Wednesday, May 30, 2007

first days

the first pictue is of ellen and mamma sako. mamma will be teaching some of the classes and has been showing us around bamako. he is an evangelist and volunteers much of his time at campus crusade for christ here in the city.

the other picture is of us in the taxi and some of the scenery on the way down.
the last picture is of the team when we were down by the river seeing the farms. the malian on the far left was one of the farmers, working from left to right we have karlee and brent, a malian pastor, tessa and ellen in the front, hannah right behind them, and me behind her. shannon and sarah are standing to my right with mamma sako behind them and courtney kneeling in front. then in the blue is lindsay with tasha to her right, followed by todd standing, caleb kneeling, and ending with a pastor visiting from chad.

it's 104* and i just might be getting used to the heat.

Monday, May 28, 2007


hopefully you all got our email with the little update....
the first picture is of tessa and ellen obviously. they are standing in the middle of the complex. to the left is the lady's house that manages the complex. and our place is on the right. the gals are in a different place just across from the building we are staying in. theirs is set up much like ours.

the middle picture is of the place we are staying in. the dog's name is shadow and our room is the one behind the grill. you should be able to see the window. the building we are in has the kitchen, dining area, classroom, and four bedrooms.

the last picture is of our room. this morning we did some unpacking and sorting. you can see the mosquito nets hanging from the ceilings. we don't need them here because all the windows and doors are screened in.
it's 106* and a little overcast

Thursday, May 24, 2007

grease monkey

yesterday tessa and i were working outside in the yard on dad's snowmobile trailer. we had just done some mowing and had unloaded the lawn mowers. as tessa and i were working on the trailer ellen would crawl over and smack the tires of the mowers with her hands. we happened to look over one time and noticed some black stuff covering her hands and face. apparently she had started to wipe off the grease and thought she would do some taste testing. we found just a trace on her lips and tongue...thankfully she didn't manage to get too much into her mouth, and equally surprising was how easy the grease came off with a little soapy water.
ellen has had an interesting week at grandma and grandpas.....
70* and dark (the sun went down)

ping pong

grandma rolled out a little box of toys for ellen the other day and about five minutes later she turned her back to us and we could tell she was putting something in her mouth. we went over and found a ping pong ball in her mouth. the funny thing is......she loved it. she played for a good hour, popping that thing in and out and giggled the whole time. it was big enough to keep her from swallowing it and just small enough to fit into her mouth. fun, fun, fun.

77* and clear

lawn girl

it is funny to watch ellen chase after things that make noise. she loves the vaccum cleaner, the blender, the washing machine, and now we know she loves the lawn mower.
it's 77* and partly cloudy

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

little helper???

this is our little helper. however, i have a feeling she likes climbing up on things and throwing whatever she can get her grubby little hands on and makes us think she is trying to help.

we are actually in a spot i'm sure most parents find themselves in. ellen is our first and we are finding ourselves wondering what is little ellen being a kid and what is something we should try and correct. she now knows what she wants and when she wants it and is delighted to let us know by rupturing our ear drums. we haven't locked her in the basement just yet....=)

it's 51* and been raining off and on all day long.


we leave for wisconsin tomorrow morning....last night the whole crew from great-grandparents to ellen went bowling at the pella excite-a-bowl. good times in small towns, reminded me of home.

as you might notice from the look on ellen's face she gets very excited about things now. every time anyone was out on the lane she would wave her arms frantically in the air and yell at the top of her lungs. she was especially loud for her mother and helped tessa rack up three strikes on the evening. dad and i split the two games, he won the first and i won the second. we go on tour with the pba next month.

Monday, May 14, 2007

heading to wisconsin

well, we are just over a week away from leaving for mali. we have spent some time with tessa's parents in pella, iowa. (we just grilled out last night) on wednesday we are leaving for wisconsin and will be spending about a week with my parents before we head out. our flight leavs chicago at 5:35 p.m. on the 25th.
we are excited to begin this six month adventure.