Monday, December 30, 2013


The kids have gotten to celebrate their birthdays in style with lots of friends here in Australia.  Gwen got to have a day at the zoo, Si had a camping sleepover, and well, Addy got to go to a friend's party.  Her birthday is in March so she'll celebrate in Vanuatu.  And of course, Kaiden had a BIRTH day here too!

At Addy's friend's party:
 Meridith (one of the birthday girls) and Addy - two unusually colored kitties!
 Jamie, Si, Marshall, Ella, Grace
 Gwen, Kristen, Meridith, Addy, Lucy (the other birthday girl)
 Kristen painting Gwen's tiger face.
 Addy's kitty whiskers. 
 Si wanted to be a cheetah. 
 All the celebrants with Kristen, the birthday fairy diva.
 Barbie cake
 bouncing a ball on a sheet
 Pin the tail on the My Little Pony
 Kristen and Gretchen
 Fiona, Sara, Lola
me, Gretch
 Houghton, Don
Simon, Fiona, Mark, Lola

At Gwen's party:
Gwen's birthday was ages ago but we didn't really get to have a party for her or anything all that special in the village so she was to have something more planned in Melbourne.  She wanted to go to the zoo but it was so cold the first long while of us being here!  Then Ian (our builder friend who lives here) got us hooked up with tickets to the free-range zoo in Melbourne so we finally went this month!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

All you ever wanted (and didn't care) to see and know of giraffes.  Watch at your own risk (of wasting time if you aren't into giraffes).

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

At Si's party:
(to be added later)

Kaiden's birth  day!:
Welcoming Kaiden Timothy Richards into the world November 26.
Houghton, Gwen, Gretch, Kaiden, Addy, Jesiah
  At the hospital - Addy, Kaiden, Gretch, me
Putting Kaiden in the hateful carseat for the first time.  Not his favorite place of course! 
The girls are very good sisters to him and are very helpful.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Teaching and...stuff

We helped out with some of the things on for Wycliffe Australia.  They have a yearly course called Probe, which is for people interested in possibly being a part of Bible Translation.  It offers a taste of the kind of training and work Bible translators are involved in.  I taught Phonetics, which is learning the sounds in languages of the world as well as individual symbols to represent them (the International Phonetic Alphabet).  Houghton taught Anthropology (culture and keys for observing an understanding it).  We enjoyed being able to help out and interact with people interested in missions.
 All the students stayed in the lodge I live in on the Wycliffe campus so it was nice to have evening and late-night talks about missions and God's work around the world as well!
 Assessing sound transcription and production individually at the end of the course.
Students and most of the instructors.

And now for the ...stuff.
Our hairy neighbors.
 Check out this size of this family meal!  We are LOVING getting to run to fast food every now and then here and the convenience of that (that we miss in Vanuatu).  I'm not sure who the headless weirdo is...  :)
With my friend Nadia that I met when I was a student in 2009 at an anthropology event at the (Egyptian) Coptic church.  It's been nice to have time to catch up with her while we're in Melbourne.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Roller Derby action

At the rollerskating rink for one of Jesiah's reading outings, I met some Roller Derby chicks. They informed me that there are bouts all over Melbourne so we decided we should go check it out.  It was a bit like hockey without the puck and stick and on skates; well, or maybe more like swimming just not in the water and with lots of physical interaction; or maybe more like football but with hilarious nicknames on the helmets...  So obviously, it was awesome.  Our friends Hannah and Emiline came with another of their friends.  If the leagues weren't done for the season, we would definitely go to another bout!
 sitting on the sidelines
 the Cutthroat Charmers rounding the track
 Dolly Rogers shaking hands before the bout
The Dolly Rogers gave out free barbies to little girls in the audience!

 Hought & Gwen
 Hannah and Gretch
 please notice the hilarious vender on skates behind Gretch

 Hannah and Kaiden cuddling.  He was only a few days old when we went to this!
 Gretch, Si, Emiline, Hannah, Kaiden
 shaking hands after the bout