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Photo Friday: Seafood

This was a slow photo week in MA so I’ve decided to share photos from our  5-week stay in a PNG village back in the beginning of 2013.  We were so happy to have an ocean allocation, especially Connor!ocean25We lived there in a traditional PNG-style house with no running water or electricity.  Connor didn’t love a lot about our village living, but what he did love was being so close to the water!  We could hear the ocean crashing as we fell asleep at night and we could eat seafood.

Many people have asked the kids what they liked to eat in PNG and Connor proudly says “fish eye ball”.  It’s true!  Our boy who has to be talked into eating any meat that’s not plain chicken, a hot dog or burger actually ate many fish eye balls during our village living!  I don’t have photos of him eating eye balls, but in addition to fish eye ball he was willing to try almost anything that came out of the ocean.  Since then he hasn’t been as excited about seafood so it must have had something to do with while in the village eat like the villagers.ocean34 ocean24 ocean21Makenna was very adventurous during these 5 weeks too!  She ate octopus that was given to her for her 7th birthday!  Although I also ate it, I let my kind lady friend help pound it with large rocks to tenderise it.  ocean33Although Makenna did not eat the snail below (even though the kids gave it to her to eat), both kids tried crab.  I called it soft shelled crab but Josh said it was just a small crab that they told us to eat with the shell on and it was definitely crunchy.ocean31 ocean15

Many people from the village spent time each day fishing.  They are blessed to have the protein of the sea.  For those that live further from the ocean, protein is much harder to find and much more infrequent in their diets.

Hiking in PNG

I’m in the process of going through our photographs from PNG and organizing them. Since Internet was so costly in PNG, I know there are many photos we never shared. So, as I’m reminiscing I’m going to share more photos.  I’ll start with photos from the weekly hikes we took during the Pacific Orientation Course (POC).   As I sit here almost 33 weeks pregnant and walking around the grocery store is usually the most exercise I’m getting, it’s funny to think of the strenuous hikes through the bush of PNG!

Our first hike was a “community hike” where we hiked with our school-aged children. Connor said he was sad to stay back in the nursery but there is no way he would’ve wanted to move his little legs as much as we did. Makenna was a real trooper and in the weeks following that hike she took weekly hikes with the other kids.blog2 blog3 blog6

We hiked through dense foliage.

hike hike3 hike4 hike8 hike11 hike14 hike16

We hiked through water.hike17hike6

We hiked through mud (my least favourite hikes!).Muddy Shoes

We went on a 3-day hike and carried all we needed on our backs.3DayHikeSarah3DayHikeJosh

Our hikes were a highlight for us at POC!  It was nice to get out of the classroom and explore the beauty God created in PNG.  It was also fun to start feeling more in shape and notice we weren’t breathing as heavy on subsequent hikes as the weeks progressed!

Photo Friday #40

Our weeks have started to fill up with seemingly normal American activities:  soccer, class trips, choosing which grocery store to go too (what a luxury!), etc.  Josh is coaching Connor’s soccer team and we’re at the soccer field twice a week. These are some of Connor’s favorite days!  It combines two of his biggest loves:  Daddy and Soccer!

Josh & ConnorKickSoccer Pose

There was a Jamboree Saturday to kick off the fall soccer season.  Connor ran in the “fun run”, but chose to run without his shoes.  I blame that on his time in PNG.  Shoes are optional most places and most kids even at the high school level run track barefoot.Run Soccer Metal

Makenna has something called “Creative Design” in her class at school. She gets the choice of various activities like sewing, legos, arts and crafts and origami. Here’s a photo of her working on sewing a sock puppet next to her cousin.CreativeDesign

Makenna is learning about the events leading up to American Independence in school. She had fun during a class trip to the Boston Tea Party Museum this week.blogblog2

I’m 31 weeks pregnant. 9 weeks to go!

31 Weeks

Photo Friday #39

Well who would have thought we had to come to Massachusetts to sweat, but this last week has been hot!  The kids insisted they wanted to go to West End Creamery (a place they remembered from last time we lived here) last weekend so we went just long enough to play one round of mini-golf and cool off with some ice cream.  You’d think we would be used to the heat, but it feels hotter and definitely more humid than we’re used to in the highlands of PNG.  Ukarumpa is at 5,000 feet and we enjoy much cooler temperatures there than the low lands.West End CreameryConnor Golfing 3 Golfers

Makenna has been enjoying wearing all of the “new” clothes she was given.Outfit

Makenna has also been learning to ride a bicycle someone gave us.  Actually, we were blessed with a 2nd bike this week so now we have one for each of the kids!  People have been so generous with us.  A friend also dropped off some sports equipment. Connor’s been sitting back and watching Makenna ride bikes, but he picked up the bat and ball right away to play with Josh.Bike2 Bike1

After being in the U.S. 7 weeks, I finally opened my first bag of flour and container of yeast.  Makenna has been sweet talking me and telling me that she really likes the pizza I make the best.  Really?  The dough I bought at Trader Joe’s isn’t as good as mine?  I usually bought 11+ pound bags of flour in PNG and went through it really fast.  I think the 5 pound bag I bought here will last me a while!  I bought tortillas instead of making them, and I think they taste just fine.  Although, maybe when it’s not so hot I’ll start baking again.  It’s not that it’s that hard.  I know many of you might be making your own pizza dough too.  I’ve just been enjoying a little break!

Pizza Dough

Photo Friday- First Day of School

The big news for the week is the kids started school Monday!  They both love their teachers and look forward to going each day which is a huge blessing!  1st DayConnors Class Kennas Class

We’ve also been busy getting things done to make our move to Massachusetts official.  We waited at Registry of Motor Vehicles and got license plates for the van and got it inspected.  Next to get new drivers’ licenses and start getting us all to the doctor and dentist!  Fun stuff!Plates

Josh is in Greenbay, Wisconsin for Pacific area meetings.

Josh

I got to go to the kids’ school today to help Makenna and her classmates do a nature scavenger hunt on the school property.  I stayed for their picnic lunch and was able to snap this photo of Makenna and her cousin eating lunch together.  They’ve been happy to be reunited!

Picnic

Photo Friday- Bee Thankful

Our kids’ first day at Whitinsville Christian School (WCS) is Monday. WCS has a theme for every school year. This year’s theme is “Bee Thankful Always”. This goes right along with how we are feeling right now. We always have so much to be thankful for, but we’ve been especially thankful during our transition from PNG to the USA.

Whitinsville Christian School's Annual Theme

Whitinsville Christian School’s Annual Theme

These are just some of the things we’re thankful for…

• The churches and individuals that continue to partner with us in our ministry with Wycliffe and The Seed Company. Josh & I will continue this work over the next year and we still need your partnership. Josh will travel to Texas and Papua New Guinea several times over the year as well.

• From what we’re heard, most missionaries spend about a year planning for furlough. We ended up pulling ours together with many prayers and help in 4 months.

• Friends in PNG helped us pack, care for our kids and fed us.

Some of our friends in PNG

Some of our friends in PNG

• Friends and family researched housing, school and vehicle options for us in NC, NJ & MA.

• We had 6 flights to get us from Ukarumpa to New Jersey and didn’t have any major problems with any of them! The kids even enjoyed most of our trip!

Flight #2

Flight #2

• We were given a mini-van (it has 230,000+ miles on it so please pray it keeps running for a year).

Our van and the moving truck we needed to haul all the things people blessed us with

Our van and the moving truck we needed to haul all the things people blessed us with

• We’re living in a furnished apartment with low rent that’s also close to Josh’s sister and parents (with a dishwasher!).

Our Apartment in Uxbridge, MA

Our Apartment in Uxbridge, MA

• Our kids are able attend the same Christian school that Makenna attended for Kindergarten. Kids from Makenna’s kindergarten class have been writing to her in PNG so they haven’t forgotten her.

Friends from WCS sent our kids cards while we were in PNG

Friends from WCS sent our kids cards while we were in PNG

• Josh’s mother and sister cleaned our apartment and stocked it with some items to get us started.

• Our landlord got a bed set up for Josh & I and made it with linens so we wouldn’t have to worry about that our first night.

• Josh’s parents had our kids sleepover our first few nights which helped us get some unpacking done.

• We were given furniture to supplement what was already in our apartment.

• Josh and I left most of our clothes in PNG  so we were in need of some clothes here. A family member works for a company that was about to purge a bunch of clothes and we fit their sample size. We got a huge box of clothes for both of us, many of which fit over this baby bump.

• Someone gave us lots of clothing for Makenna, some of which are from her favorite store! Connor got some clothing from his grandparents too.

One of Makenna's new outfits

One of Makenna’s new outfits

• We’ve already been given many baby items including a car seat, booster seat, pack ‘n play, furniture, a handmade blanket and clothes.

Friends in PNG decorated these onesies for baby K and they were waiting in MA for us when we arrived (a fun surprise!)

Friends in PNG decorated these onesies for baby K and they were waiting in MA for us when we arrived (a fun surprise!)

• Our baby appears to be healthy and I have been healthy despite all our travels.

• Ice cream and all the other yummy things available in America.

Makenna remembered Brusters from living in NC and requested to go there.

Makenna remembered Brusters from living in NC and requested to go there.

We were excited to eat grapes & seedless watermelon again!

We were excited to eat grapes & seedless watermelon again!

We went to Georgetown Cupcakes while visiting my brother in Washington, DC.

We went to Georgetown Cupcakes while visiting my brother in Washington, DC.

• A clothes dryer!

• Fun! Even though we’ve been very busy traveling, visiting and doing many important things to get re-established here, we’ve managed to fit in some fun too.

Connor loved playing wiffle ball with daddy and Uncle Matt

Connor loved playing wiffle ball with daddy and Uncle Matt

We visited friends and saw The Waterfalls in downtown Greenville, SC

We visited friends and saw The Waterfalls in downtown Greenville, SC

National Zoo with my brother Matt

National Zoo with my brother Matt

We went swimming with friends at their town pool.

We went swimming with friends at their town pool.

A day at the Jersey Shore

A day at the Jersey Shore

It’s A…

We found out the genders of both Makenna and Connor before they were born.  I usually like surprises, but I wanted to be prepared and 9 months is a long time to wait. Since this baby has been a surprise from the beginning, I thought we’d keep the surprise going. However, I decided the waiting wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be.  I had an ultrasound last week and we decided to find out.

If you are as curious as we were, put your mouse HERE to find out what we are having. Otherwise you can always wait and be surprised in November (only works on a computer- not a phone or iPad).

 I’m 27 weeks pregnant.

belly

The baby appears to be healthy and is definitely growing!  Look at that sweet little face!  This is the first time I had a 3-D ultrasound (just because that’s what the office does).

BabyK Face BabyK

 

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