Lip Stitches on Valentine’s Day

Of all the romantic things you could do for Valentine’s Day, having oral surgery would not be on the list. Yet in typical Ita Vita African fashion, I had my “active frenulum” cut, my lower gums scraped down, and reattached with stitches yesterday. (This is a prerequisite to further periodontal surgery I may need for a receding gumline on a lower tooth. Too much info, I know.) So today it’s, “Don’t kiss me, Baby! [mumbling…] But I love you!”

I’m just thankful an oral surgeon exists in my country of service, and that he happened to travel up to a nearby town in our rural province, and that I could be fit into his one-day schedule of appointments; so I didn’t care what day it was. (I had originally been told that I’d have to travel to Johannesburg two times in order to have the surgery done around May/June.) I also take delight in what he charged me–$30. 🙂 Ita Vita African. (I’m smiling in cyber-world; it hurts too much in real life.)

IMG_1372I made these cute rice krispie hearts and handed out candy liberally today to make up for the wimpy-please-don’t-bump-me kisses I’ve been lavishing on my children today. I even got some cards. A wonderful, 4-sentencer from Caleb, which expressed how loved of a mom I am; and a one-by-1/2-inch cut strip of white paper with Colin’s name on it that took him “four hours” to make.

Today we also drew straight lines for art (beginning our I Can Do All Things art program), which then increased in difficulty to drawing a worm named Wally. Maybe it should be called “Alliterated Art”?


We listened to Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart this week, and the suggestion was for the kids to walk gracefully around the room with beanbags on their heads, pretending to walk at night by the light of the moon. I quickly poured rice in some sandwich bags, and it all was great fun, until Colin’s bag popped open…

The boys played a simplified form of chess-battle to see who would conquer our region; this, to remind them of the battle between the Celts and the Romans over Britain. Caleb has been reading to me an immensely exciting (and kinda bloody) children’s version of Beowulf this week in conjunction with our entrance into the Dark Ages of history (which must not be so dark that a whole year’s worth of studies couldn’t be written on it). He had some difficulty sounding out words like “monstrous” and “Hrothgar.”


Caleb began studying 2-digit addition in math, and finished First Language Lessons level 1, so we’re moving on to level 2 next week. He also began level 2 of Writing with Ease this week; and in spelling, he studied how to spell words with “ee” and “er” spellings.

We finished a two-week lesson on an introduction to zoology, so Caleb is excited to move on to studying swimming creatures this year! I bought some of the materials we need for the first few lessons after my oral surgery in town yesterday. That’s dedication.

Colin began learning consonants today. His handwriting shows a bit more improvement, but I am studying how to encourage a not-so-compliant child to work hard in his studies.

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I found these nice nature study notebooks at a grocery store in town at the beginning of the school year! I’m excited about them. They alternate one sheet of lined paper for notes with one plain sheet of paper for drawings. Since I have not yet located field guides for identifying local flora and fauna, I decided that we would begin our nature studies this year by drawing and identifying the plants in our yard, eventually working up to mapping our yard, including learning our directions. We began with our banana tree, which has a baby growing out of its roots right now. Looking at the white drawing paper in the sun blinded the kids, and I gratefully remembered some sunglasses a kind lady had bestowed on my children. That made nature study a blast!

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I mentioned before that Seth had two new ministry opportunities this year. Well, he actually began three! Since January, he has been traveling to a high-security prison once a week for a class there; and while I was getting my mouth slit and stitched, he taught a children’s Bible club at our house (a weekly outreach also started in January). Yesterday he also began a weekly economics course from a Christian perspective for any interested students at a neighborhood high school. He expected few attendees due to some disorganization, but around 75 kids attended!

Kids' Bible club on our porch.

Kids’ Bible club on our porch.

We have had a very rainy rainy season, almost like last year, which made international news. The kids go a bit crazy from the stay inside. Here’s Carson, smuggling small cars and blocks outside when I wasn’t looking.

He stuffed them all down his shirt!

He stuffed them all down his shirt!

Ruts made in the village roads by the rain. They don't look it, but they are Seth's height.

Ruts made in the village roads by the rain. They don’t look it, but they are Seth’s height.


Happy Valentine’s Day to my friends and family! We love you.

But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!

About Amy

I'm Amy, a missionary wife and homeschooling mother of five children, blogging about our lives and perspectives on culture in South Africa.
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8 Responses to Lip Stitches on Valentine’s Day

  1. I’m glad you were able to get your lip/teeth fixed without having to go all the way to Jo’burg! My kids are getting tired of being inside too. When I babysit the boys get in trouble because they just want to run and jump on the couch–they need to get outside, but the snow is still about one foot deep!

  2. Ann Bedford says:

    Is that a snake on the floor behind Colin?

  3. Oral surgery over Valentine’s Day does not sound like a fun thing (can’t imagine only paying $30 though!). Hope your recovery is quick! Love the journals – I like the one lined page with the plain page beside – lots of uses for journals like that!

  4. linda rose says:

    I thought it was a snake too and was coming here to ask about it. Lol, always a fun adventure for you and I enjoy reading about your school.

  5. Sandy says:

    Amy, have you heard of It’s a really great online shop that has some kids field guides (and heaps of the well trained mind books, which makes me think you must know of it!) I think they are called “my first guide to South African…wildlife, plants, insects etc 🙂

    • Amy says:

      I have heard of it, but I haven’t checked it in a long time. I’ll have to check it out for those field guides! Thank you for the tip!

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