a priviledge to have stayed there for 2 weeks.....Phil's mom (who came along to watch the girls while we were in training) was in 'British heaven' with all the history, architechture and ambiance of old England. She was just as glad to be there as we were of her!! The kids had a blast with 'Gramma' for those 2 weeks. While we learned about cultural differences, secuity measures, and lots more to prepare us for entering a new culture, the kids painted, hiked, played, went on treasure hunts, read books and had lots of quality time with grandma.  The two weeks in England flew by with just one short day when we were able to take several modes of public transportation (double-decker bus, trains, taxi) and saw Buckingham Palace, Hamley's Toy Store and various sights around London. The next day we were scheduled to fly to Uganda, say good-bye to Mom and leave for real. Again, we were excited and looking forward to just 'getting there'. The flight with British Airways was nice, and we made sure to enjoy the movies, food, drinks and the perfect air temperature....we flew in around 10:30pm Uganda time and were met by a fellow MAF pilot who ushered us past the looooooong customs line (2 planes worth of people) right up to the front (wearing a uniform gets you far here!) and within 10 minutes we were through customs, and loading our bags into the car. By midnight we were in our new home, and were welcomed by our cupboards stocked with necessities, beds made (complete with bug nets) and even a nice bouquet of flowers and some welcome cards. After a long day of travel, we really appreciated coming 'home' to those things. We crashed in our beds and I slept my first sleep under the African moon.
Here are some pics from our time in England....sorry, they are out of order....not a techy like Phil. :)

Our set-up for MAF training in England

The MAF crew

What else do you do when cardboard boxes are in abundance?
Make a bus of course!

Our farewell 

Paddington Bear made this one famous!

Almost asleep....

This is the closest we got to the Royals.

Very cool tree.

This is just very English....don't you think?

Ashbourne Place - where we had our MAF training.
(aka "The Castle")

Phil's picture taking talents....

The church we attended while at Ashbourne Place

Love this.

A little pub we had lunch at when in the town of Battle.

I just had to get a pic of one of these!

Buckingham Palace!

We're in an 'old school' London Taxi!!

I'm still traumatized about this....
Getting the 'sillies' out before the long flight