Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Holidays!

We didn't do a Christmas newsletter this year. We are going to try to do one for January, but we wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

We spent a week before Christmas in Malawi with some friends at a cottage on the lake. We had great weather and the kids spent A LOT of time in the water. Traeger learned to swim under water for the first time. Kallen loved the water and is a little dare devil. We had to be watching her every second. We arrived back in Lichinga on the 19th of December and we had a very nice Christmas at home. We had a big turkey dinner here, Christmas Eve, for some collegues of ours. It was very nice. We sang Christmas carols after dinner and read some scripture. The kids are old enough now, that they are understanding better the true meaning of Christmas. We spent a lot of time reading Bible passages and talking about God sending Jesus to be our Saviour. Traeger and Karis slept in the living room by the Christmas tree and then Christmas morning we opened presents. Later that afternoon, we went to our church in Namakula for a Christmas service and lunch. So our Christmas dinner was beans and rice! Overall we had a very nice Christmas, but we are looking forward to being home next year and enjoying Christmas with family. Here are some pictures of our festivities.

We had a "band" waiting for us when we arrived at the cottage in Malawi. The local kids were trying to earn money by singing and dancing and playing the drums.

This is the front view of the cottage we stayed at.

This is view looking out from the cottage towards the lake.

Here is the beach.

We had a couple big storms come up on the lake while we were there. It was really incredible to watch.

Karis washing her hair in the sprinkler.

This is a colorful chinchilid from Lake Malawi. It is famous for these colorful fresh water fish.

Karis and her "princess" sand castle.
Traeger learned to swim underwater and jump from rocks into the water. He has been so cautious about the water, it was fun to see the progress he made in the week.

Kallen learning to swim.

Singing Christmas carols on Christmas Eve.

The kids opening presents "in front" of grandma and grandpa on Christmas morning. It was about 5:30am our time and 10:30pm, Christmas Eve, their time. And no we didn't plan to get up that early, the kids were up and ready to open presents by 5:15am!

As you can see the kids were spoiled this year, we received about 7 packages of Christmas gifts from Grandma and Grandpa, aunts and uncles, and friends, so there was no shortage of gifts this year.

Kallen really enjoyed opening her gifts this year.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Our family Christmas 2010...

I had the great idea of taking a family photo for Christmas this morning. Here is how the morning went.
Mommy: alright kids, I already picked out your clothes for today, we are taking family pictures. Put these on.
Karis: I hate that skirt. It feels hard. Do I have to put it on?
Mommy: yes, I get to pick out your clothes today, you can take them off right after pictures are done.
Karis: alright.
Traeger: These sleeves bug me, why are they like this? I can't get my pants pulled up. These are too small.
Kallen: I no like it mommy. Want nother one.
Mommy: TOUGH! I get to pick out your clothes today.
Mommy: Karis, come on lets do your hair.
Karis: I don't want my hair done. Do I have to have barettes? I hate barettes. Can you please just comb it.
Mommy: No I can't just comb it. I am putting barettes in, otherwise your hair falls in your face and we won't be able to see you in the pictures.
Karis: I don't care. I don't want to get my picture taken. I am not going to smile.
Mommy: oh, yes you will.
Kallen: Ouch, no like it mommy, no like it.
Mommy: I don't care, your hair is a mess, it has to be combed.
Traeger: I have to get my hair combed too, I thought that was just for girls.
Mommy: Hurry everyone get in front of the Christmas tree, we are going to take a picture. Where is daddy?
Daddy: I am in the shower.
Mommy: What??? Everyone is ready, we need to take this picture NOW!
Daddy: I am hurrying.
Mommy: Karis, stop rolling on the floor you are messing up your hair. Kallen don't eat that peanut butter toast right now, I don't want you dirty. Come on, lets pick up this mess in front of the Christmas tree. Kallen, put the cushions back on the couch. Traeger stop pulling your sisters hair, you are messing it up. Come on, CLEAN UP!
Traeger: But we don't want to take pictures. This is not a good idea.
Mommy: Ok fine, if everyone smiles for the pictures and sits still, you can all have cookies for breakfast.
Kallen: I do mom, I do. I want cookie.

Finally, daddy arrives and this is how it turned out:

Another one of mommy's brilliant ideas for a family photo.

After about 200 pictures and enough yelling that I feel slightly horse, this one turned out...ok...not great, but it will have to do, I am not doing that again!
And here are those angelic children:)

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Well it has been awhile since we've updated our blog. We've been busy with holidays and school. Tim has been doing a sermon series at our new church on going through the Bible chronologically. It has been going really well. Michele has joined the ladies group at church, which meets on Thursday afternoons. She led the study for the first time last week. The great part about this group is that they sing and yes, dance, at church on sunday mornings and you all know how talented Michele is at singing and dancing!

Language studies for Tim and Michele have been continuing as normal...slowly we are getting the hang of this language. Michele has started 1st grade with Traeger now and it is going well, but takes up a lot more time than Kindergarten did. We are still waiting for the rains to begin. We have had a few short rains, but not much yet.

Here are a few pictures of the past month.

This was our Thanksgiving school project. The kids decorated the feathers and then we wrote what they were thankful for on the feathers.

Here is a picture of Thanksgiving dinner at our house. We had 17 adults and 21 kids. We had a full house and lots of really good food.

Then we decorated for Christmas. It looks pretty Christmasy inside, but outside, it is 85 degrees and very humid, not very Christmasy at all!

This is how we found Traeger and Karis when they were supposed to be hanging ornaments on the tree.

Traeger lost his first tooth. We can't believe he is old enough to be losing his teeth already.

Our baby is no longer a baby and is making up for her amazing first year. Year 2 has been so much work keeping track of her! She is all over the place and the busiest 2 year old ever!