Wednesday, December 23

Swings, Rings, and Little Things

On Friday, December 18, Lily was outside with Kendall feeding the dogs. As she waited for Kendall to get the cans of dog food open she decided to take a break and swing. As she was swinging, she tipped over off of the swing and cut her head open. I am not a big fan of blood or open wounds, so taking care of this little injury at home was definately with the help of the Lord! We went to Lusaka on Saturday morning to get her Tetanus shot and things were healing well. Praise the Lord for His provision and that He always watches over us!

On Saturday, December 19, after we ran some errands in Lusaka, I was on the phone with my friend, Betty. Lauren was attempting to take a nap but could not get still so I sat with her on the bed as I talked to Betty. In the midst of my conversation I realized that my wedding band was no longer on my finger and Lauren was not breathing! She had swallowed my wedding band! I panicked (naturally) then performed the Heimlich Maneuver and out came the ring! I began thinking, what more can happen?! What else could happen...thankfully, nothing yet!!

Christmas is in 2 days. We have had the gifts wrapped and ready to put under the tree for a few days now. Well, last night I decided that it would be fun to make putting the gifts under the tree a game for the kids. So we huddled together to talk about "the plan". Their eyes were big and their smiles were bigger as I told them about "the plan". I said, "You are going to line up at the _______." They responded, "CLOSET!!!"  I said, " And I am going to hand you ONE __________." They yelled,  "PRESENT!"  Then I said,  "Then you will WALK the present and put it under the ________." They yelled and jumped and said, "TREE!!!!" It was so fun and they were precious! When I came out to the tree to see how they put them under the tree, it was a huge stack, guess next year I need to teach them how to arrange gifts under the tree!!!

Recently, Melvin has been coming over to play with Easton. It has been so fun to watch them play together for hours and hours! The greatest thing is listening to them. Easton tells Melvin something in English and Melvin responds in Chinsenga. It is an intriguing social observation, because although they are speaking different languages, they communicate perfectly to one another. I am so thankful for the friendship that Easton has with Melvin!

I am reading this book that my Mom sent me about nurturing boys. Just after reading over half of the book, I have fallen in love with my little boy even more! It has been an awesome book! If you have little boys or even older boys, this book is a great read! I have really enjoyed it and I am trying to implement many of the things that I am learning!

Wednesday, December 2

Thanksgiving Smiles

The food was plenteous and the friends were numerous, but the fellowship was overflowing!Our Thanksgiving festivities this year were a blast! We had a great meal, the men played basketball, and my sweet friend, Amy did a few haircuts while all of the women sat around and chatted about life. It was one of my most favorite Thanksgivings of my life. Here are a few pictures from the day!

Amy was so sweet to cut Lauren's hair, this was her second haircut in her life!

It is tradition that when we have a meeting together, the men always go and play basketball. There were 16 of them that played this time! They love the fellowship with each other!

What a blessing to enjoy time with friends and family here in Zambia!

Monday, November 9

Mom's Hair Salon

It was time for another haircut for Lily and we decided that she needed a lot of hair cut off because of the heat here in Nyimba right now!
As I began to cut, I realized that I was not doing a good job because I had not sectioned her hair. Remember, I had never cut hair until we moved to Africa! So needless to say, it took me almost 30 minutes to cut her hair but it was a success because both mother and daughter were happy with the outcome! She looks so cute and grown up!

Saturday, November 7

"I Think I am Big Now..."

As I was hanging clothes on the line the other afternoon, Lily came over to me and said, "Mama, I think I am big now. So I want to walk to the market." I replied, "Well Lily, the market is a long way away. (about 1-1.5 kilometers/1.6 way) She had a quick response, "Mama, I can make it because my legs are strong, so can I go?"
"I think we can do that, but we may just start by walking to the bus station, okay?"
Yesterday, we went out for the "I think I am big walk". Zeria, Lily, Lauren, and I set out on our walk at 9:15am by 9:30am we were dripping sweat because of the heat, but Lily kept walking with a spring in her step. We went into the bus station restaurant and bought some drinks and visited our friend Jenny who sells bananas. Lily talked with Jenny about the walk and sang her the praise chorus that she has learned in Chinsenga. Jenny was happy that we visited her. We walked home and on the way we saw chickens, cows, and a giraffe tree (a tall holly tree that was bent over like a giraffe). We arrived home at 11:15am from our journey, we were hot and tired! Lily was so proud of herself and I was too!

Lauren thinks that she is big now because this week she began to brush her teeth on her own. Well, one afternoon as I was finishing up some work, I began to smell bubble gum from the bathroom. Just then, Lauren rounded the corner from the bathroom into the den with PINK BARBIE BUBBLE GUM toothpaste all over her face. It was like she had put a facial mask of toothpaste on her face. I was so tired of chasing after her all morning telling her to stop touching things that I had given up and look what I got for my laziness! (sorry there is no picture of this, I was too lazy to get the camera!)

Tuesday, October 27

I Want To Be Like Daddy

In the past few weeks, Kendall and I have both seen how different it is to raise a boy versus a girl. We have spent many hours in prayer, tried many different things in disciplining Easton and different forms of encouragement. My friend in Texas gave me a book before we came to Zambia, called "Bringing Up Boys" by Dr. James Dobson. I sat down last Friday and began reading. I was only into about the 3rd chapter of the book, there was a sentence that said,
"Very young boys bask in their mother's femininity and womanliness during infancy and toddlerhood. Fathers are important then, but mothers are the primary. At about three to five years of age, however, a lad gradually pulls away from his mom and sisters in an effort to formulate a masculine identity." "It is typical for boys during those years, and even earlier, to crave the attention and involvement of their dad and try to emulate his behavior and mannerisms."
I could not wait for Kendall to get home for me to tell him about this profound statement! We then agreed that anytime Easton wanted to go or Kendall could let him go with him to teach or anywhere, Easton could go. He needs that and desires to be away from MOM and the 2 Ls (Lily and Lauren). Sunday was the first BIG Daddy/Son adventure. They went to church...30 kilometers down a dirt road, got into a tree canoe, paddled across the Luangwa River, hiked up a mountain (literally) for 1.6 kilometers (1 mile), went to church, ate nshima, got a chicken as a gift, then came home and arrived in Nyimba at 4:30pm.
Tuesday, Easton went with Daddy to teach at Kambete Baptist Church. This is what walked through my door with a huge smile on his face saying,

"I am a big boy! I was sooo DOOD (good)!!" I looked at Kendall for reassurance and Kendall told me many things that he had done that we have been working on for a long time. I was so happy to see the African soil all over his little face and knees...the grin made it all worthwhile, I knew that finally, Easton was happy! Praise the Lord for little boys! As my friend Amy shared with me recently, "Little boys are the only thing that God can use to make a man." So true, and that quote now hangs on Easton's door, as a reminder to me to be patient and always seeking the Lord's wisdom in rearing a little boy.

A Precious Heart

Lily went with me to teach at Kambete Baptist last Tuesday. As I was finishing my lesson, I looked over my shoulder to see her sharing her snack with all of the children that were there. My precious Lily with such a loving and thoughtful heart! I was overwhelmed with joy and thanks to the Father!

Then later in the week, I came in from running to find her washing all of the dishes. I asked her why she was doing it and she said, "to help you out mama!" I was humbled.

I am amazed that Lily will be 5 years old in December. Each day, Kendall and I pray that we would be godly examples for our children and lean upon the Lord's wisdom in how to raise them according to His Word.

Saturday, October 17

A Pot of Surprise with a Side of Smiles

Looky what I found in one of my pots this morning! His name is Tiny Dude. Yes, we name our geckos because they eat mosquitos and other bugs! Last year we had one about this size that came to our lamp and we named him Little Dude, but Tiny Dude is SO small! We were filled with laughter and smiles this morning when we found TD in the pot on the stove!!

Friday, October 16

The Little Farmer Princess and Her Big Journey

Once upon a time in a dry and hot land, there was a little blond-headed farmer princess. She loved to help take care of the little red hens. She watched closely as her big sister and big brother fetched the feed and water. After a few moments she thought it would be a good idea to help out. She fetched the watering can (a Nalgene water bottle) and knew that she would be too short to reach the sink to fill the water, so she stood puzzled and figured out that the best source of water (within her reach) would be the doggie water. She kneeled down and filled the bottle as best she could.

She mozied past the flower garden

She mozied past the lazy lion dog, Higgins

She then arrived at the Hen House, where she was greeted by Floppy the Hen and Summer the dog. Just then, Floppy stretched her neck out as far as it would go and began to peck the "watering can". The little blond-headed princess was shocked and let out a high-pitched "DOOT DEET!!". Floppy was persistent until the princess gave her a little tap tap on the head with the watering can.
She was relieved to finally reach the hen house, without spilling the water or being pecked to death by Floppy.
"Here I go!", the Little Farmer Princess thought, but Francis thought differently, "Oh no you don't you little bright-eyed critter!" Francis the LFP a hassle when she tried to get into the house to give them water. The LFP swatted her hand and Francis' beak and squealed as loud as she could to get her to back up!
When she got into the house, she knew that her first obstacle would be the bamboo roosting stick, one leg and then the other, but DON'T drop the water!!
She made it and did not spill one drop of water! The Little Farmer Princess was so proud of her big job! She knew that she could take care of the Little Red Hens too!
The hens were excited to have fresh water and to see that LFP was such a big girl!
When the job was done she was on her way!
Little Farmer Princess with a happy grin because she knew that the hens were happy too!
"Yee, doot, deet" was all the happy little farmer princess could say. She knew she had done a good job and was proud to be a big girl!

Lil' Ernie Els...maybe

Kendall loves to play golf and Easton is learning how to swing the club and hit the ball pretty well. He had another lesson with Daddy this week and Lauren was his "caddy" and helped him fetch his ball each time that he hit it.

Easton and his caddy
The coach and the caddy

Sunday, October 4

Oldies But Goodies!!

Saturday was a day of fun and games at our house. I was a Recreation Management major in college and was a recreation director for youth and children camps in the summer, so recreation and games runs THICK in my blood. The kids are finally getting to the age where they can play simple games that are so fun for people of all ages! Friday night, I decided that while Kendall was gone we were going to have a game marathon from breakfast until lunch, if the kids could make it that long. We had so much fun playing games that I used to LOVE when I was a kid! The pictures below tell the stories of our fun time of playing games with each other!
Lauren watched in amazement as Kendall jumped rope. We were playing "Jump The Creek" and the kids wanted to see Daddy jump rope when he got home from teaching. I remember playing "Jump The Creek" every day at recess when I was in the 4th and 5th Grade at Bethesda Elementary! Those were the days!
Easton enjoyed a snack and loved the entertainment as well!
Lily LOVES to jump on our trampoline and she loved it when I asked her to jump so I could take her picture!
Chillin' with an apple and some sweet tea...
Can you tell what goody the kids found in their trunk of treats from their Aunt Theresa?
Lily got a Princess Spud accessory kit and Easton got a Safari Spud! Fun times!
Playing Hi-Ho Cherry O! with Lauren around is not an easy feat. Everytime we would get our trees full of cherries, she would take them off the tree and put them in the bucket without spinning! Needless to say, we had to stop playing and wait for her to take a nap, but Lily really loved playing this game!
What a great game. Loved playing with Lily.
We also played Memory...not easy with Lauren around. We would get it all set up and then she thought we had a mess so she would "clean up" the mess we had made!
We finished our marathon with a good ol' game of hopscotch. Then the wind was blowing pretty good so we decided to blow wind bubbles and have our bubbles race. It was so fun to see all of the bubbles in our yard! The people outside of our wall that saw them probably were wondering what was going on!
It was fun to be a kid with my kids and I am loving each and everyday that they grow up and we are able to communicate more and play together more and more!