"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

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Family Vacation and New Years Celebration

We just got back from a wonderful, restful week in Kampala.  We got lots of time to visit with the VEs and lots of time to rest. 

We also made Oliebollen together...a dutch New Years tradition.

Played a little ninja...

 Made bracelets...

Played Capture the Flag and watched the big kids forget that their little cousins/siblings were playing and one little forgotten cousin played Benedict Arnold and told the other little forgotten cousin where the flag was and the other little cousin snagged it in victory.  haha...can't forget the power of those littles!

Roasted hot dogs...

and helped with kitchen duties...

We arrived back home around noon on New Year's Eve.  To bring in the New Year, Eric and the big kids went to church for an overnight...an all-night service with singing, dancing, prayer, testimonies, 4 sermons and ending with a movie at 6 am. 

The littles and I rang in the new year in a more cozy way.  We listened to a Narnia story while coloring and then they slept around the Christmas tree.  Although I went to bed early (staying up is for the birds! haha!), I did end up outside at midnight trying to calm our frightened dogs who don't care for the fireworks so much.  Last year, one of our dogs got scared and ran away and we didn't find her for a couple of days.  This year, the security guard and I tied them up and sat with them while they cried and shook.  Poor doggies! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

December Photo Project: Day 25

Merry Christmas to all!

Our Christmas day was non-stop action from sunrise to well after sunset.  That's why I haven't gotten this post up until Boxing Day.

Christmas morning I decided to take advantage of very little traffic on the road and I went for a 13-mile bike ride.  I was surely rewarded with a beautiful sunrise over Mt. Wanale.

Then we opened gifts.  We don't usually do gifts on Christmas day, but this year we couldn't find another time to do it.  It's always so sweet to see how much these kids love each other and how thoughtful they are.

The most hilarious find was that Katelyn found William a Tim Hortons Canada mug in our little supermarket in Mbale. 

Mid morning we went to church for our Christmas Day service.  So much fun to be with everyone on such a joy-filled day!

Then we came home, ate a quick lunch and packed our things for a week in Kampala.  We stopped in Jinja at Java House for a nice Christmas meal together.  Eric's sister and her family are staying in Kampala for the next month as they are expecting their 9th child any day now.  So we are spending the week down there and filling up on cousin time and family time. 

The drive across Uganda on Christmas day was so lovely.  Not only was there waaaay less traffic (huge bonus!), but it was so fun to see everyone walking to friends houses in their brand new Christmas clothes and sitting around eating their Christmas meals.  That is the Christmas tradition here...if they can, they will get a new set of nice clothes and they will have a big meal with their families.  (It's often the one day of the year that they will get meat) 

The Lord provided a great place for us to stay and we are looking forward to this week. 

Hopefully lots of time like this! :-)

Monday, December 24, 2018

December Photo Project: Day 24

Today the youth of our church gathered to do Christmas Eve Christmas Caroling in our neighborhood.  Before they left, they gathered under our mango tree to do one last practice.

They had a cute little audience...

As the youth were leaving, I also snapped a few pictures of the littles just hanging out...

Then while we were eating dinner, we saw one of our Eastern Grey Plantain Eaters surprisingly eating plantains... which is actually an unusual sight...maybe because the people tend to get to the plantains first.  ;-)

Sunday, December 23, 2018

December Photo Project: Day 23

Sunday evening once again brings "Circle Time" (we used to meet in a circle until our group became too large, but it's still affectionately referred to "Circle Time" because "Line Time" just didn't have the same ring to it. haha!)  During Circle Time we sing, review the Sunday School and Sermon topics, practice the catechism and Biblical timeline, read a Bible story and pray.  

This little one is holding a bottle of "Makwagwe juice" (otherwise known as a Tamarind plant).  We have a Tamarind tree in our yard and when the kids come, they love to collect the seed pods this time of year and make juice out of it.

December Photo Project: Day 22

Tonight we celebrated the birthday of our good friend Flora.  Somehow she escaped the water, but not the sparklers.  

Friday, December 21, 2018

December Photo Project: Day 21

Tonight we had our annual compound party.  For those of you who don't know, on our compound (which is about an acre, fenced in and gated) are three houses.  One for our family, one for guests/MAs and one for the Magalas: Pastor Charles (pastor of our church), Mama Rachel, their twins (and our kids best friends): Brian and Meylin, and their older kids who are sometimes there and sometimes not, but always welcomed: Paul and his wife Robinah (Paul is the pastor of the PCU church that meets at the college, librarian at the college and Robinah runs the day-to-day operations at Reformation Book Room), Martin, Abu and Naomi. (They also have several children that live out of town, so they weren't able to make it tonight)  We were also joined by Robinah's sister, Monica, who helped us with all the cooking for tonight,  Sammy (our friend and occasional neighbor when he's not at school, who is from Kenya like Mama Rachel) and Sharon, our little friend from the village who has an inoperable, but significant heart defect, and who comes around to hang out at the Magalas occasionally.  It was so great to be able to fellowship around the table tonight and then spend the rest of the evening singing Christmas songs. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

December Photo Project: Day 20

My kids are telling me that December Photo Project is supposed to be more Christmasy and I'm not doing enough Christmasy pictures. So I told them to start doing Christmasy things and maybe my pictures would be a bit more Christmasy.  (Whew...never had to deal with such critics in my blog's early years...lol!)

So here I present my two youngest ones Christmasy School Assignments.  Thank you IEW for forcing me to do something that meets the expectation of my home-grown blog critics...

From Benaiah...I think it's safe to say he's a pretty big fan of Christmas food...

From Talitha...she evidently read somewhere about the Holly plant being a Christmas thing.  It wasn't until after she had completed her assignment that she asked, "What are hollys anyway mom?"