Camping On Roi

October 30, 2013

I'd been looking forward to taking the kids camping for a while and it seemed like Fire was finally old enough so this past weekend we camped on Roi with our friends Gene and Sandra and another family from Kwaj.  While it wasn't all sunshine and s'mores, we all had a really good time and we're already talking about what we're going to do better next time.
Camping near the beach? Check!

 Camping near a beach that has electricity, fresh water, and a real bathroom nearby?  Double check!
 After getting the camp set up, we went swimming and then grilled dinner as the sun went down.  Before bed, we had a (very hot) fire and made s'mores
We got the kids to bed and had a good time just talking with our friends but right when we were ready to call it a night, Fire woke up and couldn't get back to sleep.  I ended up carrying him a mile across the island to the hotel room we'd reserved just in case.  He fell asleep on my shoulder during the walk but woke up once we got to the air conditioned room.  He passed out again around 2am, just about the time it started pouring down rain.
 Turns out rainflys don't work that well if you don't stake them out- D had to do it in the dark by himself though, so have some pity on him.

Who doesn't love camping breakfasts and coffee after sleeping in a tent?

 I swear, I fixed his diaper three times and it kept ending up like this! 
Fire had two bowls of oatmeal
and then hit Gene up for his banana.  Growing boy!

We had a great morning at the beach and grilled out again for lunch.  That afternoon, we took all the kids back to the room for naps and then went to the Outrigger Bar for dinner.  We slept in the hotel that night but told ourselves, "Next time, next time..."

Shaving Cream Social

October 29, 2013

   The Shaving Cream Social is a Kwaj tradition and I'd been looking forward to Sky being old enough to go to one ever since we moved here.  This year was finally it.  Sky really didn't know what to expect but once she saw how much fun it was to get her daddy and her friends messy, she threw herself into it and had a great time.

 Two days before they event, a small ravine near the soccer field is fenced off and gradually filled with water.  There are lifeguards around the entire area and all the kids in Sky's group had to have a parent with them.

School Photos

October 24, 2013

   It's that time of year again! I can't believe this is Sky's 3rd year to have a school photo, and it's amazing to see her grow up through the pictures.

 2011 (21 months)
 2012 (2-and-a-half)
And 2013
 (3 and-a-half)
This was Fire's first year to have a school photo:
 (20 months)
The photographer also got some great shots of Sky and Fire together:

If You Give a Sky a Camera

October 20, 2013

What life in our house looks like from 3ft tall


It's Not Hoarding If...

October 19, 2013

On Kwaj, it's not hoarding if you're actually going to use it all.
On Kwaj, it's not hoarding if the store won't be selling that item ever again.
On Kwaj, it's not hoarding, it's called shopping!

Why yes, I did buy six bottles of flavored coffee creamer at the store this weekend.  I was making a quick run, hoping to find cheese and sour cream, and there they were: winter creamer flavors!  I bought two peppermint mochas (my favorite flavor) one pumpkin spice, one chocolate raspberry, and two vanilla heats for D.  He likes the new flavor so much he's only adding to his coffee every other day so that it'll last longer.  Oh, Kwaj, somehow you're totally wonderful and horribly frustrating at the same time!

Guest Post: Meet My Friend Andrea

October 18, 2013

Hello, all! I'm a friend of A's. Actually, for all I know, A is really a super-secret experiment from some clandestine government agency, since we've never actually met. But, such is life in this fast-paced, modern world. Information, experiences, and even whole relationships can be shared over the world wide web - and you don't even have to get out of your jammies to do it! Experiment or not, I'm awfully grateful to have become her friend, and for her kindness in letting me share our exciting news with all of you. You ready?

We're moving to Guatemala!!!!

Sorry - I tend to get a little over exuberant sometimes. Let me back up a little bit.

Who - First off - 'we' are the Farriers - a family of five from Iowa. Mark (dad) and Andrea (mom) took a short-term trip to Guatemala in February, and came back with a heart for the people there. After much prayer, confirmation, and conversation with our girls (Rachel - 13, Rebecca - 9, Sarah - 6), we know that we are called to mission work!

What - Mark will be interning with some long-term missionaries in the area, and assisting at a local Bible college, which trains pastors. Andrea will be a volunteer teacher at a Christian K-12 school in the city. The girls will attend there as well. We will also be helping with water quality and safety projects, at orphanages and women's shelters, and wherever else we can find to share the love and message of Jesus.

When - Well, as soon as we can get enough funding raised, and get our house sold, we're ready to go. Our goal is to leave by June 1st, so we can get (read: drive) down there in time to get settled before the school year starts in early August of 2014. (Yes. We're driving through Mexico. With all of our remaining possessions. In a Jeep. There are five of us. It will take approximately 43 hours of driving. We're choosing to think of it as boot camp for learning to rely on Jesus for every need. Help us Lord...)

Where - The town we are going to is called Quetzaltenango (or, Xela [shay-la], as the locals call it). It's the second biggest city in Guatemala, and is located in the Western highlands.

Why - Trust us - this was not our idea. It really was from God. Honest. We're normal, rational, hardworking American people, and we didn't come up with a plan to move to a 2nd world country on our own. God showed us His love for the people in Guatemala. He showed us the need there. He showed us that we could be an answer for people in need. Then God reminded us that we had promised to give our lives to Him. It's very hard to say no to God when He is so clearly leading you.... even when He leads you to Guatemala.

How - This is where you come in. Well, you, and a whole bunch of other people. We need to raise $2,500 in monthly support, and $10,000 for our sending/emergency fund before we can go. We're already over 25% of the way there, and are looking for people who want to put their money where the Great Commission is and partner with us in this ministry.

Is that you? Is God stirring your heart? Have you been looking for new ways to make a difference in the world? Want to stretch out and broaden your sphere of influence? Or, maybe you're just super rich and in desperate need of a place to put a bunch of cash for tax purposes. That's ok too. We don't judge.

If any of those are true about you, then we can help, if you help us!

Just to prove we're 100% legit and above board (and so you'll know where and how to donate if you feel so inclined), we invite you to:
Thanks for being A's friend, everyone. Even government experiments need love. Right? Also, though, thanks for taking the time to check out what we're up to. I hope that we can all become online friends. Might as well take advantage of all the good things the internet has to offer, even if for no other reason than to offset all those annoying popup ads and spam emails. :)

Columbus Day Run

October 17, 2013

 We participated in the Columbus Day run again this year- 6.52 miles around Kwajalein Atoll.  I didn't have high hopes for the run and was mostly wanting to finish it without walking.  D has been training for it but I haven't and our practice runs the last two weekends didn't go that well.  I think our best decision was to borrow another single jogger from a friendso that we could each push a kid.  Our kids are getting so big that they were just too heavy to push together in the double jogger for that long! 
  We finished the run in 1:12:13, only a little over a minute slower than last year.  I was so proud of us- we never walked, never complained, just went for a fun jog with 50 of our friends and had a good time doing it. 
After the run this year

After the run last year
 (Teshie was only 8 months old!)

We did the run in 2011 too but I don't have any pictures of it, so here are some really cute ones of Sky doing yoga with her daddy

(Look at how tiny she was- 22 months old!)

Raffle Winner

October 16, 2013

  I bet you've all been waiting on pins and needles to find out who won the beautiful purse we're raffling off!  Well, four wonderful ladies entered and the winner was drawn out of a hat on the night of the 15th.  
Me, getting ready to draw a name from the hat

And the winner is...

Can't see it?  How about if we move closer?

There's our winner!

  Congratulations to Liz, our big winner!  I'll get the purse in the mail to you as soon as possible.  And for Kari, Rachel, and Andrea, I have consolation prizes for you!  Kari, would you send your mailing address to ambermbates(at)gmail(dot)com?  Rachel and Andrea, I've already got your addresses, so keep an eye out for your prize! 
  Thanks again to everyone who's contributed to Operation: Science Stuff.  It's already been a huge success, way beyond what the school imagined we could do.  Let's keep it up!  Stay tuned for another raffle in November, with children's books from the Unbound Bookmaker project as the prize.

For Auntie Mo and Uncle Paul

October 15, 2013

Thanks for the bike!  It's Fire's favorite thing right now and he rides it every chance he gets.

Operation: Science Stuff- Raffle

October 7, 2013

 Operation Science Stuff is off to a great start!  There are a few groups here on Kwaj that are considering doing fundraisers and I'm very encouraged by the amount we've raised so far.  If you've already donated, thank you so much!  All the money raised will go to purchase new and used science supplies for Kwajalein Atoll High School.  

To raise even more money for the school, I'm having a raffle- this beautiful purse, hand-made here in the Marshall Islands is the prize:

 This purse is hand-woven out of palm and breadfruit leaves and is just the right size to carry enough of your things without being too large:

  Tickets are only five dollars each and you can enter as many times as you want.  To enter, visit Operation: Science Stuff's Pay It Square page and buy your tickets.  You can leave a comment below  to let me know how many you've bought or I can figure it out from your donation.  The raffle will be open for one week, closing on October 15th.  We'll draw the winner's name from a hat that night. 

Let's encourage science and a love of learning! 
For more information: Operation: Science Stuff

If I Seem Distracted When I'm Talking on the Phone...

October 6, 2013

It's because this is what's happening at my house!

Rainbow Cookies

October 5, 2013

  I was on Pinterest the other day and saw a picture of some rainbow-swirl sugar cookies.  I knew that Ciela would love them and that it might be a project we could do together.  It turned out to be kind of a process and Ciela only stuck around for the begining and the end (the eating part) but we had fun and the cookies turned out great.  I made a double batch and took them to church and they disappeared in about five minutes!   Enjoy!
1 stick Crisco butter flavor shortening

1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
food coloring

Directions:  Cream shortening and sugar and then add egg.  Mix until smooth, then add remaining ingredients, adding flour gradually until dough reaches the consistancy of play-dough (pliable but not sticky).  Divide dough into five sections and place each in a bowl.  Add food coloring (3-5 drops) to each bowl and knead into dough, washing hands between each color.  Wrap the dough in plastic and refridgerate for 3-5 hours:

Preheat oven to 375.  Remove the dough from the refridgerator and roll pieces into small balls, each about the size of a large grape.  Try to have an equal number of dough balls of each color:
 Take one dough ball of each color and gently squeeze them together in your hand until they look like a beach ball (try not to blend the colors), then roll the ball into a snake about 12 inches long.  Roll the snake up into a pinwheel, gently twisting the dough to make it swirl.  Place the finished cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 5-9 minutes until they are golden on the edges and slightly firm to the touch. 

Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and then move them to a rack to finish cooling. 

The last step: surprise your child with a cookie for breakfast- with hot cocoa of course!


Our Charmed Life. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.