Friday, August 20, 2010

What did we forget?

Zach going off to college!

packing up early in the morning.

outside his dorm

inside Zach's dorm room before he got it fixed up. Kevin is laying on Zach's bed. I guess he needed a rest.

the other side of the room

Zach's dorm

this is on the side of a mountain

LU has a ski slope which is amazing! The two boys below were snowboarding.

As a parent, as your children are growing up you are trying to train them in the way that they should go. As a part of that we try to train them to be independent while also teaching them life skills that will help them when they go out on their own. For us, our time has come, we just took Zach to Liberty Wed. and got back home last night. He has two good roommates, everyone was helpful, he got all moved in pretty quickly and is taking his freshman orientation classes. He says he really likes it so far! So why do I go over in my mind about what we may have missed. Shouldn't this be harder? What did I not teach him? Shouldn't I have cried all the way home?? Well, I did cry for a few min. and Zach was comforting me. He said, "Mom, it's going to be ok, it's just like me going to RVA but I'll be closer and come home more often." When did he get so grown up? As much as I missed him while at boarding school I am thankful for how his time away prepared him for life at college. I think it has also help prepare me and Kevin for this time in our life. I can't even imagine what it will be like when we go back to Zambia and he isn't getting on the plane with us but that will be a blog for another time. So, I guess for now we just keep praying for him and watch him grow into the man God is calling him to be. It's his time to reach new heights. I'm proud to continue to be his cheerleader!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Living Behind Walls

In rural Zambia the people live within a cluster of huts that make up a village. There are no walls of protection that surround them. They sweep their dirt outside their huts each day so that they can know if any visitors have come to their hut during the night- whether person or snake. They take pride in where they live. Zambian people are very relational and will stop whatever they are doing if a visitor comes. They then focus their attention on pleasing the visitor. They give them the best seat that they have and the best food they can prepare.
In the cities or townships most expatriate people live in homes with a 7 foot wall surrounding their property. Most often there is an electric wire or broken glass up at the top to deter thieves. Even on the windows and doors there are bars which would make it quite difficult to get into your house if a thief did make it over the wall. I'm assuming that was started as a form of protection a long time ago. So, in the city most of the neighborhoods have walls around the houses which makes it hard to see the house or even get to know your neighbors. So even in such a relational society when a wall is involved it hinders peoples ability to get out and meet those who live close to them and be involved in their lives.
So, as you can imagine when we come to the states we have to deal with the fact that we don't have a wall around our house or bars on our windows. It just seems like we are so vulnerable for anyone to be able to break in. We have only been back a few weeks but I have noticed something that I have never noticed before. We are staying in the same neighborhood that we have stayed in the last 3 times that we have been in the states. It all looks the same and I imagine many of the neighbors are the same. However, as I go for a walk in the evenings everyone is in their homes. There aren't people out in the yards visiting or sitting in the chairs on the porch chatting. Perhaps this time of year it is because of the heat. Either way, people are so busy I guess that when they get home from work or their activities they hide in their homes and relax. It just makes me wonder what has happened to us as Americans over the years. It use not to be like that. Even when I was a little girl I remember playing outside in the evenings catching lightning bugs while my parents sat outside watching us. I remember visiting neighbors and friends. It just seems like everyone in America is living behind a wall. Oh, it's not a physical wall because everyone wants others passing by in a car to see how pretty their house and yard is but there is definitely an imaginary wall.
Whether we live with a physical wall around our home or with an imaginary one, at times in our lives we put up a wall around ourselves. We hide behind the facade that all is well when really it is not. We don't let other people be a part of our lives for fear of getting hurt or getting rejected or maybe even laughed at. We don't want to invest our lives in others because life is tough and its difficult to just handle our own. I think we need to break down these imaginary walls and let others in. We need to not fear rejection and reach out to others even when it is difficult. We need to get back to how it used to be in America or how it is in rural Zambia where we take time with people and be more relational. I don't know who reads this blog but maybe someone reading it today has built up a wall around themselves and needs to tear it down. There are times when we find ourselves facing enormous ‘walls’ that are impossible to break down by human strength. If we put our faith in God and follow His commandments, He will perform ‘great and mighty things’ (Jer. 33:3) and give us the victory.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

First Day of School

Wednesday was Hannah's first day of school in America. She has been home schooled up to this point in her life and we thought it might be good for her to try a public school while we are in the States. She is in 4th grade this year. So far she is really enjoying it. She has made lots of friends so that is what she talks about more than the work. Please pray she will have a good school year and that she would continue to grow in wisdom and stature.

These pictures were taken her first day of school.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fun at the beach!

Hannah with Herman the crab.

We just got back from a few days at the beach. We were able to stay at a friends house in Surf City. It was so good for our family to get away and spend some time together. The time just went by too fast! I had lots of pics. so I tried to narrow it down a bit but there is still quite a bit. Hope you enjoy them.

I loved this bench with a surf board as the back rest.

Me and Kevin

This is the house we stayed in. Justin is up on the top deck.

Hannah made friends quick with this little girl Madison.

They really enjoyed playing together at the beach.

Kevin the surfer!

Justin enjoyed learning how to surf.

Sandcastle that Zach built.

Justin surfing

Zach surfing

Hannah enjoyed riding on the boogie board.

Hannah enjoyed digging in the sand.

Zach made Hannah into a mermaid.


Zach, Hannah, and Justin

Monday, August 2, 2010

All in one day...

While Kevin was mowing the yard today he saw this snake along the base of the house. At first he thought it was dead because it wasn't moving. After he saw it move he went to get a shovel so he could kill it. We know there are snakes in the US but we sure weren't expecting to have this in our yard. At least it wasn't poisonous!

After Kevin mowed the yard we went to the DMV so Zach could try to get his drivers license. He passed the written part and driving part. Here he is in this pic. with his temporary license.

I also got Hannah registered for 4th grade at Vance Elementary School. School actually starts on Monday but since we are at the beach until Tues. she will start on Wed.

We will be home schooling Justin during 10th grade so I got him registered with North Star and his curriculum ordered.

Lastly, we traveled 3 hours to visit with Kevin's family before heading to the beach. Kevin's sister had just had surgery so it was good to see her doing well and up and about.

......all in one day!