Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Kids...

I get a lot of questions about how the kids are adjusting to life at Kudjip Station.  In two words my answer has been, "Very well!"  I will now take the opportunity to expand on that and give everyone (especially the grandparents and cousins!) a glimpse into the new normal for Emma, Lexi and Ethan.

First of all is school.  Emma has gone from 1st grade at Mullenix Elementary School to 1st grade at MK school.  It has been a little bit of adjustment as there are fewer kids and different curriculum, but Emma has been handling like a champ! She has really enjoyed having prayer time and Bible study as part of her school day and she LOVES getting out at noon on Fridays.  I, on the other hand, am not used to this change in schedule and am often met with, "Mom, why are you making my lunch?  It's Friday!"

Emma at her desk
Good-bye party for one of the Tutors from the Swiss Mission
Each afternoon the students have a different focus.  On Monday it is RI (religious instruction) Tuesdays are PE, Wednesdays are Music, Thursdays are Art and Fridays as I mentioned earlier are and early release day.  Here is a picture of the girls in music and Aunt Kathy (the music teacher) singing a song for English lotu (the monthly English church service)

Aunt Kathy and the music class

For Easter the MK school had a little party to celebrate the incredible gift of salvation and the unfathomable grace of God.  Of course there was an egg hunt as well, but this being PNG the kids used bilams instead of baskets.  After the egg hunt the kids delivered eggs filled with gifts to the children staying at the hospital.

Emma passing out Easter eggs at the Hospital

Ethan looking for eggs to put in his bilam

 Lexi has really come into her own here, with several new friends around her age that give us opportunities for play dates and the chance to spread her wings without always having big sister around.  She has to run to the window or door to say "hi" to everyone who walks past our house and often invites people over for dinner without checking with us first!  She has really enjoyed being able to visit Uncle Bill's garden across the drive to have her fill of cherry tomatoes & berries.  She also has taken full advantage of the Cherry Guava tree next to the house.  If we can't find Lexi, chances are she is high up in the tree in our front yard pretending she is a monkey!

Rain Bugs! (Olivia and Lexi)
 A favorite activity that doesn't require any special transportation is a trip to the river in the valley behind our house.  On this particular day it was a full-fledged event with the Dooleys and the Kerr girls, poor Randy and Ethan were severely outnumbered!
Girl Power!
this girl has had mud on at least one part of her body since we arrived!!!

A feat of engineering...building a dam to create a swimming hole in the river

The boy has always loved water!
Ethan...we aren't quite sure what has happened to Ethan!  It may have been the radiation from all the security checkpoints along our journey or possibly something in the water, but our little boy has become quite a different little boy.   The rather quiet, somewhat shy little guy that has been known to lay down on the floor and cover up his face so that you can't see him anymore can now be found shaking hands with every stranger he meets, chattering non-stop at people who can't understand him or running down the road yelling what sounds like war cries at the top of his lungs!  Mom & Dad's favorite change of all, hands down, is that he is FINALLY potty trained.  He is still getting used to all the walking we do around the station and in the beginning  when he had had enough he would squat down in the road and say, "I'm too short!"

Here is a picture of Ethan and one of his new friends in the Maintenance department.  Apa was supposed to be mowing the grass in the park down the road, but my kids were a little bit of a distraction!

One afternoon the Dooley girls were up for a visit so they decided to build a fort under the guava tree.  Lucky for them Randy was clearing out the banana grove so there was plenty of available building materials.

Banana leaf fort under the guava tree. 
Emma has been a very popular name for girls around Emma's age and younger in the states.  Little did we know it was a common name here at Kudjip too...

The 3 Kudjip Emmas
One benefit of living at a mission hospital station (besides the obvious of being surrounded by doctors) is that there is a constant stream of visiting doctors and medical students.  One medical student who made a big impression with my kids was Uncle Jordan.  I am thinking that he might have enjoyed them almost as much...we miss you Uncle Jordan!

Emma, Lexi, Uncle Jordan & Ethan

We were told that the neighbors were complaining that it was too quiet after the Riggins family with their 3 small boys moved out, have no fear neighbors...the Goossens Kids are here!  For better or worse the neighborhood will never be the same :)


  1. Wonderful! So glad to hear you're all doing well and that the kids have adjusted easily! We'll continue to keep you in our prayers.

    My cousins (the ones with Wycliffe in PNG) are serving in Ukarumpa. No idea how far that is from Kudjip.

  2. Ah, that is called Little America. I believe it is about 5 hours away? There is talk that we might get to go there at some point.