Thursday, December 22

Snowball and Lulu

The word for rabbit in Chinyanja is kalulu. Well, for Christmas our kids received two kalulu! Kendall had been checking around town and found a lady that was selling them. Yesterday, he snuck out to go and buy the kids their Christmas presents! The kids were so excited! Of course the first order of business was naming the rabbits. Snowball and Carrots were the first names. Then we settled on Snowball and Lulu. Lulu had a little adventure jumping around the yard and went right into a cactus in our front yard. So for about 20 minutes, Kendall and I used tape to pull out the fine hair thorns. For several hours after we kept finding them in our clothes and they would randomly appear on our hands. Needless to say, Lulu was not held very much yesterday because of the thorns. ( I think that he/she was a smart kalulu.) Kendall and Rabson built a great pen for the rabbits and they are happy. The funniest thing is that our dog, Summer, is incredibly protective of the rabbits and will not let the other two dogs anywhere near the fence. She slept by the pen yesterday and is quite the mother kalulu!

Lily holding Snowball

Lulu...loving the fact that the kids can't hold her because of the thorns!

Summer watching Kendall dig the last hole for the final post of the pen. She was already watching over those rabbits!

Snowball was hungry and Easton loves these rabbits and would stay there all day and night if we would let him!

A Simple Nativity

Yesterday's Christmas craft were these fun, easy, and cute nativity scenes! The kids loved making these. I had to help them with the hot glue and the garland on the angels, but everything else they did! Popsicle sticks, paint pens, and glitter glue. You can't tell by the picture but the angels robes are made of glitter glue! I found the idea on Pinterest and the link to the idea creator is below!

Easton's nativity

Lily's nativity

Lauren's nativity

Idea came from this blog:

Tuesday, December 20

Gingerbread House and Nerd Snow!

Our precious friends sent us a Gingerbread House kit from the States and for craft time today the kids decorated it! I was pretty impressed at how well they did! And the best part about this craft is that they ate all of the "scraps" off of the table! Fast, easy, and efficient clean up!

Friday, December 16

"Tan I Dew Da Dishes, Mama?"

Everyday, as I turn on the faucet to begin washing dishes...I petite little girl with big brown eyes and a big smile pulls up a stool and says, "Mama, tan I dew da dishes?" With delight I accept her request and she works until they are done.

Saturday, December 10

Easy and Fun Initials

I got this fun, easy, and neat idea from Pinterest! ( I had to try it since I had all of the materials. All you need is cardboard, yarn, and hot glue! Simply cut out the letter or letters you want, then hot glue the end of the yarn to the back and wrap away! I had so much fun doing this for the kids and start to finish was about 1 1/2 hours!


Friday, December 2

SOS....from Timeout

Lily hardly ever gets put in timeout. Well, she did this week. After she had been allowed to come out of timeout, Easton produced 5 letters that Lily had written during her "imprisonment"  and passed them through the window to him to give to me. The best one got thrown away and it said, "Easton, please tell Mama to let me out, I am bored! PLEASE!" These were two of the notes I found today. I love the picture of the wedding cake with Kendall and I on top. Funny girl.

Friday, November 18

Insect Expeditions

Every morning, my precious little boy ventures out into the wilderness (our backyard) to begin his insect expeditions. And without fail, within 10 minutes he has at least 3-4 kinds of bugs in his "Easton" bug catcher. He truly has a gift of finding those little critters quite quickly. Yesterday, I was even pretty fascinated with one of the grasshoppers he had found! At first he didnt look like a grasshopper but sure enough...he was! I love the dirt on Easton's face and the grit under his fingernails, that shows that he had a hard morning of work!

Easton does the "hunting" and Lily joins in on the entertaining of the critters!

Here is the little guy!

Spot It!!

When we were in Lusaka we played a new game with several missionary friends called Spot It! It is such a fun game that I went home and bought it and my Mama sent it in the packages that we received this week! Each Friday after we finish school we have game time for about 2 hours. Last night, the kids could not wait to play the new game! I wasn't sure how Lauren would do, but I was so surprised that she liked it and played so well! It is the kids new favorite game and I love to play it with them!

The object of the game is to spot similar objects on other players cards and your own. There are 4 variations to the game and it is great! The company that makes it is called Blue Orange.

Wednesday, November 16

Coloring Picnic

On Saturday when there was no electricity and it was pretty steamy in the house, we moved outside. I sat in my hammock chair and read a book and the next thing I know the kids have their coloring books and crayons outside having a great time. Easton quickly informed me that they were having a coloring picnic! Gotta love it!

Fun In Lusaka

Kendall went to South Africa for a meeting and while he was gone we stayed in Lusaka. It was the best time for our kids because several other missionaries families came into Lusaka too!! This was a fun picture that I snapped one day when we took the kids to swim at the Olympic Pool in Lusaka! It is so fun to see all of these missionary kids loving on each other!!! What a blessing!
On another note, isn't it funny that all of them have blonde or dirty blonde hair?! They really do look related!

Thursday, September 22

Look What We Found!!

Kendall and the kids took a field trip to the boma (town) church plot. He wanted to show the kids what it looked like since it is clean now and the tall grass is gone. They came home red faced, dirty, sweaty, and with a treasure in their hands! They found these huge shells at the plot and were so happy! We all couldn't believe how big they were!

Wednesday, September 21

Splitting Hairs

I am going to put Lauren's thoughts (or how I perceive them) into words in regards to her hair.
"Oh come on Mom, seriously, do you have to put those bands, clips, and bows in my hair? I mean, I really prefer for my bangs to hang over my eyes so that I can hide the dirt on my forehead! And it is so much more fun to push the hair out of my face with muddy hands so that I leave an abstract work of art on my face. So to make your life more difficult, I am going to remove the hair "clippies" every hour just to get a rise out of you and to see what device you will put in next! HA!"
Well, after a Skype conversation with D-Daddy, he made a great observation stating that her hair-do was an accessory to the attitude and awesome personality (emphasis and desciptive words added by me). So, for D-Daddy and my sake, I implemented the 5 rubber band hair-do yesterday! It went over well and she only removed 3 of the bands! Today, we are attempting "braid piggies" as he Daddy calls them!

The Amazing A

Being the youngest can be hard sometimes, especially when you are on the brink of brilliance and your Mama is trying to learn to homeschool a 1st grader and Kindergartener. I mean, come on MOM, I need my brain fed as well!
This Mama is struggling at times to be diligent in "teaching" our littlest Lauren. Monday was better and we have been working on the letter "A". We read "The A Book" and as I read the book, Lauren kept saying, "Ants advance! Ants advance!" After we read we made a picture about the story that we read. She told me some of the things that the ants advanced over, I drew them and she colored! Of course we had to have ants too! After the completion of a big task like this, she had to have her picture taken with her masterpiece! Pray that I can be diligent to feed her little brain and not neglect to teach Lauren too!

Lauren told me that the ants advanced over the apple, acorn, and the apartments on Avenue A!

Bat, Mat, Pat...The Genesis of Reading

It was a big day at our house on Monday! Easton READ his first three words on his own! I wish that I could have made a video of him reading, he was so excited as he sounded out the three letter words with such care. Then when he put the three letters together and made a word, his expression was indescribable! He beamed with such excitement and joy! I was elated and so proud of him! In his curriculum, Veritas Press, they knew that it was a big deal too and he got to sign his name to a certificate saying that he read his first three words: bat, mat, and pat! Mama Helgren signed off on his certificate making it official! He was so excited! Homeschooling has its ups and downs, but Monday was definately an UP day for all of us!

After reading his first three words, he made "G" googles! I was so proud of him because he cut out the "g" with such care! Yahoo for a big boy who really loves learning!!!

Infinity, Google, 100, Aren't Just Numbers To Me

Before we left America, Easton came up to me and said, "Mama did you know that google is the highest number?"
Teachers' Day
I said,"huh? Where did you learn that?" I then learned that Lily's friend, Kendyl, taught it to her when they visited us in Georgia! Well, I learned something from Kendyl via my children that google is the highest known number. If you know my kiddos, they wanted to know more! So, we told them that infinity never ends! They loved that!
Everyday, one of our kids says this phrase, "Infinity, google, one hundred" in regards to something. This morning I woke up and Lauren hugged me and said, "Mama, I love you infinity, google, one hundred!" To anyone else, it may sound crazy but to me that means that "I can't find any other words to describe the depth of my love."

Sunday, September 11

Best Accessory To An Outfit...Dirt

At the end of the day, we know that she has had fun by the amount of dirt caked onto her and her clothes!

Wednesday, September 7

Homefront Update

So many things have been going on at home lately and I have just really enjoyed seeing our kids grow and change and God is really teaching me how to appreciate and love them in unique ways. I can't believe how big they are getting up and how grown up! Here are some fun things that have been going on lately!
Lauren loves to help in the kitchen and I try to find little jobs for her to do that really do help me! Well, I went out on a big limb and taught her how to peel carrots. She did an awesome job! As I left her peeling, I turned back around to see if she was doing okay and she was taking a bowl from the drying rack to peel into so that she didn't make a mess on the counter.

Lily has been learning in school and this week we talked about strip maps in Geography. We learned that they were one of the first forms of maps. Lily made a strip map showing the way from our house to the Nyimba bus station!

Our house is at the bottom, as you travel "west" you pass the small houses, the tall grass, the big tree, the MTN (cell phone network) tower, the "apple" man, the Nyimba council, police, government offices, and the petrol (gas) station! The destination she chose was the bus station! I love her bus that she drew and cut out! It is so neat to see their creativity!
Every morning our kiddos have chores and they love doing them! I just love that every morning, Easton likes to put on his rain boots to feed the dogs and chickens. The morning that I snapped this picture, I stood at the kitchen window and watched Easton as he laughed at the dogs and chased the chickens around the yard. It brought a huge amount of joy to his mama's heart!