Friday, August 31, 2012

friday links.

so here i am. hanging on with this pregnancy. i had a few rough days, but the last couple have been pretty good. my feet haven't felt so swollen in the late afternoon/evenings and i've had a bit more energy which has been good.
tonight my sweet friend aletha brought over the most delicious pulled pork sandwiches, salad, chips and homemade banana bread for us. so amazing. also? enough for leftovers for possibly saturday and sunday! i love leftovers!
here's to having great friends! cheers!

also i guess since today is the last day of august, i can officially declare that i will be having a september baby. trust me, this baby ain't coming before midnight tonight. he's a mover, but he ain't coming. sigh.

onward and upward to other things...

this is commonly seen around our house when daddy gets home from work:

just because they've used up their screen time tickets, doesn't mean they can't watch daddy play sonic racing on the iPad. oh these boys...

friday links!

i'm obsessed with this blog. i love the philosophy and practicality of living a clutter-free life. not just in material possessions, but also how it influences how you function emotionally and mentally. i'm implementing the things i can now so that when we get back to canada, i can continue to make changes that will enable our family to prioritize the things that really matter instead of just choosing to fill up our house with stuff. {oh hey, remember our garage sale? yeah. i never want to get to that state of things ever.again.}

along the same lines, i love the idea of an alternative gift registry. this is an idea that i hope to implement in our families when we get home as well. the idea that the gift of time is far more meaningful than adding yet another car to our toy collection or another cool shirt from that cool store is a radical one, but one that rings true for me and our family. this particular link, though is a creative idea that i think would help people getting married to think outside the box of your typical "12 sets of china plates" items or the new parents who don't want to fill up their house with hordes of primary-colored toys and gadgets to request really useful, meaningful things like babysitting, a free meal, laundry or dish services, etc. need i go on? just check out the link. :)

now this is my kind of DIY. a pillow cover that doesn't require sewing! what an easy way to change the look of your living space/bedroom without making a permanent change! you could even add a bit of seasonal touches if you wanted!

beautiful, free, seasonal downloads. 'nuff said.

yeah so i made this. my friend kelly posted it to my facebook wall and i dared to try it. 1. sugar coma 2. deliciously addictive. make this at your own peril.

so here i still sit. still pregnant.
i'm hoping by the end of next week i'll have to cancel friday links because i will be too busy cuddling my new baby boy and posting delicious pictures of him. {'cuz you know with this growth spurt he's just had, he'll have cheeks you wanna chomp on!}
either way, you'll hear about it here!
happy weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

on having adventures and being productive too

last week we had a few things we needed to get done as the noon hour {or mid-day as they call it here} hit. they were:
1. take out money from the bank
2. mail a package of pretty ugandan jewelry to my sister in law
3. buy some chapatis {pregnancy craving and the boys love 'em!} to accompany our lunch

so we decided to go on a family adventure into mengo - a nearby area of kampala. we drove and parked at the hospital nearby and first went to get some money.
that was easily accomplished after jamie picked up jude to cross the road and noah tugged at my arm to "RUN!" across the road at the first break in traffic.

next up was to find the mengo "posta" {post office}. we knew generally where it was, but inquired after two more people before we found it. i had to buy a bigger envelope to fit all my goodies in but the posta didn't sell them. nope. it was the little hut just outside the posta that sold everything from pepsi and snacks to airtime for your mobile and envelopes. i bought one for 500 shillings. {2500 shillings = 1 canadian dollar to put it into perspective}.
the package cost 43,000 shillings to mail and i'm hoping my sister in law gets it by mid-september. mail seems to work a lot faster going out of uganda than it does coming in.

finally was the chapatis. jamie knew the area better than i did so he directed us to the line up of little stands selling chapatis, samosas, sodas, airtime and rolex. no. not the watches. a rolex is a local snack that's made up of a chapati rolled up with a fried egg and often some vegetables like onions and tomatoes inside it. it's good. but it's all fried. so i limited myself to one per year. and i've filled that quota already. ha! we picked up 3 chapatis and watched while they were being made. it was sunny and the boys were hot from walking back up the hill from the posta so we bought them a mango juice and the people around laughed and smiled as they drank from 2 straws and literally chugged away the entire bottle while the chapatis were being made.

it was quite the accomplishment for me being pregnant and walking around, but mostly? accomplishing THREE things in just over an hour. seriously. you're lucky if you can accomplish three things in a day around here.

noah was wearing his manchester united jersey {the kid is already a huge fan. he insists on often wearing his jersey two days in a row if he can get away with it.} and the ugandans liked to call out after him, "manchester united!" or "wayne rooney!" {i had to explain to noah that wayne rooney is a player on the man u team. he asked if he was a boy or a man and didn't really seem to understand how they could mistake him for a man. i didn't bother to inform him it's because he's white, has short hair, and a round-ish face.} ugandans generally love kids and will call out "baby!" after them. yes. even my almost 5 year old gets called "baby". jude really doesn't like being called "baby" and at the craft market that we frequent they actually know him as "the big boy" because he has yelled back at them, "i'm NOT a baby, i'm a BIG BOY!".

ugandans here in the city aren't the most friendly right off the bat. often they'll just stare at you. but say "good morning!" or "good afternoon!" to them and watch if their face doesn't light up into a big smile at you. especially if you're pregnant. or have kids. it's not what i thought it would be, but i realized that often if i don't make the first move, then all that happens is me getting stared at and feeling uncomfortable.
so there are similarities. life in the city is life in the city - no matter where you are. whether it's toronto or kampala. if you don't take the initiative to smile and say hello, chances are no one will do the same to you.

so smile and say hello to someone today and you just never know what might happen!

Monday, August 27, 2012

creative can be easy

on friday i posted the friday links and then ended by saying that me and the boys were going to bake some chocolate chip cookies.
they had so much fun holding the hand mixer and dumping in the chocolate chips. but then when the dough was ready, i didn't feel like scooping out each individual cookie so i asked the boys if they had ever had a cookie pizza and if they wanted to make one with me.

of course they did!
all i did was spread the dough onto our round pizza pan and throw it in the oven for the amount of time it took for me to blow-dry my hair {15 minutes? it was still pretty wet.}, pulled it out and muah! perfection. and so much easier and less time-consuming than doing several sheets of cookies.
the boys loved it and were so excited when it was done that they insisted on having a cookie party and surprising jamie up in his office {he's moved his desk up to the "party house" now that we've re-arranged furniture for baby B}. we each took a plate up and gobbled up our pizza slices of cookie.

sometimes thinking out of the box and being a little creative takes less work than doing things the old-fashioned way.

what's something creative you've done lately that's been easier than your usual way of doing things?

Friday, August 24, 2012

friday links!

well i've been on some kind of blogging roll these days! lots to say and the courage {gumption?} to say it, apparently. or maybe i just have verbal diarrhea. or maybe i know my time will be severely limited in a week or two {or three}.

noah playing with some fun popsicle sticks we got from jamie's aunt & uncle in canada.

right now i'm listening to mumford & sons, the boys are using up their screen time tickets {these kids!} and my hair is freshly washed {for the first time in 6 days. seriously. i'm disgusting. except that, i'm not. i am so thankful for my hair. God gave me some beautiful, low-maintenance hair and for that i give thanks.}

i'm finding it harder to breathe {drop, baby, drop!} and i get heartburn any time i eat anything and yet i feel a million times better than i did when i was pregnant with jude and a complete grumpster, impatiently waiting his arrival. i'm in no rush for this wee boy to arrive. i'm excited and anticipating his arrival, but i feel good. and i'm fine to wait for him to be ready. i love to think of it as him and God talking away and having conversations and then God says, "okay little man, it's time to meet your family now. but don't forget. i'm always with you." love it.

anyway, enough baby talk. here's some friday links!

i stumbled upon this article about adoption and how it affects all our families. even if you don't have an adopted child in your family, you need to be talking about adoption with your kids and educating them so that one day when they come across someone who is adopted, they are informed and sensitive instead of rude and confrontational.

another blog post about books for kids! this time it's chapter books for younger kids. i want to read them all!

the token DIY. but i honestly love this. it's SO gorgeous and yet extremely practical. done and done.

the only time i've ever missed having a microwave since moving here. it's probably a good thing i don't have one, though. right. that's what i'm going with.

and for the inner geek in all of us {or most of us?}. it's dr. seuss meets star wars. love it.

and now i'm off to make some chocolate chip cookies with my boys because we've all got a hankering for something sweet!
happy weekend!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

baked taquitos!

am i the only one who saves recipes on their computer to try for a later date? seriously. i have folders upon folders all categorized into recipes that i hope to one day make.
anyway, this recipe i've had since i can't remember when but when i was making my meal plan for this week, i decided it was now or never. or at least not for awhile.

also? i love those freezer taquitos you can buy. or the ones that rotate on those grill thingies at the 7-11. they look so greasy and delicious. and deep fried. so good. {o hello pregnancy cravings!}

anyway, so here's a slightly healthier alternative to freezer taquitos OR 7-11 deep fried ones.
i didn't have all the ingredients it called for {the grocery store didn't have green onions or cilantro and salsa is crazy-expensive here and i think i've only seen teensy-tiny little limes once - and not at the store i was at} but it still tasted STINKIN DELICIOUS. my boys asked for seconds {!} and i downed my fair share as well.

baked taquitos
recipe slightly adapted from meal planning 101

1 lb ground beef
2 tbsp taco seasoning {i made my own. check out this one for a cheaper alternative than store bought.}
1/3 cup cream cheese {it's super expensive here & hard to find. i happened to have some laughing cow cheese so i used that instead. delish!}
1/4 cup salsa {again, too expensive and hard to find. i used canned diced tomatoes with green chilis}
1 tbsp lime juice {used a bit of lemon juice. lime would give it a nice kick, though!}
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped {would have loved to have had this.}
2 tbsp green onions, chopped {also would have been good. someone please make this with the proper ingredients and let me know how it is, kay? ha!}
1 cup grated cheese {cheddar, mozzarella or pepperjack - i used cheddar}
12 small flour tortillas {i made my own! they are fairly simple, but a bit time consuming.}

heat your oven to 425. line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

in a large frying pan over med-high heat, brown the ground beef and break it up into crumbles as it cooks. add the taco seasoning and cook the beef about 8 minutes until cooked through.

heat the cream cheese {we don't have a microwave but if you do, about 20-30 seconds should suffice} so it's soft and easy to stir. add the salsa, lime juice, cilantro and green onions and then stir to combine. once the beef is browned, add the beef and cheese and combine well.

place 2-3 tbsp of beef mixture on the lower third of the tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. roll it up as tight as you can. place seam side down on the baking sheet. lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and then spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or brush with a bit of oil and sprinkle some kosher salt on top. place the pan in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.

dip the taquitos in salsa, sour cream {we use plain yogurt here}, guacamole or all of the above!

i served this with a side of mangoes sprinkled lightly with cinnamon. it was a perfect combination and i'm making these again!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

screen time tickets

last friday i posted on facebook that i had just implemented "screen time tickets" with my boys and that noah only had 1 left. for the entire week.

i honestly anticipated more tantrums and frustration {on all our parts!} but as i type this {on wednesday} we've all been doing really well!
there will be a few new changes and alterations for our second week with screen time tickets.

as you can see each ticket is worth 30 minutes and can be used for tv, movies, daddy's iPad {one of the major sources of arguments before the tickets!} or computer.

how it works is that if the boys request to use the iPad or watch something i tell them to bring me a ticket and then choose what they would like to do. then i set the alarm on my phone and tell them when the alarm goes off, their time is done {or when a movie is done, etc. and they give the appropriate amount of tickets}.

each boy received 5 tickets last friday.
i am now planning on upping that to 6 tickets and will ration them out during the week; 3 on friday and 3 on monday. i may go back to giving them all their tickets on friday, but we'll see how the rationing goes if it seems to work for everyone.

jamie and i also discussed giving them an hour of saturday morning cartoons - as a treat for both kids and parents.
they also get one freebie of a family movie night which does not need any tickets.
noah also got a freebie ticket this week from daddy for obeying right away and with a really good attitude.

someone on facebook asked what happens if one child pays for a movie with their tickets and then the other child wants to sit in and watch. i commented that this is perfectly fine. the second child just doesn't have a say in what movie or show is being watched if they didn't contribute any tickets. over time this will hopefully lead to the boys working together to maximize their tickets and if they both want a say in the movie/show then they both need to contribute tickets.

right now both their envelopes are empty. they will stay empty until friday morning when i replenish them. we'll see how quickly they go through their initial three tickets or if they'll have learned to ration them for themselves.

overall their behaviour has been a bit better, they've played better together and have also self-initiated a lot more independent play time. hooray! oh we still have many fights {they are boys, after all!} but it's nice to see them being more creative and content with less screen time. kids will rise to the occasion and once again they have proven me right!

so all you need is to print off some tickets {i found mine here but there are other options for shorter amounts of time like 15 or 20 minutes or longer like 60 minutes}. i also chose to use colourful paper and then since i have no idea where i would laminate them, i used clear tape on both sides so we could re-use them.

this has been {so far} a good solution for our over-use of the tv and iPad. if you try it, let me know how it works for your family! i'll continue to update over the next few months as it's still a work in progress - and especially with the introduction of a new baby to our family soon!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

1 year

a year ago today we arrived in uganda. it seems like just yesterday and at the same time it seems like we've been here for forever.
kampala is home now. the traffic doesn't make me fear for my life {oh wait, yes it does. sometimes. but definitely less so.} and i'm not weirded out by the non-refrigerated cartons of milk that line the grocery store shelves {in fact, despite how much i miss the taste of canadian milk, it's incredibly convenient to have milk sitting in my pantry when i run out!}. the weather here is amazing and i love our cool mornings and evenings.
our view is epic and today was one of the clearest i have ever seen it.
of course uganda likes to throw its curveballs and we were without power since yesterday afternoon until tonight - with a fridge full from a recent grocery shop. of course.
but the cool thing was that i just finished talking with the boys and praying and asking God to turn on the power so our fridge when minutes later {literally!} the power turned on. it's so cool to see answers to prayers like that with my kids!

this year has not been without challenges and frustrations. blessings and laughter.
i am so glad we moved our family here. it has given us the chance as a family to bond together in a way that would have been near impossible had we stayed in guelph, surrounded by amazing friends and close enough to family. we are us. and i'm looking forward to this next year even more so, knowing the blessing of discovering on our own what we like to do, how we do christmas or birthdays and other holidays. it's a precious gift, this time and i know that i will never have a time like this again. both my boys are at home with me all day and another precious little man is about to enter our family. sometimes my mind projects into the future and i get what i've called "future fears" where i worry about what's to come and start grasping onto what we have now for fear of losing it all.
but that's foolishness. 

this upcoming year will be a different one from last year with a slightly different team and a new baby and feeling more settled, but i'm ready to embrace all that God has for my family, for me and for our team.

happy 1 year to us!

Monday, August 20, 2012


this is what jude looks like every.single.morning.
nutella & peanut butter is what he demands requests on his toast and then proceeds to eat it in the messiest way possible. at least, that's how it seems to me.
triangles. it must be cut into triangles.

Friday, August 17, 2012

friday links

yesterday both my boys agreed to let me cut their hair. noah sat like a champ but jude screamed as if i was committing some sort of horrible torture on him. i still have to fix up parts on both their hair, but for now? it works.

for some reason, when i buzz noah's hair {yes, it's meant to be a subtle mohawk}, i think he looks younger. afterward i sat back and said that now he reminded me of "baby" noah {what i meant was toddler noah}.
but jude just doesn't quite look the same to me anymore. i miss his hair already. thankfully {unfortunately?} both boys' hair grows like crazy and they'll both have mop heads before i know it!

here are some friday links!

for all you crafty-types, this seems like a fairly simple DIY. i think even i could sew it! and so handy for traveling with your flat iron!

and these. i am making these. especially with the amazing vanilla beans we get here - and for so cheap! i've missed vanilla coke and this is my opportunity to relive those memories.

this is a sweet reminder for me as i re-enter the season of mothering a newborn.

and i am drooling. and also making these. and i might eat half the pan.

how fun is this site? i like to just keep entering different bands just to see what drink will come up.

and now i'm going to down a couple Tums to counteract this wonderful heartburn. ha!
happy weekend to all of you!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

on doing the needful and feeling like a "mom"

that's one of the walls that surrounds our compound.
it's also one of the walls that doesn't have curly barbed wire on top of it.
it's also the one wall that backs onto the guest house behind us.

we had a canadian team come for may & june and at some point most if not all of the team stayed in the guest house. some of our team made friends with people from another short term missions group that were also staying at the guest house.
the last night that our canadian staff team were with us, i looked up and noticed a young guy walking in our yard. a young guy that i didn't know.
eventually i introduced myself as he seemed to know some of our team and found out he was part of the other team staying at the guest house.
i headed off to bed eventually and kept thinking,
i should tell jamie to ask him how he got into our compound, even though i'm fairly certain he hopped over our wall, instead of walking around and using the door at the gate.
then i thought to myself,
no. i'm an adult. this is my house. this is bothering me. i can say something and speak up for what i think is unacceptable. 
so i stepped back into the living room and just asked him,
um, did you come into our yard by the door in the gate, or did you hop over the wall?
he sheepishly admitted that he had hopped over the wall.
so i explained that we have a gate with a door and a night guard for a reason and though it takes a bit more effort, it's our yard and we don't know who's watching as he jumps over our wall and we are the ones who will continue living here after his team has gone and left {it'd also be a shame if our guard shot him with an arrow, thinking that he's a threat to us.}. i told him he was welcome to come over any time, but to please use the gate from now on.

i guess some people just think that the rules and considerations we use in our normal environments don't apply when we're in another country or environment. when would it be acceptable to hop the fence into someone's yard you don't know back in the US or Canada?

anyway, i felt like a real mom in that moment, lecturing the neighbourhood teenager for thoughtless behaviour. it made me chuckle and smile to myself.
it's also what we call here, "doing the needful". doing or saying what needs to be done or said.

have you ever done the needful? is there something that you need to do the needful about? have you had a classic "mom" moment?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

on being chatty and brotherly bonding

today during noah's quiet time i lay down on the bed. he was in the living room playing with his legos.
eventually he came and joined me and jamie in our bedroom {where he usually has his quiet time}. 
he had lots to say.
usually i tell him it's a time to be on our own and not talking, but today i just listened and talked with him {while i played solitaire on jamie's iPad}. 
i don't even remember what we talked about anymore, but lots of it was observations and thoughts and comments about books and movies that he likes. 
he left the room at one point {to go to the bathroom} and i commented to jamie that one day he might not want to talk to me. actually, i think i said that one day he probably wouldn't want to talk to me. 
his comments and thoughts kept up throughout the day with the occasional sassy mouth {something we're working on}. i am loving the general openness of noah with me and jamie and his thoughts and creative ideas. he has a "drawing book" that he likes to draw things in during his quiet times and i'll need to post some more of his drawings on his blog because they really are adorable and funny.

after an early dinner {because i was going crazy from both him and jude complaining that they were hungry, hungry, hungry} we were all hanging out in the living room and baby B was kicking and moving up a storm! i called the boys over and lifted up my shirt to reveal my belly. noah was quite amazed at his movements;
he's punching you right there!
whoa! he's moving so much! 
and it was one of the first times the boys really saw and felt his movements. up until now they really haven't had the patience or interest {boldness, maybe} to feel my belly and wait for a movement, but tonight he was really active so it was a perfect moment for the boys to really understand that there's a person inside of me.
they both took turns trying to "listen" to what baby B was doing and saying hi to him and telling him their names. 

the other day noah and jude were with me and jude asked how baby B got inside me. i hesitated for a moment.
is this the beginning of "the talk"?
i explained that mommy & daddy decided we wanted to make a baby and then God is the one who makes baby B grow nice and big and strong inside of me.
noah looked confused.
so does how does God reach inside of you?
i told him that i didn't really know how exactly God makes human beings {or anything really!} but that He's able to make people and that He's the only one who can do that.
this set the boys off on talking about how big and strong God is. 

oh my boys. i love you so. i can't wait to add another little man to our fun and crazy family.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

what's in YOUR hospital bag?

i've never done this whole "giving birth in a hospital" thing before. i never really studied or paid attention to the list of "things to bring to the hospital" on the handout from the midwives. i was really blessed to be able to have two, amazing, complication-free home births.
of course i did have to make sure i had my home birth supplies ready but i knew that if i needed something i could always improvise with what was already in the house.
not so in a hospital.
especially not so in a ugandan hospital.

so at just over 37 weeks pregnant i finally got around to packing a bag.
but first, the bag! what bag was i going to use? at first i wanted to buy a cute over night bag like this one:

how gorgeous is this bag? so gorgeous.

or this one. so cute. and vintage! love.

there are tons of places here in kampala to get good quality, second hand items and i've even seen some vintage suitcases, but ultimately frugality won out and i decided to use our carry-on size suitcase.

here's what i have packed so far - i'm hoping that i don't need to add anything else, but depending on any helpful comments from you guys, i might have to!

for the mama

2 nursing bras
3 prs undies
1 pretty handmade hospital gown {from my last birth} - it opens from the shoulders and allows for easy breastfeeding access and i'll use it for pajamas if we have to stay overnight {i hope we don't!}
1 dressing gown
1 pair comfy yoga/maternity pants
1 nursing tank top
1 comfy t-shirt
1 going home outfit for me (comfy dress with a v-neck for easy breastfeeding access)
toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, travel sized shower gel & shampoo/conditioner, travel sized contact lens solution, contact lens case and new contacts, mascara, eye liner, lip balm, nipple ointment, moisturizing hand lotion, deoderant
overnight pads
3 plastic bags for bringing home dirty towels/clothes, etc.
1 head band
a few hair elastics
1 bath towel
1 face cloth
1 cooling face cloth {from Lee Valley}
my pearl earrings that jamie brought back from the philippines for me to wear home
a pillow

for the baby

small container of vaseline
sampler size container of diaper cream
3 sleepers
2 onesies
1 pr socks
1 going home outfit
3 hats
1 heavier blanket
1-2 receiving blankets
special "lovey"
sheets for the baby's "cot"

i plan on getting jamie to pack a small bag for himself with things like:
pajamas and an extra outfit
his iPad
our cameras
a manilla envelope for any paperwork we will acquire
a pillow
cash! {we have to pay our hospital fees up front, but thankfully our insurance reimburses us afterward.}

i'm also planning on baking some granola bars and freezing them so that i can take a bunch with us as well as having some juice boxes in our pantry and some water bottles with some crystal lite's taped to them in case we want some flavour {i'm usually a straight-up water kinda girl, but ya just never know}. i also plan on buying some of my favourite crackers here to munch on {they're kinda like cheese nips} as well as making a trail mix of sorts with a mixture of yummy nuts, raisins and maybe some kind of chocolate {they have M&Ms here but also a cheaper version of smarties which i might use}. 
then i'll put all the snacks together in one bag and have it ready to go. 

you'll notice i haven't separated it into "labour" and "birth". that's because i'm hoping i won't really be labouring that long in the hospital {or at all!}, to be honest. and i'm also hoping to get in and out of the hospital as quickly as possible as long as everyone is healthy. you can google "hospital bag" and find tons of ideas on things you could bring to aid in pain management during labour. 

so that's what i've got. 
thoughts? suggestions? 

note: the hospital that i'll be delivering at does not supply pillows, sheets for baby's cot, diapers/wipes or towels which is why i've packed them. make sure to check what the hospital you're delivering at supplies so you only have to bring what you need.

Monday, August 13, 2012

on breathing

these ladies {aletha on the left of me, kelly to the right}. what an absolute blessing they both have been to me in my first year here in uganda.
they have both been like breathing in fresh air a midst the dust and diesel of this city.

before we left canada, i was googling resources for families living in kampala and came across kelly's blog. her and her family {same as mine; 2 boys about the same age} were preparing to move to kampala only months before we were. i left her a comment on her blog and we soon connected via blogs and emails. it wasn't too long after we arrived that kelly and i met up and the connection was instant. a friend! in kampala! thank you, Jesus!

about mid-october i decided to take a hiatus from facebook but feared how i would connect with other women in kampala without the help of facebook groups like "expats in uganda", etc. God is so good. he doesn't need facebook to connect people.
about a week later i got an email from a friend of a friend who lives in uganda and thought that me and another young mom she knew of should meet up for coffee and get to know each other and if it didn't work out, well that's fine. so me and this other mom {aletha} met up and i really liked her! she was honest and real and had already been living in uganda for a year with her two little kiddos. what a total blessing from God!

this next year is going to look different for me in terms of these two ladies. aletha and her family will be returning back to canada in october and both of kelly's boys will be in school 5 days a week. and oh yeah, i'll be having a baby in mere weeks. so it's going to look different for all of us, but i am so thankful for their friendship during my first year in kampala and whatever this next year looks like, i trust in God's provision for all my needs - all i have to do is look back to how He provided for me this past year and my hope is renewed.

Friday, August 10, 2012

full-term friday links

okay so technically i'll be full-term {37 weeks out of 40 weeks for my non-pregnant friends or friends who don't have a need to know all the pregnancy terms} tomorrow, but i'm a sucker for a title with alliteration.

this morning we are playing with lego and i'm about to make myself a cup of tea. it's a cool morning here in kampala!

we got a lovely package from my sweet friend tamsin, yesterday and she included our very first edition of Go Fish! and of course it was an instant hit with noah. i love that he's into games and it's so fun that he actually gets it. even jude joined in and played with us this morning.

oh yeah and we're all still into jamie's iPad. especially this kid:

tamsin also sent a pack of 2 moleskin notebooks. i may possibly be a convert. i had to crack them open this morning. there really isn't anything better than starting a fresh notebook. especially starting a new moleskin notebook with a sharpie pen.

here are some friday links for ya!

i came across this blog post last night and i wanted to shout "amen"! especially to the first part where she talks about how there's often two camps of people when it comes to babies and both sides have value and neither side should say that how they do things is best for everyone. i'm excited to go into this newborn gig for the third time with the eyes to see the fleeting moments for what they are and cherish each second because o! time really does go by so fast.

and of course, speaking of newborns and young children, every mother is familiar with "the witching hour" - whether you call it that or not. here are some helpful tips as you prepare dinner with a young child who needs distraction/entertainment.

and onto something completely different...
anyone like beer? and road trips? {but not at the same time, right?} i love this map of the US with craft breweries you can visit for almost every state {idaho, nothing?}. i'd totally be up for this with jamie some day.

how many of these children's books have you read? i've read just under half. i'd love to go through this entire list with my boys at some point.

anyone made these? they look divine. again with my obsession with peanut butter and chocolate.

and who doesn't like freebies? organizational print-outs that are pretty! i especially like the flow chart on how to clean your house. nesting, much?

anyway, my boys are entering yet another shouting match - soon to be a wrestling/hitting-fest so i should go, but please, enjoy your weekend!

Monday, August 6, 2012

everywhere is broken

i feel like i have to harden my heart so it doesn't hurt so much, sometimes. ya know?
she knew. as a fellow missionary she knew exactly how i felt. how i feel.

it's hard to be here. to allow yourself {your heart and life and emotions} to become entangled in society and people and their lives here. to see the brokenness and be unable to help everyone. or sometimes even one person. 

i wanted to escape. to be in my forever, eternal home. not to escape uganda because it's not a ugandan issue. it's a sin issue. and sin and problems and heartache are everywhere. canada is not immune to this sickness. it's everywhere. and today? i was done. i still feel done and i'd like to just be with Jesus in a perfect, whole, beautiful world.

i still feel like a big jerk for telling her how it feels to always be the people she runs to for money when she's run out; even when we just paid her last thursday and i know she was given some money from visitors we had here.

i feel like a jerk because i know that the shame she feels over not being able to provide for herself and her son is far deeper and painful than what i feel {in my house with 4 toilets and the toy boxes overflowing and the fridge and pantry fully stocked}. 

i feel like a jerk for giving out of frustration and a desire for her to just go and the situation to be resolved. i feel like a jerk because i didn't give out of love. i feel like a jerk because my heart is ugly.

but i also know that we're not here forever. what will happen to her and her son when we leave? who will she depend on if all she has is us? she must have more people than just us. right? she is worth more than a sparrow. He's supposed to care more for her than for the birds. so how come it feels like this hundred pound weight is sitting on my shoulders? as if we're the only ones she has and is relying on? 

i want to yearn more for my eternal home. but not like this. 
the prayer to have a heart like Jesus is not without its consequences. to have a heart like Jesus helps me to love more, but it's also a whole lot more painful, too.

Lord let me not grow weary. Bear me up when the pain is too much and I am tempted to harden my heart so I can survive in this broken world without hurting so much. Let me abide in You so that I am not trying to do this on my own strength, but in YOURS for it is YOU that changes hearts. Not me. 
You must increase and I must decrease. Let me always strive for this.

Friday, August 3, 2012

friday surprise!

you guys. it's friday. again. how does this happen every week? {please don't try to explain lest my brain explode. i've got preggo brain for reals.}

anyway, we just got back from jinja with jamie's family and i'm exhausted...but guess what? i did a guest post over at my friend {who i haven't met yet in real life, but i think she's awesome} elaine's blog, the miss elaine-ous life sharing a glimpse of life in uganda and a recipe i've posted here and made again for jude's birthday and loved just as much this time around!

so hop on over to elaine's blog and check it out and friday links will be back next week!

happy weekend!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

freezing & three & stuff

my youngest turned three yesterday! THREE! how did time fly by so quickly that my baby {but not for much longer!} turned three? amazing.

jude lines up all his monster trucks to watch a monster truck video on my computer.

we had a monster truck party for him on sunday. i didn't take a single picture. jamie captured a few on his iPad and his family got some as well, i'm sure. it's been pretty busy here, to say the least. did i mention that jamie's family is here? it's been great to have family here to "do life with" around these here parts.

this morning my nose and my toes are cold. i sat at the table putting peanut butter on toast for the boys and had a memory of autumn. my most favourite time of the year. it feels like autumn this morning. maybe it's just me being used to warmer weather, or maybe it's just actually that cool, but i love it. i just need to put on socks and a sweater now.

on monday we went to the zoo. it was a perfect day. not too hot but still sunny and beautiful. the chimps were making quite a fuss and were hilarious to watch. i tried to sit down as much as possible. the swelling in my feet has begun. it's still quite minor, but by the end of the day i can feel it and i don't want hobbit feet again.

yesterday i had my last midwife appointment before she heads to the UK for 2 months. i made my first appointment with the doctor who will hopefully be catching this baby. baby B is head down {hoorah!}, has a strong and very good heart beat {no ectopic heart beats like we've heard in the past} and is still moving like a fiend. the kid can move, let me tell you!

i flipped the page on the calendar this morning. we're in august, folks. that's nuts. on my calendar are the departure date for jamie's family {sadly, it's this saturday night}, one of my brothers' birthday, my sister's birthday, my first doctor's appointment and our one year anniversary of living in uganda.
my last month of pregnancy.

here we go....
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