Tuesday, January 29, 2013


What a great start to the week!  My master chef, Katherine, made chocolate chip cookies.  They were the prettiest cookies that we have made over here.  Each time they seem to turn out different, but she made her Mom VERY happy. 
We made a trip to our old city for a couple of days.  It was so good to see old friends. 
Lauren was giving hugs. 
This little boy just ran over to Regan and bear hugged her.  We have no idea who he was, but he was a funny little guy.  Most little ones are not so sure about us at first.
Our friends took us to a park and the kids rode these "cars" around all over the place.  It was hilarious.  The kids had a blast.  Regan chose the panda, Benjamin chose the horse, Katherine the purple mouse, and Lauren the tiger.  They were very fitting to their personalities.
The kids asked the man how much to buy one :) 
Regan played ping pong against boy.  I can't hold the paddle the local way, but Regan seems to have it down.
Mommy and Benjamin
We looked like we had our own kindergarten :)  We met up with another foreign family who has five kids. When you put them all together, it drew quite the crowd.  We couldn't pass up trying to get a picture of them all together though.
 Some other friends took us fishing.  No, we didn't catch anything.  I'm not really sure I would have eaten it from here anyways. 
 Benjamin sure did have fun with it though. 
 This guy is cooking pick fat.  I talked with him for a while and it just kept on cooking.
 Here is a good friends little girl.  Lauren gets to act like the big sister now.  She enjoyed feeding her apples and taking care of her.  I also think she looks adorable in the dress that used to be Lauren's.  We are so happy to be able to pass some things along.
 The kids painted their own faces.  I take that back.  Regan and Benjamin painted their own, Regan painted Lauren's and Benjamin painted Katherine's face.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


 We finally are able to get pictures back up!!  Yeah!  I kept trying, but today was the first day that it worked.  Here are a few from the past few weeks...
 This is what a well looks like in the city.  Don't worry, we don't get our water from here, but many people still do.  I wouldn't trust that it is clean.  If you look closely, there is a while hat on top of the grate.  You can lower it down to the water and fill up whatever buckets you brought with you.  Apparently construction hats have many uses...just last week, I saw a guy washing his car.  He had a construction hat filled with water and a washcloth and he was scrubbing the car.
 This lady wanted a picture of her baby next to Regan and her doll.
This was from the kids street hockey class the other day.
Katherine, the next Sheddan chef.
These are some of Lauren's classmates.  They were all watching the races.
After the races, there was a guy outside the school making these birds out of play dough.  It was fun to watch and quite impressive.  I let the kids buy one to share.  This time of year is pretty festive, so we see lots more vendors outside selling random things. 
Katherine and Lauren holding their bag of chocolate gold coins.
The last day of school, we also got to see Katherine in her skating class at school.  She did really good.  It was a bit of organized chaos, but still fun.
Lauren decided to play dress up this week.  I believe in one day she wore every dress up outfit we own....but I believe that seeing her in this was one of my favorites :)  I can't believe Benjamin was wearing this when we moved here.
This is my favorite picture of the week.  I got up on Saturday and the kids were already up and getting ready.  Benjamin helped Lauren get dressed and was fixing her hair.  It was too sweet.  She would only let him help her.  He was trying so hard to brush through all those curls.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Almost up and Running

Well, I wanted to assure everyone that we are ok :)  We have been having some computer problems and have not been able to get a new blog up.  We are very thankful that we can use the computer again, but I have not been able to get the pictures up.  If it starts working later today or this week, I will try to add a few pictures at the end of this blog.

The New Year has consisted of a lot of our usual things.  The kids had a couple days of from the local schools and enjoyed playing outside.  Katherine learned how to ride her bike with no training wheels.  One day she helped cook dinner with Ayi.   Lauren had a bike race at her school.  She had so much fun and came in 4th.  Regan and Benjamin learned how to play street hockey.  They will be meeting together with some other kids for about an hour on Wednesdays to play. 

The kids spent their Christmas money this week.  Benjamin bought a Lego ninja airplane, Regan ordered matching pj's for her and her American Girl doll, Lauren bought a teddy bear, and Katherine bought a dress.

We also had some little friends over for a day and saw a lady drawing water from a well.  Ayi also took Lauren out to buy her a gift for the upcoming local holiday.  The kids will have off for a month (but we will still homeschool during that time)  All of the kids have bathrobes that they have enjoyed wearing around the house.  They have discovered that if you sleep in them that you stay warmer.  Every winter I am amazed at how cold it can feel inside your house.  We enjoy the break from the heat, but it will be nice when it starts warming back up.

I do hope we can get some pictures up soon!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Our Week AFTER Christmas :)

Happy birthday, Jonathan!  We had a great time celebrating another birthday.  All four kids helped decorate the cake.  Benjamin did the T for Tennessee, Regan wrote the words, and Katherine and Lauren took turns putting the icing on the side.  December is always a busy month for us in so many ways.  This year, Lauren is old enough to notice and she asked if if was her birthday when we woke up the next morning :)
Look at that crew :)
Another surprise!  A box of presents after Christmas!  So fun! 
This was one of Benjamin's gifts.  He had fun playing the game.  He was so funny though about buying the horses...he was quite the choosy buyer.  He knew exactly which ones he wanted to buy and left all the others for me to buy :)
They were all posing for a picture in their new pj's.
Then, of coarse, they really wanted a silly picture.
I can't believe how quickly this one is growing up!  She gets more beautiful every day!
So, I promised Benjamin that after Christmas I would let him get his hair cut.   A haircut always includes a wash and head massage.  I have another picture that I didn't put on here, but it really makes me laugh.  The younger two girls were standing right next to one lady getting her hair washed just watching.  And then you have the crazy Mom (aka me) taking a picture of the whole scene.  It makes me laugh because I would not dare take someones picture in a hair salon in the States. They might get mad and break my camera :)
Here is my very happy boy with his new haircut.
The other thing we did was go volunteer a day at a local orphanage.  Well, it's more of a foster home.  They go to the surrounding orphanages and take on new kids until they can get them adopted out.  They have room for 12 beds but are planning to double in size this next year.  We had so much fun loving on these kids.  Each one was so sweet!
This little girl was a cutie.  She has already had one surgery and is scheduled for one more before she is good to go.
Regan got to hold this little guy for awhile.
This cute guy will be going to his new family next month in America. 
This little guy had to be one of my favorites.  He is a little miracle in itself.  The picture below is when he came to the Home at 6 months of age and 6 months later when he turned one.  It's amazing what some love and attention can do. 
I definitely think we will be visiting more regularly to volunteer.  I took Regan during the morning hours and Jonathan took Benjamin during the evening hours.  Everyone left feeling so glad that we were able to volunteer our time.  I can't wait to meet the new little ones they are bringing in.  Over the next few days, they will be bringing in 3 more kids to the Home.