Friday, January 30, 2009


**Hear, "I'm a survivor" by Destiny Child playing in the background**

Malone and I survived our first EARTHQUAKE!!!

That's all. Just thought you should know. If you want to know the details, read on:

It was 5:25am and I had just put Malone back to sleep (yes, she woke up that early!). I crawled back in my bed and laid there. All of a sudden I felt slight shaking for about 10 seconds. It felt like when we have the washer and dryer on and the floor shakes. I thought, "Oh, the washer & dryer isn't on. This can't be an earthquake. Maybe it is....should I go get Malone...I'll wait & see if it gets worse...wait, what are you suppose to do in an earthquake, stand in the door jams...upstairs or downstairs...go in the street?" Yes, I literally thought all of that in the 10 seconds. And then went back to sleep. It was so quick that I kinda thought it was a dream this morning. Then, I turned on the news and sure enough, an earthquake. It was a 4.5 on the seismic scale and happened 14 miles northwest of Seattle.

We survived our first earthquake. Lets hope its the last.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Christmas Chronicles: Part Three

It seems like this is the Christmas that doesn't end. Not only did Cameron, Malone and I celebrate Christmas twice, but my blogging of those times goes on and on.....

So to wrap up our series, here is Christmas Chronicles: Part Three

Christmas night, our dear friends, the Engelbrecht's came to visit with us for a few days. Let me tell you why they are so special. My parents and their parents (Oom Johan and Tannie Karin) knew one another since the dawn of time. They moved to America together in 1980 while our dads attended Fuller Theological Seminary. They had a newborn baby, J.D and my parents had a newborn baby, my oldest sister, Lydia. Then a few years went by, all went back to the homeland (South Africa) and my parents had me and the Engelbrechts had Inus a few months later. Growing up, we always loved visiting with one another. Then, a few years ago, the whole Engelbrecht clan moved to Atlanta, Inus married a Southern Belle, Laura and they had a little girl Anna, the summer I got pregnant with Malone. It seems that our lives will forever be intertwined.

Anyways, they came, ate with us, visited with us, laughed with us, philosophized with us and we all enjoyed every minute of it. Malone and Anna became friends, sharing toys and reading together. Then Friday night we had a little gift exchange known as "Dirty Santa". I must say the name of the game brings disgusting images to mind, therefore I will continue and call it White Elephant. Basically, we each opened a gift in a sequential order. When its your turn to open a gift, you have a choice to steal someone else's gift or open a new one. I don't think I have laughed this hard in a long time. I'm not quite sure if you will find the pictures as hilarious as they were in the moment. But please try, because they really were!!

My dad with his "Alabama Survival Kit"- get it? Hunting vest and Alabama Univ. pom-poms.

Joel with his "Shaft- in Africa" DVD. How appropriate for our family. This was a hot commodity!
JD with a beautiful flowery notebook.
Tannie Karin with the princess wig and item of the night!
Joel loved his soda flavored lip-gloss set.
The funniest of them all, my dad with the fairy wand & wig, trying to convince someone to steal it. Somehow, he didn't want it.
Here's a few more pics. These aren't meant to be as funny.

Did I mention that we ate. Here's my beautiful Ouma making traditional "vetkoek".
Malone discovered my mom's Tupperware cupboard.
Malone's first ever haircut. I realize it doesn't look too straight, but it was. Sometimes it was so straight that she looked a little reminiscent of Dumb & Dumber.
Here's Malone and I at the famous, DREAMLAND BBQ. All they have is BBQ Ribs, white wonder bread, and bbq sauce. That's their whole menu. Many of you know that I hate BBQ, but this is the only kind I like. Malone clearly was impressed too.And that's it. We came home. We were sad. We loved our time with my family and can't wait to go to the beach with them this summer!!!

PS: To my family, if you're reading this: We love you and miss you terribly. We soooo enjoyed our time with you. My writing seems inadequate to say how much we love you and how much we enjoyed our time with you.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Holy Moly!

Holy Moley, its Malone's first birthday today!

Will write more later. We have a party to get ready for!!

So far, I've already burned one batch of cupcakes. But the excitement has not dwindled.

YAY! for Maloney!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Christmas Chronicles: Part Deux

** PS: Happy Birthday to my sweet, beautiful, wonderful, Mom!**

We woke up Christmas morning, early...I guess the days of sleeping in a little on Christmas are definitely OVER! We gathered the whole family and got ready for the Christmas festivities to begin. First, the oh-so-wise patriarch of our family read the wonderful story of our Jesus' birth. All morning, I was just missing Cameron so much and just wishing he could be a part of Malone's first Christmas. I was trying to hold back the little tears all morning. When we spent a few moments in prayer, I was working overtime to not cry. However, my family is not one shy of the tears. So when I saw my mom in tears and then my sister and then my grandma, I couldn't hold it back anymore! It was a mix of sadness and of gratefulness. Despite our little family separation, the Lord has been so good to not only Cameron and I, but our entire family.

But soon, we all recovered and started opening our presents, one by one, as is the tradition in my family. Malone LOVED tearing all the paper. She was definitely a fan of Christmas.

So just to show you how much I love you, my dear readers, I am letting you into a deep, deep part of my life. I will show you not only myself without make-up but also having just bawled for a good hour :) Be afraid, be very afraid.

Here's Malone's pile of presents.
She's loving her Mozart music box. Thank you, Ouma & Oupa!

Ouma, Joel and Emma (the "dat" as Malone says)
Malone and her South African rag doll from Ouma
Tearing the big present open. I am sleeping, rocking out or just got hit in the face by pick.
Ahhh we're drowning in paper.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Christmas: Part 1

Once upon a time there was a little family. They had the misfortune (for numerous reasons) of spending Christmas apart. Luckily, with the help of family and friends Christmas was still quite lovely and enjoyable. However, the little family still missed one another terribly.

Here lies the chronicles of one side of the little family and their Christmas adventures in numerous parts.

Part 1:

Malone and I went to my family's for Christmas. Cameron left on a trip the week before and got back the day after we left. :( Both Malone and I were super excited to see my family and spend some good, quality time with them. They're pretty great. Plus, my grandma from South Africa was there and we were so jazzed (*jazz hands*) for Malone and Ouma to meet. We left the morning of the now infamous Washington Winter Storm 2008...just in time, I hear. The flights were fine, LONG, but fine and we arrived in Alabama along with the awesome 70 degree weather. Malone immediately fell in love with the family, especially Auntie Christelly.

My beautiful little sissy, Christelle, brace-free for the
first time!!
We went to the Christmas Eve service at Church of the Highlands in Birmingham. I did an internship there many years ago and was able to see some friends briefly. Malone enjoyed the service especially the music. When it started, she got so excited and raised her hands in what I'm convinced was utter worship.

Here she is in her Christmas outfit. SO CUTE!!!!

Malone and I on Christmas eve.

Our family has a tradition of opening one gift on Christmas eve and the rest on Christmas morning. It was the first time that she has ever opened a present. It was awesome!

What is it? What is it? The tension is building...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Meeting Santa & Moo-moo

Right before Christmas, Malone and I went to meet Santa at the Base. Apparently, Santa makes special arrangements to meet the folks at McChord AFB before Christmas. We had a nice breakfast with the Webbs and then the time came to meet Father Christmas himself.

Lets just say that Malone and Santa were not fast friends. We walked on stage and I put her on his lap and the crying started. Luckily this Santa was an experienced dad and immediately knew what to do. She sat on my lap with Santa behind us, all for THE picture.

Our new friend Santa:
Santa did not come without gifts. He brought Malone, Moo-Moo. I know, 10 points to the creative mom who came up with that name (ummm...its me)! Its the first stuffed animal that Malone adores, walks around with and hugs and eats his face/legs/arms in a total loving way. We love you Moo-Moo!

And she continued to work on her standing/walking (which currently, she is a pro at). Doesn't she look like the cutest winter bunny ever?!