Category Archives: Sam

It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Green

No, I’m not talking about Kermit the Frog or saving the planet. I’m talking about the complex, hard-to-describe, beautiful, sometimes sad life that our kids know. 

It comes under the category of TCK, formerly known as MK…Third Culture Kid or Missionary Kid. 

TCKs have been integrally shaped by 2 or more cultures to the point that they can’t be defined by either one. They are some sort of conglomeration of the cultures. 

Charlie has been missing Zambia a lot lately. And even though we are 7 months into this transitioning-back-to-America business, I pulled out the activities workbook of Looming Transitions by Amy Young to find a fresh platform for talking about this “new” life with Charlie (and Sam). 

And I made some play dough. Then we got to work. 

Yellow play dough is Charlie in Zambia. Let’s talk about Zambia. What did you love? 

Sun, Castro our dog, working with Uncle Charles, my friends, riding my bike…

Blue play dough is Charlie in America. Let’s talk about our life here in America. What do you love?

Grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, sleepovers, going on the boat, fishing, school, being able to look out the window at the cars that drive by…

You can mix the yellow and blue together now. What happens?

It makes green!

Mixing the yellow and the blue involves kneading and smashing and squashing. Each person has their own way of mixing the yellow and green together. Sometimes it happens slower for one person than for someone else. 

Sam got right to work mixing them. Charlie was more mindful.

The process of becoming green doesn’t always feel good. That’s the sadness and loneliness you feel sometimes. 

But it makes you into a very special person. 

If you think of it, we appreciate continued prayer as we walk this transitioning road and help our kids navigate the emotions of it all. It ain’t easy bein’ green!

Advertisements

Adapt (with more pics!)

As we prepared to leave Zambia last summer, we also began processing what our new life and ministry based in the States would look like. There would be changes, yes. And in our last blog, we talked about some of those changes. But how does one prepare for so many changes?

There are many great and very spiritual answers. But I keep coming back to this truth: being a missionary means being adaptable. We had countless opportunities to learn this over our 8 years in Zambia – when things didn’t go how we expected. Or 99.999% of life looked different than we’re used to. Or we were forced to live and cook and minister with less than we thought we needed. And the list goes on.

I remember telling some friends in Zambia just before we left that I was counting on this learned strength – being adaptable – to help get us through all the change. And now that we have been back in the States for 4 1/2 months (only?!), I can say that it has helped tremendously! All that stretching and growth wasn’t for nothing, and I’m confident that this is the tip of the iceberg with how God will use all the ways we were pulled and pushed and molded in Zambia to help both us and others.

Here are some pics of how we have been learning recently to adapt to our new home!

Hugging their snowman (who desperately needs to see a dentist!)

Going to Handel’s Messiah at the Basilica

We are often the only ones at the park, but it’s a great way for the boys to burn that energy!

Celebrating Christmas with our families

Celebrating my dad’s 70th birthday with all my siblings and their spouses!

School Christmas activities

Learning to love playing in cold weather

When life gives you snow, get out the shovel!

Playing with dump trucks and cement mixers in the snow

A great experience for Charlie and me to serve together

Serving the vulnerable with my family through Feed My Starving Children

Charlie’s new favorite discovery – mayonnaise! He and Sam are making their sandwiches…with way too much mayo!

Life as we know it in cold Minnesota – bundle up wherever we go!

Charlie said, “I want everyone to know that we are a Zambian family.” Donning their Zambians scarves and hats.

Mountains. Oceans. Seafood. Oh my!

IMG_1703

Ahhhhhhh (long, dreamy sigh). Cape Town.

Oceans.

Mountains.

White sand.

Spectacular beaches.

Seals playing in the waves as we enjoyed our morning coffee from our balcony.

Endless, amazing, cheap seafood.

Penguins hanging out on the beach.

What is there not to love?!

Thanks to a gift from a friend, along with the [strong] encouragement to go on a vacation outside of Zambia (aww, shucks!), we got to experience the incredible Jewel of Africa. It is truly a world class city. And we were continually blown away  by the incredible beauty e.very.where.

In all the activities we did, we never felt too far from home. Whether we were at the Cape of Good Hope (the Southwestern-most tip of Africa, near where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet) or on top of Table Mountain or visiting the penguins or going for a boat ride to see 70,000 seals (and the occasional whale!), we ran into Midwesterners. Some came for safari, others had family that lived there, and others were, like us, taking a vacation from ministry to see sights and get refreshed.

The only negative about this trip was that it has ruined us for any future vacation in Zambia! If direct flights from Lusaka to Cape Town become more reliable and inexpensive, you can guess what we might be saving our money for!

In the words of some Lusaka friends that we ran into in Cape Town, “We are back in Lusaka. No beach, no mountains, no electricity.” Haha! Yep. But somehow, coming back to our little corner of Lusaka felt more like home than it ever has. God has called us here, and this is home…For His Name.

Enjoy some of our pics! And if you ever get the chance…

Sam Turns 1 Year Old

Well, our blogging skills lately have been as good as our Nunchaku skills, which we get an F- at! We haven’t posted anything for a while about our kids (or anything else for that matter – sorry about that), so we thought we would share this fresh video of what both of them are up to these days. This is pretty much how most days look and sound… 🙂

We’re thankful for these two little guys and especially, lately, for Sam, who just turned 1 year old on October 30! This year has been filled with traveling, adjustment, and craziness, and we are thankful for this little guy, who generally has a smile on his face, except in the video above. God has really blessed us with two precious little boys. We would continue to covet your prayers for them. It seems like every two weeks one of them is picking up a little bug of some kind or another.

We’ll send out some more information soon – there’s actually a lot going on! Thanks so much for your prayers and support!

Charlie and Sam, Friends at Last (Video)

Well, in May, we ended up posting quite a bit about our kids. So, I guess to cap off the last day of May, we’ll post a little video of Charlie and Sam together. Charlie wasn’t so sure of Sam for the first few months of his little life, but they are becoming pretty good friends as of late. 🙂

In June, we’ll make sure we post more about how ministry is going and our upcoming trip back to the USA and Canada for the month of July.