Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Caleb's Birthday

Caleb turned 6 on Friday, March 24th. It was his 3rd birthday here in Africa. He seemed to enjoy the day and the day following – that was his party. The day started early as he opened his presents from us right after he woke up. We also told him that he had 250 Rand (about $40) from various grandparents, SS classes, and other churches. He was excited about that as he knew that we would be going to ToysRus in Johannesburg in a couple of days. Jody took cup cakes to his school for his classmates and teachers.
On Saturday, 2 missionary families from Gaborone, Botswana, came for his party. Also, a friend of the family came with one of their sons. As you can see in the pictures, we were able to rent a jumping-castle. It was supposed to be at the house by 9:00 am, but when we awoke it was cloudy and it had rained. The castle was here by 10:00 am and they didn’t get off until late in the afternoon. Needless to say, they all had a good time. It was also a good time for the adults to visit and catch up on the last three months.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Things Caleb Says!

Caleb has always been one to say what he thinks. We thought that Andy had a strong will. But we soon found out that Andy did not have anything on Caleb. There was one time at the table that he had one bite of mashed-potatoes to eat. He wouldn’t eat it. He said he was tired, so I told him that he could go to his bed, take a nap, but after he woke up, his fork full of mashed-potatoes would be waiting for him. The table was cleared off, the dishes washed, and the table wiped – except for the fork at Caleb’s seat. As I was finishing up in the kitchen, Bethany comes along, climbs up the chair, onto the table and proceeds to eat the last bite of potato. Unbeknownst to her, she had come to the rescue of her brother.
I pick Caleb up from school and I try to have a little conversation about what he has learned. After he told me one day, I asked him how he got to be so smart. He replied, “I thinked and I thinked and …. here I am.”
The boys were watching TV and it was something that Caleb did not want to watch. He started crying and said, “They don’t care about me – they just look at me like that Samaritan.”
He was trying to explain to Jody how big God is. He said, “Our house is as big as God’s little toe,” then he interrupted himself and said, “No, when God eats breakfast, his crumb is as big as our house!”
Jody was saying to Caleb how big he was getting – with a sad-voice inflection. Caleb responded, “That’s how we get big, we just grow into numbers!”

The pictures of from the first day of school and in his class.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Some of Bethany's Best

These are some of my favorite of Bethany. Having over 600 pictures of Bethany in 2005, it is kind of hard to just pick out a couple. Top - We got two puppies, Buster and Scout, and she could do anything she wanted and they just let her. This was after half an hour of playing. Second - Bethany in her basket of toys in the center of the floor in the living room. She makes sure she is the center of everyone's attention. Third - Bethany just being her sweet self. Fourth - Bethany not wanting her picture taken - humh -look familiar anyone?!!?!? Bottom - Bethany just being Bethany.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Well done K.F. and Wanda

K.F. and Wanda Plemmons went home to Oklahoma after spending three years here in Mmabatho, South Africa. They were in Mmabatho through the Masters Program of the International Mission Board. Both KF and Wanda were over the age of 70 when they came. Demonstrating unequalled resolve, they refused to go home after Wanda suffered a heart attack. KF, a nurse, woke up in the middle of the night to find Wanda not breathing. He administered CPR until further help came.
The Plemmons were a part of the HIV/AIDS team that taught abstinence-based material in local schools. Part of their assignment was to assemble teaching teams that consisted of nationals that would be able to continue teaching after they left. The teams go into the schools each day and teach elementary school-aged children the right biblically-based options that they have. They started the NGO (non-governmental organization) The Sunshine at the Gate of Hope. This organization is now responsible for the teaching in the schools. It is unfortunate that the government does its job by presenting condoms as a viable choice. Condoms are readily available at border crossings; free for the taking.
I just wanted to say well done to the Plemmons. You are both an inspiration. After 70 years in America, you knew that God was not finished with you and you came to Africa. Wanda, you told me that you were ready to go home, but not ready to leave the people. Many of your friends are also ours. I will be able to echo that same sentiment next year when we go to America. But there will be a little bit of comfort knowing that we will be coming back home. Thank you both for your faithfulness!
This picture was taken at our last team meeting. I called the meeting the Plemmons’ Wake.
Contact the IMB at
www.IMB.org if you are interested in the Masters Program or any other mission opportunities.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Flat Stanley was Here!

Flat Stanley, a popular children’s book character has come to visit us in South Africa twice in the last year. Flat Stanley, flattened by an accident in his home, is able to travel around the world because of his ‘flattened’ status. Flat Stanley is a project assigned by elementary school teachers for their students to “send” Stanley to friends across the country and around the world. Jody took a picture of Stanley with Josiah’s 4th grade class at the International School of South Africa. In Jody’s explanation and following conversation, Mrs. Kraak (crock) told Jody that she wanted a Flat Stanley book to read in her class. The pictures are of Stanley with Josiah’s class and Stanley on our trampoline with some neighborhood friends.
Under the trampoline, you can see our dog Lizzy. She is schizophrenic - she wants to touch you, but you cannot touch her. She barks at us ripping off tin foil in the kitchen. She will jump at the smallest noises.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Bethany's Socks and Caleb said what?

Hello for today. I am not sure what is going to happen on this page, but for now it may be some daily happenings. The picture of Bethany is what little girls like to do – dress up. Those are Josiah’s school socks and Caleb’s Spiderman shoes. She is definitely her mother’s girl! It is ‘killing’ Jody not to be able to go to Wal-Mart and PayLess to buy shoes for every little outfit that Bethany has.

I picked up Caleb from school last Friday and he was in rare form. I was walking ahead of him and he said, “I know, I know – ‘How are you?’ ‘I’m fine!’ – ‘How was your day?’ ‘It was fine!’ – ‘What did you learn today?’ ‘I learned about the letter D!’” I guess I am a little repetitious in my picking-up-Caleb-conversation.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Welcome! This is the first entry of the Mmabatho Janz Blog. I am still learning and this will get better with time. So for now - Enjoy - or try to!

This was a couple of days before Valentine's Day.