Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gifts from the US

Trevor and Declan's birthday's were in August and September. With the planned trip of my Dad and step-mom in September, all grandparents, uncle and aunt decided to get presents that could be hand delivered. With the sudden emergency with my brother, that trip was canceled. The gifts however, were re-routed to a hotel that Jon would be staying at.

Gifts are always a welcome thing here. Lego's are crazy expensive. The little sets that cost like $5 in the US are close to $50 here. Declan also decided he wanted army men..... lots of army men. Trevor wanted video games. And somehow, I failed to take pictures of Makenna opening whatever she got. (bad mommy).

Anyhow... promised the grandparents that I would post some pictures of the blessed event of the gift opening. And one of the finished lego sets..

Friday, October 7, 2011

Declan rides!!

For Declan's 7th birthday he asked for a bike, so we purchased one with training wheels. While he used it at our first house, the second house just didn't have a driveway conducive to riding. Just recently he brought the bike back out and started to use it again.

When I was out the other day watching him trying to ride it, I realized the back tire was totally flat, the handlebars moved and the chain kept on falling off. 30,000/= later, it is like a new bike.

Declan got home from school today, and I told him his bike was fixed, he was ecstatic.

He headed out to try and balance himself on the bike. (Oh, forgot to mention that we had taken the training wheels off in the process of getting it fixed.) I watched him from inside. He went a few feet balancing, with only a few touch downs with his feet. So I headed out to watch him and realized he was basically riding the bike like a pro. I told him to head farther up by the gate..... and WOW!!! He learned how to ride in like 10 minutes all by himself.

It is a little sad... my last baby knows how to ride a bike on his own... and neither myself or Daddy had to run along behind him.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Has it really been almost a month since I last posted? Realizing that it is now October, I wonder where the year has gone. It has seemed to fly by. Maybe because it has been so hectic. Maybe because it has been one huge roller coaster, with the up's and down's. It feels like there were more down's then up's... but I think that is the way life is. Is it because we tend to focus more on the negative? I don't think we consciously try to focus on the negative. I think it takes a conscious effort to focus on the positive though.

Some updates since I last wrote:

Rich, my brother, is healing from his surgery. He had some rough days right after the surgery but the Doctor's think they were successful. Now he is on the slow road of recovery. I know for him it will be the most difficult part. He can't drive or lift things heavier than 10 lbs. He might be able to start work in a week or two, but will have to wait to see if the Dr. gives the go-ahead.
Praise God he is healing so quickly.

Jon has been in Canada and the US the past few weeks. Conference after conference. It has been a long time away, but I think it has been very productive.

Kenna and Trevor were finally able to start school. Although some of the instructor led DVD's don't coincide with the books. Jon will be bringing the rest of their curriculum when he comes. Another boy has joined their home school classes. We found a supervisor, we hope will work out. And God provided a science/math teacher for them for the next three months! Strange how things happen, but totally right up God's alley. :-)

Declan is getting into the swing of 3rd grade. Although the schedule here is rather weird. He will have off for two months starting Dec. 5th. So he is sort of on an American school schedule by starting September, but also on a Ugandan schedule as he will have his long break over Christmas.

As for me? Still trying to run the Keep. I'm sure there are other things I am doing, but they aren't coming to mind right now. I think I must be tired.

Oh, I guess the craziest update is central market. For those of you who knew central market.... it is no more. The government decided they wanted to update it, so they kicked all the vendors out and now it is just an empty lot with a ton of trash. I'll try to get pictures as it blows my mind away.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My brother

Just a quick post to update on my brother, Rich.

His brain surgery is scheduled for this coming Monday. My parents are flying out to Utah this weekend to be with him. Please pray for the surgery; for God to guide the surgeon's hand, for no complications, speedy recovery, etc.

I know this is in God's hands. He is in control. I am thankful that Rich is also relying on God through all this.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Trip to the north

Last week I headed out with Kelli, Ryan, Makenna, Moses and Isaac. Kelli was running a youth conference, and some of them were in villages to the north of us. I've been wanting to go north for some time, and I decided it would be good for Makenna to get away from Jinja life and normalcy.

So at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning we all load up into the Prado and head out. We are all wide awake, despite the early hour. The sunrise was beautiful, and the fog stretching across the road added something to the landscape. If you look closely at the dashboard you will notice the condensation on the windshield... Ryan decided his egg, ham and cheese sandwich wasn't warm enough so he decided to use the car heater to heat them up. (No, it didn't work.)

After three hours, we arrive at our first destination, Pallisa. Most of the young people are already there. For the next four days the schedule is pretty much the same:

- Arrive
- Lesson 1
- Mingle break
- Lesson 2
- Lunch
- Lesson 3
- Head out for the next destination
- Arrive at next destination
- Fall into bed, exhausted
- Start at the beginning the next day

The days were long, but it was great to see how many youth showed up for the conference. Even though a lot of them didn't speak English, the translators seemed to be doing a good job in relaying the message. During question time, which was after lessons 1 and 2, for the most part, the young people answered the questions properly.

Hopefully, many seeds were planted in the hearts of these young people and the youth pastors can follow up.

Villages visited:
- Pallisa
- Soroti
- Ogongora
- Pajule
- Gulu

For those of you who haven't traveled to the villages, let me enlighten you on some village life. Of course, even we were spoiled into the mzungu version of village life. We had guest houses to stay in, some better than others, but we still had a bed and a western toilet. Unfortunately for you, I failed to take pictures of the pit latrines we had to use. They at least all had doors that closed for some privacy. We always brought our own toilet paper.. there never is any even in the gas station bathrooms. One pit latrine was so foul.. between the smell and then when you opened the door to go in, like hundreds of huge blueish/black flies would just buzz around you. At least there weren't snakes, or spiders. (Kenna did say that in one that she used there was a huge one.. glad I missed that.)

Food served while there:
- posho (which is corn flour mixed with water until it is like REALLY thick cream of wheat)
-chicken stew (which was made only for us, not the youth)
- more rice
- goat stew
- more posho
- rolex (not the watch, but a chapati which is like a tortilla but greasier, rolled up with a cooked egg that sometime has tomatoe, onions and green peppers)

This trip was actually my first time to ever have a rolex. In Jinja, I have never ventured out to have one as they always look too greasy, but when that is what is given to you to eat... it is either eat or go hungry. Makenna decided to take some pictures of me eating my first. :-)

Okay, so it wasn't as bad as I thought.

It was a long week. It was tiring. It was a lot of driving. A lot of listening to lessons... but, through the week, God was working on my heart. Even though the lessons were suppose to be for the youth... God worked on my heart, and He made clear somethings that I needed to address/change.

It was a good week and I am thankful that God's word is active and living and can work on anyone, at anytime.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

8827 miles

8827 miles or 14205.8 kilometers... the distance between Uganda and Utah. That's like an 18 hour 20 minute flight.

What's in Utah? My older brother. He has lived in either Utah, Colorado or Vermont for the past 25+ years. Why? He likes to.. loves to ski. He likes the outdoors. Biking. Hiking. Skiing. So since he was out of high school he has lived in the states that offer the most ski time.

Being so far away, we don't see much of Rich. Even when we were on the same continent, we saw each other, maybe every other year. Life just gets...busy. No excuse, I know, but it just happens. We chat on email from time to time, we called when we were both in the US. I do think it is sad. My siblings and I have never been all that close. Don't get me wrong... I know they would have my back and I would have theirs. I know that we would be there for each other if it was necessary. It is sad though, because we aren't like the other siblings I see. We never had those close and private conversations that I see others have. We have never made it a point to see each other yearly at Christmas or New Year's.

I have no idea why this is.. maybe our circumstances growing up. Maybe we thought we each had to fend for ourselves. Maybe we thought the other wouldn't understand our thoughts, our fears, our pain. So, somewhere along the line we grew distant..

But like I said... I know we will be there for each other.

You see... this post, is not just because I am contemplating life and regrets. Maybe it should be. Maybe it partially is.

On Friday morning my brother went out for a bike ride. His last ride before he was going to compete in a race the following day. It wasn't going to be a long ride, he was going to be coming right back. At some point on Friday my mom gets a call from the University of Utah Hospital.

Now, let me pause here for a minute. Being a mom, that has got to be the worst call you can get. Your child is hundreds of miles away and a hospital is calling. I really think they should give some training to the nurses or Doctor's that call. I understand they have to say whom is calling from where.. but can't they start the conversation with "So and so is fine, but this is..."?

Anyhow..the nurse calls my mom and says that it is a hospital in Utah calling, and already my mom is imagining the worst, "He is dead. Something has happened and he is dead." My mom said in her email to me, that right then and there she almost faints. Just hearing the words, "I'm calling from the University of Utah Hospital."

Evidently when my brother went out for his ride.. at some point he passed out. They think he had a seizure or something. Right before he went down, right after? We aren't sure. What we do know is that someone who was driving along, saw him unconscious on the side of the road next to his bike. They call an ambulance, and it is not until he is in the ambulance that he comes to. Tells them to call our mom.

He is bumped and bruised and somewhat confused as to how he was out riding his bike and then in an ambulance.

The hospital runs some tests, as they must, when someone is found unconscious. The news is a surprise. At least for me it is. They have found a tumor in his brain. They say they think it has been growing for a while. They think it is non-cancerous. They will have to schedule surgery.

8827 miles seems like such a far distance, but when I hear the news, I am ready to fly there to help. He is my brother.

Even as I sit here and write, that is as much news as I have. I don't know yet what the surgeon has said. I don't know the date of the surgery. I don't know if there will be radiation to try to shrink the tumor. I don't know....

I do know that God is here, for me, for him, for the rest of the family. I know that no matter what God has our back.

Praising God:
-that he wasn't injured more when he went down.
-that he was somewhere where someone found him.
-that someone found him and took the time to help.
-that they think it isn't cancer.
-that we have email, so I can know what is happening across the ocean.

I am thankful that I have God here beside me to comfort me. That even when the unimaginable happens that He already knows.

Please lift my brother and the rest of the family up in prayer in the next few months. Tumor is a scary word. When you add "brain"... that tends to be even more scary. Pray for the surgeons. For wisdom. Protection. Peace.

8827 miles... it doesn't matter how far you are, if it is family, miles don't matter.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Thankful for our cats, well, Kenna's cats. Not that they are indoor and we snuggle with them. They are all outdoor cats. For the most part they are more annoying than anything. Always at one window or another "meowing" for food. They are cats.. they are suppose to be hunters, and yet they are always at the windows, begging for more scraps.

At times they get so annoying, we spray them with my handy-dandy water bottle. Cats don't like water, they don't like being wet. A little spray in the face, and amazingly they find something better to do.

So you see... I am thankful for our cats. (yes, that is oozing with sarcasm).

Wednesday started like any other day. We get up. We get ready. We go open the Keep. Around 9:30 am we get a call from Trevor, who likes to sleep in a bit, that one of the cats, Beamer, has been bitten by a snake and is dead.

Of course, our first response is "Get back in the house and don't come out until we get home." A snake in the yard, in Africa is not a good thing.

On arriving home, and inspecting Beamer... he has been dead for a few hours. Rigor mortis had already set in. But there on his left front leg is a wound. On closer inspection it appears to us, that yes, it is a snake bite. No other injuries. To be safe, we call the vet.

The vet comes (amazing that here the vet comes and makes house calls) and confirms that it is a snake bite.

Poor Beamer. He was a really good cat. Really sweet with the kids, and less annoying than the other ones.

Here is the reason why I am thankful for the cats. It could have been Declan. We didn't even know we had a poisonous snake in our yard. Sure, we've had snakes.. but nothing that was poisonous.

After talking to the neighbors we find out that they had recently sprayed their property because a snake had been disturbing their dogs. When they sprayed, their guard saw a cobra leave their property and go into ours. Of course, we find this out after Beamer is dead.

But Beamer was bitten, not Declan or Trevor or Makenna.

I am thankful for the cats. I am thankful to God who protected my family.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I realized, last night as I couldn't sleep, that it has been awhile since posting here, AND it was Trevor's birthday on Monday. I have a hard time figuring out what to post about, as it seems my days are filled with the same "nothingness". What better topic to write about than a son. So, here it goes.

Monday we celebrated Trevor's 14th birthday. Fourteen years. He is now the same height as me. Daily he stands next to me to see if he has finally surpassed me in height. I think I still have a few months before he is looking down on me. Fourteen years.

If I think back to fourteen years ago I have mixed emotions. Mixed emotions because I am not one of those ladies who glows when pregnant. One who is thrilled about the changes her body takes. Don't get me wrong. I love babies. I just don't love the pounds it puts on, the un-comfort, the nausea.... I guess it really didn't help that I got pregnant with Trevor six months after having Makenna. In my mind... I was pregnant for three years.

A few things stick out to me about my pregnancy. I can remember trying to paint a mural in Makenna's room with my ever-growing belly. I didn't quite complete it before I just couldn't get around the vastness of my torso. The room would be finished months after giving birth.

I remember going to a neighbors house and sitting in her recliner chair with my right arm lifted over my head. This is the only way I could get comfortable. With Trevor lodged up under my ribcage, anything but stretched out was uncomfortable.

I remember we decided to find out what he was going to be. And when we found out he was going to be a boy... Trevor was the only name I wanted. Trevor was named after my younger brother. A story which I might post about one day.

I remember deciding to schedule a c-section. Makenna ended up being a c-section after 24 hours.. I wanted to bypass the exhaustion, get a good nights sleep and have a "refreshing" delivery.

I remember being at the hospital early on a Monday morning. Just Jon and I. My mom was to be there, but she ended up being late. I remember the total discomfort of Trevor still lodged up under my ribcage. I remember the Dr. tugging at him, trying to dislodge him from his dwelling place for the last nine months. I remember the pain in my chest from him being there, from the Dr. pulling..


And then...

I remember a tiny so tiny blue foot up over the divider. So tiny. So blue. Then the foot was gone. Whisked away to a table near by. No cry. No announcement of a boy. I remember the Dr. looking over at the people working on Trevor.. saying nothing. I remember me asking if everything was okay, and getting no answers.

And then... finally. The lovely sound of a cry. Through my tears, through my pain.. I am overjoyed... I have a son.

I remember going to the recovery room. I try to call my mom, to find out where she is. I remember her finally showing up and holding her first grandson, who's namesake was her son.

I remember the Dr. coming in later and telling me that if I had not scheduled a c-section that Trevor probably would not have made it. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck twice and his torso once. The reason why he was always lodged up under my ribcage. The reason he never flipped inside of me. The reason for my discomfort.

I remember the Dr. saying they were sending the cord out for testing to see how long Trevor had been without oxygen. I remember now, how I must not have really understood what the Dr. was saying, because I remember not being worried. I remember the Dr. coming in some time later and saying that we were fortunate as there was still oxygen in the cord, meaning that Trevor hadn't been long without oxygen.

I remember the Dr. saying that if Trevor had problems with hearing, with learning that it was due to the lack of oxygen. That because his one minute APGAR was only 2 that there was reason for concern. Again, looking back on it... why was I not freaked out?! I think I was so thrilled to have a son. A Trevor. That somehow, I knew God was already looking out for him.

Trevor. Named after his uncle whom he would never meet. Michael, his middle name, chosen because of the archangel Michael, the protector.

So many other memories, that I could write and write.

I am so blessed to be the mother of Trevor. I know God has plans for him. I know God protected him all those years ago. I know children are a gift from God, I know Trevor is a gift. He is special.

I only hope that I am the mother God wants me to be for him. That I am instilling in him what matters, that I teach him what God would have him know. To be a man of integrity. A man after God's own heart.

Thank you Lord for the past fourteen years that you have blessed me. Thank you for the gift that Trevor is.

Monday, July 25, 2011


I have been doing another Beth Moore study with a dear friend. I know I shouldn't be amazed, but somehow I still am. Amazed how regardless of what we choose to study, how God speaks to us through it. How on some weeks I have been behind and when I finally sit down to do the study I should have done days ago, it is applicable for just that day. Had I done that day's lesson when I was suppose to, how it wouldn't have hit me so hard, or meant so much. For me that is a sure sign that the word of God is ACTIVE and LIVING.

Living in Uganda has it's share of blessings and battles. Challenges/battles of cultural differences, driving on the left side, not having thirty different kinds of cereal, and a butcher who hacks your meat with a machete. Trusting in people is probably the biggest challenge I have been faced with. I am or was a fairly trusting person. My first instinct is to be trusting. Trust until there is a reason not to.

I find that here I am changing. I am a lot more leery of trusting. The past two years here I have been "burned" too many times from trusting someone outright. Some of them small, like just lying to my face. Some larger, like going to a witch doctor to place a curse and denying it. Some too large to mention. Betrayal. Lying. Stealing.

So what's my point? Through studying David I realized that from the time he was first anointed by Samuel to be the next king of Israel that he was pursued by Saul for fifteen years. FIFTEEN years. David had chances to kill Saul, but instead he cut a corner of Saul's robe or took his spear and water jug. When David confronted Saul about the chance he had and Saul was sorry for pursuing David, David did not go back with Saul. Why? David didn't trust him. " Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold". 1 Samuel 24:22

For fifteen years David waited. FIFTEEN YEARS. Can I wait for fifteen years? When I am in a battle, whether it is trusting someone or battling something within myself.... can I wait for an answer from God for fifteen years? I don't know how David did it. I lose focus too easily. My battle seems to be all consuming. Permeating everything in my life. Strangling me until I can't see straight, until I can't breathe.

And then, I get to this part of the study:

"Do you see what happens when we focus more on our battles than on God? Our enemy appears bigger, we appear weaker, and our God appears smaller. BEWARE! Long term battle can cause vision impairment if our eyes focus anywhere but up!"

"God has not forgotten. He has seen your battles. He has gathered your tears and blotted your brow. He knows those who have treated you unfairly. He knows when you're almost ready to give up or give in. Keep telling Him. Stay in His word. Keep claiming His promises. We need not despair . We must stand in God's word when the battles get tough and resist the temptation to panic."

When I read the above... I almost started crying. More tears for Him to gather. :-) God knows. I don't have to worry, because God is right there with me. What do I need to do? Keep in His word. Claim His promises. Galatians 6: 9-10 "Do not grow weary from doing good, for at the proper time we will reap the benefits if we don't give up to do good to all people."

Do not grow weary. Do not give up. Thank you Lord for the reminder, for the promises.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A family shot

As you all know, we are trying to find a teacher to come and "guide" Makenna and Trevor through their first year of high school. I had found this website through Rift Valley Academy that said they might assign teachers. I emailed that organization to explain that we were not missionaries in the traditional sense, but explained what we were here doing. They emailed back and said sure, send in an application.

One of the requirements was to send in a recent family photo. I discovered that we didn't have any decent ones in over two years, actually the last one was before we moved to come here. I tried for a week to round everyone up to take a picture. Finally, a friend here said that she would take our picture while at church. That was a great idea. After all, it is the one day Makenna isn't wearing her gloves and is wearing a skirt and the boys tend to dress in at least clean clothes.

The following picture is one of five. I can't believe how big Makenna and Trevor are.. of course I know they are as tall as me and soon will be taller than me. Makenna is getting taller and more strikingly gorgeous everyday. She is a big help with things around the house, helping with Declan and a huge help in running and maintaining the KEEP with me. She is more disciplined in her time with God than I was at her age. She is turning into a beautiful woman, young lady of God.. inside and out.

Trevor. I can't believe how much he has grown in just the last six months. He went from a size 8 shorts to a size 14 in like a month. He has sprouted up like a weed and continues to grow. I know I will be sad when he is looking down on me. He is already smarter than me. The way he retains everything he has ever read, is amazing. Now if I could just get him to be interested in things beyond video games and comic books. :-) I tell myself that that is just what boys his age are in to. He continues to be very patient with younger children. He has always been extremely kind and tender towards girls and children. I wonder what God has in store for him with that gift.

Declan. He looks the same. I guess that is because he is still young. Although he has grown a little, he is still small for his age. Unfortunately, he is momma's boy. I love that he still cuddles, that he still comes in for a morning hug. I know in a few months, a year, he will outgrow that. I treasure every one. I try to hug Makenna and Trevor and they make faces, or say "Ok, that's awkward". Declan loves school. He excels at math, loves science and reading.

I didn't intend on this post to be about the kids, but I guess that's what it was suppose to be.

Anyhow... family shot.... I sent that in the title of an email to my mom... she panicked thinking we were "shot"... of course I asked her if she really thought I would email her if we were shot. Would I be emailing at all?! I guess my choice of words was not so good. Sorry mom.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July

It is weird celebrating our country's freedom while living in another country. I decided to dress the part. I didn't go overboard, but had red, white and blue. My boys decided they would join in the fun and dressed as patriotic as they could manage. Trevor's shirt was red, but had a ninja on it.

We enjoyed a party at the Davis's house. There must have been 75 people there. Mostly volunteers from different NGO's. We had hotdogs, hamburgers, watermelon, potatoe salad.. all the traditional 4th foods. They even managed to find some fireworks. Well, they are more like glorified sparklers but the kids all loved them.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

June 23

It has been a little bit of a crazy week. I am feeling the affects of it. I can't stop yawning.

Friday is our live concert night at the Keep. So we are always there for the sound and to make sure things run smoothly. This past Friday we had "The Boyz". It was packed. Everything was great. We got home at 10:45 pm.

Saturday was no different. Karaoke night at the Keep has been getting more and more popular. Again, we were packed. Since I run the computer with the song list, I am there until 10pm. Which was a good thing.. 10 is much earlier than 10:45. Except that I got home and realized Jon had the house keys and he was still closing up and then heading out to find some local food (both for him and the guard.) So what should have been an early bed night wasn't.

Sunday. I was on the schedule to teach Sunday School. I managed to make the kids laugh. So I count that as a success. Hopefully they learned something also.

Father's Day. Or June 19th day. Jon didn't want to celebrate so we celebrated June 19th instead. Now we aren't normally open at the Keep on Sunday. We want to be able to relax. Give the staff the option of attending church. A day of rest. This Sunday we opened for dinner. For one party. They had come in to ask us on Friday if we would be willing to open for them. Some of the our staff agreed to come in, so we said yes.

So, I head back up to the Keep at 4 pm, to start cleaning up from karaoke the night before. Turn the drink coolers on. Coffee machine on. Kitchen staff organized.

At 6:30, the team of 40 come. We were ready. They had nicely let us know that they would be ordering, at least, 24 pizzas and 12 burgers. We had all that ready to go when they arrived. It was crazy. So do I include the part where I am being petty (and I know I am?).

So, they asked Jon to say something to the group before they prayed. Jon nicely came and asked me if I wanted to stand up there with him. I, of course, said no. I am not a large crowd person. I like being behind the scenes. Jon goes up in front, talks about me, the kids, and saying welcome. All fine and good. I remain in the kitchen to make sure things are getting out in a timely manner. When the kitchen was done, I go and find something else to help with. The team was buying a lot of bags, jewelry and headbands, so I go and help with that. While doing that I hear the head of the team talking about what was going on the next day for the team. He then mentions that the Keep is not usually open on Sundays, so could they all give a round of applause to "johnny" for opening. (Here is where I am being petty. My flesh won.)

A round of applause for JOHNNY? Um... ok.... thanks. I didn't do anything. Who came in at 4 to clean. Who scheduled the staff. Who made sure the purchasing was done so there was enough. Who does the ordering for the bags, the jewelry, the headbands.

It's my own fault really. I didn't want to be in front. I didn't want to be out smuuzing with the people. (yes, smuuzing is a Jen word.) So why should it bother me? It shouldn't. I don't do this for people. I do it for God. God has lead me down this path. God's hand has been in this from the beginning. To God be the glory.... not to me. Yes, people hopefully benefit. Relax. Enjoy.

Now it is Thursday. I am tired. Like I said, I can't stop yawning. Even typing yawning... is making me yawn. Maybe if I wasn't as tired, my flesh, my feelings wouldn't have been bruised, but that happens. I just remind myself. I am doing this for God's glory. God, not man's praise.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A teacher

We are looking for a teacher. Know any soon to graduate college students with a teaching degree? Know a teacher who is looking for something different? Someone who would be willing to move to Uganda for a year and teach my two older kids. Ideally they would have to raise their own support (which is probably in the ballpark of 6 -9,000 $). I realize that's not much time so we would be willing to help if needed.

What we are looking for:

- a single, male or female, with a degree in high school education

- someone that is willing to move to Uganda for a year, starting this September.

- preferably a christian

- someone who likes kids (yes, there are teachers who don't actually like kids)

More details can be given when contacted.

So if you know anyone have them contact me for more information. Please ask around, keep your ears open, ask at your church...

We also have applications in at a boarding school in Kenya, but still not convinced that is where they are suppose to go/be.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A foul mood

So, I'll be honest. For the past few days I have been in a foul mood. Not sure when it started, and unfortunately I am still in it. I know we all have moments/times in our lives that we are just angry, sad, depressed and it can manifest itself in... well, a foul mood. Seeing as how I am not sure what caused my mood, I am at a loss as to how it get out of it. I've tried reading my bible. Doing my study on fruit of the spirit (strangely a foul mood is not a fruit). Prayed. And yet, my mood doesn't seem to have changed.

So, as I sit here I ask myself... has my mood not changed because I like it? Or is there something that I need to address with God. Is there a wound I am not acknowledging? Am I fighting what I know God is calling me to do, and that fight in me is causing my mood? Probably YES to all of them. Well, not all of them. No, I don't like being in this mood. Yes, there probably is something I need to address with God. Yes, there is a wound I am not wanting to acknowledge. And YES, I am fighting God and what I know He is asking me to do.

Ever have one of those situations where your mind says you are suppose to do something one way, but your heart just won't let you? Pain. Your heart knows the pain that's involved. Stubbornness. You just don't want to do it. I find myself with those two excuses.

I wish I could say that I have moved to the place of surrender. That I am willingly doing what it is that God wants in this situation. Sadly, that is not where I am right now. I just don't think that I have gotten to the place where I am willing to die to self in this situation. Until I am.... hello, foul mood.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Kenna's toe

Kenna has been dealing with an in-grown toenail for a few months now. We have tried antibiotics to help with the infection. Warm water salt soaks. Putting a piece of gauze down in between her toenail and the side, with a paper clip. (not the most fun thing to do.) All to no avail. After two rounds of this, she decided she just wanted to get a section of her toenail cut out.

That operation was... well, gross. I am pretty okay with blood and stuff. I was a nurse. I've seen C-sections, debridements, etc. Maybe it is because it was my daughter, maybe it is because it is a toe. I just know that I can't watch the Dr. take a pair of scissors and start to cut UP the toenail bed. I blame it on the heat... it was hot in that room. I started to feel clammy, cold. Pins and needles on my skin. Before I actually passed out, I just calmly say... " I'm going to sit down, it's hot, I don't feel good."

Back to Kenna. After all this is about her and not her mother being a wimp. She is a trouper. She winces a little. Mainly from the numbing shots. The procedure is over before she knows it. A healed toe! NOT.

After another round of antibiotics, more foot soaking, more jamming gauze between the nail-bed... we head back to the Dr. This time not to just cut a section of the toenail out.... to TAKE THE TOENAIL OFF!

So this past Monday we head to the Dr.'s office yet again. Kenna's friend Janae nicely offers to go with.. more moral support. As hard as I tried not to look, I had to look. I like surgeries. I was done looking when I saw the bloody toenail sitting next to Kenna's toe.

Kenna is doing fine. We can't get the last piece of gauze off the toe though. We have soaked it for the past three nights and it is just really dried onto her toe. I think today we will have to soak it again and we will have to remove it. I'm afraid it will get infected if it stays on.

I am not including pictures, because that would just be gross. Not that telling you about it isn't gross. I guess this post can be included in the "non-sense." So, enjoy the non-sense.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sipi Falls- Part 2

The second day at Sipi Falls was a beautiful sunny day. We decide to head out on the coffee tour. It is suppose to be closer, and less strenuous. We start out with our same guide, Jasper. He grew up on the hill just below where we were staying. He is very familiar with all the paths, the elevation and the climbing. While Tina and I are panting/trying to catch our breath... Jasper just smiles and waits patiently. Again, I didn't think I was in that bad of shape.
Anyhow, the walk is gorgeous. Through the eucalyptus forests. Across streams. Through banana trees. Past little farms. All against the rich greens of the many plants, and the bright blue of the sky. Absolutely breath-taking.

We head to and arrive at a local farmers coffee plantation. We are told the "old man" isn't around but the son says he can take us around. He explains all about how long it takes to grow a coffee plant from a seedling to being able to pick the beans. He shows us one year old plants.
Two year old plants. Three year old plants. Four year old plants... which are now ready for to harvest. Four years. I knew it took four years, thanks to Out of Africa. Where else does one learn about ALL things African. :-)
We are then told that we can plant our own tree. In three years we can come back and pick our own coffee beans. I can't wait that long for coffee.

We head back down to the lodge we are staying at to see the rest of the process.
We are shown dried coffee beans still in their "husk" (not sure what the proper term is).
We are given a.. what is that thing called? Anyhow, we are told to pound the beans... and pound... and pound. Then we sift, and pick and sift some more.

The traditional way of roasting coffee was over a wood fire, so we head to a small hut where they already have a fire going. We dump the coffee beans into a pot and Jenifer (the nice lady who managed to stand over the fire with smoke in her eyes for about twenty minutes) starts to stir. The coffee beans are finally done. They ask us to try one. They.... were.... horrible..... burnt. I'm sure that back in the colonial days when they roasted coffee over an open fire it turned out great. We failed miserably.

The rest of the day we relaxed, watched a movie, read or wrote in a journal.... relaxed. It was wonderful.

The next morning we headed home. When we started driving down the mountain it was cool to see that we were above the clouds.

Sipi Falls was beautiful. Time away was much needed. Getting to know Tina better was great. I should do this more often.