Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Carols, according to Tyson

We made it back safely from MN yesterday around 1 pm. Darin emptied the van, then got right back in it to go watch the Vikings game, which wasn't being shown on basic cable. Welcome back to real life.

Tyson loved listening to all the Christmas songs on the radio, at church and at school this year. It is funny to listen to him sing the songs how he hears them. For example, "Gloria in Excelsis Deo" is now "Gloria, shall we say-o, Gloria shall we stay-o". My favorite the last line of the "Jingle Bells" chorus. I mean, riding in a one horse open sleigh is fun, but "Oh what fun it is to write in soap and sleigh" has a certain charm, don't you think?

I can't leave little, I mean "I bigguh than you" Jori out either. She has been listening to Tyson sound out words, like b-b-b ball, and now goes around saying "My name is K-k-k Juh-O-wee". Makes me laugh every time.

*Update 12/30 I forgot my most favorite thing Tyson said over Christmas. On the movie, Monsters Inc., they keep calling in a 2319 (like a police code, "we have a 2319"). My sweet Tyson kept saying "we have a twenty three whah-wheen". Seriously, it cracks me up.

Time to go finish my laundry. I know! I am totally on the ball.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas in Sioux Falls

We hope you all had a blessed Christmas. We've heard that those of you in the Northwest are having some weather difficulties. My parents church in Lynden didn't even have a Christmas service today because of all the crazy snow. We enjoyed a wonderful service in Edgerton, once again hearing the story of Jesus' birth.

It is about 9 pm right now, and Darin and I are in Sioux Falls. This is the first time in 7 years we have gone "away" for our anniversary. It has been great so far and we know grandma and grandpa are enjoying their time with the kids too. We went to a movie around 5, called "7 Pounds" with Will Smith. I would definitely recommend it, even to my parents! It was so good, and of course I cried. I think I will watch it again on DVD someday so that I can really get all the tears out. Sobbing in a movie theater is not so great, but I always love watching a "weeper" in the comfort of my own home!

Tomorrow we are heading to Sioux Center, Iowa for some family pictures. We'll hang out at LaShawn and Kyle's for most of the day and might even head to the pool. Saturday we have a Christmas party around noon, and then we are planning on leaving around 4 or 5 and driving for about 7 hours, then finishing the drive on Sunday. So far, it looks as though the weather will cooperate and we should have a smooth drive home. We'll see...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jesus

It is almost 11 pm on Christmas Eve. I should have gone to bed a long time ago, but I didn't. We have been having a wonderful time in Edgerton. We celebrated Christmas with Darin's family last night. It was so much fun to see the kids get so excited. Tyson is the proud owner of a big kid bike (with a kickstand!) lots of new "doctor" stuff and all sorts of other fun things. Jori has already been busy setting up her new dollhouse and will have lots of fun with her new purse, books, tea set and more.

This morning we had cinnamon rolls. Tyson, Jori and Israel all got to blow out a candle for baby Jesus. I am eager to see how much Tyson pays attention tomorrow during church. We have been talking a lot about Joseph, Mary, the shepherds and all the other characters in the wonderful story of Christmas. We drove by Grandpa and Grandma Fey's church this afternoon and Jori kept saying "I want to go to the nursery". Hopefully she is still so eager when we drop her off there tomorrow morning.

We hope you are all enjoying time with family and friends and celebrating the birth of our Savior. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rules of the Road

For those of you who don't know, we are in Edgerton, Minnesota right now. We left Friday around 5 pm and after stopping in Madison, WI for the night, we got here around 2:30 pm on Saturday. It was NOT a fun ride. We kept calling Darin's family to see how the weather was by them, and they kept telling us "As long as it doesn't get any worse, you should be able to make it". It got worse. We still made it, but it is not a trip I want to repeat.

Today all the churches in the area were cancelled. We were under a blizzard warning for most of the afternoon. For some reason, we decided it would be ok to head to Darin's sister who lives about 20 minutes away. There is a reason they tell people to stay off the road during this kind of weather, which we soon found out. As soon as we were out of town, we had a hard time seeing the road. It was so windy and there were drifts in both lanes of traffic and the snow was blowing so much that all of a sudden we'd be in a white out. We kept going.

We were about 5 miles away from Daci's place when Darin had to find a driveway to turn into. Our power steering had gone out and the lights were starting to go out as well. It turns out a belt had come loose, probably from all the snow that was packed under the van from the drifts we went over yesterday. Darin and his dad braved the cold and ended up taking the belt off. The van started up, so we decided to keep driving. NOT a good idea. About a half mile down the road, the van crapped out. We were able to coast down a hill for a little bit, then we just stopped. So, now we were sitting half on and half off of the road. We couldn't get all the way off because we would have ended up in a snow filled ditch. We had NO heat and it got cold fast. We were all a bit concerned about the low visibility because if a car had come up behind us, they probably would have crashed into our van. Thankfully, Daci's husband, Justin, was able to come and pull us back to their house with his truck. We just had to wait for him to finish pulling a calf!

Darin and Justin were able to get the belt back on, but we are going to have to take the van in as the heat isn't working. Not ideal in this weather. So, if you are heading out on the road, make sure you listen to all those "worry warts" and have a blanket, water, food, flashlight, and whatever else you might need in case you get stuck somewhere. Better yet, just stay home!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bible Memory Time

Tyson and Jori have been learning some Bible verses that we wanted to share with you. Jori is first. In case you can't understand her, check out Genesis 1:1 and Matthew 1:21.

Now it's Tyson's turn. The first verse he says is Luke 2:11. He then goes on with a slightly different version of the same verse.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Our week

I really don't have much to say, but thought I'd better give a little update, as I will probably not write much while we are in MN over Christmas. Yes, we are once again heading to Edgerton for the holidays. We are looking forward to meeting our soon to be sister-in-law, Jordan, and our new nephew Zachary, and seeing the rest of the fam.

It has been a pretty quiet week around here. I did go to the doctor on Monday and was told I have a "slipped" rib. I had been having some pain since Thursday night, and it kept getting worse. Monday and Tuesday were pretty miserable, but it is starting to feel somewhat better.

Darin has been staying busy at work. Innotec has been feeling the pinch with the problems in the auto industry, but we are thankful that his job is still secure. Tyson and Jori still seem a little confused about why daddy isn't home, as they did get quite used to seeing him most of the day while we were in Africa.

It has been cold and snowy here, so we have been spending a lot of time indoors. Makes me feel a little bit stir crazy, but it does keep our spending down! We hope that you are all doing well, even though we don't know who all of "you" are. Feel free to leave a comment sometime.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Watch out Batman and Robin...

There's a new super duo in town! Introducing "Tyson Jake" and "Jori Patty"

They look pretty menacing, don't you think. Their full names are actually "Tyson Jake Pirate Superhero" and "Jori Patty Pirate Superhero". I came up with the "Patty", but everything else was all Tyson.

If only all superhero's got along so well.

My friend Amy made these capes for the kid's birthdays this past summer. They are the perfect superhero attire.

These are their scary pirate faces, although Jori is about as scary looking as a fluffy kitten. I am so thankful that Tyson and Jori have become such great playmates. Yes, I do still hear the occasional blood curdling scream, which means that someone either got a chunk of hair ripped out or was just whacked on the head with a toy phone, but for the most part they just love to be together.

What happened while I wasted time on-line

Yeah, I am not going to hide the fact that I was being lazy when the following event occurred. I was upstairs taking a break from my most precious children, checking my email, reading random blogs, and other mindless things for about 20 minutes this afternoon. I was going to stay up there longer, but thought that I should really go downstairs, get the kids a snack, maybe play with them. You know, mom stuff.

So, I get to our main floor, hear Jori giggling, turn the corner into the kitchen and see black stuff on my floor. I knew exactly what it was. See for yourself:

Yes, my children had opened a lid that I assumed they would not be able to open and had grabbed HANDFULLS of brownie. Their messy approach to snacking left a trail of evidence on the kitchen floor. I could hear more giggling coming from the stairs. It was Jori, picking up crumbs that had fallen onto the carpet. Tyson was unable to make a sound as brownie was bulging out of his mouth. I told them to "GET UP HERE RIGHT NOW" and immediately made him spit all the brownie that was in his mouth into the garbage. He didn't seem too upset by this because he had already eaten a couple handfulls before I found out what they were doing. The pan was about 3/4 full. Earlier in the day the three of us had eaten the partial row-from that piece of edge down. The rest was scooped out by my children's grubby little hands.

That's what happens when you take the lazy path.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Merry Christmas

Ok, so I told Darin we ARE getting our Christmas letter out tonight, otherwise it will probably never happen. We might be sending it out in an email too, so I apologize if we bombard some of you, but we know some people do not follow our blog. Shocking, I know. If only they knew what they were missing out on. So enjoy and feel free to pass it on to anyone who may like to know what we've been up to.

I seem to have used up any wit that I may have possessed in writing on our family's blog, so we'll see how this letter turns out. I'll skip the whole "I can't believe another year has passed..." and get right to the good stuff.

2008 has been a great year for the Fey's. We have our health, a home, job security (for now), full stomachs, and the freedom to worship our great God. Having those 5 things puts us way ahead of many people here in our country and around the world.
Tyson finished up his first year of preschool and recently started on year 2. Once again, he is going to Jamestown Elementary 3 days a week and loves it. I think he would gladly go 5 days if they'd let him. Tyson is 4 1/2, (almost 5, he reminds us almost every day) and is still as busy as ever. Jori is now 2 1/2. She loves her big brother and misses him when he is at school. They really have become the best of friends.
Nothing much has changed for either Darin or myself. He is still employed at Innotec, though he just changed to a different division, and I continue to stay home with the kids. We will be have been married for 7 years on December 22.
This past year we were able to spend time with family and friends both here in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and even Florida. My parents were able to make the trip to Michigan several times this year and we were able to get together with Darin's family in May and July of this year. We have plans to see them again this Christmas. I made my first trip ever to Florida with a group of college friends. We had a great time together and are already making plans for another girls only vacation.
As most of you know, we spent the months of September, October and part of November in South Africa. Darin is fortunate to work for a company that gives its employees a 3 month sabbatical after the employee has worked there for 7 years. We have made other trips to South Africa and decided that it would be a great opportunity to introduce our kids to the country. We were so blessed by the 10 weeks that we were over there. We know that many of you were praying for our health and safety while we were gone, and we are happy to report that we had no problems while we were in Africa. Darin did get sick on the flight home, but technically, we weren't in Africa anymore, so it doesn't really count.
Our time in Africa was such a blessing to us. We met so many incredible people who are working to take care of orphans and those affected by HIV/AIDS and deep poverty. We were able to share their stories with many people back in the states and saw God working through that in a mighty way. We have been home less than a month and are now trying to grapple with how the things we experienced in South Africa should change our lives here in Michigan.
I couldn't possibly write about all the things we saw and did, but I'll give you a few highlights. Darin, my dad (my parents joined us for our last 3 weeks in South Africa) and I bungy jumped off the Bloukrans Bridge, the highest bridge bungy jump in the world, we played in a cage with baby lions, we fed and pet elephants-both big and small, we saw a lion eating a zebra in the wild and we rode on ostriches. Those really were awesome experiences. It was amazing to see the vastness of God's creation. I believe I speak for both Darin and myself when I say that we would gladly give up having done all of those things just to be able to go back and see the friends that we have made. Friends like Amos, Mama Rebecca, Mama Cathrine, and the Hardings are missed.

That's really all I have to report. With lots of love,
Darin, Jonna, Tyson and Jori

Knysna Elephant Park

On the beach by our condo in Cape Town, Table Mountain in the background

On top of Table Mountain

Saying goodbye to Momma Rebecca and Amos at our Africa house

Holding a python at Predator World

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Friday!

It is a snowy and cold day here in Michigan. Brrr. So, this morning, I load the kids in the van to take Tyson to preschool, get in the drivers seat and see that the dashboard is lit up. Strange. Well, it turns out somebody didn't turn the ignition completely off yesterday, and now the battery is dead. That somebody is me. Thankfully, we just joined a carpool this week, so I called one of Tyson's classmates and they were able to come get him. I was supposed to do pick up duty today, but that's not happening. I do feel bad, but am also thankful because as I mentioned before, I do not like driving in the snow. I am glad that Tyson could still go to school this morning. He would have been so disappointed if he had missed "Teddy Bear Day".

It has been a relaxing week here at the Fey's. We have been staying pretty close to home, although I did take both kids grocery shopping on Tuesday, which wasn't a pleasant experience, but it did take up the whole afternoon. On Wednesday night I went out for dinner with Sarah and Robin, two friends who have both spent time in South Africa. It was great to reconnect with them, share memories of the time we spent in Africa, and share all the crazy emotions we've had since being home.

For the past week, I have had a hacking cough. It's loud enough that Tyson can hear me over his sound machine as he's falling asleep. I've been tired all week from losing sleep at night while I cough and cough and cough. I have been taking lots of little naps on the couch and staying in bed as long as I can in the morning. Tyson and Jori have been getting along so well this week, just when I really needed them to keep each other busy! It has been fun seeing them grow closer together. Whenever Tyson is crying, Jori is right there to say "I give you a kiss and a hug. Dat make it all better, Wight?" You are right Jori!

Tonight Darin and I have our small group Christmas party. We can't wait! We are in charge of the "Not so Newlywed" game this year. Fun times. I can't wait to pass off our garbage gift, in the white elephant gift exchange. Good times.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I apologize to anyone who happened to check out our blog earlier today. My friend Tiffany just called to ask me why I had a video of 2 men dancing on my blog, which was news to me. I had uploaded the dancing elves (or so I thought) this morning, but it never would open on our computer, so THANK YOU TIFFANY, and for anyone who happened to see the other video, sorry.

We'll be posting our Christmas letter soon. I know, I know. Last year we emailed it out, which some of you weren't so fond of and now we're posting it on out blog. Tis the season! At least I finally decided to put out some Christmas decorations today. Tyson kept saying "Jori, it's almost Christmas. Look at the snowmen in the kitchen!". I'm waiting one more year to put up a tree. Sad, but so much less stress for the mommy.

I hope this works this time...

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