Monday, December 30, 2013

Haircuts and why daddy needs a big stick

Four haircuts this past saturday...I feel like I earned my keep:) The girls are posing with the results.
They are just too cute/pretty...I think daddy will have his work cut out when they are teenagers (he already does with Marianna at school...everyone it seems knows her!)
Shhh...don't tell my kids it isn't "normal" to use just one roller skate at a time! Ha ha ..they love it and they don't fall TOO much! We have one scooter now another worker gave us, as well as a pair of spiderman skates I picked up at a garage sale here for $2. can see the problem. Two fun "rolley" things, and three kids! roller skate each:)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Senegal Pictures & Operation Christmas Child

Here are a few pictures from the recent Operation Christmas Child box distribution at SIL in Dakar as well as a couple others of just life in Africa. I'm not sure why the layout is funky here.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Program, Playtime and Party

Marianna was in the elementary Christmas program at her school "Dr. Newheart's Christmas Cure" or something like that. It was really cute and well done. The best part were her fellow kinders being silly when they were supposed to be singing:)

I think they were singing Go tell it on a mountain in some of these pics.

Daniel went to the workers' party at are some of the staff that attended along with his co-worker Daniel and some other Senegalese friends. 
Louis found a use for the disposable diaper while he waited for mommy to put it on him...put toys in it!
The girls were being cute pretending with their "doo-doos" to play school
Louis again with a better shot of his diaper full of cars.
The smashing couple at the Dakar Academy Christmas party (at a nice restaurant) with AC!  And my new red hair color in case you haven't seen it:)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Last half of November 2013

We had not just one but two thanksgiving celebrations this year! We hosted the first, this is the second. No turkeys to be found, but we had mashed potatoes, chickens, corn, rolls, and pies. Our dear friend Cathy even rehydrated some craisins to make cranberry sauce for us! Here is the "adult" table:

And the kids:

Olivia and I in our matching dresses made at a tailor.

We were SO excited to receive our first piece of mail here: thanks Jan and Mike! We are taking turns opening the advent calendar doors each day!
Rachael and the kids making muffins together.  So many big helpers to get the job done!
Works better when you spread the big helpers out throughout the kitchen, I've found:)
Sunset in Dakar. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

We're going to have visitors! (and ideas for things to send!) *updated*

Both sets of our parents are likely to come in 2014 and we are excited!  And because it is so difficult/expensive to get a package here they are going to be loading up their suitcases with stuff for us (yay yay!).   Several have asked already, and we know often people want to be involved in "sending" us but just don't have much extra cash to be monthly donors.  Here is a way you/they can be involved in helping "send" us to Senegal!  Below is a wishlist of sorts of things we either can't get or are cost-prohibitive here.   If you do decide to get us something(s) you can email us or our parents for their respective addresses or for arrangements to get the stuff to them.  Thanks SO much for partnering with us!
  • Baking soda
  • Nyquil (off brand okay)
  • Taco and Ranch packets
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Lemonade/Chrystal Light/Kool-aid type packets...this is mostly to cover up the taste of the water when it isn't good, but also to add variety
  • Art supplies for the kids (crayons, construction paper, colored pencils, stickers, paints, stencils, glue sticks, glue stamps...anything really.  
  • Coffee (whole bean or ground!!)
  • Insulated Coffee mug(s) that travel (with lid)
  • Socks for 7 and 5 year old girls with big feet:) and for a 3 year old boy with big feet! White
  • White sport socks women sized 9/10
  • Creative/educational toys/games/puzzles (used is fine/great!)
  • Rainboots for louis (size 8 or bigger)
  • Kids gummy or chewable vitamins 
  • Kids probiotics /fish oil
Those are some ideas for things we'd be grateful to get here.  Email me or check our new facebook group "Crosby Connections (in Senegal) for contact info.   rachael_crosby at sil dot org 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Preschool, new dress and ladies' retreat

A few pictures to catch you up on our past two weeks Senegal: Louis and Liv do some "preschool" together...Liv is learning how to navigate Starfall on the computer and Louis is playing "cooking" with dried beans and utensils.

My new dress! I picked out the fabric and brought it and a photo to a tailor. All for under $10 I think. I love that it is pretty, comfortable and appropriate for the culture here.

The kids outside on our road, looking for the "waffle kids" (Wolof). Sadly there were none to be found for the hour we were out that day.

I (Rachael) went to a ladies' retreat in a nearby city, Saly. It was a beautiful place and a really refreshing, encouraging time. Here are some of the
The worship team flew in from the U.S.A.  and were really good.
I spent a lot of time doing this (below) with a book of some sort.  ROUGH LIFE, I know:)

How was your week?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Couscous, Roof and Saturday Market

Daniel is being innovative with our breakfasts and going Senegalese at the same time. He bought us some "mil" couscous (I think that's millet in English) that is apparently traditional Senegalese breakfast food when mixed with sweetened yogurt. He figured out how to "steam" it and we had it for breakfast this morning. It's cheap, nutritious and filling. Not my absolute favorite, but I'll grow into it. Marianna and Louis really liked it.

Fun running on the roof.


My trip to the Saturday market with friends, pictured is my friend Cathy.

Not the best lighting, but we had to be quick and sneaky to get this shot without getting yelled at:).

I bought a nice blouse and a dress for the equivalent of $4!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Long overdue

Our internet is ON!!  We are so happy to be connected again.  Thanks all of you for being patient:)  Here are a few catch up pictures and we'll work on taking more soon.

There is a nice "roof" area above our apartment we take the kids to play on almost every day.  
My two hams, doing what they do best...being cheesy.    Behind them you can see an area where the househelp can do hand-washing, but there are big washing machines for everyone to use here and nice clotheslines (no dryers of course).
Some birds enjoying our roof.

A bus shot...not super interesting but I thought I would include it since there are tons of white buses around.  Most recently, due to "Tabaski" you might see several sheep tied to the top of the buses (and yes the are on a highway!!).
My first real African ensemble.  Not exactly what I'd hoped, but its good to wear to church.  Here it is really important to look "dressed up" at church.  Very different from the church we just came from in France where the pastor would often wear jeans to preach in (also a french speaking Baptist church!).  Here I was thinking I could get away with my no fashion sense, casual clothes here.  Nope.  But we're getting used to the changes little by little. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Le Phare

We had our first "all by ourselves" family outing here in Dakar. It went really well. On a side note I feel like our pictures show such a tiny bit of our lives because of the fact that taking pictures is super sensitive here. We've heard stories of people getting very upset over photos taken of them and its very difficult to take a picture that accurately depicts life in Senegal (or at least Dakar) without the people! People are everywhere...culturally it is not normal to stay in your house all go out to the road or wherever outside and be with the other people! But since we do not have a lot of real friendships yet with the people here we also don't have a "right" to take pictures and taking pictures of the city without people in them is impossible. Anyway...that's why you just see pictures of the "fun" and somewhat rare things we do for the most part.

Today we had a free day and decided to check out the center vehicle (and it was available which is rarely the case!) and go on a family outing. We stopped by the big grocery store here that is across town to get things that we can't get anywhere else and then drove up to the lighthouse or "le phare". The view was beautiful. The actual grounds were...well they were. I won't say too much about it except that the kids had fun despite the fact that there wasn't much to enjoy on the actual grounds. There were two sheep grazing up there, a cat, and some toddlers who belonged to...someone up there.  So we made the best of it and had fun with our pic-nic.  We tried not to think of the fancy french cheeses and baguettes that we had during our french pic-nics (bread machine bread, leftover hotdogs and cut up veggies had to suffice:).

One of the views...right now is one of the greenest times of year.
The lovely Liv.
Nice smiles from my pretty girl!

The three enjoying their picnic. 
The steps up to the lighthouse (not open to the public).
So of the little Senegalese toddler girls kept trying to hold his hand.
Pretty and cheesey all at the same time!
Boys posing by the other view.
Mommy and her boy (with his mouth full of brea).
There was a nice little breeze every once in awhile too...
Voila...le phare
Notice the sheeps (is that how you say sheep in plural???)
The beaches are pretty...come visit!
Les trois enfants
Les deux se cachent...
Marianna and her hot dog, Louis and Liv with their brownies

We were so thankful to have had a day where we felt like we could go and do something as simple as do some grocery shopping and visit a local monument.  We felt safe and everyone had a good time...a big accomplishment.  With the heat/humidity that was almost as much as we could reasonably "do" in a day, but little by little we'll get used to it and be able to handle more eventually!