Tuesday, February 21, 2012



I was doing so well with updating almost every day at the beginning of the month. I guess we can establish an understanding right now. If I don't post for over a week, life is crazy busy at the moment, which always means exciting things to tell you.....eventually.  :)

Ok, glad that's established.

So the fun news.....we have PUPPY!

12 weeks old (now 14 weeks old), 24 lbs, blue weim

This sweet boy has stolen my sanity, my peace of mind, and my heart. I think Andrew would agree with me on that one.

he's such a daddy's boy. 

going for a ride to the one and only dog store in Athens.
he's a celebrity every time we go!

Our days revolve around Kyzer now. When he needs to go out (which I will brag that we've trained him to ring a bell on the door), when the other dogs will be at the park to play with him (between 4:30-5:30 pm), training him, disciplining him, socializing him, and giving him love and attention.  It's EXHAUSTING!

But we are hoping it will all pay off and that he'll grow up to be an amazingly obedient family pet that wont require so much attention down the road. We are willing to pay our dues now to get that benefit later.

We've been spending the last two weeks potty training and crate training with some obedience and skill training.  The potty training has been successful for the most part. He's so smart. He picked up on the it within a couple days, but of course hasn't perfect.  We still have our moments every so often, but for the most part he understands where his business should lay. The crate training has gone well, too. He doesn't pester us through the night (HA! first week = sleep deprivation) and seems to enjoy his crate. But boy once that first alarm goes off in the morning he lets you know he heard it and wants out. 

No more sleeping in. Whoever the first one is that needs to get up, we both have to get up so one can take care of Kyzer and the other get ready. Then we swap duties. 

We take him to the dog park almost everyday to play with some neighborhood dogs. It's a fun community of people that all know each other and their pets. We are making new friends around us because of Kyzer.  

He's napping right now. That's the only reason I was able to crank out this blog post. Been dying to share about our adorable new family member. Can't wait for all of you to meet him!

PS. We started a height chart for Kyzer. (Don't laugh at us. You probably did too of your first pet!) He's already grown at least 1/2 and inch in a week. We saw on another blog that by 7 months old (less than 4 months away!) he'll be close to 100 lbs! We'll keep you posted. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Growing Family

Most of you have already heard the wonderful news, but the Foster family is growing again. (No, I'm not pregnant! Don't even think about starting rumors.)  The youngest of the family has found himself a bride-to-be! 

The wedding planning is already in the works and they're looking at an end of summer beginning of fall wedding. What perfect time of year. It's going to be beautiful and such a fun celebration.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Have a Fabulous Weekend

It's finally Friday!

Please enjoy this video all pet lovers.

We'll be too busy to get into trouble, unlike Denver. All day tomorrow I'll be judging a 4H Food Project. Should be a lot of fun hanging out with kids, sampling their foods, and showing no mercy! Just kidding, I'll be nice. :)  I'm NOT looking forward to waking up at 5:30 am on a Saturday, though. Yuck.

Of course Sunday is the Superbowl! Hope all of you have something fun planned. We will be watching it with a  group from church.

And I'll be honest, I have no clue who is playing. I'm just there for the fellowship, commercials, and food. Anyone else on the same page as me? 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Playing House

Remember this room?

The storage facility. Organized Chaos. Whatever you prefer.

Well get a look now!!

sorry the lighting is so terrible

This weekend, Andrew and I had our FIRST house guests. Brittany called me on Friday, asked if she and her husband, Casey, could stay with us for the next weekend, and my crazy self said sure, why not! (Please refer back up to the first 3 pictures)

I knew I had to get the room ready within the next couple months anyway so what other motivation than my best friend, who I hadn't seen since her wedding back in September, coming to stay with me in less than a week.

Remember Lauren? She's getting married! Brittany and Casey came into celebrate with her and her future husband, and out of it we got a super fun weekend. They treated us to breakfast at Mama's Boy, the boys worked out while the girls chatted, we went to Lauren and Zach's party, and we had a sleepover. I always love getting to spend time with her and Casey. And it was especially fun to be able to host them in our home! I've always dreamed of Andrew and I being hospitable in that way, but I never thought it actually happening in our small apartment.

In Casey's own words...."Chateau de Chase". So for anyone who wants a place to stay in Athens, please don't hesitate to ask! Now that we have a guest room instead of a storage room....we want to use it!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Africa Part 3: Light in the Dark

sunset from the last night of the camp

Camp is Heaven on earth. There are no if, ands, or buts about it.

Camp Swamp is a place where everyone, kid and adult, can be completely themselves.  There's no judging, making fun of, excluding. Camp is a place for life long friendships to be made.  It's a safe place. Safe from this dark world.

The African camp hosted over 200 kids from all over the southern region of Africa. I had 17-18 year old girls and Andrew had 16-17 year old boys. Andrew and I are pretty used to having these age groups because we tend to counsel the same age at the American camp. But oh how we weren't ready for the differences.

I think most have heard of the apartheid in South Africa. Nelson Mendela. Steven Biko. Segregation. Division between the whites and blacks just like we had here. Well, I didn't realize that the apartheid was just beginning to fade in the early to mid 1990's! That was only 20ish years ago.

Years and years of hurt, hatred, violence, and segregation can't all just disappear when the apartheid does.  As an outsider looking in, it is clear South Africa is still mending from those times. It's still a dark and scary place between the whites and the blacks. There's so much poverty, crime, and hatred everywhere you turn in Joburg.

Luckily, the kids that Andrew and I counseled are raised in God fearing, Christian households.  In this dark place, their parents teach and train them to love and respect everyone.  And they teach their children those things because of their love for Jesus. (Which gives me so much encouragement and faith.) But these innocent kids, get so much influence and peer pressure around them, whether they realize it or not, telling them to hate others, look out only for yourself, and violence is the way to handle anger. Some of the African kids I talked to described how they are picked on and bullied at their schools.  They told stories about how fights are everywhere at their schools. It's a terrible environment for these kids who are being taught such amazing things from their church and parents.

But as I was saying before, camp is a safe place. A place where you can let all the walls you put up to get around this world down, and let the love of God into your heart. The week starts off with a lot of fun and games, free time, and hanging out with new and old friends. After two days, all the kids are having fun and feeling free. Freer than they've probably felt in a long time. There's no worldly distractions around tugging on them.

It's so powerful to see how once someone lets all their walls and guards down, how quickly and eagerly they desire to want to know and love God. I wanted to post the blog I wrote on the Swamp Corps page during the camp:


Walls torn down

I have had the privilege to counsel the oldest girls (17-18 years old) on this trip, and to be honest, two days ago I might not have started off my sentence so positively. More than half of my girls didn't want to be here and it showed in their attitude. I've never had to persevere so hard with patience and being excited for the girls I was given. Last night I went to bed wondering if any impact would be left on the girls' hearts before they left. This morning, however, I can truly say I feel blessed. God revealed the work he's been doing on all of my girls' hearts since they've arrived 2 days ago. We had our thankful devotional this morning when everyone stands in front of the entire camp to express their gratitude verbally and publicly. As I expected, none of my girls got up to get in line. However, half way through the devotional, 3 of my campers got into line, stood in front of the entire camp, and wept about how they never wanted to come but they've had the best week of their life. Around me, the rest of my girls sat and cried out of the gratitude that was flowing from their hearts even though they didn't verbally express it. My heart is so excited right now by God's power and I was so moved to share it with you. I can't wait to share with you what will come of the next day and a half left now that God has torn down the walls of the older campers' hearts.  

Miss you all!

Love from Africa,

Kelsey Chase

One of my girls, Talent, pulled me aside and shared her life with me and how badly she wants to become a disciple of Jesus. Mpho is eagerly studying the bible and trying to make God her number one (according to her Facebook status earlier this week).  Andrew finally felt that by the end of the week he could have fun with his campers. There's already been one baptism since we've left. An older guy camper, Kamohelo. And the day we were leaving, mine and Andrew's campers were crying and hugging each other. God moved in our campers hearts and is continuing to do amazing things in their lives today.

Our goal was met. We were able to let the African kids know what it feels like to be safe and loved. What we should feel as children of God. Something they may not get to experience again until next year. God is too good.

We are so grateful for what the Johannesburg Church is doing for their children. They work so hard at creating a safe and loving place for their kids and as an outsider who just spent a week, 24/7, with your kids....you are doing a fantastic job. Your congregation and your families are the light on the hill that God calls us to be. You are the light in a very dark place. Thank you.
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