Grandchildren in the House

February 4-9

What fun to have these five grandchildren in the house last week.

With Jared, Jesse, and Ian in school, Lydia at work, and Josiah visiting friends, I almost thought I was not going to get a group picture.

Jared helping grandpa fix the dining area light.

Jesse learning to swallow pills.

He needs to be able to swallow malaria pills when we travel in Africa – and he has trouble swallowing pills. 

His mom sent M & M’s along because the malaria pills are about the same size. I helped encourage the project by telling him that he could eat three every time he swallowed one.

On this day he came to my office and said he wanted to earn thirty M & M’s by swallowing ten of them. He did! We are making progress.

There was snow and ice one day that closed school. We spent the afternoon playing Scum.

We have only one guest room – and Lydia has that because she is currently living here.

Josiah got two air mattresses (to feel a bit like a bed) in our office in the basement.

The three boys each get an air mattress in the carpeted area our garage.

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Josiah had a load from Los Angeles, California, to Lansdale, Pennsylvania, and received permission to spend a few days with us. He left on Friday with a load from Reading, Pennsylvania, to someplace in Wisconsin.

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What a busy, fun week!

Mourning Doves

Tuesday, February 6

A graceful, slender-tailed, small-headed dove that’s common across the continent. Mourning Doves perch on telephone wires and forage for seeds on the ground; their flight is fast and bullet straight.

Mourning Doves eat roughly 12 to 20 percent of their body weight per day, or 71 calories on average.

The Mourning Dove is the most widespread and abundant game bird in North America. Every year hunters harvest more than 20 million, but the Mourning Dove remains one of our most abundant birds with a U.S. population estimated at 350 million.

Identification: They are about 12″ in length; gray-brown; long pointed tail; black dots on wings. Male has light gray crown and iridescent sides of neck; female is evenly brown on head and neck.

The oldest known Mourning Dove was a male, and at least 30 years, 4 months old when he was shot in Florida in 1998. He had been banded in Georgia in 1968.

Primarily a bird of open country, scattered trees, and woodland edges, but large numbers roost in woodlots during winter. Feeds on ground in grasslands, agricultural fields, backyards, and roadsides.

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Those were some interesting facts about the mourning dove – from the internet and my Stokes Field Guide to Birds.

Great American Outdoor Show

Monday, February 5

This year we had a definite purpose when visiting the Great American Outdoor Show at Harrisburg – stop at Bosbok Safaris – where we will be in a few weeks – (we leave the USA in 18 days!)

Cerwin took this shot with his cell phone. A bit of a different angle than mine.

We had many questions for Kate and Phil – standing in the background.

We had fun talking to another couple who were with Bosbok Safaris last year. (He is wearing the red hat and she is in the orange jacket.) In this picture Kate is looking at her photo album and marking pictures that she wants.

They made us even more anxious for the trip, by telling us several interesting stories of their stay with the de Koks.

Phil talking with two hunters.

I gave Kate a list of questions that Cerwin and I and Jere and Kristen had. She is writing her answers.

Cerwin also had some questions for Phil.

Kate and Phi de Kokl. We are so anxious to see their place in Africa.

We visited many South African outfitters at this show last year, and when we came to Phil and Kate – we KNEW this is where we wanted to go.

We didn’t spend a lot of time at the show, but I did stop at this taxidermist who had some amazing samples of his work.

I have wanted to go to Africa since my Uncle and Aunt were missionaries there when I was a young girl. It was not a great desire of Cerwin’s, so I thought I would just enjoy videos and pictures of the African landscape. Never dreaming that I would ever have this opportunity.

Then – about a year ago – Jere and Kristen asked if we would like to go with them and their children when they go to South Africa to see Jana during her term with Youth With A Mission. After talking to YWAM leadership, Jere learned that the best time to see Jana is at the end of her service – so we will be seeing where she trained in Cape Town and spend a few days in that area before flying to Bosbok Safaris near Kruger National Park.

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I can hardly believe that I am actually going to Africa. 

It truly feels that God is giving me the desire of my heart – and I don’t recall that I ever prayed or asked Him to grant this desire to me.

It is a small symbol of God’s faithfulness to me and a fulfilment of my life verse – which has been my scripture theme since my early 20s.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.

Psalm 37:3-5 New King James Version