Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Mom, I have seen snow... can we go back to Malawi now?"
Can you see his burn mark from the cookie sheet on the side of his face :( ?

Bradley can't wait to get back. We leave in two weeks' time. We can hardly believe our furlough is almost over. We too though, are eager to get back home and into our daily routine. We have missed being with our friends in Lilongwe and look forward to ministry there.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fun with Kwacha and Cousins

Ami, Kwacha, Benjamin and Bradley on the monorail.
Braysen, Bradley and Benjamin

Come on Benja!

Ami got to go on some of the big rides with Dad and Kwacha.

We miss you Breanna!

Brian and Kwacha took the kids to Disneyland. They met Sharon and her kids there. They had so much fun. It was Kwacha's first time and he enjoyed it too.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Similarities at 6 months?




Something we did notice after naming Allison is this...

Ami and Bradley both end in an "ee" sound.
Benjamin and Allison both end in a "n" sound.

Not intentional at all, but kinda fun now that we think about it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Kids in action

The two older kids helped to bake cookies while mom called out the instructions. The cookies turned out okay. Bradley singed his face on the side of a baking-hot cookie sheet and then walked outside and stepped on a bee.
Awwwww...he wailed for a long time, poor boy!

Ami is an excellent helper and does most anything we ask, quite happily. I am not supposed to lift anything that weighs more than 5 pounds. That includes Allison and she needs much carrying. Ami has been hauling Alli wherever I need her to be. Brad has learned to help out with chunky Alli too, although he is quick to mention how heavy she is. Benjamin who rarely sits still, asked to be rocked like a baby the other evening. I nearly cried! My Benja can be sweet. What a mission though to get him onto my lap...we sat and sang for at least 5 minutes. Thanks be to God Who allows us these precious moments of joy.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Christmas morning hairdo.

Alli Mae's first Christmas!

Cute 'kaalvoet kinders'.

We had a wonderful Christmas together as a family celebrating the birth of our Saviour who lives today. What a joy it was to talk to our children about the hope believers have of eternal life. Christ who knew no sin and Who never had to die, did so in obedience to God the Father so that sinners like us might know peace. He is the best gift ever. We do try and have the kids focus on that and not so much on their gifts. It's not so easy. One little incident did bring delight to my heart. On Christmas eve there were ten gifts under our donated tree. Ami counted them very carefully. Five were for her. Two were for Bradley. One for Benja. One for Alli and one for Daddy. None for mom? She obviously was quite excited that she had five, but when she realised that there weren't any for her mother she decided she had to do something about that.
It wasn't long before she placed a flat square box wrapped in her own unique way under the tree. Now there was a gift for her mom too. When I opened it this morning, I was teary!
Earlier in the week she had gone with her cousin to Chucke Cheese's and earned a flower-shaped purple 'stone' plastic ring. It was precious to her. She showed it off, quite pleased at her achievement, and now she had given it to me for Christmas!

Ready to help dad-they have all the tools.

Ami with her new dress.

Our first real tree.

My amazing husband prepared a delicious ham, roast potatoes, green beans, corn, and croissants.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Great Daddy

Since mom is out of action, dad has taken the reigns and is doing a sterling job. Even mealtimes are more fun!

Monday, December 21, 2009

6 months

Allison is 6 months now. She has started sitting on her own and rocking back and forth on her hands and knees.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy Appendectomy

This is Brian updating the Biedeblog. God has answered so many prayers for us this week. Anita had her appendix removed this morning and everything went well. The doctor said that it was a good thing we had it removed because it was in bad shape. He said that her "chronic appendicitis" is what has been causing her so much discomfort for the past nine months. That includes her 3 episodes of excruciating pain that caused us to look into this in the first place. For those who have been following the blog, the two times Anita was hospitalized when she was pregnant with Allison was probably because of her traumatized, hemorrhaging, abscess filled appendix. The doctor in South Africa had diagnosed those attacks as "tendinitis" but when she had a third episode three months after Allison was born we realized that it probably wasn't tendinitis. How grateful we are that this showed up on Anita's CT scan and that we were able to deal with this here in the U.S. -- if her appendix had burst in Malawi, our only option would have been to airlift her back to South Africa.

Anita was in the hospital at 6:30 AM this morning for surgery and able to return home at 6:00 PM this evening. The whole operation was done with a scope - AMAZING. The kids are all staying with friends until tomorrow afternoon and I have been able to be with Anita the whole time. My sister is planning to be here tomorrow to help me with the troops. Thank you, praying friends, and please continue to pray for Anita's recovery. (P.S. - the doctor also found a hernia while scoping out Anita's abdomen and he stitched that up while he was there - another thing to be thankful for). We have been accomplishing much on this furlough and look forward to our return to Malawi in just four weeks.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Go go go...

The kids at the end of a long day!

Furlough is tough. We have been sharing and or preaching, [at least Brian has, in the first two weeks we were here, he had to share 11 times!] visiting churches, catching up with family and friends and trying to rest too. Lord willing, we'll have a slower couple of days with Christmas coming up. I'll be forced to rest, because of my scheduled appendectomy.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Urologist says my kidney stone is only 1mm. Not anything to be concerned about. Praise the Lord! Trying to drink lots of water. The ones pictured above are part of Bied's kidney stone collection. The biggest one he has passed was 8mm.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dr. says...

I do have a kidney stone! Will see the urologist again on Friday. Also, surgery for my appendix will probably be in two weeks' time, just before Christmas. We appreciate your prayers.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fun in Texas

We had a really fun time with Bied's family in Texas. Where in Texas? McKinney and Allen. We also drove out to Frisco on Sunday evening to Tom Pennington's church. That was neat. Sharon and John fed the kids and put them to bed so that we could go. On the morning we left to come home it was snowing. Such a fun thing for the kids to see.

On a carousel in the mall.

Braysen and Allison in their jammies.

Big girl Breanna holding little Alli.

Cousins eating ice cream at the mall.
Biedebachs at the park.

This sweet baby is still not sitting, but is pushing herself up on her forearms. She loves being on her belly and looks like an aeroplane when she lifts her arms and legs into the air.
Tomorrow is my dad's birthday! It's already Dec 4th in South Africa. Happy birthday Opa. We love you.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Thanksgiving table at Uncle John (Bied's brother) and aunt Lisa's house.

Brian reading to the kids just before dinner.

Cousin Braysen. Keith and Sharon's (Brian's sister) son.

Ami, Benjamin, cousin Breanna and Alli baby.

Cousin McKenna and Allison.

Cousin Breanna.

Aunt Sharon with the kiddos in the backyard.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Looking good after 9 years...

Today we celebrated Thanksgiving here in Texas with Brian's brother and sister and their families. What a blessing to be able to spend time with our family. We haven't seen them for three years.

I am really thankful to God for blessing me with my husband. We celebrated nine years of marriage today. Truly God is gracious! B, I love you more and more each day. I am thankful for the way you lead us and the way you tenderly care for and love me.

We had a fun anniversary celebration night last week, since today is Thanksgiving. We spent the night in a hotel near Disneyland. We went to dinner and watched the fireworks. Our very dear friends took on the brave task of handling three out of four Biedebachs overnight. Allison came with us because she is still nursing, but Dave Bayne's parents watched her until 11pm so that we could be out together. We haven't done that in ages. It was so fun to just be the two of us. Hey B, did I tell you, "I love you?" Just checking...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Kiddo Nicknames

Ami - Skinny rat, madam fluff, punky lunky,

Bradley - B-rad, Braa Braa

Benjamin- Boo Boo, Benja, Schnofie Loffie,

Allison - Alli baby, Alli mae, Allisinna, Alli cat

Crazy I know, they call each other by these names too.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

'Alles op sy plek'

Ami had collected quite a few shells while we were down at Sunset Beach. I went outside one evening and this is how I found her shell collection :) All in order.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunset Beach

We had a blessed time this past weekend with friends from Seal Beach and then also spent some time together as a family at Sunset Beach. It was relaxing and we wish we could've stayed longer. The days were glorious. Where in the world can you sit on the beach in autumn and really enjoy it? Probably Durbs and Sunset Beach...
Me and my bucket.
These two are good friends :)

This was a gleeful scream.
Splashing around in the icy Pacific.

We noticed a seagull pecking at something. The kids ran to check what it was. Can you see it at the end of the shovel? A starfish.
Alli baby also getting her dose of the CA sunshine.