About

Aimsites.org is a service designed for AIM Missionaries to create and maintain their own website or blog.

Find out more here.

Sign up

Are you an AIM Missionary wanting a blog to share what God is doing in Africa and amongst Africans?

Click here to get started.

Sign in

Lost your password?

Explore

Find blogs

By country
By ministry

Featured posts

Featured media

On-field media resources

Viands Family Journal
December 6, 2016 4:01 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

I am sitting in the Wheaton Public Library, gazing out over my laptop screen to the winter wonderland of Adam’s Park. It’s one of those brilliantly sunny winter days, puffs of snow dropping from frosted branches and stubborn clumps of unfallen leaves. How I have missed the changing seasons! The past five months have been a time of rest and blessing for our family. Eliya finished up her time at Emerson Elementary School last week, and we have enjoyed family time and some special trips that we couldn’t do while she was in school. We took a trip to the Shedd Aquarium with my sister, Gayle, and her family. We went to the Brookfield Zoo and the Wheaton Historical Society. We also attended a Mom-to-Mom Christmas party yesterday, and have had a wonderful time with family and friends over the past few weeks–filling our tanks as we prepare to head back to Kenya. We have enjoyed joining a small group at church as well as having the chance to visit a few different adult classes. I have been especially blessed by Women’s Bible Study where we have spent the semester in the book of Joshua. I have found myself refreshed and challenged, gaining a renewed respect for the awesome God we serve, the blessing of being forgiven in Christ, and the need to remember and teach our children what the Lord has done. Eliya is finishing up gymnastics class this week, which she has thoroughly enjoyed. She took part in a special music class for children at our church on Sunday evenings.  All the kids have loved their Wednesday Bible study, Kids’ Corner, as well as Sunday school classes. If we were to count up all the people that have invested formally in our kids’ lives this past fall, it would probably total over 40. And that doesn’t even count all the informal times with family and friends who love on our kids.  It has been a joy to see our kids get to know their cousins and aunts and uncles better. We have lived just a couple of blocks from my brother, Brooks, and his family, and what a special joy that has been!  We have seen Daniel go from being our very shy little boy to being very outgoing and passionate about firetrucks and “man boots” and “tacka tackas” (tractors). Eliya has proven herself to be a good student, enjoying the classroom atmosphere. She is looking forward to going back to homeschool in Kenya too, which is the route we will take for now. Carys struggled initally, but seems to have become more comfortable with life here. She is still eager to get back to Kenya and she still wears her Kenyan dresses most days. She often has a kind word for those around her. The other day she said, “Daddy is the best daddy in the whole world!” Then she paused and said with concern, “Do we need to tell all the other kids that their daddy isn’t the best daddy in the whole world?” Talia continues to flit about like a little fairy, still getting into all kinds of mischief, but full of delight and chortles, which makes the cleanup a little easier. 🙂 She and Daniel have enjoyed going to classes together and grocery shopping with Mommy in the double-kid carts at Aldi. I love Aldi. All our kids fight like cats and dogs and drive us crazy sometimes, but they are SO much fun and they DO go to sleep most nights, and we are very grateful for each one of them.

This weekend, we will leave to go spend about a week and a half in New York with Grandma and Grandpa Viands and Jamie’s sister and her family. On the way, we will stop and see my Grandma Porter, and my aunt and uncle and cousins in Morenci, MI, along with a college friend. We are greatly looking forward to this trip and the memories to be made to last for the next couple of years.

We plan to come back for the week of Christmas, pack up and then head out on January 1st for Kenya. Time has flown, and yet it has felt like a good amount of time to be here. Jamie is preparing his classes and is eager to get back to his students. I am looking forward to going back to our life in Kenya as well, although there is an ache that will probably just always be a part of our lives when we have people we love on different sides of the world.

Jamie is giving me time in the library, but it is fleeting, so I think the rest of this post will be in pictures. Thank you to anyone who takes the time to read this, well, Mommy’s blog! 🙂

img_8892

img_8893

I asked Carys what she likes to do with play dough. Her answer? “Play with it!” 🙂

img_8895

img_8912

img_8924

img_8937

img_8939

img_8957-2

img_8962

img_8990

img_9006

img_9026

Special cousin time with Gayle’s girls, Kristina and Kate

img_9043

Thanksgiving with all of us under one roof for the first time since we left for Kenya over two years ago! 16 grandchildren, 15 adults, and we had a wonderful time.

img_9047

img_9050

img_9053

img_9069

img_9072

img_9082

img_9086

img_9091

img_9093

img_9095

img_9098

img_9111

img_9113

Jamie’s heartstrings are tugged by Trevor and Gayle’s baby Joshua

img_9121

Play time with cousins!

img_9129

img_9145

img_9150

img_9185

img_9193

First snow, long-awaited

img_9196

img_9208

img_9212

img_9160

img_9168

img_9169

img_9172

img_9173

Aunt Emily and Baby Joshua and Susanna

October 10, 2016 12:43 am
Published in: Uncategorized

We have had a wonderful time with Jamie’s folks for the past week and a half. So thankful for this time with them!

img_8804 img_8811

img_8797\ img_8774

The magic of Thomas the Train

The magic of Thomas the Train

img_6439 img_6411 img_6415

img_6419

img_6424 img_6427 img_6431 img_6393 img_6381 img_6347

img_6322

Enjoying Ithaca Apple Fest!

Enjoying Ithaca Apple Fest!

img_6305

img_6303

img_6300

img_6297

img_6288

September 23, 2016 3:45 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

We have been back in the US since mid-July, so it’s about time for a quick recap! First we spent a couple of weeks with my gracious parents, their home stocked with toys, bikes and scooters for the kids to try out (special thanks to a very kind friend, Mary, who garage-saled and gave many of those fun things).

Tractor rides with Grandpa Walker

Tractor rides with Grandpa Walker

Aunt Noey teaches some painting techniques to her enthralled students

Aunt Noey teaches some painting techniques to her enthralled students

img_8318

Catching up with our missions pastor, Bruce

Catching up with our missions pastor, Bruce

Big Green

Big Green

Then we spent a week at Gull Lake Ministries in Michigan where we met up with almost all of my mom’s side of the family, including my Grandma Porter whom we surprised with a 90th birthday party. The next seven photos are credited to Kayla Walker, who is an amazing photographer. I forgot to make that important note in the first edition of this post!

The Porter Clan

The Porter Clan

4

Le Ann and Talia

Le Ann and Talia

Grandma and Grandpa's homeade ice cream and Emily's chocolate cake...as good as it gets

Grandma and Grandpa’s homeade ice cream and Emily’s chocolate cake…as good as it gets

As good as it gets

Impressionist?

Aunt Wendy and Silly Uncle Brooksie

Cousin Jalen

Cousin Jalen

My sisters and I also met up with college friends, which was a sweet time while we were there. We were to head to northern Wisconsin the following week, but the kids came down with hand-foot-and-mouth disease, Daniel and Carys the worst. Even now, six weeks later, their toenails and fingernails have finally finished falling out. They have certainly handled it better than I would! We ended up not getting to go to visit Wendy and Steve in Wisconsin, which was disappointing for all. We did go the following week to northern Michigan to spend a week with Jamie’s family on a small lake in Traverse City. More pics to come in a later post!

img_8333

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes

The kids were still dealing with sickness, but we had a good time anyway. We moved from my parents’ home into a rental home in Wheaton on August 1st between trips. It has been a lovely home for us to be in while we are here, and we are so grateful! It is owned by my brother, Brooks, and his wife, Emily, and we are their first renters. It is such a joy to be just a couple of blocks from cousins and family. So many have given or lent items for the home to be furnished while we are here, and each dish, curtain, or bed is a reminder of the kindness and generosity of our loved ones. The neighborhood is full of dogs, and every morning, the kids pull down the drapes and paste their noses to the windows to watch the many doggies that are walked up and down our street. People have been very friendly and welcoming. We made the decision to enroll Eliya in kindergarten at the school two blocks from our house. img_8469

img_8483

img_8485Her teacher, Mrs. Young, is so kind and so good with the kids. I was feeling sad though, that Eliya would be missing out on the great “Kids Corner” Bible study on Wednesday at our church. The day before the Bible study started two weeks ago, I finally got up the nerve to ask Eliya’s teacher if we could take her out on Wednesdays to go to Bible study. To my surprise, Mrs. Young was enthusiastic about it and encouraged me to go for it. She said Eliya is doing well and is bright and will be fine to miss one day a week of kindergarten. Thank You,  Lord. I felt so blessed by this and it put my heart at peace a bit since I had been struggling with our decision so much. We have settled into a bit of a routine now, the kids are sleeping well, and we are all pretty healthy again. I did come down with a pretty severe case of mastitis (yes, I do feel like a cow) that knocked me out for two days or so. I have not been that sick in a long time, and I am very thankful to be back on my feet again. I think Jamie is glad too. 🙂 Speaking of Jamie, what a trooper he has been. In our time being back, he has done so much to help with the kids and also take care of the many logistical things that we need to do for Africa Inland Mission, including taxes and insurance paperwork. We both have been meeting up with friends and people who are interested in what we are doing in Kenya. I am enjoying a number of special park dates where I can chat with old and new friends while the children are enjoying themselves. Jamie has been doing research and writing, but a fair amount of his time is taken up with helping with the kids so we can both have time to catch up on things like dentist appointments and things that are harder to do in Kenya. I’m sure it’s always a big question, “What do missionaries do on home assignment?” I guess we wonder the same things, but honestly, our children keep us hopping these days, and between caring for them and meeting with people, there seems to be very little time for much else. We will be traveling to Michigan and New York next week, spending time with family and visiting churches and ministry partners. It is a joy to meet with those who have been praying for us and are eager to hear what the Lord is doing in Kenya. And it is wonderful for us to have the chance to hear what has been going on back home as well.

My time is nearly gone. Actually, I should have left the library five minutes ago. But lest I never post this, I must just include some two-year-old twins pictures as they celebrated their birthday on Labor Day. I’ll end with these for now and try to post again soon!

img_8498

img_8499-2

img_8504-2

img_8506-2

img_8510-3

img_8515-2

img_8528-2

img_8531-2

img_8535-2

img_8597

img_8628

img_8654

img_8659

img_8674-2

img_8678-2

June 20, 2016 5:00 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

The past few months have been quite full. We had a few big goodbyes as all our missionary neighbors went on home assignment. We miss them! The campus has been quiet since the end of the semester, but we are gearing up now for graduation on July 8.  I finally took the babies to Sunday school, and they loved it! Jamie and I have been switching off Sundays for nearly two years now as it has just been too hard to take the babies and manage the big girls without a nursery, so it is exciting that maybe now we can go to church as a family again.  Eliya made a new friend at church, and since she is so shy there, this was a real encouragement to us. We have had a lot of sickness, resulting in our first midnight ER visit in Machakos when poor Daniel got pneumonia. He bounced back quickly, thanks to great care and many prayers. A week and a half ago, Eliya was admitted to the hospital in Nairobi because she was displaying signs of meningitis. They wanted to do a spinal tap and wait for results from that, so she stayed there for four days. Thankfully, she just had meningism, which mimics meningitis, but is not so serious. It was pretty scary waiting for those results as she dealt with a stiff neck, severe headache and limb pain. We were so grateful to all who prayed with us and showed such great concern. She is back to her happy self now, praise God.  I (Kim) went on a scenic tour of Nairobi by accident while venturing into the big city without my navigator husband, and I realized that although I am directionally challenged, I have a certain aptitude for going around in large circles. Surely this is a gift in itself! Talia learned to climb out of her crib, and Daniel suddenly began talking like crazy.  The baby pudge on Daniel is giving way to long limbs and a little boy look. He and Talia both tear through the house, pulling things off shelves, dumping drawers (preferably with hundreds of beads in them), and playing with the toilet and faucets whenever possible. The difference between them is that Talia will stop to enjoy her spoils, while Daniel will move on immediately to the next weak spot in the house. Talia still seems tiny and baby-like, though she is quite strong and can hold her own with any of her siblings when it comes to the iron grip on a desired object. Carys is hilarious these days, at night coming to tell me that David andGoliath have given her balloons and….on and on it goes. She affirms her own sentences with a sound “mmmmhmmm” or “yeah.” Eliya is learning to read Bob Books and is really coming to enjoy her school work. She is greatly looking forward to attending kindergarten in the US (though we don’t know what form that will take yet…we have a couple of options). Jamie flew to Kisumu (western Kenya) to visit students on internship, and we got a couple of botflies (you don’t want to know, really).  We are now making preparations to head back to the US on July 10. We are so excited to see family and friends in the US, but we will miss our Kenyan family.

I’d better throw some pictures in here and then get to bed!

MOPS group

MOPS group

IMG_8100

Despite her facial expression, Eliya had a lovely time with these kiddos!

IMG_8120

IMG_8161

Eliya with Fergus, a very large cat who belongs to our missionary neighbor.

Eliya with Fergus, a very large cat who belongs to our missionary neighbor.

IMG_8182

Yeah, painting ourselves is half the fun

IMG_8183

IMG_8025

IMG_8034

IMG_8044

IMG_8010

Birthday games!

Birthday games!

Talia and her look of total innocence.

Talia and her look of total innocence.

Tito and Agnes graduated last year and were married here at Scott a few weeks ago. They are heading to Pokot to minister among the unreached and marginalized in a remote and arid region of Kenya. It is a joy to see them now as a married couple and to see their zeal for serving the Lord together.

Tito and Agnes graduated last year and were married here at Scott a few weeks ago. They are heading to Pokot to minister among the unreached and marginalized in a remote and arid region of Kenya. It is a joy to see them now as a married couple and to see their zeal for serving the Lord together.

May 5, 2016 4:38 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

Eliya will be five years old on May 21, and Carys will turn three on May 8. We had a birthday bash over the weekend, so just for fun, here is a little snapshot!

April 20, 2016 4:12 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

Last Friday we celebrated the end of the year with a goat roast. The student fellowship group that has met in our home this past year arranged for the purchase of the goat. They slaughtered it early in the morning and brought it to our house for the cutting and cooking. It is a fun event for all, though it takes a lot of time and sweat to prepare. It ends up as a delicious meal that is usually reserved for Christmas or special occasions–like an end-of-the-school-year celebration.

Our neighbor Sam helps with the hard work

Our young neighbor Sam helps with the hard work

The chefs, Pastor Kioko is the elder of the group, in the pink apron. :)

The chefs, Pastor Kioko is the elder of the group, in the pink apron. 🙂

Daniel fanning the flame to roast the goat

Daniel fanning the flame to roast the goat

Ann makes ugali, a mixture of cornmeal and water boiled until firm. We used to find this tasteless, but now we love it with stew and a salsa mixture.

Ann makes ugali, a mixture of cornmeal and water boiled until firm. Really quite delicious with stew and a tomato mixture called kimbuchari (I think that’s the name! It’s like salsa and is sometimes made with hot chilli peppers).

 

Eliya and Carys were so proud of their table-setting!

Eliya and Carys were so proud of their table-setting!

The guys mostly did the roasting outside. The gals boiled a good portion of the meat inside as well.

The guys mostly did the roasting outside. The gals boiled a good portion of the meat inside as well.

Ugali (or as Carys would say, "Ooooooogali!" Hot and steamy, this is dumped out of the huge pan it was cooked in. It is a great filler food to go with stew and greens.

Ugali (or as Carys would say, “Ooooooogali!” Hot and steamy, this is dumped out of the huge pan it was cooked in. It is a great filler food to go with stew and greens.

Boiled meat with fried peppers and onions. Sweet and tender enough for the babies to enjoy as well.

Boiled meat with fried peppers and onions. Sweet and tender enough for the babies to enjoy as well.

After about six hours of preparation, the cooks finally get to eat their own meal!

After about six hours of preparation, the cooks finally get to eat their own meal!

IMG_7725

IMG_7730

The final product. So delicious!

The final product! A fun day of fellowship and food and saying good bye.

March 30, 2016 3:26 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

Here is a compilation of life at the moment for us. The twins are especially fun these days as they have learned to enjoy one another’s company so much. When Jamie saw this, he commented that it seemed so serene. Don’t be fooled, the peaceful music is actually a rather comical addition to days full of laughter, tantrums, messes, hugs, and often a flustered mommy. However, we thank God for each moment He has given us with these little ones.

My neighbor and friend, Grace, put this video together of a visit we took to a fish farm recently. It was a fun day!

Fish Farm Visit with Friends

January 23, 2016 10:40 am
Published in: Uncategorized

Someday, I’ll try to share more in writing, but until then, here are some pictures taken during our visit from Grandpa and Grandma Viands. What a joy to have them here for three weeks!

IMG_6595 IMG_6602 IMG_6611 IMG_6486 IMG_6489
IMG_6180 IMG_6183 IMG_6189 IMG_6195 IMG_6199 IMG_6205 IMG_6228 IMG_6236 IMG_6240 IMG_6245 IMG_6252 IMG_6260 IMG_6267 IMG_6276 IMG_6278 IMG_6283 IMG_6298 IMG_6314 IMG_6318 IMG_6321 IMG_7042 IMG_7046 IMG_7047 IMG_7051 IMG_7056 IMG_7058 IMG_7062

IMG_6435 IMG_6489 IMG_6492 IMG_6507 IMG_6154 IMG_6136 IMG_6138 IMG_6146 IMG_6127 IMG_6040 IMG_6045 IMG_5995 IMG_6034 IMG_5798 IMG_5801 IMG_5819 IMG_5829 IMG_5858 IMG_5869 IMG_5874 IMG_5884 IMG_5961 IMG_5969 IMG_5973 IMG_5990

December 19, 2015 11:02 am
Published in: Uncategorized

Here are some pics from the past month or so, just for fun.

The ladies of the campus having a party.

The ladies of the campus having a party.

A silly game, drawing a Christmas scene on our heads...very fun.

Drawing a Christmas scene on our heads…very fun.

They are lots of fun.

Cookie decorating

I think this was a cockroach. Gross, but fascinating, apparently.

I think this was a cockroach. Ugh!

Pretty much every meal turns out like this.

Pretty much every meal turns out like this.

This girl exudes emotions with all her being. we love her smile.

This girl exudes emotions with all her being. we love her smile.

If I put this in black and white, maybe you won't be able to see poor Dan is wearing pink panda jammies.

If I put this in black and white, maybe you won’t be able to see Dan is wearing pink panda jammies.

Oops, there's the pink. Only at bedtime though!

Oops, there’s the pink. Only at bedtime though!

Where is Daniel?

Where is Daniel?

This is more like it.

This is more like it.

Posing with our Scottish missionary friend, Georgette.

Posing with our Scottish missionary friend, Georgette.

IMG_5613 IMG_5616 IMG_5618 IMG_5623 IMG_5624

Sharing a marshmallow

Sharing a marshmallow

IMG_5649

November 11, 2015 4:48 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

Well, it’s been a BIG week around here. Talia went from barely being able to stand on her own, to suddenly walking eleven steps across the room on Saturday! Daniel, not to be outdone, also tried his first few steps minutes later. I think twins must influence one another a lot. It seems a number of their milestones have taken place at almost the same time. So, naturally, I must include a video, at least for the grandparents and aunts and uncles!

And a few more pictures just for fun…IMG_5145

IMG_5129

IMG_5139

IMG_5138

IMG_5349

IMG_5345