Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Field trip

When you live in a place as cool as Zambia, your field trips get to be to places like safari and one of the seven wonders of the world, Victoria Falls :). Thanks to the freshman class at OC, who did fundraisers all year to send money for something special for our kids and aunties, we were able to take all of our Haven 2 babies and aunties on this unforgettable day. It took a lot of planning and help, but it all went off without a single hitch. Every auntie and OC student had one baby for the whole day. The only job was to make sure our charges didn't get hurt by wild animals or fall into the Falls, and we accomplished that goal!

As soon as we arrived in Livingstone, got a quick snack, and took lots of little ones to the bathroom, it was time for our safari. It was neat for so many reasons, but especially because neither the aunties nor the babies had seen wild animals in person before. My tears started about a minute in when we spotted the first baboon up in a tree. They were SO excited, pointing and shouting and making monkey noises, and all those hours of language class and teaching about animals and their noises were worth it. It was just so cool.

Looking at a giraffe
Walking out to see the rhinos
Checking out the rhino (P.S. Have you ever seen such a large baby chitenged? Me neither, but we weren't chancing them going rogue on us!)
Abbie and me on the drive
Checking out the elephants (and checking out the pictures she was taking on her phone)
Rhino love
We had all ordered our lunch ahead of time, so we drove straight from the safari to lunch at ZigZags. They have a great little play place and bunnies and guinea pigs, so it was perfect for us. Lunch was great, on time, and fueled us for an afternoon of seeing the falls!
This time of year, you can't really "see" the falls. It's just one huge mist cloud because they are so full. We knew going into it that we would be soaked to the bone by the end, so we had changes of clothes ready for everyone.
First glimpse
From the top of the Zambezi
An attempt at a group shot 
The babies' reactions were all different, but the only one who couldn't make it all the way across was Reuben, which was surprising. For the most part, all the others just squealed with delight and shock.

After the falls, we all changed clothes and got the babies clean and ready for a sleepy trip home. Here are all of our sweet field trip goers!
Sesa boy
Ella (with her snacks ready!)
James (I seriously considered not taking him because he's such a loose cannon, and I could just picture the worst, but he did great!)
Joel saying "cheese"
Vigi (stealing drinks...)
It was just such a perfect day. The babies still ask me all the time when we're going to Libingi again to see water, rainbows, and animals :)/ We're so grateful for all the love from our friend at Oklahoma Christian!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Milestone Monday

You know when it's really easy to write a Milestone Monday post? When you haven't done one in 9 months! Surely everyone's doing something new! :) Also, I spent the whole of today operating under the assumption that it was, in fact, Monday. So, I'll just go ahead and still post this. 
Mercy is still living with me, and she's finally really thriving and healthy. Here she is her first day of eating nshima and one Sunday morning before church. 

Zeke is sitting! And so, so babbly.
Vigi hasn't gotten any less weird. 
Lulu is sitting and might pop if she gains any more weight. 
Priscilla still goes to physical therapy at the hospital a few times a week and receives it daily with us. She's making gains, but we're still prayerful over her body and her life. 
Memo and Seth went on their first date. :) But seriously, I have to TEAR the kids away from the kitchen. 
If you remember anything about Chabilo and how deathly ill she's been over the last few months, you'll really enjoy this picture of her chubby cheeks and smile. She's on the up and up!
Joel will get a post of his own someday soon, but for now, the highlights are that he walks 35 steps in a row, and pretty much does everything while standing or walking. In the right picture, it looks like he's just standing there. But really, he is standing and balancing himself while throwing bean bags accurately into that hamper. You'd cry if you were here to watch his little determined face. :)

Jonathan is struggling so much right now. We've taken him to see multiple surgeons, and the latest one did a biopsy and sent it off to South Africa. We are still waiting on the results (should be back by mid June), but we'd love any prayers you'd say on his behalf. 
Helen is still sweet as can be. She loves babies (forgetting she still is one herself) and can almost always be found comforting someone who's sad. It's precious. 
Petra and all the others are learning to cook nshima. Fake nshima, of course, but they're getting the steps down and the pretend play down.
Thanks to the freshman class at Oklahoma Christian, we have a new iPad! My cousin Betsy loaded it up with so many learning apps, and I am SHOCKED at how much they've learned from the thing already. I know letting kids use devices is a hot topic in the states, so don't worry-- no one kid is spending too much time on it! It's definitely a treat. 

Both twins are sitting well and happy as can be. 
One of the big girls favorite pastimes these days.

Leahndrea is walking hesitantly. It won't be long now...
Binwell's walking!
Chilala's walking!
Jeremy's running!
Edwin's walking 
Flo is standing around like a bump on a log (although she's up to 2 steps...)
Deacon is masquerading as a ninja turtle. When he's not wearing this, he's wearing a bright, red blazer. 
You could never really imagine the transformation in Boyd unless you'd seen him struggling for his life so many times. He's my miracle boy. 
Candace is a walking, talking, ornery little lady. 
Agnes is getting stronger and stronger!
Katie, Wendy, and Vera are all in various stages of walking. Vera is running and transitioning herself over to Haven 2. Katie is still tentative, and Wendy's just lazy :).
Kelvin's walking!
Esther and Evelyn are hard at work. Crawling is just around the corner for them both.

Hope ya'll are having great days!