Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Book of the Year

Well, it's the time you've all been waiting annual book of the year recommendations! :) I read 39 books this year (I am finishing one up right now, so it'll be 40 before the year is through!) This was a unique year as far as book-reading goes, because I read many more autobiographies/non-fiction books than I am used to! So here goes......(drum roll please)......


This was a no-brainer for me. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins was absolutely amazing. The characters were beautiful and intriguing and I couldn't put them down. There was no language, although the books are quite violent so I definitely wouldn't recommend them for young kids. Absolutely a brilliant plot - I can't sing their praises enough! Team Peeta! :)


I read some good non-fiction this year. I REALLY enjoyed Laura Bush's autobiography. But I think my favorite non-fiction book is "Left to Tell" by Immaculee Ilibagiza. It tells her true story of survival during the Rwandan holocaust. It opened my eyes to what we as humans are capable of in a given second, and how God can intervene in any circumstance, no matter how hopeless it seems.

I have a unique plan for my 2012 reading...classics only! We'll see how it goes! :)

Another Year Gone!

We started out 2011 with us moving into our house in Mapanza and getting ready for our Nebraska volunteer team! We are ending the year in the USA (Brownwood, TX specifically) with our families! We are eager to see what 2012 holds for New Day and of course for our family as well! God bless!
Just clowning around...

We spent New Year's Eve at the Abilene Zoo :)

Van Fund!

We had another $1,600 come in for the van fund in the last couple of days - THANK YOU!!!! Only $7,400 to go!!!

At 4pm - another $1,870 has come in today!! ONLY $5,530 TO GO!!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Bus for New Day!

We have been talking about purchasing a 15 passenger van for New Day. We have 8 orphans and 6 staff children at the orphanage, and we are currently finishing up a house to hold 8 more children, so we definitely need a way to carry our kids!! GracePoint Church in Arkansas has raised $19,000 to go into our van fund, and we had another donor give $1,000 today, so we only need $9,000 to purchase a brand new van!! If you are interested in doing some end-of-year giving, your money will go into our van fund! Remember you can give online via paypal at our website or you can mail a check to:
New Day Orphanage
3112 West Avenue R
Temple, TX 76504

Thanks and God bless!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas from Brownwood, Texas!

Today we traveled back to Brownwood to spend 7 days with Blu's family! We started off with our Christmas celebration, and we have lots of other fun things planned for this week!

Me & my baby boy, who fell down the stairs today!! Thankfully he is ok but this mama sure was scared!!

The kids got kites from Uncle Cloud & Aunt Sammy! The adults had more fun flying them!

My cute purse from Sammy!

Hugs for Brenden from Cason!

Caedmon's wooden car he can build/paint himself from Andie!

Shanna "Bo", Blu's cousin looking cute :)

B-Maw cooked the entire Christmas meal for 17 people ALL BY HERSELF!

Blu's new video game console from Shade - yay Mario!! :)

Paw & Blu :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from Temple, Texas!

Merry Christmas! We started our day with Advent and placing Baby Jesus in the manger, went to church, opened presents, had a delicious meal, and will spend the evening playing games! How wonderful it is to celebrate with our families this year!
Our family Christmas pic before church this morning

Grandma Marie loved her new coffee mug :)

Mom & Dad admiring their gift from the Kimbrough's - an engraved ornament!

Our kids' gifts from the Kimbroughs!

Grandpa, that is Cason's truck! We'll get you your own to play with!

Blu got me a new suitcase. :)

Cute flowers for my hair were in my stocking - Santa has style!

My sister got me the movie The Journey of Natty Gann-one of my all-time faves!!! :)

My mom hand-quilted a tree skirt for my Chrismtas tree!!!!! She's super talented!!

The three innocent little Tidwells :)

Children's sermon at church

Cason enjoyed his stocking!

Cason loves Blue's Clues! He got new books, plus Santa brought him a giant Blue's Clues dog!

Our kids enjoyed shopping for each other this year - Cambree got a pony from Caedmon

Cambree's gorgeous jewelry box from Mama Dee & Grandpa

and a Barbie from Cason!

Santa brought Cambree a baby doll and we got them matching pj's!

Caedmon's stocking (he got a Darth vader costume and light saber as well!)

Checkers from Cambree!

Mancala from Mama Dee & Grandpa!

Blu was a little embarrassed opening his stocking.... ;)

Blu & Mama Dee te-bowing with Blu's new book!

Our Tidwell ornament from the Kimbroughs!

I got Blu the whole series of 24 - one of our favorites to watch in Zambia!

Merry Christmas from New Day!

We heard from Wes & Laurie today and everyone at New Day had a wonderful Christmas! Thank you to the kids' sponsors for sending them gifts! We will get pics to you as soon as we get back in January! Wes & Laurie did tell us that the kids LOVED opening presents and were just as excited to see what the others got as much as they were to see their own gifts! :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve!

We had a good Christmas Eve - trying to keep the kids calm!! It was a cold, rainy day and there was definitely excitement in the air!!

We spent the day tracking Santa online using We were able to see him travel and watch videos about the different countries he was "visiting!" :)

I got the idea from a friend to use sugar cones to have the kids decorate "Christmas trees!" They loved it!

Cason had one hand in his mouth most of the time!

We went to Ocker Brethren Church this evening for the annual Christmas Eve service. Here are four generations!

The kids with Grandpa before the service!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A fun day!

Today we took the kids to the Temple Mall to see Santa Claus! They were so excited to realize as we drove to the mall that Santa was actually in the car behind us, driving to see the kids at the mall! We got lots of waves from him and then went on to the mall where we saw the movie Arthur Christmas!

Later this afternoon we drove out to Bartlett to see my best friend from 8th-10th grades, Tiffany! I hadn't seen her in 11 years - we are so old now!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Day Pics!

Laurie and Elizabeth at Elizabeth's graduation party! She graduated with her social work degree but wasn't able to attend her graduation, so New Day gave her a graduation party!

We miss these guys.. :)

Wes with Cynthia, Sisi, and Sankwa! Love this!!