Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Busy Semester

Dear Family and Friends,

It is hard to believe that the end of the calendar year is upon us! We greatly enjoyed our time home this past Summer and came back and hit the ground running. We hope you enjoy the pictures and brief captions below. The pictures are pretty much in chronological order. 

The day after we got back to Malawi, the Biedebachs had made a "bicycle course" in the field next to our house. To Brian, it looked much like a primitive BMX track :) Samuel made his dad proud by showing his skills as he raced around the track.
First day of school: Samuel 6 Grade 1; Gwen 8 Grade 2
Good friends are hard to lose! We worked with Scott and Kristy Borders for two years. Above they are holding Ginny who was born a few weeks before Nathan. Below are our kids with theirs: Darius, Constance, and Ginny.

What a joy it is has been to look forward to each September or October when we get to see Dr. K and have a meal with him!

We planted this tree two years ago, it's getting bigger, just like our littlest boy.

Grandma C, I am ready to be packed into your suitcase to go home :)
Reading Day is one of the two Big days of the year at the Academy. This year Scharlie was Mrs. Teaberry from Mr. Putter and Tabby. Brian was Mr. Putter. Samuel was Mudge from Henry and Mudge. Nathan joined the fun and was Henry. Gwen bounced along throughout the day as Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh.
Brothers having fun in the sand pile beneath the kitchen window. 
International Day is the other Big day at the Academy. The night before, Scharlie sewed a chitenje map of Malawi on the back of Nathan's USA shirt since he is sort of an American-Malawian :)

This maybe one of Samuel's greatest engineering triumphs yet.
These two can have fun anywhere!
With a big sister like Gwen, life is always filled with laughter.

The Thanksgiving pies with pecans and love all the way from McConnells, SC.
(Caption Contest: Whoever comes up with the best caption for the picutre, Brian will buy any one drink from Starbuck's the next time he is with you.)

Gwen has progressed very well in her swimming this year. Her first chance to swim competitively came in the Interhouse Swim Gala. This is Gwen in a relay race. Gwen got a first, second and fourth in her races! Way to go!

I taught with Jean Mpata my first year here, and she taught both Gwen and Samuel in Kindergarten. She is an incredibly godly lady, from whom I have learned much, about the LORD, about, prayer, about trust, and about Malawi. Brian and I were invited to participate in the celebration of her 25th Wedding Anniversary. Her husband, Stephen, also a mentor to many, has taught a number classes at African Bible College.
We were asked to speak as a couple who has had some sort of spiritual influence on them, standing in place of her parents as another couple did for Mr. Mpata. We were honored. Yes there was dancing involved, yes we tried, yes, there was much laughter both at and with us. But, as it was also a fund raiser for Child Evangelism Fellowship, and as we figure laughing people give more money, it was worth it.

Scharlie lost her dear Grandma Frame (shown here with Gwen this past Summer). Grandma went home to be with Jesus for Christmas, their common birthday. 

Mmm--Enjoying popsicles on a very hot, rainy season afternoon--Malawian Christmas Eve 2013.

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a.... bouncy Chinese reindeer :)
Nathan was not happy to find switches and coal in his stocking.
(This reminds me of another dreadful, but hilarious Christmas picture from 2004. Momma, please tell me you have that somewhere!)
Half way through opening presents: Gwen and Dad are putting together a new doll bed while Samuel is working on a new Lego creation.
Our annual Christmas breakfast was a lot of fun! It was bigger this year, about 15 total, but many hands helped out. We had three french toast casseroles and lots of other breakfast goodies.

May God richly bless you in the coming year, may He make all of us ever more faithful to Him!
 the Carlisles!


  1. Hello ya'll - I never comment but I am always reading! Love the photos you have posted and appreciate ya'll keeping us all informed via the blog. I'm so very sorry about Mrs. Elizabeth. What a wonderful lady with a long reach of influence. She's so missed. Thanks again for the posts!

    1. Beth,
      Thanks so much. I will sure miss her, but am so thankful to have gotten to see her this past summer. That was precious. Thanks for reading. We miss all of you. Keep praying for a job close to home.