"to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faithin me." Acts 26:18

Monday, November 6, 2017

Snake Killing:

So I was innocently taking a nap today and then the kids began knocking quietly at the door.  I tried to ignore them.  Finally, I asked who was there...then there was a chorus of voices:

The SNAKE!  It's back!!

ugh... nap time is finished for the day.

So we were back at it for the third time this week.

Pulling the cobra out of the hole:

The head...

Then they chopped off the head for us: (The head gets buried so no one gets hurt)

Here are the workers from next door that killed it.  So thankful!

7.5 Feet!!  Crazy huge!!  It's our record for longest snake!

Yes, I have no words... my kids had at it. (pictures courtesy of Paige)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Compound Happenings

Life continues to breeze by at a crazy pace, but we've had some excitement here on our compound.

:: The first is that we had a pavilion built.  It sits just outside our kitchen door.  We had long outgrown our dining room and dining room table.  Even on the rare occasion that it was just our family, we still sat elbow to elbow.  Most nights, however, we would just spill out into the living room.  But we are loving this solution. Although, admittedly, it's taken some convincing to get the kids to spread out around the table.  They have complained that we are too far apart now and Talitha still tries to swing her leg over my leg while we eat just like she always did inside. haha!  Sitting outside is actually so relaxing.  The mornings are so cool and refreshing!  In addition to meals, this space also offers too much for our ministry.  Timothy's robot club now meets out here.  We also are hoping to get copies of all the Ugandan school textbooks.  Uganda does something similar to common core, so there are standardized textbooks available.  Unfortunately, most students never see them.  We are excited to be able to have a space where students can study their textbooks during open compound.  The kids really enjoy just hanging out here too.  So much blessing and so much potential!

This picture is courtesy of Timothy.  :-)

First family dinner:

Hanging out.  We hope to get doors made soon for the areas under the counter.

Secondary Students getting their supper last Wednesday:

:: The second is all the drama this hole has created...actually...it's not the hole...but that the hole is home to a very huge cobra.  Denise was on the back porch (about 15 feet from this hole) when she looked up and saw the cobra start to poke his head out during a rainstorm.

We got help from a group of men that are working on a building that is being constructed next door to us.  The hole was difficult to get to though.  It was on an embankment but on the other side of the fence from us.  They took two very long poles...one of which had a spear attached to the end of it... and tried to stab it.  The cobra came flying out of the hole with its hood out (SO BIG!) and landed in all the bushes below.  In the chaos of everyone trying to stay safe, the cobra disappeared.

 This is the building that is being constructed.  The men that didn't come over to help, gave plenty of advice while watching from a safe place. haha!

 We thought that maybe it had retreated back into its hole, so we burned our tire swing to try to smoke it out.  Nope.

Two days later...once again...it began to poke its head out during a rainstorm.  We tried again to get it but were quite unsuccessful.  So yes...there is still a very large cobra somewhere around.  Sigh...I'll be glad when we find it!

:: Katelyn enjoyed dissecting a worm for biology this past week.  We named him Fredrick.

:: And Benaiah's birthday is today!  At first, he wanted an ostrich.  Then he wanted a flamingo.  Finally, he settled on a duck.  Have I mentioned we've been studying birds?  He's spent quite a lot of time pouring over the bird books.  haha!  His name is Puddleglum and I hope I was not being too much of a Puddleglum when I reminded him repeatedly that his sweet duck is at the bottom of the food chain around here.  Here's to hoping he survives.

:: And for all my lamenting that we only have Pied Crows on our compound, we actually have quite a collection now!  The most exciting finds being a Coucal, a Plantain Eater and a Yellow Billed Kite.  We also had to add the Barn Owl that rested on our compound for a day a couple years ago.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

School Days

We are now into our sixth week of school this year and it's going great!  Almost three weeks ago, we welcomed Paige on board to be our new MA.  She's helping me with school and lots of other things.

Here's a little of what we are doing:

Timothy is in 11th grade this year!  So hard to believe!  He's pushing forward with his dream of becoming a robotic engineer by taking AP calculus and AP physics.  We were able to hook up with an international school in Kampala who is willing to organize and proctor the AP examinations for him in May.  He's also doing Tree of Life's online program and taking Chinese, piano, computer programming and still running his robot club.  The robot club has been great to watch.  These guys have taken off with it and really seem to enjoy geeking out together.

Denise and Matthew have made huge strides this year.  They are also beginning Tree of Life with Paige and have started the Apologia General Science course.  They seem to be enjoying the challenge that these two courses are providing.

Katelyn has continued with Tree of Life.  She is also working her way through One Year Adventure Novel and taking Arabic, Current Events, Biology, and Cello.

Rebecca is still pressing forward with her Chinese.  She was delighted to have one of our recent visitors carry over a Chinese/English Bible for her.  She still dreams of ending up in China one day.  She's doing Tree of Life, Physical Science, geography, and violin.  Paige is an accomplished violinist and Rebecca is enjoying having her around to help her with the violin.

Jimmy has started trumpet this year.  We were able to find him a tutor as well.  He's taking lessons with Brian, our neighbor, and his best friend.  They love having something like this to do together.

Jimmy and William started the Writers in Residence series this year.  It's our first time using it.  So far they really seem to like it.  I like that it is a combo with writing and grammar.

The rest of the younger crew...Jimmy, William, Benaiah, and Talitha are working through Apologia's Flying Creatures book and Story of the World Vol 2. We've realized that even though Uganda boasts of many amazing birds, our compound does not.  Other than a flock of Pied Crows, we have very few bird sightings.  Guess we do kids not birds here.  haha!  Paige is doing history with them.  I love being able to turn this completely over and not have to think about it anymore.

They still do their maps in the Classical conversations style....tracing maps every day, focusing on Europe this cycle. This year, however, I added researching a country of their choice every few weeks.  The first time was GREAT.  They found some of the most interesting facts.  William decided that he wants to be a sheep farmer in Scotland and eat haggis when he grows up.  He wants to learn to play the bagpipe and wanted to learn Scottish as his foreign language until his siblings dashed his dreams with reality.  Haha!  He makes me laugh. Maybe one day he can learn Gaelic. Most of the kids are doing their math through Teaching Textbooks now.  (I really love how independent TT is...a necessity with so many kids)  Talitha is almost finished learning to read.  She has become quite fluent in her reading skills and only has a few sounds left to learn.  She loves it.  They do spelling with the Rod and Staff spelling books and for literature this year, we just picked a stack of books off the shelf. 

I've been on a quest to make school simple this year.  I think we are enjoying a slower pace.  Trying to leave more room for their passions in life and I'm loving seeing what they are loving.

I am so privileged to be able to teach my kids.  I'm so thankful for this crew and every day that the Lord gives me with them.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Reformation Book Room Opens!

Our teammates, Charles and Connie Jackson, have been working tirelessly (and sometimes tiredly! haha!) to open up a book room in Mbale.  This dream has been years on our hearts and minds.  It opened today!  

We have great books...and more on the way, Lord willing!

Great Ugandan crafts for sale...

And great coffee... (Because apparently, we stand in a line of ancient church history tradition...)

Praying that this will become a gathering place for people eager to expand their knowledge of their world, their creator and their faith so that they may better glorify God and enjoy him forever.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Khamoto Village Church

This past week we worshiped at Khamoto Village Church.  Their pastor, Alex, was being ordained.  It was a lovely time.

The church (They are trying to build a new building out of bricks in the back.  The current church is a mud and stick building and won't last for very much longer)

Left to Right: Pastor Messalamu, Pastor Timothy, Pastor Alex, Pastor Charles Jackson, Pastor Herbert and Pastor Eric.

Pastor Alex and his family:

Pastor Charles Jackson also baptized 5 babies in the service!

Eric preached.

Still smiling after 3.5 hours!

Here are some snippets of the singing...first a local praise song, then a hymn and finally a short clip of the choir.  When the choir was singing, there was a mama (in a silver colored gomesi) next to us that was softly singing along and her harmony sounded so beautiful to me.