Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thump in the Night...

When we spent Friday night in Mapanza, we were exhausted (and Blu was sick), so we went to bed at 8pm. Sometime during the night, we were wakened by the thumping of loud footsteps. Blu had sent our night guard home since we were there, so he was convinced it was robbers in the yard running off with things. I was convinced it was Caedmon running through the house looking for us.

Blu jumped out of bed and ran to the door, ready to catch the thieves. He swung open the door and came face to face with two HUGE cows. He quickly slammed the door closed and ran back to bed!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

One Week

I was amazed, as I always am, to see the progress that has taken place in Mapanza in just one week of work!!
Last week, I posted a picture of the slab and first line of bricks for the kitchen/dining facility. Look at it just one week later!! The huge windows are the dining room. The left side is a classroom, and the right is the kitchen/pantry/laundry room.

Kids playing on the trailer..enjoying the temps before it gets HOT

My cement countertops were poured in my kitchen! They are going to plaster them to make them really smooth and then I will stain them!

A random picture of our kids at school this week cave painting.

We've had a time of it with sickness these past few weeks! Caedmon got malaria, but he has completed his meds and seems to be 100% better. Lost tooth, first day of Kindergarten, and malaria all in one week!

Most of you will remember that Blu got malaria about 3 weeks ago. The country was out of the regular malaria medicine, so they gave him something different. It seemed to take him longer to get better, but after a few days he was feeling ok. While I was in America, towards the end of my trip, I could tell on the phone he wasn't feeling good. When I got home, he kept working for about a week but finally just crashed and told me he felt awful. A bad case of malaria where the first medicine didn't knock it out is what we are assuming. He just completed his second round of malaria meds (this time the regular medicine for malaria) and he is still not feeling very good. Please pray that he will get better soon and rest! I told him that he is banished to the couch all day today to sleep/rest! If he is still feeling bad tomorrow, another trip to the doctor...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sweet Caedmon

Caedmon lost his first tooth at church yesterday! When we got home, we put it in an envelope and he decorated it and left it under his pillow for the tooth fairy. When he woke up, he was SO excited to find 5,000 kwacha under his pillow! Here is what he said:

"I can't wait to lose my next tooth! This time I will give it to Cambree and she will have something too!"

Here's a conversation he had with Daddy while I was in America:

Caed: Daddy, do you like hard chicken or soft chicken?
Blu: What do you mean?
Caed: Well, hard chicken is really hard to chew, and soft chicken is really wet and soft.
Blu: Oh, then I like soft chicken.
Caed: Me too! But, whatever Mama makes, that's what we gotta eat...

Roadrunner Cabin

Today was our first day of school!! Caedmon started Kindergarten, and Cambree started Preschool. I let the kids name our school, and they named it "Roadrunner Cabin." Sounds about right if you ask me!!

Cambree couldn't find her pencil bag before school, but she informed me that all she needed was "my cutters and my pencil!" :)

So how does homeschool work? We start our school day at 8:30am, and today we were done in 2 hours. On days where we have projects, it will take a bit longer, but never past lunchtime (this year at least!) We start with a prayer and the pledge of allegiance. We then progress in this order:

Bible: I read a Bible story to the kids, ask questions, and we learn a Scripture verse together (set to song) each week.

History: We read 2 pages from a children's encyclopedia and discuss the subject. (today was dinosaurs). We also read from a book that explains how Christianity was brought to different parts of the world.

Phonics: We learn a different letter of the alphabet each week. This week Caedmon is working on "F." So he browsed through a picture dictionary to find things that start with F, and then he made his own F letter sheet cutting pictures out that begin with F and pasting them on his sheet.

Writing: He will spend two days this week "building" the letter F, using wikki stix, wood capitals, or writing in rice/pudding. Then he will write the letter on paper.

Reading: We are reading from Mother Goose during the day, and Daddy will read one chapter each night from a chapter book. (starting with Boxcar Children tonight)


Science: Daddy takes care of this subject. Today they had out a globe, a blanket (the atmosphere), a flashlight (the sun), etc. Sounded fun! They will also do lots of science experiments this year.

Social Studies/Art: Today they discussed what a community is and Caedmon drew a picture of his family!
The five of us, plus a rectangle bed for me and Blu, triangle beds for the 3 kids, and a swimming pool!

Math: Using Horizons, he will begin learning numbers.

So that's our school day! Maybe more detailed than you wanted, but for grandparents out there (and surrogate grandparents!) I'm sure this will be just what you wanted to hear :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Home Sweet Bush!

My husband is amazing...WE HAVE INTERNET IN THE BUSH. Not just internet...I was able to video skype with my parents from the bush!! I mean, who else gets to be in the Zambian bush, go use the outhouse, and then come inside and video skype!!!!
We are excited about this little building--it will hold the new grinding mill we just bought! We will provide a grinding mill and a small store for people in nearby villages to come for food and to grind their maize!

This is the fastest any of the houses has gone up-this is the female workers' house!

Good start on the laundry/pantry/kitchen/dining/classroom building--it's huge!!

Skype with my parents in our house!

Kids eating supper on plywood :)

Fish ou of water

Being in America was interesting. It was amazing to be apart of Jessica's wedding and to get to hang out with everyone from our home church and to see my family again after 7 months. But about culture shock!! When I think of culture shock, I picture someone walking around Walmart and being in awe of all the many choices of products. But this culture shock had more to do with my identity.

I literally felt like a fish out of water. Like someone had taken me from the place where I breathe the best and thrown me onto the shore. And yes, it was amazing to look around and see everyone on the shore (and even eat the frosties on the shore!) but I had trouble breathing, and I wanted desperately for someone to throw me back into the water where I breathe the best. Because even though I lived on the shore for years, and people expect me to be able to breathe effortlessly on the shore, I have found that I belong in the ocean.

That's deep. pun intended :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Christmas in August!

Thanks to everyone who sent presents back for the kids--they LOVED them all!!
B-Maw made Supercapes for the kids--Cason LOVES his and won't let us take it off!!

Gifts from Mrs. Kelly!

And Mrs. Dianna!

And Mama Dee & Grandpa!

And BB & Joanna!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Leavin' on a jet plane...again!

It was a great trip to the USA! Time to go home and see Blu and the kids!! I enjoyed seeing everyone and eating Wendy's Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosties! Anyone I missed, we'll catch you when we're on furlough in the Fall of 2011!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cool American Things!

I fly back home to Zambia tomorrow morning, but before I leave the grand ole' USA, I wanted to write some thoughts on America. I will blog more later about all that has happened inside of me on this trip, but I have a lot of processing to do to sort through all of the feelings/emotions so I will wait on that blog! But here's some things I have noticed:

1) It's SO cool to not have to lock car doors! Manually I mean..most people have automatic locks.

2) There are so many bright colors, and it's so green!

3) I saw horses!! It had been awhile since I had seen a horse.

4) People don't just randomly discuss stomach ailments like diarrhea with other people..oops...

5) Everyone looks so clean and dressed up to me.

6) It is HOT...humid and HOT...Zambian heat doesn't feel like this..

7) The post office was so NICE and clean!

8) Internet is SOOOOOO fast...

9) It doesn't take long at all to get your food at a fast-food drive thru or even a restaurant!

That's all I can think of for now! Thanks for praying for me as I travel and Blu as he is home with the kids. A situation with a very close friend in Zambia has come up, so please pray for Blu as he deals with that in the coming days. I'll talk to you from Zambia in a couple of days :)

Monday, August 16, 2010


Shopping shopping shopping!!! I am allowed two bags back to Zambia, but I'm taking I've been busy filling those up!! Here's some pics from today!
Blu's mom (B-Maw) came to have lunch with us today!

Me and my sis-in-law, Sammy

I got to go see Grandma's grave

Mom and Dad at the cemetery

I'm about to go play 42 with the parents. Have I mentioned I miss my husband and my kids SOOOO much????!!!

Quilt Presentation

The Christian Sisters at Mom and Dad's church have been working for months on quilts for New Day. They presented them to me on Sunday morning and I CRIED I was so touched...I can't wait to see the little Zambians under these quilts!!

Family Church Time

My sister and mom picked me up from the wedding, so Saturday night, our "original" family of four spent the night together and got up to go to church together. It was CRAZY for us to be together like that again! The highlight of the day was singing "This is the Day" on the way to church the way we used to every Sunday as a child!


The wedding was absolutely gorgeous!! It was great to see everyone and be apart of Landon and Jessica's special day!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Leaving...on a jet plane!

Tomorrow I am headed to the USA!!!! One of my two best friends, Jessica, is getting married on Saturday and I am in her wedding!! So I will be in the USA for 7 days, seeing friends, family, and enjoying a LONG plane ride with no children!! Pray for Blu as he remains in Zambia with ALL three kids!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Church and Chickens

Wow. Sometimes so much happens in a day that I want to blog, but when I sit at the computer I find a hard time putting into words all that has happened. If you have been to or lived in Zambia, then you know what I mean. All the sights, sounds, smells, and experiences are sometimes just hard to even put words to.

We worshipped this morning at Mujika Baptist Church, about 1 ½ hours away from our house. This church is not technically in our “area” as missionaries, but we worked with them when we lived here from 2003-2005 and hadn’t been back to visit yet. It was great to see them and though there were few in attendance, they were thrilled to see us.

I’d love to completely and fully describe a bush worship service to you, but it’s so hard. Pastor Robert asked us when we got there if we would take over the service, so I led the Bible study and Blu preached. In Zambia, you have to ALWAYS be ready to preach or lead a devotion! We sang many songs from the Tonga hymnbook. I found it ironic because we spent the 1 ½ hour drive to church singing our favorite hymns from our childhood, and we sang the same songs in Tonga with these believers. I was reminded this morning that the worship styles are so different, but our God is so much the same.

After church, we headed to Jenipher’s house. Her and her husband, Fine, have TEN children!!! From age 4ish to age 28ish! We spent a week with Jenipher and her family when we first moved to Zambia to get to experience a week in the village, so it was nice to go back where bush life began for us!! We have learned a lot since then, but still have so much to learn!! Even though we were unexpected guests, they invited us into their home and fed us lunch. Our kids did great and ate most of the food. We ate beans and samp, my FAVORITE Zambian dish that is similar to hominy. I couldn’t help but wonder as we ate who was going to get less food so that we could eat. As we ate and I looked at the house around me, I noticed advertisement pages from magazines hung on the wall. Coffee advetisements, school supplies advertisements, etc. Just pages hung randomly on a wall because of their bright colors.

As we left, Jenipher gave us a big sack of peanuts as a gift, and then Fine went over and got a chicken, tied its legs, and told us to take it home to feed our children. Oh wow. What could we do with this chicken?! We couldn’t take it to Mapanza, because we are going to Lusaka tomorrow. We couldn’t just give it away after this family gave us this gift that would put food on their table!! So what could we do besides kill it and eat it!!

We got the water boiling, got the kids all excited about killing and eating a chicken, and then I got my biggest, sharpest knife. I had done this a couple of times before, so I was feeling like a pro.

It had been five years, however and I forgot that the body of the chicken moves after you cut its head off. So I was busy looking at the head of the chicken wiggling when I took my foot off the body of the chicken. That chicken body FLEW up off the ground right at me!!! Blood was flung all over me and I started screaming!! I ran over Baby Cason (sorry Case!) and he started screaming too.

Caedmon then went absolutely crazy crying seeing that chicken body flopping all over the yard. Cambree just stood there open-mouthed, I was laughing SO hard, and Blu was snapping picures!!

This will definitely be a day my kids don’t forget for awhile! We then plucked the chicken (we kill chickens in our underwear in our family…)

cut him up,

and he is currently being boiled to serve as a lunch on the road tomorrow along with some fresh coleslaw. What a day…

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sittin' around...

We spent Tuesday and Wednesday in the bush with Blu, and we mostly just sat around watching work being done!
The most exciting thing (in my opinion) was the pole that will enable us to get internet going up!

The kids' favorite person in Mapanza is Mulenga--they beg him to play with them all day long!

Caedmon enjoying the sun in the Zambian winter!

Watching the progress...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Lala!

We wouldn't survive living in another culture without the support and friendships of fellow American missionaries! Today we had a birthday party for Laurie, who our kids call Lala. Happy Birthday Lala!
Blu, James, and Wes

Me, Laurie, and Marci

It took 4 of the kids to help Lala blow out the candles!

A Diet Coke cake--perfect for Lala!