Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas and New Years

Spending time with my boys

My Christmas present came two days before Christmas when I got to spend the whole day with my sweet, adorable, wonderful boys.  We decided that we were going to visit Evans.  We set off on our journey at 8:30 AM.  We walked for an hour until transport picked us up, rode on the bus for 10 minutes, and then walked for another hour until we finally reached Evans.  It sure was good to see that boy again.  He’s just as happy as he always is with that big huge grin on his face.

They think they’re so cool.


My boys Evans and Dala


After we found Evans (he was at work where he makes ice cream) we walked for another hour trying to find some place to get a drink.  It was a hot day and we were hungry and tired. 

Then we walked another 30 minutes so we could catch a bus home.

Here are the boys just waiting for transport to take us home.


Thunder and Lightning Storms

We got back from our visit with Evans around 2:30 and by 4 PM we had ourselves a nice big thunder and lighting storm with lots and lots of rain.  While everyone was running for cover I decided to become one with the rain.  I love these crazy storms and today I just couldn’t stay inside and watch it fall. 


Rolling in the mud

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Finally after about 45 minutes of everyone just watching me from the windows Vincent joined me.  It was nice having someone else to join in the fun.  After Vincent, Choolwe ventured out and we eventually ended up playing soccer with ten of us.  It was so fun slipping in the mud and splashing in the puddles and just getting drenched.  Happy Memories!!! 

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Dala and Nchimunya decided to have a little photo shoot with my phone and camera while I was playing in the rain.

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My little nephew, Jaxon, has a slight obsession with scorpions.  I told him we have many scorpions in Africa and he keeps asking for pictures.  These pics are for him.  I usually see the scorpions while I’m sitting on the toilet at night.  Needless to say, my time on the toilet has decreased considerably.

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Christmas Celebration

My Christmas this year was wonderful.  I loved being with my kids.  We spent Christmas Eve preparing for our Christmas Celebration that evening.  I gave invitations to everyone with their part in the nativity.  That afternoon we went through the program three different times making sure everyone had the correct lines and positions.  It brought tears to my eyes watching these kids act out the events that occurred at the birth of our Savior.  It was beautiful.  I wish I could describe the feeling I felt as we were preparing and then when we performed.  I just kept thinking how incredibly lucky I was to be with these beautiful children celebrating the birth of Christ.  My life is forever filled with tender mercies and this was one of the greatest.

Me with a Shepherd boy and Mary


Jackie and I singing “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem”


Mary and Joseph talking to the Innkeeper


Shepherds with their sheep


Wise men bearing gifts


Everyone singing “Joy To The World” at the end of the program


Baby Jesus


Everyone in the program


After the nativity we had drinks and cookies…something these kids never get.

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Then there was dancing.  Another one of those moments where I just sat and thought, “I can’t believe how lucky I am to be sitting here watching these kids dancing, drumming, and singing.”  It was so fun.

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The kids wanted to stay up all night but by 11:30 PM we ran out of things to keep us awake so I sent everyone to bed.  Then I got to play Santa Claus.  I drew a little Christmas tree on our whiteboard and then set out gifts that my Aunt and cousins had sent for the kids and each kid got a bag (courtesy of the LDS church) full of school supplies and other fun little treats.  I was so excited for the kids to wake up and see all the gifts.  I went to bed after 1 and was up by 4:30.  The kids finally got up around 5:30 and they were all real curious about the table full of little presents.  None of them know that there are supposed to be presents on Christmas morning.  I kept singing the song from Annie where they say, “Santa Claus, what’s that? Who’s he?”  These kids have no idea who Santa Claus is and weren’t real sure about the gifts.


We finally got to open presents after breakfast at about 8:30.  Here they are all waiting to get started.


Tradition in my family is to start the gift opening with the youngest.  Each child got to open one present.  I don’t think some of these kids have ever even opened a present.  We had to show sweet little Alice what to do.


The kids loved their little bags and it was so fun to see them get excited about the few things that were inside (notebook, colored pencils, regular pencils, pencil sharpener, ruler, scissors, sweets, picture of the Savior, and Chico biscuits). 


One of the gifts was dice so I taught the kids how to play farkle.  We also played a bunch of card games.  It was nice just lounging around in my pajamas all morning playing games with the kids.


In the afternoon I headed into town on my bike.  Vaughn, my Zambike friend, picked me up and we went to have dinner with a bunch of Americans and a girl from London.  The food was amazing and it was fun to be with my fellow citizens.  It was a great ending to a most wonderful day. 


I also got to talk with my sisters and Pops which is always a real fun treat. 

New Year’s Eve Party

I love celebrating the New Year.  It’s always been a big deal for me to have a big party and this year was no exception.  I made a little schedule of all the events that were supposed to happen throughout the night.  The party started at 8 PM and went until 1 AM.

We started the night off with blowing bubbles and applying tattoos.   


Then we did the traditional African dancing and drumming.  After that the boys put on a little skit for us.  It was hilarious.  Victor (the one in blue) was supposed to be from Utah and his Utahn accent put me to tears. 


After the play we had ourselves some cookies, popcorn, and drinks while we watched Shrek on my laptop.  Then we played some games.


At about 11:45 I got all the drinks ready for our toast at the New Year.


We listened to the radio for our countdown and then we all ran outside a yipping and a hollering to bring in the New Year.  We banged our pots and pans, lit our fireworks, danced some more, and played a little soccer.



It wasn’t quite 1 AM yet so we went inside and played the look and scream game then we cleaned up and everyone went to bed.   The whole night was a blast!

The following morning Dala killed the duck that was living in the bag since the day before so we could have it for our New Year’s lunch.  We also had chicken (I couldn’t bear trying the duck after I had seen it walking around the house the day before and the chicken was terrible…my New Year’s lunch ended up being a cliff bar).

Josephine plucking feathers off the duck and removing intestines.

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Heidi said...

Love it all!! It's so fun to see pictures of the stories I've heard. I loved seeing those boys all sitting around waiting for a ride. What a fun group to hang out with. You are living the life my friend. And who rolls around in the mud?!!

haylie said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Heather! We're thinking of you. I wish, wish, wish I could have been there to play in the rain with you. I would have been totally into it.

Lady Fox said...

You sure know how to put on a party! Looks like fun.

Shelly Karren said...

Hed! I just looked over your blog from the last few months. Incredible. You won't ever want to come home again. Or if you do, you won't want to stay long. Home for you is Africa--for now. And that's wonderful.

Keep us updated on the progress of your schools. I'll keep you and your sweet kids in my prayers.

(loved Mable in the U of U t-shirt!)

Sure love you! xoxo Shells

brenda said...

That was so sweet that they joined you in the rain! I love those moments in life.

Let's do some drumming and dancing next new years eve!

Berkeley said...

It's so cool that you're doing this for these kids. I bet they'll remember these parties you're throwing for a long time.