Monday, May 4, 2020

Potty Training

One positive of staying home 24/7 is being able to potty train your toddler. Ellie officially is potty trained...praise Jesus!!! She was bribed A LOT...here is some ice cream from one of her bribes and somehow she also negotiated her sister and brother getting some.

Date night...on the back porch

The kids wanted to host a date night for me and Brent on the back porch since we have not been able to go out on a date in a long time. It was such a fun, special evening.
My love

They dressed up so nicely

Heart toast

Potato soup

Cheesecake

Easter

This year Easter looked quite different for us. Normally we are about 2 1/2 hours north of us in a field with tents holding our weekend Easter Rally with all of our Baptist brothers and sisters in Christ. We missed the assembling together, but had a wonderful Easter as a family at home. We always do the "Resurrection Eggs" and our kids love it. Ellie was quite disappointed in empty egg that represented the empty tomb, but we assured her it was the best news of all.

Hunting eggs

Easter crafts and chocolate

Resurrection Eggs

Empty egg...empty tomb

Coloring Easter eggs


Turner Olympic Games

Turner Olympic Games-Day 1
We are on Lockdown day 12 here in Botswana. Sometimes it is quite the challenge to keep the kids busy/entertained, so when my sister in law, Tirzah, sent me these daily Olympic Game challenges designed by her friend who is a PE teacher in Raleigh, we jumped on it. Kids (and parents) had so much fun competing. Yesterday we researched the Olympics, what the rings mean, picked a country to represent, and the researched that country. 
Taylor-Seychelles (because it had a pretty flag) πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨
Bradyn-Japan (because it’s flag was easy to draw)πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Brent-Botswana πŸ‡§πŸ‡Ό
Amanda-America πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
Ellie-the unofficial country of ‘Ellie’ 

Carrying the Olympic Torch



Turner Olympic Games-Day 2
My kids went to bed last night so excited for our day 2 of Olympic Games. Today was Track and Field day and we had a blast!! 
My observations on day 2:
1. I am very out of shape πŸ˜©
2. Ignore my out of breath breathing as I am videotaping...again way out of shapeπŸ˜…
3. When I think I am running super fast and still come in last place πŸ€”
4. I woke up with super sore arms today, I think from the .02 seconds I had to swing on a rope...again out of shapeπŸ’ͺ
5. Having 3 children, sometimes my body does things when I am competing that I am just not cool with πŸ€­
6. I love spending time with my family ❤️

Score board:
1st place-Taylor and Brent tiedπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡§πŸ‡Ό
2nd place-AmandaπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
3rd place-BradynπŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Cutest competitor-Ellie 



Turner Olympic Games-Day 3
Today was games involving water and I think it’s been my favorite day so far...maybe because I WON!! That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, MOM WON!!! I think it might have had something to do with the outfit...


Turner Olympics Games-Day 4
Today was ‘Minute to win it’ games. We let the kids design some activities they wanted to do and we picked some from the provided sheet. 
Bradyn was our winner for the day...go Japan πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Activities:
Hanging bar-traverse the bar the quickest
Hanging rock-hang the longest
Cargo Net-climb to the top the quickest
Rope-climb to the top the fastest
Golfing-plastic soon and transfer plastic eggs
Diving-move cotton balls with a straw




Turner Olympic Games-Day 5
CLOSING CEREMONY
1st place-Dad πŸ‡§πŸ‡Ό
Award for ‘Best Participant and Most Competitive’
2nd place-Taylor πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨
Award for ‘Determination-Did your best and never gave up’
3rd place-Bradyn πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅
Award for ‘Perseverance-Most Amazing arm strength’
Honorable Mention-Ellie πŸ˜
Award for ‘Cutest Competitor Ever’
Honorable Mention-Mom πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
Award for ‘Best Dressed-Most Clumsy’
We had such an amazing week together as a family ❤️ so thankful for this time that Covid19 has gifted us.










Glow Stick Dance-Covid19

We had a bit of fun with some glow sticks...hope you enjoy!



Thursday, February 20, 2020

Taylor's Autobiography

LIFE AS TOLD BY A 12 YEAR OLD
Recently for a school project, our daughter Taylor was tasked with writing an Autobiography. As she read it to me, I had to laugh at some of the take aways she has gotten from all the stories we have told her. We moved to Botswana when she was just 2 years old...I would love to share with you a missionary kids perspective on her 12 long years...

"I was born on the 29th of June 2007. I had no hair and bright blue eyes. The first thing my dad said when I was born was 'she has my toes!' I was born at Rex Hospital in North Carolina, Raleigh. My parents both had jobs so I was with my dad all day while my mom was at work and then we spent 20 minutes together until my dad had to go to work. We would drive 2 hours to the beach for the weekends to spend with my dads parents and grandparents. I hated the car and would be screaming all the way there and all that my parent could do was roll down the window and turn up the music." (true...don't judge)
"When I was 2 1/2 years old we said goodbye to all my grandparents and great grandparents and moved to Africa. My parents are missionaries which means that they don't have to sit in an office to go to work which is nice because my mom was able to be a stay at home mom for most of the time.  Instead of going to Reception (Kindergarten) my mom homeschooled me like all the other missionary moms but then realized that it was my DESTINY to go to a real school so I started Standard 1 (1st grade) at Thornhill Primary School. Of course my parents had to pull me out of school every 2 years to go to America but it was only for a few months. "
"I am now 12 1/2 years old with a 9 year old brother and a 2 year old sister and I am in Standard 7 (7th grade). I love to read and do art."


We are so very thankful for this spunky, independent young woman that the Lord has blessed us with!

Good Reads About Botswana

If you are looking for some good reads and want to learn a bit more about life in Botswana, below are some of our favorite titles giving you a glimpse into the life and history of Botswana. "Colour Bar" which is written about our first President Sir Seretse Khama and his love story with his wife was turned into a movie called "A United Kingdom" and would definitely recommend watching it. Some of Brent's favorite reads on the history of Africa as a whole are written by author Martin Meredith (top right corner pic)...big books but amazing depth and history. Amanda's favorite stories to read to the kids while we are camping or on safari are  written by Peter Allison and include "Don't run whatever you do" and "Don't look behind you". Happy reading!









Friends for Life

We are so thankful for friends throughout the years that have walked this journey of missions with us. We first met Mark and Melynda Wint in 2009 as we were both preparing to go to Africa as missionaries. We went through training together and we both had little girls who were 2 years old. Not only did we become fast friends with Mark and Melynda, but our 2 year old girls became the best of friends. Once arriving on the field, we would see them 1-2 times a year as they lived in Zambia and we lived in Botswana. In 2014, Melynda found out that she had cancer and they went back to Kansas for treatment. Praise the Lord she is cancer free and they arrived back on the mission field in mid 2019 serving in Zambia again. We hadn't gotten to see them yet and when we heard they were in Johannesburg, South Africa (just 5 hours away) Taylor and Amanda had to go see then for the weekend and reunite after 5 long years. It was amazing to see them and the girls reunited as though they never had been apart. So thankful for the Wint family!!!
Recent trip to Johannesburg


BFFs-Taylor and Madylanne

BFFs-Taylor and Madylanne

Tay and I at the Mall of Africa

Morning out with the kids at a jump park

Best friends

Taylor and Madylanne at 2 years old

2009

Taylor and Madylanne at 2 years old


Be my valentine

It's so fun to celebrate Valentine's Day with the kids. Although we don't have the cute valentine boxes you make and take to school to receive Valentines, we always try to make our kids feel SUPER loved on this day (all the other days they are just loved, ha ha). So thankful for these little ones in our life!
Taylor going to a Valentine Dance
at her school with her friend Molly

Bradyn having a little different take on "Cupid"

3rd child Ellie eating a Lollipop for breakfast

Gaborone Dam

We love going and exploring and taking the kids to the Gaborone Dam just 15 minutes from our house. Water is very scarce here in Botswana so to see water in the dam is so special. We have had a very good rainy season and I think the dam is around 80% capacity. Water is life here in Botswana and we are thankful for the "rains down in Africa".