Monday, August 31, 2009

Can I Homeschool you some more???

I know he's big enough.......

I know he's wise enough......

I know he's sweet enough.......

But here it is the night before my baby goes to school for the first time and I'm having a difficult time letting go. I know he will have a blast and I know he is in a safe, loving place. Is it about him? Or is it about me? Maybe I'm afraid to let go of this chapter in my life. I have, very fortunately, been home with my boys every day of their lives and I wouldn't have it any other way. It has been the most precious gift I could have ever asked for. And, now, even though Luke will only be gone for 2 hours and 55 minutes, it will be so different. I know he is looking forward to this new journey and I am excited for him. Each of my boys have told people that they "homeschool", when they are asked if they go to preschool. And I say "yes you are". They are the brightest, sweetest kiddos I know! :0) So even though I don't have a camera (because I dropped mine), and I'm not really sure if I want this little man to leave me yet, I will wake up cheerful and happy on his first day of last day of "homeschooling". I really am sad. Being big enough and wise enough and sweet enough doesn't take away the little pangs I'm feeling as a momma.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Making Memories

We took a week off early August and went to Denver. It was a much needed vacation from all of our business at home. We got to visit the Aquarium, Water World, Botanic Gardens, and our very first IMAX movie, "Africa Meets the Ocean". These are our sweet memories to keep forever, but we have enough to share...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Chiolis meets Africa

Time has come and gone and now I am trying to catch up and post about some really great things that have happened in the last couple of weeks. We had the awesome opportunity to host the Matsiko Choir from Uganda for a few days and it was a truly beautiful experience. The day before they came we were notified that we didn't have enough host families and we were saddened that we were going to miss out. But God laid it all in our hands and I got on the phone and homes for all 25 kiddos were found. There was some reluctancy with busy schedules and conflicts, but I know I can say that all who participated wouldn't have given it up for anything.

We had the honor of being with three sweet girls, who in the few short days taught us soo much about their culture, but also opened our hearts and eyes to the beauty they possess and their positive look on life despite their circumstances of the past. We were told right away that none of the children are up for adoption....that they came from places without hope, but they have hope now.....that they get to go to school...that they WILL go on to the university....that they will become teachers and doctors and mechanics and lawyers. They look only to the future.
They're amazing!!

The first night the girls insisted on cooking for us--they made flatbread "Chipate"and we cooked chicken on the grill as well as beans and rice. They weren't real excited about our American food, although one likes pizza and the other two french fries. :0)

This morning we had three more friends come to hang out before choir practice--Dic and I decided we could have hosted all of them--they are all soo precious.

They had never seen an apple tree before and even though the apples were not ripe they "dug in". They said they have lots of mangos and plantenes, but no apples. We went through 2 huge bags during their 3-day stay! :0)

They performed at Mount Rushmore and it was a sight to see/hear. With smiles on their faces they danced their little hearts out. What an emotional experience--one little girl shared her life story that spoke for all of them. My tears were flowing.

This is our youngest, Belinda. Is she cute or what???

Anita (12), Sherome(12), and Belinda(8).
America and Africa coming together!

Our car-ride home was a blast! I think exhaustion was beginning to set in for all of us, but the girls joined in with stories and giggles. On the way home we stopped at McDonalds for french fries, Little Caesar's for Belinda's pizza (she ate all but two pieces herself--and those we made her keep for lunch the next day), and some fried chicken. We went by my sister's to see some relatives and the girls were asked to sing for everyone......they danced and sang a whole song from their program----sooo awesome! I felt pride, even though they don't "belong" to me!

Anita and Cole having some quiet time our last morning together.


Cole and Anita became very close in a short time. She wrote him a letter that said he is the best brother she could ever ask for. He has a little hole in his heart and says he is saving his money so he can go to Africa. We are hoping to keep in touch with the girls.

All of our children--they so fit our family. They will be missed, but we will continue to think about them, pray for them, and support them. We offered to take this all on again next year and want them to stay longer so we can raise some money for their cause. Most of these kids will not be returning, but there will be a whole other group to love on. We can't wait!! God brought them for a reason.
My eyes are open.

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