Family

Happy Halloween

Happy halloweenHalloween is not celebrated here in Kenya, but Edith and I decided to mark the occasion. We watched Hocus Pocus and had chocolate. Good times. The last time I spoke with `Eowyn, who is in Texas right now, she was very excited to experience her first trick or treating. Tomorrow I am sure to get the report on the candy haul. 

Edith has been home from school for almost a full week now. I am not sure why but the third term this year was very short. She will be home for more than two months. (Normally she is at boarding school for three months then off for one.) I still had to pay the full amount in school fees for this shorter term. Oh well she does seem to be o.k. with being home from school for a longer period of time than normal. Education continues to be one of the best ways to bring hopeful futures to children here in Kenya, especially those orphaned or abandoned kids.

Hope you have good childish fun today.

Happy Halloween. 


Easter

I hope you all had a fun and contemplative Easter weekend. We spent the weekend at home and enjoyed grilled pork for Easter Sunday, some homemade chocolate eggs, and an egg hunt. Not overly exciting, but plenty of opportunity for meditating on resurrection and it's place in our lives.

He said, “Don’t be afraid. I know you’re looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He’s been raised up; he’s here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty. Now—on your way. Tell his disciples and Peter that he is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You’ll see him there, exactly as he said.” Mark 16:6-7

There is another passage, but I cannot remember where off the top of my head, that speaks of that same resurrection power that Jesus used to come back, residing in us. We possess the ability to resurrect. Now since I have never witnessed someone bringing themselves back to life after death, I will be taking this metaphorically. Which to me is just as powerful, actually maybe more so. I have always appreciated the power of story and faith more than facts and evidence.

With all that is going on in our lives right now I admit to finding it difficult to hope in resurrection or to find it's power residing in me. There is much uncertainty swirling in the future of our family. I do not have answers for what will be three, six, or eight months from now. 

I spent much of Saturday thinking on the darkest emotions and thoughts that have been attempting to surface in my head over the past months. I just let them bubble up to the surface and proceeded to meditate on them. Looked at them from one side, then another, flipped them over and took a look at the underbelly, and when Saturday was finished I was able to expose those thoughts and feelings to the power of resurrection. 

I am a practical minded person. I spend most of my time in the here and now not up in the spiritual realms. I believe in the spiritual, it just does not have much place in my day to day life. Yet there are moments in the year when I embrace the spiritual whole heartily, Easter weekend is one of those times. The spirit of resurrection had an impact on me and all my festering thoughts and emotions. Cleansing so to speak my mind. 

I feel whole and right.

I am still sad that Kate and I are no more and still feel some trepidation towards the future. Yet hope has returned. Faith can be a wondrous healer.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Empty-tomb


Day 31

Kate, Makena, and Starlette are in Schuylerville, New York. All I know about Schuylerville is that it is a village in Saratoga County and it is the site where the British surrendered during the Battle of Saratoga. Kate seems happy enough to be going to this village:

Kate and bill

On the way Starlette had her first McDonalds experience:

 

 


Day 24 to 30

The past six days here on The Shire have been pretty mundane days. They have been busy days, but nothing out of the ordinary or exciting has happened. We continue to care for the animals, develop the farm, and work with the horses. My (Johnny's) workload has increased due to Kate's absence which keeps me busy for most of the day. It does not leave much time for writing, thinking, and communicating. 

Kate, Makena, and Starlette are currently in Connecticut. They are enjoying the company and fresh air. Starlette is having a bit of a tough time with all the time changes, but she is full of smiles and giggles during our video calls.

Three more weeks.

 


Day 23

Happy birthday Makena!

18 bacon

Bacon breakfast for her 18th birthday.

Trip to craft store

A trip to the craft store on her 18th birthday.

Cheetah

She got to visit Cat Haven. Makena has wanted to go there for several years now.

Petting a cheetah

Petting a cheetah. Pretty cool.

Sleeping warrior painting

The mountain in this painting hanging in Cat Haven is part of our view here on The Shire.

Feeding a cougar

Makena feed a cougar.

Birthday donuts

Surprise birthday donuts.

 


Days 20 to 22

Yesterday was Halloween. I am not that much into Halloween, nor is it a big deal or really any deal here in Kenya, but the kids and I ate candy while watching Hocus Pocus. Not a bad way to spend the evening. I did manage to cook chicken tikka for dinner with sausage. It was while eating dinner we realized that I did not cook any veggies at all. Weird. Today will be full of vegetables to make up for that oversight. 

Hocus pocus

Kate, Makena, and Starlette are still in California. I was only able to speak briefly with Kate on Halloween morning, so I am not sure what they did or are doing. 

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Day 18

Kate made sourdough bread with her hosts in California. She did it wearing SpongeBob SquarePants pajamas. 

Sourdough2

Sour dough

Starlette encountered a vacuum cleaner for the first time. We actually own one, but after moving off grid we have never used it.

 

 


Day 17

On the seventeenth day of Kate's trip, we back here on the home front buried a friend and neighbor. She died the day Kate, Makena, and Starlette left for the airport in Nairobi. Fortunately, Kate was able to see her husband and offer comfort and get comfort. The service went well, I offered a prayer and prayed at the separate burial. She will be missed.

Meanwhile, Kate visited a horse therapy program called Project R.I.D.E. and was blown away by their facilities. 

Project ride1

Project ride2


Days 14 to 16

I got behind on blogging. Too busy managing these children on my own. I did have the bright idea of cooking a larger amount of chili, so we would have leftovers. Worked great, though chili three meals in a row somehow lessens the magic of a bowl of chili. 

I also had to pay a school fee for B.T. Kenya supposedly has free primary and secondary education, but it is not true. Schools will send you home over the smallest fee and then complain about the number of days you have missed school. 

Otherwise, life goes on here on The Shire.

Kate, Makena, and Starlette are now in California. We did a video call just before they boarded their flight from Houston to Sacremento. Starlette was excited about another flight. I think Kate and Makena are excited about their California visit. 

Now I see one of the reasons I got behind on the blogging, nothing much to say. Let me end with a picture from California:

Kate makena starlette ca


Day 13

I am getting a bit fuzzy on some of the specifics of what day some things have happened with the trio in the U.S., but nonetheless, these things have happened:

Makena got a haircut:

Makena hair cut

Kate is having fun meeting Facebook friends in real life:

Kate and lydia

Kate is asking if she should cut her hair. Personally, I like it long, but then it is not my hair...

Kate hair question