Ben is one today!

This landmark event to be celebrated indeed – possibly as much for our achievement as his parents, as for his life in itself.

It’s been an amazing year on many levels, but not without its challenges. Juggling a hectic work and family life all on significantly less sleep than we’d thought humanly possible.

Here’s our boy, full of smiles and love for a few of his favourite people (Jacob is on that list, but wasn’t in the mood for photos today:)

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Saturday afternoon

Yesterday afternoon I had a deliciously long nap and woke up to find Dan had taken some beautiful photos of our beautiful boys.  Here are a few of my favourites…_DSC0658-2 _DSC0660-2 _DSC0673-2 _DSC0675-2 _DSC0682-2 _DSC0698-2 _DSC0713-2

How is it the end of February already??

Wow – these first two months of the year have flown by.  I’ve been meaning to sit down and write a blog since the beginning of January and somehow the end of February is now in sight.  Crazy.

The start of the school year has been busy.  School years here run from January to December so we started the year off at each school with team building, vision casting and teacher training.  Dan wrote a blog about this for Beyond Ourselves, if you didn’t catch it then, here is it now.

At the beginning of January our friend Emily officially began working with Beyond Ourselves.  Having her on team has been so helpful.  Her role is to implement education improvement across the three schools we work with (no small task!) and has been brilliant at building relationships with the teachers, helping run staff meetings, working with the Head Teachers, doing teacher observations and modelling lessons.  It’s also great to have  another person work with us with the same heart and vision.

In January we ran field/school trips for the Grade 7 classes at each school.  I wrote a blog for this for Beyond Ourselves.  Again, if you didn’t catch it then, here it is now.

We’ve also had a few visitors to kick off our year.  One of our church leaders from the UK came in January which was wonderful.  It was great to see her,  catch up and hear news from our church in the UK.  This last week we had another woman from our church come out.  She is a Head Teacher in the UK, a Trustee for our church and just generally a wise and insightful person.  We loved having her here.  Jodie, our director, was also here.  Her stay was far too short (we didn’t even manage a games night with her) but we got lots of work done and had many a laugh.  We love love love when she is here.  We also had a retired couple out who are possibly interested in working with Beyond Ourselves in the future.  Exciting times!  They all left us on Friday and this coming Monday another woman from our church arrives who will be with us for two weeks! She will be working with our pre-school classes in particular as well as (hopefully if the order arrives!) distributing all of the shoes that people so generously gave towards before Christmas.

This month we have seen the official registration of Beyond Ourselves Zambia as a legal entity here in Zambia.  Up until now Beyond Ourselves has been working under a denomination of churches here however as we grow we felt it necessary to become our own organisation.  We are now able to apply for tax exemption, have Beyond Ourselves work permits, have Beyond Ourselves vehicles, own land and many other exciting things.

I’ve also been busy putting together the child sponsorship certificates which are making their way out to sponsors at the moment.  At the beginning of the year child sponsors get updated information and a new photo of their sponsor child.  As you can imagine, doing this for approximately 500 children is no small task!

In this midst of this we’ve been building many a train track and mega block houses and towers with Jacob, his new favourite thing to do.  Sadly Jacob has been unwell for the better part of the last two months with an continuous run of very bad coughs, colds, flus and chest infections.  Prayers for him are welcome.  We’ve been carrying around Ben a lot as his first two teeth are making their way into the world meaning he likes to be held all the time.  My arms are nice and toned because of it 🙂

I think that sums up the start of our year!