Sunday, June 17

Daddy Interviews

I love hearing what the kids have to say about Kendall! Here is their 2012 Father's Day Interviews!

Daddy Interview By Easton- 5 years old

My Daddy’s name is Kendall.

He is 8 feet tall

He weighs  3350 lbs

His hair color is my color hair, brown like mine.

His eyes are brown.                  

He likes to watch ESPN on TV.

He likes to go to PawPaw and Gramsie.

His favorite food is Peanut Butter and Jelly.

His favorite drink is Coke.

His best friend is Uncle Mark and Uncle Deron.

For fun he likes to jump with us.

When Daddy grows up he wants to be a football player.

Best advice he has given you, he gives me treats when I did something good!

Additional comments: He is VERY VERY STRONG!

Daddy Interview by Lauren- 4 years old

My Daddy’s name is Kendall.

He is TALL TALL tall.

He weighs  45 or 65 pounds.

His hair color is brown, it really is brown!

His eyes are brown, its so easy Mama!

He likes to watch SportsCenter on TV.

He likes to go to teaching.

His favorite food is all the stuff in the world.

His favorite drink is tea.

His best friend is Jumbe.

For fun he likes to jump on the trampoline.

When Daddy grows up he wants to work out.

Best thing Daddy ever taught me was gymming.

Additional comments: He is so strong and he is so mighty!

Daddy Interview by Lily- 7 years old

My Daddy’s name is Kendall but we call him Daddy.

He is 6 feet tall.

He weighs  205 lbs.

His hair color is a little redish brownish type.

His eyes are brown.

He likes to watch SportsCenter/ESPN on TV.

He likes to go to Texas.

His favorite food is sandwich and hamburgers.

His favorite drink is Coke.

His best friend is John Dina.

For fun he likes to jump on the trampoline with us.

When Daddy grows up he wants to be a pastor.

Best advice that Daddy has given you A-B-C…admit, believe, confess to know Jesus.

Additional comments: His favorite color is orange because he chose that on the Wii, he is very nice, and he is fun!

Saturday, June 16

Lily's Plea

Sweet Lily really wanted to communicate this important message to Lauren. When Kendall found the note on the ground and brought it to me I said, "sweet Lily!" Then he started laughing and said, "the funny thing about this is that Lauren can't read!" Just a bit of morning laughter in the Helgren House.

Friday, June 15


The wind blows like crazy in Nyimba. Today, the kids had an idea to make "kites". No, these kites definately do not look like ones you would buy in the store, but we are going for creativity here! They had the best time for about 3 hours with their "kites" and I enjoyed tying them back together when the wind got the best of their contraptions!
 When I stepped outside, I saw Lauren's "kite" flying over the wall into our neighbor's you see that red dot in the middle of the air?
Lily tied her "kite" to her stick quite well!
 Lauren continued to find out that those "kites" can be quite tricky when they blow off your stick on this blustery day!

Finally caught that tricky kite and Mama put it all back together!
Let the fun continue on the windy day in Nyimba!

The Blessings of Camping

One of the most fun and crazy times that we have here in Zambia is when we head out to the bush to campout in order that we can be with the Zambians for weekend meetings and to encourage them. Our family really enjoys camping out and all the things that come with that! Here is what our life looks like when we spend weekends "out".
 Children are always around watching the "mzungu" to see what we are eating, doing, and saying. Talk about accountability!
 Entertainment is free and always begins at the end of the work day. Entertainment of choice, soccer.
 Our neighbors, pigs always welcome to eat the scraps!
 This is our "running water".
Our vacation home comes with a spectacular view!

Our campsite
The stove, water heater, trash disposal, and heater for us at night when it is cold!
Playgrounds are found when creative minds work together!
It's always fun to wake up as a family to the sounds of roosters, ox carts, women sweeping, and Zambians laughing and singing to greet the morning.
Our home in the village!
We love our times when we go out...bathing in a bucket, cooking over a fire, seeing the Milky Way in all of its beauty, Zambians singing, and all of the fun that comes with it is priceless! Thank you Lord for blessing us with these opportunities!

Wednesday, June 13


 He was 5 when he started, I was 7 when I started and we both have never stopped. Yes, we may have taken breaks but we both LOVE to run! I can remember racing kids at school on the playground and at church in the yard. Kendall loves to sprint, I love the longer distances but we both love to run. Our kids are starting to enjoy running too! Today, the kids challenged Mama to some races and then they always love to race their Daddy too! Of course, they get a head start and the winner gets braggin' rights until the next race! Then they wanted to race jumping on one leg, wheelbarrow, handstand, and skipping. Mama and Daddy may not be able to move tomorrow but we had so much fun! Being outside, running around together as a family is priceless!
Zeria took this picture of the family racing! You can tell that the kids and I had a head start on Daddy and we won't say who won...but it was definately memorable!

The Jolly Lion

Just proud of my sweet boy and his creativity and artistic ability! We were amazed at how well he drew this! He definately got this talent from his Gramsie and Great Nana!

Monday, April 16

Cookies and Cheese with Callaway

 I have a little buddy that is never far away
She was given a name at birth but has chosen to be called Callaway.
The moment the light comes on in the morning
She is up and at 'em without warning!
The smell of the onions cause her no fear
Grating cheese, making cookies, and doing dishes, she is such a dear!
Her sweet little voice telling me "Can I try Mama?"
And I usually answer without any drama!
I am excited that she loves to cook and clean
Who knew that we would make such a dream team?!
She says that we will open a restaurant called, "The Mamas Who Can Cook Good and Me"
I am so blessed and thankful for the fun memories that are being made in the kitchen with my precious gift from God.

 She made the chocolate chip cookies all by herself!
 No fear of dirty hands!
 Perfect little balls are her specialty!

Sunday, April 1

Lauren's Family Portrait

Here is her view on the family. From left to right: Easton, Daddy, Mama, Lauren, Lily.
Had to share. Priceless.

Wednesday, March 7

Rainy Day Beef & Veggie Soup

We love eating vegetable soup and I can't ever seem to find a soup that I like. The thing that I love about soups is that it is really hard to mess it up and adding fun things depending on what is in the fridge and what we are craving! Recently we have been losing electricity for 12 hours a day, three days a week, so cooking in the dutch oven over a fire has been the kitchen! This soup was awesome because it was cooked over a fire! Thought that I would share!

1 lb of ground beef
2 TB Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 packet of Goya cilantro and tomato seasoning (optional)
1 tsp fresh minced garlic
2 TB Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp sage
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 head of small cabbage chopped
1 cup of fresh zucchini, chopped
1 small bag of frozen vegetables
1 packet of brown onion soup
2 cans of chopped tomatos
1 beef boullion cube
2 cups of water
6-8 oz of rotini pasta noodles

Brown the ground beef. Drain the fat off the meat. Heat a soup pot over a medium high heat. Put EVOO and onion in the pan, cook the onion until clear. Add Goya seasoning, garlic, Italian seasoning, celery salt, sage, thyme, paprika, and ground black pepper. Saute the onion with the seasonings for about 2 minutes. Add cabbage, zucchini, and frozen vegetables to the pan and cook together until the cabbage and zucchini begin to soften. Place the soup, tomatos, and boullion cube into the pot. Mix together and add 2 cups of water to the pot. Stir and bring the soup to a boil. When the soup has boiled for about 3 minutes add the pasta to the soup. Lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. Check the soup after about 5 minutes to make sure that you don't need to add some more water for the noodles. Serve with warm bread and enjoy!

Saturday, March 3

Huge Hopscotch

 Lily made the biggest hopscotch game today. 1-102! The kids had fun jumping from number 1 consecutively! What a smart girl she is! I am one PROUD Mama!

Nutella Popcicles

Another great recipe (from pinterest) that our family loves and is so incredibly easy!

1 cup nutella
6 bananas

Mix in a blender or food processor. You can add cinnamon, cocoa powder if you would like! Pour into popcicle holders to freeze! Enjoy!

Made Up Potato Soup

I am NOT Masterchef, Rachael Ray, Paula Deen, or any of the other fabulous chefs we know and love. But the other day I wanted to make a delicious potato soup. So I found two recipes that we love and put together some of the ingredients to make an awesome potato soup. I was just so excited that for the first time I made up a recipe (kinda) and it was good! So I wanted to share!

5-6 medium potatos, diced
2 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of water
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. thyme
2 cups of milk
1 packet of thick vegetable soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
8 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp garlic powder

Place potatos in water, chicken broth, thyme, and pepper in soup pot. Cook for 25-30 minutes on medium low until potatos are tender. In a medium pot, add milk, vegetable soup packet, cream of chicken soup, cream cheese, celery, and garlic powder. Warm this mixture and whisk together until cream cheese is blended well. When the potatos are tender, add the milk mixture to the pot. Turn down the heat to low and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Top with cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and green onions! Delicious!

Monday, February 13

The Science of Peanuts

Growing up in the South, I knew all about how to eat boiled peanuts and how to cook them at a pretty young age. This time of the year there are fresh peanuts and our kids love when we boil peanuts. Today, I watched Lauren and Easton eat their peanuts and my heart was so happy to see them open them perfectly with their teeth without damaging the peanut inside! Last year, they destroyed the shell and the peanut and it was bad! My little Southern heart was so happy at this little thing that my kiddos have learned!!!

See?? Perfect peanut after opening!

Can you tell that they love boiled peanuts???

What Day Is It??

"How many days until we go to Lusaka?" "How many days until my birthday?" We were so excited when Mamie sent them their own calendars! We put the events for this month on the calendar marked with special stickers to know that they when and what is coming up! Who knew a calendar could bring so much happiness?!

Tuesday, February 7

The Keepers of Our Door

Had to snap this shot of Summer and Higgins napping during the rain shower today...great doggies!

Sunday, February 5

Hoodies and Popcicles

I will let the picture speak for itself....but the only thing was 80 degrees and they were in hoodies, but never too cold for a popcicle!

14 Days of Love

I love my kids! And I tell them each day! I wanted to find a super special way to show them for the days leading up to Valentine's Day that I love very specific things about them. Today is the 5th of February so there are five hearts. But on Valentine's Day they will have 14. They love getting up to find their new heart each morning! I am even doing 14 hearts for Kendall! I found this idea on Pinterest from a friend and had to do it this year! Maybe a new family tradition!! Happy Love Month!

Lily's first 5 days of love for 2012
Easton's love...
Lauren's first 5 days of love