Monday, October 22, 2007

Happy 7th Bday Kendra! and Monday ramblings

As you can see, Kendra is quite elated with her gift from Gma Elaine - an Island Princess Barbie! Score Gma!
A bit of party decor - she wished to have lots of jungle vines with flowers. So preschool lessons in crepe paper flower making did come in handy. For Mom. 35 years later. They are now hanging in her room. Kendra's that is - not Mom's. :)
The Jungle Bunch. I don't normally post any (recognizable) pic's of other people's children without their permission BUT in this case, figure it could do no harm. As none of them are recognizable except as jungle animals. They had a lot of fun decorating their masks and they actually wore them for a good bit of the party. And yes, they may appear to be dressed oddly - really this is how kids dress in Switzerland! No, it was not a PJ Birthday party but it WAS pajama day at school.
The students get to vote every year for a theme- dress day and this year it was Pajama Day. For the 'right' to wear PJ's to school, they are asked to voluntarily donate 2chf or more. The fundraiser benefits the sister school in Ghana and the goal was to raise funds for a fresh water well at the Ghana school. Right now, they bring buckets from outside wells to keep on hand during the day for the children. This is all thoroughly explained to the children at ZIS so they are able to grasp, on some level, the quality of life/schooling differences experienced in less fortunate areas of the world. The ZIS students feel a lot of accomplishment when they see the progresses made at the Ghana school that they help provide for. And much of the money raised comes from the students themselves - out of their own allowances.

Ready to blow out candles! Happy 7th Birthday Putsie Pie!

And who is unable to take a serious picture? Since she was 3! Well sometimes. But not while eating chocolate cake. And pretending to be a zebra - complete with sound effects. Did you know zebras make noise? They do. They make a squealing noise - something between a pig and a pony - and Rachel has heard it - and it is very ANNOYING! Gotta love her!

So the party went well - Kendra was happy. Which we were glad for as she is coming to the realization at the tender age of 7 that our expectations of how things should be do not always match the reality. If only life were a fairytale come true.

Worldfest - This fun event at the school was also this last weekend. This year I 'ate' in India, Finland and Japan, Bart in the US, Australia, Finland, Italy and Mexico, Kendra in Italy & England and Rachel in the US. I scoped things out and will have to try Greece and the Middle East next year. It is so hard to decide - you fill up so quick on these delicious foods from all over the world. Bart & I supervised one of the inflatable rides this year - outside for 1 hour. And I have been instructed to volunteer for an indoor job next year.

Winter has arrived. There was snow on the nearby hills when we woke up Sat. morning and right now it is 3c (about 42), the wind is blowing out of Austria and I 've seen little bits of snow pebbles fall. Not really hail, certainly not rain but neither is it a snow flake - so I call them snow pebbles. I'm sure there is a better term but... I don't know it.

Pleasant surprise at church on Sunday. We had visitors from California Baptist Univ. at church - the President, Dr. Ron Ellis and VP of Marketing and Comm., Dr. Mark Wyatt. They had a day in Zurich on their way to Rwanda and came to visit IBCZ. Bart and I enjoyed meeting them and talking a bit about the Univ. and what they are doing Internationally. I did not graduate under Dr. Ellis (I graduated before he came - when it was still Calif. Baptist College) but there have been many wonderful accomplishments in curriculum and facilities under his leadership. I had the opportunity to visit the campus several years ago with my sister Kris and basically wished I could go back and experience it again. Parts of it anyway - I wish I had played more but had to help pay my way - thanks for paying the rest M & D.

College is a funny thing. Especially when you live on campus for 4 years as I did. I really liked going away to college (no offense family - it just suited me). All of these other 18 - 22 year old people become like family. You live, eat, work and play together. You are growing up together and making decisions about life - good and bad - I know I made my share of both. You are working hard at being a grown-up and sometimes find out later how much you were still just a kid. I hate to admit in the same sentence that I had some absolutely wonderful friends but only a handful that I have been in contact with the past 20 years. Or that I send our annual Christmas letter to (I count this as contact -even if it's dorky). It was a school where most students lived on campus and return to their 'home' cities after graduation. Or maybe stayed in Riverside but soon the business of careers, families and relationships (good and bad) created distances that were never overcome or the effort of returning seemed great - or you simply didn't know where to find them. But I think about those friends regularly as my memory is triggered re: something we had in common or enjoyed doing together. I have a favorite roommate (they were all favorites in their own way) that I think of whenever someone mentions the word 'curry' - because she loved to cook with it - and she was an awesome cook.

What I have learned in the past 20 years of moving around - So Cal, No Cal, IA and now Switzerland - is that staying in touch with people takes a lot of effort - and must go both ways - and I can be guilty of letting the ball drop. Even with the internet. And often our phase of life dictates where our efforts in communication are placed. We have met and made many wonderful friends over the years in the places we've lived. And we are not in communication with all of them regularly BUT ever so often, an old friend pops up. And isn't it sooooo nice. There are so many that we think of and talk about - Love you All.

WOW - am I contemplative today or what. Talk about ramblings and musings.

AND for my final comment - if you would like to see a long awaited answer to prayer (and many of you have prayed along with our family - thank you) - PLEASE pop over to Kris & Jason's blog via the link on ours and see what wonderful work God is doing in their lives today. :) :) :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm impressed...looks like quite the party. Good job, Susan.
Snow..great, maybe we'll have a white Thanksgiving! Let me know if I need to bring skiis along with the pumpkin pie mix and the cranberry. Mom E