I used to hate doing the dishes.  For years I had a house helper (it is super common over here to hire someone to clean your house everyday) mostly so that I didn’t have to do the dishes.  And then I had this two-year internal debate as to whether or not I actually wanted a house helper.  Sure it felt weird to have someone else cleaning up after me all the time.  I would look for excuses to leave the house while she was there…but she did the dishes!  After two-years, my desire to have my house to myself won out (I’m an introvert, yo.) which means I would have to suck it up and do the dishes myself (as well as all of the other household chores).

Y’all.  I love doing the dishes now.  Love. It.  It’s not the actually the act of doing the dishes, but it’s the sort-of mindless washing of dishes that allows my brain to wander.  It is the 45 minutes of my day (yep, takes that long!) where my 3 year-old will somewhat happily entertain himself while I listen to the podcast of my choice and scrub last night’s dinner off of all of our utensils.

It is the sense of accomplishment in taking care of my home that I was missing when someone else was doing the job.  It is the dishes put away in the right place and a clean kitchen, at least until lunch time rolls around.

This may just be a season.  The time may come again, when I am trying to homeschool Elias and wrangle another kiddo, that I may have house help again.  But for now, I am loving having my house all to myself.

All The Books


You guys…I have to admit something: I am somewhat addicted to children’s books.  I even took a children’s lit course in college.  I want to buy ALL THE BOOKS!  Currently, my…I mean, Elias’ book wish list has 47 books on it, and he’s not even in school yet.  We have a tiny little library here in Nabire that a few MAFers put together several years ago and it’s awesome for what it is; believe me, we raid it all the time.  But it is still tiny and now it’s out of date.

So, what’s this book loving girl to do?  For Nathan and I, it’s pretty easy.  We each have Kindle e-readers, which we love and use everyday.  But for my kiddo?  An electronic device is just not the same as holding a picture book in your hand.  So, we bring books in suitcases, we borrow from other and we utilize our little library…and then I dreamily make book wish lists on Amazon.

We are obviously not the first missionaries to experience this difficulty of getting children’s books and there are some AWESOME peeps out there making the gathering and sending books for MKs their mission.  It’s super amazing and such a blessing.  Here are two that I’ve found:

We have ordered from Bookends in the past and I’m waiting on an order from Books for MKs.

There’s also this amazing site that offers free shipping on books worldwide:

So, are you a missionary looking to get your hands on some books?  Check out the sites above!

Are you looking for a creative way to bless your missionary?  Ask them what books they want and send ’em a few OR check out the amazing ministries above and see how you can get involved!

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.

Finger Painting

These pictures are from August, and I just now took them off of my camera.  Oy, am I behind or what?

Anyway, in August, we had a great time finger painting with all the littles on base…plus a few extras.  And what fun is finger painting if you can’t 1) eat the finger paints 2) smear the finger paint all over your own body?

Group Finger Painting Papuan Kids Finger Painting My Sweet Finger Painter Group 2 Finger Painting Elyse Eating Paint Paint Your Head Typical Ethan :) Beautiful Kids

A Day in the Life

I’ve had requests for “day in the life” posts before and I’ve never done them, because frankly, I thought it would be boring.  My typical day consists of laundry, dishes, and mommy-ing.  Pretty normal stuff.  But I guess it all has it’s own special twist because of where we live…

So, without further ado…here is a day in the life of me.

Monday, July 14, 2014

6:30 a.m.  Nathan has long been awake by this point and is already off on his first flight of the day.  I wake up, start the laundry, feed the dog (didn’t take pictures of that excitement, sorry)

Day in the Life

7 a.m.-8 a.m.-I make breakfast for myself (oatmeal and coffee).  I eat and do some internet surfing.  Elias still hasn’t woken up, so I tackle the pile of dishes from the day before.  I don’t like to do dishes on Sundays, so come Monday morning, there’s a mountain.  Elias finally wakes up, so he eats breakfast (a banana and Honey Stars) while I shower.  Then we go outside to hang up the first load of laundry.

Day in the Life1

8 a.m.-10 a.m. I sit outside and read my Bible while Elias plays with Daisy and Smegal.  Then we decide to walk to the fruit stands just outside our base, near the beach to buy some fruit to dehydrate for our team coming in a few weeks.  We buy pineapple, melon and mangos.  When we return to base, Nathan’s plane flies overhead, so we wait for him to land.  We hang out with Nathan at the gudang (building where the cargo is stored…I don’t know a good English word for it) for awhile.

Day in the Life2

10 a.m.-12 p.m. We return home where Elias has a snack while I cut up the melon we bought earlier in the morning.  I also put away the clean dishes and wash the dishes that have piled up from breakfast.  Elias and I spend some time playing with his toys before I start making lunch.

Day in the Life3

12 p.m.-2 p.m. Nathan comes home for lunch and we all eat together.  Nathan returns to work.  Elias refuses to nap, so instead he helps me make banana bread since we have a bowl of brown bananas sitting on the counter.  More laundry gets hung and I start packing for family conference (we leave tomorrow!).

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2 p.m.-4p.m. This is the only picture I took during this time, but Elias and I sit and watch some Shaun the Sheep.  (can you tell how enthralled I am?).  Nathan returns home again and plays with Elias while I hang up the rest of the laundry and bring in what’s already dry. Then I do some more packing for conference.

Day in the Life44 p.m.-5 p.m. I realize that I only have 4 more disposable diapers on hand (yikes!), so we run to the store to buy some.  We stop and order sate (they spell it satay in the U.S.) for dinner and then head to the store.  Of course, we can’t leave the store with just diapers They have peanut butter and Pringles in stock! When they have it, we buy in bulk.  So $90 later we pick up our sate and head home.

Day in the Life5

5 p.m.-6 p.m. We eat dinner, served on a banana leaf.  Yum.  Elias is so exhausted because he didn’t nap, so in an effort to keep him awake a bit longer he gets a bath and then we have our nightly dance party.  The kid loves to dance!

Day in the Life6

6 p.m.- 7 p.m. I retrieve the rest of the laundry off the line.  Elias gives Nathan a “goodnight’ hug (my heart melts) and he (Elias, not Nathan) goes to bed, earlier than usual but not too bad consider how tired he was!

Day in the Life7

7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. I fold laundry and work on writing this blog while Nathan plays a video game.  We finish packing for conference and then cut up some mangos to put in the food dehydrator.  Elias wakes up crying, so I calm him down and then head to bed myself!

There you have it!  My day.  I can’t say that it was a “typical” day necessarily, however my days are rarely the same.  Everyday is a new adventure.

We head off to conference tomorrow morning and so I’ll be away from the internet all week.  I hope you all have a good one!

Fallen Branch Explorers

I was up at 1 a.m. a few nights ago, as one is with a 1-year-old who is having trouble sleeping, when we heard a HUGE crack outside.  I threw myself over Elias just incase something was going to come crashing through our ceiling.  Thankfully, nothing did.  I looked out the window to discover that a giant branch had cracked and fallen from the enormous mango tree just outside our house.  The “branch” was a big as some trees.

That play structure is probably about 20 feet tall…just for reference as to how big this tree is…HUGENORMOUS.  I can’t capture the whole thing in a picture.

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The next morning, Elias and I, along with our trusty sidekick, Daisy, decided to be fallen tree branch explorers!


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I can’t believe I’m going to use this word, but… Selfie!


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They are buds.  Until Daisy starts play biting.  They then aren’t buds anymore.


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His Dad really is awesome.
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We played in the tree branch jungle for a good 30 minutes.  So much to explore!  Bugs. Leaves. Dirt. Bark. Mangos. Boy Paradise.


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Hello handsome!  Love this boy.

Elias’ Room so far

I never really decorated a room for Elias’ while we were in the U.S. because we knew it was temporary.  So, I’m having a great time decorating his room here.  It is definitely a work in progress, but here is what it currently looks like:

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This is my favorite new feature of his room.  It used to just be a bare bulb hanging from the ceiling, but now it’s super fun!  Elias loves it.  He points at it and smiles all the time.  The white lanterns are from IKEA and the colored ones are from a party store in the U.S…don’t remember which one though.

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This is the view from the doorway.  Currently his mattress sits on the floor.  He surprised us and transitioned to a big bed at 13 months.  We were totally unprepared!  Thankfully, some friends were able to bring some bedding for him from the U.S. and we’re working on getting a bed frame made.

The rug is from IKEA.  The green curtains from Walmart.  There are two layers of curtains hanging right now in attempts to block out more light, so it looks a little funky, but it’s effective!

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What’s a boy’s room without toys all over the floor right?  We had the little bookshelf already.  It came with us from language school.  We bought it at a cheap little roadside furniture stand to be used as a shoe rack, but now it’s working well for books and toys.  The wood is totally unfinished.  I might get around to doing something with it someday, but I kinda like the unfinished look for now.

The chair and end table also came with us from language school.

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MAF is in process of making us a wardrobe for him.  So far the dresser is the only usable part, but I am every so grateful for it because we didn’t even have that the first several months we were here, so his clothes were scattered here and there in baskets.

So! There you have it…Elias’ room so far.  There’s a lot to be done still, but it’s getting there.

P.S.-here’s what the room looked like before Elias:

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We’re still trying to figure out this whole upload issue over here. I was able to upload three photos yesterday, but none today. Luck (?) for you, one of the pictures I uploaded is of my living room a few days after we arrived in Nabire. Ok, maybe not so lucky, but it’s a picture and it’s uploaded, so I’m showing you. Thankfully, my living room is a bit cleaner now…and there’s some stuff on the walls. We’re still working on getting everything done in the house, but we’re getting there. Homes always are a work in progress aren’t they?

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Ordinary “I’m a mom” post

I feel as though I should be writing about some grand adventure. But really, my life is pretty ordinary. I’m a wife. I’m a mom. I care for our home. Some of those responsibilities look a little different because of where we live, but a lot of it is ordinary.

So, today’s post is an ordinary “I’m a mom” post. (after years of trying to be a mom, it’s super duper fun to type “I’m a mom”…let me add some of these: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Every parent says, “why do I buy toys, when my kids just want to play with _____.” Every parent says this because it’s oh so true. We live way over here in the middle of nowhere’sville, so we can’t just run out to Target to buy the latest and greatest toy for Elias. But, he’s a normal kid, so he plays whatever he can get his hands on.

Some of his favorites:
measuring spoons/cups
plastic bowls
Piper’s (our dog’s) tail/feet/ears
clothes pins

And “real” toys that he loves:
did I mention blocks?
and balls?
cars (although he usually just “drives” his blocks)

Our IT guy is coming to Nabire this week, so hopefully we’ll be able to resolve the uploading problem and I’ll be able to share some pictures with you!

Our New Digs

We moved into our apartment just about a week ago–the same day that it got it’s certificate of occupancy.  So far, we really love it!

Here’s what you see when you first walk in the door.  Sorry about the poor photo quality.  I took these on my phone and I haven’t quite figure out the art of cell phone photography.

Family room looking toward the kitchen.


Master bedroom with closet and bathroom!

So, here are some things we are really digging about our new digs:

-CARPET!  Carpet is awesome.
-All of the appliances are included!  Phew!  Less things for us to buy. Oh and “all appliances” includes a dishwasher (!!!), a microwave (!!!) and a dryer (!!!).  It includes all the other normal stuff too…but we didn’t have those thing in Indo…so they are super fun to have in America.
-There are two full bathrooms.  I mean, who doesn’t want more bathrooms?
-The walls are NOT contractor white.  I’m not a fan of white walls everywhere and we didn’t want to spend the money to paint.
-The outlet cover are white.  Ok, I know this is a small thing…but seriously, white outlet covers are so much better than that beige color that many apartments have.
-Covered parking.  We’re going to love that in the winter!

Not too shabby for picking an apartment on the internet huh?

We are SO grateful to those who have lent us or given us furniture to make our house feel a bit more like home.  Just think…this little apartment will be our child’s first home!!!  So exciting.