Friday, December 26, 2008

Holiday Programs

On the 19th we were a busy family with 2 school programs in one day. We started at Edie's preschool for her class program. This was a variety of children singing/staring at the parents, a short play that included also of prodding by the teachers and our Edie was part of the dance of the snow daughters. Here again, there was a cryer among the girls and constant reminders from the teachers of what was the next move. We were so proud of our girl since she had to be bribed to dance with the required dress, shoes, and hair bows. She is above with her teacher showing everyone how it should be done.
Phew, next one. In the afternoon we had Zeke and Saiah's program. This included games, singing an Australian rendition of Jingle Bells, recorder playing and play staring the oldest girl in the class, Jubilee. Notice the picture of their program, the teacher was busy handing out the words of the next song and absent-mindedly handed Saiah the microphone. His face says it all. He was master of the mic for only about a minute but, he had all the adults roaring with laughter!!
By evening we were exhausted and treated ourselves to dinner out with most all the team in Darhan. What a great day!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Winter has set in!

So, I know that we usually have cute pics of the kids but for all you folks from the temperate climates, here it is. Our wonderful helper did laundry, yes by hand, and this is what we got home to at 5pm. The trick is to get them brought in the house before the sun goes down and it is really cold. So this time the jeans and sweatshirts dripped, before this week it was warm enough that though frozen the water dripped off before they were brought in.

Note of interest, it takes 4 days for frozen clothes to dry and yes, when you pick them up they are stiff, almost rock hard!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Here are our three cowkids!! You will notice that their choice of hats varies, but all still very authentic for the job they have selected.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mrs Teacher

Our schoolhouse teacher, Ms. Kirsten, has been sick the last couple of days... so Krista has been filling in! Sure it has been a bit stressful (10 or so kids in 5 grades in 1 classroom), but she is a super-mom! As far as I know all of the kids are still alive and a few of them even passed their tests today ;) But "super-mom" is a bit tired... We sure appreciate our schoolteacher!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More Outdoor Fun

Here we are casually crossing a pleasant stream on a bridge of our own making! I'm thankful we had such a nice camping trip early September, because we are already using the woodstove and wearing long-johns to work!! There is always a window between the weather turning cold and the city's heat being turned on. Yes, we have had our first frosts and the garden is now OUT of commission... but I guess it would be anyway because of the cows getting into it while we were gone. But is it too cold to go fishing next week...?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Great Outdoors

One of our visit highlights was camping in the Mongolian countryside... especially because we had trees! Speaking of trees, here is the infamous "dead stump" of a tree that broke Zeke's arm. Don't ask me what he was thinking! But no worries this trip, except for the lightning storm in the middle of the night... I think my sleeping bag was the only one that got wet.

Building bridges across the stream, watching the herds of horses go by, looking for caves, telling stories, a few smores and lots of coffee! Not to mention solitude... except for the 300 year-old Tibetan Buddhist temple across the valley. Not all that easy to get to (a few mts. and rivers to cross) but definitely worth the trip!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Grandparents' Visit

We have had a wonderful visit with "grandma & grandpa" over the past 2 weeks. We've had so much fun it has flown by! We started out in UB enjoying the "fancy" stores and restaurants. Here we are at an Irish Pub in Mongolia... doesn't it look like we belong?! I think we have also had Italian, American, Mongolian and tonight maybe Thai food.

Then we moved on up to Darhan and relaxed in the quiet comfort of our cozy cabin... while grandpa took care of all of the kids! Enjoy this rare footage!! Not long after that they moved into one of our CAMA apartments in town... More to come on our great visit!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Our Not-so-little Girl

First day of school for Eden... notice the frown. At least she isn't screaming! Despite the morning tears she genuinely seems to like her teacher and the other kids. Sometimes she can't decide if she likes being a "big girl" who has her own school now, or if she prefers to stay close to mommy or daddy. A lot of times she would rather stay inside and hang out with adults rather than play... lots of attention! But she also loves to listen and watch other kids. Pray for her!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

School's In

It's that time of year again already! Here are our VERY excited young students on their first day of MK school... Isaiah (starting Kindergarten), Averi Lain (2nd grade), and Zeke (3rd grade). Miss Kirsten has 10 students in our little Darhan school this year, though Krista will be helping out with Saiah every morning in their very own kindergarten class! Eden will probably start Mongolian pre-school Sept. 1st.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

One Big Team!

Well, here we are - CAMA Mongolia. There are a few extras (a vision team from Tennessee), but not too many, and I think that adults are now officially outnumbered by kids!! We are very blessed. Our initial team in 2003 was about 7 families, which went down to 2 (the Yims and us!), but now we have 7 just in Darhan (if you match up Alli our Australian and Kirsten the MK kids' teacher) and 4 in UB. Praise God! What will all of these people do?! Well, at least half of them are still in language study...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Friends

Our team just received 2 new families in UB and 2 here in Darhan. Right after breakfast our kids run over to play with the Lains (Avery & Eli), who have been staying in a Mongolian ger and "living with" one of our neighbor families. Eden would be there too, but she is still pouting over her toast. Tomorrow we all head to our Field Forum Retreat!

Monday, July 14, 2008

New Pups

They showed up on our doorstep and, after Saiah fed them once, refused to leave. I refused to feed them (Mongolians don't like female puppies, not functional enough) ...but finally gave in because the kids were having so much fun. So, please meet "Puppy Chow" and "Snack Attack." Also notice the green in our yard and the coming vegetables! Oh, and we mongolianized (de-Americanized?) the water pump and it is working much better...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Mongolia's Wild West

It was a long and fast trip through the Wild West of Mongolia, 11 days through almost as many states (with a focus on Hovd, Ovs and Bayan-Ulgii). But we did manage to get out of the car every once in awhile. We even found a few nice camping spots (yes, most of it was as bare as the pictures suggest). For more info you'll have to ask email and ask for a summary!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Livestock Safari

Another weekend fieldtrip! We took our visiting dentist (Dr. Anderson) and his lovely assistant (Linda) a half-hour north and found this Mongolian oasis. Loads of camels and horses and cows, not to mention goats and sheep... ALL five of the traditional Mongolian livestock! It was a super hot day (104F) but we had lots of fun. Then we went to Bulgan to visit our friends the Bergevins (and ride horses), and now I am getting ready to head West on an even bigger adventure!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Lil' Angel...

Here's our little cutie snuggling a kitty...
of course, she is just as likely to grab it by the tail or the neck and dance a jig, but isn't she beautiful!? She must be outside whenever possible, and she must wear boots because wherever there is water and mud, that's where she'll be! She keeps her brothers in line, and all the neighbors for that matter, with her index finger and a zinging scold. Yup, that's our girl!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

School's Out

School is out and our mischievious band of MK kids are back on the streets! Zeke is enjoying staying at home (I didn't even see him this morning because he was sleeping in). He wakes up (eventually), eats breakfast in his underwear, plays on his GameBoy, watches a movie, grabs a snack, plays on the computer... he doesn't realize that we are going to kick him out of the house whenever there is no rain or sandstorm! It will be a little more difficult to make him play with his little brother and sister...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Garden Time

It's that time of year! Krista has been busy planting and watering. Thankfully we have lots of helpers! Here they are trying out our foot-pump (quite popular with the neighbors since our hand-pump is having problems!). It's a bit messy, but we are trying to canal the water through our garden. Notice the small trees behind them beginning to bud and the small patch of grass to the right... pathetic for an Oregonian, but we finally have some green!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Out and About

We went on a fieldtrip the other week and it was quite the Mongolian adventure! After figuring out the "pecking order" with the local bully (see pic) our kids were able to chase the goat kids to their hearts' content. And of course there was plenty of fresh milk, which was good because we didn't take lunches and we were stuck there for quite some time with a flat tire (and no spare). Thankfully friends brought some glue and a bike pump so we could fix the tube...

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Mongolians say that Spring makes you tired (probably from surviving the long harsh winter). Well, it is true, and we have been exhausted this past week. Our projects and churches are a juggling act, our house and well need some work, and there is a big beautiful garden to plant! God help us to help Him!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Basking on Ice

Summertime in Mongolia! I know I promised no more ice pictures... but if that's so then you may never see a picture of us again! The weather has been fabulous, despite the thickness of ice. Saiah just HAD to dig into our boxes to find his shorts... and Eden doesn't want to wear any clothes at all! We had a nice little stroll, and sometimes we take our kite. Too bad we didn't have our beach blankets! We could even make snow castles... but I don't suppose anyone would want to be buried on our beach...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy B-Day x 3

Happy Birthday to Eden and Saiah! 3 and 5, we can't believe it... and Zeke turns 8 in a week or so! We kept our parties small and simple (of course I had a leadership training all that weekend!). Eden got a chocolate cake (American) and Saiah got this frosting bonanza right here in Darhan. Thankfully the weather has been great so they have played outside LOTS! Their favorite toy is the shovel and so far we have a nice big pit right in the middle of garden. We're just happy to have them outside!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Intensity on Ice

Ok, last picture of ice for the year, honest! (Actually I don't have a choice because our long Mongolian winter is apparently over!). We are now officially moving on to Birthday season. Two of Zeke's friends had birthdays recently (the Liberda boys), and they went ice-skating at the nearby homemade rink. It was Zeke's first time and he had a wonderful attitude... he also got lots of advice, like from this young expert. Next week we will celebrate both Isaiah and Eden's birthdays, followed next month by Zeke and Krista! With all of these parties, along with the slushy puddles, tis our season to be jolly...

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Yes, I know you are getting tired of pictures of snow and ice...
but you are going to have to deal with it, about half the year, and be thankful you are not living it! We had a lot of fun this last weekend on a team Prayer Retreat. Normally trees are not a hazard to consider in Mongolia, but it was quite exciting to try and avoid them as well as all of the small children wobbling around! Thankfully all of those layers act as a good buffer. Now we are looking for Spring, especially with the temperature dipping above freezing the other day. Here come the T-shirts and shorts!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Watering Hole

Here is the local watering hole - the Haraa river about 100 meters from our house. Thankfully we mostly only see the cows using it now, although before taking the picture I told another man to please get water from our well. The ice is at least a foot thick, perhaps not smooth enough for skates but great for a little sled ride with our friends! If you can stand the bitter wind, that is...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Here's Johnny...

We have an announcement to make... our middle son will heretorfore be referred to as "Johnny" - a head-banging lead guitarist for his new band, Rockadooz. He's been practicing quite a bit, and he has some moves that will really make you gasp (in amazement, or perhaps just in fits of laughter). Anyway, thought you should know.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Things are much better now that everyone is healthy ... mostly. Krista is on her last couple weeks of medication, praise God! Eden is a busybody - up and down the ladder, carrying the cat all over the house, and changing her clothes like a mad woman. She also colors in most of her free time (when she is not helping Orna to wash dishes and clothes). Anyway, I think they are pretty! Zeke, though, is in his "I hate girls" phase, so don't ask him.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rough Start

Well, 2008 is off to a "rough" start. I know we look happy, but it is COLD! And it is going to get colder this weekend (-40). Several of us were sick this last week, including both parents. Who is supposed to cook and keep the fire going when that happens?! But things are looking up. Actually we are always looking up, which is where our hope and our strength come from! I believe it is going to be a wonderful year after all...