i’m a mom

Have I ever told you about Sam and my family?
Well, a year ago, when I said, “I do” and became a wife, I also became a mother.


visiting with kids the day after our wedding, before they went back to school
(not all of the are our kids:)

 

For those who have known me for a number of years, you’re probably thinking, “I thought she didn’t want kids.”
You would be correct, I didn’t.  But, over the last few years, God has gradually changed my heart and made me love kids in a way I never did before.

How many kids do we have?  Currently, we have 7.  Although, I’m sure that number will continue to grow over time.
Continue to grow?  Simply put, Sam and I both have a heart for kids.  When we hear a child’s story, the hardships and the pain they are in, our hearts break.  We both want to be able to give them hope and fill them with love.
Although we created CITY to help kids, we also feel pulled to certain children and want them to be a part of our own family.


Sam with some of our kids on their first day of the school year

 

Who are our kids?  We have two boys and five girls.  Their backgrounds are varied: some have lost one or more parents, a couple have been diagnosed HIV+, some have a parent who is not able to feed them or pay school fees; but all of them deserve the opportunity to go to school and be a part of a loving family.

These children are incredibly precious to Sam and me.  When we talk about our future or anything we want to do, our kids are definitely part of our decisions and plans.

 

much love!

 

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time

It’s funny what time can do.
About five and a half months ago I flew from Michigan to South Korea.
After arriving at the airport, I needed to buy a bus ticket and get to Daegu.
Well, last night I arrived at Incheon airport in Seoul, bought a bus ticket, and made my way to Daegu.
This time though, the process seemed easier, and I knew where I was going.

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flying over Hong Kong – one of my layovers

 

Almost four and a half years ago, in March 2011, I went to Mukono, Uganda for the first time.
At that time, I had no idea I would be going back.
And not just going back to visit, but that that would become my home.

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flying into Entebbe during the day – I think this was a first for me

 

I may have only been in Mukono for one week, but my week was full and filling.
Although it had been a little over a year since the last time I was there, from the moment I was greeted at the airport, I was home.
Things weren’t having to be restarted; but rather, we were taking our finger off the pause button and starting where we left off.

It’s hard to believe my time there is over, and it’s back to teaching English to my Korean kindergarteners tomorrow.
I’m not even sure how to process or fully think about the last week.
But, I do plan to share more stories and pictures in upcoming days:)

For now, I will leave you with this:

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having fun with Joet and Ronnie while making supper

 

much love

 

 

happy Thanksgiving!

Thought I would share this gem from when I was little…

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with two of my cousins and my sister, circa 1992
Jenna, Emily, me, and Denae

I’ve spent many a Thanksgiving with those three:)

Before I wrap this up, I thought I would jot a quick list of things I am thankful for / make me happy this week:
-joking with Aggie as we work at the house for the conference
-being asked to help during the conference
-mail arriving from America
-face-timing with friends
-fresh cucumbers
-Joshua’s laughter as he chases after a chicken with a branch
-one of my fingers healing from infection
-Moses carrying a big stick (to beat people) as he walked me to the taxi last night
-having the opportunity to cook this week
-consistently having water the past couple of weeks
-sleep

I hope everyone has a great day today!
Happy Thanksgiving!

much love

nailed

Wednesday, I was invited over to Pastor’s house for the day (including breakfast), to spend time with the World Race teams since one of them would be leaving the next day.

Overall, it was a good day with some great conversations and laughs, but there were some bumps in between.  Let me tell you about those.

We were finishing up church [worship and a message] with the teams and Frida; we were all gathering to pray healing over a few people on the team.  One of the ladies who was sitting outside stood up to come inside, but in the process hit her head on the open window.  There was a loud thud and quite a bit of blood.  Jen was taken to the clinic and given about six stitches.

Not long after they returned from the clinic, I was hanging some of their laundry on a line to dry.  At some point I stepped back and onto a board with two nails sticking out of it.  Well, one of those nails went through my flip flop and into the bottom of my foot.  Needless to say, my foot has had quite some pain, but it will be ok!

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with Jen, the trooper with her head injury

 

Despite Jen’s visit to the clinic and my incident with the nail, I still had a good time with the teams.  It has been really refreshing and encouraging to have them here.

much love!

beauty of hail

Life here is definitely different.  There are reminders of that all the time:

-having to climb out from under my mosquito net every morning
-it’s possible to go through a whole day with no running water [including bathing]
-vegetables, which used to be a staple in my diet, have now become what I eat the least
-sometimes laundry takes three days because “the cloth-es have refused to dry”
-when I exercise, I have 1 to 3 kids who join me

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after exercising this morning with Joet and Ronnie

 

Sometimes I think about the differences in lifestyles between here and America; but more often than not, my day just happens.  Yesterday though, we had a huge storm, followed by hail, which made me stop and think.

You’re probably thinking, “Hail, what’s the big deal?!”

Well to the people I was surrounded by, it was.  It definitely wasn’t the first time they had seen “ice falling from the sky,” (as they call it), but the joy and excitement they had was incredible.

One kid left class to collect some in a cup and take it back with him.  A couple of the adults I was with ran outside to grab handfuls of it.  I was offered a piece of ice to eat, by a lady who was laughing and smiling so contagiously; I couldn’t do anything but smile and laugh with them.

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Moses with ice he collected to enjoy

 

We tend to make life so complicated and let ourselves get too busy; then we miss the things like eating ice that falls from the sky.  A hailstorm has never been quite so beautiful to me.

 

much love!