The Rest of the Family

I gave you all an update on Omara last week, but didn't talk about the rest of us much. Since the internet is actually working and the power is on, I thought I'd let you know how we all are.

Anya is thriving, as always, though she has started showing increased impatience with the numerous petty rules their school has. Maybe it's our "baggage" from having attended a petty-rule boarding school ourselves, but Chad and I find it hard to be supportive of dumb rules, too. Especially in a country where basic living is difficult--mandatory meetings 2 hours after school gets out when it's taking 14 hours of waiting in line to get fuel???? Come on!!!! Anyway, we've figured out how to define the teeny-bopper years. It's the stage in which girls have teen-aged attitudes about childish things. Case in point? She said after watching Alvin and the Chipmunks 2, voice dripping with too-coolness, hand on the hip and hair flipped back, "I thought the Chipmunks were good, but the Chipettes just ROCK!"

Ethan continues to do well with his shots and his report card showed straight A's in academics and "needs improvement" on listening, following directions, working independently, etc. No surprise there! He's had some ongoing friend issues too--best friends one day, "everyone hates me" the next, so he could use some prayer on that front. He adores his teacher and writes her love-notes every afternoon (!) but that doesn't translate into loving homework! But we are seeing improvement with writing and spelling, and slow improvement with reading.

Isaac is talking much more, though it's still difficult to understand him. To be specific, he has "initial consonant deletion." Aunt Betty continues to work with him and he LOVES "going to school" at her house each day! We're encouraged by his progress, and we also think it's a good sign that he's finally frustrated when we can't understand him-before it was like he really didn't care because he didn't have much to say anyway. Potty training has suddenly taken off, though we're now in the horrible stage of doing well in big-boy undies all day until he has a BM, and then I'm stuck washing them out!!!! Enough said, I'm sure.

The shortages here in Malawi continue to plague us. The petty things are no soft-drinks (can't import the carbonation) or beef (disease outbreak at the farm). More difficult are the electricity (off 4-10 hours per day, we never know when or for how long. Sometimes it's on and off 6 times in one day! It makes computer work, laundry and ironing a nightmare! And all the milk in town is sour!) and fuel. I can't even describe the mayhem surrounding fuel issues! We're conserving fuel in every way we can, so Chad is riding his bike to and from the Seminary each day (on top of running 30km per week!) and I'm walking the 3km to the clinic 3 days a week. I arrive hot and sweaty, and I don't like that, but at least it's got me out in the sun, exercising. I bent down to pick up Omara yesterday and my pants button literally popped off and went flying. Totally not cool!!! The last of the baby weight is stubborn this time, and I've been too exhausted by life to do much about it.

So we're trying to look on the bright side of it all, but we would appreciate prayers that we don't let it wear us down too much. I've been trying hard to be calm and practical about doing what we can and not stressing over what we can't. But judging by my level of fatigue by 8pm every night, I'd say it's getting to me more than I would like to admit.


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