Saturday, May 30, 2009

Any Guesses?

There are some VERY exciting things happening in Uganda - one of which I burst into tears crying with hysterical joy when I heard..... but I can't tell you yet.......any guesses?

The team has planted 359 trees of the 1500 so far. They will serve as a protective/privacy barrier around the African Hearts little boys home in Ssenge Village. That's alot of trees!!


They also began and laid the cornerstone and started the foundation for the kitchen/guest room/store room for African Hearts Ssenge Village little boys home. I snapped the picture below of the kitchen when I was there in December.

You know I was thinkin' when I saw that kitchen back in December....Lord may I never, ever, ever complain about my kitchen again, no matter where I live (and we've some real deal fix-me-uppers in our almost 31 years of marriage....the kind where when we pulled the flooring off there were big, big, big ol' worms crawling around on top of the sub-floor. No joke. But compared to this kitchen it was still absolutely stinkin' awesome!)



They finished off the day by heading to Sanyu to help care for the babies. (The favorite part of the day, my guess.) Dw said the team is exhausted but they are stoked!! Tomorrow Dw will be speaking at a church in the morning and at a crusade in the evening. Your prayers would be appreciated for him and also for those who would hear the messages and for the continued safety of the entire team.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday at Our Home & The Uganda Team

The trip to Greeley went well. Thank you to all who prayed for our safety. The little guy came home with two new colors: bright orange and "powder" blue (Isaiah's request). We had a good time and pulled in the driveway at 12:42am. Isaiah will most likely have surgery in just a few weeks. It will be on both of his legs and both of his feet. His legs have done well, but are plateauing, so we must wait for Dw to get home from Africa for the surgery.
Thankful for two girls I could hire to babysit the little ones for me while Dw is gone. Josh (18) rode to Greeley with me to keep me company and share the driving, should I have needed it. Several have been asking about the Uganda team. Here's the scoop: I spoke to Dw via Skype a little bit ago. He said they are exhausted, but were all putting the batteries in their smoke alarms =D and heading to bed. They had already been to Sanyu Babies home and had been loving on the babies (waaaa!! I want to be there too!!)
From bloggy world: A bloggy friend, Shonni & her daughter Kayln, joined the team. Due to a passport problem as they were checking into the airport Wednesday they were unable to leave. Miraculously they were issued an emergency one yesterday and are now on the way to joining the team. Shonni's husband is keeping the blog going, and so you can click on her name above to follow their journey.
Bloggy friends from the West Coast, Shauna and Justin, sent Justin to Uganda with Dw and the team. Could they be bringing home a little one?? =)
A young woman with a heart for the orphans, Lexie, whose mom, Jenn, is a bloggy friend also joined the team.
Please pray for them as they come to mind and as Shonni and Kayln continue their flights to get to Uganda.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Grateful/Thankful Thursday & Our Next Home

I am leaving in a few minutes for Greeley again, but I couldn't let the day pass without sharing a speck of gratefulness/thankfulness. Albeit short, I can't resist.

I am thankful for watermelon that we enjoyed in our new watermelon bowl the night before Dw, Emma and Graham left. We got the sweet little bowl at a yard sale for $1.00. It is so stinkin' cute!!
I am thankful for ice cream. I just have to fess up, here and now.... Growing up we ate alot of ice cream. My mom is addicted to the stuff. Many, many years ago, when Dw was working and I was a stay-at-home wife (barren, without any kids) my younger brother, Neil, came home from college for Spring Break. I hung out at my moms house all week, just goofing off with my mom and little brother and we had a blast. Well that week the three of us (my mom, my brother and I) ate 13 half gallons of ice cream. We had a smorgasboard everyday. It was delightful.

So I guess it just seems kind of fitting that on the way to Greeley we stop for "breakfast". Liberty travels along with us (she is such a treasure and her and Isaiah are buddies) and one time she said, "So could we maybe have ice cream?" Let's think about this....the little guy has casts, he has to drive 850 miles round trip each week to have them redone...she is such a good sport, keeping him company for the ride.....ummm, yeah, sure why not??!!!! We have a "breakfast" stop of ice cream about 9 each morning. As I was tucking Isaiah in last night I said, "Are you going to have a Fat Boy (honker ice cream sandwich) for breakfast?" He shook his head no. I was shocked, "What?" He said, "Yeah, they kind of make me feel sick." (LOL) Just kind of struck me funny. So scratch the Fat Boy, he said he would try a different kind.

Lastly I am grateful/thankful that we are moving towards building a new home. I was initially bent on having a log home again, since it had always been my dream and we absolutely loved ours. Then we started to pray about it and talk to the kids. It was unanimous that we NOT build a log home. The fire kind of made everyone feel that that was the last thing they wanted.
Then there is the whole repatterning of our brains - placing things around you that are familiar in an attempt to overcome the trauma of the fire. We have lived in white farmhouses on more than one occasion. Emma went online and found a picture of a white farmhouse that is almost identical to one we lived in for 5 years while pastoring in Virginia.
We are working on the inside layout, but we will definitely be building a white farmhouse. When we were back in Virginia last summer for Dw to do a wedding for friends we went by our old house and took a picture....how fun is that? So our home will look very similiar (minus the garage) to our old house pictured below. (Isn't it sweet??) I am thankful that we are moving forward and that we will have a "familiar" farmhouse. Okay, short but sweet, we have to scoot...and yes, I am doing it round trip. What are you thankful/grateful for this Thankful/Grateful Thursday?? Do tell!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

They're Off!!

Bright and early Dw, Emma and Graham went to the church to meet some of the team to head to the airport for their trip to Africa. I went to send my family off with bunches of hugs and kisses and to snap a picture of some of the team. They are meeting up with more of the team as they fly to different airports....until eventually all 19 are in Kampala together - your prayers are greatly appreciated. I will try to post the blogs of some of those who have blogs in the days ahead. The start of the team at the church just before they left.....Boy am I ever going to miss these big kids of mine....and of course, that big hunka hunka too..They will be planting trees around the African Hearts boys home in Ssenge Village.....(2,000 trees I think!)And of course to love on the babies/toddlers at Sanyu Babies home - the place where we found our Elizabeth and Elijah.My two (most recent) precious babies.......
They are carrying a special package I put together for my African "son" pictured below....for you who didn't know he came to me after I had spoke at a Sunday service at the Ssenge Village church and whispered, "I want to go home with you." It broke my heart. I sent a special package to him: the picture below, a special note and a gift for him. Please pray his heart is encouraged. He looks just so sad.




And for the record, I went to WalM*rt last night and purchased 10 smoke alarms. Each room of the team members will have a smoke alarm - I would not go to bed last night until I knew that they were tucked in the suitcases. Below is a picture of the wiring in Kampala....and I took the picture before our fire....



Sunday, May 24, 2009

Once Upon a Time....

Once upon a time there was a little log home that was lovingly named A Place Called Simplicity....

Anything but fancy....at only 2,011 square feet (half the size of our previous home), but still it had 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (far more than most of the world).....yet somehow this little place was perfect!!! It was comfortable, cozy and simple!!In winter kept warm by the wood-burning stove.....It was a place where memories were made, family was encouraged, loved and respected....and little children came home from foreign countries forever....... Kids played......
Birthdays were celebrated...
Holidays were shared with boatloads of friends - all joined together for a day of fun....no matter how squishy...

Big kids came home from far away.....
Laughter filled the place.....


And sweet drums filled the air often...Little boys thought that broken screens were on purpose so they could climb thru them...

Evenutally a llllllong remodel....gutting the kitchen, moving windows, reconfiguring........

And even a new log staircase......
And then two more precious babies came home...FOREVER.....And two days after the above picture..........
And life would never quite be the same again.........

When I got to our little log home this past Friday for the demolition my precious friends were already there....trying so hard to dig up as many Day Lilies (one of my favorites ever) to move them for me. I had no idea!! That's Carie and Chelsea and Chelsea's little guy Josiah (same age as Elijah).
They were about to start the demolition and I finally took one of the last of my favorite little things out - a sweet little quilt. It was red and white and bits of blue, once upon a time...it hung at the top of the stairs, outside our bedroom, on our new log staircase....so sweet.....As I walked through the house I found that Emma had written on her bedroom walls a few days before......Elizabeth swept the porch....making sure it was tidy and clean (one last time)A tree had to come down to get the bulldozer over to the house....And Graham asked if he could smash some windows before it began......sort of a boys dream I guess....so Graham, Daddy, Emma and even Liberty threw rocks thru windows...I have often wondered as I watched Home Extreme Makeover how people really feel when they are watching their home destroyed in order to fulfill their dream/need of a new home? They seem to be smiling....I wonder if they are told "Smile, OR else!!"

For us: We prayed together as a group before they started. We asked for safety for Martin (our friend and the contractor doing the demolition) - that the Lord would restore all that had been taken.....and then it began.....We are thankful for our friends who came to support and be with us: Chelsea, Carrie, Mark & Jill....it made it so much more bearable. We could tell our sweet bloggy friends were praying too - really we could....
Notice the new log stair railing (put in while I was in Africa in December - it was so very beautiful) Loft wall blackened by smoke damage....(master bath to right of the two windows...that's tile shower wall and toilet on side).....

Martin gets out to check the dozer.... And it was gone.....


Days after the fire, Dw found Winston Churchill's quote in the house....and went to the front door and pounded it into the frame. It seems appropriate to end with it.....
WE will NOT give up....Thank you for your prayers. This week I will share what God spoke to me just before we left to see our log home demolished....