Posted by: Lisa | July 31, 2012

Fudge Brownies

My girls and I do a lot of baking together. It’s a great way to get something done while also spending time talking to and teaching them! Ever since Felicia was old enough to sit strongly, she’s been on the counter next to me while I prepare our foods. We cook a lot “from scratch”, so there’s always something needing to be stirred up- tortillas for the freezer, salsa with the extra tomatoes, chocolate sauce… we don’t need a reason to make that, do we? 🙂

One of Damon’s favorite desserts/snacks is brownies. There is a recipe in one of my books that is so easy and moist, and I appreciate that it calls for ingredients that are easily accessible even here on the edge of a third world country! It’s our “go-to” brownie recipe for when our DaddyMan needs a snack around. I thought I’d share some photos of the girls helping make them. The recipe is at the bottom of the post. 🙂 Read More…

Posted by: Lisa | July 20, 2012

Nesting Already?

Well, today I am 29 1/2 weeks! Just a little over two months and BabyGirl will be here! I can say that before the sickness caught me, I had been enjoying full swing nesting mode for several weeks. While it may sound crazy to “nest” so early, I’m sure it had to do with the fact that we’re having a group from the states come for the first two weeks of August, and we’ll be leaving our house for Kitwe about two weeks after that at the beginning of September. My time to get things around and prepared for BabyGirl’s arrival is significantly shorter than 40 weeks this time! 🙂 Consequently, the past couple weeks since we’ve finished up Felicia’s K5  has found us tearing through boxes, reorganizing, weeding out, hanging curtains, etc… when we’re not caring for little sick ones, that is! 🙂

The room you can see the biggest difference in is Joey’s room. His room was more of a storage room with a crib squished up along one wall. Now, with the changing table assembled, real curtains hung, the hamper in the corner, etc. it actually looks half bedroom! Yay! I didn’t take a “before” picture, but here’s the “after”. The After pictures are always nicer to look at anyway. 🙂

Doesn’t it look like a cozy baby boy bedroom? I left it “real” for you with the overflowing toy box and clothes on the changing table. 🙂  The other side of the room… Well, it is much more concisely stacked now, and once the baby is born, some of these things will even be down and out of the room. Yay!

There are definite perks to this nesting business. 🙂

Posted by: Lisa | July 15, 2012

Sickies

I’ve so many posts just waiting to be typed out and shared, but we’ve been dealing with sickies lately, and that always diminishes Mommy’s free time! Things seem to be calming down a bit now… But doesn’t his little expression just tug at your heart? How can you not want to pick up, cuddle and comfort him?

This sickness seems to take a day or two to get started, hit intensely for at least 48 hours, then several days of rebuilding strength. And it’s hitting us one at a time. Well, only two have gotten it- we’re hoping it stays at that number! Just going through two of us has taken a full week!

The Lord has really used this time of “getting nothing done” to teach me more about my relationship with Him as it mirrors my relationship with my children. That seems to happen a lot! (For example- how exhausting it is when your children complain! Or how much your heart hurts when you see them hurting.)

I know one lesson this week has been to be still! It’s so easy for me to want to gauge my life’s success by how many check-marks I have on my list at the end of the day. With my due date and our trip to Kitwe looming closer and closer, there were so many projects that I’d hoped to accomplish this week. But I know cuddling my children and giving them security and clean sheets while they’re sick is way more important than starting this next school year early or finishing up those curtains. So, we tried out a few fun crafts they could be involved in, added more “read together” time into our days, and just enjoyed being still together.

But, I’ll be ready to attack the “to-do” list when they’re all better! 🙂

Posted by: Lisa | July 7, 2012

Kindergarden Graduate!

Guess who’s done with K5? 🙂

And because Natalie’s not one to be out-done, here’s a picture including her with my signature in her coloring book. 😉

I’ve seen the Lord work this school year in such an encouraging way! Due to some communication mix-ups, we didn’t get Felicia’s books here until the last week of October last year. I was sure we were doomed to be forever behind in school! I mean, our first year ever, and we’re already two months “behind”? Felicia is such a trooper, though, and we often did 6 days of school per week, which certainly helped us finish close to “on time”. Read More…

Posted by: Lisa | July 2, 2012

Baby Is A….

We recently had what you could call a “prenatal” at the Seventh Day Hospital just outside town. We wanted to get an ultrasound done so we’d know whether to pack pink or blue when we drove up to Kitwe in August/September!

Let me say, it’s a good thing our main purpose was finding out the baby’s gender, not setting our mind at ease over any concerns regarding the actual pregnancy. Because the only thing they checked on me was my blood pressure!

Read More…

Posted by: Lisa | June 20, 2012

Puppy Playmates

Our “surprise” puppies are growing well, and the girls anticipate playing with the puppies nearly every day. They come up with lots of creative things to do with them. I would have never thought of giving a puppy a bike ride!

I think it’s adorable how they treat the puppies like “live baby dolls”.

These dogs sure are given lots of love!

And, someone pointed out that one of the puppies actually has blue eyes! So cute!

Felicia said, “I’m so glad God gave us puppies! It’s like having babies around!” It made me laugh, and I said, “Honey, puppies are babies! Baby dogs!” 🙂

Posted by: Lisa | June 18, 2012

Inconvenience?

One challenge I struggle with when we are on the intense load shedding schedule, is the laundry. With no water every day after 4pm on a day with power, days where we don’t have power to run the machine until after 6pm make that a “no wash” day. And when we lose power three days a week… I feel like the smelly pile of dirty clothes quickly becomes unmanageable.

Today was a day *with* power. The only problem was that the power was low. Too low to run the washing machine. After a fair amount of frustration, I got an idea. Out came some empty totes and I got a hose and filled them with water. The power usually comes up after dinner, so, if I have water ready, I can bucket transfer the water to the machine and wash then! I was so excited with this possibility! Read More…

Posted by: Lisa | June 8, 2012

Overflowing

The power supply here in Chipata fluctuates wildly. It seems like it’s either off, low or surging. It’s not uncommon to have to run around the house unplugging everything lest the voltage damage our electronics. Obviously, we don’t “catch” every surge/dip, as is evidenced by the water regulator dying in our washing machine. I’m so thankful that the machine still agitates and spins the clothes! I just have to manually turn the water on and off for each cycle.

That sounds simple enough, right? Set the timer, come back and turn the water spigot. The problem is, sometimes I forget to set the timer. And sometimes the water pressure is higher or lower than normal, making even a set timer inaccurate! The end result of this? A washing machine that often overflows it’s basin! The girls actually get giddy when a soapy pond shows up on our porch- that means it’s time to play in the water and call it “helping mommy”!

Read More…

Posted by: Lisa | May 26, 2012

Helping at Magwero

Just outside Chipata is the Magwero School for the Blind and Deaf. (Down a dirt road, through some tall brush, etc.) Damon and our friend Kevin have been working on trying to organize some different projects to help the living conditions there. While we are very limited in sign language (well, we can finger spell!), our heart’s desire is for the children at Magwero to know that someone cares, and that it would open the doors for them to understand a loving Heavenly Father.

This past week a building project the men had been overseeing was scheduled to be completed and ready for painting. After asking around a bit, we were told they could find a wall that little girls could paint. We made plans to take the whole family for a day of serving and the girls were ecstatic. They asked questions the entire trip out there- “What color paint are we going to use?” “Will we paint inside or outside?” “Will we have to share a brush?” “I hope we use pink paint!” (Don’t laugh! We are in Africa, where buildings are painted all varieties of vibrant colors!) Read More…

Posted by: Lisa | May 25, 2012

Diving In

Despite English being Zambia’s official “national language”, I knew when we moved to the Eastern Province that it would be extremely helpful to learn the local tribal language of Chewa.

Chewa (or chichewa) is actually much more than just “the local tribal language”. It’s the national language of bordering Malawi; it is fairly prevalent in the northern part of  bordering Mozambique;  and beyond being spoken very widely across this section of Zambia it is sister language to “Nyanja”, a language spoken in another large portion of Zambia. All in all, if you’re going to live anywhere around this section of Africa, Chewa would come in very handy. 🙂

Read More…

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