Friday, September 10, 2010

Adventures With Mark... Joy & Sadness!

This is one of those catch up newsletters that brings both joyful and disappointing news. As many of you know the school is still under construction almost three years after it was started in January of 2008. We had local inspectors out last week looking around as we are working on registering the school and they were very impressed. They consider the new facility a first class school and one of the best in Uganda. This is exciting news as we are becoming well known in our new community for many other reasons as well. Just last month we had an organization called “Libraries of Love” that is based out of the US came and give us 500 books to add to our library collection. Not only did they add these to our collection of about 9000 books but they provided the money to build built-in book shelves along one complete wall and added some paint. Thank you Trudy for adding us to your list of the ever - increasing amount of libraries you have set up in Uganda.
Later in the week we had some secondary school graduates come and with awe stated that our library is better than their high school library. We know that many of you have helped along the way with adding books to this amazing collection and we want to thank you so much. God has multiplied what was a library of about 100 books seven years ago to now one of the best if not the best elementary libraries for all of Uganda. The greatest thing is that our students love their new library and are excited every week to come and read. There are tables in the library for a complete class to come and enjoy themselves for a full hour.
Unfortunately we are feeling the effects of the financial difficulties in the west more than ever and beginning September 15 the building project will come to a halt and the school will be used as it is until more money is raised. We have made excellent progress but still lack funds for painting of the exterior and interior of most buildings, plastering of the school block, completing the access road, landscaping, completing the playground area and other things. We will slowly try to add a few things out of our school operational budget hopefully like flagpoles and other odds and ends. I wish God’s plans were a little different but such is life, but we are very grateful for what has been done so far.
I want to close with a special thanks to a good buddy of mine who made his way to Uganda for a few days with us before he flew to South Africa on some school business. “Buster” it was great to have you and your support in all areas has been awesome. It was a highlight of the year to have you come and see a little bit of our life here. Like my good buddy, many of you support us in so many ways and we are truly grateful for that. I wish we could do more to repay the favor but at the moment the best we can do is pay it forward and pass all the love and generosity onto the students we interact with who are not so blessed. Thanks for loving us and please keep us in your prayers. God bless…

Friday, September 3, 2010

Adventures With Sarah... Seth & Jodie!

Quotes and common phrases heard around our house from the kids:
Jodie to Seth while dancing in front of the TV with her dance videos: ‘Hey! Hey! Do dis!’
Jodie while running away from a scary monster or crocodile (usually daddy), ‘Na-nana Boo-Boo!’
After several months of being plagued with stomach afflictions mommy says to Seth during a bathroom break, ‘So do you have any owies in your tummy today?’ Seth replies matter of factly, ‘Nope. Just bugs’
Jodie while toting a little purse on her shoulder: ‘I want some money. I put it in my person’
Jodie while watching mom put on her make-up: ‘I want some wake-up too, mom’.
Jodie when having a hard time climbing into her car seat: ‘Ooh. I need new batteries’
Seth while half sleeping after being awakened from his nap: Mommy lays him on the couch and says, ‘Man you’re getting heavy!’ absorbing the compliment he says kindly, ‘Yes. And so are you!’
Seth very excitedly after being informed that he and Jodie get to watch Dr Suess’s ‘Horton Hears a Who’, ‘Oh! I was thoughting about Horton!’
There are lots of other fun things they’ve said that I always forget to write down. Though some of my days I think I just want to get out of the house, most of the time I think my kids are the greatest human beings on the planet and I feel so lucky to see them every day!
Jodie is still going through a very clingy ‘mommy’ phase. She can go about 10 minutes without knowing where I am and then she starts walking around looking for me (even if she’s enjoying one of her movies). If she can see me she does pretty well but if not then she looks around till she finds me and wants to be involved in what I’m doing. So I have lots of help in the kitchen! I spent a few months trying to curb it but found that made it worse, so I now include her in what I’m doing and she loves it. She will often call out loudly ‘Sarah!’ (or more accurately ‘Sawah!’) because that’s what she hears all of Seth’s friends call me. Her favorite thing to say is still ‘I can do it by myself!’ when anyone tries to help her with anything. Her sentences are getting longer and she loves to be bossy! Last week on the way to church she started talking as we left the driveway and she talked the WHOLE fifteen minutes to church. (“Daddy, look at da chicken- I see a cow!-Hey! What’s dat sound?-I wanna drink-a-water-Look at dat guy, mom-See dat, see dat?- I see a man on a bi-co (bicycle)-we goin to chuch!”) About half way through Mark says quietly, ‘Wow. Do you think she’s always going to be like this?’ I predicted she will.
Both kids love to help make pancakes or cookies and are both pros at cracking eggs on the counter and putting in their thumbs to dump out the marvelous slimy egg. We’ve begun talking about flying to Canada and America on an airplane (for our visit at Christmas time). Seth completely gets it and talks about snow and hamburgers at McDonalds. He recently went with us to a birthday party for one of our friends and he saw a gray haired couple there as soon as we walked in. Though we show him both sets of grandparents’ pictures on the fridge all the time he stopped dead in his tracks and said, ‘Is that my grandpa and grandma?’ Of course mommy almost cried. And the couple who are also missing their grandchildren almost cried as well. They go to our church so since then Seth and Jodie have seen them a few times and enjoy them.
I hope you are all well. Can’t wait to see you! Sarah