Quotable Elias

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Elias is talking a mile a minute now-a-days and I love hearing how his little brain operates by the things that come out of his mouth.

After vomiting:
“I spilled my tummy!”

Looking at the vacuum cleaner:
“Who dat robot?”

His first joke:
E: Knock, knock
Mommy: Who’s there?
E: Bathroom!
Mommy: Bathroom who?
E: uhhh, pooping!

After learning to tun on the shower:
“I turn rain on!”

A conversation in the kitchen:
Mommy: What are you doing, Elias?
E: Cooking!
Mommy: What are you making?
E: A mess!

Wamena Outdoors

We are not hikers by any means, but we did take a short little family jaunt down by the river while we were in Wamena last weekend.

Wamena River

Nabire has beaches and sunshine, Wamena has cool air and mountain views.  Both gorgeous in their own way.

Fagerlie Family Bridge

The engineering on this bridge is a little iffy, but it’s been getting people across the river for years!

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Relaxing by the river. (Uncle Doug and Aunt Karin accompanied us on our walk.  Elias loves them.)

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Our little monkey on a wire.

Happy Birthday, Elias!

I can hardly believe Elias is two!  He seemingly turned into this little person overnight, but oh-so-slowly.

His second birthday didn’t exactly turn out as planned.  We were supposed to return home from Wamena last Friday, but due to unexpected delays in the inspection, we didn’t fly home until yesterday, Elias’ birthday.  What two-year-old wouldn’t love an airplane on his birthday?  I know one that was super excited about it!

Airplane Ride

Once home, after nap time, we made some cookies together “for my birfday two!” (or maybe “too”…who knows!)

Cookie making

And then we went out for dinner where he had his very own “special juice” (pineapple juice)

Pineapple Juice

He also got to open a gift from his Grandpa and Grandma in Illinois.

Book from Grandma and Grandpa

It was not the day we expected, but we had a fun day anyway celebrating two years of our sweet boy’s life!


Happy Birthday, Elias Tate!

Inspection in Wamena

Truth be told, I wrote this blog post last week while we were still in Wamena, but due to poor internet connection, I have not been able to upload it until today :)  …

We have left the beachy, tropical Indonesia that I know this week to head up into the mountains of Wamena while Nathan does an airplane inspection.  All of this cool air and panoramic mountain views could almost have me believing we’ve left Indonesia all together, but alas the stores full of rice, green bean cookies and Indomie (fancy Ramen noodles) have assured me that I don’t need to pull out my Passport just yet.

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Beachy Nabire

On our way here, we stopped in the swampy village of Doufu.  I always wonder when we’re there, why people would ever choose to settle in this hot swampy land, but there they are, living in their houses on stilts above the marsh.  The people there are said to be “keras” or hard.  Friendly yelling is their main form of communication as far as I can tell.  It is literally like stepping into another world.

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Doufu from the air

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Perks of being a PK (Pilot’s Kid)

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Some of the people in Doufu

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The studly pilot

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On the flight line in Wamena.




Everyday Views

We have now lived in Nabire for two years (with a little 18 month interlude in the U.S.).  I have lived in this home longer than any other home during my married life.  So, it’s home.  Our little home sits on a little base near a little runway by the sea in Nabire, Papua, Indonesia.

These are things that we see everyday that perhaps I have never showed you before…

Nabire Coast

Ok, I admit, this is not really a “fair” picture to star out with because Elias and I do not see this everyday, but Nathan sure does!  That’s the ocean ya’ll!  The ocean.  I never in a million years would have imagined that I would grow up to live so close to the ocean.


This is our water tower.  Yep.

But you know what’s awesome about our water tower?  It pumps water up from a deep, deep well.  The water is clean and drinkable, right from our tap.  Most people in Indonesia cannot boast the same thing.  Clean water is a blessing.

Basketball Hoope

An old basketball hoop.


The pondok.  Elias and I sit under this pondok everyday.  We have snacks, we do crafts, we swing on swings.

Basketball Court

This is the basketball court and my laundry line in the background.  The court gets really slippery when it’s wet and overgrown with moss and algae.  My bruised tail bone has warned me to walk around it from now on when it’s wet.  Elias sure does like to play in the giant puddle that forms on it after a good rain shower though.

Fuel Gudang

The fuel gudang (gudang is the Indonesian word for warehouse, garage or storage place.  Once upon a time, when only Cessna 206s were flown from Nabire, av gas was bought in drums and stored here.  Now we store some random gas, diesel, left over av gas and who knows what else.


If you were a passenger on MAF, this is where you would come to check in.  The old Quonset hut on the left is a WW2 remnant where all the cargo is stored.  The other part of the building is where ticket sales happen, there’s a passenger waiting area and a bathroom.

So, there ya go!  A little sneak peek into our everyday.

Beyond My Borders

It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the “everydayness” of my everyday.  There’s laundry and dishes, meals to cook, owies to kiss, frogs to find, groceries to buy…the list goes on and on.

But beyond the borders of our base, beyond the borders of Nabire, are people who are lost.  People who can still remember what human flesh tastes like.  People who are terrified of evil spirits.  People who don’t know that Papua is an island.  People who are isolated by terrain.  People who don’t know there is hope.

These aren’t nameless people on the other side of the world.  They are in my backyard.  They have faces.  They have names.  They have stories.

Papuan child Shade for the Baby Nathan and Sepius Sweet faces


What’s beyond your borders?

My Little Fish

We have just wrapped up a three-week stint of visitors.  We had a wonderful time with Nathan’s parents.  That was followed up by a visit from our friends who live interior.  You may remember them, I bragged about there here.

While Miles and Terri were still here, we took a little trip to Timika.  Timika is about an hour’s flight from here.  They have an awesome hotel there with an amazing pool for my little fish.  I swear he has natural swimming ability because he just jumps right on in and starts kicking his little feet.  He doesn’t want us to hold him anymore, he wants to be FREE!


“I do it, Mommy.”  He doesn’t even want me to catch him.  He is growing up so fast!




How can I resist this little face?  It’s impossible, I tell you.  Impossible.

This and That

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Way back when, in language school, our homework assignment one day was to go around asking “What’s this?” (Apa ini?) and “What’s that?” (Apa itu?), and then write down what we learned.  It’s a strangely humbling process as an adult when your vocabulary is limited to “What’s this?” and “What’s that,” but it is an effective language learning tool.  We learned a lot of vocabulary that day.

Now that Elias is almost two, we have entered into the “What’s this?,” “What’s that?” phase with him.  Everyday he is absorbing new vocabulary (and learning much more quickly than his mama did back in language school).

Sometimes I still feel like a toddler when I’m stumbling through my Indonesian.  There is so much vocabulary that I have forgotten just because I don’t use it.  Do I know the word for “saw”?  Nope…but Nathan does.  Does Nathan know the word for “fork”?  Nope…but I do.  It’s all a matter for what “world” we each live in within our little world here.  Sometimes I wish that I still had the little sponge brain for language that Elias has.  He is learning English and Indonesian at the same time (although he knows much more English) and he has amazing recollection for vocabulary.  Oh to be two again :-)


Grandpa and Grandma Come to Nabire!

While the whole of America, or so it seems, is glued to their t.v.’s watching the Super Bowl (I honestly would not have even known that it was Super Bowl weekend if not for social media…don’t hate me), we are enjoying a visit from Nathan’s parents!!

They have travelled halfway around the world just to hug Elias.  I mean, I guess they want to see Nathan and I too, but let’s face it, their main motivation is Elias.  He is the cutest of the three of us, so I don’t really blame them.

It has been just over a year since we last saw them in person, so I wasn’t sure how Elias would react to seeing them again.  We do frequent Skype calls, so their faces are familiar, but I’m pretty sure Elias just believed them to be an interactive t.v. show or something.

He has had a whole laundry list of things to do with them: “Granpa swing”,”Granma play blocks”, “Granpa play Legos”. And so, I am SOO happy to see him warm up to them quickly and do all the things he’s been dreaming about doing with them.

Elias and Grandpa play Legos

This makes my heart happy.

Elias and Grandma blow bubbles

And I’m quite certain that it makes Grandpa and Grandpa’s hearts happy too.