Wednesday, October 31, 2012


One day of school down!

It was hard to walk away from Areyna's class as she stood there, lip quivering, trying to be brave.  Knowing that she was scared and sad, but KNOWING she was going to love it!

It was tough to sprint out of Zeke's class as he screamed and struggled to get out of the special resources teacher's arms (Mrs. Williams) to run after me.

It was strange to come home to 3 kids.  Three small kids.  Back to the season where rational thinking is limited and boundaries are continuously tested.

It was reassuring to get that phone call from Mrs. Williams saying that the screaming and freak-outs had ceased and about 2 hours later hearing Zeke's sweet voice on the phone saying he was okay and ready to go get settled in his class.

I also got a message from a friend whose children go to the same school.  She happened to see Rainy long enough to give her a big hug and observe her smiling and giggling in her class with her new friends.

*insert BIG sigh from both me and Josh*

I couldn't really get much accomplished the rest of the day.

The rest of the Colony played sweetly together, in and out of each other's rooms.  Working out situations within seconds.  Hardly any fighting.  The only crying I heard was when it was nap time:)

As soon as I finished baking Rainy and Zeke's 1st-day-of-school snack I headed over to go pick them up.

I had no idea what I was going to walk up to.

As I opened the door of the building I looked and looked for them but no frightened and screaming children stood out in the mass of children waiting for their parents to come pick them up.

I spotted Mrs. Williams.  She smiled and pointed to Rainy and Zeke sitting on the floor with the rest of the students, waiting patiently for me to get them!

The excited stories began before we even reached the car.

They were talking over each other to tell me all about their day.

By the time we got home they were WIRED!  They insisted on waking up Cai and Alethia.  Daddy was home sick, so it was a perfect time to debrief around the table together and eat our snack.

The stories continued on for quite a while.

Rainy is going to love school.  Her little friends and her decided on how to wear their hair to match the next day:)  It's a good thing it was braids to hide her still-greasy hair (even after 3 dawn dishsoap washings last night).

After talking AGAIN about how Alethia's hair stuff just won't work in HER hair I think it finally clicked that this greasy-ness wasn't normal.  A lightbulb went off in her head and she said, "Ooooohhh, THAT'S why the girls kept saying I had something wrong with my hair!"  She thought it was least one of us did, ha!

Zeke told us he saw Mrs. Williams 4 special times.  "1 time for a freak-out, another time for a freak-out, 1 time for not a freak-out and 1 time for not a freak-out."

After our snack time Zeke jumped off his chair and ran to give me a hug.  He said, "Mom, you KNEW I would like school!!! THANK YOU!!!"

First day success!

Day two and we already got the call (a little less than an hour in) that Zeke was okay and ready to finally go get settled in his class.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The View From Here


Just One Of THOSE Days

Yesterday was just one of THOSE days.

You know...THOSE days.

The kind of day where you have a specific plan, but for one reason or another it just doesn't pan out.

The kind of day where the entire of colony feels that things are just a bit off.

The kind where you have to rescue your 8-month old because he was choking...on a not-so-alive-anymore beetle.

The kind of day where your 7-year old daughter and your 3-year old daughter shut themselves in the room and play quietly together.

A little TOO quietly together.

So quietly, in fact, that you have to go in and "check" on them.

And you walk in to find your 3-year old, ethnic-haired child, emptying her no-longer full container of hair lotion onto her blonde-haired, not-so-ethnic-at-all-haired 7-year old sister's hair.

1 bath, 2 showers, 5 hair washes and a hair-dryer later...

...and her hair STILL looks greasy and wet!

Just in time for her REAL first day of school (insert forced smile, because let's face it, it really IS funny. RIGHT?!)

And that is when you look over to see your 3-year old son emptying out the hand-soap dispenser into a sippy cup...

Yup, it was just one of THOSE days!

Monday, October 29, 2012

The View From Here

"Tasha Had a Colony"

Tasha Had a Colony
Sung to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb"

Tasha had a Colony
Tasha had a Colony
Who stayed at home for school

Zeke needed some therapy
Zeke needed some therapy
to help him with his school

They took him to the school one day
school one day
school one day
they took him to the school one day
and he thought it was cool

We didn't want him to feel alone
feel alone
feel alone
We didn't want him to feel alone
so Areyna will go there too.

Rainy wasn't so sure of it
sure of it
sure of it
Rainy wasn't so sure of it
but she began to feel pretty cool

They woke up for school today
school today
school today
They woke up for school today
but the principal forgot

but She took us all around the school
'round the school
'round the school
She took us all around the school
to see their teacher's and class

So the kids will start in the morning
the morning
the morning
the kids will start in the morning
and now we know where to go


Okay, so it doesn't all fit in the song, but my kids liked it, ha!

The first day of school turned into a full school tour and a meet-the-teacher morning.  The Principal apologized for "dropping the ball" and not getting everything prepared, but sure didn't want the kids to walk into a new environment without the teachers being able to prepare for them and making them feel welcome.

It's kind of thrown everybody off:)  Zeke was a little beside himself, as he'd been preparing to be brave ALL WEEKEND LONG and I'm pretty sure Cai was ready to take over the alpha-male role in Zeke's absence, ha!

Josh and I feel better after getting to look around, meet the teachers and some of the faculty, as well as get their track assignment (Track 1) and schedules.

We've all had mixed emotions all morning, but we know it will be good.  It WILL be good...and if it isn't, well, we tried.  You never know if something else could be BETTER unless you step out and try something new:)  (Hmmm, sound like something my mom would say;)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Free-For-All

I'm pretty sure I've spent the majority of my 30's side-stepping between the countertop and the table.  Every time I turn around it's time for another refill, helping, MEAL!  Hey, I'm not complaining, 'cause I'm pretty sure that I burn off everything I eat as soon as it enters my mouth, but I know it catches our friends off guard when they come over, so consider yourself warned:)

Well, it's official.  Both Areyna and Zeke are now registered students in the Wake County Public School System!  I know, crazy!  All we need is their track assignment...oh, and new book bags and lunch boxes:)  Ya do what ya gotta do to entice your children to get excited about "the other side".  As much as I know this is the right thing for our family for the season we are in, it is still kind of sad to me...I'm working on a happy heart (and so is Rainy).

The favorite sibling award unanimously goes to Jude!
Thanks for the cute pic, Maddie
Now, I know this won't last forever, but how stinkin' cute are my boys?!  I know Jude is the cute little baby now and hasn't really had a chance to get on their nerves, but the entire colony is absolutely smitten by this kid!

It's amazing to me that it is almost November!


How can it be?

I've gotta go get a list together, 'cause I have a school shopping date with my two oldest kiddos:)

Happy Friday ya'll!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Just Being Honest

I've heard some people speak about honesty or vulnerability as being weak.

To me, though, it is proof that I am imperfect, that my perfect God makes beautiful things out of my imperfection and that I am nobody to be compared to.

If I am not honest about who I am and who I am becoming, then I, myself, am more prone to believe the lie that I have it altogether.

And if I believe I have it altogether, then I'm leaving no room for God to make His beautiful progress in my life.

So I'm choosing to be "weak" in order to make Him my strength!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The View From Here

I always look forward to my long walk down the driveway (by myself) to get the mail:)

That minute and a half is so peaceful!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Cost Of Being In A Hurry

"Most accidents and mistakes happen because you are in a hurry."

I don't remember where I heard or read this statement, but I sure do remember it.

It always comes to mind at the most obscure times too;)

Like when I'm scurrying around the kitchen because dinner should have been done 45 minutes ago...and then the pasta falls out of the bottom of the box because it was already opened and I neglected to notice that small little factor.

Or when I am behind the slowest car EVER in Rolesville on Hwy 401...and I begin creeping even closer in hopes that he'll get the hint that he needs to go AT LEAST 35 in the 35!  But when we pass the cop sitting on the side of the road at least I can roll my eyes and muffle a quick "thank you Lord".

Then there is the scenario of standing at the front door waiting for the kids to find ANY two shoes that will fit on their feet because we are LATE AGAIN!  And then "grumpy mom" becomes "impatient mom" and that's not very fun for anyone.

It even begins circling around in my mind when I'm sprinting up and down the aisles at the grocery store because we ALL know that the quicker you move, the cheaper the food is, right?:)

This little statement has been a life changer for me.

If I'm getting all anxious and in a hurry what am I really going to accomplish?

This mostly effects my outlook on life and parenting.

What am I going to gain by getting all anxious and worked up?  Probably just another spill on the floor because I didn't see that measuring cup full of rice right behind my elbow, or anger welling up inside at the innocent grocer in front of me waiting to pay for their groceries, or an accident or speeding ticket,

or worse,

a colony of children staring at their mommy, being an example of how NOT to react when in a time crunch or hurry.

Now, when I notice the temperature rising because I feel the need to get something done IMMEDIATELY I take a deep breathe and repeat this phrase and ask myself if the cost of hurrying is really worth it?

And most of the time it isn't.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Looking Back : 10/20/2011

Our journey was just NOT going as planned.

I was emotional, tired and feeling trapped.

I was also 24 weeks pregnant!

We called for back-up and they came in the form of an excited Meme and an enthusiastic Aunt Joy who brought energy and life back to our drained family, as well as enough candy to last us (and the ants) a lifetime!

They also brought the Fall to our little hut:)

It's the little things in life that brought us encouragement and happy hearts, ha!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Free-For-All

It's family day around Colony headquarters.

The day we look forward to ALL WEEK.

Except most of the colony decided that it would be best spent laying on the couch, sick:(

The girls and Josh are out.  I mean, laying-on-the-couch-not-moving-or-eating kind of sick.

The boys woke up ready to conquer family day with our traditional dad-made donuts and a fun family outing.  Instead I'm boiling a pot of water to make oatmeal, not knowing what today holds for the eager healthy boys:).  I know, what a terrible substitution to dad's famous homemade donuts and the promise for adventure.

Jude has become my human vacuum cleaner.  Except, he seems to ONLY stick the things in his mouth that are NOT crumbs fallen from Cai-bo's chubby hands or "leftovers" dropped under the kitchen table.  He prefers dead spiders in the corner of the living room, squinkies that no one else has been able to find and shoes.  The boy LOVES him some shoes!  Leaves and grass are okay, but those pesky little toy pieces, this sweet little Christian mama has some not-so-sweet words for them!

Speaking of Jude:)  He is getting two more teeth up top!  FOUR TEETH he continues to follow in his disobedient siblings ways and KEEPS GETTING BIGGER!

I've given myself a new rule.  I know, I know...we have more rules in this house than anyone can keep up with.  But I am DETERMINED to get a laundry system in this house, and it is NOT going to consist of piles of clean laundry on the living room couch, or piles of clean laundry on top of the dryer in the laundry basket, or piles of clean laundry on our bedroom floor!

Colony Mom Rule #548
Thou shalt not take a clean load of laundry out of the washing machine and place in the dryer until the prior dry load from the dryer has been taken out, FOLDED and put away.

I know, I'm pulling out all the stops on this one, but it has worked for about a week now.  Oh I have to sternly self-talk myself through the immediate folding, because the action is not done with a happy heart yet, but it will, and it is going to be worth it!

This week was monumental.  I was able to run 4.42 miles!  I got around 2 miles before the tape began pealing off of my knee, but I was determined to keep going.  About 2 1/2 miles in I was beginning to feel it, but I wanted to keep going.  I began to do butt-kicks and high knees when I would start feeling the "snapping" feeling in my knee to stretch it out while still moving forward.  I got to my 3.2 mile goal and I wasn't really hurting too bad.  I did the extended loop and made it home in under 43 minutes.  As soon as I slowed to a walk, I could hardly walk!  I limped up the driveway and Josh had the ice pack ready:)  I am still feeling the aftermath , but man did it feel good!

And since every post needs a picture:)  Here's Rainy, Josh and Zeke on their way to Fayetville to hear Poppie preach.  How CUTE are they!

Well, I'm off to nurse the colony back to health and see if we can get in something "special" before this family day is over.

Happy Friday ya'll!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The View From Here

Love It AND Hate It

I have a love/hate relationship with technology.

I hate how addicting it can be.

Within seconds you can get sucked in...and before you know it you've been clicking around for 2 hours (but not me, of course)!


I love how I can keep up with friends whom I have both never met, as well as old friends who I feel like I know better now than I did in my past, solely because of the "interweb".

I also love how I can keep up with my family and friends by the click of a button without having to be interrupted 869 (but who's counting) times while in the middle of a phone conversation.

So I hate it...

but I love it.

And in this season I'll take it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Story In Pictures - Socks

Cai's newest "project"

And they wonder why they can't find any socks:)

No Land, No Animals...Just God

A couple of months ago my Quad completed Aliene Thompson's study through Joshua called, "Radically Obedient".

It was a GREAT study!  I highly recommend it.

One thing that I read stuck out to me that I just can't seem to shake a good way.

In a life changing way.

In a perspective focusing way.

Joshua 13 is kind of a boring chapter, unless you like to study an Atlas like my husband and daddy, of course:).  But being the type A must-completely-read-every-word-to-consider-it-read person that I am I read it anyway, and I'm sure glad I did.  The whole chapter talks about all the land that Joshua finally possessed and the inheritance divided among the different tribes.  By the time I got to the last tribe at the end of the chapter it said this...

"But to the tribe of Levi Moses gave no inheritance; 
the LORD God of Israel is their inheritance, just as he said to them."
Joshua 13:33

Um, what?!  No land?  No animals?  No nothing?  Just God?


Did those words just come out of my mouth, "JUST God"?

That really sunk into my soul.

Would I be completely content if God was my total inheritance?

I think so often we dwell of the "blessings" that God will give us in return for our obedience that we miss the point!  I don't want to ask for a burden for the lost and a boldness to share the Gospel, with the knowledge of acquiring more crowns in heaven to be my motivation.  I don't want to bless someone financially with hopes of a greater blessing from God in return.  I don't want to obey, thinking about what could possibly be...

What if God's blessing is Him!

What if there were no crowns, no financial or material blessing in return...only the promise of God in all His glory, saying "well done, my good and faithful servant"?

Would that be enough?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The View From Here - A Rare Occurrence

Peaceful play between the brothers:)

Lessons From The Classroom

Weather Bears

When I was a preschool teacher I remembered my kids LOVING the weather bear.

I googled "weather bear" images and found the exact same set.

I'm not a big fan of paying money for something that I can make myself relatively easily.

I printed off two sets
(they are much smaller than the actual set you buy at a store)

cut them out and "laminated" them with packaging tape

I used a window frame we had hanging in a different room in our house
to make it our "Weather Center"

Each day we talk about the seasons, the weather and they each get to dress their bear!

I've also designated a helper for the day.
(I include Areyna and Zeke with this too)
The helper gets to erase the boards as well as help me with meals in the kitchen.
This cuts down on the fighting discussions about who gets to do what:)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Not Me Monday

Josh and I had been having some issues with our refrigerator.

We were pretty sure that it was on its way out, so we informed our landlord not to be alarmed if they got a call from us in the near future that it would need to be replaced.

(Just ONE of the upsides of renting!)

So after just a few weeks they had found a perfect fit on Craigslist.

We made the switch and moved everything into its new, cooler home.

And you know how transitions go with our family...ALWAYS predictable, ALWAYS the way they are supposed to go!


So we would NEVER have to keep waiting and waiting and waiting for the refrigerator to cool down to its appropriate temperature.

NOPE, appliances LOVE us!

There would be NO NEED to scour the interior and exterior of the above mentioned refrigerator looking for any other instructions that we may have overlooked.


But even if we were to find out that we got a not-so-good refrigerator we would NEVER lay hands on the thing (even though that's what the super spiritual types do, ha!), desperately asking God to miraculously cause the cooling agents to do their thing (because who wants to have to call their landlord that you need help fixing the same problem, again!).

I mean, we believe that God sees every need, but really, a refrigerator?

Come on, that's just ridiculous!

It would be even more ridiculous if He answered our prayer with firmer sticks of butter and cooler beverages 3-4 days after laying hands on it...or would it?:)

Thank you Jesus!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Looking Back : 10/13/2011

We finally got the call we'd been waiting for.

Not exactly the "answer" we'd been hoping for.

Our court date had been reassigned, but for the 28th.  We later found out that the judge was trying to reschedule for some time near the end of December, so we quickly became thankful for the October date:)

Thoughts of frustration, depression and bitterness were on the brink.

But YOU ALL told us to hang in there.

That this would all be a distant memory.

That it was all SO worth it!

You reminded us of Deuteronomy 8:2-3, Habakkuk 2:2-3 and Ecclesiastes 3:1-11...praying promises of hope over us.

We clung to every word of encouragement more than you will EVER know!
"soon enough these feelings will be a distant memory and all you will remember is the awesomeness of the Lord’s faithfulness as you reflect on what he did THRU you during this time."

Josh wrote his very first post.  He was a rock through it all.  Exactly what I needed in the flesh.  God was good.  God was faithful.  And I am so thankful to be able to reflect on what he did through this time in our lives!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Free-For-All

This week we finally made it to the Pediatrician for Jude's 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 month appointment...can we say fifth child, ha!  Everything checked out A okay, shew...

I knew he was progressing in life just fine.  He even started saying "Dada" when he sees Josh and Ah-duh (all done).  It's super cute!

My friend, Patience, shared a recipe for Kale Chips.  I'd never even heard of Kale, much less baked it, but it was a HUGE success for small group and even 2 of my 5 children liked it (and 1 of those doesn't even count yet!!!).

A friend asked for the recipe, so here it is!

Kale Chips

All you need is: 
1 head of Kale (washed and thoroughly dried), Olive Oil, Sale and Pepper

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.  Remove the ribs from the kale and cut leaves into 1 1/2-inch pieces.  Lay on a baking sheet and toss with a light drizzle of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes.

My week...oh it has been a week...

I feel as though I've been saying that a lot lately.

Does anyone else feel like life is moving 100 mph and you are just holding on for dear life?  Not in a bad way, but life is just...happening.  I can't slow it's been difficult to savor the sweet things, and handle the hard matter how hard I try.

And that, my friends, is why I blog:)

Because, how else would I remember the morning I walked in to "wake up" the girls and Alethia had covered her face in blue marker as "makeup" and her covers were completely drenched from a cup of water she decided to dump on her bed.
This photo doesn't NEARLY give justice to the blue"ness" that abounded when we first got her up.
Or the panic attack that occurred shortly after realizing that the afore-mentioned blue marker was Zeke's "special marker" from his birthday and was now dried out!

Or the time Cai insisted that he poopied in the doggy house in the kids play area outside, picked it up and discarded it in the dirt, only to go on a poop-hunt, in the dark, and find NOTHING!  When asked why he had said that he pooped outside he just grinned at me and said, "I'm just kidding!  I'm siwwy!"

Or the amount of times that the kids can yell "Moooommm! No Jude! Mom! NO JUDE! Can you come get Jude! OH NO!!!  MOOOOOMMMM, come get...NOOOOOOO Jude! Mom, Jude just ate a Lego (or Polly Pocket skirt, or page from a book) in one hour:)

Or the time Zeke came yelling, "MOOOOOMMMM!  Mom!  This is REALLY bad!  There's TONS of ants by the swing and I'm afraid they are going to eat Alethia!!!!"  Upon further investigation, though, we found A (ONE) stray (black) ant meandering around the swing area...

Oh the urgency in that boy's voice is enough to give me a heart attack!

So, I may not be able to stop time, but I can sure use the time I do have, to document as much as I can of the crazy season of life I am currently holding onto for dear life:)

Happy Friday ya'll!

Here's to a GREAT weekend.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The View From Here

Let Your REQUESTS Be Made Known... your children?


Circle the BEST answer:

"Areyna, the dishwasher needs to be unloaded again."
"Rainy, when you get to a stopping place in your game would you please unload the dishwasher?"

"Zeke, I see a bunch of superheroes on the floor, when you get a chance will you please go make sure they make it home?"

"Alethia, help Cai pick up those legos."
"Alethia, I know you didn't make that mess, but would you mind helping Cai pick up his legos please?"

"Cai, put your cars away, it's time for bed."
"Hey Cai-bo, will you please put your cars away? we're gonna start getting ready for bed soon."


I'm learning that the concept of mutual-respect goes far beyond my relationship with my husband.  It carries over to my children. If my kid's constantly hear me nagging ALL DAY LONG they are going to eventually tune me out!

If I'm in the middle of a task I certainly don't want to stop doing what I'm doing right away to help somebody out.  I need to mentally get to a stopping place in order to help with a happy heart.  I've found that the times I remember to respect Areyna and ask her to unload the dishwasher when she gets a chance she almost always comes immediately to my aid to help.

I've found that creatively requesting obedience is far more effective that demanding it.

I've found that acknowledging the "I know you didn't do it" before the "help clean it up" allows the guard to be dropped.  I know that if I feel understood I am more willing to help with a happy heart.

When we can help prepare for transitions by politely asking to do something, it eases the tension of the transition as well as promoting "happy heart obedience" because it is just a small step forward instead of a halt.

Sometimes it's harder than other times, especially when you feel like you make the same requests over, and over (and over) again.  But, when you will take the time to respect your children and make requests over commands, I promise you will see a difference in your "help" AND their hearts!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Jude Warren ~ 8 Months

 Jude Warren Via
8 months ~ 18 pounds

It's been a busy month around here.
Jude is on the move!

 Last Saturday he began to do the rocking back and forth.
By Sunday night he was rocking and lunging.

He began taking off on Monday!
He ventured from room to room on Tuesday morning.

And today, well, let's just say that everything on floor level is free game, ha!

 He will have NOTHING to do with the exersaucer or Johnny-Jump-Up anymore.

He wants Lego pieces, Barbie accessories 
and anything else that his siblings would rather him NOT have:)

But man is he happy, snuggly and one of the 6 highlights of my day!

We're sporting the army fatigues for Uncle Russell today.
We sure miss you and can't wait until you get home:)

Looking Back : 10/09/2011

(I know it's the 10th, but I've had a rough week and this is probably the first time I've sat down:)

We finally made the move.

We have shifted to our hut in the back of the AAI compound!

Pros and Cons are what we live by to keep constant perspective!

 We are finding routines to help life go more smoothly.


we now have a pet chicken name, Chicky.

Zeke Spiderman survived a near-death experiencing scaling the barbed wire fence to get to the chickens and cows next door...oh the adventures we've had, ha!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Looking Back : 10/08/11

We finally decided that we could no longer "coast with no goal".  We needed something to look forward to.  We made a paper countdown chain for a date that we were hoping to be home by.  We knew this was all subject to change, but I'm a checklist kinda girl, and ripping another day off of that chain each morning was one of the highlights of my day:)  We were slowly learning to live life as a family in Uganda.

I also need to mention that this was the day of the highly acclaimed update video from Areyna Via herself..."Check out outside ya'll!!!!"  My face says it all, ha!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Free-For-All

Seriously, it's October?!

Yes, it's October!  OCTOBER!

That means that the fall is in full swing...although the sticky humidity and heat would deem otherwise:) But I found an awesome recipe for Pumpkin Spice Latte's for the crock pot (thanks, Emily) that I'm itching to try and the ingredients for Wassail sitting in my cabinet, just waiting for the cooler weather to reappear!  I did hear that it is supposed to drop about 30 degrees on Sunday!  Maybe that will be our lucky day:)

I got all ready on Monday know shower, real clothes, makeup, emotional prepping for Zeke...and headed out to Sanford Creek Elementary.  Zeke had his first day at school to finish up his testing for his IEP.  He was excited and I was anxious.  We walked in the front door and he was wide-eyed!  I had to remind him that he would NOT be going to recess that day, ha!  We found the PT and walked in...and that is when I realized that I had showed up a week early.


At least we got his hearing and eye sight tested, ha!  We'll try again next week:)

Jude is such a good kid that when he actually cries and carries on I'm not quite sure what to do with myself.  He was inconsolable on Monday night.  I was literally up ALL NIGHT LONG.  The few times I was actually able to nod off for a few minutes were in Josh's office chair.  We were both exhausted by the time the morning rolled around.  I thought it might be his ears so I begun giving him garlic drops.  The next morning was more of the I called the pediatrician.  His ears were a little red, but fine.  They concluded that it was just a virus along with some allergies.  The allergy medication has worked wonders and he is his happy self again.  I ended up getting the virus the very next day and have been in a daze the entire week!  But, I'm finally feeling "normal", as of last night, and cheering was had by all!

Zeke is so funny.  He has had our whole family day planned out for days!  From Josh's homemade donuts for breakfast to stringing his guitar with new strings:)

And since we're on such a tight schedule today I better go!

Happy Friday, ya'll!

Looking Back : 10/05/11

Today was court day!  The day that we had been looking forward to for so long.

After waiting...and waiting...and waiting...

in a tiny room, with little airflow, and 4 kids, and roaches, and stinky stuffed animals that the kids INSISTED on snuggling with, and dubbed movies, 

we were told, after several hours, that the judge was not going to be coming in.

In fact, he wasn't even in the same district that day, or for that entire week, actually.

He'd been called out on business.

Not sure why we weren't told that the week before, or even upon arriving earlier that morning.  Not sure how you can just "not show up" for appointments YOU'VE made.

But we held it together and celebrated our happy hearts with ice cream anyway!

So, we wait some more.


We were learning more about African culture.
We were learning more about patience.
We were learning more about waiting.
We were learning more about Alethia...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Looking Back : 10/04/11

We loaded up the car and traveled the streets of Kampala to get all our preliminary errands done (ie-medical check-up, visa photos, passport photos, etc.) before our court hearing the following morning.

We were also attempting to keep our homeschooling going while in Uganda.  Josh had a cute little update video he posted at the guesthouse in Kampala.

Also, a hand-washing 101 video.  Now THAT is something I DO NOT miss at all!  A family of 6 with 4 dirty children...every day, ha!

But the thing that I most remember about this day last year was the growth in Josh and Shabila's relationship.  You may remember the fear she used to have around him (I know, you would NEVER guess it watching them now!)...but this day marked a breakthrough!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Story In Pictures : The Destroyer and Mr. "F"

All ready to showcase for Daddy when he gets home!

At least we got a picture before The Destroyer saw the "F"s:)

Monday, October 1, 2012


Our family is working on making our feelings part of our everyday conversation.

We are trying to verbally communicate when something makes us happy, sad or mad.  Not only when WE are feeling this way, but when we may have caused SOMEONE ELSE to feel these emotions as well.

This has tied in perfectly with what Rainy and Zeke have been learning in their classes at Journey about respect.

And, consequently, I've been reading The Five Love Languages Of Children, which gave me an idea.

We needed a visual tool to help us communicate all of these feelings.  Something hands-on.  Something to wrap all these things together.

So I made this!

I just used things I already had around the house so I didn't have to buy anything.

printed photos from your computer
some type of clips

I decided to stick to the 5 main ways we speak love.

Then I printed 3 or 4 small photos that depict each action, 
reinforcing the paper with tape,
and then clipping them on the string.

Then I printed a larger photo for each of the members in The Colony.
Each photo has a string with a few clips on them.

The idea is three-fold
1 - It helps us to be more aware of our own feelings.
2 - It helps us to be more aware of other's feelings.
3 - It acts as a tool to work through conflict.

Here are a couple of scenarios of how it could work. 

a) Let's say I wake up very anxious.  I'm not sure what the trigger is, but I am in desperate need of cooperation from the kids and sweet words.  I can walk over to my photo and take one of the "Acts Of Service" photos as well as a "Words Of Affirmation" photo and put them on my string while I explain to the kids about how I am feeling inside and how they can best speak their love to me.

b) Maybe Cai is sitting alone because nobody will play with him and Areyna picks up on how sad he is.  She can then come tell me what she is observing and we can move the "Quality Time" photo to Cai's string to allow everyone in the family to know that Cai could use a little quality time from all of us.

c) Zeke loves to make things for people.  Let's say he drew Alethia a picture.  Alethia received it with an "I no want it" while crumpling it up and throwing it on the ground.  That would most likely create some tention;)  I would bring them both over to this tool to talk about how Zeke was showing love by giving a "Gift" to Alethia and how she didn't show love or respect back by her actions.  This would open up conversation about the better response as well as helping Zeke to see some other ways to show Alethia that he loves her.

I can already tell that Areyna loves to use this!  It's still a little advanced for Alethia and Micaiah, but it at least opens up the door to discuss love, respect and the feelings that surround their little lives.