Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bush Clinic Day

Every Thursday around 8:30, I take off for a little village called Hanlonli, to work at the clinic there. I stock my medical bag, grab some munchies, a roll of t.p., plenty of water bottles and Gary's GPS (which our boys gave him several Christmases ago...a brilliant tool for our ministry!). I load the car, lock the front wheels in 4 wheel drive mode, and get in the truck. Before leaving, Gary and I make sure that we both have our cell phones charged and near us so that we can stay in contact as needed.
Recently I began training Mia, a 20 yr. old girl, to become a "rural nurse". I've had Mia in my youth group for years, and she's keen to work in health...isn't interested in marrying any time soon. So I pick her up at her house, and we head out on our 14 km. trek through the sahel to our village. This time I'm also carrying a door and two windows for the new clinic that is nearing completion there.

As you can see from the picture above, often with the changing landscape and tire marks it's sometime difficult to know which "path" to take. That is where the GPS keeps me from becoming lost! It's amazing how much more secure I feel as I drive out there, knowing I have that little satellite map with me! It also helps to have my student with me...just her presence and conversation help. I can drive for several kilometers out there and not see another human being. I purposely avoid driving near any of the many thorn trees that dot our route, and navigate ruts and sand traps cautiously. I don't want to bust an oil pan or wind up in "sinking sand". 4 wheel drive is Brilliant!

45 minutes later we drive up to Pastor Nori's compound. The new clinic is being built on the land adjoining his family compound, but for now, we're holding clinic in the little building he built himself and it's in his compound. Pastor's compound is a grand example of heath teaching being lived out in daily life. Here you see that he and his wife have put what we teach into practice for the whole community to see. The compound is clean and orderly, safe and yet homey.
He already has 2 patients waiting...2 young boys.

Pastor Nori didn't just wait for me to return from the U.S. to help him get that new clinic built. He went ahead and exercised iniative himself and built a perfectly adequate one to use in the meantime... with the waiting area just outside the door (the bench) in the shade.

Granted, it's a bit small and cramped inside the days that Mia and myself and our 3 women health workers all meet together, but most of the time it's adequate for Pastor and his patient.
Pastor Nori has been trained in some basic medical measures, but has longed for more training. So my role is to come out once a week and teach a lesson to he and Mia, and then to see patients with them. As we hold clinic, they are expected to put into practice what they are learning. Here's an example. Last week's lesson was on the heart and it's role in our health. They learned what problems occur when the heart is unhealthy and one common "exam" they can use to help them: taking Blood pressures. So they practiced on each other first, and then we took every patients' blood pressure throughout the day.
I also meet with the three women from that area with whom I did training in preventative health care last term. They have been seriously putting that training into practice and it's changing their communities for the better. They come on Thursday and we review 2 old lessons, with Pastor and Mia there as well. They benefit from the lesson and learn how their health women are helping them. Soon I will be training these women to perform Prenatal checks on the expecting moms in their community, and then we'll progress to deliveries.
In the middle of one of our lessons, a young mother arrives with her dehydrated's been vomiting and had diarrhea for the past 12 hours, a combination which kills more babies in Africa than even malaria. Immediately we check the baby's temperature...with the symptoms presenting, she most likely has malaria. While Pastor gets the malaria treatment meds, I ask the women to tell the mother what she needs to do for her baby. Immediately they begin to explain to her, how to make rehydration drink, offering to help her make it the first time, and then how often to give it. They explain other helpful things to the mother, and I can't help but get excited to see "my girls" taking on a role of extreme importance for their communities, but also for the Kingdom of God. Their compassion and care reveals the love of Jesus Christ to those among whom they live!
By 4 p.m., we're wrapping it up. It's been a long day...and some time in there we ate some rice and sauce fixed by Pastor's wife...and drank a lot of water. Now we drive home over the bumpy trail tired but very encouraged. Having the gift of helps is such a blessing and I thank the Lord for His giving me the opportunity to excercise it here!

Leah's Puppies!

Last week, Tuesday night, while we were still in Niamey, Leah had her puppies... All 7 of them! This was her first litter in her the good ole age of 11! We were concerned that she may struggle to give birth for the first time in her "old" age, but she seemed to get through it very well. She was tired, but who wouldn't be after giving birth to 7 babies??

The parentage of these pups is suspect, and they are definately mostly "bush dog" with a mix of German Shepherd and Chow in them. They sure are cute right now! But what are we going to do with all these puppies???!!! Anybody need a hearty, intelligent doggie? We've got the pup for you!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Home Depot African Style

Often, as many of you do, we have repairs to do on our home (like our kitchen wall). You probably run out to you local Home Depot or other hardware store to get the supplies and/or tools that you need. We like to think that we’re doing much the same thing Except that there isn’t a “Home Depot” in Makalondi… The nearest “one” is in Niamey. So when we come in to town for mission ministry, Gary often has a list with him of needed items from the “hardware store”.

Whereas I love going with Gary to Home Depot back in the States, I’m not so keen to tag along out here. Home Depot here is called “Bukoki Market” and it has a whole different look and feel! It covers acres and acres and includes everything from hardware to food to bus stations. Many men would find this place fascinating!

The other day, I rode along with my husband. We thread our way through the narrow dirt roads, squeezing between huge transport trucks and donkey carts, and… “Look out for the guy on the bike!” carrying a load of at least 30 clay pots! On arriving our favorite “dealer”, Gary gets met by several of the dealer’s men, who greet and whisk him past the rebar and roofing tins to go do business in the office. They will visit, drink a coke and then Gary will give his list to Mr. Dealer. They discuss quality, amounts and prices. This “shopping” can take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes and all the while, I’m sitting in our truck with the sun beating on it.

All manner of traffic pass by -- human, motor and animal. Some greet me, but most of them ignore me. The flies join me in the cab. A crazy man stops and starts yelling at me, so I pray while I roll up the window. It gets hotter and now the sweat is running freely. A man selling medicines, including antibiotics, passes by and a phone card vendor tries to get me to buy a card.

Throughout all this, I’m watching the bus depot across the street. One loaded vehicle is packed with people and baggage, preparing to leave. But first the chauffeur decides to do some repair work on his engine. 15 minutes later, he shuts the hood, climbs in and turns the key. Nothing. So he yells back to some of the men passengers to jump off and push. The do and that does the trick. They have a jerky start, but they’re off!

Gary comes back. All “his” men come, shake my hand and tell me to greet my family for them. The supplies will be ready that afternoon. Gary will go back to collect them, but I’m thinking that I’ll stay back at the office and work on emails this time!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fall in Makalondi

A few signs of Fall in Makalondi are Pumpkins, with the carving, cooking and freezing...

...and Saturday Evening Football on the weekends. (All over Africa, 'football' is the term for Soccer.)

A New Kitchen Wall

I am getting a new kitchen wall!!! I know that sounds a bit boring to be excited about, but if your kitchen wall were cracked and getting ready to cave in, and you were getting a new wall, you'd be excited too! Our home is made out of mud bricks covered in cement. Over time the sand beneath our home has settled more and more, the fierce rainstorms have pounded the thin layer of concrete, and the extreme heat temperatures have caused the walls to expand and contract. Under these conditions, the back corner of our home is separating and the open cracks have allowed the rains of this past summer to further erode the walls. As it stands now, the back doors of our home no longer will shut, so critters can more easily slip in and we can never lock the house when we're away. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited that this past week, the mason and his workers began making new concrete bricks for the new wall.
In the next week or two, we will move our new refrigerator into our living room, cover up the stove and other cupboards, and hang a curtain between the kitchen door and the living room to keep out the demolition dust and dirt. The roof will be off and open. I'm not real excited about that phase of the project, but as soon as we get through that, I hope that they will quickly get the new bricks up and roof on. Then we'll hire the painter to come and paint my walls a nice ocean blue or teal. Helps the room to feel cooler...a trick of the mind. I'll be sure to update the progress and when it's all done, we'll post a picture of our renovated kitchen. Guess Gary won't get many cooked meals for awhile...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How was your church service?

This past Sunday morning, I took my camera with me to church. I just had to try and get some pictures of our worship service because of our unique situation. The Makalondi church has been working on building a church for the past year. It hasn't been easy for them, and they've made some serious building mistakes, but it's THEIR building project...they have a vested interest in their house of worship.

(Gary and Janjua wait outside for church to begin)
Meanwhile we're meeting in a halfway finished mud brick house, probably about the size of your average kitchen (9 ft. x 28 ft.). It has 3 rooms, and the main room is where the worship time is conducted. Off of that narrow room, through 2 doorways, are two smaller rooms. All the children sit in the forward room on mats, and I sit in the back room doorway in my fold out chair (I have to have a back support for my finicky back). As more and more people try to cram into the building, more and more people get pushed into the adjacent rooms or back out the front door. This house, by the way, only has 4 small windows, so you can imagine how hot those rooms become as the sun shine brightly on the tin roof and temperatures rise into the 1oo’s! When it comes time for the choral groups to sing, the stick podium and our drums have to be carried out the door, so that the group will have room to stand in front of the believers. When a baby starts to cry, the mother has to climb over 7 or 8 other mothers to try and get out…and then she loses her place.

You may wonder that any of us, especially the national believers, would even come back Sunday after Sunday. But to most of them, this is the highlight of their week… the time when they can be with their spiritual family, they can sing their praise songs together and they can hear God’s Word read and talked about. To a highly illiterate people, this is crucial to their faith.

So last Sunday, there was a meeting after the service to discuss how we could complete our church building, and soon! After a lot of discussion, it was decided that since they have had a fairly decent harvest this year, every man will sell enough grain to be able to contribute $10.00 to the building fund. Women will bring $6.00 and those with children are to bring an offering in each one’s name. Now how’s that for deciding where the money will come from? So it was agreed upon and we are all to bring our offering by the end of November.

Hopefully within a short amount of time, I’ll be able to post some pictures of our new church building in use. Maybe we’ll be in it by Christmas….

So You Think Your Choir Can Sing!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

School Days!


Matthew and Mayemba
While we've been in town, we've been able to help some of "our boys" get registered in schools and off to a good start. To get registered in a School requires a good deal of effort. The student has to assemble a whole file of paperwork, some of which demands that they travel to another town, a Regional Center, to file a request for the document, and then hope to receive it that same day and return home! Both of our newest students, Matthew and Mayemba, to Niamey had to do that, taking a taxi bus ride of 4-5 hrs. to obtain this one document. One Friday afternoon we took David to pick up a necessary document for his new school, and was told to return next Tuesday after 4 p.m. He told us later that it took 3 more visits before he was able to obtain the paper!
When Nindja and I went to register Matthew and Mayemba in their Professional School, we were scolded for coming "too late" and told that there were "no more places". We explained that we had just received information about their school, had quickly tried to assembled their files, and had come as soon as possible. We listened to more chiding and clucks at our "negligence" and "tardiness". He finally placed a call, and reluctantly told us that they "happened" to have two openings. When I asked him when the boys should show up for classes, he told me that their first day of classes was a week from then!! (But I thought we were too late!! :)
So now we have all 3 guys installed in their schools and classes are off and running. We see the boys nearly every day, as they stop by to rest between classes, or visit after school. Since I'm sure that they are probably not getting regular good meals, I try (when we're in town) to fix a meal for them or send them off with some fruit.
We actually have 2 other of our guys living elsewhere in the city, so last weekend, we invited all 5 boys to come have a sleep-over at our house. They really enjoyed being all together, eating and visiting, and watching "Prince Caspian" together. These times together also give us time to share Spiritual things too. They have many questions, and we can look at Scripture for answers. Even after watching 'Prince Caspian', we had some great discussions on some of the spiritual symbolism and applications.
We enjoy providing a "home away from home" for our boys here, as moving to the city can be very unnerving at the beginning. We hope it nurtures a feeling of being "family" and providing stability in their lives.

A Feet Update

After the last posting, we got xrays done on Gary's feet. No recent breaks! Yea! So, with consultation with a Dr. friend, we figure that it must be Gout! We had no idea that Gout could be so aggressive and painful...even to the point where walking becomes impossible.
With the proper medication and the days of rest, Gary is now walking again without crutches. His feet are still abit painful on the sides, but so much better than they were! He's up and about again, so we are heading back to Makalondi this afternoon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gary's Feet

Well, the first foot has healed, but now it appears that the same "maladie" is attacking the other foot....a kind of mirror effect! Gary's been very patient, but is also getting pretty antsy! It's not fun trying to navigate crutches in gravel and sand. Pray that we find out what is going on...and can treat him accordingly. Until he can walk again, we can't return to our home in Makalondi.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Djuali's Special Day

At the end of our rainy season, many of the churches in our area will have a Baptismal service because the water holes in the bush are full of water. And in a few more months, the water will have evaporated or been used. So for the next few Sunday’s there is a Baptism in several of the area churches.

This past Sunday was particularly special. The Hanlonli church had planted a daughter church in a neighboring village and now eleven of these young believers were making a public testimony of their faith through baptism. One of those being baptized was Djuali, a young man who is a strong witness for Jesus. He is the only one in his family who has become a follower of Jesus…the rest of the family being of the predominant faith in our country.

Gary and I drove the 14 kms into the bush, following cow paths and bike trails, finally reaching the church. Several folks had already gathered, and while we waited, we visited in their church made of sticks. But soon it was time to all walk together to the 1 km. to the water hole. On arriving, more folks joined us, most of those being baptized, and visitors from other churches, come to celebrate with these believers. When we arrived at the water, it was brown and stagnant, common of most water holes. As we waited, I saw that across the water, a Fulani herdsman had arrived with his cattle, and all the cows went wading into the water.

When all had assembled, we began with singing some joyful songs. Then Gary gave a short talk to the “baptees” on why we follow Christ in Baptism. He was supposed to help baptize, but due to the afore mentioned foot injury, he begged off. After the pastor waded into the water, the believers each came in and gave a short affirmation of faith and recited a verse they had memorized. We sang between each baptism. It was especially exciting for Gary and I to watch Djuali be baptized, his face just radiating his joy.

Back at the church, we had a joyful service with the newly baptized members sitting on the front rows. Gary preached an excellent message in Gourma on the significance of Baptism and our testimony. The service was followed by communion – the first time for the “baptees”.

After the communion service, we all sat and visited until they brought out a good meal of rice, or noodles, or millet mush with a tasty sauce, all eaten with our washed hands. (It always tastes so much better when you eat with your hands!) Then the choirs started up, and that was amazing! They are great!

Eight hours after leaving home, we loaded up to go home, very tired but really happy. Djuali’s Baptism day was very special for him and for us all!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gary's mishap

On Friday night, in the middle of the night, Gary had to get up and chase wild dogs out of our compound. In the rainy season, wild and stray dogs congregate in the ball field out in front of our house and fight and howl all night. It can make a good nights’ sleep virtually impossible. Because we have our dog, Leah, and we don’t want her mixing with this unruly crowd, we keep her on our screened in terrace after dark. Lately some of the dogs have been getting very bold, jump our wall and try to get in to Leah. A fight breaks out and Leah begins barking…and it gets VERY noisy! Gary got up to chase them off and in his haste, didn’t put on shoes, grabbed his wood club and rushed out the door after the dogs. Within a few steps, he tripped and fell, cutting his foot open in 2 places and breaking his big toe – the same toe he’s broken before. He patched himself up and soon came back to bed. I slept through it all! I don’t know how!

The next day, I saw that he had cleaned the cuts well, and we left it to heal. He tried to curb his activity that day to allow his foot to heal. But out where we are, one can’t stay off their feet all the time. The generator has to be coddled in order to start it, visitors have questions that need answers, and so on. By Sat. night it was hurting more.

Sunday was spent driving about 14 kms into the bush for a baptism followed by a church service and activities until nightfall. After 8 hrs., including preaching the message, Gary’s foot was seriously hurting. We headed home, he took Ibuprofen and had another restless night.

Monday morning we headed into Niamey and we decided that Gary would SIT at the house and meet with those that needed to see him. That forced me to have to run the errands by driving our stick-shift truck…something I’m not used to doing in Niamey’s city traffic! By evening, the foot was very swollen, red, hot and painful, so I started him on a course of antibiotics. It seemed to be doing better by this morning, but by afternoon today, it’s getting worse, the swelling, redness and pain are gradually moving up the foot. Now I’ve switched him to a stronger antibiotic and a heftier pain medication. We’ll see how it goes from here.

All that to explain that my blog entry for this week won’t get posted until tomorrow! And I’m praying that Gary will be showing improvement by tomorrow. I’ll let you know…

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

College of Prayer comes to Makalondi

This past Sunday was especially significant for those of us who live in the Makalondi area. We were receiving a visit from the National Committee of the College of Prayer Niger (COP). All of our Pastors and church leaders from the outlying churches had been invited to come in to an information meeting at 3 in the afternoon. The day was hot, humid and sunny, and many of those coming were walking or biking to the meeting, some coming from as far away as 30 kms!

Gary and I had decided that the only place big enough for all of us to meet in, was probably the main student room of the dormatory. As the time drew near, Gary went down to make sure that the benches were in place, a big water barrel had been filled and put under a bush for shade, and the nice stick chairs were in place for the special visitors. I waited at the house for the cars bringing the COP visitors to arrive.

Shortly after 3:00, they arrived and after welcome greetings, I hitched a ride with them and showed them where we were meeting. Already quite a group of men had assembled and bikes were parked everywhere. Greetings were passed around freely, everyone enjoying seeing each other.

When a significant group had gathered, and some worship singing (with accompaning drum) had happened, it was time to begin the program. Gary introduced our visiting COP members, and we turned it over to them. With one of our own pastors translating from French into Gourmantche, the President, Pastor W. gave a good explanation of the purpose of the College of Prayer, which is operating in many countries now. He explained that we need to bring Prayer back into our lives and thereby bring renewal in our churches so that we can then become an agent of change (through the gospel) in our nation. As we was sharing his passion to see us unify as different Christian groups, through prayer, to battle together against Satan's kingdom, the people were intently listening. His illustration stories from Congo brought truths home and even though sometimes humerous, the point was clear. The Gourmantche really understood.

Later the whole group, which was now over 60 men and 4 women, from many different evangelical churches, decided that they wanted to begin their own College of Prayer in the region. They made that decision clear by taking up their first offering, even though none of them had known that would take place. And the amount collected was very significant (even though this is the leanest time of year for them as they await the harvest next month!).

After some joyous worship singing, the Intercessory Prayer leader led in a time of prayer for ourselves, our churches, for our nation and our leaders.
By the end of the meeting, two and a half hours later, we were reluctant to see it end. It was such an encouraging time for all of us who were share in prayer together. We are excited to see what God will do as we join together in prayer for our region and for Makalondi.

After feeding the team a quick meal of rice and sauce and apples, the committee soon got in their cars to head back to Niamey. Night was falling and it's not good to be on the highways after dark. What a joyful way to come to the end of the day. There is a College of Prayer in Makalondi!

(Note: I have the privilege of being the Registrar/Treasurer on the COP Niamey and Gary is the new Treasurer for the COP Makalondi)
To find out more about the College of Prayer in the U.S. and International, you can visit their site at:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Most Valuable Accessory!

In all our years in Makalondi, 10 to be exact, there is one little appliance that has made life there possible. It has helped us to make it through 112 degree heat during the after-lunch rest hour and 90+ degree nights when not a breath of air was moving! It faithfully runs with little or no maintenance and it has become my Number One bedroom Decor Accessory! In my book, it goes with ANY style and it's more precious than any item you can buy at Pottery Barn!

This Most Valued item is our 12 volt Battery Run Fan which is charged every evening when our generator is on. At bedtime we turn the generator off, and turn on the 12 volt fan. It quietly blows air across our bed, enabling us to get our sleep...even on a killer-hot night! The next day, when the heat is overwhelming, we turn on the battery fan in the office and work in front of it. Or we may fix our lunch and take it into the office and eat at the little table in the corner, with the fan blowing directly on us.

Living on the edge of the Sahara, one must find ways to adjust to the climate. Gary made the WINNER move when he hooked up our very first battery fan! He's still got the prize in my book!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rain Storms

Being in the middle of rainy season, we've seen some veritable storms. Many times the rains are accompanied by strong winds which do a lot of damage. Many times, when a storm comes through Makalondi, mud brick homes are knocked down, tin roofs are torn off and walls fall. Often people are hurt as well.

These winds do significant damage because there is nothing to break the wind's force, like trees. And that is because the trees in our area have all ben cut down to provide fire wood to be trucked into the capital city for cooking fires. Sadly there isn't any reforestation being done either.

This past month, the roof was ripped off of one of the Jr. High classroom blocks and the ceiling was torn out. School starts in two weeks...

New Acquisitions

Since returning to Niger, Gary and I have acquired two new items for our home in Makalondi, which will make living there much more pleasant. The first is our new gas refrigerator. Big and spacious, it actually works like a refrigerator should! This is such a blessing after our last fridge, which never kept food cold. Now we can bring fresh food out from the city and know that it will stay fresh until we use it! Some dear friends gifted us with this big blessing!

Our second new acquisition is a kitty named Snowy. She came to us from a couple leaving Niger to return to the U.S. Snowy is a lizard hunter and a mouse catcher and has already rid our whole home of both critters! Last term we were constantly fighting to keep mice from moving into our ceiling, so having Snowy has been a big help. She's also a friendly companion around the house and loves to be with us. We're especially pleased that she and our dog, Leah, get along very well and enjoy each other's company.

I do miss the lizards though...

Back in Niger

In September, Gary and I arrived back in Niger, all green from the rains. This time back is slightly different, since we have moved back into our home in Makalondi and also moved into a temporary home in Niamey. Since Gary's ministry will include being a regional director for Niamey, we were given a house to live in when we are in town helping out our fellow missionaries.
That meant dividing clothes between the homes, supplying two kitchens with groceries and carrying my pillow back and forth between the two places. We're not yet used to the feeling of being in constant commute, but we're getting there. The hour long drive is seeming shorter and shorter now.
As our regular ministries start back up after the rains are done and the harvest is in, we will begin to have a more dependable schedule... We Hope!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Niger's Dinosaurs

I'm not sure if many people realize it or not, but Niger is "home" to at least 9 different dinosaurs! Nigersaurus, a 45 ft. long plant-eater, and Sarcosuchus, a "Super Croc" are just 2 of the complete skeletons that have been discovered in the Sahara sands of northern Niger. Paleonlologist, Paul Sereno, from the University of Chicago, has headed up most of the expeditions which have unearthed the dinosaurs. (Check out his website:

Visitors to Niamey can see several of the dinosaur skeletons on display, complete and reconstructed, at the national museum. The SIZE of these dinosaurs is staggering! The Super Croc is 40 ft. long, comparable to the length of a city bus!

Check out the slide show of Dinosaurs on the left side of my blog. Kids will enjoy seeing these pictures!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Meet Ned Yemba

This month, we have the distinct privilege of presenting the Manager of the Ministry Center in Maka, and who is also the Teacher of the 15 students enrolled in the newly begun Hope Junior High School, a private Christian school which started in September of 2008.

Name: Ned Yemba (fictional name)

Age: 29

Alma Mater: University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, with multiple degrees

Languages spoken fluently: 4 - Mossi, Gourmantche, French, English (and he speaks some Spanish, German, and Italian!)

Profession: Teacher, private tutor

Favorite Books: Bible, Christian Theology, Growth, & Biographies, Science and History, Classics

Favorite Music: Praise & Worship, EXO groupe

Interests: Gardening!!, poultry

Recent Accomplishment: Completed Computer classes and now teaches "computer" to youth at the Center.

Interesting fact #1: Built his own home and roofed it himself. It has two rooms.

Interesting fact #2: Leads a Youth Group on Sunday evenings

Interesting fact #3: Has an email address and a Skype account

We just praise the Lord for Ned. He pours himself into the life of his students and cares about them. They respond to this and appreciate the way he takes the time to explain clearly in class so that they can understand the Why's and the How's. When the students can understand the material, they can then find solutions on their own, and this gives them such a feeling of accomplishment!

The students also know that they can come and talk to Ned about their lives, problems and their questions. Many of them come to Bible studies that he leads. Some of the students have become followers of Jesus through these studies.

Please pray for Ned as he continues to be involved in the lives of students in Maka. Pray for strength for a heavy load, and wisdom for managing that load. Pray for a good testimony and opportunities to share Christ with students.

WOW...where has the time gone?!!

Since my last entry, we have moved to our "home" continent, had two laptop meltdowns, visited 6 States, and become "Nana and Papa" to our grandchildren in real life! We enjoyed seeing the lovely Fall colors, having toasty fires in our fireplace and getting to be COLD again! We've moved from a 5 room mud brick home to a 12 room red brick home! Wow, what's sometimes hard to take it all in.

Most of all we are enjoying being with our families again. Grandkids are a blast! They make us laugh and feel young again... We are so blessed.