Friday, June 20, 2008


So today we joined our pastor and his family and some other friends at the Waxahachie Hot Air Balloon Festival. It was very spur of the moment and VERY hot! But we all had fun! I had to share some of these cute pictures!

Caedmon yelled "Bye!!" at the top of his lungs as each balloon launched!

They were so pretty! I've never seen anything like this!

Caedmon's favorite balloon was the bunny of course!

It was SOOOO hot!!

Cambree wasn't sure what to think of the big balloons!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Comments anyone???

So today we had 3 doctor's appointments--one for me, Caedmon, and Cambree. My major excitement was that I have gained almost 20 pounds in my first 17 weeks of pregnancy-yikes...I'm going to try to watch what I eat instead of the "yay I'm pregnant I can eat whatever I want" philosophy, since that doesn't seem to be working out too well for me!! Cambree got one shot, which is always eventful.

Caedmon, however, was a different story. The doctor told me she heard a heart murmur. We were told when Caedmon was 6 months old that he had a heart murmur but our doctor hasn't heard it in the 2 1/2 years since then, but it was definitely there today. He will have an echocardiogram on July 21st to make sure that it is just an innocent murmur and nothing abnormal. But still! My baby boy laying on a table getting his heart checked out!!! That's just scary!

Now would be a GREAT time for comments from all of you who know people with heart murmurs who are perfectly fine!!!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Guess what.....!!!!

We had our ultrasound today---it's a......BOY!!! We both REALLY wanted another boy, so we were so excited!! Everything looks great with the baby, and I think we've settled on a name--Cason Lane Tidwell!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Olivell, the Typical Orphan

Ok, I know you have been so patient with me as you are chomping at the bit for more Zambian stories. This one is not so happy, and it definitely has some adult themes in it....

When we moved out to the bush, the first person we met was Olivell. He was our neighbor, so he always cut through our property to get home. That boy ALWAYS had a smile on his face, was whistling or singing, and he always wore BRIGHT yellow croc-type shoes. You could spot him (and hear him) coming from a mile away! He always yelled out a greeting at us and often came over to visit. He worked for us some and we slowly began to learn some of his life story.

"Ollie" was 19 and working hard to complete the 9th grade. He grew up about 9 hours away from our village. His mom died when he was young, and his father passed away when he was in the 7th grade. He was very close to his father, and his father had always promised him that if he completed his grade 7 exams and passed, he would send him to the best boarding school in Zambia for his secondary education. Of course, once he became an orphan, he was separated from his siblings and shipped off to the "bush" to live with a distant uncle and his family. He worked hard to complete his education at the little bush school, but with teachers who don't/can't teach, and exams that are more difficult than USA exams, the odds are stacked against most Zambian kids trying to complete school. He had obviously been in Grade 9, working hard only to fail his end of the year exams, for several years. He insisted with a smile that this was the year he would pass.

Sorry it's so blurry, but Ollie is the one with the huge smile on the right!

When we returned from South Africa from having Caedmon, our closest friend Mulenga sat us down and told us he had sad news about Olivell. We were shocked to hear this story. Apparently, one evening, his "uncle" returned home (most likely drunk) accusing Olivell of sleeping with his wife. All we know is that Ollie was beaten, his school books and papers of any kind were ripped in two, and then everything he owned (this includes every piece of clothing, and a box where he had the only remaining pictures of his mother and father) were thrown into a fire. He was kicked out of the house and told to never return.

We were shocked. The first thing we wanted to know is if the accusations were true. Our friend Mulenga didn't think so, but instead thought his uncle had just gone crazy. It was about a month before we looked up one day to see Olivell running towards our house. He ran inside and quickly looked out the windows to see if he had been spotted. He was wearing rags, and he still had marks where he had been beaten. He tried not to cry as he related to us what happened, especially as he talked about the box of pictures that was burned in the fire. We asked him if the accusations were true, which he strongly denied. We asked him about school and his exams, but he said his uncle went to school each day to make sure that he wasn't attending, and he would beat him if he saw him there. We gave him a sack of clothes, a pair of Blu's old shoes that swallowed him, gave him a hug, and never saw him again.

We don't know where Ollie is today, but we hope to see him again. This is Ollie's story, but sadly, I think that this is a very typical story of orphans in Zambia. Say a prayer for the Ollie's of Africa today.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Happy Birthday to Caedmon!!

Our little boy turned 3 years old today!! We had a slightly chaotic but fun party at McDonalds, and a very tired boy went to sleep at 6:45pm tonight!! The pics say it all....
It took me 4 hours to make his cake! Someone please remind me next year that it wasn't worth it!!! ;)

He got a Wiggles cd from his sister!

He really enjoyed this new water toy, though it took him awhile to figure it out!

Look at that stance!!

Surely you didn't think the Princess would actually get wet?!