Thursday, August 30, 2012

Haircuts, Legos, & Sleepovers!

This is the last week at New Day before school starts back! As you in the USA are starting your school year, we are finishing up ours - 3 months to go! "What do the kids do while they're on break?" you may ask. The past few days, we've seen them huddled in groups slowly walking on the land. Turns out they have a new fascination with grasshoppers and have named Cynthia "The Mother of the Grasshoppers." They then try to catch them, name them, and play with them :) Things (besides grasshoppers) keeping our kids busy have been.. Haircuts! Cason wanted to have a bald head like Daddy!
Legos! Caedmon was so proud of his lego house!
Sleepovers! One of my favorite things about living at New Day is watching my kids' friendships with the Zambian children. Cambree & Laurie have been best buddies since we moved here in 2010. Laurie is spending the night tonight and they are having a blast being "girly!"
Here they are back in 2010 :)
We have 2 volunteer teams in September that we are gearing up for so things will get busy around New Day again soon!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fall Fundraiser!

Last year, we did a fundraiser for a 29 seater bus for New Day - many people and churches responded and within 2 months we had $30,000 for a new bus! We ordered the bus from Japan (an old model with low miles) and we are so impressed with it. We had heard from many people that vehicles from Japan are the best way to go when you are living in Africa, and so far that has proven to be true for us! We are gearing up for a Fall fundraiser for another vehicle for New Day. "Didn't you just buy a bus?" you may ask. Let me explain. The bus is a 29 seater that will be used for field trips and transporting our kids for years to come. It is not, however, a vehicle we would take into town for grocery trips. The orphanage currently has two vehicles, both bought used from the Baptist Mission of Zambia. One is a 1999 Toyota Hilux. We bought this in 2009 and it has over 200,000 km on it. It is the truck that hauled sand and basically built the orphanage! We are going to demote this truck to a "work truck" around the orphanage. Besides the fact that it no longer has a rear differential, no air conditioning, and it has to be push started each morning (Darbi is a pro at this!), it is not safe to drive long distances (you summer volunteers can all attest to this!). The orphanage does have a reliable vehicle, a 2000 Ford Everest that seats five people and is currently shared between the Tidwell family, Wilcox family, and 3 American volunteers. We have seen that now is the time for a new vehicle! The truck we are looking at is a newer model, as we want this truck to last for many years. It is a slightly used 2012 from Japan, and it costs $27,000 (+$5000 for customs clearance).
We have quietly begun some fundraising, and we currently have $12,601. Only about $20,000 to go! We are challenging our donors, families, churches, and other supporters to a $1000 challenge. We want to see if we can get 20 groups to raise $1000 for this vehicle. We know that God is a big God and that He will provide using many of you! We also know that times are tough in the USA right now, and many of you may want to give but may be unable to do so! We ask that you pray that God will provide and that the logistics will go smoothly to get the vehicle from Japan to Zambia sometime this Fall! Email me at if you want to be one of our 20 groups raising $1000! Thank you for your support of New Day!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sponsor for Margaret!

The Zambian government recently raised their minimum wage which means we are looking for a double sponsor for our house mother, Margaret. The cost to sponsor Margaret is $65/month. Email me at if you or your family, Sunday School class, etc. are willing to sponsor Margaret! :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Home again!

we are back home at New Day after 2 days of travels! We can now relate better to our volunteer teams this summer and the sheer exhaustion they feel when they arrive here! :) We had a 7 hour layover in the London airport and didn't have quite enough time to rent a day room. Thankfully, the airport had a playscape for kids in one of the terminals! Caedmon catching up on some math homework
Cason enjoying his nap!
Cambree in the playscape!
We had an awesome trip but are glad to be home! We were right back into the swing of things with a grocery/supply trip to Choma today!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Vacation Pics

Blu stays SO busy at New Day that I love to see him relax! :)
Cambree working hard to pull her younger cousins!
Cason & Brenden
All 6 grandkids with Paw & B-Maw
I love my sis-in-laws, Sammy & Caity!
Tidwell Family - last time together until next August!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fun in Brownwood, Texas!

Blu has had fun with his brothers! (Cloud surprised us by coming in from Costa Rica!)
Caedmon has learned some new pool skills!
And he has learned how to dive! :)
Cousin love (most of the time :) Andie & Cambree
Cason & AJ watching Power Rangers
Getting some sun!
Me & my sis-in-law Sammy :)


Traveling with 3 kids is across continents is always an adventure! :) Here are some glimpses into our trip from Lusaka to Houston! Looking at planes at the Lusaka airport
Caedmon taking a nap :)
Cason taking a nap :)
We had the most amazing flight attendants who invited us into the cockpit of the plane after our trip to London!
Me & Cambree getting ready to land in Houston! :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Surprise trip to the USA! :)

The secret is finally out... :) Blu's parents graciously gave us money for a vacation this year...after our trip to Tanzania fell through at the last minute, we were able to find cheap tickets to the USA! We surprised my parents and have spent the last week in Temple, TX and were able to surprise Blu's parents in Brownwood, TX today! It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we are having a blast! :) We flew to Houston (spent a night in London during the Olympics!) and drove to Temple where we helped Ms. Carolyn surprise Ocker Church! We stayed with my parents for our first week and had a blast doing tons of fun things! Enjoy the pics! Baseball - it is HOT in Texas in August!!
Cute Cason playing baseball
Watching his favorite show Frosty the Snowman :)
Checkers with Grandpa!
We got to see Bro. Wade, Laura, BB, & Joanna and had some fun at Chuck-E-Cheese!
Cambree had said she wanted to get her ears pierced in America, so she did! Brave girl!
Reading time with Grandpa
We spent our last morning together at Lake Belton swimming and had so much fun!
Mama Dee helped Caedmon learn to swim underwater!
Me and my mama :)
We got to go to the church swim party at Lions Junction WaterPark in Temple - fun slides!
We also enjoyed two different concrete splash pads in Temple - our kids LOVED these!
It was a privilege to attend the 90th birthday party for Jennie Valentine - everyone donated to New Day in honor of her for her birthday and over $2200 was raised to cover the construction costs of Jennie's Play Station, the playground built in May!
One of the favorite things the kids did was go to VBS at Ocker! Every night they took their offering and canned food!
You can definitely see our kids' different personalities in the VBS program at the end of the week! Caedmon tried to disappear into the wall!
Cambree did ALL of the hand motions (can you find her?)
And then there's Cason.... :) playing with his belly button....
making silly faces...
and trying to take his shirt off.. :)
Cambree and her friend Kambrie had so much fun together :)
Our week in Temple has come to an end so today we arrived in Brownwood and are ready for a week of fun with the Tidwell side of the family! :)