Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

How can it compare?

You might notice that the number of blogs posted since our return to the States the first part of  August has been 3.  That’s about one per month.  That’s pretty pathetic.

I guess it’s just really hard to compare our life here with our life in Kenya….it all seems so mundane and usual and NOT blog worthy.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, just a REALLY different thing.

I  notice that I can drive for long distances here and be daydreaming the whole time.  None of that knuckle gripping tense driving that is par for the course in Kenya.  No need to constantly scan the environment for dangers.  No need to dodge people, vehicles or animals. 

So, I guess you’ll all just have to adjust your expectation of what this blog is gonna be now, and I will too.

No more amazing tales of African adventures.  Now you’ll be getting disgusting tales of baby, preschool and kindergarten kids, which can be just as entertaining, I’m sure.

I am thankful and adjusting well to regular life again.  Thank goodness we don’t have cockroaches, disgustingly large spiders/locusts/crickets/beetles, or random goats/chickens walking through buildings (or our house).

I am thankful for the wonderful group of family and friends who supported us while we were in Kenya, and that we know get to see some part of the group almost daily.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

And now, for a few pictures that highlight our first few months home from Kenya:


I am not lost

Habari ya siku mingi!  Do you remember me posting in the past of the Kenyan saying, “You’ve been lost” when you haven’t visited someone for a long time?

Well, I know that I haven’t visited my blog much in the last few weeks, but rest assured, I am not lost from it.

Life has been chaotic.

Moving three kids under 5 years half way across the world, quite literally, took a lot out of this momma & poor Ian who had his back go out just as he sat down on the plane for our awesome 16 HOUR flight from Dubai to San Fran.   Can you imagine anything more torturous?  How bout the fact that the airline seated us separately, so Ian had both kids while I was seated alone with the baby.  Not ideal for either of us.

Saying a difficult goodbye to my dear Kenyan friends whom I have seen day, after day, after day was and still is hard.  While the work was hard, I still do miss that knock on our door at 9pm, the girls coming to beg some sweets from Ian, seeing Ruben love on my flower garden, having Patrick give me a hearty wave to say Habari Asubuhi, and all of the rest of the sweet ways the staff and residents loved on our family.

Moving back home to a crazy, rushed and chaotic world is taxing on the system and the soul.  Poor Ian had to soothe himself with some rice and beans right away.  Eli says Asante Sana to the checker at New Seasons and wonders why she doesn’t appreciate that he’s thanked her for the sticker she gave him, Lucy tries to navigate coming  into what pretty much is a 2nd culture for her…..we left for Kenya when she was just TWO years old!  Poor thing can’t figure why we aren’t paying the police, putting trash in pits in the yard or waiting for the water to heat before it comes out of the tap.

And then there is sweet baby Ameena.  My wonderful Kenyan gift.  A daily reminder of our amazing midlife adventure.

I’ll post soon.  I have so many thoughts swirling in my mind.  So many things I want to share.

I’m processing.






Praying that I’ll have the faith and wisdom  to listen to what God has in store for our family, and that I’ll be obedient in my answer.

Speeding Ticket

That was the subject line of the email we received from Ian’s mom yesterday.

Seems like they think Ian was doing 50mph in a 35mph zone in downtown Beaverton last week.

Funny, though not really since I SOLD that car to an insurance fellow about a YEAR ago!!

It was a photo radar zone, so it was a nice ticket of around $190 (I think that’s right), with a picture of “Ian”.  Unfortunately, it really kind of looks like Ian.

Since the courts really don’t believe that Ian is not in Portland charging through downtown Beaverton in the mid morning in our old Hyundai Elantra we get to send:

A copy of his Oregon drivers license (I sent the Kenyan one too so they can see his HUGE beard, which honestly, that is unmistakable!)

A letter from our boss saying that we really were in Kenya in October

The bill of sale from the car sale last year (I’m kindly including the name AND business card of the man who bought the car and NEVER bothered to register  it in his OWN name).

Hmmph.  See what happens when you are sure you’ve left the country with every detail taken care of??  Honestly though, the email made me laugh and was a highlight of my day.


The Portland Crew

So it’s been a little over a week now since our volunteer training crew from Portland has left.  It seems like forever and a day since they were here; so much goes on in each and every day at the Centre that we are just worked and worn out by the evening.

Our crew consisted of 7 wonderful women:  Jorie, Laurah, Shari, Angie, Laurie (or is it Lori??  I really should know!), Sheila and Connie.  Each woman came with their amazing “real world” talents and gifts and then also just the gifts of friendship, time and a lot of doting on our kids.  What a treat for Eli and Lucy.  They really truly had their emotional gas tanks filled for the first time since our move here.  I don’t think that Ian and I had realized how busy and distracted we had been in trying to get all of this up and going….until we saw how they content they were after full days of loving from the ladies.  I am so thankful for that gift from them!

With all of that said….I was a horrible picture taker.  I don’t think that I took a single one.  The ladies more than made up for it, and I think there will be some amazing videos and photo collections from the trip…but just not here.

You can go to megan steele’s blog and find some pictures of our great volunteers though!   They organized, cleaned, taught, listened, taught, fed, hugged and in general gave hope to each and every one of us here.  They were gracious and walked with our local women to their homes, and endured conditions that would make most Americans cringe.  The women will never forget the mazungus we came to their homes and listened to their stories.  An amazing gift.

I would encourage all of you who have even just a little tugging at your heart to come over and experience this….to….do it!  It is a blessing for us, and for you.

Rent our House!

Ok, so here is a shameless plug for someone to rent our cute Portland house.

We had a great renter….who just needs to go back to his own house so it doesn’t get foreclosed on.  Long story, and it’s his.


Who wants to rent our house?

I can feel all of you just jumping out of your seats now.

It’s a cute little 50’s style house that has had some good remodeling done, including our jewel:  the entertainers backyard.  With 2 separate patios, a path for little ones (or you) to stroll or ride toys down and a pea gravel area made for sunbathing, it’s a dream.  Ian especially likes to sit out on the lower patio at night almost year round with a fire in a chimnea with a glass of wine.  In fact, we all kind of like too….even the neighbors.

Right in Cedar Hills, a few blocks from Commonwealth Lake.  Beaverton Schools:  William Walker, Cedar Park and Sunset.  Walking to Starbucks, Winco, Borders, a multitude of banks, Ross, Old Navy Powells, a variety of food venues, Coffee Rush, a massage/pedicure, you get the idea.

A great place for all ages.  Newly married, young families, older families, retired.  I love taking walks there at night and having people know me by name. 

The house is 3 bedroom, 2 bath.  Includes washer/dryer.  Awesome *NEW* AC, gas furnace, newer fridge, stove, dishwasher.  granite, & hardwoods.

Here’s a look at a few house pics, a little old now, but it should look about the same! 

Kitchen is the same except for white/nickel drop lights over the table now

Kitchen is the same except for white/nickel drop lights over the table now









The living room/dining area

The living room/dining area









The master bath with oversized shower...not bad for a 50's house










Oh how I miss you lovely back yardAnother shot of the backyard with the winding path
Oh how I miss you lovely back yard
So, it’s not a big ‘ol modern pad, but it is a lovely family home in a fun and friendly neighborhood.  We love it and know you would too!