Monday, September 26, 2011

Fun Times and Tales From Uganda

Aren't these women beautiful?!!

All of these women have husbands who are either bishops or in the stake presidency in our area.
One of the highlights of my life is being able to spend a few hours with them every year having lunch and studying the gospel.

We met together a couple weeks ago and had wonderful time.
I always feel so strengthened after being with them.
They are women of honor, virtue and sacrifice.
And between them they have 44 children, which includes a set of triplets!
What a blessing it is for me to know them.

And speaking of wonderful women . . . I have loved reading the emails from my sister who is serving a mission with her husband in Uganda. Below is an excerpt from her most recent letter home.

Last week we lost another baby, the BP [Branch President] of Njeru's wife delivered a full-term still-born. Beautiful little girl which she was looking forward to after having two boys. They are devastated. The medical people I talked to believe it is a combination of the prevalence of Malaria, which the mother had when she delivered, or maybe just poor pre-natal care. It could just be poor nutrition which I think everyone suffers from. I had a misconception before I came here that people who live with a high mortality rate are used to it and don't suffer as much with death. That is completely wrong thinking, I have seen people devastated by the loved ones they lose. Just because it happens more often doesn't make it easier.

I also have learned that living on $70/mo is as hard here as it would be for us in the USA. You beg, steal, or dig up roots to stay alive. Nothing is cheaper here except what you can grow on your own. You make a hut with cow manure and dirt. (Same as we would do if we couldn't just move in with one of our kids.)ha ha

I spent some time Saturday making posters for the upcoming YSA dance for next week. I was one of 3 on the committee, but I was the only one that showed up. Then I entered all 600 names *(YES THERE REALLY ARE 600 YSA in Jinja District), into an excel spreadsheet and had a mass text sent out to them. Pres J wants them all married yesterday.

We also spent some time this week traveling to an area where someone told Pres J there were 27 members and no church. The roads were terrible, some members showed us around the area, and we saw some hospitals. Somehow we didn't feel it was ready to have missionaries come because of the roads. Travel here is dangerous and expensive, and our trip about killed our car. If we didn't have 4-wheel, we would still be in a ditch waiting for triple A - Ha Ha. not funny, but true.

To read more and see some great pictures, you can click on the link below to go to her blog at She has some great pictures of the area and of when a General Authority came to visit. What an amazing time they are having!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Adventures in Babysitting . . .

So today I redeemed myself in the "grandma" department.

Last week I went over early in the morning to help K with her kids. Little twin boys were just added to her family, giving her six children in all. But I was not much help in the end. K had been up all night and was exhausted. All she really wanted was a shower (by herself) and a short nap. Not too much to ask, right?

One of the babies was totally zonked, but the other was fussy, so I told her I would take the fussy one out into the family room with me, along with Karly (who is two) and watch them while she slept. I got the baby quieted, and entertained Karly blowing bubbles for . . . oh all of maybe ten minutes . . . when the baby started to cry. Loudly.

I hurried to pick him up before K heard, but in that one moment of not having my undivided attention, Karly made a run for her mom's bedroom door. I ran after her (which the baby did not like:-) grabbing her arm just before she reached out for the doorknob. And so she let out a scream--which startled the baby and got him screaming. She was fighting to get away from me and I couldn't hold her with one hand, so I let go to put the baby down and she immediately started kicking the bedroom door--while continuing her screaming.

So basically within ten minutes I had both kids crying, one of which was throwing a temper tantrum.

K never got her nap. She didn't even get her private shower. The only way we could get Karly quieted down after that was for K to take her into the bathroom with her. And then she spent the rest of the morning giving me suspicious looks while clinging to her mother. Oh, and the baby? Well, I tried to calm him down and he peed all over the front of my shirt.

BUT . . . today was much better. I just went over in the afternoon when Karly was taking her nap, to watch the babies while K slept as well. It was total bliss. One baby slept the entire time but the other was a little fussy so I got to hold him. I loved it!! It helped me not miss my own little new grandbaby so much.
IN OTHER NEWS . . . Kathryn is on her way home tonight. She is driving through the night to get here and she is bringing a boy. (Just a friend) He has some business in Mesa so Kathryn thought it would be fun to drive down with him. Oh yea. I am having fun all right. I will be up all night worrying about her!
And I loved this . . . As many of you know, my sister is serving a mission in Uganda. She recently visited a school where the boys who lived there all called her "mama" --a term of respect. I love that a name for "mother" is a respected name. It should be of course, but there are those in power who are lobbying to remove the word "mother" from legal documents saying it is demeaning to women. Say what????

May I go on record now by saying that the best, most honorable, and elevating thing I have ever done is be a mother to five children. I love the title and I wear it proudly!
And lastly----I find it interesting--but also a bit odd-- that the majority of the people who get on my blog are looking for a picture of a cougar. And they are from all over the world. What is up with that? But I am thinking of posting a picture of an elephant or a giraffe next and see how many hit that gets. :-)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Photo Random

I was going through my picture files and decided to post a few random ones.

This is where I was last year at this time--Vermont.
I dreamed for years about going there and was so glad to finally get the chance.
I certainly wouldn't mind being out of the heat again. We finally dropped below 100 degrees. This year was the hottest August on record. In honor of the heat wave, my dad sent me the below:

It is so hot in Arizona . . .
the birds have to use potholders to pull the worms out of the

....the trees are whistling for the dogs. water comes from both taps. learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding
iron. discover that you can get sunburned through your car window. actually burn your hand opening the car door. (Been there. I also burned my hand opening the door to my house at 7:00 one morning)

....your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out
and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death"? realize that asphalt has a liquid stage.

....the potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one
out and add butter.

....the cows are giving evaporated milk. are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from
laying boiled eggs

The sad thing is that some of those really aren't jokes.

This next picture just makes me laugh. It is vintage Michelle. My crazy child. She is so much fun all the time. It is so sad for me that she is a senior in high school this year and will be leaving me before too long. Where did all the time go? And how can I make it slow down?!

So my nieces probably won't be too happy with this picture. It was taken at Kristen's bridal shower in June. Since then, all three have given birth to beautiful baby girls. Truth be told I was really hoping Kristen would get married in June so I could take her picture on the temple steps in her wedding dress, surrounded by her pregnant cousins and sister, but due to a July wedding, that didn't happen. Camille couldn't come and two of my nieces gave birth within a week of Kristen's wedding. But . . . I am so happy for my nieces!! Congratulations to you all!
And speaking of the wedding . . . this picture was taken at the wedding dinner. I sure love these girls!! All three are my "daughters" one is just by marriage.
This is from our ward Christmas party last year. We did the Polar Express and I about killed myself putting it together. Thankfully I had a TON of help.
But guess what?! I have been asked to do this year's party as well.

The sad thing is that when I tell people I am in charge of the party again, they always say, "Oh, how are you going to out do last year?" And then they answer their question with, "But then you could never out do last year".
And that is probably true. I really don't think I want to ask anyone to put that much work into a party again.
But that said . . . I think this year's will also be great!! And I am getting very excited to start working on it.
(I am just a happier person when I have a project to work on.:-)

And lastly . . . look at this cute little guy--all ready for church!! (Other than needing his hair combed.)
I sure miss him!