Monthly Archives: June 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bonjour,
Joe preached at the fire station this morning.  Joe told them that his dad is a volunteer fire fighter; they were excited that he is a fire fighter but shocked to hear that he doesn’t get paid to do it.  Joe was able to get the part for the pool pump today.  He checked on the chemicals, but they weren’t in yet.  He stopped at the church to check on their progress.  He said that the wall is looking much better, and they are almost finished.  Joe took the kids up to the pool to have a picnic.  He got the pump working again and let the kids play on the steps of the pool for a little while.
I read this morning while the kids played outside.  Then, they came to “read” with me.  I didn’t get much reading done after they joined me.
Around 11:30, Kristine and I took a taxi into town.  We ate a hamburger.  Then, we did some grocery shopping.  We saw Jackie and Naomi Siekbert at the grocery store.  It was their first trip to Garden Mart after returning from the States.  Kristine and I caught another taxi and headed home.  The taxi driver tried to raise the price on us, but we stood our ground.  He didn’t get a pesewa more than we had agreed upon.  (The change is called pesewas, and 100 pesewas make one cedis. One cedis is about 75 cents.)
Danny and Bonnie were asleep when I got home.  I think Gilbert has officially outgrown naps although he still takes one occasionally.  
I got the kids’ school stuff ordered for the next school year.  I called only to find out that I had to order some of it online.  I wrote everything down to hopefully make it easier next year.  
After supper, Kristine and I played a couple games with the kids.  We tried Twister, but the kids aren’t quite big enough to reach all of the spots yet.  Then, we played a fishing game.  Whoever catches the most fish wins.  Danny was catching them with his hands instead of using his pole; we had to nip that in the bud.  We played a game of Cadoo.  Danny won the first game.  Joe joined us for the second game, and we played in teams.  The teams were Danny and Kristine, Gilbert and Joe, and Bonnie and I.  Gilbert’s team and Bonnie’s team tied; Danny was heartbroken once again because he lost.  He had to go to bed early.  He has to learn that we don’t cry if we lose.
A demain,
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bonjour,

Joe gave a devotion at the bank this morning.  Then, he did our bulk shopping.  We usually get flour, sugar, and powdered milk 25 kilos at a time.  It is a lot cheaper that way.  He also got chicken and hamburger.  Joe was so proud of himself that he got everything on his list accomplished in spite of the many distractions; his phone was ringing off the hook this morning.  A man who had come to the house yesterday to do some work left a drill here, but apparently it was stolen; it was nowhere to be found.  Then, the tools were locked up in a room at the church, and no one had the key; they had to come here to get the keys.  It was a busy morning!
When Joe got home, he looked at the dryer.  There is a part that needs to be replaced, but we can still use it for the time being.  We just have to turn the gas bottle off when the dryer is not in use.
A lady from the church comes twice a week to help clean.  Today, she brought her eight-year-old brother with her.  He is on break from school, but no one else in the family was.  Her mom is also a teacher.  The kids had fun playing with Mikim.  He put their wooden train tracks together and then had the whole track filled with their little cars.  Gilbert and Danny were quite impressed.  They had to come get me so that I could see.
This morning, Bonnie came to me and told me that a bug fly bit her.  Then, she told me it was a red horse fly.  She said, “Mom, I need that smacker thing.”  She was referring to the fly swatter.  She came to report that she killed the bug fly and fed it to a lizard.  She has quite the imagination!
Gilbert thought that the cat had killed a snake this morning, but Francis had killed it while he was mowing.  It was a black mamba; it was about ten inches long.
I worked on laundry this morning.  After lunch, Kristine helped me put the flour and sugar in ziploc bags to freeze it.  We filled the freezer today!
After naps, I made pizza for supper.  The kids helped.  We grated the cheese with the food processor first.  They took turns pushing the cheese down. After we made it through that, I told them I would call them when I was ready to start putting the toppings on.  Danny came back to help.
We watched Monk after supper.  Kristine had never seen it before.  Bonnie was “cooking” things for me.  She brought me some pretend ice cream with cucumbers and carrots in it.  What a combination!  Danny could not sit still; he didn’t want to fall asleep.
A little bit ago, Joe was talking to Bonnie.  He told her that she needed to stop all the crying and losing her temper.  She said, “Well, it’s the truth!”
A demain,
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bonjour, 

Joe went to the chicken farm this morning to get eggs.  He got to witness to the chicken farmer for about an hour.  His name is Joseph too.
After breakfast, Joe went into town to run some errands.  Then, he headed up to the church to check on the progress there.  They should finish up with that wall tomorrow.  It still needs to be plastered and painted, but that will have to be done at a later date.  Getting that wall up has depleted the church funds for now.
The kids and I went through some Bible memory cards this morning.  I would show them the picture, and they would tell me that story.  If they didn’t know the story or didn’t have it quite right, I helped them out.  
 
Then, they went outside to play.  They came running through the door a little later.  I was in the kitchen working on getting a roast in the crock   pot and making a cake.  Some men and their dogs were passing through the yard.  The kids were scared of the dogs because one of those dogs bit Danny in the bottom a different day.  They had been playing with some little cars down by the well house.  When they got frightened, they left their cars and ran.  A couple of the men stopped by the well house to sharpen their machetes.  I went out on the porch to make sure that they were moving on.  They did move on, but one of the boys’ little dump trucks was missing after those guys left.  I didn’t think grown men would take a toy.  I told the kids that next time they got scared to grab their toys before running inside.  Lots of people pass through our yard when going from their houses to their farms.
The repairman came to look at the dryer this afternoon.  He came to the conclusion that it was the regulator on the gas bottle that was causing the problems.  We changed regulators.  But after he left, the dryer was doing the same thing it had been doing before.  I guess we’ll have to try somebody else.  Joe can probably figure it out when he has time to look at it.
After naps, we ate supper and got ready for church. Joe asked Bonnie if she was a cotton picker.  She said, “I amn’t!  I’m a princess!”  We had a good service tonight with sixteen in attendance.  
A demain,
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bonjour,

It was raining this morning when we got up.  It rained off and on all morning but cleared up a little this afternoon.  I got one load of laundry almost dry outside.
Joe went up to the church today to continue working on the wall.  Today, they got the forms ready and poured the pillars between the bricks that they had laid on Saturday.  Tomorrow, they will lay more bricks.  It is a project that takes time.  Each step has to dry a little before the next step can be done.
The kids wanted to do an art project this morning.  I found a July 4 picture online but could not get it to print.  So, I folded a piece of paper like a little book and made my own July 4 card.  Then, I made a copy of it for all three kids.  I am not an artist, but they haven’t figured that out yet.  They were so proud to show their cards to Kristine and to Joe when he got home.  Danny made several of his own after he finished that one.  Then, he kept misplacing them and would go into panic mode.
Before the Luthers left, Joel gave Gilbert his wooden boat that he had made so that Gilbert could use it while they are gone.  Gilbert took advantage of the puddles this morning and was floating the boat.  Danny and Bonnie joined him.  They all needed a change of clothes when they came in.  
I made cheddar potato soup and tuna sandwiches for lunch.  The kids really like that soup.  Joe was still working at the church; so, we saved some for him.  Kristine ate with us.  
After lunch, the kids went down for naps.  Gilbert came to get me because the wooden slats from his bed had fallen on top of Danny.  I’m not sure why Danny was underneath the bed in the first place.  I got the bed put back together.  Danny and Bonnie finally went to sleep.  If Gilbert rests until the other two go to sleep, he can get up.  
After naps, I started working on supper.  I made hotdog buns.  Then, I made some brownies for dessert.
After supper, we played a couple games of Cadoo.  Danny was heartbroken because he didn’t win.  After Joe talked to him, Danny came and apologized to me and Kristine for the way he acted.  I guess it is all part of the learning process.  
I trimmed Bonnie’s hair.  The boys were needing a hair cut too.  So, I cut their hair after I finished with Bonnie’s.  Joe usually does it, but he was too tired after building a wall all day.  I trimmed my own too.  Now, everyone should be good to go for a while.  Joe got his cut while we were in Ivory Coast; so, he didn’t need one yet.
After baths, we read our bed time story.  I thought all of the kids were asleep, but Danny just came out to say that Daddy hadn’t given him kisses.  Joe was already asleep, but Danny woke him up for kisses.  He’s got to have those kisses!!  : )
A demain,
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Bible Club

Have you ever thought about what it would be like if you were not allowed to go to church?  In our village area of Kansaworado, Ghana, there are children who are not allowed to attend church on Sunday; but, their parents will allow them to come to the weekly neighborhood Bible club.

April Schwanke was here for a year to teach for the Charlie Luther family.  She did much more than that though.  She was very involved in the church.  She started holding a weekly Bible club for the neighborhood children.  She just went back to the States a couple weeks ago and will be going to work in Gambia in August teaching some more missionary kids there.  We were very sad to see her go.  We wanted to keep her Bible club going; so, I took up where she left off.  Yesterday, we started out with six, and by the end of the hour, there were twenty-one children.

 Bible Club
Auntie April

 Bible Club
The children are singing “Make A Melody,” a song that Auntie April taught them.

 Bible Club
Story time

 Bible Club
Group shot to send to Auntie April

 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bonjour,

This morning, we had breakfast and then headed to church.  Brother Arthur needed a ride.  So, Joe dropped us off at church and went to get Brother Arthur.  Several kids had gotten in along the way. Someone had parked in front of the gate again.  By the time Joe got back with Brother Arthur though, they had moved along.  
Kristine taught the six and under Sunday school class, and I taught them for junior church.  There were thirty-two in that class for junior church today.  I made the mistake of buying suckers that have a whistle in the stick.  Have you ever heard thirty whistles blowing at once?  It is not a very pleasant experience!  : )
We came home and ate lunch.  We got a short rest in before Bible club.  We started out with six but ended up with twenty-one children by the end of the hour.    We sang a couple more songs after the lesson since a few kids got there after the lesson was over.  Kristine came to Bible club too.  We have decided to try moving the Bible club to Saturday afternoon at 4:00.  Having it on Sunday afternoon makes for a very busy Sunday.  So, we’ll see how that works next week.  We told all of the kids today about the change in the day and time.  
Gilbert is doing very well at learning the verses.  He quoted several from memory today by himself.  Danny didn’t want to wake up from his nap; so, he wasn’t out there the whole time today.  We just let Bonnie sleep so that she wouldn’t be a bear.
We had our traditional Sunday afternoon chocolate shakes.  Then, we headed back to church.  There were twenty at church tonight.  Joe preached a good sermon.  He got another fishing story in; the boys liked that.
After supper, we watched “Song of the South” with Kristine.  She hadn’t seen it before.  Gilbert really likes that movie.  He kept trying to tell her what was going to happen next.
A demain,
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bonjour,

This morning, we all went up to the church for a work day.  We were pleasantly surprised that so many came to help.  Two of the ladies were already busy emptying out each classroom, sweeping, mopping, and putting everything back in the room.  Kristine and I started in the library.  The library and the office need to be emptied so that they can begin installing the ceiling in those rooms.  Everything was so dirty.  We got two big bookshelves emptied and dusted.  Then, the guys carried the shelves to another room. Gilbert and Mikim carried books from one room to the other.  Danny was “working” on a tree outside.  Bonnie was all over the place.  Joe and the guys were working on the section of the wall that fell during the flood.  They discovered that the wall was not attached to the foundation; no wonder it fell.  They dug down to the foundation and started from there.
By lunch time, we were all tired and ready to go home.  Joe took us home. We had lunch.  We went down for naps.  Joe went back up to the church and came back home about 5:00.  He took the kids up to check on the pool while Kristine and I worked on supper.
This evening, Joe did some studying for his sermon.  I need to go back over my lessons for junior church and Bible club.  
A demain,
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Friday, June 24, 2011

Bonjour,

This morning, Joe took Mack Siekbert into town to show him the new hot spots – where we buy things in bulk, etc.  They went back to the store that had the Swiss Miss cocoa and bacon bits and stocked up on those.  When stores get things like that in, it doesn’t usually happen again.  Then, they ate lunch at Scoops.  They have a good hamburger there.  
On the way home, they stopped to pay for our new living room furniture.  Up to this point, we have been using a borrowed love seat.  It was interesting to get all five people on a love seat, but we managed.  We got a sectional couch and matching chair and two African style recliners. They were able to deliver it today too. The kids have been bouncing all around from spot to spot; there are just too many places to choose from.  
 Friday, June 24, 2011

 Friday, June 24, 2011
Danny and Bonnie went up with Joe and Mack to check on the pool.  Gilbert was asleep.  He had to take Benadryl due to an allergic reaction from the cat; so, he fell asleep.  They discovered that a part inside the pump had burned up.  They brought Bonnie home, and Danny rode along to take Mack home.  They went to pick up his car battery that has been charging for three days, but it had no charge at all. So, Danny stayed to play with Nehemiah while Joe and Mack went in search of a new battery.  The head on their other vehicle has to be replaced.  Joe knows how it is to be without a vehicle.  He doesn’t mind helping Mack out at all!  They weren’t able to find the type of battery that he wants.  
Kristine watched the kids for us tonight.  Joe and I went to Captain Hooks for supper; it is a good seafood restaurant.  Kristine said that the kids were good, and we had a good time too.
A demain,
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie

Operation Pool Dig

There is a pool at the Luthers’ house that had been filled in with dirt.  They gave us permission to empty the dirt and use the pool while they are in the States for six months.  The kids are so excited about the pool!  The boys have been up there for every step of the project.

 Operation Pool Dig
Four men dug it out in two days.  Gilbert and Danny “helped.”  

 Operation Pool Dig
Bonnie calls the shallow end “my pool.”

 Operation Pool Dig
We started filling it with water yesterday.  The chemicals and supplies should be in on Monday.  We will be swimming soon!!

 Operation Pool Dig
Bonnie said, “I’m cold!”  We don’t hear those words too often in West Africa!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bonjour,

This morning, Joe preached at the bank at 7:30.  At Barclays Bank, they have devotions every Thursday before they start work.  Joe is hoping that we will have some of the bank employees visit our church as a result of his going there every week.  
He was waiting for the post office to open to try to pick up some packages.  So, he went to a restaurant and had breakfast while he waited.  While he was there, he got to talking to a man from Belgium.  Come to find out, he is the brother of a man that Joe met on his trip to France and Belgium a few years ago.  The man that Joe met was the equivalent of a governor in Belgium; he cleared his schedule to give the men that were with Joe a tour of the city of Liege, Belgium.  One of the men that was with Joe had liberated that city in World War II.  It is a small world!  Joe is always running into people like that.
When Joe went to the post office, he found out that packages can only be picked up in the afternoon on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
When Joe got back home, he took the kids with him to go get the plumbing parts that they needed for the pool.  They took Kristine and I to the taxi station.  Then, Joe made the necessary repairs, and they started filling the pool.  It will take a couple days to get it filled.  Joe also found a store in town where he can get all of the chemicals and pool supplies; that stuff should be in on Monday.  Joe said that the kids ran around that pool so many times that they went straight to bed for nap time without complaint.  
Kristine and I went to the Han Palace, a good Chinese restaurant in town.  We had a good time of fellowship.  The food was good too.  Then, we went to the post office to get the packages.  The man at the window told us to wait a minute because “She was coming.”  He is the one who inspects the packages, but he had to wait for the lady who finds the package on the shelf and brings it to him.  We waited for about ten minutes for her to come back.  She brought the packages, and we were in business.  On the way home, we stopped at All Needs Prestige.  I had never been in there before.  We found real bacon bits and Swiss Miss cocoa packets.  
When we got home, the kids were still asleep.  When they woke up, they had to go check on the pool progress.  The whole bottom of the pool is covered with water now.  
We opened the packages before supper.  The kids had fun doing that.
After supper, the kids got their new paint books out right away.  Each page had its own painting pallet at the bottom of the page, and a q-tip can be used for the paint brush.  Pretty clever!
When Joe was locking the gate, he discovered that Straw, our kitten, had gotten her first mouse.  She needs some milk for that!
A demain,
Joe, Laura, Gilbert, Danny, and Bonnie