Saturday, June 14, 2014


Hello! Hello! Yep, time again for a little update on Kenya, the Send Center and the Kilpatricks!

First things first, we are excited to announce that we have decided to move back to the US! We feel after these 7 buildings are complete our part is done. The SEND Center will be fully functional and ready to be used for the purpose of training the local pastors. Tickets are bought and paid for and grandparents have done much rejoicing! We will arrive in Austin,TX August 10. The girls will begin school August 25. Hence the time crunch to get the buildings done and skip town asap! Yep, Austin will be our new home.Sorry Ruston! We are really excited about the possibilities and opportunities in Austin. Taylor will begin looking for a job as soon as we arrive. Please pray that a fabulous position opens up for him.

We will be landing in Austin with our suitcases. Yes, with nearly all our worldly possessions contained within those zippers. It will be a busy and expensive two weeks once we arrive and we strive to furnish and stock our new rental house (still to be found!). The Bridge  has been an amazing support for us as we begin this transition off the mission field. We are so grateful for them! They have asked us to create a housewarming registry at Bed, Bath and Beyond. So if you are interested in helping us get settled check it out and buy us a pillow or an iron!

We are doing well. Taylor is working hard on finishing up 5 of the 7 building before the STORM team arrives the first week of July. He may even be done with 6...we will just see. They are all coming together nicely and look great! This time of year always brings many travelers through Lodwar. Share has partnered with Texas Tech to begin an agriculture project in Nadapal village. This has brought Kyle and Daniel to Lodwar for a few weeks. They have been fun to have around and get to know. Great guys who love Texas...Taylor is in good company. The two other missionaries here both have 6 week summer intern teams here. The pool is busy!

The girls are good. They are very excited about moving back. But I can already see we have a long road of readjustment back into American culture. My kids currently don't wear shoes or have any white friends. We have changed so much these last two and a half years. I feel that after living overseas, you realize you don't fit perfectly into any culture again. You are somewhat a stranger in your home. You have become a puzzle of a person that has had pieces lost and replaced with pieces from another box. Complete but different. That only reminds me all the more....we are not "Home" yet.

Lucy had malaria a week or so ago, but seems to be responding well to treatment. Oh yeah, and we took a trip to Lake Turkana a few weekends ago with Dave and Amy and had a blast. Drove over an hour through desolate desert (38 was the camel spotting count) on a wild desert "road". Lake Turkana is R-E-M-O-T-E. When someone who lives in Lodwar says that, you know it is off the grid. We baptized all 3 of the girls that Sunday morning. It was so sweet and we will remember it forever. Also on a positive note, minimal sunburns and no crocodile attacks! We saw one about 50 yards off lurking. We still swam. Come on a little! :)

"Do one thing everyday that scares you." ~Eleanor Roosevelt


Duplex cottage

Kitchen and dining hall

Water tower

Restroom and showers. Men's on one side and women's on the opposite.

Conference Hall

Daniel and Kyle

Girls at Lake Turkana

Lucy at the door of our camping hut


Thursday, May 1, 2014


May is here. We have been doing well! We had a great Easter. We painted eggs since the dye does not work on our very brown eggs. It was so fun to do together that I think our family has a new Easter tradition. We invited the other missionaries over for swimming, fellowship and a yummy dinner. I cooked the biggest ham I have ever seen. I could barely lift the thing into the oven. But all 20 lbs. of it was delicious! Pork is such a treat here. We had brought that hunk of a hog here from Nairobi for this special occasion. This was our third Easter in Kenya.

The SEND construction is back in full swing. Taylor traveled to Nairobi in April to gather the materials to finish these buildings. Things like toilets, sinks, paint...No, you can't order online or even over the phone. This all has to be done in person. And you must arrange all transportation. Among his purchases, were 54 large sheets of glass for the windows. Apon arrival, 53 were broken. It is a rough road! I feel like this situation should be in The Far Side comics. Add this to the list of "Things we have learned to laugh at". Share recently received funding to add a Kitchen and Dining Hall. So that structure is now in the beginning phase. This addition requires Taylor to head to Nairobi again in two weeks to gather all the materials needed. Taylor estimates all 6 structures will be complete in July.

Other than that...let me see...we slaughtered two sheep. Mutton curry is always our favorite dish with sheep meat. We bought a bull! We affectionately named him Lane Frost. Yes, he is for meat when he gets bigger. He has already become docile enough to eat out of our hands. And no, this will not interfere with our willingness to slaughter him. Two weeks ago, our kitten was "taken" by the wild cat. Kind of a sad situation, but here on the "wild side", my three darling little girls said, "O'well." (!) My kids are always up to something funny, I found them painting a live lizard blue the other day. I responded without breaking my pace, " Put down a piece of paper when you paint please." And walked away. After one writes a paragraph like this about one's makes you wonder about yourself! Who the heck am I?

Sheep slaughtering day. With 2 sheep, there was plenty to share. our workers and neighbors were all very happy.

Andi marveling at the newborn bird she had been watching daily to hatch. About two weeks later, I watched my kids chase our cat who had this fledgling bird in it's jaws all around the yard! Finally they succeeded in retrieving the baby bird and placed the shocked animal back in its nest. It was a hysterical scene complete with chaos, thrown shoes and brooms and enough yelling to scare the whole village. 

New Hope Children's Good Friday pool party! Lots of fun! We had lunch catered for them....and soda! 


Having a blast. These rescued street kids have had plenty of hard times. Glad we had something fun for them.

This kid cracks me up! He always gets in front of my camera. 

Big boys and floaties.

Tire swing fun.

Easter swimming in our 85 degree pool. Shannon, Elisabeth and Lynn. All other missionaries living or soon to be living in Lodwar.

Fritz, Taylor, Rachel and Lainey. Poolside!

This is my friend Mama Sunday. She is a single mother of 4 children. Our relationship began over a terrible leg wound she came to me for help with. It is all healed!  (even though in this photo she looks like she does not have a leg!It is there!) Several months ago we helped her start a small business of selling food in her village. She has made amazing progress. She is able to feed her children everyday and enjoy our hand-me-down clothes.

Kristen, Lainey, Andi, Lucy and Ikai enjoying an afternoon soda down the road from our house.

Old tire swing at a friend's house. 
Meet Lane Frost. Our Zebu bull.

Against all odds...the ducklings are nearly grown! 8 ducklings in all, some not pictured.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Karibu Kenya! You are both fatter and whiter...

   Hi there. Well, we made it back to Lodwar, Kenya.  It only took 3 continents, 3 airplanes, and a few thousand dollars and a constant battle for inner ear equilibrium (and an emergency vomiting plan) for Andi and myself on the smaller plane....but we are here. We found our house and compound in good order. So thankful for a faithful staff to help us.  All our friends say the same thing when greeting us, "You have both grown so fat and white!". Yikes. Really, after the 3rd or 4th time we were quite motivated to restart our 5 day a week morning exercise routine. And a bit of tanning! Akai did wonderful while we were gone! Glad to find her well and give her tons of hugs....and gifts! And to our pleasant surprise we found a new kitten and 8 new ducklings. Who doesn't love that?!?
   When we arrived to our house, I found a hot supper and chocolate cake waiting for us. And a "Welcome Home" sign. I nearly cried. And once the motion sickness crept away, we certainly devoured the dinner and belated birthday cake for Taylor. Thanks Dave and Amy.
   We are all so glad to be back HOME. I say "home" with the deepest belief that "home really is where the heart is." Our time in the US was so wonderful. Thanks to ALL the people who made that happen. Grateful to God for putting so many amazing folks in our lives. It was so good for Taylor and I to have some time to step out of our current journey and have a new look at this time in our lives with a little clarity and hopefully a bit more acquired wisdom. As in the case of the saying "You can't see the forest for the trees." Well, we stepped out of the trees for a bit and had some long, deep thoughts and conversations about the "forest of our lives". It was much needed.
   I have spent the week getting unpacked, cleaning out, and enjoying being back in my kitchen. I spent yesterday in my apron doing "prep" work. I have to make many of the staples I use. I made instant oatmeal, yogurt, bread, baking mix, brown sugar,sour cream and buttermilk. I froze tomatoes I roasted, chopped onions and bell peppers and smoothie supplies. Not to mention I made lunch and turkey tacos for dinner. I also labeled my creations and supplies in an orderly and cute way. Yeah, I was tired. But it felt great. Today's project is getting the school room ready for Monday.
   Publishing this blog post is also on my list. And I want to help the girls catch the ducklings so we can play with them. So the blog is nearly done. I sorted the beans I am cooking today while waiting on updates, internet and pictures to download. Welcome back Leigh Ann!
   I think our sentiments about this return to Lodwar and attitude can be summed up in a situation that occurred at the breakfast table this morning. Taylor, apon having just fished a tiny roach out of the syrup we made and he poured on his pancakes...responded "Let's do this!". And he then picked up his fork ate his delicious breakfast and was ready for the day. I love him!

"Let's do this!"

          (please excuse the pictures below, I forgot my nice camera in the US. Phone pictures. boo!) 

The sign from Amy and Dave. 

Ducklings! Just a side note, I was attacked by the mother duck after taking this shot.
 She won. I ran away screaming "Stop Snow! Stop Snow! I threw my shoe at her. 

Our kitties. "Copy cats" you might say, as they are a nearly identical mother and baby.

This Kitten is a true African. It has like 8 names. Clyde, Baby Cat, Akai... 

Freedom!!!! They are so happy to be back to the serious business of playing in the shade trees.
"I like it here so much better than in America." -Lucy 

Sorting beans and blogging. Small stones and bugs are generally not invited to dinner :)

This is my view from my computer. Too bad there is not an audio.
Birds, monkeys, kids, the wind...


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January in the US

This is my first post to write in a long time from US soil. We left Kenya on November 24th and spent 9 days with my mom's family in Dussuldorf, Germany. What an amazing trip! We had so much fun meeting all of our relatives there. Thanks so much to Connie, Lothar, Natalie and Nicole for their hospitality. We arrived in the States on December 4th. We were received by Taylor's parents and stayed with them for a few days before heading to Ruston,LA. Our sweet Hunny (Taylor's mom) had arranged some much needed shopping and hair cuts. (We were lookin' a mess!)We loved spending time with family and friends celebrating Christmas. We have missed them so much! Playing with and meeting new cousins has been so fun for our girls.

And yes....we are cold. I have been chilled since I left Africa.

A group of sweet friends from our home church, The Bridge, in Ruston had a 3 bd/2 ba house FULLY furnished, 2 cars, and pantry and fridge stocked when we arrived. WOW. What an amazing blessing. We could not even imagined a more comfortable place to stay. A house to ourselves...really! Oh my gosh, there is also hot water, a washer and dryer and no bugs. We are living a life of luxury for sure!

Our family is doing well and feeling refreshed. It is amazing what dinner or lunch with a friend can do for the soul. We battled with some illness this last few weeks, but are doing much better. You would think germs would run in terror from our "tropical disease immune" bodies. Taylor has really liked being able to do some hunting. You know you are back in Louisiana when you pluck ducks while drinking you morning coffee! Taylor and I have enjoyed getting to spend some time alone. We have had plenty of date nights and a week long trip to Colorado. And the girls have enjoyed that time being spoiled by their grandmothers and spending time with babysitters...their favorite! My girls have also enjoyed some things like:  automatic doors, drinking from the sink and learning to close a door (we have only screen doors).Some things they have had to rediscover are dishwashers, clothes dryers, coke machines, huge grocery stores, juice boxes, closed toe shoes, commercials, and hot baths without the use of the stove. (All of these items have had to be explained). Missionary kids :)

We go back to Kenya on March 11. So we have about 7 weeks left. I know they will be just as fun as the last few weeks!

The Kempen's dinner table in Germany...a good place to be!

Connie (my mom's cousin) Yum.

Sight seeing

Connie and the girls after a stop in the candy shop

Us with Connie and Lothar

Natalie and Nicole! Such sweeties!

Decorating the tree at our place in Ruston.

All done. 

Andi and Pops just catching up.

Lucy riding a dog and Lainey about to choke on marshmallows. Fun times.

Christmas in TX.

Eli...a crazy cousin we missed so much.

Christmas morning in Shreveport with our sister and brother and double-first cousins.

The girls riding my brother , Seth's horses. 

What could be better than cousins and horses?

Lainey heaven.

Eli and Andi
Lainey with she and Taylor's morning kill. 3 wood ducks.

A morning out with their Daddy......the most awesome Daddy ever! 

Keystone, CO with the best man in the world.
P.S., this was my first time to see real snow! 

Me and a huge horse.