Welcoming the New Year

welcoming-the-new-yearWell, after a 6-month hiatus it’s time to get back to blogging. I’ve missed sharing our Tanzanian adventures, but life just got so full and busy it was hard to keep up with everything. So I decided to let the blog go for a while. I was also much less intentional about capturing our days in pictures, but I’ve pulled together a selection of images and video clips to share as highlights of the last few months…

In August we made a trip back to Nebraska to visit family and friends. This is such a special time for Max and Elly to build memories with the family members we don’t get to see very often. There were lots of fun adventures including a trip or two to Bounce U, but also a good amount of time just chilling out at Grandma’s house.

bounce-u-omaha

In September Max and Elly started Sunday school at Arusha Community Church and they are really enjoying it. It’s an international congregation so they are getting to know kids from a lot of different cultures. The first few Sundays they insisted I stay in the classroom with them but now they are managing well on their own.

acc-sunday-school

In October we donned our favorite sunglasses and went outside for an impromptu weenie and marshmallow roast in our yard one afternoon. Max and Elly love these fun, spontaneous activities.

hot-dog-cookout

Also in October we were visited by Flat Stanley from Mrs. Hynek’s 3rd grade class at Westgate Elementary School in Arlington Heights, Illinois. We showed him around Arusha and shared a little bit about Tanzanian geography and culture with his classmates back in the U.S.

flat-stanley

In November the Sunday school kids led the church service for the First Sunday in Advent. It was so sweet and Max and Elly did a great job! Max wasn’t keen on wearing the sheep ears and he totally refused to have his nose painted but he did a great job with the songs.

sunday-school-program

Elly loved one particular song, Shepherd of My Soul, and practiced it for days before the service. She almost missed getting to sing it, though, because just minutes before it came up in the service she had to go to the potty. But she got back just in time.

The following week they had their annual school program and got to share their singing and poetry talents.

annual-school-program

Here they are singing the Tanzanian national anthem with all the other students at the Tanganyika School Early Years Center:

And this is a poem the Nursery B class presented (Max is partially hidden–look for him behind the girl with the black-and-white plaid leggings):

After their program we set off for a family fun weekend at Max and Elly’s favorite safari lodge, Weru Weru River Lodge at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

weru-weru-river-lodge

Elly had fun making her “magic potion” out of swimming pool water and flower petals.

elly-magic-potion

Kakasii was on safari over Christmas so when he got home we went to the village to ring in the New Year at our shamba. There’s never a shortage of mischief for Max and Elly to find there! These are their 2017 New Year’s Day photos–Max wanted to show off some sort of superhero karate chop and Elly wanted to make her new dress twirl:

new-year-in-the-village

Now we’re back home and well into the New Year. Max and Elly have gone back to school (as Kindergartners!) and Kakasii and I are busy in the office preparing for our 2017 safari clients.

first-day-of-kindergarten

So here’s to a wonderful 2017 and high hopes that I’ll do a better job of keeping up with blogging!

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4 Responses to Welcoming the New Year

  1. Janis Poppe says:

    It was so good to hear from you again. Sorry we missed you when you were in the states. Your family is growing up so fast. God’s continued blessings to you all.

  2. Jeanne Gilbertson says:

    Brenda, so good to have you blogging again! Sure missed your updates! I could not open the videos, it said private video when I tried. Planning on returning to Tanzania in May and definitely in October to attend the graduation of one of the girls that I sponsor at MGLSS. Hope to have time to visit ELIMAA! God Bless you and your family.

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