Monday, May 16, 2016

Around Here

Lots has been going on around here lately! Here is a glimpse!

Cambree got her hair done so she can look just like her friends - it took a full Saturday for Mama Liz to do it, and it'll probably last about 2 weeks!

She is also doing a Spelling book that takes her to a different country each week. Last week was South Africa, so she googled recipes and made us "Piesang Brood" - South African banana bread! It was VERY dense - doubt we'll eat that again! :)

We also got a new orphan last week!! Emmanuel, who is almost 5 years old, joined our family last Thursday. His father died in April, and he was living with his mother. Though Emmanuel is not a double orphan (both parents passed away), he was in a very tough situation and was/is extremely malnourished. He is the size of our recently turned 3 year old Stanley! We are excited for him to be here - please pray for him as he adjusts!

Emmanuel is living in the Luse House with Teacher Abby.

His first meal - apparently, the boy can EAT!

Love from Papa Wes!

My parents have been busy as well - they had a family going away party this past weekend in Austin! (They arrive ONE MONTH from today!)

The cake

Dad & his brother, Uncle Charlie

Dad, Charlie, and Cousin Frank

My Dad's cousin Deanna, my cousin Kathryn, and Dad's cousin Jennifer

Pretty flowers!

My Dad's 3 aunts - Aunt Margie, Aunt Jennifer, & Aunt Carol

My dad's Uncle John & my Uncle Charlie playing horseshoes

Mom, my cousin Kathryn, and my Dad's Uncle Donald

The group!

So excited!!!

As is our Mother's Day tradition around here, we also had another snake in our house (that makes 5...) Blu wasn't around, so I told Caedmon to go and find whoever he could! After 20 minutes of searching, they found it!

After 20 minutes of searching, our house looked like this.....

Today is another week of school, with excitement in the air as we leave Friday for Livingstone to pick up Blu's parents on Saturday! Teacher Debbie is coming back as well! I have been cleaning, meal prepping, and shopping, and Blu has been getting building projects ready for his Dad to help with! We can't wait!! :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

School's in Session!

Well another school term is upon us! This week has been a whirlwind of my mornings starting at 4:55am again, which has taken some getting used to! I have also been swamped with New Day financials/admin duties this week, but thankfully, school has gone smoothly!

I am loving my new bulletin board! (Thank you, Pinterest!)

Work is progressing on our Prosthetic Clinic!

Catching a quick snooze on my lunch time break! (The flash woke me up...thanks, Blu...)

Love our family nights when school is in session - chilling in the backyard before sunset!

Gymnastics - Blu on the balance beam!

Cambree doing her floor exercise!

And Caedmon on the uneven bars!

We were busy shelling peanuts!

Some green eggs & ham for Cason for breakfast after he led our family devotion night by reading Green Eggs & Ham and explaining that it's like when you don't think you want God, but if you try Him, then you realize you like Him! :)

The new orphan house walls are completely done and ready for our construction team from Arkansas to arrive on June 9th to do the roof, electrical, and plumbing!

It was also a sad week as I learned yesterday that my cousin, Little Steve, passed away after losing his battle with alcoholism. I have great memories of him picking on me, calling me Darbi Dewberry, teasing me about boyfriends, telling me gross stories (that I now tell my kids), almost falling off a cliff once to save me on a hike near Grandma's house (that none of our parents know about....until now...), and teaching me the ins and outs of LSU football and WWF wrestling. Please pray for his family - specifically his son and two little girls, and the rest of his family.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

Well, today is the day when Blu does the dishes ALL. DAY. LONG. It's pretty wonderful. :) Seriously, I woke up to a gorgeous vase of flowers and the BEST videos that Blu & the kids made. I felt pretty special and so, so blessed.

To watch the videos, you can click here and here!

I am beyond blessed to have this woman in my life. I didn't get to choose her, but God knew exactly what He was doing when He made her my mom. She is my best friend. And in 40 days, she will live next door to me. I still can't quite grasp that God is giving me the desires of my heart!

I am also so blessed to have B-Maw in my life. She has loved me for 18 years, and it is a privilege to be her daughter-in-law! AND she's coming to see us in 13 days!!!! The last time they came was about 6 months before New Day got kids, so we can't wait to show them all that has happened in the last 5 years!

Yesterday, we completed our April Field Trips with a field trip for the "little ones" - toddlers, Pre-K, and Kindergarten! They went to Choma for the day to a play park, to eat pizza, and to get ice cream!

On the way...

A "real" bounce house!

Lulu loves her some ice cream!

Who doesn't?!

Justin doesn't - he thought it was too cold!

Love these sillies!

We also concluded our April sleepovers last night (we hosted SIX!) with the "middle girls" group - they were probably the easiest group! Ballet before bedtime!

Lots of Barbies!

And now...it's back to school! Tomorrow we will start Term 2 that will go through July 29th!

Friday, May 6, 2016

2016 Ladies Retreat!

This week, the New Day staff women & wives went on a staff retreat to Livingstone! Our last retreat was in April of 2012, s it had been awhile, and we were all excited to have the opportunity to go again! The theme was the Churches in Revelation (we studied 4, with a quick discussion on 2 others). It was a great time of renewal, fellowship, and lots of food! I feel like I know some of the New Day ladies better, and it is awesome to realize that we all struggle with a lot of the same things. We are refreshed and ready to start the next term of school on Monday!

Abby celebrated her birthday on our first day there, so she got a "Death by Chocolate" cake!

Carolyn & Mecki (Brian's wife) enjoying the hotel's breakfast buffet!

Iced coffee!

Hanging with Staci - we were so glad she was able to attend!

Waiting for food!

Miriam was hilarious - we would ask, "Miriam, what did you order?" And she would say, "I don't know..." Here she is trying to show Staci - she said, "I just looked for chicken something!"

A little photobomb by me :)

Twice :)

Laurie took Mecki & Miriam to see the Falls for the first time and into Zimbabwe!

We also splurged and had pedicures done for each of the ladies!

Me & Laurie relaxing at the pool!

Me & Liz

We did our retreat sessions in the mornings and everyone enjoyed them. We learned about returning to our first love (starting with remembering how far we have fallen), going through the open doors of opportunities without focusing on the obstacles, not having a lukewarm faith, and the purpose of trials and persecution!

Ready to learn!

Meanwhile, back home, Blu did an amazing job of holding down the fort! He hosted a sleepover for 5 little boys and took care of Hildah's daughter Laurie as well! Or maybe I should say Laurie & Cambree took care of him...

They made brownies one night!

And an entire supper - latkes, a banana, a chopped carrot, and cupcakes!

We are so grateful for donors who have given that allowed us to take these ladies on a retreat this year! We are all glad to be back home with our families but so grateful for the things God taught us on the retreat!