Where Would You Like To Go?

August 31, 2011

You never know what you'll find...

in the shops here in Antsirabe
Case & Point?
Look at Ryleigh playing on part of her new mat with her pink soccer ball!!
I think she was a fan when her daddy put all of it together too... 
We've never seen anything like this mat here - and then there it was in a store the other day - so we bought it!  We also found 2 different things for her bday or Christmas!  I'd call that a pretty successful shopping trip!

August 28, 2011

Lemurs & Shopping

This past weekend we took a road trip back up to Tana (the capital).  It's about 200km away but takes close to 3 hours to get there due to how curvy the roads are.  The trip up was much more pleasant than the trip down a month and a half ago because I made sure to take some dramamine before we left! 
Looks like Ryleigh was ready to go!
We took this trip to get some supplies now that we were more aware of what was availabe in Antsirabe and to practice our language in a different setting.  Friday was spent at the Lemur Park near Tana.  It's a place we'd heard about from other missionaries and had seen plenty of fun pictures.
It's a free range park with 7 different species of lemurs living there.  The views were beautiful!
There were also plenty of reptiles there as well...Ryleigh didn't know what to think about them but Steve was excited to have finally seen some chameleons.
There were also tortoises - MASSIVE ones and little, bitty, baby ones.  Our guide placed some up on the wall for Ryleigh to see...I think she thought we were going to take them home with us.
We also met our 1st Mahafaly person there!  His name was Biesel and he was our guide.  He was fantastic and spoke English very well.  Biesel loved Ryleigh and insisted on a picture before we left.
Friday night we were grateful to join the Emish family for their weekly pizza night - it was delicious and fun.
We decided to stay around on Saturday and get some extra shopping done.  After loading up with some groceries, child safety items (for when Ryles goes mobile), and a drying rack (apparently the rain is about to start)...the back of our car looked like this...

We then hit the road Sunday morning traveling back to Antsirabe.  We enjoyed our little roadtrip and are grateful for the prayers that were being lifted up for our traveling safety!

August 26, 2011

Shopping Trip

My shopping buddy (she's without a doubt the reason we get decent prices)
a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers -
 there's always plenty of choices on Saturdays - and the whole bouquet was 75cents!!
2 new bags - they're just so cute and super cheap!

I love my little shopper!!

August 24, 2011

Mada Popcorn

When we make trips to the market, it's common to see children walking around with these huge (as in bigger than they are) plastic bags filled with what looked like popcorn.  We've learned that it is indeed popcorn and now we know where they make it!
This, my friends, is a popcorn "machine"
No, seriously. Steve discovered it last week and drove Ryleigh and I to see it.  As we were driving up we heard a loud BANG/POP...needless to say, now we know where they pop it - inside this wooden box.  Do you see all of the white things on the ground??  That'd be the popcorn they scoop into their bags.  As ingenous as this may be...I think I'll stick to the pre-bagged kind!

August 21, 2011

The Countryside

One of our favorite things to do on the weekend is take a drive around the area...there's lots of places to explore and it gives us opportunities to practice our language!
ummm don't think there's room for both of us on that bridge...
such beautiful views
"Guys, this all looks the same to me..."
a Malagasy tomb
our God paints such beautiful pictures

August 19, 2011

Beavers in Madagascar

Okay - there aren't any...but that is our new nickname for this little gal who gets her 2 teeth into ANYTHING she can!!

 pretty sure she's the happiest when she's chewing on something/anything!!

August 16, 2011

How Can You Help??

fam•ine –noun

1.extreme and general scarcity of food, as in a country or a large geographical area.

2.extreme hunger; starvation.


2. dearth, paucity, poverty, meagerness, scantness.

We'd like for you to join with us in praying for the victims of the famine in the horn of Africa.

Here's a few requests a friend shared with us and we'd like to pass onto you...

1- The famine that has hit Eastern Africa. Pray for the Lord to be glorified through this struggle. Pray for the Baptist Global Response teams as they seek to help.

2- Pray for Believers in this area to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and to share the love of Christ in all they say and do.

3- Pray for those who don't have a relationship with the Lord. May they hunger for HIm.

4- Pray for the Baptist Global Response World Hunger Fund as the funding is in a red alert state.

Please prayerfully consider how the Lord wants you involved...prayer...giving...going....

Please go to http://www.gobgr.org/ to read more and/or to contribute.

August 15, 2011

A Truthful Witness

"A truthful witness saves lives, but one who breathes out lies is deceitful" Proverbs 14:25
To be sure I am not being deceptive...

My cooking from scratch adventures do not always turn out the greatest...
(these were supposed to be chocolate chip cookies - and no they were not edible...)

 and our smiling little girl does know how to throw a fit on occassion...
(yes, there were even tears but I thought a picture of that might push the grandparents over the edge)

Thankful for a Savior who loves us on the good & the bad days!!

August 12, 2011


Lake Hills Church is where my aunt & uncle who live in Austin worship.  Steve & I went there a few times when we would visit them and always enjoyed hearing the Lord speak through their pastor - Mac.  There's even been quite a few times when we're on vacation or sick that we've been thankful that his sermons are uploaded to LHC's website...check it out here.
While we are throughly enjoying worshiping among the Malagasy people here in Antsirabe, we were both eager to be a part of (aka listen in on) an English speaking worship service - so this past Sunday we started Mac's "Graceology" series.
What a reminder of His grace - I loved the way the sermon started off, reminding us that grace is relevant to anyone and everyone.  No matter if you've known Christ since you were 5 years old or if the 1st time you've heard of Him was today.
Grace is relevant.
Grace is amazing. 
Grace is powerful.
I remember as a child thinking how amazing of a person you must be in order to be a foreign missionary.  I now know the truth.  Foreign missionaries are not amazing people - they simply serve an amazing God.  The same incredible God whom all Christians follow.  Steve & I love being here - it's how He is bringing glory to His name through our lives.  But don't think for a moment that we don't struggle, that we don't fail, or that we don't mess up...we do.  But thankfully, God doesn't.  He provides everything we need in abundance.  We believe the majority of that is because you are faithful in lifting us up. 
This post is just to share a little of our hearts - and hopefully remind you of His grace.  We're all messed up - messed up by sin - we can never make ourselves worthy of His salvation...but He saves us anyway. 
My prayer is that I stop trying - that I stop trying to earn His grace and stop trying to prove myself to Him or anyone else.  I desire to just "embrace the grace" - to dive into it and learn more about it.  I want to try and understand what it means and how He wants it to flow through me to those around me.
There is nothing any of us can do to deserve grace.  If we "earned" grace then it wouldn't be grace - now would it?

August 10, 2011

Daddy's Girl

Every daddy's girl...
has a little room in her heart for her momma too!!

August 9, 2011


Want to know the secret to finding out if someone is saying good things about you - even if they're nowhere around?

It's easy enough...

 anytime you sneeze - that's the culprit, atleast according to Malagasy culture.

The people around you will say "Velona!" when you sneeze - which means "I'm alive!"

This lets whoever was talking about you, know that you are okay :)

Figured this was information you might need to know!!

August 8, 2011

How much...

...is that sweet little girl in the window?
the one that loves to be outside?
How much is that sweet little girl in the window?
 Is there anything she doesn't look cute beside ?

August 7, 2011

Trano Akoho

From the 1st month of hanging out with Steve...I've heard about how he'd have chickens one day...moving to a place where everyone has numerous chickens didn't help anything :)
Thus the building of the chicken pen (trano akoho) started!!
After buying the supplies...
add the chickens...
and you have a chicken house/pen - I have to admit I was quite impressed - my husband never ceases to amaze me with his skills :)
Ryleigh and I checking it out...

August 6, 2011

Tech Savvy

Ryleigh has a thing for electronics...
My mom asked the other day if there was such thing as a baby kindle - LOL
The other night she was fussy - steve showed her the background on the ipad...

She then proceded to try and figure out where those people are that she always sees on the computer screen :)  She stared at it forever...

August 5, 2011

7 months old!!

Our beautiful baby girl who turned 7 months old on Thursday...
She is growing so fast - she currently weighs  18 lbs (75th percentile) and is  27.5 in (90th percentile)!
She's able to sit up and hold her balance on her own...
but she's a climber, so she'd rather be being adventurous...
oh....and she has her 2 bottom teeth now!  This is the 1st time we've gotten a picture of them...
Can you see them??
Happy 7 months sweet girl - we are SO very honored to be your parents!!

August 4, 2011

Mada Bridges

Mada is slightly "infamous" for it's roads...there is only 1 main road to get around the island - it's called the RN7 - the funny thing is there are few clear markers of this road - and that's probably b/c if you're not on the nicest paved road around then you're not on it :)  You see - there are not that many "main" roads to choose from...there are even doctors who'd probably suggest that it's not healthy to even drive on the majority of the roads...some might be paved but they are ever so bumpy - i'm reminded of those old wooden roller coasters - get the idea?
Aside from all of that, the thing we're still getting used to are the bridges.  You know you're approaching a bridge when you see a white line on the road - this indicates you should stop here just for the record...
you stop b/c a bridge is coming up and the bridges only have room for 1 car at a time...
if it's clear on the other side then you can pass on over...
once over the bridge the road "widens" to the "2 lane" road it's intended to be :)
We just spend our time praying that whoever is coming up from the other direction (as it is not uncommon for the bridge to be between 2 curves) understands the rules of Mada bridges!!

August 2, 2011

Our 1st Mada Road Trip

We decided to take a road trip to Ambositra on Saturday.  It's about 90km away (aka 2 good hours of travel) on super curvy roads - all the curviness is okay when you get to see views like this...
We stopped for lunch once we got there at Motel Violete
wherever we've been in Mada - there's always people working hard in the fields...
Ambositra is a "wood carving" town - we've heard the items there are beautiful so we decided to check it out for ourselves...
The work was indeed beautiful and the streets were crowded (saturday is the big market day)
We only made it thorough 15 or so different shops (there are over 30) before we decided it was time to head back - we did not want to be caught on those roads after dark!!
Overall it was a fantastic 1st road trip spent with the 2 people I love most!
I'll post pics soon of some of the items we purchased with our leftover birthday money!