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!

Conversations from the Heart

I love talking to my kids. I am amazed at some of the things that they say and ask. This week was full of awesome conversations. I had to share some of the things that were shared.
Lily's questions and conversations...
Saturday night before we said her bedtime prayers she asked me, "Mama, where are we going to church tomorrow?" I replied, "We are going to Ukhose, the place we went last week." She said, "Why are we going there again?" "Well Lily, the people at Ukhose just now learned about Jesus and invited them into their hearts." "Mama, why did they just NOW know about Jesus?" "Lily, no one had told them about Jesus and Daddy told them and they followed Him." "Why had no one told them before Daddy?" "Well, I guess no one loved them enough to tell them, so we have to show them Jesus' love." "Okay Mama, I want to help them know how to love Jesus."

Mama: Lily if you could be any animal in the world, what would you be?
Lily: giraffe
Mama: Why?
Lily: Because they have beautiful brown spots
Mama: What color would you be?
Lily: Pink
Mama: Why?
Lily: Because I like pink shirts, teddy bears, curtains, and skirts.

The Questions of Easton
He peered around the corner of the house with big brown eyes and freshly buzzed hair and said to me," Mama, where is Amerita?" "Well, it is far away." "How do we get there?" "We get there by airplane." "Mama, can we just drive there now?" "No baby, there is a big ocean we have to cross." "Is there an airplane waiting for us now in Wusaka?" "No baby." "Mama, I want to call Mamie to see what she is doing in Amerita and what the kids in Amerita are doing too." "Okay sweet boy."
(We called my mom and he told her all about how he wants to see Amerita. He does not really have any recollection of it, so next year will be a fun time for him!)

It's brown and white and cold.
You can buy it made or make it yourself.
Kids love it and so do their parents.
Can you guess???
I know my kids are sheltered, but they had chocolate milk for the first time and the love it! It was so much better because we had FRESH milk and American chocolate syrup! What a fun treat for all of us! Easton loves to see his milk turn white to chocolaty!!!

Thursday, October 1

Rooster or a Chicken?

Our guard, Rabson (his friends call him Rabby), gave us a gift one night. The gift was a chicken! The kids were so happy and so were we! What a great surprise this chicken was! Then the discussion began.

Joy: Well, do you want to eat the chicken or keep it?
Kendall: I don't know, I would like to have some chickens.
Joy: What do you think about the dogs?
Kendall: My dogs got used to our chickens. We can keep it, what do you want to do?

After one night to sleep on it, we decided to keep the chicken. It was fun watching our dogs get used to it running around the yard. Then Lily wanted to give the chicken a name, I thought, "welp, we will never be able to eat this chicken, it is about to have a name." Lily said, "LUCY!!" We thought Lucy was a perfect name since Kendall said that it was a female. I am lacking in the farm animal department and dont know the difference really, I mean if it is big and crows in the morning, then I know but other than that...I don't! So a week went by and I asked Paul if he knew anyone that had a rooster for sale because we would like to have some eggs (because they are expensive here). Paul replied, "mama, that one is a rooster!" I told Kendall that we had a rooster and he couldnt believe it, he ran outside to further inspect the biology of the chicken. When all was said and done we realized that the chicken had to have a name change because it was a boy...so we proudly introduce our newest family member, Jeremy! He roosts in the orange tree to sleep, he likes to eat the dog food, drinks the dog's water, he is not afraid of the dogs, and everytime he is near Lauren says "doot doot!" Can't wait to get a chicken so we can have some eggs! We are slowly turning into the Walton's...or I guess you could say that we are "Little House in the Nyimba Valley"! I am slowly learning about agriculture it is a world I am not too familiar with but like it!

Miss Mischief

Nothing surprises me anymore...some of Lauren's favorite things are: blowing zerberts on my back to wake me up in the morning, climbing onto tall furniture items when no one is looking, eating the toothpaste, running away with the Sharpie markers, leaving greasy fingerprints on semi-important papers and books, leaving her signature in Bibles and other reading materials, playing in the dogs water, and many other things. Well, these two instances top the favorite things to do list in my opinion.

So I know what you are thinking..."are there knives where she can get hurt?" "how did she get up there?" "were you there watching her?" The answers are no, herself, and yes!
I was in the kitchen eating my breakfast when all of the sudden Miss M (we will keep the names anonymous to protect the guilty) was carrying a stool. She quickly put the stool down in front of the kitchen sink and began to hike her chubby little legs up on the stool. "OH BROTHER!", I thought to myself, "what is she up to now!?" She then grabbed the Palmolive dish soap, sponge, and a dirty bowl and began to wash the dishes. After about 20 seconds of that, she decided that she couldn't really do her job well without getting into the sink. So she hiked that little leg right up onto the counter, sat on the edge, removed the dishes from one side of the sink into the other and sat in the sink in order to "wash" the dishes. Welcome to my life...never a dull moment.
She decided that the nutritional health of the dogs was lacking fat, so Lauren decided to get them butter for breakfast one morning. Don't worry, she has learned the art of sharing, she distributed the butter evenly between the three dogs allowing them all about 10 seconds of licking per turn.