I should have written this post a month ago. Pinewood Derbies have changed since I was a cub scout. RVA has a school wide pinewood derby divided into grades for the competition. And even better, the adults get their own category. After 4th grade, adults are not allowed to help, so our kids made all of their cars on their own. Peter was convinced he was going to win. He researched the internet to find the best design and weight distribution. I counseled that he should do the best he could, but that there were people here who had been doing it for years. I wanted to prepare him for a possible loss despite his confidence. Well he was right! He won every race he competed in. The girls went for originality with Annie making a derby car with her friend in the shape of a roller skate, and Sarah made a car in the shape of a swimming pool with someone in an inner tube in the middle of it. (I know that is a little hard to imagine.)
Everyone with their cars
The sixth grade competitors
This is a big deal at RVA with computer timers, replays, aerial view camara work!
Here is a video of one of Peter’s winning races. His is the black streak of speed!
From our family to yours, we wish you the best Christmas Day. As we have focused during the Advent season on our sinfulness, desperation, and need for a savior, this Christmas seems especially sweet. God is very good, and a great light and hope are revealed by the birth of his son Jesus Christ whom we celebrate today. So Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year to come!
We celebrated part of the Advent season with our hospital friends with a Christmas Carol brass band night. Everyone who likes to play a horn gathered on the front porch of our neighbors house and blew strongly and proudly the hymns of Christmas. Peter joined in the trumpet section sitting next to our British Santa Clause. Next year Annie is committed to being a player on the trombone! (She has moved on from flute to a horn as she has seen all the fun the jazz band has!) Sarah has had her eyes on saxophone, but became interested in the French horn with all of its curves! Go Christmastime in Kenya!
Allison is away, so we went on a hike. These hikes can take my kids through many emotions ranging from joy on seeing a giraffe looking at us over the trees while zebras and gazelles graze in the open, to extreme anger on why Dad took us on this stupid hike. We did Mt. Longonot, and it was a joy. Five hours up and down with great views, wildlife, a huge crater, and the development of character. Here are some pictures on which you can click for some narration.
All smiles at the entrance.
We made it to the crater.
Let’s check out the birds. We think we found a Red-Winged Starling
I took a picture somewhat similar in Peru over some Incan ruins. Isn’t that an awesome crater.
Aiming for the highest point around the crater.
At the top.
Resting on the way.
Moving fast and heading home.
Please pray for the students and families of Rift Valley Academy this weekend. Today was the new student and parent orientation and tomorrow is called “Arrival Day,” which means that the dorms will be filling up with our boarding students for the next school year. It also means lots of goodbyes, as parents drop off their kids and go back to the countries where they serve.
We are part of the new family group, so we’ve been at orientation also, getting tours of the school and learning about all the activities and programs the kids can be involved in. However, we got to walk down the gravel trail to our home with all four kids. Blessedly, at this time, all four kids have said that they are happy that they still live with us—ha!
I stood in my classroom for an hour this afternoon while new parents and students walked through their high school schedule. Ninth grade is a time when many families decide to make a change from homeschooling or local schooling to American schooling. RVA is their best option, even if means boarding their kids. I met so many wonderful parents who fell into three categories—totally chilled because this child is the second, third, or fourth in their family to start at RVA or happy for their kid and relieved not to be homeschooling anymore or nervous but making a peaceful truce with the situation. It was inspirational to hear about where they work and what they do. These people are spreading God’s love in some tough places. Please pray that I can be an excellent teacher to honor the trust they are placing in us. I can tell I’m really going to enjoy spending time with these kids.
Peter took these pictures when he was carrying trash to the caged cans that are supposed to be "monkey proof". Instead he found the monkeys eating the trash.