Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Kids Will Be Kids

Today we had unexpected guests drop by. We took them for a tour and then they got a chance to meet the kids. As usually happens when a small change to the schedule occurs, the kids take advantage of this to run around and get some special attention from our guests. 

Peter came to find me. He has been especially cute lately. The other day I gave him a hug and rubbed his back, but he looked up at me and said, "Mommy, I wanna KISS you". How could I resist that?

Today he followed me around as I helped our visitors find lunch and soft drinks in the kitchen. He peppered me with questions: What is this? What is this? Whatcha doing?, etc.

Don't get me wrong. I was loving every minute of it. As I served ice into glasses, I gave him a sliver for his tongue and he learned the difference between hot and cold--especially when I dropped an ice chip down his neck.

Peter was standing right next to me as I chatted with our guests for a moment, when I glanced down and saw this:

I couldn't figure out what had happened. He hadn't gone anywhere. How had he managed to get into trouble so quickly?

Then I saw his hand.

Turns out our new kitchen lady had placed the sugar bowl on the coffee mugs shelf (makes sense, right?), which happened to be exactly at his eye (and hand) level and it was just too much temptation to resist. 

He wasn't quite sure what happened. He saw sugar. He ate a handful. It was delicious. Mommy wasn't happy. 

Truthfully? I had a hard time not laughing. He had to learn it isn't OK to eat sugar by the handful, but he sure was cute!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Denny's Growing Up

Ever since Denny came to stay with us over a year ago, he has grown so much. It hasn't been an easy road, but we have had some wonderful victories also.

I've been a bit concerned about Denny's development for a while. His physical development is still a bit delayed, but I've been more concerned with his mental and emotional development. 

Denny quickly figured out that Peter is the one to copy since 'he's got it figured out'. Peter has incredible self-confidence and moves around the orphanage like he owns the place. He's also so darn cute that he gets a fair amount of attention.
Having seen this, Denny began copying Peter's every move. One day Peter walked up to me, giggled, performed a prat fall and then giggled again. Denny immediately did the exact same thing down to the tone of the giggle. 

He never came up to me on his own, but if Peter came up and told me he loved me, Denny would do the exact same thing. 

I worried that he wasn't developing his own thoughts and processes. Mimicking can be a sign of a developmental disability.

I quizzed the volunteers as they worked with him, asking if he communicated at all, and they reassured me that he did--though not as much as the others--but I had yet to see it for myself.

Then, one night, a few days after holding a birthday party for four of the children, I walked down to the nursery to check on the kids as they prepared for bed. 

Denny saw me from across the room and called out, "Mommy, I want a Happy Birthday!". I nearly did a happy dance right then and there. He not only formed a complete sentence on his own, but he acknowledged a want and a wish and then communicated it to me! Picture me grinning widely as I type this. 

Every child that comes to stay with us brings their own set of emotional, mental and physical needs. Please continue to pray for us as we meet those needs to the best of our ability!

(Almost) Exactly One Year Ago: Oh, Johnny
(Almost) Exactly Two Years Ago: Chola in the Big City

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fab Friday Foto XXXIV

Design Fail

Remember earlier this week and my quick trip to a hotel bathroom while we waited in line for the ATM? And, further remember how I said I would have something to share with you about that??

OK, well......

here goes.....

  The door cannot open any further than that. To get into the bathroom you have to scootch and wedge yourself into the space between the wall and the toilet and then close the door. When done with whatever took you there, repeat the process in reverse.

  As nasty as it is, it never fails to give Tom and I a chuckle.

Now, pop over to Troy's blog to see what wild, African animal is living with us now.

Exactly Two Years Ago: Still Here  (AKA the time I wished I had the Jaws theme on my iPod)


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Day Through the Eyes of Twitter

Last Thursday we set out for our twice monthly trip to Mansa for shopping.

Since I'd just reset my password on Twitter and could therefore access it again, I decided to bring you all on the journey.

Many of the potholes were filled in, in preparation for Mutomboko, but it was only done with dirt--so a temporary solution at best. And still a fairly bumpy ride.

9:58 AM

10:20 AM

10:32 AM
 I have a funny picture to show you later from this bathroom.....

10:35 AM

12:35 PM

After finally getting all the money we needed from the ATM, we ran around in a taxi doing errands and then getting a room for the night. Our favorite hotel was full so we settled on the next best. This took time because it's not a matter of just asking for a key and room number. I think I'll do a post on this next week.

In the process of getting the room and settling our things in before heading out again for more errands, I left my phone in the room. 

After a late lunch (read: I was nearly fainting from hunger), we headed back to the room for a rest.

3:53 PM

5:58 PM
7:00 PM
 Between the dust and the smoke, I'm surprised anyone can breathe at all.

After our meeting and the pharmacy visit, we had dinner with a missionary friend who is also building an orphanage. He is a young man from Kentucky and had 2 young, American friends visiting him. There are also two young, Zambian men staying with him as well. It made for a very fun, bachelor pad.
Dinner was uneventful unless we mention the chicken that was not quite done in the middle and had to be whisked back to the kitchen. We all had a good laugh about it and it was a fun evening.
It also made for a very late evening and Tom and I fairly fell into our beds that night.

7:30 AM

8:40 AM

9:50 AM

11:15 AM

12:00 PM

12:25 PM

The line did move pretty quickly, but the 'universe' got me in another way:

Funny story here: just now as I was going over my tweets for this blog post, I saw that U.S Bank had replied to my tweet wondering if there was anything they could do to help. LOL! I meant my American bank (name withheld to protect the [not so] innocent). Good to know U.S Bank has such kind service--even if it took them three days to reply.

2:30 PM

4:30 PM

5:30 PM

6:30 PM

 And that was it! Of course there was still the monumental task of unloading everything and eventually getting it all put away.....

What did you find most interesting about our shopping adventure?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Change is in the Air

Yesterday the last of our summer volunteers drove out of our driveway. The day before a group of five volunteers walked down the dusty road to catch the bus that would take them home to college and jobs.

The house is quiet now. All summer we've had seven or more volunteers at a time and it has been busy around here. Between the construction projects, the overly excited kids, and the evening games and fun it was a mad house at times.

Now it is almost unnaturally quiet. Well, as quiet as a household with 23 children can be that is.

A big change is that Timmy is in the States now. He left here in March, but I was with him and by the time I came back the house was bustling with visitors for the summer so his presence was less missed. Don't get me wrong--he was sorely missed. I think his special brand of humor could have done us all a lot of good several times this summer--but now that everyone has gone and we only have two of our big children left with us, it is a weird feeling.

Tom and I started out our family with twins, and 20 months later had our third child, quickly followed 16 months later by our fourth, and so on and so forth. What I meant to say with that awkward sentence is that we've really never had a 'small' family. 

This is going to take some getting used to.

Another change is getting back into a groove of teaching the kids. Both my big ones and the little ones need to have classes each day. I need to come up with a plan for a one-room school room until more help arrives. Jasmine will be my teacher's aide, but it's still going to be a big task.

We have some staffing issues that are bringing big changes, but I'll have to write about that at a later time.....

And, the boy's cottage is moving right along so we'll soon be taking our older boys through a big change there as well.

Lots of changes around. 

Change is good. I assured my aunt of this just the other day when she mentioned it on Facebook. I also told her to ignore the fingernail marks of the floor of my life--I've been dragged through Change's doorway many a time. 

Please pray for me as I adjust and organize myself. I have a bad habit of taking on too many projects and then I wonder why everything is all topsy turvy. Pray that I can focus on what is most important and that as I do all that needs to  be done that I will show grace under fire and be a loving wife, mother and boss to those around me. Thanks!

Exactly One Year Ago: On the Road Again
Exactly Two Years Ago: Fab Friday Foto--Baobab Tree
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