Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pictures of cute kids

N playing with her friend R

E lost an eating contest, so P made him read a princess and unicorn book to her. She thought that was super funny

Coloring Easter eggs for the first time together as a sibling set of 5. They shared pretty well.

P was very confused about the concept of hidden candy and a few small toys. 

Daddy is good at hiding candy :)

Yeah, a coloring book with her name on it!

N wanted to see the rainbow so E decided to help her out, then turned around so I could get their picture.
Life is a little loud, chaotic, and tiring at times, but it is also rich with moments of love, laughter and first time experiences. We enjoyed our first Easter together and look forward to making many more wonderful memories together in the future. We are so blessed!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Worried Look

Today I was in the office when a reunification happened. Two beautiful little girls going home to be with their father and siblings. I happen to look up and see one of our staff looking worried and later asked him about his worried look. He expressed his concerns about the children's future, and the father's ability to care for them properly. His thoughts and feelings matched those I have often felt in the past, and I was thankful to hear his perspective today.
This is proof once more that we are a village caring for these children. The house mothers work very hard to take care of the kids needs, but the office staff, cleaning staff, maintenance staff and driver all care deeply for the well being of these children as well. They enjoy watching them grow and playing with them during tea break or lunch break. They have a heart to care for kids and see them move into a family situation that will be best for the child, and it breaks their hearts to see situations where that might not happen. We all have to trust God's plan and both he and I agree that God knows what is best, but it doesn't always immediately ease our discomfort in these hard moments.
Today I will be praying for these little girls, but I will also be praying for our staff whose hearts are so big and loving. I am so thankful that God has placed so many good people here at Beautiful Gate.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Unexpected sadness

On Friday night Bryan read a facebook post from one of my cousins. My uncle had been sick for a week and in the hospital (unfortunately I did not know this because I am not on facebook much these days) and he passed away. My heart felt such sadness at not having had the chance to say good-bye, but I also know it would not have made a difference if I was home because he lives in a different state than we do so I wouldn't have had a chance to see him most likely. I have some really great memories of my uncle. He always welcomed my family with open arms when we would come for a visit. My uncle made room for us and made sure we always knew we were welcome, even after my aunt passed away and it was only my uncle and cousin living in the house. My uncle had diabetes and was not supposed to have much sugar, but I remember those amazing peanut butter pies he used to make whenever we visited :) Such a wonderful man and I thank God that he can be reunited with his wife and even my sister, up in heaven. He wrote a farewell facebook status telling everyone good-bye and that he loved us all, but I only saw it after he was gone so I want to say...

Good-bye Uncle Boyd and thank you for many wonderful years of love and friendship. Thank you for making me feel important and special even though I was young. Thank you for being someone safe I could talk to and for making me laugh. I love you so much and I am so glad you are in a better and happier place.
This is one of the pictures Uncle Boyd took of my family a LONG time ago :) I am on the bottom right.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Back to Work

Today is my first day back to work at Beautiful Gate. We decided to wait a month to let the girls settle in and now I will be working on Thursdays. I left the house with a couple of really sad girls because they did not think daddy would be a good teacher. Well, daddy proved them wrong and from the messages I got from Bryan, they had quite a bit of fun doing school. Maybe I will be here more than once a week because he did too good of a job, I think they might fire me! :)
I managed to go to Beautiful Gardens in order to assess a project I have been assigned and then to the garden center to make an estimate for my project. I am feeling pretty accomplished for my first day back and it is only noon, hahaha. My day so far has felt very strange. At home, life is very non stop and someone is always needing some of my time, but today I am sitting completely alone in my office. That is not typical for BG, but pretty much all of our staff and office volunteers have been out on field assignments today. I will enjoy my little respite of peace and quiet for the short time it will last, hahaha.
School is going well for E,F and M, and homeschooling has also been going well for P and N. We have been blessed with the addition of another teacher for the missionary school next year, and we are now working out some details of whether I will be able to be a teacher there as well, so I can again be involved in teaching all of my kids instead of 2 separate schools. Then Bryan will be helping at the school one day a week too which would be a huge blessing for the boys at the missionary school. Currently, all the teachers and most of the students are girls!!! :) Please pray about this as it would be a huge blessing, but there are still details needing to be worked out. Polita and Nthabeleng would very much like to go to school with their siblings which is very sweet. Ok, enough blogging and back to work!