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Entries from July 2013

Terrible Tuesday's thought

So it's our Terrible Tuesday post of the week.

My first thought...

(besides the fact that I really can't think of many negative things right now apart from the fact that every time I sit down to write or think, someone in the house demands my attention. Like Eowyn right now wanting to type on my keyboard)...

...is that I'm noticing that loads of people are posting on FB about returning from vacations.

June, July, & August, as well as holiday months like December, tend to be financially difficult for us.

Now, I'm understanding why it might be! Which is understandable in deed. Still it's not a good thing for us. So that's my Terrible Tuesday post.

PS: Come to think of it. Something really terrible DID happen today. I lost my very dear friend, Judy Stewart, to cancer this morning. She was also my midwife and helped me home deliver four of my five babies. Eowyn, she delivered in Kenya, in our home. I'm going to miss her dearly.

 


Un-schooling

Today, while sitting at the dining table with 3 year old Eowyn, she complained of pains in her legs. We talked about how she must be growing. Her face lit up, and with excitement, she exclaimed, "YEP!"

As she chewed her food, I asked her questions about what was happening in her mouth and where her food might be going. Was it getting smaller? What happened next? Thus the beginning of human anatomy studies for my very curious three year old!

I'm a home educator, and I believe works.


Terrible Tuesdays

When coming up with our blog schedule, we thought we should have Tuesdays be 'Terrible Tuesdays' where we talk about REAL stuff. Ya know, the day where we can rant, or vent, or whine.

A place where our true colors can shine?

But Tuesday has come and gone. It was terrible in fact.

But it had to deal with money which is Wednesday Blog's act.

So now Thursday is here, and the list isn't near

So what this day's schedule is supposed to be I have no certainty.

So here I'm typing a silly poem to keep from writing about the grim

So I'll share the events of this week both the good and the bad therein:

  • We've spent lots of time at The Shire. It's such a wonderful feeling out there. All of the negatives disappear, and we feel fantastic and peaceful out there.
  • The building of The Hut with our own hands has given the girls a since of involvement and happiness I never would have imagined would come from this project
  • Financially, we have really struggled this week*
  • We were pretty down about it all since we are responsible for so many
  • The girls are having to walk to and from school (it's the rainy season) due to lack of funds for gas for the van.
  • a local friend gave us $22 for off-cuts for the roof of The Hut which lightened our mood
  • another supporter donated $200 for car repairs.
  • The utility bills were going to be turned off to our home, but we got $300 JUST in time from someone who is not a monthly supporter. (She doesn't know this!). It was exactly what we paid for the water and electricity today!
  • Rent for July is way past due (obviously, since it's the 25), and August is due in 5 days.
  • Our biggest need is food money. We've exhausted our food stores.
  • Kate (I) got a care package FULL of Pampered Chef products donated from some friends in the USA.
  • Our Sarah Muthoni turns 17 tomorrow! (I happened to find 200 KES ($2.40) in my pocket so we could buy some sugar to bake a surprise cake tomorrow while she's in school. SHH!!!
  • Matthew Barrow helped on our hut today, which was so refreshing and fun!
  • We get to meet some new friends out on The Shire this weekend and have a campout!

So that's this week's adventure. Some glim, some very exciting moments.

 

Just a realistic post from this side of the planet. ;)

 

*These financially issues are due in part to having an emergency expense this month, and because it's July. Summertime, people are too busy to think of us. I think? But whatever the reason, so many people DO give, and we are grateful. VERY grateful. We use every dollar that comes in. It puts food on the table for all of us, and brings security to our orphans-no-more, and since Johnny and I don't have a salary nor a separate life from our project, overhead is reduced (no housing allowance, no mail-out expenses, no fundraising expenses, no savings accounts where we store your donations for personal use, no 'fun money,' nor anything for 'us'). So when we struggle, WE all struggle together as a family. And we're cool with it.

 

 


Education Mondays

We have a blog schedule now. Today is the day we talk about education.

BT brushing Edith's hair before school

This morning, it's 6:48 am, and (pictured) BT is combing Edith's hair before leaving for school. My other orphan-no-more girls are all in the van waiting to head off to school. It's crazy early, and they come home at 5:30 pm!

I feel as if they are in school way too much and don't get enough play-time. We've complained to the schools, but the majority of the parents have been brain-washed into thinking that the more time the children spend IN the school building (mind you, teachers are not always there), the smarter the kids will become.

They even attend school half days on SATURDAYS!

In parent/teacher meetings, despite our protests, we are the minority. It's frustrating. However, the girls really enjoy their school, and they are doing well with their grades.

In the past, the older girls attended a different private school, and they hated it. We've found, no matter which school we put them in, there tends to be some cultural things we cannot change. Fortunately, the headmaster of the school they attend now is a retired man who works out of a passion for the students and a passion for education. He's a good guy, and that helps set the mood at the girls' current school, which makes them perform well and proud to be a part.


 


Fun Friday

Each week, we'll try to post some 'fun' stuff on Fridays.

Eowyn had fun helping paint the gate on The Shire.

The girls found this frog in the water on The Shire, and had a fun time catching it!

I had fun working on the roof of The Hut, and I thought it cool that the skylight framed Makena & Emma while they were playing.

 


Living by Faith?

Once upon a time when I was attending a semi-fundamentalist charismatic church there was much empathis on giving, giving money that is. When I was in Bible school there was a lot of talk about living by faith, meaning that if you gave all (money again) then God would provide for your needs. I tried it out, and found it lacking. Our former church even had a guarantee, or at least spoke of one, for paying tithes. If you paid your tithes for 6 months and you were not blessed then they would refund that money. Of course typical white middle class folks, which is what the church was made up of, will have good things happen to them within six months. That's if you pay a tithe or not. I did put it to the test, though being the rebellious sort I am I did the opposite. I stopped paying tithes for 6 months. What I discovered was life changing. I actually had more money in those 6 months, because I was not giving it to the church. Nothing bad happened. God did not strike me down for robbing him. I survived.

It occurs to me that this might not be the right track for a fund raising post....

Living by faith is not giving everything away and hoping that motivates God to love you enough to give you stuff. Living by faith is listening for that "still small voice" and attempting to obey. Taking that step to love someone whom it is not normal for you to love. Loving that someone who seems to be doing everything possible to make it as difficult as possible for you to love them. That is living by faith. Sure sometimes it involves money, and even sacrificial giving. But that giving must come from the heart, from loving, not from a desire to acquire more and more wealth. 

Kate and I do live by faith. We have faith that readers of this blog, followers on social media, friends, family, and organizations will believe in what we are doing enough to part with some of their hard earned money. We live in faith that there are people who are willing to make sacrifical gifts to help us care for abandoned and orphaned children here in Nakuru, Kenya.

That is how we live by faith.


Terrible Tuesday

We are experimenting with a new blog schedule. I need a bit of structure to get the old creative juices flowing, something to kick my muse into action. Tuesday is to be "Terrible Tuesday." 

Exactly what that means, is unknown. Which I think is o.k. Each Terrible Tuesday can and will have to define itself. How will this Tuesday be defined?

I can, and often do, complain about all kinds of things. The corruption in the Kenyan government. The lack of local support for orphan care and lack of outreach to the poor. Fund raising. All the advice we receive on how to run our projects. I have lots of stuff to moan and groan over, but I'll leave those for another Terrible Tuesday.

Right now I am feeling frustrated with the slow pace of development on The Shire. The Shire, for the uninitiated, is almost 12 acres of land we bought to farm, provide income, and house our children. The sooner we are there the sooner we can be helping more children. 

I know there are girls and boys who need a place to sleep right now. I know there are children going to bed hungry, naked, and sick. Children with noone to love them unconditionaly. I know these facts, and I am frustrated by that knowledge.

There that is my Terrible Tuesday.


Newsletter

We no longer send out a snail mail newsletter. The expense is too great, and come on it is 2013. We do send out an email newsletter about once a month. It goes out to around 560 or so people, and half of those tend to open it (or at least that is what the report says.) This month Kate is putting it together and it is all about The Hut.

If you have not signed up there is a link on the column on the side of this blog. You may have to scroll down a bit till you see "Subscribe to our Newsletter." Do it and be amazed at Kate's newsletter writing abilities. 


Monday, Again

Bah. It is Monday again. Why? Why did we create a first day of the week? Life is just so much better without a start to the week. I suppose you can tell I did not want to get up this morning to drive the girls to school. All my lobbying to have school start later has fallen on deaf ears.

I am glad that the girls are in school. In fact it is a big help in their lives to be able to attend school. Currently the public school teachers here in Kenya are on strike, but our girls go to private school. Their teachers are not on strike. Good for the learning, but I am sure the girls would have appreciated the time off. Until they realized that all those days have to be made up that is. 

Four of them will be taking an exam this year that has a big impact on the next phase of their schooling. If they can score well enough then it is off to secondary school for them, if not then we look at vocational school options. Either way their lives will be changing dramatically after this year. A chance to spread their wings and do a little flying on their own.

I suppose I should get back to my regularly scheduled Monday morning. Sigh. Maybe I can slip back into the bed?