Monday, June 29, 2009

A Little Break

I want to write more about Uganda, but tonight, I wanted to share some pictures from our camping trip. How do we camp, in a tent, with 9 children, a dog, and a mommy who must sleep on an air mattress (which, by the way, IS NOT because of my age!!!)? Kalyn and I got some cute pictures because my mother is so sweet and is letting us borrow her camera because mine is gone for good (long, sad story and I am crying!!). We are now saving up to buy it "again".
Yes, Aiden is licking the honey from the honey bottle...may be his mother should clean it occasionally....
Steve whole family blessed us this year with a new canvas tent. Our old tent had an unfortunate ending last year (imagine rain, short wife trying to help husband, and a VERY hot lantern). This tent is a "dream", it is so big!

Kiana, Alia and I....I love being in the mountains with my children and Steve....

Can you guess their favorite snack when we go camping?

Kalyn will probably get me for this....but you do what you got to do for the blog.

Since I will get in trouble, I might as well post two pictures of her....

How do you feed 9 children in the rain while camping? You thank the LORD for your 15 passenger van and that you can clean it later!

We always find water for the children to play in...they LOVE this part of our trips!

And a few pictures to show all the reasons...and there are so many reasons....that I love to go to the mountains and enjoy Gods beauty!!! Thanks Mom, for letting me borrow your camera!!!I have always said I have the best mother, however, now, we all know how exceptional you are and how much you must love me to let me walk out of the door with your Canon! I'm so glad that I'm your favorite...don't tell Kim.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

From Kalyn-Fun with Dew Drops

Here are some pictures I took while we were camping. It rained really good one after noon and me and mom were out taking lots of pictures. Hope you like!

Friday, June 26, 2009

re: Please Help-the vote

Thank you so much for your opinions about Alia's hair - to braid or not to braid - for the wedding.
What fun it was to read your comments, and thank you for the compliments about the cornrows. I like to do the cornrows because they stay in so long, and it is good bonding time with the girls....

so what was the "vote"?
One of you wanted braids with HEAPS AND HEAPS OF BEADS...
and my sweet "little brother" left his vote (thank you J, I miss you too!!!)...
there were 4 votes for either style...
3 for braided...
and 7 for the natural look.
I think some of your votes were "mercy" votes because you know that it takes a LONG time to braid,and since Jace came in last night, I want as much time as possible with him. So nautrual it will be. Thankyou again...have a great weakend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Please help

I need your honest opinions! Should I leave Alia's hair un-braided for my nieces wedding on Saturday....or....

should I braid it like Joeliana's?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More from Africa

I need to go back to the beginning a little bit...when we were told that Kalyn could not go to Uganda at the airport because of a passport issue, I really couldn't tell you how horrible it was...I went over to the side and begin to cry...I just couldn't believe that this was happening. Kalyn came over to me (and this reveals what an incredibly sweet person she is) and said "Mom, your passport is can go with out me." Of course, I said no way...this was suppose to be OUR trip. Steve was working frantically with the lady at the desk to see if there was any way to make this happen. Finally, after several people were talked to, there was decided that a possible emergency passport could be issued ("Thank you Father God, that we were leaving out of the Capitol of Colorado, or even this would not have been an option!") Most of you have read the blog and know that we did get the passport, but by now a very strong heaviness was laying on me! I just couldn't "put my finger on it".
(Sorry, only one photo so far...must be the longest I have written without more photos). On our way, finally, I was disappointed that we were loosing two days in Uganda, fretting over the extra money things had cost. First stop - London. On the way the worst motions sickness that Kalyn has ever had started...and it didn't stop for the almost 3 days that we traveled. Poor baby!!! I couldn't do a thing to help her. I tried everything, and she tried bravely to keep going.
The "heavy feelings" were getting stronger, I can tell you!!! I felt so discouraged and questioned if we were really suppose to be on this trip.

After 9 hours in South Africa, it was time to finally load for Uganda. As most of you know, this is where my brand new, long saved up for, expensive gift from my husband was lost- my Canon 40D and lens. I love photography and Steve wanted to help me get back into this hobby as I had given it up with the business of raising our family. I was unsuccessfully trying to not cry and several people were so sweet about the loss.

So, with fear and trepidation, I began to think, we aren't even there yet...can anything else happen!
One of the things I was looking forward to before all this, was meeting a new friend from Uganda. She was going to try really hard to meet us at the airport, but then, with this new flight, we were arriving at night, so I knew that she wouldn't be able to meet us. After an hour of going through customs and stuff, we finally rounded the corner to find out who was picking us up and THERE SHE WAS. My sweet blog friend was standing there with four of her beautiful children. It was like seeing sunshine! I quickly found out that the cute young lady beside her was Jessica and she was at the airport to pick up Kalyn and me and take us to our mission group. After a few minutes of getting to talk to my blog friend, it was time for Jessica to get us to Pastor Dw and the group. How sweet it was when we drove up and all the men where waiting for us and ready to help us get our things inside. The young people immediately started helping Kalyn feel comfortable and I was feeling emotionally better.
I know this is long, but I must tell you something very amazing. I knew that you all were praying for us and encouraging Steve and that was such a comfort to me!!! Thank you so much for those prayers. The amazing thing is a note written to Steve by Kimmie. Now I never saw this note until the last day of the trip when we were in London. Part of if said..."I just stopped in to see how it was going...and I am amazed. Not for the trouble, but because the Lord had told me to pray that Shonni wouldn't be discouraged. He kept impressing on me that discouragement would be riding her."
It was so encouraging to me to see how the LORD knew what I was feeling and was speaking to my family and friends about their need to pray! I am so glad that we are all apart of HIS family!!!
So again, thank you all so much. Look forward to sharing more about our trip soon!

I Love Faces

This weeks theme at I Love Faces is so fun!!! It is "Lets Hear It For The Boys!"

For my Adult Entry: I chose this picture of two precious young men in Uganda. Their names are Kenny and Tonny. They became "sons" to me while we were in Africa. This picture shows their extremely loving hearts. We were visiting an orphanage and Kenny and Tonny played with and held the little ones the whole time we were there.

For my Kid Entry: How could I pass up my Garett playing near a stream!!

There are so many amazing pictures at I Love Faces, so visit the site to see some other great boy photos!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Grateful/Thankful Thursday

Guess who we got to meet for the first time today? And we had a wonderful, fun picnic in the gorgeous Colorado mountains. Any clues yet?

Hint 1: between the two of us we had 14 children...

Hint 2: she has an infectiously fun laugh...(I know that this one isn't fair to our bloggy friends, so just trust me)...

Hint 3: she has 3 handsome sons, and 2 beautiful girls...come on, I'm showing you faces now...

Hint 4: no hint...this little one is just so cute and so precious!!!!

I am so grateful to the LORD for introducing me to this precious sister and for the beautiful day that we got to share together, and with our precious children....

Yes, I got to spend the day with this precious Joyful Mom .

Now you can imagine the thoughts that went through the other people's minds at this area who were also out to enjoy the stunning Colorado day; two white women show up with 14 children, all the colors of the LORD's beautiful family...well you can tell us what you think we might have heard and if she is feeling up to more laughter, Joyful Mom, can tell you, while my family and I pack to go camping for the next three days.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

From Kalyn-A Little Boy in a Purple shirt

Africa was amazing! It took a while to get there but it was worth it. We made some amazing friends and saw some joyful and some sad sights. One event that happened to me though really sticks in my mind.
On Tuesday I got sick and was throwing up all night (not fun). The next morning I was still weak and not feeling quit well but I decided I was well enough to go and watch our team play football (soccer) with some street kids. Some of us would also be face painting so I would help with that. Well I helped with the face paint for a while but we only had three brushes so I switched out with someone else and gave them a turn. It happened to be really, really hot that day and every one was drinking lots of water. Well this little boy was going around and collecting all the empty plastic water bottles and putting them in a plastic sack to take back and put drugs in and sniff. Well, I happened to be sitting up on this hill side that looked over the soccer field watching them play. This little boy, only eight or nine, comes up to me with his bag full of bottles and asks me if I am okay. I said I was fine and just watching the game. What he did next was so sweet and it kinda shocked me at first. He stands up and says "I make you umbrella," and he holds his little plastic bag full of bottles over my head to keep the sun off. It was just so touching, this little boy who would go back to the slums and sniff glue and stuff out of these plastic bottles; giving me shade with those same bottles. I told him that I was really alright and that he could sit down. He sat down beside me and we watched the game together. We didn't even say anything but just sat side by side on this hill. I could tell that in those few moments when we were sitting side by side we connected. We didn't say anything or do anything we just sat; two people from two different worlds.
I was sorry when we left, out of all the people there this little kid with his bag full of bottles took notice of me and was willing to stand in the hot sun to give me shade.
Kindness like that is rare and it is a reminder to me that no matter who they are or what their back ground is they are still precious. This little boy is precious to me now and every night I pray for him. This is a reminder to me also at what a little random act of kindness can do. I know that he has been an inspiration to me and that because of him I will look more closely to see those that need a little kindness in there lives.

(My little boy in the Purple shirt)

Very Scary

My, son, Jace, is an extremely smart young man and his passion is Political Science. His understanding of the political world has always amazed me. Even as a young man, I was constantly trying to find books for him to challenge his hungry young mind.

He has written something on his blog that I really feel we should take the time to read, consider, and share with others. It really should be an outrage that ABC has done this, yet no one really seems to notice or care. It really is scary. Please take the time to click over to his blog.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I Surrender All

"I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations." Psalm 108:3
If you have never had the opportunity to praise the LORD with Africans at one of their village churches...all I can say, is, WOW! Our 1st Sunday we went to one of the local pastors church. It was so fun as they danced and praised the LORD with all their might and all their love.

This young man, who I later fell helplessly in love with, played "I Surrender All". I was so moved by the SURRENDER of praise and worship that I saw in this church.
Women danced beautiful African dances to other songs (moves that I will never be able to do...there is just something special in they way they dance), a young boys choir was so wonderful to worship the LORD half way around the world with other brothers and sisters. See the drums on the side...those guys (and a few women) really played those drums!!!!! They were so GOOD.

Then Tonny (from above) and two other young men sang a song. It was so wonderful to see the absolute love they had as they sang to our LORD.

After church, candy was passed out for the children (though the adults loved the candy too). It was a little like a feeding frenzy...every seen fish go crazy when you throw food in the water for them....

The next day was the 1st time for Kalyn and I to get to visit the Sanyu baby home which was just down the road from us.
Here, little ones are waiting for the food come. It was not as peaceful as this picture looks...

Time for bed...the beds have net to keep the children safe from mosquitoes. It was fun to help put them to bed and pray for them.

Kalyn and I both loved holding and playing with as many babies as we could hold in our arms.

And one last picture for the post...

It is cute when little children help hold and comfort others,
however, I don't think "how cute" when I look at this...I think "how very sad". Sad because there is no mother or father to comfort these children. Orphans are parenting each other and it is sad!

"Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them!" Ecclesiastes 4;1
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