Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Many Faces of Baby T

Little T usually gives you a blank stare when you try to take his picture. But if you catch him at the right time, he has a whole range of expressions!

Of course you do get the typical stone-faced expression (sometimes with a bit of a smirk)...

Cheesy smiles...

Sweet smiles...

Surprised faces...

Sad, "stop taking my picture!" and "don't pull my ears!" faces...

And LOTS and LOTS of silly faces!

We love you, Baby T!

Prayer cards are here!

Hey everyone! 2016 prayer cards are in - let me know if you want one! Who wouldn't want these cute baby faces on their fridge? =)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Metal Tray Upgrade

So, here's another DIY/project idea without a lot of pictures - sorry, folks! I thought you might like to see it, and it wasn't too complicated, at any rate.

As with everything else, I found this tray at the thrift store. It's rather Norman Rockwell/Currier-and-Ives-ish - not a bad thing, but pretty banged up, and although vintage stuff can be cool, I wanted something fresh and modern-looking this time.

1. I'm pretty sure I spray painted white first on this one.
2. Then I created a chevron pattern with masking tape. This took forever. I had to be careful to make 90 degree angles so it would look nice.
3. I spray painted the whole thing teal and removed the tape. It was kind of messy and I didn't think to touch it up...but I actually ended up liking the effect when I got used to it. It's...artistic, right? ;)

Of course trays are always better when you add muffins.

Wooden Tray Upgrade

So this is more of a project idea than a DIY tutorial - because I was really bad at taking step-by-step pictures of my projects this year.

I bought this kind of ugly wooden tray very cheaply at the local thrift shop. At least, I thought it was ugly. I'm pretty sure all my aunties thought it was beautiful, ha ha! I had something different in mind for it than decoupaged poppies.

So the progression of steps was as follows:

1. I spray painted purple the side that had flowers on it.
2. I used masking tape to create stripes - I measured with a ruler to make them as even as possible.
3. I spray painted the whole thing white.
4. I pulled off the tape and used a small paintbrush to touch up the messy spots. (Tip: if you hold the can of spray paint very close to the lid and spray into it, you have a small amount of liquid, usable paint that matches whatever you sprayed.)


I DIY'd the little rose jar as well. I found a plaster rose, a cute mason jar base, and a lid (separately) at thrift stores. I glued the lid and the rose together, and spray painted it, and there you have it - a little jar to store jewelry...or Q-tips...or...something, I haven't decided yet.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back in the US!

Hey everyone, I'm currently back in the States, visiting family and friends, as well as raising monthly support so I can continue on as a caregiver at Muphamuzi Baby Home! It's been a busy last few weeks...

...making enough baby food to (hopefully) last for three months. (Yeah, probably not, with four babies eating solid food!)

...packing everything into one checked bag (oops, one and a half...couldn't fit...I borrowed the pink one from a four year old at our church)...

...then I stopped over to visit my sister Joy in Dubai on a 10 hour layover!

Joy and I were roommates for six months or so before she moved to Dubai (city in the United Arab Emirates) to work. It was so good to see her again!

Some family and friends were a bit scared of me venturing out into the Middle East, but everything was totally fine - Dubai is very much a tourist city. In the airport they even have pink taxis for women, driven by women in pink headscarves...

...and red taxis for men/families. (We later took a red taxi in the middle of the city, so I'm not sure how strict they are!)

Some sights around the city

This is the tallest building in the world. I wanted to go up in it, but that cost close to $150, so we just decided to admire it from the ground.

It was so tall Joy couldn't manage to get me and the top of the building in the same picture.

It was 115 degrees Fahrenheit outside, so we spent as much time in air conditioning as we could. This is a waterfall inside a mall. It spanned three floors.

This is the world's largest aquarium. Again, it cost too much to go inside, at least for the short time we were there, so we just admired it from the outside. I didn't get a very good picture.

Breakfast outside at a cafe

We spent about 10 minutes at the beach. This was due as much to the extreme heat as to me not wanting to miss my flight. The ocean felt like warm bathwater. Somehow, despite not bringing sunscreen along, I didn't burn.

I made it to my flight in enough time, although they made the "final call" before boarding time was even supposed to start, so I freaked out and ran for the last bit through the airport. Then I was off on a 16 hour flight to Los Angeles! Thankfully I got a good seat - I got the last seat before the bathrooms, so no one was behind me and I could put my backpack under my seat and stretch out my legs under the seat in front of me. I watched several good movies and started watching the TV series Supergirl - it's really good! (I have a thing for slightly cheesy TV shows...)

I spent a week in outer LA with my friend Alyssa, my 2014 MBH roommate, who was to be married on the 20th. It was a busy week, of course, but it was good to see her again. 

We visited Hollywood, which was, not surprisingly, a disappointment. I did find some nice, cheap sunglasses. 

This is the theater where Lucy and Ethel (I Love Lucy) stole John Wayne's footprints, and it was the thing I actually wanted to see. However, there was some kind of premier going on and everything was covered up with red carpet. Oh well.

And of course we had to visit the Pacific Ocean!

Alyssa took me to see some tidepools - the thing I really wanted to do.

We didn't see an awful lot (no starfish or fish) but it was still pretty cool. Lots of little crabs:

An anemone

Maybe some kind of sponge?

Afterwards we stopped at a taco truck for dinner so I could have "real" tacos. They were pretty good!

I came back to Ohio on Sunday, and it is good to be home! I've finished unpacking and am hanging out with family and working on support raising - I have a rough estimate of how much I will need to raise (per month) on the thermometer on the side of my blog (I don't quite have it nailed down yet). I will be speaking at our church soon...I will let everyone know when I have a date and you are welcome to come out! If anyone knows of any other churches I could speak at as well, I would be thrilled! I'm hoping to head back to South Africa the week after Thanksgiving.

Love to you all!

Auntie Abbie

P.S. Dubai also has the most awesome ball pit known to man. I'm afraid they probably don't let adults in, which is very sad.