Tuesday, January 24, 2012

break down

today I had planned to meet a friend at this fantastic cafe/art gallery place with a great outdoor play area for kids. I had Elizabeth with me and the boys in the car as I was going to drop Elizabeth off near to the taxis. as I started coasting down the hill I pressed the brakes and realized the car wasn't stopping. I wasn't going too quickly but immediately started to panic. I said to Elizabeth, "my brakes won't work! my brakes are gone!" and luckily I was going slow enough that I could pull somewhat off to the side and pull the e-brake. cars were honking as I found the emergency lights and waved them around me.
I realized the car had actually died and not just the brakes.
so thankful to have had Elizabeth with me as she called over some men to help {people don't just come and help you here. and they expect to be paid for their help.} and as I couldn't get the car out of park and into neutral, we all piled out and a guy hopped in and somehow maneuvered it off the road.
I called Jamie and he came with our friend James and they took over while I decided that Elizabeth and I would walk back home with the kids {and had to insist that no we would not be taking a boda with the children}. we were no further than our church which we used to walk to before we bought our car so I knew we could do it.
but it was hot.
Noah complained a bit, but eventually just dug deep and walked with determination.
I was proud of him.
Elizabeth and I walked and talked about how God knew that would happen and had Elizabeth there to help me. well, in between her telling random guys to eff off for making comments about me. oh Elizabeth.
we were all sweaty by the time we got back and Jamie called me with an update. nothing too expensive and the ministry mechanic was going to come by and fix it there.
just another random, crazy day in Kampala.
thankful for His protection.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

God with us.

I went outside just now to check on the boys.
as I called down to them {they were on the second level of our yard} to be careful, Noah asked if I would be staying out with them. I told him no, that I was going back into the meeting in our living room and I said that they would be fine because they're in our own yard.
and then Noah said,
oh yeah! and God is with us! *then he turned to Jude* don't worry, Jude! because God is with us!

moments like these make all the hard times parenting worth it. completely.

5 months

here we are. 5 months in. it feels like forever ago since we got on the plane in chicago and headed to london and then arrived here in kampala. tired, but excited. ready to start a new kind of life here.
and so I find myself tired. and not really too excited. I'm pretty sure it's some kind of adjustment phase and I'm okay with that because I'm still confident that this is where God wants our family, regardless of what I'm feeling right now.
I am missing home. my friends. my family. the familiar. but we've been brought here for such a time as this and so I am desperately trying to seize each moment instead of yearning for ones to come.

we leave for Spain in 5 days and I could not be more ready. ready for refreshment. ready for a change. ready to be with co-workers who are doing exactly what we're doing but in different places.
I am so ready for this:

granted it will be around 12 degrees and feel absolutely freezing compared to the weather we have here, but still. jeans! scarves! jackets! shoes!
sometimes you just need a change. 5 months in, bring on the change!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

banana pancakes

pancakes. banana pancakes. so light. so fluffy. so good.
we ran out of bread the other day and so for lunch I made these for the boys. this has quickly become our favourite pancake recipe since being in Uganda. I didn't have any lemons to add the lemon juice and they were still delicious although I definitely prefer them with the lemon juice. so if you  have it, use it.
also? a secret confession of my favourite pancake topping? peanut butter and brown sugar. so sugary. so delicious. I don't know if it was my Dad who introduced me to this fantastic combination, but let's just say it was. because he also introduced me to ketchup with french toast. does anyone else do this? or is that weird?
make 'em. eat 'em. love 'em.

also this recipe is incredibly versatile. you can replace the bananas with 1 cup of grated apple and a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon for apple spice pancakes.
or instead of bananas, lemon and 2 tbsp of sugar you add 1/2 cup grated cheese and 1/2 cup crumbled bacon {mmm, bacon} for a more savoury pancake.
or any other combination you can think of! the options are endless!

banana pancakes

2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

combine separately and then add:
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup oil
1 cup of mashed banana
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

stir quickly until blended. {don't beat, though. a lumpy consistency is good for pancakes.} cook on a hot, greased griddle, turning when bubbly.

you can always keep any extra that don't get eaten and reheat them in the toaster for a fresh-from-the-griddle experience.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

new shoes!

With Spain less than 2 weeks away I've been trying to figure out what we need. I figured the average temperature will be around 12 degrees. Which, quite frankly, for us will seem ridiculously cold. 
So when I realized I didn't bring shoes for Noah and Jude could barely fit in the ones I did bring, I asked Jamie to pick some up at the crazy market he was heading to. {My boys live in Crocs and flip flops/sandals. I love living in a country with only "dry season" and "rainy season". No need to buy clothes for 4 different seasons!}
When he brought home the shoes and the boys tried them on it was instant love.

Jude wouldn't even take his off for his nap.

And Noah kept asking when his quiet time would be so he could have it with his shoes on!

The beauty of living with less is that when something "new" {they are likely second-hand, coming from the market and all} is given, the gratitude and "specialness" is so much more!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

christmas in africa

i know christmas has past but i couldn't resist this after a friend sent it to me knowing my love of christmas music and also? the last song they do? perfection.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

a bit of verbal you-know-what

i've been feeling a bit of writer's block on this blog lately.
maybe it's because i've been preferring to actually journal {for awhile, this blog was my only journal} and keep my thoughts to myself. to reflect and be raw without thinking about grammar/if this is interesting to other people.
maybe it's because life has slowed down and we've been shuffling back into place, like pieces in a puzzle that are familiar with their places.
i find myself in that all-too-familiar place of looking forward more to what's coming than where i currently am. the rush of christmas and visitors and sightseeing has passed and here i am in the
now what?
i've been consistent {for the most part} in sticking with three simple health-related goals i set for myself about a month ago.
1. drink water. all the time.
this involves me filling up my water bottle over and over again throughout the day. it also involves many, many trips to the bathroom throughout the day.
2. exercise 5 times a week.
surprisingly i've been doing really well with this. it's helped that jamie's been doing the 30 day shred along with me for encouragement.
3. no snacking in the evenings.
this allows me to still nibble on some chocolate in the day if i want but after dinner, snacking is no longer. except for one "cheat night" a week. i've also stuck to this with unprecedented resolution.
it feels good to stick with something. and see results. that has helped as well.
i don't tend to weigh myself too much {i generally go by how my clothes fit - or don't} but i'll likely step on the scale at the end of january and see how i'm doing.

i've got the heebeejeebees right now. nighttime is always when the bugs and creepy crawlies come out. the big ants that like to hustle around our kitchen. the mouse was already spotted tonight. {i shake my fist at that thing. or that species in general as i can't be sure it's the same one since we've already disposed of 2.}
there are scratchy noises coming from across the room.
but that's life here.
in a few weeks we're headed to spain for a week and a bit. i'm excited. but also? it's going to be stinkin cold compared to here. {that would be our 30 degrees compared with their 12 degrees. brrrrrr.}
but still...spain! hoorah!

that feels better.
any resolutions or goals you've set for yourself - health or otherwise?
what gives you the heebeejeebees?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

beauty for ashes

my brother went home last night. it was a really good visit. surreal and yet normal. he really fit in with the culture and our team. he said it was the best two weeks of his life. that gave me warm fuzzies.
for the last 3 days of his visit we went on safari. there were plenty of things that did not go as planned.
things like having a vehicle that was too small for our 6 adults and 2 kids.
like our family sleeping in one bed.
all you co-sleepers out there? props, man. i don't know how you do it but i do know that it's not the strickland family's first choice. but i am slightly proud that we did it.
like neither jamie nor i bringing jude's bunny on our afternoon boat tour {after having woken up early that morning for a safari} and a very sleep-deprived jude screaming for 1 hr and 45 minutes of the 2 hour tour. another lesson learned. {don't do too much in one day. and always bring bunny.}
but there were things that made is completely awesome and worth it.
like this view when we pulled up to our hotel {even though i was suffering yet another migraine}:

and the fact that i went on a safari in africa with my brother:

there were times i had a bad attitude. when i wasn't embracing both good and bad. when i didn't take the time and ask Him to help me find things for which to be thankful. to open my eyes to the splashes of glory.
He does promise that if i seek i will find.

so Jesus? i'm seeking. help me to find the beauty in the every day, no matter if things are going the way i thought they would or not.

{also, a pedicure and a massage also work wonders.}

Monday, January 2, 2012

january two

i love steph's idea of taking monthly pictures of your kids. so i'm hopping on this bandwagon!
maybe this will help my boys to learn to smile nicely for family photo opps.
but i'm not holding my breath.
here's the first of many more {i hope!}.

{this just happened to be taken on january 2nd of both my boys. so i'm using it. i'll be more intentional next month. promise. also? they're standing in front of an elephant skull. awesome.}
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