Betty, (my sister-in-law)
You totally amaze me. You are so hard working and take such wonderful care of your family. Your children and grandchildren are clearly very smart and obviously very kind. Always polite, on their best behavior, and speaking in more languages than I could ever attempt to learn! My heart broke for you when little Caleb was so sick. You were so kind, gentle, and loving while you cared for him while never letting him see the worry in your face. I can tell from the smiles of your grand babies that they love you so much. I hope that the kids enjoy riding around in their new bike trailer as much as my children enjoy theirs. I also hope it helps you transport everything about back home. Your work ethic and persistence is amazing, not to mention being a very talented artist with your baskets. Thank you so much for traveling so far and leaving some of your family behind just to be able to spend time with my family.
Marvis, (my sister-in-law)
I love your jovial spirit. I can still see you wearing the zebra hat and being silly with the children. You and I are very alike in that we are totally willing to do anything silly just to see the children smile. Your family is strong, wonderful, and great. Your love for the Lord really inspires me. I love that you take such an interest in your daughter's lives and that you are willing to read scriptures and have real conversations with them about what you feel like God has called them to do. You are a strong and wonderful woman and your family is lucky to have you. Your girls are beautiful and talented and your boys are well mannered an helpful. You can see that they respect their parents very much and will grow up to be great!
Mourine, (my sister-in-law)
I see where your children get their smiles from. I think that you had a smile on your face every time I saw you. You are such a loving and attentive mother. I watched how your girls follow you around just to be close to you. Your boys are smart, strong, and fine young men and your girls are growing up with confidence. I love that your family values education and are doing such a great job with your kids. I do not recall being as happy, energetic, or as beautiful as you when I was pregnant. I can't wait to meet my newest niece or nephew!
Lillian, (my sister-in-law)
I loved spending time and keeping score with you. I'll bring pillow cases next time :) Your boys are wonderful and I can tell that they get it from their momma. You are strong, brave, hardworking, and talented. Thank you for having the courage to answer my questions and share things with me that you didn't really want to speak about. You never seen to stop working, no matter who's house you are at. You have taken a very important job in the family making sure that all of the children are taken care of, and that they are learning to be independent. You are such a talented seamstress and designer and I know that you will continue to amaze people with your talents. Even though you were boasting in the neighborhood about being my sister (ha ha!), I love you as if you really were my sister! Thank you for taking time away from your own boys to come with me and work with the students at the school. It was so nice to have a positive role model to be able to speak to them and work with them. Your children are a joy to be around. Benson is such a responsible hard working young man. I'm so proud of his work ethic and the way he is setting goals for himself. Christopher is such a sensitive and loving little boy. It's wonderful to watch how much he cares for other people. I know he will be first in his class and do great things!
Felix, (my brother-in-law)
I know you are struggling with life sometimes but I can also see your great potential. You are wise and have so much knowledge that you could be using to teach people. You remind me so much of my own brother that I feel like your little sister. I pray that you will soon overcome the trials and tribulations in your life and use your stories to help others. What an amazing testimony you could give and be able to help others by sharing your journey. You have a family who loves you and supports you no matter what. I hope you realize what a blessing that really is. Take every moment that you are around your son to teach him what your mother taught all of you, to be kind, strong, and to work together as a family. Thank you for going to church with me when you clearly didn't want to. Stand up for your beliefs and find a church that you feel comfortable in. Remember to follow your faith and find a way to continue to worship no matter what you feel others will think about you. Thank you for allowing Jordan to go and live with his cousins. I hope that you can find the time to encourage him, to be there for him, and to appreciate how amazing that boy really is. If I could have taken him home with me, I surely would have. Somewhere in that quiet little guy is the strength of a Lion. He will grow up to be more amazing than any of us!
Frank, (my brother-in-law)
I have never seen someone able to accomplish so much in so little time. It's like you have more hours in the day than the rest of us. Your work ethic and knowledge continue to impress me. You have stepped up and taken a role as a leader in the family and are doing a wonderful job. You somehow also make time to be a leader in your church, a leader in your vocal collection, and a leader in your neighborhood. We can count on you to do anything for us that needs to be done and we are lucky to have you around! I am so proud of you watching the way you are raising your family. I wish you luck as you and your family transition into your new home and start a new life. Sylvester and Jessica are such wonderful polite children and I'm so glad that Brandon and Madison have them to look up to.
Kennedy, (my brother-in-law)
I have never seen anyone with a drive like you have. You literally eat, sleep, and breathe music every minute of every day. Your are so passionate about sharing your thoughts through music and it's really amazing to watch. I laughed as you sat at a soccer game and wrote music notes on your ticket but was impressed with your devotion at the same time. It seems like you spend 24 hours a day writing and recording your music yet you still have time to go to school and spend time with your family. I love the way you share your music with your family. You are setting a wonderful example for your nieces and nephews. Your soon to be wife seems like an absolute joy and I know that the two of you will raise a wonderful family together.
Collins, (my brother-in-law)
Your are a hard worker and a dreamer just like your big brother. You have lots of ideas and given the chance, you could be great at anything and everything! I love watching you cook, it's like you are in this happy trance that just shines through you. Your attention to detail is amazing and your willingness to wash dishes for hours on end just shows your devotion to your family. I love to watch you with a group of little kids. You are like the Zambian pied piper (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pied_Piper_of_Hamelin) with little children following you while laughing and singing. I love that you use your musical talent to bring joy to others. I loved watching you with your son. You give everything you have to that smiley little boy and he's lucky to have you. I smile and think of your little guy every time I hear a child scream with joy.
Joseph, (technically my youngest brother-in-law...but he has always called us mom and dad)
Son, I love you just as much as my own children and feel lucky to have such a smart young man call me Mom. I have watched you grow up from the time you were 13 and am so proud of the young man you have become. You are smart, level headed, and knowledgeable about so many things. Even as a teenager you knew so much about things that we had no idea how you had learned. You are self motivated and will surely be a great success at what ever you choose to do. Thank you for your patience and for your heart to help people through your music. You are surely destined for great things. Please continue to set a good example for your nieces and nephews. You are more than a mother could hope for and I'm lucky to have you.
Prudence, (my brother in law Frank's wife)
You are a beautiful, loving wife and a wonderful mother. I know what it's like to marry into a family that fully supports each other and shares everything. There are times when it can be hard sharing your husband with all of his family but you do it with such grace. You and Frank set such a wonderful example of a good relationship and marriage. Thank you for taking such wonderful care of my children when they were with you... even if you spoiled them a little. Maddie tells my mother all the time "Aunt Prudence will get it for me".
To my beautiful Nieces and Nephews,
Thank you so much for loving, playing with, and looking after your cousins. Brandon and Madison love all of you so much. They talk about everyone every day. We show them pictures from the trip and they both yell all of your names when your pictures come across the screen. Brandon tells all of his friends about you... all of you. Madison asks for you every day and then looks sad and says "not here". They both want to come back to Zambia right now to see you. I'm so proud of all of you. You are all so responsible taking care of each other and helping out around the house. Please continue to do well in school and help your parents. I love you all!