29 July 2013


Wow a lot has happened since I last wrote about "Driving".

I last wrote about life here in Uganda in March.  Then we had a few Birthdays that I mentioned, but a lot more has gone on between then and now.

At the end of March we had two visitors. Dallas' parents came and spent two weeks with us.  It was a lot of fun to show them around and let them see a little of what our lives are like here in Uganda.
Mini Golf Africa style
In April we celebrated Drew's Birthday. one year in Uganda for everyone.  That year seemed to fly by.  I think because everyone settled in so quickly to life here.

Drew opening his remote helicopter 
  May it was Katrina's turn to have a birthday.  In the MAF families here there are six children with birthdays in May, four of then are close to the same age.  Because of this us moms do one party for all of them at the same time.  This way they get many kids at the party and we don't have to have a party every week.  This year we had it were there is a big swimming pool.

Katrina with her Birthday friends
The kids worked really hard in June to finish their school year well.  All of them did great and got WOW Awards for Amazing Progress.  I am very proud for them!  They changed country, school and school curriculum.

Drew is now done with elementary and will be going to secondary next year.

The beginning of July Dallas and I celebrated 13 years of being married.  I got to ride with him as he did the Karamoja shuttle, and then we went out for supper with no kids.

My driver for the day

I am almost done with this long update.

Two weeks ago on the 12th of July we got up early and went to the Entebbe airport to meet a team from one of our home churches. This team had some special people one it for us.  Dallas' older sister and younger brother.  After seeing them at the airport they got on a bus to go up to Karuma to work at an orphanage for a week and a bit.  Then this last Monday they all came back to Kampala for a day and a half before they flew back to Canada.  So we got to spend some time with Tanya and Darren.  Darren stayed for two extra days and went with Dallas on a flight.

That brings us to now.  We are all up to date. 

25 May 2013

Katrina Joy

On the 6th of May we had another birthday in our house.  Katrina Joy is now in the double digits with her brother.  Our little Katie is now 10, oh my!
I did this for Drew last month so I thought I would do it for Katrina too.
Katrina Joy

Kind - she always wants to do something nice for you.
Ambitious - willing to do her best.
Thoughtful - thinking of ways to show someone she cares.
Radiant - she seems to always be showing her joy.
Intelligent - catches on to things fairly quickly.
Namesake - Katrina means the same as Karen, and her middle name and mine are the same.
Artistic - has a natural inclination to make her thoughts seen.

Joyful - she is living up to her name.
Observant - catches things quickly and remembers it for a long time. Sometimes I wish she would
                    not remember so much.
Youthful - she is enjoying life.

Happy Birthday Katrina!


12 April 2013

Andrew Michael

It is April 12, and this is a big day in this house. It is Drew's 11th Birthday. Eleven years ago today Dallas and I became parents, and what an adventure it has been.

Andrew Michael.....

Adventurous - He is willing to experience new things. 
Namesake - He is named after his Great-grandpa and his Uncle. He thinks it is very cool.
Determined - More so when it comes to sports.
Resourceful - He is always trying to find a way to do things eraser and to make things work.
Easy-going - Does not need to know the plan, willing to make the plan as you go.
Welcoming - He enjoys making people feel at home.

Meek - Gentile with those around him, especially with younger children.
Imaginative - Loves to use his imagination to create things with Lego or to play a game.
Cheerful - You will usually see him with a smile on his face.
Healthy - We thank and praise God for this!
Athletic - He has always been interested in sports and catches on quick, even at the age of three.
Enthusiastic - When it comes to anything but school, but that is starting to change.
Laughter - He always enjoys a good joke.

Happy Birthday Drew!!! 


1 March 2013


I was driving myself to get some needed groceries the other day, and I thought to myself, "This has become 'normal'."

It has been ten and a half months since we arrived here in Uganda, and ten months since I have been driving the kids and myself around the city. If you had told me then that I would be driving around Kampala and area with confidence ten months after arriving here I don't know if I would have believed you.

Learning to drive here has been an adventure. For one thing the driver sits in the right seat of the vehicle and we drive down the road on the left hand side. You also have to stay alert at all times. You need to watch the other vehicles, "boda bodas" (motorcycles), and the people, anyone of them could go where you don't expect them to go. You have to try to expect the unexpected. Another thing about driving here is that Kampala is pretty much made up of many hills, I think 21 all together, and we have a manual transmission vehicle. It has been interesting to learn how not to let it roll to much in the wrong direction.

Now you will find me driving every day as I take the kids to school or pick them up. You will also find me going about once a week to get groceries to keep my family fed, and the laundry done and the house clean. Oh, and to make sure our puppy's have the food they need too. You may be thinking that is not so much, but here there is no one stop shopping. I may have to go to three or four different shops in one day to get everything I need.

Thank you all for your prayers as I have learned this valuable skill for living in Uganda.      

1 February 2013

Laundry "Fun Times"

Laundry is something that always piles up in our family, and I never seem to make the pile smaller for long. Just when I think I have got it licked the kids come home from school or Dallas comes home from a flight.

Living in a third world country comes with it's own challenges for doing laundry.
I am very thankful that I have a machine that washes the clothing, towels and sheets for me, if the power is on.  But I do not have an electric machine to dry them.  I have three lines in my back yard, and four small lines under cover for when it rains.  I can still dry the laundry but not as much as on the bigger lines in the back.  After everything is dry it needs to be ironed to kill all the bug eggs that might have been laid on it.  And again this only happens if the power is on.  Sometimes I have been able to wash and dry the laundry but then the power says good-bye and the laundry just sits there clean but unable to be used.

Take the last few weeks for example.

Three weekends ago we were without power for the whole weekend. So no laundry was done but everyone had to wear clothes and the pile gets bigger and bigger.  The power came back on Sunday afternoon, and I was able to do one load because it was late in the day and had to be hung on the smaller lines.  On Monday I had great plans to get a lot of laundry done but with the piles so big and a small washer I knew it was not all going to get done.  Monday morning I got the kids off to school and proceeded to get laundry started, but the power went off again for the whole day.  So the piles of laundry got one day bigger.  The rest of the week the power plaid tag, and I only got about 5 loads done all week.

The next week was a lot better and I got the piles down and did some extra that was waiting for smaller "need to wash" piles.

 All was going great until last Sunday, when the power company thought we had had enough power and could be off for the day.  On this day our neighbors behind us also decided that the trees between us were getting too big and becoming a security problem so they needed to come down.  As they were cutting things down they did not realize that one tree was not going to fall where they thought it would.  It came over our wall and hit the power lines.  Now we were going to be without power for longer then just that day.  The power company was not going to turn the power back on until our neighbors were done with the cutting.  Everything was done and the power back on by 2pm Monday afternoon but because of the time of day only one load got done again.

The rest of this week has not been good for laundry. 

Tuesday the power plaid tag again, and I didn't get any done. 

Wednesday it rained all day, and I don't have a lot of space for drying in the rain so no laundry.

Thursday I got two loads done and then the power went off.  It came back on later but by then it was to late in the day to get things dry.

And that brings us to today, and my great plans to get a small load done because it was raining again. I was just about to get the load going when the power went off and has not come back all day.

All this to say when everything is right you do laundry. I even found myself doing two loads on Christmas day this year.  Something I thought I would never do.  But there was some laundry that needed doing so it got done.

The joys of keeping house in Uganda!

4 January 2013


Since we moved to Uganda 8 and a half months ago I have come to the understanding that we as a family need to approach some celebrations differently then we would have in Canada. Christmas for me was the big one that needed some refocusing. In Canada it seemed to be easier to get into the the feel of the season. About mid November the temperature would drop and the snow would start to fall. Then you would start to realize that Christmas was on it's way. But being in a country were the temperature doesn't drop below +18 degrees Celsius all year long and there is no snow it was a little harder to realize that Christmas was approaching.

This year as Christmas approached I noticed that I was having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit and the understanding that it was coming fast. So I decided to focus on why we celebrate at this time of year. I really like to listen to music and Christmas music is probably my favorite. So I thought that would be a good place to start.  This year as I listened to the music I decided to not just have it on in the background, but to really listen to the words of the songs. As I listened I began to remember why we celebrate Christmas.

We celebrate this baby's birth because if this baby had not been born we would not have Easter. Our amazing God loves us so much that He wanted to save us from certain death. The only way for Him to do this was to came down to earth and be the sacrifice we needed to be saved.

After realizing this it wasn't very hard to feel like Christmas was coming and to be excited about the celebration.