Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I love 5!

It's no secret that I love children.  Who am I kidding?  My whole family loves children.  I have lots of favorite ages, but I think 5 may be one of my very favorites.  I love how intricate pretend play is at that time.  I love watching Abe play when he doesn't know I'm listening.  Sometimes I'm sad that he doesn't have siblings as close in age as my others did when they were his age.  But, that doesn't keep him from playing and once in a while they still imagine along with him.

The other day, when delivering clean laundry to his room, I found his two favorite lovies in different corners.  
 Upon questioning I was told that Aah Aah said ugly things to Baby Marcus.
Then, Baby Marcus made a bad choice and punched Aah Aah.  

I love it!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Grammy's Visit Part 1

Gram has been here about 3 weeks now and we've had a good time showing her around town.  Some days have been underwhelming, but fortunately we'd warned her ahead of time that she should keep her expectations low.  All in all, we've had a good time so far and we're looking forward to one more week together.  Here are some pictures of her visit so far...
Smiles all around when Grammy arrived!

Grammy brought lots of favorite snacks that we can't get here.  Isaac was very excited about the pretzel rods she brought him.
We all enjoyed reading the many cards and notes Grammy carried in from friends.  I think we were non-stop smiles for the first 48 hours.
My daddy was diligent to find my favorite cheese.  Five pounds of Land O' Lakes American made me very, very happy.  I had the best grilled cheese I've had in a very long time!
Gathered around to dig in to the first of the footlockers.  It took us two days to get all of the goodies put away!

All dressed up for Hausa church.

Gram has loved picking the fresh fruit here.  She has made lots of lemonade and eaten tons of fresh tangerines.  But, the real favorite has been the grapefruit.  She and Abe have split grapefruits nearly every day (sometimes several times a day).
Abe is showing off an extra large grapefruit they picked one morning.
We "snapped" a picture of Grammy and one of the shopkeepers in the market.  This is a man we sometimes buy housewares from.
Grammy found the butcher interesting.  She was intrigued by the quail eggs.

We took a trip to the wildlife park.  Our highlight was the elephant who happily ate all of the carrots, bananas, and tangerines we were willing to feed it.
I was afraid he was going to topple into the ravine separating us from him.  But then, he extended his trunk and I realized he knew exactly where he could step to get what he wanted.
Here the boys are showing Gram a termite mound.
We've introduced Gram to some of our Nigerian friends.  Here is Rejoice, who is Abby's age.  She was heading back to boarding school the next day.
Since Grammy is a seamstress, we've taken her to visit both of the sewing ministries that we shop at  here in Jos.  This one teaches sewing skill to widows.
This gal works at the other one, which helps women who are affected by HIV/Aids in some way.
Here is one of the beautiful quilts made by the ladies at Mashiah House.
We also took Gram to see a Nigerian school that operates in conjunction with one of the sewing ministries.  
On one of our market trips, the kids wanted to stop by and greet our veterinarian.  I was pretty sure they were secretly hoping he had some chicks.  They lucked out as he'd just gotten a load in that morning and there were hundreds of 24 hour old chicks peeping loudly from their crates.  They had a great time oohing, aahing, and holding them!
We celebrated Grammy's birthday with lots of good food.  On her birthday we took a walk to visit a friend and her mother.  Grammy was able to meet a kaka like herself (that's the Hausa word for a grandmother.)  She also was able to see the inside of a Nigerian home, which is just a bit different than back home!
Then, she got to see the kids go absolutely wild when we got a very surprising rainstorm.  The kids were singing and dancing for no less than 30 minutes in the rain.  We haven't had rain in three months and we weren't expecting any until April, so it was a glorious surprise.  With the harmattan dust everywhere, we are very happy to see the rain and get a bit of relief for a day or two.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Birthday Girls

This weekend we are celebrating 2 birthday girls at our house!  Lily surprised us all by coming into the world on her Grammy's 60th birthday and ever since then, Grammy has affectionately referred to her as her "Birthday Baby."  Lily was very excited that Grammy was going to be here this year so that they could celebrate together.

The two older girls put lots of time into decorating the dining room in birthday style.  They used goodies from packages, leftover fabric, and the Tinkerbell birthday plates and napkins that Nana in Grammy's luggage to make sure the day was extra special!  Here are the two birthday girls ready for breakfast. 
 They decided to make their own birthday lunch of soft pretzels, a family favorite.  They thought they'd get creative, though they admittedly made a small spelling error!  Using a bit of the Velveeta Grammy had brought us we happily dunked away with our pretzels.
A couple of our young Nigerian friends dropped by for a visit.  Mary was happy to try on the birthday glasses too!
 Thanks Nana for all of the Tinkerbell loot!  I'm pretty sure Abe tried out every one of the blowers you sent!

As soon as Lily saw the package, she had a sneaking suspicion that she knew what her Gram had managed to fit into one of those suitcases.  She was very happy when she pulled back the paper and saw that she was right.

Lily and Ruthie, together at last!
Of course, Isaac could only handle so much of this pink, girly nonsense before he had to contribute his two cents on the whole thing.  
These girls are complete and total chocolate lovers, so they easily agreed on hot fudge cake as their birthday desert of choice.  Let me tell you, I was missing Duncan Hines, Smuckers, and Reddi Whip about two hours into this cake.  But, the finished product was yummy!

Wishing both of these girls a very special year!