Category Archives: Family

Amani Means Peace

Amani means peace in Swahili. Five years ago, while driving to the hospital when I was in labor with Sam, we chose to give our baby boy the middle name Amani. We hadn’t yet met him, but in the past five years, we have seen this name have true meaning in his life and character. Samuel Thomas Amani Olsen. Our little Amani.

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Miss Ella Turns Eight

Just ten days after arriving in Kenya, our Ella celebrated her eighth birthday. She had been talking for the entire year before about having her birthday here, so we were incredibly happy that it happened! We marked the occasion with a little party on our porch. She invited three other girls whose parents also work at the hospital. They began by indulging in the first batch of cupcakes I’ve made since arriving in country. Just after that, I handed my phone over to the birthday girl who chose a mix of Taylor Swift and the Trolls soundtrack for a very exuberant dance party. I stood in the kitchen doorway, playing the part of a fly on the wall, and laughed over their shrieks and girly outbursts. My Ella really is her own spunky, energetic, witty, super theatrical girl! Once the girls slowed down a bit after their first round of dancing, they sat on the floor and let me paint their nails. Then I was back on the sidelines. It amazes me that we’ve reached this point. Ella wants to do everything on her own, with her friends, often without me. Eight years old. What a year this is going to be!

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Ten Years: A Wedding Along the Shore

Ten years ago on this very day, Pete and I stood before a church filled with family and friends, speaking vows we had written for one another. I promised to follow him wherever God would take us and to strive to love him more every single day. He vowed to lead us toward God and to always seek His direction for us. We’ve had our share of ups and downs through the last decade, but those promises have remained strong. God has been faithful in carrying us through the rough spots, which has always made us stronger. And now, at the mark of ten years, we’ve made it to the place we dreamed of being before either of us met. Words cannot express how it feels to be celebrating this day in Kenya!

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A Very Disney Birthday Party

Today we’re back in Nairobi while our new house at Tenwek gets painted! I am super excited to get it all painted white, because it’s sure to brighten the entire interior. The fumes from the oil-based paint, however, are awful, so we were told to leave for a nit while it’s all being done. Pete starts work at the hospital on Monday, so this is a great time to get away, visit another mission hospital, see friends, and pick up a few more things we need that we can only find in the city. Things like shower curtains, yoga matts, weights, yogurt, etc. Sam loves his yogurt. Until I start making it at home, we need to travel a ways to a grocery store to buy it.

While we’re in Nairobi, I’m going to squeeze in a few posts of events that happened before we left the States but that I really don’t want to miss getting up on the blog. Here’s the first!

I adore planning parties. So even though we were in the middle of packing and moving and wrapping everything up in Duluth, I wanted to have a party for the kids. I also thought it would be a fun way to get the family together before we left. The party was at the very end of April, one month before Sam’s birthday and two before Ella’s. I asked Ella what she thought the theme should be and was thrilled when she asked for Disney World. One of my favorite places!

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