Friday, December 3, 2010

Say cheese.

Best wishes

to you and yours

for snapping the perfect

holiday photo.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

a candle, a frog ride, a turkey, vintage Leslie, and a victory.

These days I'm burning this White Tea Ginger candle and loving it.
It's not too strong, not too subtle.  It's just right.
What did people do before soy candles?  They are about a million times better than wax candles.
But, as a Spanish speaker with a dry sense of humor, when I hear someone say 'soy candle' I can't help but say 'Eres un candle?!?'  Same with soy sauce.  And soy milk. 
But not soy beans.  Odd.

What do Carolyn and her sweet daddy do for fun when I'm not home?  One of them enjoys being pulled around on a frog who is sitting a crib bumper with a rolling musical cow trailing behind.
What could be more fun than a frog ride?


The aforementioned frog puller loves nothing more than cooking a big bird. 
And then photographing it.
His most recent masterpiece, a 21 pound turkey.

My bestie recently passed some of her childhood duds on to C. 
She wore one of them the other day and looked like the cutest little biracial Laura Ingalls you ever did see.

And finally, a victory.  I know I've mentioned several times that we are reluctant/confirmed cosleepers. 
My sweet baby spent every night of her first 13 months cuddled next to me in bed.  I loved the closeness, especially since I have to be away from her during the day while I work.  But, it was time for the party to end.  She's bigger now, flops around more, and doesn't really need to nurse at night any more but wanted to anyway.  So we decided to bite the bullet and put her in her crib.  *Gasp*. 
We were prepared for the worst, and we had a plan of how to deal with the crying (which my oh-so-loving hubby researched himself).  We prayed for a smooth transition before the big night, and before we put her in the crib the first time.  And God answered our prayer!  She fussed for a few minutes the first night, but fell asleep quickly and slept ALL NIGHT LONG.  Which she has NEVER done before.  Not once.  And every night since then she's done equally well.  Thank you God!

And thank you readers, for sticking with me through this all over the place post! 
And double thank you for your sweet comments on fb and the other blog regarding our missionary dreams!
Love, joy


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I have a secret blog.

Well, not exactly secret.  Just unannounced until now.  My husband and I decided a few months ago to serve God full time in Uganda.  This other blog is my journal of the process of making our dream a reality.  I hope you'll go read it.

In other (old) news, my sweet baby turned one!  She is walking and starting to talk a little bit.  She says mama, baby, juice, and shoes.  'Juice' and 'shoes' sound just the same, but you can tell what she means by the context ;)

I started a new job this school year.  I'm in a different school district and I'm teaching bilingual special ed resource rather than being a classroom teacher like I was before.  I love it.  It's great to be able to work with small groups and really get to focus on what they need to learn.  I have an awesome group of students and I look forward to seeing them (almost) every day.  Also, it's just easier.  There, I said it.  You non-teacher peeps wouldn't believe HOW MUCH NON-EDUCATIONAL WORK falls onto classroom teachers to take care of.  Special ed does involve it's fair share of paperwork.  But it's nothing compared to the constant flow of picture money collecting, fundraiser promoting, identakid safety card selling, field trip organizing, t-shirt pushing that goes with being a classroom teacher.  And don't even get me started on Dubya and No Child Left Behind...

Okay, now go read my other blog.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, REJOICE!

I'm reading a great book right now.  It reminded me to rejoice always.  I'm rejoicing currently in being convicted of things I never realized before.  Like how often I use humor to bring people down rather than lift them up.  Like how much (many?) of my resources are spent frivolously, rather than to serve God or serve others, or serve my family even. 

Monday, October 25, 2010


No I'm not doing yoga.

"Yoga" is how you say hello in Ateso, the language spoken in the part of Uganda that I visited this summer.

I've just got Africa on my mind.  (If you want to, you could now sing that song 'Georgia on my mind' but replace 'Georgia' with 'Africa.)*

I just wanted to share two amazing blogs I've been reading about people who up and moved to Uganda to take care of people.  To do the work God left for His people to do.  I'm pretty sure that's the purpose of life.  Reading the stories of real people who are doing real work for the kingdom of God makes me want to sell all my junk and join them.  So I thought I'd share.

Here's one, and here's the other one.  Go!

*Of course I am referring to the Willie Nelson version of the song, for those of you who don't know me.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Half the Sky

Hello blogosphere!  Nice to see you again.  It's been a while. 

I've been reading a book called Half the Sky.  It's about oppression of women in developing countries.  More specifically it's about ways of helping these women.  It's really an eye opener.  Our trip to Uganda this summer left me wanting to serve in God's kingdom, and this book just reinforces that desire.

It's one of those books that works its way in to who you are, to how you see things.  Read it.  Now!

PS: On a lighter note, I've also been at Subway.  Apparently the bigwigs in the sandwich game have been reading my blog.  I do believe you'll remember that sub bags were MY idea.  And lo and behold, look what Subway has rolled out.  You're welcome, Subway!  In return for my intellectual property, I would like for your sandwich artists to reliably honor my request for 'light lite mayonaise'.  

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back to his roots. Uganda part IV

My husband and I have little in common. 
I'm white.  He's black.
He's east, I'm west.
I like rice krispie treats.  He doesn't.
You get the picture.

I always knew that we were very different, but visiting his childhood home made it even more clear.

We had someone drive us out to the village where Mike grew up.
Notice there is no road.
That's a path that's about a foot wide.

We drove through weeds that were taller than the truck we were in.

They drive on the left side of the road in Uganda.  When there is a road.
So the steering wheel is on the right side.

Mike pointed out places and things.
Like huts.

And birds?  I don't remember what he was pointing at here. 

And plants.

And more birds.

And then some of his childhood friends showed up. 
As if out of nowhere. 

They walked with us to see Mike's childhood home.

Some more childhood friends showed up.  Out of nowhere.

Then we saw Mike's childhood guava tree.

I tasted it.  It was delish.

We also saw Mike's childhood well.
We would call it a spring I think.
But they call it a well.
It's still the water source the people there use today.

Like these little boys who followed us around.

And this woman we passed on the road carrying water home to her family.

But the animals use the same well for drinking water too.

The cows just walk right in.

And the animals poop in there.  And people get sick.

Does that bother anyone else?

Anybody want to help this community get a clean water source?

Like next summer?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What's in my pocket? volume 1

Welcome to the first Trophy Mama edition of 'what's in your pocket?'

I've been meaning to do this for a while, but just hadn't found the right moment.

But today I've got a doozie.

Have I mentioned that since I've become a mom, I'm about 5 times grosser than I used to be?

I've never been accused of being fanatically clean.

But these days I'm bordering on guh-row-dee.

I've been suspecting this of myself for a while,
and today I found the proof in my pocket.

C and I went to a baby shower today. 
Tonight I found the above pictured napkin balled up in my pocket.
A napkin with two chocolate dipped strawberry stumps (which I ate)
and a cantaloup chunk that C worked on for a while.
Instead of discarding the refuse, I shoved it in my pocket.
You know, as temporary storage until a trash recepticle was located.

In case you doubt that my lack of couth (cooth? kewth? kooth?) is legitimate,
I give you exhibit b.  (No picture.  You're welcome.)

After finding the napkin in my pocket, moments later I found a hunk of granola bar in my bra.
And I haven't had a granola bar in at least three days.

Glad I got that off my chest.  And out of my pocket. 

What's in your pocket?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Carolyn's own personal paradise

My daughter is a people person,
to put it mildly.  We always knew that,
but we didn't see the extent of it until we were in Uganda.

Uganda was a dream come true for her.
Because EVERYONE wanted to talk to her. 
A) They LOVE babies.
2)  They are fascinated by light-skinned people.

Not that she's ignored when she's state side.

It was fun to watch her personality develop even more,
right before our eyes.
After a few days of being Miley Cyrus popular,
she preferred to be carried like this:

so she could greet her people.

And if one got by without returning her greeting,
don't think she didn't notice.

Water off a duck's back.

Her specialty:
Meeting someone who's not sure if they like her or not.

And making friends with them.

It melts my heart.

I've always thought it was important to take kids
on family vacations.
But now I see how magical it is.
I can't really put a finger on it,
but C is a little changed since our trip.
I guess we all are.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Flying with a baby

As I mentioned before, I took so many pictures of our trip that I don't really know where to start.  But since two of my lovely readers (Marta and Rochelle) mentioned the flight, I'll start there.  Commenting pays.

It is commonly thought that taking a baby on an international flight is quite a challenge.  I will dispell that myth right here and now.   The truth is, taking a baby on an international flight is like going to Six Flags with someone in a wheelchair.  We got pushed to the front of the line the whole way- customs, airport check in, airplane bording, etc..  You can't beat that.  My little charmer even managed to get us bumped to business class on each leg of our flight.  (Apparently they can just put you up there if they want to.)  

Of course it wasn't all fun and games.  But it was about 45% fun, 45% games, 9% deep breaths, and 1% being totally embarrassed when C spilled A TRAY of orange juice on a non-English speaking stranger one hour into a 10 hour flight.  Talk about awkward.   BTW, did you know passengers under the age of two can fly as a lap baby on international flights?  They can.  It's not totally free like on domestic flights, but it's just 10% of an adult ticket price.  We plan to take advantage of this again next summer.  If the carseat fanatics don't ruin it before then, that is.

It was after the flight that things got interesting.  I knew that we were going to have to drive from the airport town (Entebbe) to the town Mike is from (Bukedea).  Before the trip, he kept telling it was 120 miles and it was a really tough trip.  I didn't buy it.  How long can it take to drive 120 miles? 

When you share the two-lane road with bicyclists, cows, turkeys (both literal and figurative), ducks, military-ish people collecting bribes, and jillions of pedestrians carrying water on their heads, 120 miles can take 10 hours.  Especially when the vehicle you are travelling in breaks down for a while.  But after 5 hours you are pretty much ready to stretch your legs, take some pictures, and meet some locals anyway.

Driving in Uganda is not like driving here.  For one, they drive on the left side of the road.  For two, they honk about as often as they blink.  Here is a list* of reasons to honk the horn while driving in Uganda:

1) someone is ahead of you
2) someone is behind you
3) you're passing a pedestrian
4) you're passing an animal
5) good song on the radio
6) it's been more than onemississippi since you last honked

*You should  probably print and laminate that list.  Keep it in your wallet.  Just in case.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Uganda trip highlights

I'm finally going to blog about our trip to Uganda.  C and I were only there for a week, but I took about 8 million pictures (Mike went too, of course, but he stayed longer).  

 Here's an overview of topics to be covered in upcoming posts,  in no particular order:

20 hour plane ride

10 hour van ride

van breaking down

family trip to the zoo

C's 15 minutes

a visit to Mike's childhood home

the hotel

big bugs

lunch at the pastor's house

animals riding bikes

kids I can't stop thinking about