Ugandan Home Tour

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I have been thinking about showing you where we live for a while but I’ll be honest, I am afraid:
– You might support us and think we should live in a mud hut
– I want to show you the real life, but you don’t want to see the lines of ants, dead cockroaches, or bathrooms that are always gross because our water is rusty.
– We don’t want our house to look like a museum, but for blog pictures those are usually the best

But I wish I could have you over for coffee and welcome you into my home and share it with you. I hope that you would see my love for Christ, my friends, and family.

If you are moving to Uganda, I want you to know that you don’t have to live in a mud hut and give you a few ideas of small things that you can bring (or make) that make a big difference. I have learned that my favorite thing about my home is who I share it with and I want our space to reflect that us.
God has been so faithful and I hope my home is a testimony to how He has led our life.
That is why I love:
-the birds that we got for Julia’s baby shower
-the sign I bought when Micah was asking if we were going to say goodbye to him after he said goodbye to so many friends
-the burn spot from when I thought our house was on fire!
-verses and pictures that remind me of what is important.

God’s beauty is the best beauty… This is out our back door and was the only house that we looked at that had any yard.

Uganda Home Tour
This is the view out our front door… doesn’t exactly say warm and welcoming but with the dogs barking at the gate it does keep some bad things away.
Uganda Home Tour
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“Wherever we are together, that is HOME.”
 Uganda Home Tour
Uganda Home Tour
Uganda Home Tour
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I have been taking pictures with the ipad…
I am so excited to get our camera that we left in America. I’m thinking about taking an online photography class if anyone knows of a worth while one!
Happy Wednesday!

Fall Fun Ideas For Toddlers

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Micah and I made a chain to count down days until we come home! We put fun fall activities on them to give us some fun things to look forward to as we wait for the days to pass. We thought we would share some of the fun for you to enjoy too!

Fall fun idea

-Play with play dough and make fall shapes
-Read Where is Babies Pumpkin and/or play hide and seek with a pumpkin
-Paint a Pumpkin
-Make caramel and eat it with apples

Fall Fun Ideas
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-Read Froggy’s Halloween and/or play dress up
-Draw a thankful tree and add something to it each day in November
-Make a leaf crown

Fall Fun Ideas
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-Make Sugar cookies
-Frost Sugar cookies
-Practice colors with leaves

Fall colors
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Make Lego stamped corn

 

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– Go on a nature walk and collect leaves
– Make a leafy jack-o-lantern

Fall Fun Ideas
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– Go on a turkey hunt
– Count leaves
– Read the story of the pilgrims
– Sensory play in popcorn and beans
-Make hand print turkeys

And can you believe it has been 6 weeks since the last 6 week goals!
How did you do?

I met most of mine but the quilt is not coming very quickly and I have a few chapters left in 2 Chronicles. I “finished” memorizing Ephesians this month although I have been going back to review and definitely slacked on that in the first few months I was pregnant. I read this week that David Platt had the entire New Testament memorized by the time he was 36! Wow what a great thing to work towards. I would have to memorize 2 chapters every 6 weeks to finish when I’m 36.

Here are my goals for the next 6 weeks: 4 in Uganda and 2 in Wyoming:)
Memorize– John 1 (&2)
Study– start Ephesians with Lexi using the “P method”
*If you are looking for a great book on studying the Bible I would highly recommend Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin
ReadOrdinary by Michael Horton and You and Me Forever by Francis Chan
Christmas– Order Christmas Cards and make a Christmas list of presents to buy
Kids– Fall Fun Ideas, make an advent list and start with What God Wants for Christmas on Dec 1

What are you planning for the next 6 weeks? Any fun fall ideas?

5 Point Mini Game

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I have had dreams with this pregnancy like no other time in life. I wake exhausted some mornings because of all that I did during the night in a different reality.
One of the things I have been dreaming about is my old volleyball days. Maybe its because my baby sister is now playing Varsity volleyball as a Filly or I wish I could set my kids down for long enough to go play a best out of 5 volleyball game. It seams like a lifetime ago.

As I have been thinking about the “good ol’ days” I remembered our trick. I honestly think it is why we won so much. Here it is. Play mini games in increments of 5. We would fight to get to 5 points and then 10 all the way to 25. If we were up by 21 points it didn’t matter and if we were down it didn’t matter either. We were playing like the end of the game was in 5 or less points. It is a manageable amount of time to stay focused and get something done.
The same thing goes in life when we are fighting to persevere. If we are in the swing of things in life, it is too easy to get comfortable and stop pushing forward in holiness, in loving our husbands, in motherhood, in being life long learners, in….
When life is hard and that vacation a year from now feels so far away. When you are pregnant with the third baby and are already over changing diapers it is easy to give up and roll over. Organization feels so overwhelming when you look at the house, but room by room isn’t so daunting. I forget that I have hobbies if I don’t make (nap) time for them.
I am a goal lover, but a few years ago I started making 6 week goals instead of so many long term goals. It is easy to put long term goals off, but when the game ends in 6 weeks it is much easier to persevere.
Here are some of the categories I have made goals in:
Books of the Bible to read:
Verses to memorize:
Books to read:
People to have over:
Rooms to clean and organize:
Qualities to work on with my children:
Qualities to work on in myself:
Exercise:
Blogs to write:
New food to make:
Dates to go on with my husband:
Supporters to talk to:
Hobbies to work on:
Things to pray about everyday:
Things to do around the home:
Craft projects to make:
Things to learn how to do:

One of my favorite things Nancy Leigh DeMoss said was that when she was young she desired to be a Godly old woman and that the old comes easy and the Godly takes a lot of work. This is one way that I try to grow in loving God, my husband, and my children. Philippians 3:13-14 “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own, But one thing I do. forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

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Life gets busy and will pass us by if we aren’t persevering in growing. So forget the past with me for a minute. It might be great or it might be terrible. I want to grow from today. Always remembering that it is Christ in me, that declared me righteous, now in Him working out my salvation and making goals for that, 5 points at a time.

Here are my 6 week goals:
Read:
1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, Mark, Esther, Romans
Memorize: 
Ephesians 3

Organize:
daily schedule
finish unpacking
go through baby stuff
Work on with the kids:
Micah- potty training
Julia- putting herself to sleep
Hobbies:
get curtains hung up
sew top for Julia’s quilt
Exercise: I had lots of walking planned, but then our stroller was stolen, I am loving Lindsay Brin’s Pregnancy pack (You can download some of them for free if you have never heard of her)

 

Essential Oils for everything from parasites to bedtime

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I have been talking with people about essential oils a lot lately so I thought I’d share a little of what we use or have been meaning to use not only for you but also as a cheat sheet for myself. We use doTerra oils. I don’t think they are the only ones you can use, but I do think they are great. They are a little pricey, but from what I have heard it is worth it.
If I could only have one essential oil it would be:
On Guard
We have started putting this on everyone everyday. It keeps the parasites and worms at bay (how gross but it seriously works lets just say Uganda + almost two year old boy= lots of exposure ) It is also great for fighting viruses and bacteria. we use it for hand sanitizer, and in cleaning supplies.

Others we use (almost) daily:
 Oregano
Also helps fight the bad guys aka viruses, bacteria, everything bad that lives is Uganda. And you can also put it on ticks. My father-in-law got one in our yard and it literally ran out of its fully embedded position in his arm! It is powerful stuff!
Lavender
Soothes fussy babies and is great for before bed. Also great for burns. I have a scar from a burn about a year ago, but I put lavender on it right away and it never hurt. It soothes sun burns too. I use it on the kids bums for diaper rash, even with cloth diapers. We put it behind the ears for Ear infections/ ear aches.
Lemon
We drink it in our water often for immune booster and overall goodness and taste. I also wash some fruits and veggies with it. If we were in the States I would wash all produce with it.

Ones we use on occasion:
Melaluca or tea tree oil- for everything skin.  Acne, diaper rash, dry skin. It is the first thing I put on scrapes and cuts to keep them clean.
Digestzen– when we first moved here I used this every day. I use it on the babies a lot. It helps with upset tummies and digestion.
Peppermint– Warning this decreases milk supply. So I havn’t used it much but Matt uses it for headaches and breathing issues cough/cold. It can also help with a fever.
Breathe– for alergies and cough/cold. I use it like vapor rub on the kids.
Sweet Fennel– I have been using this with breast feeding it increase milk supply and helps with let downs. I read that it increases the fat content in milk as well.
 Terra shield– homemade bug spray aka malaria prevention. It has worked great for us and smells much better than the store bought stuff. I feel better about using it on the kids.
Wild Orange– I guess it helps with Jet Lag so we will give that a try. Also helps with canker soars.
Geranium– helps stop bleeding (great thing to have on hand when you don’t have 911)

We don’t have frankincense because it is really expensive and I haven’t found anything we really need it for but some people love it.

How we use them: for overall wellness we put them on the bottom of our foot. It is adorable when we get the oils out Micah instantly lifts up his foot. There are the biggest pours or something on the bottom of your feet so it is the best place to be absorbed. Also on the affected area. (behind ears, tummy, head)
My favorite thing about essential oils is that they are safe for kids. There are so few medicines for little ones.
Disclaimer- I am not against Medicine! I like to try oils first but I am never opposed to taking medicine if they don’t help, but I am surprised how well they do work.
Do you use essential oils? What are your favorite uses?

Guest Room for Christmas Company

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I finished this quilt I had been working on just in time for Jim and Lynne to come use it! Don’t you love our guest bedroom! You are welcome to come visit us anytime. There are some people who have guests but don’t enjoy it or are worn out by it, but we are not those people. We love having guests! It is an encouragement and blessing to us every time!

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I learned it is WAY easier to start with a package of pre-cut squares than to cut them yourself for your first quilt, and I really wished I could run over to Ashley Benders house for help with the binding, and I was so thankful for Facebook help on how to quilt without the puckering! I had a lot of fun sewing during nap time!

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And Jim and Lynne got their first taste of “fast food” ok not literal taste but we did all laugh at the chicken on a stick and matoke being thrust in the car.  So happy to have them here!

Favorite books of 2013

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Dad is Fat -A hilarious comedy on parenting. Matt and I read it out loud mostly on drives back and forth from Kampala and it was great comic relief for parenting two under two

Give them Grace– A fabulous resource on gospel centered parenting. Real grace doesn’t give in, it pursues holiness while keeping salvation central. It has been a great help in disciplining Micah setting the standard at God’s standard and consistently telling him that we need Jesus not just to help us obey (moralism) but to forgive us and make us new creations.

African Friends and Money Matters– A must read for anyone interacting with African cultures. It has proven again and again to be spot on. In the West we keep business and personal separate, but in African culture you can’t have one without the other.

When Helping Hurts– How to alleviate poverty without hurting the poor and yourself. I could read this book again and again and continue to learn so much from it because it is such a hard thing. We have people ask us for money almost every time we leave our compound. People that all have real needs. One of the biggest helps for me was the difference between relief, rehabilitation, and development.

Don’t Make Me Count to Three– Can you tell I have an almost two year old by the books I have read. This one was also fantastic. Micah you need to obey all the way, right away with a happy heart. There is a consequence RIGHT NOW because you didn’t obey a. right away b. all the way c. with a happy heart. It has already been so helpful to us and  Micah to know what to expect. We discipline out of obedience to God not because we love it. Our children have offended God not us.

Treasuring God in our Traditions– Noel Piper is a woman of God and I really appreciate her intentionality. My goal for 2013 was to be intentional with holidays and with the everyday. She encouraged spotlighting Christ with all of our traditions in many practical ways. This would be my highest recommendation for a young family.

American Heiress– The only fiction I finished this year. If you like Downton Abbey you too would love this book. I wish I read more fiction but there are so many other books I want to read and I never know what novels are worth the time. If you have any favorites I would love to expand my fiction reading.

Loving the Little Years– This is an easy read with encouraging stories for mothers with little kiddos. Because of this I have a great tool that I use pretty much everyday. “This (crazy moment) will be over in ten minutes”. My favorite track event in High School was the 300 hurdles it was always brutal and always worth it at the finish line. I would always focus on getting to just the next hurdle. When I get up in the morning I try to take one hurdle at a time (running in the power of the Holy Spirit) and at bed time it is always worth it.

The Pursuit of God– This is one of my favorite books of all time. Doesn’t the title just draw you closer to the Lord. I promise this one won’t disapoint!
The Jesus Story Book Bible- Matt said just the other day, “I think this is better than half of the Bible commentaries I have read.” I can’t agree with him more. She does a fantastic job telling the story of Jesus throughout the entire Bible in simple but not watered down truths.

The Bible– I think too many people think the Bible is too obvious to put on a favorite book list, but I think it is a great tactic of the devil to get believers to love Christian books more than the only living and active Word. Book loving friends do not read a good book neglecting the Best.

I would love to hear what you are reading! Here is my reading list for 2014 so far and I would love to add some tried and true books to it. Happy Reading!

December 1:)

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I saw a friend of mine is doing a photo a day for December and I thought that was such a fun idea with all of the Christmas festivities so I am going to give it a try. So I hope you enjoy and let me know if you decide to do it too!

We started our Jesus Storybook Bible advent today. If you have this kids bible here is the link. There are 24 Old Testament stories that mention the birth of Christ and then the actual Christmas story for Christmas how perfect! If you don’t yet have this Bible it would be a great Christmas present. We love it!

We have just been hanging out today after church. Julia is enjoying her sitting skills: ) She can’t wait to be able to crawl.
I have been working on a Christmas quilt. Thanks to Deb Crabtree for the material and those of you who gave me a little Facebook tutorial I am getting close with much less puckering!

Merry December!

House Plants

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 This is our new house in Mbale! We are really loving living here and it is feeling more and more like home.

Micah loves his chalkboard wall… and so do mom and dad. Matt and I have been talking about getting house plants since we got married but we were always planning on moving soon or had just moved and were getting settled, but we finally did it! We got our first house plants!!! It is amazing how much of a difference plants make. Even though there is a jungle out our window it is still so life giving to have plants inside.

This world is not our home and I am constantly reminded of that. Every time I have thought of something I miss from America, I have been thinking of something that I would miss if we leave Uganda. The list keeps getting longer. But for now this is home and I want the people in my life to feel that our home is a life giving place. Confession: Sometimes I struggle with wishing our house was perfectly clean and decorated like the pinterest world but that is not reality. (especially with two little kiddos) In fact if I worry two much about cleaning and decorating I usually suck the life out of my house or at least the people in it. It can be such a hard balance to find.
And here are some of the latest pictures of the kids.

Treasuring God in Our Traditions

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Saturday afternoon we had an Independence day BBQ with some friends here. It was a huge blessing to me to have hotdogs, s’mores, and light sparklers. Not because of the things themselves, but they reminded me of the many July 4th holidays that I spent with family and friends at our family cabin enjoying the extra time together. Often singing songs around the camp fire celebrating our freedom of religion or hiking Laramie Peak and enjoying God’s incredible creation from the top of the mountain.
Saturday morning we had been to the market as a family, a new Saturday morning routine we have started, to get most of our food for the week, great the women who I have become friends with, pray for their families, and get our new favorite breakfast, Uganda’s version of a breakfast burrito. And Saturday afternoon I realized another benefit of our Saturday morning routine. The people at the market had told our friend about how awesome Matt was to come with me and “the twins” (Micah and Julia are really 15 months apart, but I appreciate that many Ugandans realize that they are enough work to be twins). By being present with us, Matt is making a statement of the importance of family and the importance of a father and husband being involved in family life. I pray that not only the people around us, but also Micah will see the repetition and learn the truth that a godly husband and father, by the grace of God, lays down his life for his family putting their needs above his own.
All of this reminded me of  a book which if you are looking for a good one to read I would suggest Treasuring God In Our Traditions by Noel Piper. It has been the best book on family life that I have read this year. She talks from experience and scripture about the impact that the traditions of everyday and the “especially” days make in our families. “We are always teaching our children, whether we mean to or not. Our children come to believe, probably unconsciously, that whatever is repeated regularly has significance. It was God’s design that learning happen by frequent and regular repetition.”
The little things of the day are important and create a framework even for young children. What we do today will impact what our children will do when they are adults and what they will do with their children just as the traditions that our parents impact us. “We want our families to be a picture of God to others and for our children and our children’s children to know God as much as possible at whatever age.” What i repeatedly do, my children will assume is important. What are they seeing that I treasure in life?
Then there are the traditions of the special days like birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Independence Day, and so on. As an adult looking back, one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving was that there were always pieces of corn set by our dinner plates that we would hold up as we went around the table saying things that we were thankful for that year. It is a tradition that I brought into my marriage and family. Basically how can we make the most of Christ not just the traditions of the world on special days. Noel gives some examples of things that their family has done and my favorite was to set the Christmas presents under the nativity scene instead of under the tree. It is a small shift that makes a big difference.
As a young family it is the perfect time to be intentional about starting some traditions of our own and purposefully showing Christ in the everyday and the special days. What are some of your favorite family traditions? I’d love to hear…

Happy Birthday Julia and “Merica”

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Today is Julia’s 1 month Birthday! 






And the Horne house has been getting ready for the 237th Birthday of the USA tomorrow. I love holidays mostly because it gives me a theme for cookies but its also fun just to celebrate. There are things that I love about living in a different country like having two sets of holidays, but then other times (aka St. Patricks day) I totally miss the holiday because the majority of the people don’t celebrate it. So I have been singing The Star Spangled Banner and America The Beautiful to Micah, maybe we’ll add the pledge next year.Every American Citizen should know them even if they are living in Uganda. Right now he sings “merica, merica…Sea”. I’d say that’s a good start! 
Micah  helped me decorate with FINGER PAINT! He loves it, It dyes his fingers for a few hours but no big deal! I put him in the bath after his patriotic finger painting session and while he was contained I thought Julia needed a little patriotic spirit as well so I painted those adorable little toenails! She hasn’t even been to America yet… but We got her BIRTH CERTIFICATE yesterday after only 6-7 trips to the government buildings! Thanks Matthew! Next step PASSPORT!

 And Check out our RED, WHITE, AND BLUE!

 Nice work on the finger paint Micah! 
So Matt will be working tomorrow since it is not a national holiday, but when Uganda turns 51 on October 9, we might be hanging out as a family at home celebrating! But this week I miss going to the cabin, eating s’mores, lighting sparklers, and watching fireworks from my parents’s back yard. So if you are there feel free to enjoy a s’more for me!
Happy Independence Day America!