Category Archives: Angola

End of year Picnic for Prep 3

Basically, I was at the school for almost 4 hours yesterday, between bus duty, Sports Day and this event, a luncheon for the Prep 3 teachers- Hattie and I were worn out afterwards! The room moms put together a lovely pot luck to thank the teachers for everything they did this year, due to the heat we ended up having it inside the great room between all the Prep 3 classrooms, much happier children than if we had held it outside as originally planned.  I got a couple pictures of Violet with her friends, but they were crazy and barely wanted to be in pictures!

Violet, Henry and Cameron (there is some serious competition, at least in Cameron’s mind, between Henry and Cameron):


Violet and Henry (Good buddies, and such good playmates, they are so hilarious together):


Violet and Julianna (who had a little competition over another little girl, Isadora, who has already gone home for the summer, but without her at school these two play well together, and they totally posed for this pic, it was so funny):


Violet and her amazing, patient and caring teacher Ms. Georgina, we LOVE Ms. Georgina!


We are going to miss our teacher and our fun class with 5 (that’s right FIVE) Monte Belo peeps, the stars will not align that well again for us!  PP4 here we come!!!!

Sports Day 2014

Sophie had the spring edition of Sports Day yesterday.  It ended up being much more like a field day than the fall version (which had hurdles, high jump and other such activities).  Sophie was on the red team for the 2nd year in a row… we would have more options for shirts if they would just put her on the green or blue team ;).  Her good friend Alyssa was on her team, which was really nice, you just are randomly assigned a team between 2 different grades (for this year it was Years 1 and 2, so 6 classes of kids are mixed up into different teams).  Anyways, she had a great time, they had all different races, tug of war (which her team never lost), basketball relays, rugby throws, and many other such things.  It was a hot day, luckily, their break time was right in the middle of their rotation, so they got a nice break in the middle, with water refills and such.  Hattie did a good job being happy in her stroller, especially as she still wasn’t feeling well, the fever was still there (she has had it since Saturday night, but a clinic visit confirmed there was no malaria… thank heavens).  Either way, Soph did great!

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PP3 Art Exposition

Violet’s class had an Art Exposition to show what they have been learning this year in Atellier.  I didn’t realize they had a performance at the start, luckily a friend recorded a small video of Vi dancing with her scarf and pretending to be a horse.  Super cute!  I got a few pictures of Vi with her art, she was so proud, and I was even more, she hadn’t participated for the first half of the year, so I was so happy that she joined in a made some really cool art!  Also, they had a whole unit about Peter and the Wolf, and she LOVED the music and the different versions of the ballet they watched, I love that she is learning about things like that at school!

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Sophie’s Cake Decorating Party

When I got home Sophie was ready to start getting her party prepped… she had been waiting forever for her party!  So we sent out invitations the Monday I got back and she had her party the Saturday after I got home… it was a lot of fun.  I baked 15 5 inch cakes for each girl to decorate, and then frosted each of them.  I also made the big cake for us all to eat after the party.  SO MUCH CAKE!


I used Steam a Seam to put a monogram on aprons for each girl.  When they came, they found their aprons and played until all the girls had arrived… average arrival time, 30 minutes late (the Monte Belo folks all arrived on time).  They had a lot of fun running around and having a good time.  When everyone had arrived we sat down and I taught them a couple basic things about using a pastry bag, they all had practice sheets to learn how to make stars and write with the frosting.  I was a little worried about how they might do, but they did really well!

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The girls did a great job decorating, and then several of the girls decided to lick the frosting off their practice sheets, thank heavens none of them thought to squeeze the bags directly into their mouths!

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The girls played a game of “Sprinkle, Sprinkle, Cake” and enjoyed running around for a long time, we had quesadillas and fruit for lunch, and then we sang happy birthday and ate cake…

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The girls had a lot of fun, and thanks to my friend Catherine, we had enough hands for lots of girls and Hattie.  Sophie said it was great, and all the girls seemed pretty proud to take home a fully decorated, by them, cake.  A lot of fun, but glad another party is in the history books, my jet lagged body was tired!

April Apart…

Because of Hattie’s visa issues the 2 of us flew to Utah and ended up being there for a little over a month.  So here are a couple of the things that happened while our family was separated.

The girls had a live in nanny… Lina, and she loved the girls, and one of the first times Jeff sent me a picture after their bath I had to laugh at their hair… it is so adorable on little African girls… it just was funny on my white babies!

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The girls also went to the beach for Edgar’s birthday… Sophie was a master snorkeler and Vi even did well with just the goggles.  So much fun that they are getting into all the water stuff.



Hattie and Bubba had some good quality play time.



Hattie also had fun being spoiled by OGO and Grandma!

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My good friend Jessica came to visit, and take some pictures of Hattie.  We had fun, and bought monster chocolate peanut butter cups from the BYU Bookstore, and had delicious cheesecake to celebrate my birthday!

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I got some family history done, and finally connected Jeff’s and my family together… my girls now are connected to their whole family.



My mom went to Houston with Hattie and I while we got her visa taken care of and did some serious shopping.

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It was a nice time with family, friends and getting things done, but oh, man did I miss my girls!


Swim Gala 2014

Readers (aka Grandparents) of this blog my remember that every year LIS holds a Swim Gala for all the parents to see how the kids swimming has improved over the last year.  It is only for Year 1 (Kindergarten) students and older, so Violet didn’t participate, but Sophie was able to swim again.  Starting in Year 2 they don’t use the floaties during their swims unless they can’t stay afloat.  It is a long length pool and poor Sophie doesn’t have the best endurance, but she finished both her races and had a great attitude… so proud of her!  Some pictures of her during her races- freestyle and then backstroke.

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The preschool playground borders the pool and so during recess Violet got to see Sophie swim one of her events.  They were all so cute lined up next to the fence cheering for their big siblings!

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Student Led Conferences 2014

Every year LIS has a day for Student Led Conferences. It is a day for the student to show the parents around the school, show us what they have been working on in class, what they have been learning and to show us their own version of school. This year I got to see both girls’ classrooms… which meant we were at the school for a little over 2 hours- the girls had a lot to show me, and a lot to say!

We started in Sophie’s classroom.  We got Violet settled with a game on the iPad and then Sophie got down to business!  Sophie showed me her portfolio, read me her favorite book (Batman, who knew!) and then showed me some of her daily math problems.  She also played a math game with me and showed me around the art room, music room and her Portuguese classroom.

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We headed over to Violet’s classroom after looking at the pool and she started us at the play-doh table.  We played with the instruments, blocks and some of the classroom games.

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Hattie and I were having a good time as well!



Always a fun time at LIS… I love that my girls like their school so much.

Holiday Weekend

A couple of weeks ago we had a Monday and Tuesday off of school.  It was the long weekend we were planning on heading to Victoria Falls.  Instead we made the best of a crappy situation and headed to Mussulo.  An island with a bunch of beaches, our company has a beach on the island and it is really nice.  You take a boat there, there is someone who starts the BBQ for you and it is all over a nice relaxing trip that is nice and close to home (as opposed to the 2 hour trip to the other beach).  Monday when we went was a school holiday but not a work holiday, so it was pretty empty.  Our group of friends and 2 other couples… perfect and easy!  We played in the sand, sat in the water, ate food, enjoyed good company and had a great time.

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We had decided to go back to the beach with a couple other friends the next day.  We knew because of the holiday it would be busier, what we didn’t expect was the broken boats, and the serious other problems with logistics in getting to the island.  After waiting a long time and not seeing a ride in sight we decided to go home and BBQ by the pool and play at home.  The girls were disappointed, luckily we had been to the beach the day before, and ended up having a great time, and we didn’t have to deal with crowds, no one was at the pool!

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It turned out to be a fun weekend, even with our plans falling through!

January Fun Times!

Look, I am almost all caught up!  I would have been much more behind, but alas, I am here, in Angola, not in Victoria Falls, and so, (seeing the bright side) I can catch up on the blog.

This month was fun.  We headed home halfway through the month.  I had worried about Violet going back to school, because she had just been getting in a good rhythm before we left (and by good I mean, she still didn’t participate in PE, Atelier or Swimming, but had stopped crying every day at drop off).  Her teacher, Ms. Georgina, also had been worried.  But I was so happy to hear that she was doing even better!  I was told she was more engaged in the classroom, making more friends, and exploring more of her environment (ah, the IB language).  She still doesn’t participate in PE, but we got her to put her swimsuit on 1 whole time this month and she actually did a project in Atelier this week.  My friend Esmaree told me yesterday that her son Henry, who is in Vi’s class, came home from school and said, “Mom, Violet did a project in art today, that’s so great!”  Everyone knows what a big deal this is!

Sophie is doing well, her best buddy Toby has moved, and her friend Isadora has been on vacation the whole time we have been back, but she is doing well.  She started her first after-school activity (you aren’t allowed to participate until you are a year 2).  She got into Simple Arts and Crafts and has thus far made a key chain and some sand art.  She has a new friend in the class, a year 4 girl named Ellen.  She is really loving her baby sister and I love that she tries to help in her own way.  But she does continue her stubborn streak, sometimes it is only, “Why am I always the one who has to help…” but most of the time she is super helpful with both her sisters.

We headed to the pool a couple times.  The times we tried last year Hattie wasn’t loving the water.  But she truly enjoyed the pool these last couple times.  She was splashing and kicking.  Cutie pie girl!



We had a charity Casino Night, hosted by TICA (the International Community in Angola).  Included in your entry fee was 60$ of chips and 2 spins on the roulette wheel (which was only available for a chance to win prizes… no real roulette…) and appetizers and drinks.  We went with a whole host of friends, it seemed more Monte Belo people were there than Imbondeiro folks (which is where the event was held).  We had a good time.  The dress code was 1920’s Jazz, but as I didn’t have that, and most people were dressing cocktail dress I used the opportunity to wear my new dress and shoes!  Jeff wore his new suit, sans tie, and I think we made a pretty snazzy looking couple!  Jeff and a friend parked out at one BlackJack table (I was there for a while… but eventually gave Jeff my chips and visited) and just tried to beat each other with absurd bets.  They also inherited some chips from people not playing.  At the end of the night they were making $1000 bets… which would never happen with real money, but as you were just playing for fun and title of most chips, they were desperate to get a giant pile of chips.  Jeff won the most chips at the end of the night, with some add ons from John, he had over $4000 at the end of the night.  Our big prize?  A bottle of champagne and a pair of flutes… our friends all enjoyed the champagne later that night… we kept the glasses!

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Hattie has been a busy girl learning how to sit all by herself!  She is so proud of her newfound skill and shows off whenever she gets a chance!

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She is pretty dang cute- and good thing we love her as she was the reason (sort of) that we didn’t make our trip to Victoria Falls.  We were supposed to leave Friday for the long weekend, but HG’s visa never was returned and is still being processed.  So, though we could have gotten to Victoria Falls we were unsure as to when we would have been able to reenter the country (or when HG could reenter).  If we could have guaranteed that it would have been soon the girls and I would have had a fun time waiting in South Africa.  But as there are people on the list who have been waiting since a month before Hattie, we couldn’t wait a whole month in a different place hanging out in limbo.  Hopefully we will get to reschedule the trip and the visa will work itself out in the next couple weeks.  But, you just never know!

Where Have I Been?

We’re catching up baby!  I leave for the US tonight and wanted to get up all the fun things that have been happening the last little while put on the blog before I have a whole host of new events to write about. We had International Day a few weeks ago, it was fun!  I missed last year due to the flu, so this was my first year, and it was crazy.  Every country has a booth and almost every booth had food representing their country.  The girls had passports to collect stamps from each country and we had fun looking at each booth, except, it was SO HOT… it made me not eat all that much, which was unfortunate, there was some very good food!  I didn’t take that many pictures as it was so crowded, but I got a picture of Sophie with her best friend, Isadora, both of them dressed in their country colors! photo-3 On the day of Thanksgiving (where everyone worked and I forgot I should have planned a special dinner) we ended up buying KFC and celebrating with our friends the Lee’s.  Super classy and fabulous, but the company rocked!


The next Saturday Sophie had another soccer tournament (but I wasn’t there to take pictures, I was making rolls for Thanksgiving later that day).  She won’t the sportsmanship award (for getting a ball to the head and getting up and playing anyways… seriously).  But I was proud of her, there is only one girl per team and that is not the easiest thing for her, but she gets out there and plays and tries hard- that is really all we ask of her!


That night we had the Monte Belo Thanksgiving, if there was ever a day that made me realize that I am not good at planning parties for hundreds of people, this was it.  Catherine and I were in charge, and it worked out in the end, but that was a long day!  Catherine also hosted a table, that was decorated wonderfully, and we sat with some of our favorite people.  It made for an enjoyable dinner (if only I could have walked away from the cleanup!).

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  The next week was our Monte Belo Christmas Party (because we are all leaving this week for vacation, or “holiday” as Violet calls it now).  I was also in charge of this event, but it was much less stressful than the week before.  I arranged for Santa and sugar cookies to be there and then cleaned up.  It is always nice to have a little Christmas something before we head home.  Though it is weird to think that it was Christmas time when it has been in the 90’s or hotter all week long!

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The same night of the MB kids party was the company Christmas party.  It was held in the home of the former president, and was FANCY.  I have some other pictures coming, but for now these will have to do.  Some are from the pre-party/good-bye for the Lees (hence the Jeff/Grace photo) and then one from the actual party.  We had our empregada spend the night to watch the girls and it was so nice to not worry about what time it was and when we had to get home so the baby-sitter had to get home.  It was a long night, but a lot of fun.

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Violet had a playdate with her friend Callie, and a lizard joined them outside the window.  Violet was pleased as punch to have her own playdate while Sophie was at school.


  The last thing that we have had happen recently is Sophie’s first piano recital.  I had my two students and Sophie play a memorized piece and then a couple Christmas songs.  It was small, short and perfect.  Sophie got up and announced her songs (but refused to bow) and played well, albeit shyly.  We were thrilled she participated at all!

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We leave for the US tonight, and have SO much planned, get ready for some picture overload, including HG’s first trip to Disney, Coronado and Sophie learning to ski… we are excited for our fun vacation!