Wednesday, September 29, 2010

African Red Tea, Gas Stations and Sem Wives pics

Guess what? I found Rooibos! Well, it is vanilla flavoured but it is still Rooibos! Here it is called Red bush... But looove the branding, it reminds me of Narnia...
Also, some of you have never seen how amazing the milk size is here! It is great and it has a long-life too which makes it really helpful. No more getting milk daily! Plus look at our great big bag of Californian raisins! :) Isn't that great when even raisins are a novelty!
Now, the other thing that is unusual is that we have to fill up our own cars with petrol. Now, the one amazing thing about this is that I have the most attractive petrol attendant and I don't feel that I need to tip him! hehe. (I do also intend to fill up from time to time...)

And that's the tank full of GAS! And we are on our way! 

Now, everyone keeps talking about how it never rains here! And one morning, when it had been so hot before, we had some rain on the way to TMS- check it out: (You will get to see some of our drive to school with rain drops on the windscreen...)
My first official sem wives with the groups being revealed was this last week Wednesday. When we initially arrived, we had to find our name on lists on the wall and figure out what group we belong to. (It was stipulated as table numbers, since we all sit at a table with our specific groups.)
Here is when we first arrived and everyone was figuring out where they belonged:

The blonde lady in the image above's name is Whitney and she works in Ventura which is about an hour away and apparently it is a 'surf town' and so we will hopefully get to go and see it eventually! (Her husband also surfs and she said that we should go and see it with them sometime...) 

Below, you get an idea of the room set-up for Sem wives, my table is to the front left.
In my previous blog post, I wrote that I missed butternut and guess what? A South African (also our group assistant leader) called Lynette Botes, read the post and then guess what she brought along for me?
How cool is this: (I felt so loved when she did this and it meant so much to me! How amazing is it that we can be so encouraging to others?)... She even wrote my name on it in case... other sneaky South Africans... Just kidding!
So the evening was coming to a start and a lady came to our table and sat next to me and I had no idea who she was! And she asked me where I was from... and I told her etc. Turns out she was Patricia MacArthur and I had no idea. I did fortunately eventually get it! (She mentioned to someone that her husband was going to share the message and I still didn't realise who she was!)

Our group leader is Mrs Cruygen, she is originally from South Africa and our group is full of international ladies.
Here are some group pics from the evening:
Here is me, Mrs MacArthur and Beatrix from Switzerland:

Here is a look at the table and the cupcakes that Lynette baked. Proper apples I tell ya! (They almost look convincing enough to be healthy!)
Then, MacArthur shared on how to support your husband in ministry and it was very encouraging, practical and helpful.
And finally, a group pic with Mrs Cruygen (on the left) and Mr & Mrs MacArthur...

Izak got his results back for the Hebrew exam and he did very well! We are so grateful to the Lord because it is only His provision with so little time on our hands. He also got his results for his assignment with Dr. Rosscup and he also did well on that paper. Once again, thank you for all your support, prayers and for all your encouragement. It means ALOT to us! Keep in touch!

Monday, September 20, 2010

South African rusks, Mexican Oaxaca (wä-hä'-ka) potato soup and lots of reading!

Wow! What a fast week! It almost seems a blur! 

Our little car was in desperate need of a service and so we got the details of this reasonable 'Oil change' business down the road! It was our little Dodge's first Bakkes service:

We are so grateful that besides getting the spark plugs replaced and something else minor replaced (the cap for something I can't remember now), everything seems to be in order. I especially enjoyed the way that Patrick's auto repair has a real car backseat in the place of a couch in the waiting room!

Now, I am sure that some of you are wondering what it is like to have a husband in seminary. Well, I have taken a few 'snapshots' of his life at home whilst at TMS so far:
Here we have him seeking refuge from my noisy exercise routine:
Then a little later: (See how he has grown in utilizing the space effectively!)
Then a little later, a change of scenery often helps to get the brain ticking:
And even later yet:

In the meantime,  I have been experimenting in the kitchen! Here we have our first batch of South African rusks: (Our oven is a little warmer than I am used to and some may call them burnt, but I think that the more optimistic view would be that of 'slightly' toasty rusks.) I was going to share some with our landlords but now I may wait til the second batch! :)
Our landlord Pat is a school teacher in the LA inner city and she gets given free food parcels every second week and has been bringing some of the food for us too. She brought us apples, potatoes and carrots this last week. So considering our fresh produce and since we are in Los Angeles with lots of fun Mexican food in the stores, I thought I would try out a Mexican recipe. 
Lenore gave us this cookbook recently and it has been helpful to have a book with ounces and Fahrenheit instead of grams and Celsius!

So, I went searching for a recipe and found one called Oaxaca (pronounced wä-hä'-ka) potato soup and we really enjoyed it. Here is a link to it online if you would like to try it out:

And here is the soup served with tortilla chips and a dash of sour cream...(don't worry, the soup is made out of lots of veggies so the meal is not as unhealthy as it looks!)

We have the best landlords! Pat has her own vegetable garden and has been bringing us homegrown cherry tomatoes weekly: (I have never seen the yellow tomatoes before but Izak has...) The shape makes me miss butternut, I haven't found any here yet.
Speaking about gifts, we have also recently blessed with: 
A Belgium waffle maker! (Izak's FAVOURITE and it works really well, we tested it to make sure!)

Then, I haven't had a phone for the last while because they don't really do SIM cards here, from what we can tell. If you do a prepaid SIM card, you end up paying for receiving calls and making them and it works out quite expensive and the call quality is not great. So we have only had one phone between the two of us. On Sunday, Bob and Lenore gave us a contract phone to use! The quality of the calls is a great deal better and we are grateful!
We still need to figure out how to add text messages to it or if we will just keep using the other phone for text messages...decisions! decisions!
This is the phone:

Overall, we are getting more used to things here and our little home is starting to feel more and more homey! One of my favourites is our fridge: (We have our crazy schedule on it as well as some of the Grace missionaries to remind us to pray for them.)
Note the multi-coloured schedule... Eek! It's a full week. (It's a good experience though.)

We are busy doing our second test week of Hebrew vocabulary. It's been good but challenging to retain the previous weeks vocab... Note the new flash cards:

Here is the close up of one of our workbook pages, so that you can read the word in transliteration form as well as the English translation and also the original Hebrew:
We are so encouraged by all your feedback! Keep it coming! You could even post us a picture if you like so that we could put you up on the fridge! (As you can see there is some more space.)

Monday, September 13, 2010

A walk in the park, a newly discovered creepy crawley and a first day at work!

We discovered a beautiful little park, up the road from where we live! We thought it would be a good idea to take a few pics so that you could feel a little like you had come along for the walk...

This is the view of the house from the street. (This is the house that Pat and Ina live in. Our little cottage is to the left and bottom of their property.)

This is another one of the little house from the street. 

This is a view of the street that our house is on:
  And our street sign post:
You will notice that our little town is quite hilly. It is literally at the foothills of a mountain. In these pics, we are on our way to 'Two Strike Park' which is +- a 5 minute walk. 

 It is such a blessing to have so much greenery! 

Ok, we have arrived at the park:
I love this one! It's a grandfather helping his grandson have a drink of water in the park.

And this we believe to be the reason for the name of the park! :)
And... my first ever 'creative' plant close-up pic! I love the light bubbles! I am often amazed at the little details on leaves. Just speaks so much of how creative the Lord is and how details are important to Him.
And just to prove that we were there, a cheesy self-taken 'Izak and Taryn' snapshot!
And I couldn't help but include Izak's one up on my creative plant pic!
We had such a lovely walk, it is just so rejuvenating to get outdoors. :) The next couple of pictures are of the mountains behind our house- Mt Lukens. We are at the foothills of the Angeles National Forest. (There is another park that leads onto a hiking trail in the forest- we really want to go and see that when we have a chance!)

Now you can say that you have seen our close by park and the Mountains!

When I went to our kitchen sink this morning... this is what I found! Eeeeeeeeeeeek!
Guess what it is called here? A house centipede. Yes, I double-checked the house part too! Fortunately it wasn't alive because there was water in the sink. To me, this looks a lot like what I would expect to find in the Amazon! Fortunately, it sounds like they are relatively harmless. (But be grateful for the rain spiders, cockroaches and J-Bay ants.) For more info: (If you dare!) 

Then... I kept the most exciting news for last! Izak got the job at the bookstore! Thank you so much for praying! I managed to embarrass him and take pics of his first day today!

And here is Izak working alongside Sam (Who recently went on a missions trip to South Africa!).
We are so grateful for the Lord's provision with this part-time work. Please pray that Izak will manage to balance the studies with the 20 hours of work per week.

Finally, there is this sign on the way out of the library and I always find it so encouraging! 
Thanks for all your encouragement and comments! It means alot to us that you read our news and you often make us chuckle and miss you even more!