Friday, October 29, 2010

I've Relinquished My Calendar To Cyberspace

Do you remember when "Direct Deposits" came out.  How about when you could automatically make a deposit at the ATM without having to deal with a real person.  Or here's another one, "On-Line Bill Pay" or "Automatic Withdrawal" from your bank account.

Before I had actually tried any one of the above stated technologies I was terrified of them.  Just the option of having someone, whom I didn't know, putting money in, or much worse, taking money out, without me knowing about it, caused my GAD to kick into high gear!

"Would you like direct deposit or a paper check mailed to your door?" was a no brainer to me.  Actually it still is.  Maybe it's just the feeling of actually holding that money in my fingers...before I deposit it and pay all the bills and am left with $.19 in my bank account again *sigh*.  Or maybe it's because I felt like I was out of control if someone else did it all without my micromanagement of it.  I still like to hold that paper check, thank you very much.

You should have seen my fingers shaking as I stuffed my first deposit envelope into the ATM.  Now the bank doesn't even use the envelopes.  You just stick your cash or checks right into the slot...WHAT?!  This is just too much for me to handle.

I've just recently (in the past couple of years) gotten used to on-line bill pay.  Sheesh!

Well, another "technology" has surfaced in this house and I have been reluctant to cave in, but alas, the time has come.

After double-booking myself not once, but twice, in two weeks I realized that it was time.  I was once again reminded that I am not invincible or as put together as I'd like to believe that I am.

So, I have finally done it.  I have succumbed to the "Google Calendar".  My little pocket calendar just wasn't cutting it.  And I finally realized that it just appeared that we had no gigs this fall because Josh had quit using his paper calendar and moved to this "Google Calendar" thing.  We are totally legit now, as we have moved on to a "synced on-line calendar".  That just sounds complicated!

No longer will I double-book myself again, as I have given up control of my life's events to the cyberspace gods.

Are you holding out in order to keep control of you life by using a real calendar or have you given up all rights to these cyberspace gods as I have?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Bitter-Sweet Truth About Halloween

Sometimes I think that Christians get it all wrong.

Now, don't get your undies all up in a wad (sorry, we don't use the "p" word around here)...hear me out.

We get so wrapped up in things that, quite honestly, don't matter.

Here are a few examples:

Santa Clause.  We, personally, don't do the whole Santa thing.
Do we think it is evil? No
Do we think it is a sin to play "Santa"? No
Do we think any less of the families that do the "Santa" thing? No
We've just chosen not to go that route

Tooth Fairy. You know we do this one:)
Are we lying to our kids? No
As a matter of fact, when she asked if fairies were real we just told her that they were fun.
Oh, and did I mention, the money she got from her Meme for her tooth was given, in full, to Jesus that next Sunday and after Josh shared from the stage about how soft her heart had been to the Lord as she gave Him everything, it led to several other's hearts being softened to give whole-heartedly.  We heard of one teenager who gave all her gas money in the basket...because of Areyna!

And then there is Halloween.
Oh the controversy that surrounds this holiday.
To us it is about the heart and what we focus on.  I'm sure there are a million other not-so-good holidays that we don't even know about that we somehow participate in without even knowing about.  But why do we get so bent out of shape over allowing our kids to dress up (I mean, mine do on a daily basis!) and get candy after they should actually be in bed:)  For us, it has led to some lasting friendships in the neighborhood.  For us it is a fun, exciting time to celebrate the fall.

That's all...

But while we are on the topic of candy...

Here is something that should get the blood in your veins fired up!  Did you know that "most of the chocolate consumed in America is made by African children who are trafficked and sold into slave labor?"

Here are a few articles to read, in your spare time of course, to get you fired up about something that DOES matter!  Read about the Dark Side Of Chocolate HERE and HERE.  I had NO idea, but now that I do know I will be held responsible for my reaction.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lessons From The Classroom - Nutrition

Last week we focused on Nutrition, in our classroom.

We broke out the old-school, Food Pyramid and discussed each of the food groups.

Half-way through the week we decided to put what we were learning into practice.  I made a chart to log our progress.  As we tried to choose our food for each meal according to the main food groups that our bodies need we would check it off our charts.  (feel free to print off your own copy!)
They really got into it.  It was so cute to hear them discuss nutrition together and rationalize why their favorite foods are "good for us":)

We also took a field trip to...
the grocery store, of course!

We grabbed the few things on our list and then we went to some of the isle we frequent the most.  I taught them how to find the nutrition label on foods and how to compare what is inside.

For example: we went to the peanut butter aisle and I let them each pick out one jar.  Then, we sat down in the aisle and talked about what was in each one.  The jar Zeke picked out had more words in the ingredient list than the one Areyna had picked out.  I explained that the jar with the least number of words was usually better for us.  I also showed them a few ingredients that are not so good to put in our bodies and that the brands that are better for us are typically higher up on the shelves than the brands that we find right at our eyes.

If anything, we are all being more conscious about what we are putting in our bodies.  Our kids have been guzzling water and limiting foods with sugar in them...all on their own!

I must say, the most ironic thing happened, though.  Zeke woke up in the middle of the night on Wednesday night saying his tummy hurt.  Josh asked him if he thought he was going to throw up and in mid response (his response was "no" by the way) he well...did.

Poor kid.  It would be the week we talk about eating well!  Of course it would.  He later blamed it on the pop-corn he'd had for a snack.  I didn't discourage him otherwise:)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Words Of Wisdom

Zeke had befriended a little boy at the park a few days ago and this is the conversation with me that followed:

Me:  "Hey buddy, did you find a friend?"

Zeke: "Why do some people put lotion in their hair?"

Me:  quickly thinking of a response..."Well, God made black people with a different kind of hair.  Kind of like how daddy puts gel in his hair, some black people put lotion in there hair."

Zeke:  really thinking now..."How come I can't touch it?"

Me:  "What?  Did you actually ask him if you could touch his hair?"

Zeke: shrugging his shoulders and staring into outer space pondering who knows what..."yeah, but he said I couldn't"

Note To Self: remind the kids that we need to go potty, put on shoes and refrain from asking other kids to touch their hair at the park, before leaving for the park.

Story In Pictures - Uganda

Days One And Two
A fishing village on Lake Victoria

The body of this guy was about the size of a quarter!
The green bucket was for washing clothes.
The kids were taking a bath with the blue bucket.
Days Three And Four
The village where all the demon activity took place
This little girl clung on to me all day.
I got to sneak her a baby doll and a sucker before we left the village.
This was the day when all the kids were "observing" my whiteness:)

Day Five
This was me speaking in church on Sunday morning

 Charles invited us to his home on Sunday evening.

Days Six And Seven
Bukaleba Orphanage
Josh holding Saffiki, the little boy we support
Kelly and I interviewing the children
Shabila, the girl that stole our hearts!
And This Was Our Awesome Team

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's A Good Thing

It's a good thing I...

took a shower

dried my hair

curled it

and actually applied make-up (this is a rare thing, ya'll!)

before we went to the Pumpkin Patch

because as soon as we got there and had a photo op. on the sleigh

and had some swing time on the tire horse swings

and began picking the perfect pumpkin

the heavens let loose and we were absolutely drenched within seconds!

I guarantee the kids will never forget the time 
we went to the Pumpkin Patch in the rain:)

Not Me Monday

I am such a good wife and mother that I never make my husband get up in the middle of the night to deal with kids stuff.

Not me.

I like to serve him in this way, knowing that he has a job to wake up to do.  He has so much to accomplish and I know he needs his rest.

So, when one of the kids comes into our room at 3am saying that they had an accident

I would NEVER...

lay really still and continue breathing as though I were still sleeping so that Josh would have to do the honors.

That would just be selfish and rude.

I mean, what mom and wife would pretend to be asleep so they wouldn't have to get out of bed!

I would NEVER do that!

Even if that were to happen

I would never go as far as to slowly roll over and talk in a husky oh-my-how-could-I-have-slept-through-that-whole-incident voice and apologize for "not hearing" what was going on so I could help.

Nope, not me!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fun Facts For Friday

1 - I've been living in a fog since our return from Uganda...until yesterday.  It was the first day I actually felt like myself.  I was motivated.  I even accomplished most of the things on my to-do list.  Now, I'm not saying that I've totally processed everything, but I'm getting there.  Josh and I are praying and acting specifically toward things we feel God doing in our hearts.

2 - We have a full weekend starting late last night.  Josh's sister came in to hang out with us for a little bit.  Then we have some friends coming in from Charlotte to stay with us for the weekend.  I'm SO excited to see them again!  Speaking of these friends, why don't you go on over to their blog and give them a comment telling them why they should keep blogging, since the last time she posted anything was the last time they were here, ha!

3 - Micaiah has been dealing with separation anxiety like I've never seen before.  I truly love that boy, but this week he has tested my sanity on every level with his whining, crying, screaming pleadings to be held constantly.  He did SO much better yesterday and, well, today is a new day...

Here's to happy hearts all around!

4 - We've been learning about the food pyramid and healthy eating all week in school.  The kids have really enjoyed it and are putting it into practice on their own throughout the day.  It's so cute to hear their conversations about healthy eating:)  I'll give you a full report next Wednesday!

5 - I LOVE THIS WEATHER!  Could it be more awesome?!  We normally last longer during the "Freeze Out" season, but when the kids sleep for an extra 45 minutes in the morning while they are snuggled up, nice and WARM in their covers, who can resist!

I can't wait until we can build a fire in the fireplace!  What are you looking forward to most this fall?

Have a GREAT weekend!  I know I will...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Window To The Inside

Don't let the bubble beard fool you!
Areyna is really showing you the window to the inside of her...

My little girl lost her first tooth this week.
Josh did the honors...
I can give birth, but pulling teeth is another story.

She was so excited to get a visit from the tooth fairy!
I asked around on twitter and facebook did a little research
to figure out what the going rate for a tooth fairy visit was these days.

She ended up leaving $1 and a special note for our little
snaggle-tooth princess, as Josh has so sweetly named her:)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Little Bit Of Cleavage And Some Hair On The Chest

This conversation took place between 4:35pm - 4:40pm while I'm taking a shower (listen...let's focus more on the fact that I actually got a shower instead of the time the shower took place):
Areyna: "Mom, Zeke really got hurt!"
Me: "What happened?"
Areyna: "He fell and hurt his chest!"
Me: "Is daddy with him?"
Areyna: "Yeah, but he's still crying.  But daddy said it was okay because it would put hair on his chest."
Me:  (giggling)" that good or bad?"
Areyna:  "I don't think it's very good..."

This conversation took place between 4:55pm-4:59pm after taking my shower:
Me:  "Zeke, buddy, why in the world are you still crying?  You are going to be fine.  I don't even see a mark."
Zeke:  "But daddy said I was going to get chest hair like him.  I don't WANT CHEST HAIR!!!!" (as the tears and sobbing continue)


When I was growing up my family always had this thing we used to say:
"Oh, stop fussin' about it.  It'll put hair on your chest."

I guess since the first two of my parent's children were of the female gender that didn't go over so well because eventually it turned into:
"Don't worry about it.  It'll give you cleavage."

I'm sure the first time Josh heard this he was wondering what in the world we were talking about, but it didn't take too long to rub off on him, seeing as he is telling our children the exact same thing:)

PS-I don't know about you other ladies, but no matter how hard I tried this, "It'll give you cleavage", thing, it has really been a let down, ha!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

So...How Was Your Trip?

I've been having a really tough time morphing back into life here at home.  I don't know exactly what it is.  The only way I can think to explain it is that I have so many different thoughts and feelings that I can't seem to cram them all into my head in order to process it all.

So, when people ask, " was your trip?", I don't exactly know where to begin.

First of all, I stare into space and try to figure out if the person asking the question is truly curious about the details of the trip, just being friendly, or really curious about the DETAILS of the trip.

I mean, what part do you want to hear about?

The way I watched 4 movies on the airplane rides trying to stay awake the whole way there...
The part about the change of plans from getting a full night's rest at the "hotel" before heading the rest of the way in the bus, to just going ahead and making the full trek in the middle of the night...
The fact that I kept forgetting to brush my teeth with bottled water instead of tap water...
The way the kids in the first village totally rushed us every time we came into sight...
The beautiful huts made out of clay and straw that they keep so clean...
The smells...
The way the Ugandan's drive as if the painted lines on the roads (the ones that actually have lines, that is) are merely suggestions...
The animals...
The hurting people...
The hope of the story of Christ that we brought...
The demon(s) that were cast out of the woman...
The evil spirits that were cast of the home of a woman and her two children who were being strangled at night by them...
The evil spirits that were cast out of the home of another family who had lost 5 children to witchcraft...
The way I smuggled a little girl, who had become attached to my right hand for two days, a baby doll and watching her eyes light up, knowing that this was probably the only toy she had...
Having just the right size shoe in my pack for the preteen girl who had no shoes at all...
The tears I shed as I tried to encourage a young, single mother with 2 sick children...
The friendships I made among out team...
The way the Lord scripted out the perfect messages among us, his servants...
The heaviness I felt in our room that one night.  So heavy, in fact, that I was crying out of fear and couldn't even close my eyes because of the evil images and Josh literally read the Bible out loud until we could sleep...
The fact that almost everyone else on the team experienced the same evil presence in their rooms at around the same time, that very same night...
Sharing my testimony to inmates, wondering how in the world I could ever possibly relate to them, when in the end they ALL chose to follow Christ...
The people...
The fact that 3 of us came to each other one morning with the same message with a different twist to share with the ladies in the village that morning...
The way the keyboard player spends half the song tinkering around, note-by-note, trying to find the key the singers are singing in:) (this one is a personal favorite of mine)...
The night where we were invited over to the director of Arise Africa's home to visit with his family.  We all watched him turn from director to daddy as he joked with his kids and made-up songs about staying away from hookers (I guess you had to be there for that one, ha!)...
The fact that we have the power to make people feel valued and unforgotten...
Seeing those kids in the orphanage...
Tickling and playing with those kids in the orphanage...
Loving on those kids in the orphanage...
Kissing on those kids in the orphanage...
The food...
Walking along a dusty road and handing out suckers to little kids...
The conviction I'm feeling in my heart...
The way I got SOOOO sick the last night there...
The fact that I watched a total of 6 movies on the way home because I had butterflies in my stomach in anticipation of seeing my kids again and simply couldn't sleep...
Saying "yes" to God, but wondering what exactly the next step is...

Really, I could go on and on.

So, if you are really wondering about my trip, could you please be a bit more specific.  I'm having a bit of a hard time processing it in my own head, much less trying to explain it to other people.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Not Me Monday

Since Josh and I got back from Africa our children have been extremely a little clingy, especially Micaiah, who is dealing with the worst case ever a mild case of separation anxiety.  Because we are nice parents we have just let it slide and tried to give them our undivided attention all weekend long, thinking that it would eventually die out.

Being the patient mom that I am I have just come to a realization that this is the way life is just going to be from now on.

I would never deem today as "Time-Out" day.

Nope, not me.

I'd never lay down the law first thing in the morning, detailing every circumstance I could think of  and the consequences that will follow.  I mean, who would start out the day like that?!

Not Me!

I always give warnings and second chances, even in tough predicaments like this, IF they were to actually occur.  I'd never send the child straight to "time-out", even when I'd clearly mapped out the consequences at the beginning of the day.

Nope, not me!

Furthermore, I'd never clearly explain to the kids at the beginning of the day when mapping out actions with consequences, that mommy and daddy were going to come across as mean and harsh today but that we do love them and that this was for their own good.  What parent actually does that?  What parent wants to be the bad guy, going as far as to actually tell the kids that they were going to be?!

Not Me!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Resting In His Arms

This is Shabila.  I fell in love with her
as soon as we walked up the steps of the orphanage
and she held her arms up for me to pick her up.

As a matter of fact,
she wouldn't let anyone else hold her or pick her up.
I quickly realized that I really needed to get to work
so I brought her over to Josh
thinking maybe she's find some comfort in his arms.
She went right to him! 
She became more than comfortable with him.
In fact she had a death grip around him
 as she slept safely in his arms.

I'll be giving full reports throughout next week as I am still trying to process everything in my head.  Right now I am drinking lots of coffee to stay awake and spending every minute I can with these three children of mine that have been attached to us like extra limbs since we walked in the door from the airport:)

Have a GREAT weekend, I know I will!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Day I've Been Waiting For

This didn't post yesterday before we left, but here it is...a day late:)

I've been waiting for today since we got here in Uganda.  We are headed to the orphanage to play with the children today.  We sponsor one little boy named Saffiki and we get to meet him TODAY!  Rainy and Zeke picked out some toys to give him and I can't wait to see his face when we give them to him.

Pray for Kelly and I as we work one-on-one with each of them getting current pictures and information to give to their sponsors.  There are about 50 children so we have a full days work ahead of us.  Pray that we can communicate well together with the kids and that they open up to us quickly.

Also, pray for Faima, one of the orphan girls.  Last night she had a very hard fall and had to be rushed to the doctor.  She lost consciousness and several of her teeth.  The last I heard she had woken up and was doing much better, but the doctor had not examined her face yet.

**I'm bringing an empty bookbag today in hopes that I can sneak one of the littler ones inside to bring home;)**


So, we made it back from the orphanage.  Kelly and I got through 30 children and only have 17 more to finish up tomorrow.  I am more exhausted tonight than I have been any other night since we began our ministry here.  I think we all shed more tears today than any other day.  The children were so sweet!

One little girl found me as soon as I walked up the stairs and stayed with me for a majority of the day.  She even took a nap on Josh's shoulder...

Pray for our last day of ministry today.

To my own babies, mommy and daddy will be home soon!
I miss them so!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Not Me Monday - Ugandan Version

When the Ugandan children began looking at me and giggling I got very offended and became self-conscious, wondering what they were laughing at.   How rude;)

And seeing as how uncomfortable these children were making me feel, I would NEVER sit down in the middle of them and begin giggling along with them.

No way, not me.

For starters, the ground is way too dirty and there are far too many diseases that could be caught.

And since I definitely didn't just sit down in the middle of them, they wouldn't have followed my lead sitting almost on top of me and pointing and laughing.

Since this never happened I surely didn't pick up on their cues and realize that they were laughing at my skin color and how different it was.

After not realizing this, I would never hold my arms out and begin placing their little fingers on my freckles and veins.  That would be entirely too weird and my personal bubble is much too small for that!

I'd never allow that, not me!

I'd certainly never allow it to get as far as allowing dozens of little Ugandan children then explore the hair on my arms, freckles, fingernails, toenails, veins, knees and bottoms of my feet.  I mean, that's just weird!  I could just never go for that!

Nope, not me!

But if it were to happen, I'm sure they would love every minute of it and want to just sit there for over 20 minutes and laugh and giggle with me as we point out the amazing differences that God created between us.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Just Another Wild Day In Uganda

I don't have time to give all the details.  I'll just be sweet and leave you hanging;)

Yesterday was just another normal day here in Uganda, full of casting out demons, sneaking baby dolls to a little girl that befriended me throughout the day and literally speaking words given from the Lord to a large group of ladies.

You know, just one of those "normal" days.

I'll give you more details later.

We're headed out to Arise Africa's church plants to minister this morning.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Prison Recap

Going to the prison yesterday was a surreal experience. We received a letter from the warden stating that we could not enter the prison so they brought some of the prisoners to us in the village church.  There were 14 of them.

They came in and could not even make eye contact with us.  They were full of shame and guilt and had no hope.  You could just see it in their eyes and the way they carried themselves.

We sat down together and I got to share my testimony of how the Lord has worked in my life.  I don't know if my heart has beat so hard in my chest before!  I was so nervous.  I had been praying all the way there about what I could share to these men.  How I could encourage them.  I don't have a clue as to what they have done or what they are going through, but I felt the Holy Spirit speaking through me.  It was like nothing i've ever felt before.

I talked about choices and the consequences of my choices and how my choices not only effected me, but my entire family, my friends and my relationship with my future husband.

But I told them the hope that I had in the Lord and the relationship I now have with him.  I told them that having him in my life doesn't make my life easier, but now I have the Lord to help me make better choices.

Josh then brought the gospel.  He did a great job!  By the end all 13 prisoners had received this free gift of salvation!  It was incredible.

After we finished talking we handed out gifts to them, toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap.

Then, our translator, Pastor Timothy, whom you wouldn't want to get caught alone with in a dark road (he is a HUGE black man...but really a gentle teddy bear) gave his testimony of when he was in prison and how the Lord changed him.  He shared in the most gentle voice I've ever heard to these men were in tears in the end.

What a wonderful day!  We did some hut-to-hut when we got back to the village and got to hold some newborn babies and love on their mothers.

It is good to be here!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Puffy Sleeves And Arm-Mouth Aliens???


I love seeing how our kid's art has morphed over time.  Areyna's "characters" look more like people than blobs with sticks.  Zeke's art, just in the past two weeks, has actually started resembling something other than spiderwebs, ha!

And no, Areyna's little family are not well-endowed...they have puffy sleeves:)  I was very quickly corrected.  Zeke did have a story behind his little creatures, but I can't, for the life of me, remember what he said they were.  Any suggestions?

I'm Going To Prison

Wow! Yesterday was an incredible day.  I was able to speak with the women about submitting to the Ultimate authority in love and then brought connected it with the Fruit Of The Spirit and living lives that portray these characteristics.  They seemed very receptive.

After I spoke I got to spend time encouraging one of the local interpreters from the village and she took me to her home and I met her family.  She has a very sad story and she was very discouraged.  It was such a blessing to be able encourage her just by being with her, listening to her story and allowing her to cry while she held her sick baby.  They have so little but they trust so big!

We are about to venture out into another day of ministry.  While the rest of the team goes to a new village Josh and I are headed to minister to a couple of local prisons and share the gospel.

Thank you so much for your prayers.  Continue to pray for confidence in sharing the gospel as we rely on the Holy Spirit to work through us.  The team is really beginning to gel as we get to know each other.  I mean, when you share a moment such as peeing in the bush with a bunch of pigs how can you not, ha!

Have I mentioned how tempted I have been to bring a dozen black babies little black baby home?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I've Got A Good Idea

Don't you think that every new parent should be given a crash course about children's health?  I would love to have a real first-aid kit that includes a stethoscope, one of those tonsil stick thingies, and a nose and ear light...thing.  See what I mean?  I don't even know what those instruments are called, much less what to look for when they are used!

So, if someone could go ahead and organize that class, make it mandatory or at least offer an incentive to sign-up such as a freebie bag (everybody likes freebies...and bags!) full of these instruments.

How many co-pays would this have saved me over the last 5.5 years?

Got any good ideas?  I'd love to hear them!

We Made It!

We made it!

After a 1.5 hour flight, a 7.5 hour flight, another 7.5 hour flight and a 3-hour drive...we made it.

I got to bed at 2am and slept until about lunchtime yesterday before we headed out to our first village.  Josh sat in with the men in the first village.  I got to share with the ladies.  They are so beautiful!  And the babies...oh my goodness!  I can't begin to explain the way your heart aches and loves for these people that you do not even know!

The rest of the team did some school ministry and worked with the village kids.  GREAT DAY!

After the men and women got back together Josh and I grabbed our interpreter and headed down the path to the huts to go love on the people and share the saving news of Christ.  It was a little bizarre bit distracting having the circumcision party parading around with their statues and machetes and drums while we were sharing the gospel, but we were reminded that it is not us who saves, but the Holy Spirit.  The two women we shared with prayed to receive Christ!  Ameena!

This village is right on the shore of  Lake Victoria and our interpreter was from that village so he took us down to see his boats and the HUGE fish they catch.

I was broken, again, seeing how little these people have and how happy they are with nothing!  A little hut or boarded shack that they call "home".  The little naked babies crawling around the clay path in crap while they look for crumbs to eat is heartbreaking.

We are about to head out to this village to work with the same church in just a minute so I need to go.

Pray for receptive hearts today as we pour into these people.  Pray for team unity.  Pray for boldness for me and the rest of the team!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lessons From The Classroom - 5 Senses

This past week we dove into our 5 senses.  We had so much fun and the kids were SO excited to do the experiments and activities.  Here's what we did.

Touch:  I hid five objects for each of them under a sheet.  They took turns being blindfolded and "feeling" the objects while tying to guess what they were.  Don't know you like Zeke's blindfold;)

 After our little guessing game this led really nicely into our "Glitter Germ" activity.  We talked about how germs are spread and how we can't see them but they are extremely difficult to get off.  They each got to pick a glitter color and pour it on their dry hands.  I then instructed them to rub their hands together and then try to wipe it off.  Then, after trying to get the "germs" off with a dry rag, we tried cold water.  Still, remnants of germs remained so we got the soap out and warmed up the water.  The kids were amazed at how well the germs came off after washing really well with soapy, warm water.  And get this, Zeke came to me after using the bathroom and was SO excited that he washed his germy hands off without being told!  He really was listening:)

 I know you're a little distracted by Zeke's chest muscles,
but try to focus here...

Listen:  When I taught preschool I had this song that was the perfect rainy day, get some energy out type of song and it works perfectly with this unit.  You have to "listen" to the instructions to know how to dance...or "freeze".  It was a hit!  Micaiah would actually yell at me until I'd turn it on again:)  You can click the link and download it for yourself: Wiggy Wiggles Freeze Dance

Sight:  We made birthday cards for Cousin Cana.  I know that's stretching it, but we needed to do it and we were running out of days.  Plus, you can "see" them, right?  Right?

Smell:  I got a sample of different condiments to "smell" and the kids had to guess what they were smelling while blindfolded.

Taste:  Then I picked 8 different things to taste while blindfolded.  I quickly learned that they weren't so crazy about the sesame seeds, salt, pepper or flour.  The granola, chocolate chips, sugar and powdered sugar were a hit!

So, I think it's safe to say that homeschooling is working very well for us so far!  My mom is a certified teacher so she has a TON of fun things planned for school to keep them going while I'm gone:)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


If I would have never gone through the things I went through (because of my own foolish choices) as a teenager, I would not be able to relate to the teenagers that come to me, I wouldn't have the same kind of compassion for families going through similar circumstances, I would have less of an understanding of what my own children may go through...

If we never would have moved to Charlotte, no matter how difficult that transition was, we would have never been forced to begin our own ministry that we'd been talking about doing for years, we would have continued to coast in the comfort of our familiar life, we would have never been on the path we are on today...

If we would have gotten pregnant that particular time, Josh would have never gone to the store to pick up flowers just to cheer me up and he would have never run into the guy that needed to hear about the saving grace of God outside of that grocery store, he wouldn't have been able to share the hope of the gospel...

If we had a "normal" job and made a consistent income, we wouldn't be forced to rely on Him quite so desperately, we wouldn't be able to fully grasp the Lord's miraculous provision every month like we have the privilege of doing...

If we had allowed finances, family, self-doubt, stress or any other excuses to get in our way, we would never have said "yes" to serving the Ugandan people over the next two weeks, and some of those people quite possibly may have never had the chance to hear the glorious name of Jesus Christ...

Here's someone else's true "If" story:
If the volunteer at Journey had failed to take his job of setting up the church signs on the road seriously, then the passerby that just happened to see the sign would never have made it in the doors of our church and given His life to the Lord...

Sometimes we face pain, regret, hurt, feelings of inadequacy, and times of doubt in our self-worth and purpose bu...
"...we know that in all things God works for the good of
those who love him, who have been called 
according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28 NIV

What is your "If" story?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Not Me Monday

I would never consider keeping an updated blog a priority.  That is just ridiculous!

Especially when there is a mission trip to be getting ready for.

Who in the world would ever even have that on their radar in a time like that?

Not Me!

I mean, I have way more important things to do, like folding my laundry, packing, writing lists for my mom who is keeping our kids because we're GOING TO AFRICA...wait we're going to Africa???

Yes, we're going to Uganda, Africa!  TODAY!

Holy Cow!  I've got a lot to do before we leave...

So, I wouldn't come back to visit my blog AT ALL this week.

No way...NOT YOU!

Because I sure wouldn't have scheduled out some posts just to keep my readers happy in my absence.

Nope, not me!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Running List

Josh and I are in the midst of packing and getting the final preparations complete before we fly out for Uganda tomorrow.  TOMORROW!  My mind is going in over-drive as I keep thinking of little things I need to finish or do.  I really should find something a littler more permanent to write my list on:)

Let's go to Uganda!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Custom Made Grillz

I didn't even know these kinds of places existed.
But in fact, they do.
As a matter of fact,
it's right next to the Raleigh Chuck E Cheese.
Of Course!
I guess that way you can drop your kids off to play
while you go git your grillz did, ha!

Friday, October 1, 2010

This Week Alone

Here are a few of his favorite things that
I've caught Micaiah consuming this week alone
 art feathers


Rainy's mystrery coccoon 
(she wasn't too happy about this one)

a moth 
(also Rainy's and also not too happy about this one)

a stray crayon

macaroni straight from the trash
(at least it was our trash can)

smelly milk from a sippy cup

a sticker (or 3)

And that's just THIS week!