It’s hard to believe Joshua turns 6 weeks old today. It’s also hard to believe how much has happened and how much has changed in the last 6 weeks! There have been many times that I’ve thought “I need to blog about that,” but unfortunately I never made the time to do it until today. As a result, I’ll just share some bullet points from the last 6 weeks (rather than writing a book!) and include as many pictures as the internet allows.
October 25: Joshua’s birth
October 31: Tenwek Fall Festival. Each year a theme is established and all the kids dress accordingly. This year’s theme was the circus, so Noah decided to be a clown (we really tried to make him look happy, not creepy), Jacob wanted to be a tiger, and Levi was a lion. Aaron was the cat tamer, and Joshua wore his tiger outfit. I had a costume in mind, but I (being 5 days postpartum) was happy that I got everyone else dressed and out the door in a reasonably timely manner. And without any tears! We enjoyed games, treats and a hayride. The Kenyans thought we were crazy, but we had a great time.
November 1: Joshua’s dedication. At the last minute, we decided to take advantage of WGM’s visiting pastor and had Joshua dedicated to the Lord in front of our fellow missionaries. It was a sweet and meaningful time.
November 6: Aaron leaves for the States. I survived the days parenting solo with the help of the community. Aaron enjoyed his time at the training (and at Walmart) despite his sleep-deprived state.
November 15: Aaron returns home. Joshua and I traveled to Nairobi to pick him up. We spent all of Saturday shopping. Then, we headed home to Tenwek on Sunday. It was a successful trip and a sweet reunion when we had all 6 of us under one roof again.
November 20: Jayne and Phil arrive! (The picture was taken by Levi.)
November 25: Joshua turns 1 month old!! We attempted a photo shoot. I know we aren’t professionals, but I’m pretty happy with the results.
November 27: Thanksgiving. Since Thanksgiving isn’t a Kenyan holiday, we didn’t celebrate in the normal fashion. Aaron still worked a full day at the hospital. The boys and I had school in the morning. I did cook a pseudo-Thanksgiving meal. We had chicken and stuffing casserole, green bean casserole, corn, applesauce, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie, and chocolate-peanut butter dream bars.
November 28: Christmas with Jayne and Phil. It was very low-key. The gifts weren’t even wrapped, but I had decorated for Christmas. The highlight for me was seeing Noah getting his first pocket knife. He was beside himself and hasn’t let the knife out of sight since!
November 29: Tenwek Turkey Day. The Tenwek Community knows how to celebrate holidays. I’m sure some of you remember last year’s post about Thanksgiving. This year was similar. We started the morning with the Turkey Trot (a 5K race that I did not run) followed by the Mashed Potato Mile (mainly for the kids). I ran the mile with Jacob. Well, to be honest, I couldn’t keep up with him. He won first place for his age group and actually beat many of the kids in the older age group (including Noah). I did manage to finish the mile without walking, which is quite the feat since I haven’t exercised in over 6 months.
Then, we went home to bake pie and prepare food for our lunchtime feast. The entire missionary community gathered at 1pm for the meal. Turkey with all the fixings was spread in the meeting room. We enjoyed fellowship and fun as one big family.
Many of the guys got together in the afternoon for a football game. We Kelleys chose to rest instead. Later that evening, we re-gathered for pie (dessert or dinner, whichever you choose).
We all went to bed stuffed and satisfied. It was especially nice to have Jayne and Phil here for the celebration. I think they enjoyed it too.
December 2: Jayne and Phil depart
December 5: Joshua’s 6-week check up at Tenwek Hospital. Boy! Was this a weird experience! I’m used to lugging all of the kids to the doctor’s office, paying a ridiculous co-pay, hearing lots of “well done, Mom” statements, and then shopping at Target. Instead, I left the 3 older boys at home with Joyce (my house helper), walked up the hill to the hospital, paid 50 shillings (about $0.59), got lots of weird looks because most Kenyans around here have never seen a white newborn (or a pacifier!), and then visited Aaron in casualty before walking home. Joshua was weighed, measured, and given immunizations. All of this was done very differently than what has happened in the past at home. I wish I had taken pictures! Here’s a picture of the little chunky monkey with his monkey pacifier before the shots. He wasn’t quite as content afterwards.
Well, there is it. The last 6 weeks wrapped up in a nice little package. We hope you are enjoying the Advent season. We pray that you are soaking up time in Scripture and taking time to glorify the Savior. We trust that God will reveal Himself in new and special ways as you seek Him.
As I’ve been finishing up my memorization of I Peter, chapter 4 has really challenged and convicted me. Plus, I’m reading a book with some of the women here at Tenwek. It’s called Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul Tripp. The combination of these Truths has caused me to pause and reexamine my motives, my heart, and my theology. I’d love to share more, but I’ll just leave you with a passage from I Peter that sums up the way both books are speaking to me.
I Peter 4:1-2 “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.”
Praises and Prayer Requests:
1. Praise God for a healthy, happy baby! He’s doing so well and I so appreciate your prayers on his behalf.
2. Praise God for Jesus! Take time to truly praise and worship God the Father and Jesus our Savior.
3. Praise God for working technology. While it’s sometimes frustratingly slow, we are thankful for the ways we can contact with friends and family on the other side of the ocean.
4. Please pray for our community, that we will be unified and committed to Kingdom work.
5. Pray for Kenya. The tea crop was not as lucrative as usual, so the economy is suffering. Please pray that people will have enough to eat and be able to receive the medical care they need. Pray that the Christians will use this time to serve the needy and that God will draw His people closer to Himself.