Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fishing, Golfing, and Biking and the Bucket List

How many experiences can we fit into the next six weeks? You might think that is a lot of time, but consider that soccer practice lasts until 6:00, there are two soccer games per week, and there is a lot of studying and homework that needs to occur. And then there are graduation parties, concerts, youth group, community service, and you begin to get the idea that six weeks is not very long.

Of course we have a bucket list. A bucket list is a list of things that you want to do before you "kick the bucket". In this case, it is a list of things that we want to do before Dennis and Victor return to the continent of Africa. In SIX WEEKS.

We are making progress. Dennis has his computer purchased and is learning to swim. Victor has ridden a horse and has started buying gifts to take home. We have a trip planned to visit our oldest son and his wife in Michigan so we can see Lake Michigan and meet our newest family member. We've cooked Nigerian and Tanzanian foods. We've played in the snow!! We've been to college football and basketball games, ridden in a combine, and met all of the relatives.

Someone from church gave Dennis a bike and he is learning to ride it. He wants to take it home with him! Victor discovered an old set of golf clubs on the porch and set up a couple of holes in the yard to practice. He has a golf date planned with a buddy from school who knows more about golfing than mum! We went fishing tonight- still counts even though we did not catch any fish! I'm marking it off the list anyway!

Still to be accomplished: visiting the nearby big dairy, going to the zoo, observing an operation (Dennis), shopping for gifts to take home, and trying to fit in as much as possible to the allotted suitcases. Oh my. Add crying to that list. I can't believe they will be gone in only SIX WEEKS!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Prom- Bullet Point Style

Here is what I know about their prom experience so far:
*Decorating was both frustrating (decisions left to the last minute, less than cooperative committee members) and fun (judging by some of the pictures)- Victor
*Decorating took too much time from class work- Dennis
*Suits are uncomfortable- Dennis
*I will be happy to iron our new shirts- Victor
*I'm kind of glad I went- Dennis
*Yes, I had a lot of fun- Victor
*This corsage cost how much??- Victor
*No one tripped on their way across the stage during the Grand March (the only part of the evening that I actually saw).
*Both boys looked absolutely dashing, and knew how to hold their arm to make their date feel secure (one of my pet peeves which I was worried about because I forgot to talk to them about it).
*Both boys lasted for the entire evening (morning), stayed home from church, and woke up hungry.
*Both boys are relieved that it is over and that mom will stop discussing endless details that they don't understand.
*Best part: Playing the football game at the Y (Victor); The Dance (Dennis)
*Something surprising: The expensive gifts at the end of the night (Victor); How much space my date's dress took up in the car (Dennis)
*Something not so great: Nothing (Victor); All the class time that was wasted last week (guess who?)

That's all I've got for now- maybe more later as I continue to try to drag details out of them. Next up: 6:00 AM soccer practice tomorrow morning, followed by a game 1.5 hours away!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Escape to Africa

We finally got to see Dennis in his Masai clothing, and see his happy Masai dancing, which is actually jumping (really high jumping!!!) What a treat to see him singing the Tanzanian National Anthem along with four girls from his country, and to see him talking like a pro in front of about 50 guests from eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa. What a joy to hear Victor talk about living on the farm, sharing his life with an older brother at our house, and hear him talk with fellow Nigerian Samuel in three languages! The event was the IRIS (Iowa Resource for International Service) regional party in Council Bluffs yesterday.

Other highlights: LOTS of Atlantic friends, teachers, and relatives who came to support; Victor's special award (you'll have to ask him what it was- let's just say it has something to do with his charm.........); Dennis' dancing with the other Tanzanian girls; Dennis' sandals that he made from a motorcycle tire; arriving safely with Joloff rice and Matoki (made with plantains) in crockpots; getting a door prize which was a purse made from a lizard- head, feet, and all!!

We couldn't have been more proud of these wonderful young men. I smiled, cried, and took lots of pictures, which is what a mom does best!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Thursday was the first day of April and also our very first serious soccer game.
We may have watched one or two nieces' games as they were growing up- but those were more social events than anything else. However this is serious, folks. Now we know the difference between forward, midfield, and defense. We are beginning to understand the foul system and the running clock. We are starting to comprehend the rules....... But not enough that we know how to yell intelligently. During my high school's inaugural wrestling season, the coach held a meeting to instruct the fans how to intelligently yell encouragement (and keep a watchful eye on the referees), but I guess my friend's "Soccer for Dummies" book will have to suffice for this sport. That and the helpful comments from more experienced soccer parents: "It's ok- he has to keep both feet on the ground when he throws the ball in." or "That goal didn't count because it went above the net." or "Don't worry- it's fine for the goalie to use his hands." I'm afraid we demonstrated our ignorance quite well during that first game. I guess we really need to read that book.....

Dennis and Victor, however, were totally in their element. They seemed to be everywhere at once, keeping track of their own team and also their opponents. Dennis (midfield) has amazing footwork- the other team resorted to triple-teaming him in the second half. Victor (forward) has an amazing kick and scored our only goal. I was so proud. Now I just need to learn how to take soccer pictures!