Thursday, September 10, 2009

What the Heck??

What the heck is going on??!!

Barbara Mandrell calls Missy on her birthday......
and tonight.........wait for it...........wait for it...........

George Jones came over to visit us!!

We were told, by the neighbors, he was waiting on our front porch last night too, but we weren't home. Darn......Soooo glad he stopped back by tonight!

P.S. In case you aren't a country music fan-George Jone's nickname has always been "The Possum."

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Well today was the big day we had all been waiting for-THE DAY TO FINALLY MEET OUR SPONSORED CHILDREN! Alot of people were a little nervous, myself included. Questions swirled through our heads the night before like,"What if they are shy and don't want anything to do with us?" " What if they don't like what we have painstakingly picked out to bring them?" What if.... What if....

But we got over it quickly, when we started walking to where we were going to meet them. The plan was, we were to be able to be with the children, from about 9:00am to 4:30pm But as we were walking, Dennis,who is a Ugandan working for Compassion and has been over coordinating all our stops on this trip, came up to me and said, "I just wanted you to know that there is some transportation problems for Felix, he is on his way, but it is going to be awhile. I'll have to be honest and say my first thought was "Oh no!!, I've traveled all this way and I'm not gonna be able to see him.

There was one other sponsor who's child was delayed in traffic as well. Everything worked out fine though. The other sponsor's child arrived about 1:30, and Felix ended up arriving at about 3pm. I was thankful just to be able to spend 1 1/2 hrs with him. But it turns out our tour leaders told me that since he was late, he would be able to stay and join our group for dinner at 7:30pm. So he got to enjoy soccer/football, and we went into a wading pool to WADE but Felix decided to go swimming with his clothes on. :) Felix was accompanied by his mother, his 11 month old baby brother Joshua, and his Compassion project worker, who also helped to translate what Felix was saying to me. So, he ended up getting to stay the full amount of time. His family didn't leave until almost 10:00pm

I think God had it all planned out this way for 2 reasons:

1.)Since Felix was not there yet,I was able to do what I love doing...Taking Pictures!! I got to capture all the moments of the other sponsors meeting there kids. I also got alot of shots of them playing games etc. It was an emotional time for some! Beforehand, we had kind of wandered how, everyone would be able to take pictures as we were all meeting our kids at the same time. Problem solved!

2.) I think Felix wanted to make a Grand Entrance. He was a fashion extraordinaire as you'll see in his pictures below.

Enjoy the pictures....and if you should feel led to sponsor child please click here

Sponsors were lined up on the left and children were instructed to run across and find their sponsor.

Group photo of all sponsors, children, & Compassion project workers,

No, I didn't tell him to put his right hand like that! He did it on his own. :)

This is Felix's mother, his 11 month old brother Joshua, Felix, and me.

Felix opening his back pack full of Goodies!

And enjoying the fruits of his labor.

Well, I have about another gazillion pictures, but that is all for now, the internet is painfully slow, and I have to be up early. Tomorrow we are leaving Kampala and heading north to the town of Lira. I think it is about a 5 1/2 hr. drive. We will get a break from driving as we are stopping at a Compassion Project along the way. We will be staying in Lira until Monday morning, and then heading back here to Kampala. We fly out of Uganda bright and early Wednesday morning.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Made It!

Hello from Kampala, Uganda!!

After two nights of travel with VERY LITTLE sleep, our group arrived in UGANDA!! I still can't quite get over the fact, I am in AFRICA!

We arrived at 7:45am today Uganda time,-11:45pm yesterday IL time. It took us about 1 1/2 hrs to go thru customs, and then another hour to get to our hotel. After arriving and getting checked in, we had about 1 hour to RELAX, before eating lunch and heading out to experience Compassion in Uganda. We went to the Kansanga Child Survival Project which has a program which focuses on teaching new mothers family planning, prenatal care , and infant and toddler care. The project manager, started with a worship and then expained what they do here. We got to sit in on a class for mothers and their infants and learned about the home visits they do with the mothers once or twice a month to make sure they are giving proper care to their child. There are approximately 30 mothers they minister to and I think almost every one of them, and their little ones were there today. One thing I like about Compassion is how they show us everything they do. Today they had on hand the infants records, which have recorded every visit they have had with the mother to document her progress. It also has the child's immunizations, Dr. records, everything you could think of, to make sure the child is being treated correctly.
We also watched as some of the women there, made necklaces, out of strips of paper,. They sold these to help support their families. They even asked us to sit down with them and showed us how to roll up the paper on little pins, then when it was completed were used as the beads.
Lets just say that I have NO future in jewelry making! It was also neat to watch them sit around in a group,while doing this, and every once in awhile, one of the women would start singing a worship song very softly and before you knew it, they were all belting it out dancing and praising Jesus. It was almost like you had stepped back into another era in time. Things definitely move at a slower pace here, unless you are on the roadways, then its a whole different story. We also went on home visits of three different women in the program. More on that later.
Well, its really late here, and I have to be up and ready to go at 7:00am. I will leave you with some pictures from today. The kids are awesome! Always smiling and happy, even when, their living conditions are horrendous. As you will see they are big HAMS and love to have their pictures taken and look at themselves in the viewfinder. We started out with babies today, but the older kids just kept showing up.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Countdown has Begun!

We've had alot of strange things in our fridge before-such as forgotten leftovers that have morphed in their sealed bowls into other creatures with hair. We've also had milk that has on its own, turned into a cottage cheese like substance, but here's something I have never, ever, seen in my refrigerator before......

Missy: "Lovey, have you seen the bottle of coffee creamer that I bought at the store?" " I can't find it."

Denny:" Why sure, it's hanging out right behind the gallon of milk and the TYPHOID VACCINE dear!!"

Yes, this past 2 weeks people, in the most painful way, I have realized that in al little less than 3 weeks, I am going to UGANDA, AFRICA with Compassion International. Holy Cow! Where does the time go... it just seems like a few weeks ago that I was praying about this and now it is almost time to leave.

After having 5 different shots, I now have "peace of mind" in knowing that I am safe from the dreaded yellow fever,meningococcal meningitis, polio, hepatitis A, and, tetanus/diptheria/pertussis-the good people at the health department were kind enough to roll that last shot into one :)- instead of three separate ones. God Bless them!!

The shots weren't really that bad, the worst thing was while the nurse went to draw up the shots, she left me to read the literature on the possible side effects of each of them. Big Mistake!

The side effects ranged from the simplest of just having a sore arm, nausea, vomiting, fever to the most drastic -which was from the yellow fever vaccine-which could, just COULD, lead to TOTAL ORGAN SHUTDOWN -1 case reported per every 200,000-300,000 doses given.

Let's see the last time I checked, you needed most of your organs to stay ALIVE!! MY nurse Nan,was quick to reassure me,"Oh don't worry, I've never had anybody die from this"....with a sweet smile on her face. I was quick to follow up with," And how many have you given- 199,999 doses?" I think I would have felt more comfortable in her saying that she had someone kick the bucket in the past-just kidding. But I was quick to remember that God is in control of it all, and rather than look like a wuss, I sucked it up and took the shots.

And guess what, as you can see, I'm still here. I am happy to say that the shots are all over with now, and I just have to take something for malaria-which I will start 2 weeks before I leave and continue taking for 3-4 weeks when I return, and the "LIVE" Typhoid vaccine, that is hanging out on the top shelf of my fridge. I start taking it this week, which consists of 4 pills to be taken one every other day. The "Live" part kinda freaks me out a little. I think I would rather be putting something in me that's dead-not alive,but what the heck--there's no turning back now!

So that is what's going on in my life right now, I will keep you all (probably the 2 of you who still check in here every now and then) up to date on what is going on -btw sorry for the lack of posting in the past 2 months- As long as there is an internet connection -which, believe it or not, there is suppose to be one, I will keep you all informed of my adventure while it's happening on the old blog here.

Talk to you later...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Finding Hope Amidst Hoplessness

Compassion's newest team of bloggers have landed in India, in the midst of 120+ temperatures, and are already writing some thought provoking blog posts. I encourage you to check out their blogs.

This trip includes bloggers: Melissa Fitzpatrick, Pete Wilson, Anne Jackson, Angie Smith,

Robin Dance

Trip leaders: Shaun Groves, Spence Smith, Patricia Jones, Keely Scott

This team has been telling some AWESOME stories! The pictures are INCREDIBLE as well!

Today, be sure your read this....blogpost by Anne Jackson and her encounter of a little girl named Lakshmi. Anne took part last year in the Uganda blogger tour through Compassion, and I have been following her blog since.

PS-Be sure you grab the tissues. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Global Food Crisis Day 09'

Today Compassion International is partnering with radio stations, media, churches, and bloggers to once again spread the word about the Global Food Crisis, and raise funds that will make a REAL difference to those impacted by it. Lots of bloggers are writing about it today.

The cost of food staples have roughly doubled in many countries where Compassion serves.

The statistics I've been reading literally break my heart, when I think of how much excess we have here in the U.S.

*Each night more than 300 MILLION children go to bed hungry.

*1/3 of the worlds population is undernourished.

*Every day over 12,000 children(one every 7 seconds) die from hunger-related causes.

By donating to the Global Food Crisis Fund, we can:

  1. Provide food vouchers to children and families needing immediate relief.
  2. Provide seeds and agricultural tools so that families can grow their own food as well as earn extra income.
  3. Provide supplemental nutritional services at Compassion-assisted centers around the world.

So I ask you to please consider joining me today in giving to people who have so little resources.

I know times are tough here at home, but even if you can't give today,possibly consider giving next week or next month.

If you have a blog or website, you can post a widget to raise awareness of the crisis, and most importantly, by all means PRAY for those affected by this devastating crisis, and for those organizations like Compassion who act to provide relief.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Joshua Saves the Day!

It's not everyday you have a 7 yr. old hero in your house!

Yesterday Joshua.....well, I'll just let him tell the story in his own words, and I'll type it here for you all. He asked me to post it here on my blog. He's pretty excited.

Today, I was walking from school to the babysitter's house and then there were 2 police cars and police men standing in the babysitter's driveway.

I ask Josh what he thought at this point? Josh's response: Holy Crap!

And then Josh said the babysitter told him she had accidentally locked herself out of the house, -(no kids inside btw).

I asked Josh how the policemen got to the babysitter's house.

Josh's response: A police man was sitting down the road watching around in case anything happens at school, and the babysitter seen him and told him to come to her house. He called the other policeman to help.

"Then what happened?" I asked Joshua.

Josh's response:They lifted me over the fence to the backyard. They asked one of the other girls
who had come home on the bus, to help first cause she was smaller, but she cried. So they messed with the babysitters window and got it open-and they shoved me through the window, and I went behind the couch and walked through the "boy corner" and through the house and unlocked the front door.

What is the "boy corner?", I asked Josh

Josh's response:It's where me and Jonathon play power rangers all the time Dad!

"Do you EVER let girls in there?", I asked Josh.

Josh's response: "Only Carly, because I liked her since I was three..."

ok, now back to the original story....

"I went to the front door, unlocked it, and everybody came in." The babysitter said, "You are my hero Joshua", and we started playing again...

"Did she give you any special treat for being so brave," I asked.

Josh's response: "Noooooooooooo !!!!!, that's it. I'm trying to watch Duck Dodgers now, can we please be done?"

And with that, we are apparently concluding, "How Joshua saves the Day!"

We did buy a celebratory pack of watermelon gum at W$lm$rt last night for the "Hero."

He even shared a piece with me.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Too Much Time on Their Hands

Wow! Its hard to believe I haven't been on this blog -o-mine for over a month. So I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and is having a Happy New Year so far. I usually don't make New Years resolutions, but one of my "goals" this year is to be a better and more frequent blogger.Maybe, by putting that out here publicly, you all can hold me accountable to it. Of course, there may not be anyone still reading this. :)

Anyway,I just have a few pix to share:

Here's our Christmas picture from 08'

We decided to wear coats instead of having to go through the pain and suffering of listening to the kids whine about having to dress up, and Missy decided to have the guys wear matching red scarves and the girls to wear white ones. We had to go purchase the red scarves and ended up spending what I thought was a crazy amount on 3 scarves. However, it was better than having to purchase everyone new sweaters. I justified the amount by thinking the kids could wear their scarves all Winter ......right?........Well, here's my 2 oldest children's ideas of wearing the scarves. --not quite what their mother or myself had in mind.
I hereby present to you 101 WAYS TO WEAR YOUR WINTER SCARVES.....

I think it's a good thing they are heading back to school tomorrow!