Currently // 7/31/15

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Eating / Pizza! The store that we usually go to for groceries all of a sudden has cheese, and good cheese! Cheese that actually melts like cheese should! Pizza every other day? Maybe…

Drinking / Real milk. Some new friends connected us with a local that sells cows milk. He brings us real, raw milk, we boil it so it’s safe to drink, and voila! No more boxed and over processed milk.

Practicing / Self control. I’m a people pleaser, so you’ll probably never hear me use an unkind word  out in public, but that means that my family can sometimes get the not as nice stuff. The snapping at the girls when I get irritated, the whining about something to Dustin for the 100th time that day. Sorry guys! Not that I don’t think it’s ok to vent with your family and let some of those things out because, well, they’re your family, but it’s also not great to dump it all on them. Learning some self control and not always having to let out all my little annoyances on those closest to me, but rather, take a deep breath and bring it to the Lord in prayer!

Mastering / Taking two children into the market by myself. After three months here, I think we’ve got this thing down!

Trying / Helping lead the women’s group at Smile Africa. I use lead very loosely though. They have a character building curriculum that they use and read from weekly. This week the usual gal that helps read the English is gone, so I read the English and then it is translated into two other local languages.

Playing / Tag. In an effort to get Gracie and Lillie to run off a little extra energy, we ran around the yard playing tag. When the 18 month old decides she would rather be held while you run after the three year old, things get a little harder!

Finishing / My mama packed up all the Be the Light and Shine Bright shirts that were preordered from my etsy shop, Oh Tiny Gifts. They are officially shipped out!

Reading/ Deeply Rooted Magazine. You can view a large portion of their content online for free, but you can also purchase full digital or print copies. I had this in my e-mail inbox for awhile and finally took the time to read it. It is lovely, inspiring and encouraging. I encourage you to take the time to read it!

Remembering / To let the little things go. Focusing on the bigger picture can be hard when you are in the midst of screaming , piled dishes, and paint colored children. But seeing the bigger picture and moving forward in love takes you farther than yelling and scolding. Let the little things go, Moriah!

Wearing/ I didn’t bring that many clothes to begin with, at least by typical American standards, but I can already tell there are certain things I wear over and over again and others I hardly touch. I think it may already be time to give away a few of the pieces I never wear and really work on a capsule wardrobe. It should be even smaller and easier here since it’s warm all year!

Cooking / I’ve been picking up some easy and tasty tidbits of cooking info from our friend, Grace. A lot of the vegetable dishes that she cooks and we like so much, start with simply sauteing tomatoes and onions and peppers. Then she’ll add in some potatoes, peas, and carrots with enough water to cover, and some pepper and garlic. We pair it with chipate or tortillas. The girls love all the veggie dishes she makes! It’s a win, win!

Working / Working on some new designs for the Oh Tiny Gifts shop.I’m also trying to spread the word about Oh Tiny Gifts and continue to grow it more professionally. I’ve opened up my blog for any collaboration or promotion work if others are interested as well. You can find the link on the top menu bar!

Traveling / Dustin is at a conference in Kampala, so it is officially girl time in Tororo! Our big travel is to the market or Smile Africa, which for me is enough!

Wanting / Amazon Prime in Uganda! As ridiculous as it may seem, two day shipping on just about anything you want is kind of awesome. Slightly dangerous to your wallet, but awesome none the less! Want to try making kombucha for the first time? Amazon Prime it…if you’re in the U.S. that is. If you’re in Uganda? Wait until the next mzungu from Ohio comes over!

What are you up to currently?

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Easy and Natural Makeup // Highlighting You

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Even before we moved to Africa where it’s warm or hot 100% of the year, my mirror is very tiny or non-existent, and mzungu (white people) makeup is a little hard to find, my makeup routine was pretty easy. Who has time to spend more than five minutes, ok make that two minutes, to put on makeup when you’re busy chasing around a toddler and a baby? Not this mama! We are talking about keeping little people injury free, alive, and happy as an added bonus! Easy and natural doesn’t just have to be for those mamas though, that have five minutes top to feel put together for the day.

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A natural makeup routine allows me to feel  like I’ve completed a little self care for the day and am prepared, but not like I’m hiding who I am. I’m by no means an airbrushed picture of perfection, but I feel like I have been able to highlight the areas of my face that I most love and also look awake and happy to see you! I work at highlighting who I am and my best features, not covering up every little detail of me. Is it a little frustrating when I get a pimple? Yes! Do I cover it up with some makeup? Yes! Have a spent way too much time over the years applying makeup and trying to get it just right? Yes! But I’ve come to learn that my skin may be a little red here, or have a little mark there, and I will smooth is out with makeup to feel better, but I don’t need spend a long time focused on covering it all up!

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I’m at a point in my life where makeup that is gentle, natural, lasting, and kid friendly is most important. I don’t want to spend half an hour meticulously applying foundation, only to have it all rubbed off all over my kids and their clothes. I’m not going to avoid snuggling with my girls because I don’t want to mess up my makeup!

I’m really loving Root Mineral Makeup. It is in powdered form, but with a little bit of water, you can also use it as a cover up or foundation. I often apply a little bit of water to the powder to cover any glaring red spots, and then apply the powder all over. It’s quick and easy and gives me great and lasting natural coverage. I apply the Setting Silk after to help absorb any oil and set the foundation. I feel like the Setting Silk really gives my skin a more smooth appearance. I then apply just a touch of blush. Mascara is my go to thing to apply when I apply nothing else! It wakes up my face and makes my eyes pop. Bonus Tip! Put a drop of lavender essential oil in your mascara for healthy lashes! On days when I’m really getting done up, I add some eyeliner and some Pretty Lip Balm. Done! Now I’m ready for a big day out…or maybe just a ton of hand washing laundry!

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I feel good about using Root makeup because they are natural, organic, vegan, gluten free, and not ridiculously expensive. I stand by the easy makeup routine of less is more! Whenever Gracie sees me putting on makeup and asks for a little, I’m 100% ok with brushing a little powder on her face, because I know its all natural and safe for a little one’s sensitive skin.

I explain that I put on a little makeup because I like how it looks , it’s fun, and grownups are allowed to wear makeup, but that I don’t want to wear too much makeup. You only need a little for it to look pretty! I definitely don’t want her to think I’m trying to change my appearance because I don’t like or appreciate the way that God has made me. It’s a little things, but a thing I hope she remembers as she grows. It is one I am always working on-to be grateful for the way God has made me, imperfections and all. To use makeup to highlight my God-given features, and not just cover up. Who knew we could get so deep over easy and natural makeup, right?

What’s your makeup routine? Quick and easy? A little more involved? What are your views on makeup and using it to highlight you? I’d love to hear!

 

 

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The Simple Things

At the end of the day it’s the simple things that seem to make the most impact.

It’s the cuddles and the tickles.

The silly conversations.

The chocolate chip covered faces.

And the goodnight songs.

The gift list that is made up of the simple, mostly plain vanilla, every day life moments. I wrote last week about our adventures being right here, right where God has placed us. It is here and it is now. The adventure is in the simple moments and the wonder and joy are in the every day. From the moment you rise to the moment your head hits the pillow once again, you have the choice to see the joy. Some days it seems like I’m struggling to find the joy in the simple things. To see the wonder in singing a good night song to the little ball of squish that breaths hot and gentle, nuzzled up close and nursing though the night. Some days I just want to make it to nap time. To breeze past the mounting to do lists and noises and tugs that call me every which way. Didn’t you just go potty? Didn’t we just have breakfast? Didn’t I just clean up the dishes?

I’ve written about it before, but it’s a reminder to myself. A reminder to look beyond the piling of to do’s and see the wonder in the journey. To take Gracie potty one more time and admire how quickly she is growing. To find a snack for the girls and gives thanks for food and growing girls. To clean the dishes and know my family is fed. To see these simple gifts from God and know they are all part of a bigger, joy filled journey.

So here’s to the simple things. The seemingly boring moments that all add up to the things remembered and treasured.

 

A Simple Good Night Song

I see the moon,

The moon sees me,

The moon sees somebody I can’t see.

God bless the moon,

God bless me,

God bless somebody I can’t see.

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Click link for your free printable! owls_in_love

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Currently // 7-24-15

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Eating / My mom sent some chocolate chips in the suitcase that The Reckoning group brought over a few weeks ago. We have had no shortage of chocolate chip cookies and chocolate chip banana bread lately!

Drinking / Water, water, water. I tend to forget to drink enough water, so I’ve been working on that.

Practicing / Patience. I may have written this a few weeks back, and it probably won’t be the last time I write it. Patience with my circumstances, patience in waiting on others, patience with the girls, and patience with myself. Practicing abiding in Him and His perfect patience!

Mastering / Bread making. Mastering may be a bold choice of words, but I have found a bread recipe that seems to produce good bread each time I make it! The  bread recipe can be found in the, 100 Days of Real Food, book

Trying / I’ve been trying a new, Tone it Up, workout. Let’s just say my muscles are a bit sore after only being used to Pilates or yoga lately!

Playing / Sunday afternoons, us muzungus, aka, white people, like to get together at a nice hotel and restaurant in town to eat dinner and relax. I’m not always one for playing card games, but I did learn a new one this Sunday.

Finishing / The month of July is coming to a close soon. It has been a good one, but I’m also really looking forward to August! August means that Dustin’s sister, Jia, is coming, Dustin will have a birthday and we will celebrate our 8th year of marriage!

Reading/ A Million Little Ways, Tone it Up, and The Widow of Larkspur Inn. I may be a little ambitious in my reading right now, but the first is for inspiration and encouragement, the second to, well, tone up, and the third for a simple, pleasure read. You can also get the last one for free on the Kindle right now!

Remembering /That relationship building is important. Even when my introverted self doesn’t feel like meeting one more person, or carrying on long conversations, making the effort  is always worth while and important. Relationship building can be so important for Kingdom building!

Wearing/ The same combination of shirts and skirts or shirts and pants. I did happen to wear a pair of shorts yesterday to do some running. I may have been blinded when I looked down at my legs…they haven’t seen the sun in a little while…they’re a bit white!

Cooking / I made the best BLT ever yesterday! It was tweaked a bit and we won’t always have these ingredients but it tasted so good. The only problem was that Lillie and Gracie decided they wanted to eat half of mine! Home made bread, mayo, local tomatoes, local spinach from our neighbor, bacon from Kampala, and a fried egg. Soooo good!

Working / I started going to the widow’s classes at Smile Africa Ministries this week. I’m hoping to start working with the women more and find ways we can sell more of the beautiful products these women make. The brainstorming is fun and I’m just beginning to even understand what all they make and do, but I hope to be able to share more ideas with you all soon!

Traveling / We head to Mbale today to renew our tourist visas until we can get our work visas. That’s means we get to eat at Endiro, which for us means good cheese, good coffee, clean salads, and ice cream!

Wanting / To be able to run without be stared at. White girl walking gets enough stares as is. White girl running-forget it!

What are you up to currently?

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Ice Cream Bar Sensory Play // Tot Home School

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Did  you know that July is national ice cream month? The perfect excuse to eat as much ice cream as you can! We don’t have great ice cream here like we did back in Ohio, but with trips to bigger cities every so often, we are able to get some of good stuff! Otherwise we make our own here at home with frozen bananas, and milk all blended up together. For different variations we also add mango or peanut butter…you should try it!

I got the idea for this ice cream sensory play from a blogger at Finding the Teachable Moments. Her ice cream bar looked a lot prettier than mine, but with limited materials and quickly throwing together everything, ours still got the job done!

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Before the sensory activity we were supposed to read the book ,The Ice Cream King. Since we don’t have that book, I turned to YouTube, which can actually be a great resource to find people reading children’s books. You can find a reading here.  

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We then made our own ice cream QUEEN crowns and started digging in. I made the ice cream from pouring baking soda, a little bit of frosting powder and water together. Don’t put in too much water, or you will “melt” your ice cream! I then put in in the fridge for awhile so it would feel cold. You can find another ice cream dough recipe here. I omitted the kool-aid as I didn’t have any on hand, and I still think ours turned out fine. I would suggest doing this outside, on a plastic table cloth, or even in the bathtub. The baking soda will just dissolves right down the drain! We kept our s a plain vanilla ice cream, but you could add food coloring to give it a new look or even add in some essential oils for an added sensory bonus!

I then made some chocolate sauce from brown sugar and water…be careful how much water you put in! I made it a little too liquidy and didn’t want to waste anymore brown sugar. It was messy, but Lillie really liked pouring it from one bowl to another, and all over herself! We had a bowl full of pink sprinkles (we had real ones, but you could use colored rice), and then I let the girls go ahead and make their ice cream creations.

By the end of their mixing it didn’t look very appetizing and Lillie was a bit sticky, but I think they enjoyed it! Now we just need some real ice cream! Let me know how yours turns out if you try it!

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Adventure is Out There…or Here

I love the movie ,Up, don’t you? If you haven’t seen it, you should probably go watch it first and then head on back here and finish reading the rest of this post. It’s a kid’s animated movie, but that didn’t stop me from crying in the first ten minutes! One of the main lines and themes of the movie is, “Adventure is out there!”

Yesterday as I scrolled through pictures on I Facebook I was amazed at all the incredible adventures  people are having. Somehow, in what seems like a blink of an eye, we all grew up and started finding adventures of our own.

Sometimes I stand outside my current house here in in Tororo, Uganda, and think “wow!”. God has done amazing things. He’s called us to move beyond our comfort zone, to follow His will and to start new adventures. But the great thing is, that even if we hadn’t moved half way across the world, we were already in a riveting adventure story, and you are too.

God has a great adventure for each of us, right where we are! Whether you are raising babies as a stay at home mom, have your dream job or not so much of a dream job, have moved to a new town, have moved across the world, or are in a great season or a hard season, there is excitement to be found.

The excitement that you are where God wants you to be for such a time as this.

“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
(Esther 4:14b, ESV

You are on a grand adventure, my friend. There are so many opportunities to be a light for Christ and shine brightly. There can be adventure in the every day and so much joy and thanksgiving if we choose to see it. If we choose to see this life as a gift and embark on it with expectancy for what the Lord is doing in our lives.

We can find adventure in the good seasons, hard seasons, seasons of great change and seasons of waiting. They all offer something different, but each can be good. Adventure is here.

Click on the link below for a free printable! Designed by Freepik

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Reckoning group visiting//Solo trip to market with girls//Minion movie with Gracie and Lillie//Lillie’s first movie theater movie that she slept through mostly//Lillie talking up a storm//Good pizza//Cheese//Lillie looking at me when I gave her one cracker and saying “two!”//Pool day with new friends//Laundry drying on the line// Hard talks//Idea dreaming//Strawberries

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Currently // 7-17-15

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Eating / This week we tried a new dish while in Kampala. It is called luwombo and consists of meat, groundnuts or vegetables that have been wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.

Drinking / Water, coffee, spiced African tea…the usual.

Practicing / Forgiveness. You know how sometimes you just want to be angry about something and you think it feels good to just stew about it and hold on to it? Forgiving and moving on is actually the better option, though not as easy, hence the practicing.

Mastering / Tortilla making. Seriously, I’m getting pretty good at tortillas! Now if I can only get them to be perfectly round!

Trying / To plan ahead. I always like to plan out my day, but sometimes I fail to plan much past the day or the week. So in attempts to help plan out where I want my business to be, or my work with Smile Africa Ministries to be in a few months, I’m trying to plan ahead and set long term goals.

Playing / I’ve been loving listening to The Influence Network Podcasts when I get a chance. You should check them out, and while you’re at it, become a member and get access to encouraging forums and a free class each month…it’s awesome!

Finishing / Our tourist visas will be finishing soon. Crazy to think we’ve already been here for almost three months. Time to extend it and prayers are appreciated that the paperwork goes through and the steps continue to be taken to get our work visas!

Reading/Does it count if I am getting READY to reread something? Planning on reading A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman

Remembering / To treasure the little moments. Bask in the joy and goodness of the every day and let go of the stuff that’s not bringing joy.

Wearing/ I got some harem pants in Kampala. Think MC Hammer kind of style, but not as obnoxious. I kind of love them.

Cooking /We got real mozzarella cheese in Kampala! Cue hallelujah chorus! But seriously, I’m making pizza!

Working / On getting our puppy, Stitch, use to a leash. We’ve taken him (he actually might be a her!) on a few walks and we’re getting there!

Traveling / Dustin traveled to Jinja this week, but the girls and I have pretty much been homebodies except for visits to the market and Smile Africa.

Wanting / To make these really cool pallet couches that we saw in a restaurant in Mbale. I’m thinking they would end up being less “sticky” than our fake leather couches when it gets hot!

What are you up to currently?

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Bible Verse Memorization // Tot Home School

Bible verse memorization! I know you all are cheering and bursting at the seams with excitement, but seriously, hearing God’s Word from the mouth of you babe is priceless. I came across this idea from another blogger that I found through Pinterest. Gracie has been so good at remembering songs, that I figured she was ready for some Bible verse memorization. I wasn’t sure if she would fight me on this one (you never can tell with that girl) but I was ready to try it out. We started with Genesis 1:1.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”.

She did great. It was simple and short. It’s a verse that you can build from. A verse that shows the wonderfulness and power of God in one little sentence. No suspense here! Who created the heavens and the earth? God, that’s who! I made sure that I praised her for a job well done. She was excited to say her first Bible verse for daddy.

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Next we worked on a bit of a longer and harder one, but one that explains God’s heart and love for us. We broke it down in to about four or five phrases and she worked at repeating it after me. I didn’t push her too hard, but would just let her repeat and help her out if she forgot something. After a few days of repeating a few times, she could say the verse with very little queuing. John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life. 

She really has this one down and loved saying it for her grandparents via skype. Her grandma Steiner had a great idea to accompany the verse, and asked her to draw of picture of what the verse meant to her.

The last one that we have been working on is Ephesians 6:1.

“Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”

The “in the Lord” part always seems to trip her up, but she’s getting it. This is always a great verse for little ones , because, well, it’s pretty much self-explanatory!

These are the verses we have memorized and drawn so far. It’s a good practice to write His words on our hearts and I know I am getting in scripture memorization as well, right alongside Gracie. We’ll continue coming back to these verses every so often to refresh and add a new one every week or two.

What verses are your favorite? Are there any that come to mind that you feel would be important for toddlers to memorize? I would love to hear from you!

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Amazing Grace // Free Printable

The weekend has been a whirlwind of travel and falling behind on schedules and blog posting. But in the midst of falling behind, we were catching up on other important things. Catching up on new friendships. Catching up on family time. Catching up on relaxation and simple enjoyment.

On Instagram this last Friday I participated in hosting a Faith Share Friday. You can check it out here. My question was what your favorite hymn is and why. I think mine will always be Amazing Grace. My mom taught me it when I was three and then I sang it in church when an older youth group kid got a little stage fright. Me and my confident, fearless, three year old self got right up on the stage, bobbed my little body up and down, and sang Amazing Grace for the congregation that Sunday morning.

I had no idea at the time what those words meant, but they have been written on my heart since then and the words have become more powerful with the wisdom of age. So that’s what I’ll leave you with today-the words to Amazing Grace. Simple, truthful words after a grace filled, lovely weekend.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found. Was blind, but now I see. 

Through many dangers toils and snares, I have already come. Twas grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun. We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’ve first begun.

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Click on the link below for a free printable.

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Currently // 7-10-15

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Eating / This week a group from the organization we are with, The Reckoning, came to visit. With them they brought a couple suitcases from our families. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t eaten a lot of yogurt covered pretzels this week.

Drinking / Yesterday we were able to stop at a great little restaurant called, Endiro, that is located in Mbale, about 45 minutes away from us. They have great “muzungu” food and since there is no Starbucks in Uganda, their coffee has been said to be the equivalent of a Starbucks coffee. Yesterday I got a chai latte. Definitely tasty and oh so pretty to look at with a foamy heart on top and all!

Practicing / Sticking with a morning routine. Some of the days have been a bit crazy, or the girls sometimes decide to wake up at 5:30 alongside me, but I have been able to stick to a little exercise and devotional routine most days of the week and it helps start my mornings off so much better!

Mastering / The baby’s names at the orphanage. They have about 18 babies right now and I think I just about have all their names down and can remember who is who! They did make it a little more difficult when they all got freshly shaven heads over the weekend!

Trying /  To be flexible. Plans change often, people visit when you don’t expect it, opportunities arise that need be seized. Being flexible is important, and being flexible and maintaining a good attitude about it is the key!

Playing / She Reads Truth Hymns.

Finishing / The group visiting from The Reckoning has been here for about a week. They will be heading back to the States tomorrow and we will be finishing up our time with them. It has been great to visit and get to know everyone, as well as explore new places with them this week.

Reading / The She Reads Truth devotional, Women in the Word, that my mom sent over in a suitcase!

Remembering / That choosing love and kindness is never the wrong choice. When I’m not sure how to respond to someone or something, or not sure what would be culturally acceptable, being kind and loving as Christ loves is never a wrong choice.

Wearing / The staple combos of long skirts and tees and jeans and tees

Cooking / I actually haven’t had to cook at all this week! Ok, I did “cook” a box of macaroni and cheese that my mom sent all the way from Ohio, but other than that, I have been out of the cooking game this week. With the group that is visiting we have either eaten out, gone to other people’s houses to eat, or had friend our Grace’s wonderful cooking and leftovers!

Working / On finding more ways to get plugged in at Smile Africa. To figure out how best to serve their widow’s group and work with the babies.

Traveling / We got to travel to Sipi Falls which is a few hours away from Tororo. We saw some beautiful waterfalls. Today we travel to Kampala again to take the group back.

Wanting / Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and cheese. You always want what you can’t have, right?

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