Wednesday, August 27, 2008

nearing a year!

We are in the middle of our 2nd week of school for this year. These are busy, busy days for me and I am trying to find a balance of doing everything to keep my head above water, or just doing what I can and still enjoy life outside of homeschooling and not worrying about what I can't fit in.

Some things that have been happening here in the last few weeks.

We have had lots of visitors from the US, Zambia, South Africa and the Philippines! It was a great time. At the same time I was organizing my books for school so my livingroom looked quite messy for awhile with stacks of books everywhere. One of the visitors became my hero when he and Kaleb fixed my washing machine and even more importantly, my popcorn popper! Yeah! I gave him my rice cooker to mess around with but they were unable to bring it back to life. But, happily, our guest from the Philippines taught me how to make rice without having it stick to the bottom of the pan or burn, so we should be all set.

Andrew and Alissa joined the youth group! They have started 7th grade so it was time for them to go with Kaleb. They both loved it and are looking forward to going again this week. Joel thought it was pretty hard to drop his daughter off at youth group and is wondering already how he will ever handle dropping her off at college!

Kids are still keeping me humble. As soon as I think I have it all figured out they show up in church with their jeans on backwards (Jonathan...and even worse is that I didn't figure it out until we got home!) or involve me in a huge drama over whether it is reasonable for me to expect him to find a pencil for math instead of using a pen (Kaleb; and we finally decided that obedience is the key here; and it doesn't matter if he thinks I am reasonable or not).

Mostly, though, the kids made me very proud as they handled all of the company (which meant that we were moving around every night; sometimes in one room, sometimes in another; and a few nights with all 8 of us in Kaleb and Andrew's room) and helped me with keeping the house clean and meals made. They are great kids!

It is hard to believe that we have been here almost a year already. It seems like a lot longer. At a bible study yesterday somebody said that they have been here since February and they still felt new. I was thinking about it and realized that I no longer "feel new" here! I know people and have friends and know who people are talking about when they discuss things. So, maybe this really has become home!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

August days

The days have been so beautiful. The mornings and evenings are still cool; I love that! It can be pretty warm during the day but some cloudy days stay breezy and cold. Perfect days for hanging clothes on the line.

Joel is in Zambia again. He is attending a missions conference and then speaking at a youth conference. I have only gotten a few text messages from him since he left so I am not sure how everything is but I am thinking he is really busy and probably having a great time.

We have company coming this week. Several people from our mission are here in Malawi to give a conference at the lake and our house is a good place to stay the night on the way there and back. Three ladies will be here while their husbands are at the conference to speak at a ladies conference here in Lilongwe. These folks are also bringing my school books (yeah!) so I am going to be busy organizing our new school year and probably starting school in the next few weeks.

Because of having many people staying here the kids and I have been busy cleaning and decluttering the house this week. Joel will arrive home on Monday (our 18th wedding aniversary) and we will have a chance to go out to lunch on Tuesday (his birthday) before he leaves again to the conference at the lake.

Kaleb is enjoying youth group, volleyball, and playing guitar in church. Andrew is growing taller and taller; he has passed Alissa (his first goal) and now measures himself against me each day to see if he has passed me yet. Alissa is one of the most self motivated people I know. She wakes up early and runs, washes dishes and does her math each day before I even wake up! Anna enjoys her friends (she loves people) and playing soccer on Tuesdays. She was the only girl when she joined and now there are as many girls as boys attending! Joshua is still missing his two front teeth but they are showing signs of growing in. He loves soccer and his favorite job is washing out the garbage pail for me when we change the garbage (I am glad because I hate that job). Jonathan is behind Joshua in tooth loss, but he is really enjoying reading. He says that Tuesdays are his "favorite day of the whole year" because that is soccer day. Anna, Joshua and Jonathan also love their Sunday School class and last Sunday sang in front with their class.

I am really enjoying my Saturday Bible study where we are going through Elizabeth George's book "A Woman's High Calling". My Tuesday bible study is starting back up this coming week and I look forward to seeing the ladies again after taking a few months off. Besides that my days are filled with housework, schoolwork (even during our break we do some school each day!), soccer on Tuesdays and I am still doing once a month cooking. Once a month or so we have a homeschooling meeting here at the house and have had a few field trips as well. In fact, yesterday we just got our homeschooling group t-shirts for the Lilongwe homeschoolers.

We miss everybody from home; last year at this time the days were filled with cookouts, swimming, card nights, and just fun days with family. We are especially thinking of Jamie and Michael as Michael nears his 2nd birthday. It is also my oldest nephew's 18th birthday in August...he was born the day before Joel and I got married! I think I must be getting old. I do have the grey hairs to prove it although I have recently learned of a hair dressers that does highlights so hopefully soon my age can be less obvious. (smile)