For the girls and I, most days are filled with school. We have homeschooled from day 1, starting 6 years ago. Abigail is now in 4th grade…
And Naomi is loving Kindergarten.
We are following an American curriculum (primarily Sonlight, with Singapore math, and language arts from The Good and the Beautiful), and we also follow the American calendar. It’s not the curriculum that makes us odd here in South Africa: it’s the American school calendar. While we follow an August – May school year, South Africans begin their school year in January and end in November.
For now this works for us. We can work around furloughs and teams or family who come to stay with us, and we have a familiarity with this system and the school calendar. It has been a little complicated over the last couple months as the girls have been asked “What grade are you going into?” The girls graciously answer the question, and every time I am thankful that the girls are ok with being a little different as compared to everyone around them. They take the optimistic view and consider themselves to be 1/2 a year ahead of their peers! Hmmm, you can see the shepherding issue: a few conversations about humility and how different doesn’t always mean better, worse, ahead or behind. Sometimes it’s just different. With conversations like this to be had, school always goes beyond academics. That’s one of the things we love about homeschooling!
The girls and I needed a little more routine in our lives, what with all the changes and transitions of the last few months. So we started school today!
It’s been 3 and a half months since we rushed to finish the last school year before we packed up our house in Malawi, so we were super-excited to crack out the books and get the brains going again.
Most of our books are still on the container, sitting in Malawi, waiting to be called to Joburg as soon as our landlord gives us the go-ahead to move into our new house. However, we bought some of our new school books in the States in June, and some of our school work is digital, so we started with what we have. We are a little heavy on science and language arts right now (no objections from anyone in the Floreen house!) but we will make up for that when we get the rest of our books in a couple weeks.
We are having a cold spell here in the Southern Hemisphere. I’m from Kansas originally, so I know cold, but the last 10 years in the tropics have really thinned my blood. It’s cold, and I’m looking forward to Tuesday!
We had to do a little shopping to stop the shivering… jeans, socks, sweatshirts, and leopard pajamas.
Yes, leopard pajamas. We have a couple of cool cats now!
Today we fly out of Lilongwe with tickets to return in early December. We will be furloughing in the States for these 3 months, and are looking forward to seeing many friends and all our family. We will be sharing about the work in Malawi in lots of churches, from Missouri to California to Washington state. If you’d like to how it’s going in Malawi, our schedule for speaking at churches is in our latest newsletter.
But first, we have to get there! America here we come!
While Shelbi was teaching at the conference, the 6 men of the GCC team went to work. On Monday Shelbi, Abigail, Naomi, and I went to check out the progress on the church property.
The guys had been hard at work with surveying equipment, so there were lines all over the ground representing future buildings.
To get a look at the rest of it, Shelbi’s husband, Sean, took us on a tour.
They’ve been charting out and digging septic lines.
Digging the septic pit and leach field, as well as a cistern to collect and store run-off from our heavy Malawi rains.
They’re also making an awning for our current storeroom, which I believe will eventually be the maintenance area. Sean, Edgar, and Christopher are busy, but not too busy to strike a pose for a picture or two!
And they’re just about ready to lay pipes for the septic system. Abi and Omi were giving it a go to see if they were any good at construction. They are significantly better at wearing pink tutus and posing for cute shots than they are at construction, but they had a great time pretending!
It was fun to see progress on the land! I’m sure we have many, many months of construction ahead, but I’m looking forward to the day when both the church and CAPA can move onto this property!
Today was our last day before Matt comes home, so we girls were very girlie today.
We fell in love with 8 little puppies at our friend Alicia’s house. 💕
It was difficult to pull ourselves away from such cuteness! I appreciated that Alicia enjoyed the puppies – her puppies – as much as Abigail and Naomi did!
Alicia joined us for lunch out, and since it is winter here in Malawi, the girls had hot chocolate – with white and pink marshmallows!
Since the girlie thing was working out so well for us, we had pink pancakes for dinner. A little bit of beetroot goes a long way… healthy and girlie!
The Pancake Princess highly recommends vanilla yogurt and sliced bananas.
Matt comes home tomorrow! We have enjoyed these days of fun girl time, but we will be so glad to have him home!
We run a hotel. A Gecko Hotel, that is. Yep, a…
Matt and I decided long ago, that a hotel was a much better idea than keeping a lizard as a pet. So we have geckos that check in – and out – on a regular basis. For instance, I found a little guy in our shower the other morning, so Abigail came to catch him and Naomi had the Gecko Hotel all ready for him by the time he was caught. We kept him for observation until the afternoon and then let him go in a more favorable environment.
He was a cute little guy, and friendly – for a gecko.
See ya, little guy! Enjoy the great outdoors!
Four is such a fabulous age! Naomi is full of life, bossiness, sweetness, mischief, compassion, frustration, and fierce love. We are loving these sweet days with her!
She is a devoted fan of her sister. Not only are they friends, Naomi considers herself to be defender, artistic consultant, and executive boss of Abigail.
Naomi is on a campaign to beautify the world around her. This week, to Simba’s silent, patient distress, she insisted on flowers between his toes. What a great dog!
And I think, despite some very brunette beginnings, that her hair is actually turning blond!
For the rest, I’ll let her speak for herself:
I’m not sure who is more excited for Dad to get home today: Samson or Naomi. It doesn’t matter if he’s gone for three days or half an hour – these two take their watch duty very seriously!
I sent Abigail and Naomi out with a butterfly net to catch a butterfly that they could observe and draw. Five minutes later they came back inside quite proud of themselves: “We caught something!”
Yes they did! But not a butterfly! They caught a DRAGONFLY!
If you’ve ever tried to catch a dragonfly, you’ll know they’re fast! It’s no small feat to catch a butterfly, and even more impressive to catch a dragonfly!
So they grabbed some paper, colored pencils, and their friend Rejoice and started drawing their dragonfly, just as though it was the most ordinary thing in the world to catch a dragonfly. I love sharing life with these girls!