Friday, April 30, 2010

What Do I Do With These?

I was so excited to win this Sonia Kashuk makeup brush set giveaway from Dorkys at Dry As Toast when she was a featured blogger on The Secret is in the Sauce.

Aren't they pretty? Now, how do I use them??

I was raised in a very conservative household. Makeup was not encouraged. Shaving of any sort was what shallow people did. I was nearly 15 before I screwed up the courage to shave under my arms and boy was I glad I did. I participated in an outdoor concert that summer and the directors did inspections to make sure we were all clean and tidy. Ewww.
  It was much later before I felt that I could risk the wrath of God and shave my legs. My mom did take good care of herself and when I asked why she shaved but didn't let us, her reply was: "Oh, sweetie, I wish I had never started."

 Brush # 1

Anyway, so I didn't grow up with a lot of beautifying experience.

Brush #2

Now I've won these brushes and I feel like I should do something with them. 

Brush #3

Tell me what they are all supposed to do.

 Brush #4

If Beauty is in the eye of the beholder is good make up in the hand of the applier? 
Of course it is!

Brush #5

I am in a heap of trouble. So, please help a girl out. I will send a treat from my African collection to a random commenter who offers helpful advice.  

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Those Who Serve

We arrived at the San Jacinto battle reenactment just after it started and as we were wending our way through the crowds we listened to the narrator. It was difficult to hear at first but just as we made it to a good viewing spot a line of men marched by and the crowd began to cheer and call out encouragement for those men heading to defend the Alamo. I was surprised when my eyes filled with tears. I knew this was simply a play but somehow it was very real all of a sudden and these were real men who had had families and children and loved ones. 

  Maybe it's the 'Hollywood' effect. Watching movies like The Alamo where names from history take on color and become real people with personalities.
  I've always had a hard time with battle and soldier movies. Their dedication to the cause and their willingness to lay down their lives for what they believe in, as well as their obedience to authority, completely breaks my heart. I think this is partly because I am, by nature, a selfish person. I don't know whether I would be able to march into battle knowing full well I could be walking toward my death.

As the Texans lined up to march on the Mexican camp the narrator reminded us that Sam Houston had encouraged his men to rest up while he restlessly patrolled and planned. On the other hand the Mexican general had kept his men busy all night building defenses so that by morning they had all collapsed from exhaustion and there was no one at all defending the camp.

I felt such sadness at the thought of all the young men who, due to poor leadership, had died. Yes, we gained our Texan independence and we can rejoice in that but I can never, ever feel glad about those lives that were lost. I turned to a lady sitting next to me and remarked how sad I was. I was near to tears and she said she was surprised herself at the emotion that she was feeling. 

  Just then a man was carried away from the battle and laid gently on the ground by his comrades while the narrator told how he had played a big part in the victory but he died there on the battlefield. As the narrator told this part of the story, he broke up and had a hard time finishing his sentences. I, too was a complete mess by this time. 

It made me so grateful for those who defend us and protect our freedoms. No matter what or how you feel about war you cannot fault those who serve. This is not a political statement of any sort aside from the fact that I think that we all need to remember that in every struggle there are real humans on each side. I feel much more challenged to pray for those who serve in the Armed Forces. They are doing a job and their lives are in the hands of our leaders.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Awards and Sundries

I need to do some blog housekeeping. I've been given a couple awards and haven't had a chance to discuss them or pass them on.

First of all: 

I was given this award by Krissa at Halfasstic. It's so ugly, isn't it? LOL!!

I am supposed to pass this on to someone with little children in diapers. I've chosen Lora Lynn at Vita familiae. She is nearly out of the diaper stage but she is an awesome mom who is planning to adopt from Uganda so I think she deserves an award.

 Next I was given an award by Cheryl at PrairieMaid
I am supposed to list ten things that make me happy. I always have such a hard time with these things but I'll try:

1. Finding a book in a resale shop that I want to add to my library.
2. Indian food.
3. A good workout.
4. Beds in America (England too). So comfy!!
5. Babies, babies, babies.
6. Learning that a book I've requested has arrived at the library.
7. Dancing.
8. Watching my kids become adults.
9. Being married to a godly man.
10. Coffee with french vanilla creamer.

Now I have to pass this award on to a few bloggers. I would like to highlight some of the blogs that inspire me. 

  • Rae from Journey Mama  She recently was living in India. Her posts brought back so many memories. She is back in North America right now and her post the other day felt really familiar.
  • Ali at Ali's African Adventures She works on Mercy Ships traveling around the coast of Africa helping with medical care. She is a head nurse (maybe the head nurse) and always has such heartwarming stories. This post has me all excited.
  • Katie at the Journey. She reminds me what real missionary work is and I feel challenged to love and serve even more.
In other news: I won a giveaway! It is a set of makeup brushes. Now I have to figure out what to do with them. I'll tell you all about the blogger who sent them to me later. And then you can tell me what all these strange brushes are.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Prayers Needed Again

Thanks to the invention of Skype Tom and I have been able to talk nearly every day. He has been doing a fantastic job of holding down the fort along with Timmy, Jasmine and Troy but it has not been easy.

 In the last month they have taken in 2 new babies: Angel and Elizabeth. Elizabeth seems to be doing OK but Angel is not eating well and keeps battling thrush and diarrhea.


A few of the toddlers have stomach issues as well. This time of year after the rains stop and as things begin to dry up causes a lot of tummy problems. The air is full of bacteria-ridden dust. Tom has taken the kids down to the clinic but found NO workers there whatsoever. He took Henry (2 years) down the day before yesterday and a janitor gave him a Tylenol-equivalent (adult dosage) and a prescription for metronidazole. Trouble is, there is no pharmacy!
  Thankfully, we do have metronidazole in our mini-clinic and I wrote Tom with the dosage amounts.

Yesterday, Sandra (2 years) had a seizure. She didn't have a fever and it wasn't severe but we have no idea what caused it. Tom took her down to the clinic and found a medical officer (kinda like an RN) who gave her a malaria test and a penicillin shot.

Tom is understandably frustrated. There is no where nearby where Sandra can get checked out. Perhaps if the situation worsens Tom can take her 12 hours away to Lusaka where doctors might be able to diagnose her. I'm not sure how much can be done if a patient is not having a seizure right then without doing an MRI or CAT scan.

Please pray for Sandra's complete and total healing. Pray for Tom's peace of mind. Pray for Angel to get an appetite and that her body's immune system can strengthen. Pray for all the tummy issues to clear up.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Loved Ones

The older I get the harder I find it to be away from loved ones. Movies which show the characters hanging out with their families, having good relationships with their brothers or sisters or where the dad drops by to help fix something can move me to tears. I know we are away from 'home' for a good cause but it can still be lonely.

For this reason I was so happy to be able to spend some time on this trip with my family (part of it anyway) in California.

The last time I saw my uncle I was seven years old and we were on a trip to Disneyland. I've 'met' his daughter--my cousin--online at Facebook (gotta love it!!) and they drove to my sister's apartment to meet me last Wednesday. They braved L.A traffic including an accident involving a truck full of carrots!

My sister lived out in South Africa for six years working with underprivileged children. She met her husband there and after a stint in the Marines including a tour in Iraq, my BIL is now a police officer. Because we were moving at the time of their wedding I had never had a chance to meet him yet.

I got to be there for my nephew's first birthday. These are some cute kids!
And such a nice looking family.

My sister is doing an amazing job of raising the kids, looking after her household AND attending school! I'm so proud of her!

My sister was not thrilled to be followed around by a camera all day. Here she was saying, "Amy, stop!" Isn't she gorgeous when she's irritated?

She got me back later that evening as we relaxed with nachos, 'ritas and a movie.

This was my favorite shot of the trip: Mommy, baby and grandma.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sundays in my City--Festival Edition

After my time in California (I promise to write more about my visit there soon) I decided to spend the day with my kids. This Saturday was a big day in our neck of the woods as there were 2! festivals happening. First, the little beach near us was having a carnival. And  secondly, the San Jacinto monument nearby was honoring the history that happened there 74 years ago with a reenactment of the famous battle as well as free admittance to the museum and some interesting booths and bands.

We decided to hit the beach first for a picnic and then on to the reenactment.

Carnival rides--always a good time!
We chose to sit right next to the band but when the music started up we were wondering if we'd made a mistake because it was really loud. We ended up loving the music though--hits from Journey, the Rolling Stones and others. We sang along and cheered.

This little boy didn't feel the same way. He walked by holding his ears and crying.

The all-American picnic. Notice the pie in the center? 

T.J wanted to make sure we had it be real Americans.
Kite flying--also an important part of an American day out at the park.

 San Jacinto Monument

The Texans with the (very loud) cannons

The Mexicans firing back

Heading off to battle

And the battle began and quickly ended.

T.J--our history buff--enjoyed the day very much.

What is happening in your city this weekend

To visit others around the world link up with Unknown Mami or visit her Sunday in the City post each week.

Unknown Mami

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fab Friday Foto--Volume XIX

I really miss one of the subjects in this photo. 

Both nouns start in an 'm' but only one is the love of my life.
Both mammals are hairy but only one keeps me warm at night.

Both can irritate me to no end....but only one forgives and loves me unconditionally.
Honey, I know it's hard to be apart. I'll be home just as soon as I can.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Line Dancing

My mom invited me to go line dancing with her on Tuesday. She told me about her line dancing class well before I got here to the States and I was so excited to be able to accompany her.

Of course I had to get a new outfit. Even a line dancing class requires a certain style. Or maybe I just needed an excuse to buy a new shirt....

I apologize for the quality of these photos. I think I need to go to another dancing class to practice my photography skills. Having a blast and getting good exercise would be an added bonus, don't you think?

My mom's class was filled with really nice people. This tall man in the front was filled with joy and just a lot of fun to be around. He was really helpful in teaching the steps as well.

 Mom is in the back with the black shirt

I'm really proud of my mom for keeping active and healthy and loving life! What a heritage I have to live up to!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

San Diego

Ask me why I'm a happy girl. 

Ok, I'll tell you. 

It's because I am visiting my mom for the first time in over 4 years. While we've been able to keep in touch via Skype and email--I love that she works at a desk so I can 'find' her frequently--it isn't the same as a face to face visit. 

My mom is one of the sweetest and wisest people I know. She has selflessly served others for most of her life. She raised 7 children and has always been a positive influence on me. To be able to spend the next few days with her is a treat and a blessing. We're staying here in San Diego for two days and then driving up to Los Angeles to visit my sister. 
 My sister is married and has two little boys. I've never met them or her husband. I am really looking forward to seeing them.

Out of all the airports that I have flown into in my life I would have to say that San Diego is my favorite. I'm new to this blogging thing. I need to choose my seat more carefully next time to avoid photographing the fuselage.

The buildings are so interesting and there are palm trees and sail boats visible as you land. Ok, so not in this picture--I was on the wrong side of the plane--but they were there!

We drove through San Diego and out of the city along a winding road before reaching my mom's house.

My mom lives and works at a charitable foundation that assists missionary projects all over the world. The property is stunning. I can't imagine being able to wake up and walk to work and look out the window at all this every day. Wow!

I love the trees and the flowers. Amazing!

And so peaceful and restful. I slept a good portion of yesterday. It was something I needed. Some places just make you feel like you can relax and be yourself.

Meatballs and Table Settings

Remember when I told you how excited I was to be able to shop for ingredients and cook while in the States? Well, last Thursday when my mother in law informed me that she and my father in law both had evening programs and wouldn't be home for dinner I got my chance. Now I had a opportunity to dig into my store of bookmarked recipes on and pick one to make. My in-laws are following a diet which limits them in what they can eat depending on their blood type. It is working well for them and they are getting healthier but I was looking forward to cooking without restriction. I have enough restrictions in Zambia. LOL

The kids and I deliberated over my saved recipes and went back and forth. I love to cook Indian as I've mentioned before but we decided to try to make that on a day when my in-laws will be eating since they can eat chicken and rice.

Finally we settled on Pioneer Woman's Meatballs and Spaghetti. T.J and I headed for the store and loaded up the shopping cart with ingredients. He loved the produce section which is nearly larger than our entire grocery store back home. He kept pointing things out and asking what they were.

Back home with our loot I whipped up a delicious dinner. I made a couple mistakes but since the finished product was fine they could be considered adaptations rather than errors. Tee hee. If you click on the recipe know that the olive oil is for frying--not mixing into the meat--'nuff said.

T.J is adusting well but still struggling with a few concepts. While we don't eat with our hands African-style back home we don't generally lay the table preferring to serve our dinners on a buffet. After being told a certain way to set the table by one person and then a different way by another person, T.J was pretty confused as you can see by my place setting.

No matter. The meal was delightful and the company exquisite! I hope to make many more meals while here in the States and take full advantage of the luxury that is a grocery store.

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