Tuesday, February 28, 2012

First Volunteer Team 2012!

Our first team for the year arrived safely at New Day yesterday afternoon! John, Dianna, & Caleb will be here for 17 days helping us get some major projects finished (Debbie's hut and 2nd orphan house!) and experiencing life here at New Day!

Johnny Boy is back! John is trying to win the prize for the volunteer who has been to New Day the most times! He'll be back again in May leading a team!

Caleb spent his first morning at New Day plumbing...fun... ;)

Mrs. Dianna spent the morning teaching electives with me, since Tuesday is my teaching day. We did Bible class and Reading/Tutorials.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The three...

You thought I was gonna say stooges didn't you?? :) These are our 3 "ladies"... Carolyn, Diana, & Debbie!

Happy Birthday to Banene!

Margaret turns 62 tomorrow so we had a fun birthday party for her this afternoon!

There was lots of singing and dancing at Banene's (Grandmother's) party!

And you should all know by now what comes next at a New Day birthday party.... ;)

They decided that since Cambree was in the USA in November for her birthday, she needed some water poured on her too!

Mean big brother :)

Cason didn't want any part of the water pouring!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Today we had two unexpected visitors - two government officials who work for our district's member of parliament (kinda like your congressman). They said that the governmentt has been encouraged to work more with orphans and since we are the only orphanage in their district, they wanted to come and see us. They got the grand tour and were very impressed. They asked what the delay with electicity is, so we told them the saga. They said "Oh no..put everything in writing and we will have the member of parliament call the company and tell them to come and finish the job." Then they also told us to write another letter requesting the govt to ask the Chinese (road builders) to come in and fix our little bridge that floods and the entrance/road to the orphanage! Amazing! So both letters are already written and will be given to the man in Choma tomorrow. I hate to get my hopes up, but these people came out of nowhere and it feels like God has really intervened!! :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

She did it!!!

Michelle has lived at New Day for a year now. She completed 12th grade in October and took her exams. Her results came in today, and she PASSED!!!! I have never known a Zambian who passed ALL EIGHT of her subjects!! She wished some of her scores were higher, but we are SOOO PROUD of her! We can't wait to see what her future holds!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

I Won a Hamper!!!

Today held a lot of adventures for us, but the highlight of it all was when I won a hamper! We were doing our personal and orphanage grocery shopping in Spar (4 baskets!), and as we were leaving the store one of the employees ran up to us and said "I need to see your receipt for the hamper!" Blu was very confused and we kept explaining that we didn't buy a hamper. She finally explained that if we spent a certain amount on certain products, we would WIN a free hamper! She ran off with our receipt to photocopy it and to get our hamper. I was excited, expecting a laundry hamper of some kind. Nope, instead she brought this. This, apparently, is a "hamper" in Zambia... :)

Kids first day of school! Cason was SO excited! He said "me happy!" Then he asked, "me yook cute mama?" :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Day School starts again!

Oh no, it's been a week since I've written a blog!!! See, if you read my last post, you'll see that pride goeth before a fall. ;)

Well, there is anticipation in the air here at New Day as we prepare to start back to school tomorrow with new teachers! Here is a breakdown of what is happening.

Wes & Blu created a makeshift second classroom in the dining hall because we have divided the kids into 4 groups. The teachers have been doing assessments and the groups are as follows:

Star Class (Nursery/Pre-K): Axer & Cason, taught by Ms. Diana & Hildah

Sunshine Class (Early Kindergarten): Misheck, Junior, Kelitah, & Cynthia, taught by Ms. Carolyn & Abby

Moonlight Class (Late Kindergarten): Laurie, Cambree, Purity, Sisi, Muchoni, & Sankwa, taught by Ms. Diana & Hildah

Rainbow Class (Late 1st grade): Caedmon & Machila, taught by Ms. Carolyn & Abby

The kids will be in classes for 2 hours a morning where they will be taught phonics, reading, math, handwriting, and Tonga. The other 2 hours of the morning they will be outside doing their electives: P.E., Bible, Art/Music, Life Skills, & Tutorials/Reading. These classes will be taught by Mulenga, Elizabeth, Michelle, Blu, Darbi, Wes, Laurie, Kalenga, Debbie, and summer volunteers.

The kids will have a lunch break and will then return to school as a large group for science and social studies.

We have several goals with this new system. The underlying goal is of course to provide our kids with the absolute best education possible. Another goal is to have our Zambian teachers learn technique from our American teachers and our American teachers to learn cultural teaching from our Zambian teachers. Another goal is for our early Kindergarten to be caught up to the late Kindergarten class in a few months so that when we bring 8 new orphans into the mix, they will fit right into the Kindergarten class...

Did that give you a headache? :) Be in prayer for us at New Day this week as we start this new schedule, work out the kinks, and the teachers form relationships with the kids and fellow teachers!

This afternoon, after seeing a friend's post on facebook about crayon making, we decided to try some for ourselves - we'll see how they turn out! :)

Cambree has always been our fruit girl. She LOVES Zambian guavas! :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pre-Game Festivities!

First of all, I must commend myself for my dedication to the many readers who told me "I check your blog every day!" Because I have been sitting here for an hour and a half uploading these pictures! :) Today Zambia is playing Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup. (soccer in case you are clueless...like I was until last week...) It's a big deal around here so we decided to show the game on a big screen. Of course, we were told the first game starts at 6 and Zambia plays at 8. So we get down there and set up by 6:30pm..knowing things move slower on African time. Well at 8pm we finally found out there was no first game, and Zambia plays at 9! So I came home with the kids and have been blogging my pre-game pictures. Oh, and the most recent score I have is 0-0. I'm going to bed...I'll find out who won tomorrow! :)

Blu, Axer, & Cason enjoying the pre-game!

I can't help but think that we look old here ;)

Sankwa's love language is definitely touch! He reminds me of Cason in that when he is sitting with someone he is constantly touching him! Here he is rubbing Caedmon's ear :)

Cason wanted a pic of himself with his friends on their little bench :)

Debbie & Sankwa

We want to have a "flag circle" here at New Day, but currently we only have the Zambian flag and the Texas flag (the two most important, right??) :) So if you are coming to volunteer here this summer, please have your team bring a flag of your state so that we can add it to our flag circle! I guess we need a USA one too! :)

Sweet Kelitah :)

Machila, Misheck, and Francis all smiles!

Poor Muchoni has the chicken pox...he's miserable! Here he is covered with a baking soda mixture on his sores :(

Sisi and Cynthia - best friends and like sisters :)

Wes & Carolyn having a very important discussion about who is more Yankee - a West Virginian or a Missourian...

Our set up for the game out here at New Day :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lazy Saturday!

We have enjoyed a quiet Saturday here at New Day!

After a washing/souring/mildew episode with my old dining room cushions, we spent some time today reupholstering them! First we had to buy the foam, measure it, cut it (with a steak knife :), and then staple the upholstery onto the cushions. They look fabulous! Wow my chairs are dirty!!

Cason and Axer are best buddies. Cason says he is going to marry "Axuh" and they are going to have "eyeven keeds. Das so many keeds!" (That's as high as he can count!)

Caedmon's had that kind of day...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Matthew House

Many of you are curious as to what our Matthew House looks like! (The Matthew House is named for Matthew 6:33. The house was built in memory of Larry Padgett and that was his favorite Bible verse). The Matthew House is currently housing our 3 long-term volunteers. Let me stress the word VOLUNTEER! These three ladies are not paid by New Day - each one has raised their own support to come and serve alongside us here! If you are a woman coming to visit New Day this summer, you will most likely be staying in a room in the Matthew House!

It's still holding! Our monster tank stand now has 3 tanks on it. We are having major water problems right now and will be drilling a new borehole SOON!

The living room

None of the ladies particularly enjoy cooking but they are doing great at learning how to cook from scratch!

Here's the outside with Diana & Carolyn on the porch

Saturday, February 4, 2012


We are so grateful for the blankets that a group of women made for our orphans! Thank you to Kathy Hutton, Nancy Hutton, Malia Hutton, Amy McGuire, Becky Thompson, Deb Wohlenhaus, Jessica White, and Vickie Kingkade! The kids loved them, as you can tell by their smiling faces! :)
Blu read to Sisi and Kelitah about the women who made their blankets!

Misheck and Sankwa liked the stickers/balloons as much as the blankets! :)

Cynthia couldn't believe an 11 year old girl made her blanket! Thanks Malia! :)

Francis (previously called Junior but he would preferred to be called Francis!) loved his blanket too!

Cambree gave Axer her blanket!

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Big Picture

If you read yesterday's post with all of the details of our day, you can see that life can sometimes be crazy here at New Day. From keeping track of finances to supply trips to Choma to Bible studies in another language...sometimes we can lose sight of the big picture. Every now and then, when we do get a glimpse of it, it is overwhelming.

Last night I got that glimpse at our weekly staff prayer/praise service. As we sang songs about Jesus and the 14 kids here at New Day jumped around, sang, and danced, I was literally overwhelmed when I stopped to think about the fact that these children will grow up learning about Jesus...they will know who He is....He will be all they can ever remember..... And it's not about us. I wasn't in awe of us and what WE have done. I was in awe of this amazing God who handpicked these children from the hopeless situations they were in..simply because He loves them.

As I held three year old Axer and she sang "Na na na na na na" from the song "Every Move I Make" at the top of her lungs, I was grateful that God chose her...and that God chose us...and that God gave me a tiny glimpse of the big picture.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Typical Day...

One question that I got over and over again in the USA was, "What does a typical day look like for you?" When running an orphanage, there is no "typical day", but to help answer that question, I will give you a glimpse into our lives yesterday. :)

The morning starts at 7am as we all pull ourselves out of bed. Our kids usually get up before 6, but everyone is still recovering from jet lag, and I'm not complaining! Our mornings are the usual rush of breakfast (cereal or oatmeal), teeth brushing, throwing on school uniforms, fixing hair, finding shoes, etc. before Blu, Caedmon, & Cambree head out the door at 7:40am. They walk down to the school and Blu drops them off and then continues on to the shelter for the morning devotion.

I stay behind with Cason and do my Bible study (No Other Gods by Kelly Minter). I then hurriedly clean my house before my house cleaner comes. (If you know my personality, this will not surprise you!) I feel her job is to remove dirt, not to make my beds or pick up my kids toys! Lois arrives at 8:15am, followed by Justin, our yard worker. Lois works until lunch and Justin works all day. We have a great garden of lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, etc., but yesterday he spent most of the day slashing (mowing by hand) outside to keep the snakes away from our house! Yesterday was also laundry day so I pile everything up on our porch and Sarister and Joyce arrive at 8:30am to begin hand washing our clothes (they finish at 1:30).

Now that my friends are settled into their jobs, I sit down and realize that it is February 1st - I have to write the prayer newsletter!!! So I sit down and spend about an hour doing that.

While this is going on, Laurie is at her house finishing up the recording of the January receipts so that she can turn the financial books over to me. Wes is at the orphan house building screens so that they can keep their windows open at night while keeping mosquitoes out. Debbie is spending her day in the New Day store, learning Tonga, visiting with customers, and seeing how Cecilia keeps books. Diana is observing in the schoolroom from 8-10am, and Carolyn is observing from 10-12am.

Meanwhile, Blu is walking around the land collecting registration cards (identification cards) for our workers because we have to start paying retirement for them. He brings them to me and I fill out what I can on the retirement forms. We then load up into the car with all the forms and go and ask each of these workers details about their spouses, children, beneficiaries, and have them sign. We also take a big box of old clothes and shoes over to the store to sell for dirt cheap - most of them are gone by lunch!

It's back home for me, while Blu takes Cason to the orphan house to play with Axer. Blu helps Wes with screens until lunch, and Laurie brings over the receipts, so I get busy entering them into Quickbooks. I first have to find the exchange rate for that certain day, convert the kwacha into dollars, and then enter them in. Whew!

The kids are home from school at 12:30, and we have a quick lunch of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. They're off to play and Cason is down for a nap. Blu rests for about 30 minutes and heads off to build screens. I now take all of the January receipts and glue them to typing paper for our record books. At 2pm, Caedmon & Cambree are back to school for an hour, and the house is quiet again.

Laurie spends her afternoon walking down to talk to Margaret and Michelle and organizing the many boxes Wes has brought from the container in Lusaka. She usually would have a new believers' Bible study with Michelle on Wednesday afternoons, but it was cancelled yesterday. Debbie is still in the shop, and she discovers that one of our chickens has laid an egg, which made her happy :) Diana & Carolyn are working in their house on the student assessment they will give each of the kids next week, and they wait for Hildah & Abby to show up for a meeting at 3:30.

I am also waiting for a visitor at my house - Pastor Maxwell's wife, Priscilla. While I wait I clean out the boxes in my guest room (mostly clothes for our orphans) and organize things into plastic tubs and footlockers. I also periodically check on the laundry hanging outside and fold clothes that are dry. Before I know it, it is 4:30 and time for my daily call to my mom. We talk for 5 minutes and I go and visit Carolyn & Diana. Still waiting for Abby & Hildah! Debbie is cooking supper for them tonight, so they continue to wait. Abby & Hildah finally show up to meet with Carolyn & Diana at 5.

I start supper as I realize Priscilla isn't coming when she finally shows up at 5:15pm! AAHh!! Staff Bible study is tonight and I have to get supper going! Luckily, Priscilla is a close friend so I am comfortable with continuing cooking while she sits and we visit. I give her all of the gifts we brought her from America and she stays about 20 minutes. It is now almost 6pm and it is getting dark. The generator should click on in 30 minutes, but it is already almost dark outside and the wind is blowing. Supper is ready (chicken & rice) so we eat quickly as Bible study starts at 7pm. But at 6:30 the storm has blown in and thunder, lightning, and strong winds have hit. I run outside to grab the rest of the wet clothes on the line, and I run over to the ladies' house to tell them we have cancelled Bible study. I call Wes & Laurie and they tell us that 1/4 of their fence has blown down! We have some tree branches in our yard.

After sitting in the dark for awhile, Blu heads down to Mulenga's house to turn on the generator at 7. We heat a little water for the kids to take a lukewarm bath and get them in bed by 8pm. Crazy night!

When the kids are in bed, Blu & I take showers (cold, but it feels good!) and play 2 games of Bananagrams. We then head to bed, where we usually watch an episode of 24 but tonight we are too tired. Wes & Laurie call at 9 looking for their house keys but soon find them. Everyone is sound asleep by 10pm, and we are ready to start another day at New Day.....