Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Stove-popped Popcorn

i bought corn kernels at the grocery store the other day. {yup, there are both markets and grocery stores here in kampala.}
i figured at some point i'd probably end up making popcorn.
i figured correctly.
we had no chips and we were all feeling a bit munchy so i decided to make some popcorn.
now it may just be because i'm in africa and all, but this popcorn was the best popcorn i've ever had. and there wasn't even any butter on it! {and i'm a soggy-with-butter-popcorn kinda girl!}
here's how you make it:

you need:
3 tbsp oil (i used canola. you can use whatever you like, but one with a higher smoking point work best}
1/3 cup corn kernels
salt to taste

on med-high heat in a large pan, pour the oil in and 3 or 4 kernels. {trust me.} cover the pan.
when the kernels start to pop, remove from heat and add in the rest of the kernels and cover again. the oil is now at "popping" temperature.
count to 30. {noah likes to do this with me - although he sorta gets lost after 15.} this allows the rest of the kernels to heat up.
then put the pan back on the stove and wait until you start to hear the popping. once you hear the popping, open the lid a bit {if you can, it gives the popcorn a crisper taste/feel} and start shakin'. 
once the popping stops/slows down you can remove the pan and voila! perfect popcorn!
you can add the salt now - OR you can add it to the oil at the beginning. this is what i do and it evenly coats all the popcorn.

i think in my last batch, i only had 2 unpopped kernels. sweet, eh?
and there are endless flavourings you can add:
cinnamon and sugar
parmesan and black pepper
curry powder
or just lots and lots of butter.
but we're pretty happy here just eating it with a bit of salt.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

this week i...

landed in entebbe airport.
visited an ugandan hospital with noah.
bartered and bought some crafty-type things at a market.
settled into a new home in a new country on a new continent.
learned how to light a gas stove and oven {lighting the oven is scary but worth it.} and baked muffins.
went to a ugandan church and loved it.
walked over 4km on the streets of kampala with kids in tow.
popped popcorn on my gas stove. {it was delicious. i will teach you how to make it in a coming post.}
fell asleep to the sound of rain falling on our tin roof.
wore skirts a lot.
showered by candlelight.
started watching the LOST series from the beginning {again}.
explained a lot of things to my kids.
ate some of the most delicious french fries {chips} with ketchup at a cafe.
read a lot of heart-warming emails from my sweet friends in canada.
thought about the importance of having friends.
talked to people on skype.
worshipped Jesus in the everyday moments.

how was your week? i'd love to hear!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

saturday morning

starbucks coffee and strawberry jam muffins.
my first experience with my gas oven was a bit scary, but i figured out how to light it.
these muffins turned out pretty good.
there's definitely room for improvement, but good for a first attempt {and with no measuring cups}. 
it was certainly nice to enjoy coffee and muffins for breakfast.

i've been listening to page cxvi's version of 'tis so sweet to trust in Jesus on repeat the last few days.

'tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
just to take him at his word
just to rest upon his promise
and to know, "thus saith the Lord"

Jesus, Jesus, how i trust him
how i've proved him o'er and o'er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus
oh, for grace to trust him more!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

anecdotes from my side of the world

yesterday i was unpacking a grocery bag and pulled out a pack of hangers when a cockroach {just a small little guy} fell out of the hangers. i lost sight of him and for a second thought i would just leave him. but then i thought about the fact that i was doing all this on my bed. and did i really want a roaming cockroach in my bed? so i searched him out and found him and stepped on him.
then later while lying in bed that night i realized i never picked him up off the floor.

my phone has a function on it that has something to do with the muslim call to prayer.

i am wearing a sweater right now.

the other day we were in a walmart-type store when i got to the cash and realized jude was not with us. we had been split up for a bit, jamie watching the boys while i got some items but then when we all came back together he just wandered off.
mini freak out. right.there.
he was in the toy aisle riding on a baby bike.
wild child.

the appliances we bought the other day don't fit with the plugs here in uganda. apparently you are supposed to take them to the service counter and they switch them for the correct plug. weird. {on the upside, we now have a working toaster and kettle!}

i bought a fan today {finally} only to have a crazy breeze blowing through our home right now. {hence the sweater.}

i went for 2 and a bit days without looking into a mirror. shocking. {we still have no mirrors in our house.}

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

bingo bango

it was a day of good and bad. {isn't every day like that?}
noah's elbow popped out yesterday {the third time this has happened} and by this morning he still wasn't using it and complained/cried in pain when we tried to move it.
so we looked into a couple options and decided that i would take him to the nearest "hospital" {it was really more like a clinic} with lynn, a missionary who lives just up the street from us.
it was a rough visit.
he screamed and cried when the doctor tried to touch his arm.
i tried to help the doctor understand that it wasn't because he was a "big, black man" but because he was a stranger and noah was afraid of the pain that he would feel if his arm was moved.
i had multiple "i wish i was back home" moments but that is life when you move overseas and to be expected.
i won't go into all the details except that we were sent for an x-ray and it was an extremely traumatic experience for noah and ended with both of us in tears.
when we went back to the doctor, he had left to go to another hospital.
we waited.
and waited.
and waited.
and then we decided to leave and come back tomorrow.
and i decided to try and have another "go" at fixing noah's elbow.
and sure enough, within the hour of getting back home, he was using it and playing happily with his new friend, sophia.

thank you God that you healed noah's arm. thank you for the perspective that my days and weeks and months will be filled with low points, but that you will also be there to lift me out of the miry clay. 

we made and enjoyed spaghetti with a hearty meat sauce for dinner. {high point!}

one of the sessions in chicago during our training was about adjusting to a new culture and the speaker pointed out that if there are mothers on the team, they will likely not experience the typical "honeymoon" period, but go directly to the slump {and eventually equalize and rise up again to a "normal" level}. bingo bango, mr. speaker.

our home is coming together s l o w l y but God is {as usual} teaching me and sustaining me.
i want to be adjusted and used to this city and culture and know my way around {and have a fully stocked pantry and fridge}, but that takes time. {where is that fast forward button, anyway?}
i love change, but i hate the transition part.
we're getting there.
i just have to keep going.

Monday, August 22, 2011



I am going to die.

carrying 2 year old jude in my arms and halfway across a crazy downtown kampala street I realize I can't make it with most of our team. 
standing beside me is trevor, the other guy on our team and we both feel the insanity of the streets.
no traffic cops.
no stop signs.
no traffic lights.
kampala rush hour.
we just have to go for it.
eventually we see a break and go for it. a taxi van gives me a nudge {with a child in my arms at that!} and my initiation into kampala living is complete.

I am alive.

we have the week to settle in and buy things like, oh ya know, a fridge, oven/stove and couches. and maybe some hangers. and food. and a broom! 
oh settling in.

my view.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

words to encourage

we are all here to find
the place where our restless souls
will be free
we were all made to see
our hearts could not rest
until found in thee
divine invitation

you have redeemed my soul
from the pit of emptiness
you have redeemed my soul 
from death

i was a hungry child, a dried up river
i was a burned out forest, and no one could do anything for me
but you put food in my body, water in my dry bed
and to my blackened branches, you brought the springtime green
of new life
and nothing is impossible for you
you have redeemed my soul

this week i've been able to worship with page cxvi in person and it's been so wonderful. i hadn't heard of these songs before but i love them. (neither are written by page cxvi, but their take on them - as usual - is fantastic.) i thought i had blogged about page cxvi before, but i can't find it. well, i love them. check them out.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

he swims!

once he figured out the water wings and realized he had independence...

pure joy.
and for me to watch my child learn a new skill, become confident and excited about his new ability...
also pure joy.

like nothing I have ever experienced until I had kids. 

being a parent is really, really cool. 
big challenges.
massive blessings.

linking up with Sweet Shot Tuesdays

Sunday, August 14, 2011

just checking...

From our hotel room near Chicago...

Noah: Mom, when are we going to Uganda?

Me: On Friday.

Noah. Okay. On Friday.

Friday, August 12, 2011

going, going, gone - sorta

so this morning we left our families in toronto and boarded a plane for a week of training in chicago.
with all our shtuff for the next 2 years in uganda.

oh yes. we increased our bags from 8 to 9. 
{i just couldn't make it fit.}
sucked it up and paid the luggage fees.
said our teary goodbyes {it was harder for me to watch our parents saying goodbye to our kids} and made our way through customs and to our gate {i 100% recommend sucking it up and paying a porter. especially if you've got kids and you have 9 pieces of luggage. plus carry on luggage. boy did we milk the carry on luggage.}

the boys did great on the plane. 
okay well noah did great. 
jude did not like the whole "sit in your seat with this seatbelt on which will restrict all moving around-type activities.
but whatevs.

all our bags arrived {quickly!} at o'hare and with the help of some friendly US staff people we shuffled all our bins over to the bus and made our way to the hotel.

leg one: completed.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

we are not special

today at the travel clinic (our third and final visit) i met a couple who were missionaries. 
from kazakhstan. 
placed in toronto to reach the jewish immigrants. 
(their oldest daughter works for campus crusade for christ in kazakhstan.)
they did exactly what we are doing.
they left their known and came to the unknown for the purpose of glorifying God by spreading His fame. for them it meant moving to toronto. 

we are not special people, jamie and i. we're just ordinary folk. ordinary folk who love Jesus and want to bring His name glory by spreading His fame across the nations.
we don't want to waste our (short) lives and for us that means moving far away. 
to uganda.
we want to be a part of something bigger.
we want to glorify God more than anything else in the world. 
i am not brave.
but i am confident in Jesus. 
and i would give my all to follow Him - wherever it leads me.

what does loving Jesus (truly loving Him) mean for your life?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


because everyone ought to sit on a front porch in pajamas with an umbrella as the sun sets.

excuse me while i go drown in packing.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Jude's laid-back birthday party

I decided to keep things low-key and relaxed for Jude's birthday party. seeing as we'd be in someone else's house, I wouldn't have any of "my" things and not really a large place to host our families, I decided it would be better to just chill at the beach.
and so a week ago we did.

and it was awesome. and relaxing. and a lot of fun. and exactly the way birthday parties should be.
don't get me wrong, I've done the themed birthday party and there's a part of me that enjoys all the details and planning but this was definitely not the time to do one of those parties.
it was a time to celebrate Jude, enjoy some good food and hang out with family.
so we set up a table, some blankets, camping chairs in the shade near the beach and tied some balloons to a huge tree.
then we did cake and ice cream as soon as everyone arrived so that it wouldn't all melt before we had a chance to enjoy it.

Jude loved singing and blowing out his candles and he insisted that he was in fact, not two, but three and a HALF.
funny kid.

my awesome photographer sister took a bunch of pictures of the day since I left my camera back at the house (which really wasn't that far, but it was nice to not worry about getting "the" shot and just enjoying the moment).

my favourite shot of the day. 

Noah and I had prayed ahead of time that it would be a nice day (as it was forecasted to be thunder showers and feels like 41 degrees!) and it was an amazingly perfect day.
later in the day I said to Noah:
Remember when we prayed and asked God for a nice day for Jude's birthday?
Noah: Yeah.
Do you think God answered our prayer?
Noah: I think SO!

it was a lovely, laid-back birthday party for a two year old and I wouldn't change a thing.

Friday, August 5, 2011


why are you moving to africa?
why are you packing up your lives {into 8 rubbermaid containers} and flying halfway around the world?

why are you going, especially when you have two young kids?
and then...

why are you taking your kids away from comfort? safety? opportunities? wealth? friends? family?
even if you don't say it, i know you think it sometimes.

because of Jesus.
because He loves us and it's his love that compels us to leave what we know for the unknown.
because our love for Him causes us {causes me} to actually desire to give up everything for the sake of bringing Him praise.
it's because of our kids that we are going.
not despite. or even though we have kids.
our call is their call. 
as a family we are called to africa.
the opportunities they will have are like none i could ever offer them living the life we live in canada.
their eyes will see things they would never see.
they will experience life as most of the world knows it.
and i know they will love it. 
{it's their parents that will probably have a harder time.}
they will see their parents striving to obey God and listening to His voice to go.
they will likely see us making mistakes and learning to lean on Him more and more
we will bond together in a way all families should, but the western world and all her distractions make so difficult.
us & Jesus. 

David Livingstone {missionary to africa} said this about leaving the "benefits" of england:

"Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger, now and then, with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice."

this is what i want for me. for us.

we leave in one week today.
there have been crazy setbacks due to my procrastination and lack of planning;
but we go....
(in 7 days and counting)
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