20 June 2017

WOW! One Year Later

The last time I posted we were a month away from going back to Canada for five and a half months.

WOW! I didn't realize it had been that long.

A lot has happened in the last year.

We landed in Canada on July 30th 2016, and we hit Canadian soil running. We were able to see many of you that we had not seen in five years or more. It was cool to see God working out the little things and being able to see people that we had thought we would not see. I was able to see cousins I hadn't see in seventeen years and one I had never met, and we got to meet up with fellow MAF Canada colleges. Also a dear friend who I hadn't see in eight years. God is so good.

We did most of our travailing the first three months. Dallas even went on a two week work trip to the UK and Kenya.

It was wonderful to be with family for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It had been five years since we were able to be with them for those celebrations. We were also in Canada for the birth of our two nephews.


We arrived back in Mongolia on January 29th 2017.

Since then we have been settling back into life here and the kids have been working on school. As I tip this they are working on final exams and finishing up school for the year. We have been working on learning to speak Mongolian so we will be able to communicate more with the Mongolian people. Here is a picture of one of our lessons.

That is a quick rundown of our last year. Hopefully I won't wait a year to right again.

30 June 2016

Another Year Done

At the main square in UB shortly after arriving in Mongolia.
Another year of school is done for my children. When the decision to move to Mongolia from Uganda for the remainder of our first term with MAF we knew that I would need to home school our kids again.

We did not come straight from Uganda to Mongolia, we went through Canada first. While in Canada we began to organize schooling for the kids. They were accepted by a school board in Alberta that offers courses on-line. We are very thankful for this as they were able to do all their LA(Language Arts) on-line. For those of you not familier with Canadian curriculum LA is English class. All the rest of the subjects I taught. I was able to find curriculum for Science, Social Studies(History), and Health. Unfortunately we did not have enough time to get everything for their math. I ordered the math curriculum when we got to Mongolia. Do to a mix up with my order, having to reorder it, and get it shipped to us here in Ulaanbaatar, we were able to start math just before Christmas.

So another year of school is almost done.

The kids and I were able to start school shortly after arriving in Mongolia, once the jet-leg was mostly gone. They have all worked very hard this year and I am very proud of all that they were able to get accomplish by the end. They are going to trying to complete their math before the next year starts so that it is an easier transition next school year

Working hard on their LA

Getting her work done

9 March 2016

The Pounds Away Weight Reducer

There is an old game that my in-laws have that is called "The Inventors". In it, there is a card that describes a real-world invention from way back in time. This particular one was called the "Pounds Away Weight Reducer". It was a crazy contraption that had a frame with belts, springs, and weights which people belted themselves into in order to lose weight. Like most quickie weight loss things out there, I'm sure that it was a gimmick.

The idea behind writing this post started back in September 2011. Back then I had made a decision with Dallas to lose weight and change our lifestyle to a healthier one. We knew we were overweight and not living a very healthy or active life. In the four years that have since gone by, I have slowly been dropping the pounds and getting healthy. I have never gone back to the weight I was then, but I have also not gotten to the weight goal I had set for myself.  Looking back at pictures over the years since that time I see how far I have come. 

October 2010
Near the end of September 2011

April 2013
July 2015

Apparently I only let my face be photographed, but you can see the weight lose in my face over the years.

So with this goal from 2011 still needing to be completed I started to think how I might work towards that completion in 2016.

I think that it was in November of 2015 when Dallas' cousin challenged a few of her female family members to form a team of 4 to run/walk the year. The challenge is to run or walk 2016 miles in 2016 as a team of four. To see the challenge go here. I decided to accept the challenge and three of Dallas' aunts and myself are a team, we are mostly walking the year. This started on the 1st of January and so far we are on track for the amount of miles we need to complete each month to finish the 2016 miles this year. 

I also looked at this as a way to work towards completing my weight loss goal, be more active, and get healthier. My plan at the beginning of the year was to be careful what I ate and when (no snacks after supper). Near the end of January I came to realize that that was not going to work as no pounds were coming off. I wasn't gaining weight, but I wasn't losing any either. I needed something more to keep me accountable on what I was eating and how much, so I found an online calorie tracker to help me. I started logging what I was eating and how much on the 30th of January. Over the last few weeks I have starting to see weight dropping again! Hopefully this is the start of a trend that I can keep up until I finally reach my goal.

29 February 2016

Back to My Roots

A few weeks ago I sat down to write about how we have dealt with the change in temperature from Uganda to Mongolia. I was almost done and then in a moment of not paying attention I deleted it.

So now I will write it again so you can know how we dealt with the winter weather here in Mongolia.

For Dallas and I we went back to our roots. A good winter jacket, warm boots, a warm toque (Canadian for winter hat), good gloves or mittens, a scarf, and layers. We have learned that if you put on layers you can regulate your warmth. If you have on a few layers you have the option of taking a layer off if you get warm or just putting another layer on if you are not warm enough.

We are now passing this information onto our children and they are learning quickly. They soon realized that if they did what mom and dad suggested they were a lot more comfortable.  

On a shopping trip

My warm boots

No toque in this picture but a warm headband and thick scarf.

My mittens and winter jacket.

This is how we survived our first winter in 4 years.

29 September 2015

A New Adventure

On the 16th of June, about three and a half months ago, Dallas and I got news that we were going to be moving from Uganda to Mongolia. To read Dallas' side of the story go to his blog.

Dallas was in Nepal at the time helping with MAF's Disaster Response team there as they worked to get the aid to where it was most helpful after the earthquakes. We did not want to tell the kids we were moving over the internet so we waited until Dallas got back to Uganda on the 25th of June. The kids were very surprised to say the least, but did not freak out. I believe they were able to see the peace that both Dallas and I had/have that this was something we as a family needed to do.

In the month of July we packed up our house in Kampala. It was quite tiring to decide what we would take with us, what would be stored in Uganda, and what we would sell. We knew that some big things needed to be sold, our vehicle, freezer, inverter system, generator, and our beloved dog Ginger. As we saw all of these things sold a week before we departed we had another confirmation that we were doing what God wanted us to do.

We departed Uganda at 12:45am on 26th of June and arrived in Calgary, Canada at 9:00pm the night of 26th June. Oy!

Over the next 5 weeks we proceeded to get ready, as best we could, to move to Mongolia. This included new passports for everyone, new wardrobes all around (our Uganda one was not going to work very well in Mongolia), purchasing Canadian treats to take with us, and figuring out schooling for the kids. The schooling took the longest and we only got there acceptance letters from the school board we are registered with 5 days before we departed Canada. We chatted with our school councilor who would be overseeing our schooling two days before we left. We are still trying to get everything sorted as far as school, but each day we get more and more organized.

We started our journey to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in the wee hours on the 3rd of September. After 4 different airplane rides, varying in length, we landed in Mongolia late at night on the 4th of September. Thank you "International Date Line".
Drew taking a nap in Vancouver.

Katrina taking a nap too.
Waiting for our last flight out of Seoul, Korea to Mongolia.
About half of the Blue Sky Aviation staff was there to meet us and welcome us to this lovely country that we will call home for the next year. After our bags were all loaded into vehicles (all 10 checked bags made it as well as the 5 carry-on and 5 personal bags we had on the plane with us) we drove into the city. We arrived at our new home, an apartment, at about 1am 5th of September.

Since then we have been settling into life in a new country. This includes a lot of walking as we will not be purchasing a vehicle. So we are very thankful for where we live as it is very central to shopping places for groceries and house hold items, and the Blue Sky Aviation office. Most days we will walk about 2 miles, second mile is with backpacks full of things we have bought, new exercise program. 

God has blessed us with a church to call home on the first Sunday we were here. It reminds us all of our church in Kampala. With already feeling at home there, it is helping us settle in.

Thank you all for your prayers as we have made this transition and started this new adventure. Who ever said following God's is boring was wrong. In our experience it has never been boring, but it has been an amazing adventure!


16 July 2015

The School Year

I month ago the kids finished another school year. Little did they know that we were going to be leaving Uganda before the next school year. Here are a few pictures of their year at Acacia International School.

Second day of school

Drew playing some football (soccer)

Jacqueline playing football

Jacqueline with her best friend right after PE

Jacqueline singing her heart out

Katrina performing at the Festival of Arts

Drew performing at the Festival of Arts

Singing at the Festival of Arts

Showing his musical talents

Katrina performing with her dance club

The kids pine racers

Drew getting an award for Science

Katrina getting an award

All ready for Acacia Olympics (sports day)

Drew doing the chair race

Getting ready for the over-under race

The other two getting ready

Katrina singing in choir

Jacqueline singing in choir

Jacqueline getting an award

26 February 2015

Bible Study

When we were still in Canada this summer I found out that my Wednesday morning Bible study would be doing Beth Moore's study on James.  I was very excited about this as my mother-in-law had just finished this study with her Wednesday morning Bible study and said it was a great study.  Little did I know at the time that God would have me studying James from September to July.

On Thursday's at lunch time another MAF lady and myself teach a Bible study for the ladies in the MAF office.  We decided that since we would be studying James already that we will study James with the ladies in the office as well.  Our format for the office is a little different as the end of the month gets a little busy for them.  So we only meet the first two Thursdays of the month.  We spend both of these weeks on one chunk of James, so you can see we are taking our time going through the book.  

In my Wednesday Bible study we have finished the Beth Moore study, and now have moved on to Judges.  I am happy to say that for the first time I finished all of the homework for one of her studies.  I thank God that He gave me the strength to get it done, and on time.

So at this season of my life God has asked me to study James a little deeper.  What I have learned already is pretty amazing.  The two things that stand out to me so far are...  One, to live out, my faith in God and Jesus Christ my Savior, in every day life.  Two, how am I using my tongue?  Is it bringing glory to my God or destroying what He has created?  It is not always easy to do these things, but with God's help all things are possible.  

As I continue to study what God says in James, I ask you to pray with me, that I would listen to Him and that I would not give up when things get tough.  That I would allow myself to be molded by the potter's hands.