Quotable Elias

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Mommy: Can you do a summersault?
Elias: No, I fall, bonk my head and cry. Way dwangdwous. (dangerous)

Daddy airplane talking to his son (another airplane):
“Be sweet and obey.  I love you, son.”

Mommy: Where’s the mommy airplane?
Elias: Grocery shopping.

Pointing to a picture of a tuna:
“I touch that, it burn my finger and my belly. It be very dwangdwous.”

“I just bless you’d [sneezed] on you!”

“Mom! Last night I scared [of] A/C. I tell Jesus.  I not scared anymore.”

A Gift

Nathan sometimes receives gifts from the tribal people in the villages where he flies.  It’s usually fruit and vegetables.  One time we got some honeycomb.

Last week, though, he got a very unexpected gift from the village of Gokodimi.  He currently does not fly to this village. So the people of this village, desiring the MAF airplane to come, sent a representative to hike several days over to a village Nathan does fly to, to present him this gift:

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Now, this may not look like much to you.  But to the people of Papua, this is a highly valuable bag.  The yellow fibers come from orchid plants that are only found high up in trees.  Of course, there are no ladders, or cherry-pickers in the village.  To get the orchid stems, you have to climb up to the tippy top of the tree.  The stems of the orchids are then stripped to make the fibers.  After that, the bag is woven by hand.  MONTHS of work.

So, to be presented with this bag as a gift, is quite an honor.  And we hope that someday, the village of Gokodimi will be able to have to MAF airplane land in their village.

Driver’s License

It’s that time of year again: time to get our Indonesian driver’s licenses renewed!  A trip to the police station to get your license renewed here is just about as fun as a trip to the DMV in the U.S.

First, we waited around for a long time in the waiting room.  The waiting room here though is just a bunch of benches outside.  Thankfully, one of our national staff workers came along with us to help us with filling out the paperwork and talking to the appropriate people.  There’s a whole lot of vocabulary involved in getting a license that we just don’t know.
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Then we were ushered into a little side room where we were fingerprinted.

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And had our photos taken.

Then there was some more waiting…

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And finally, about two hours after we walked in, we walked out with new licenses!  Yay!  We are legal to drive again for another year.

Easy DIY Growth Chart

I’m not super creative.  I’m really not.  But what I am is a good copier :)  I’ve seen these cute growth charts all over Pinterest, usually made of wood.  I knew I wanted a fabric one so that it would be easy to roll up and take in a suitcase.  So I spent the better part of a Saturday morning making this:

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The best part?  This is a no-sew project.  I used iron-on seams, a sharpie marker and some black paint.  Easy peasy.

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I added some older measurements, along with a more current one.  Look how much my boy has grown!

Welcome Home!

We don’t usually make it out to watch the sunset, which is really too bad because Nabire has some beautiful ones.  But the sun always sets right in the middle of dinner/bathtime/bedtime craziness.  (Sidenote: the sun rises and sets right around the same time every single day in this part of the world, being so close to the equator.  When we first arrived in the States on furlough, we were thrown off by the sun setting so late!  We actually forgot to eat dinner, because without the 6:00 sunset, we had no idea it was dinnertime.)

On Friday though, the day we returned home after two-weeks in Sentani, the sky was especially beautiful.  We pulled Elias out of the tub, wrapped him in a towel and headed outside to watch the sunset.  It was as if God was saying, “Welcome Home!”  A camera can never quite do a sunset justice…but look how beautiful:

Sunset Sunset Sunset

Not Just a Pilot

Every time I fly along with Nathan, I come home exhausted and amazed that he does this every. single. day.  And while the flying itself has it’s own challenges (weather, rough terrain, short runways, etc.) the on-the-ground part is what really wears me out, and I’m just an observer!

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In the air, Nathan is the pilot.  And like I said, this is a challenge in itself.  Flying here is no joke.  But on the ground, he is the ground crew, unloading and loading the plane, this also often includes removing or adding seats; the ticket agent, writing tickets and collecting money; the flight attendant, directing people where to sit and how to work their seatbelts (often his passengers have never worn a seatbelt in their lifetime and so it’s really a trick to teach them how to use it!); the peacemaker, sometimes fights break out when there are more passengers than seats available; the runway clearer, not a real job in most airports, but a pretty important one here: getting all the people and animals off the runway so he can take-off again.  All of these things happen within about 20 minutes.  It’s a whirlwind of activity, followed up by a roller coaster ride take-off down a tiny dirt runway.

And then it’s on to the next village to do it all over again!

We Go ‘Tani

We’re in Sentani again.  Or as Elias would say, “We go ‘Tani.”  Nathan is doing another airplane inspection.

Some fun things about ‘Tani so far:

1. There are Snicker bars, like, everywhere!  Amazeballs.

2. Eating lunch out on the day we arrived, I said to Nathan, “Is that [rat] poop?” referring to some suspicious looking lumps just to the left of him on the booth seat.  “Yes, yes it is.” And then we continued to eat… we’ve acclimated.

3. Today, I was at the mall picking up some doughnuts (a Sentani treat) and I noticed a group of three ladies giggling near the escalator.  Clearly they had never been on one before and they were laughing at themselves while they tried to figure it out.  Two worlds colliding at the base of the escalator.

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(Nathan, Elias and a Kodiak Engine.)

Elias’ Room

You may remember that a few months [ahem, 7 months] back we made bookshelves for Elias’ wall and I said I was working on art for the rest of the wall.  Well…it is finally done and I love it.  I love decorating kid’s rooms because they can be so colorful and playful and FUN!

Elias' wall Bookcase and wall

To the right and left of the whole collage deal are just thin pieces of wood that I painted with dinosaurs.  They each took me maybe 20 minutes to cut, sand and paint.  Honestly the longest part of the process was figuring out how I wanted each dinosaur to look on the board.

In the middle, from the top left moving right is Elias’ silhouette I created in Photoshop; a little dinosaur painting that Elias helped me to paint; one of my favorite pictures of Elias and Nathan when he was an infant; number art that I made using my Silhouette machine; an “E” that I glued onto a canvas that I painted; Idaho (because that’s where Elias was born and where his birth family lives); Elias at 18 months old; an animal ABC print that I made in Photoshop and finally, a little quote art that I also made in Photoshop.  All of the photos and Photoshop art are printed photos that I mod-podged onto canvases.

It’s so fun to have a tiny little piece of my home that I can call “done.”  At least for now…until Elias grows out of a dinosaur room.  But I love it!

Gentle Giants

To add to an already awesome weekend (friends visiting & the waterfall), we thought we’d add to the fun by going to visit our friendly gentle giants, the whale sharks of Cendrawasih Bay.

While Nabire has many perks, whale sharks are probably the biggest (pun intended).  Swimming with whale sharks is like nothing I’ve ever done before (ok, well, I’ve done this exact thing twice before, but you know what I mean)

They are huge.

They are beautiful.

They are gentle (thankfully).

They are an amazing part of God’s creation that sits right outside outside our doorstep (you, know, in the bay…a two-hour boat ride away)

Three Whale Sharks Whale Sharks AS Big as the Boat

The dark thing at the top of the waterline is our boat.  These things are hugenormous (spell check is telling me that this isn’t a word…it’s my blog spell check, back off)

See, I was in the water too

Those are my legs!  Each time I visit the whale sharks I get slightly more brave.  I didn’t even hold on to or climb up anyone this time!  I did however, hold on to the boat most of the time. Baby steps, people.  Baby steps.

Jordan, the Fearless

This child, however, was fearless.  Jordan, you’re awesome! (also, my legs in the background along with Katie and April).

Three girls and a Whale Shark

Timing a picture with all three of us and a whale shark was proving difficult.  But, we did it!

Father Son

This might be the most epic Father-Son photo ever taken.

Gentle Giants

“They will not eat me, they will not eat me.”  My whale shark mantra.

Sharks

It’s hard to tell from this photo, but we had three other shark visitors as well.  We later determined they were white-tipped reef sharks…I think.  Thankfully they stayed far away from us.

I was so brave this time

Not to be deterred by the other sharks, look at me being brave!

Don’t you want to visit us now?  I mean, seriously.  What is this life I’m living?  When Elias gets older, we want to take him out to see our friendly giants too.  He stayed home with Daddy this time around.

Go Chasing Waterfalls

Last Friday was a red-letter day which means the guys didn’t have to work (Nathan flew Saturday instead), so we took the opportunity as a base, plus several visitors to visit a local waterfall.  Local as in, a 1 1/2-hour car ride and then a 20-minute canoe ride or walk away, but you know, local.

Walking through the River

Just the littles and their moms rode in the canoe.  The rest walked through the river.  Actually, I think walking was the easier choice.  I ended up pulling the canoe through the water for about half the walk and dragging a canoe through knee-deep water isn’t easy.  Cardio for the day, check.

Nabire WaterfallWaterfall from above

But it was worth the walk once we arrive at the beautiful waterfall.

Down

Then a group of us decided to hike up a bit farther to see more waterfalls and pools above.  Second round of cardio for the day, check.

Barefoot

Just to prove that I did this whole hike barefoot…

Hiking Down

And Nathan carried Elias the whole way.

Rock Slide Tjeerd Rock Slide Jordan

But at the top, we found a perfect rock slide into a beautiful pool of cool-mountain water.

Family of Three Group Shot

The water up here was pretty chilly actually.  But still a fun time.

Waterfall and Pool Pool Going Up

Hiking down, Elias was Daddy’s backpack.  What a great daddy!

We live in such a gorgeous place, which I find really easy to forget when I’m stressed about the everydayness of everyday.  So, day’s like Friday are refreshing for my soul.