Currently // 10/30/15

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Eating / We’re making lasagna today guys! Any sort of cheesy pasta related food is pretty exciting around here!

Drinking / We are currently letting some peach and green tea flavored kombucha carbonate, so we will see how that turns out in a few days!

Practicing / Mindfully thinking on Jesus throughout the day. Trying to turn to Him in big and small choices and let Him guide my actions and choices.

Mastering / I think we are all becoming a bit more comfortable praying or speaking when put on the spot. I wouldn’t say I have it mastered, but it is something I am working on.

Playing / I started giving piano lessons to another missionary family’s kids and I’m loving it. It has been a long time since I gave piano lessons and I think I’ve missed it a little!

Finishing / Getting new products from the women of Smile Africa Ministries listed in the shop. I’m so excited to share them with you all very soon!

Reading/ Continuing to read Just Rise Up. and still on the Amish fiction run.

Remembering / To abide in the fruit of His spirit. I can’t posses these fruits on my own, but by abiding in Christ I can rest in the goodness of His fruits.

Wearing/ I finally pulled everything out of the closet and got a good look at the items I have and am wearing. You can check out the post here.

Cooking / It’s not so much cooking, as concocting, but we have discovered how to make a pretty great mint, chocolate chip ice cream. Regular old vanilla, a few drops of peppermint essential oil, chocolate chips, and milk all blended up together…delicious!

Working / On connecting more and being fully present with those I meet and work with here. Also potty training for Lillie! She has actually been doing a pretty good job these last few days and it so wonderful to see our pile of diapers (either cloth or disposable) not growing as quickly!

Traveling / Continuing our weekly trips to Mbale to take Gracie to ballet lessons.

Wanting /  We are excited to go back to Ohio at the beginning of December, but what I really want is a way to get their faster and maybe without having to fly through the air…so teleportation maybe?

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what we have been up to this last week. What is happening currently in your life!?

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Wear // Capsule Wardrobe {5}

I decided I needed to really get a good look of what was in my closet. What am I actually wearing? Is there a certain pattern or style to the things I’m wearing? How many items do I actually have? So here you have it! Capsule wardrobe staples and the whole break down!

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Skirts: 3 maxi skirts and 2 knee length. I honestly wear the knee length only occasionally, but the maxis are worn all the time!

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Shirts: This picture is missing a light blue shirt and maybe another purple and pink t-shirt that are in the wash. I’m noticing I definitely gravitate towards grays, white, and blues. Throw in the occasional purple and pink, and apparently I’m good to go!

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Pants: 3 main pairs of pants. I could use a basic black pair and the blue pair on the right is definitely starting to stretch out and thin in places and probably won’t last too much longer.

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Dresses: 2 maxi dresses and 1 knee length dress. The blue maxi is getting stretched out weirdly and I don’t wear the knee length dress very often.

I have about 25 items of clothing when all is said and done, so I’m actually doing pretty well as far as keeping a small capsule wardrobe. This does not include accessories, under clothes, or workout clothes. Shoes should also be included in the capsule wardrobe, and I plan to get some pictures of those with some of the accessories I currently have to pair with these outfits. When you add shoes to the mix, I have roughly 30 items in my capsule wardrobe. There are obviously adjustments I’ve made with living in Uganda. I normally would have much fewer skirts and dresses and more pants and shoes. Uganda is teaching me a new way to dress, which at times is a challenge, but also an adventure. An adventure to live simply and find a style that is both comfortable and portrays who I am.

Do you have a capsule wardrobe? Are you getting ready for Fall? I’d love to see and hear! I will also have a few guest posts in the near future to share some other capsule wardrobe, which I am so excited about! Continue to follow along as I work on my capsule wardrobe and the search for ethical fashion. Follow me on Pinterest here!

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Praying for Our Kids // Intentional Prayer & Scripture

I have been trying to become more intentional with my prayer time and the time I spend reading the Bible. I’m realizing what works for me. That pacing around the room or getting outside and taking a walk while muttering under my breath, is a surprisingly effective way for me to concentrate on my prayers and feel connected to God. That with pen in hand for underlying and making bold stars is the best way for me to read my Bible and start remembering what I am reading. So in practicing these two things, I have been working to pray certain Bible verses over the girls when I pray.

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I’ve read some great blog posts on Bible verses to use when praying for your children. You can find a few great reads in the links below.

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Daily prayer prompts

25 Verses To Pray Over Your Child

Prayers for specific needs

How to pray for your children

There is great power in prayer and yet we often overlook it

Incorporating prayer into your family

As for me, these are a few that I have been using lately and have been laid on my heart.

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I want them to find their confidence in the Lord and know that He will provide them with the strength to do the right thing. To also know that they do not do these good works on their own. That these good works are from God and that He will help see them to completion in His time.matthew5-16

I pray that they would not be fearful of letting their light for Christ shine bright! That they would use their gifts and talents to glorify Christ and work to build His kingdom and not their own.

How about you? I want to hear what verses you use when praying for your kids. Join in the conversation here on praying for our kids, or provide your own post in the  link up below!

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Currently // 10/23/15

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Eating / We made empinadas and sonso the other day, so Bolivian leftovers are on the menu for this weekend!

Drinking / Dustin was able to find some more flavored teas in Kampala. They only carry black tea here in Tororo, so it’s nice to find a few different flavors to try out!

Practicing / Letting go of some things that may just not be right for this season. Practicing enjoying the season that I’m in and knowing some things may thrive better in future seasons if that’s the Lord’s will.

Mastering / I’m not sure what in particular I have been mastering this week. I have had a renewed commitment to cloth diapering as we are going through so many diapers with both Helen and Lillie. Here’s to  mastering, or at least becoming adequate, at cloth diapering and hand washing them!

Playing / There’s been a few nights this week where we have tried to play more games with Gracie. This means lots of Frozen Uno and Princess Candyland!

Finishing / We were successfully able to renew our tourist visas this last week, so praises for that! We are still working on the whole work visa process.

Reading/ Continuing to read Just Rise Up. I have also been reading through some Amish fiction on the Kindle, and can I just say how much I love those books!? Makes me miss home, and rolling hills, and farmland too!

Remembering / Life is short and each day is a gift from God. Recently some missionary friends here had a close friend die in a drowning accident. It can be scary and shocking to hear something like that. It reminds me to thank God for each day He has granted us here as each day is a precious gift.

Wearing/The capsule wardrobe is continuing on. I’ve been doing more research on it, which you can find in my last blog post. At least here in Africa I only have to make one capsule wardrobe since the season is always the same!

Cooking / I feel like I’ve started mastering cooking more with dough. Tortillas, white bread, and banana bread just to name a few. It feels good to work with your hands and know something can turn out edible…or even better, delicious!

Working /  Right now my most important work has been the work done at home. My focus has always been Gracie and Lillie and now we have added baby Helen to the mix. I’m continuing to realize how important it is to invest in these girls and teach them about how much Jesus loves them and how much He wants to have a personal relationship with them.

Traveling / We’ve been staying pretty close to home, except for the Wednesday trips to Mbale for ballet class for Gracie.

Wanting /  I wouldn’t mind being able to bundle up in a few Fall layers and feel a bite in the air when I walk outside! And Fall decorations…I’m a sucker for decorations.

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what we have been up to this last week. What is happening currently in your life!?

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Capsule Wardrobe and Ethical Fashion Resources

I had the best intentions to show you how my capsule wardrobe is coming together. These best intentions  didn’t magically take pictures and write a blog post for me somehow! It probably didn’t help that I had malaria (don’t worry, all over and feeling much better now!) and basically wore the same thing for who knows how many days in a row…so you get other people’s capsule wardrobes and thoughts on ethical fashion! Why reinvent the wheel, right?

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Check out this great website for awesome capsule wardrobe ideas!

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Great resource for ethical shopping on a budget!

Right now I have all sorts of ideas pinned here to give inspiration and information on how to build an ethical capsule wardrobe. Follow along and watch out because I’m dreaming up a whole new Pinterest board specially geared towards a capsule wardrobe and ethical fashion for the whole family! I think it’s important that I’m becoming more aware of where my clothes come from and how I can support ethically made clothing. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming. Am I supposed to throw out everything I have and start over!? No, I don’t think that’s the answer and I wouldn’t be a good steward of what I have in the process. But I can start small and start making better choices. I can simplify what I have to make choosing clothes stress free and define my style. I can support good, quality products and make feel good purchases. It’s a small start, but it’s a start! Will you join me?

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Dear Lillian // A Letter on a Pure Heart

A while back I wrote a letter to my oldest, Gracie. A letter about her name and what it means and what I hope it holds true to her as she grows. So today it’s Lillie’s turn.

Dear Lillian,

You are at a pretty precious age. Your sweetness and innocence at this time is perfectly captured in all the sweet and ornery things you do, just as your name suggests. You are our Lillie girl. The meaning of your name is one of innocence, purity, and beauty. I pray you never lose that innocence, purity, and ability to see the wonder and beauty of this world and the way that Jesus has made you special and unique. To know that beauty is not just what is on the outside, but what is on the inside. Know dear girl that having a beautiful, pure heart is most important. Know that you can have this innocent pure heart through knowing Jesus and growing in your walk with Him. Know that this is His desire for you.

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You are at a perfect age of preciousness and wonder and all that is good and pure in the world. I look into your eyes and sometimes I want to see the world just as you see it. To see the good for the good. To be excited and awed by the little and the big things. To work to learn and grow and thrive in each new and changing season of life.

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Sometimes it’s hard for you to forget. Sometimes when you get hurt or someone does something you don’t like, you repeat it to mommy and daddy over and over. But you also do the same for the good. You share your excitement and wonder and draw us all into your brand new world of discovery and innocence. Hold onto this sweet girl. Hold onto the innocence and the good and think on these things as you grow.

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Your very name is a reminder of how to grow and how to hold fast to the goodness that Christ offers us. You’ll make mistakes, you’ll stumble, and it will be OK. Jesus will always hold your hand and always pick you up. Think on Him. Hold onto your sweetness and innocence and know you are His dear girl.

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Love, Mommy

 

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Fair Day // Tot Home School

Every Fall as the air starts to turn a little crisper and the leaves change color, you pile your little ones into the car and head to the fair. At the fair you’ll find lots of animals, games, giant pumpkins, and snacks. Well here in Uganda, the air doesn’t turn crisp and the leaves don’t change color, so we decided to bring the fair to us! There is no Dollar Store to turn to for decorations, but you know what!? The girls didn’t even notice! The decorations, snacks, and games were simple, but had Gracie asking to do it again next week! During our school lessons earlier in the week, Gracie was able to earn fair tickets that she used to play games at the fair. After playing the games she earned tokens that she could use to get her face painted, select a prize, or get a snack. The point is, you don’t have to make it perfect for it to be fun and memorable!

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Our face paint was made from tooth paste and food coloring. So simple, and so cute!

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Someone found the solution to getting to the m & ms at the bottom of the snack bag!

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And a big thanks to Tia Jia for being such an awesome aunt and putting so much work into making this a fun day for the girls!

So even if you can’t make it to a certain event that you and your family love, bring it to you! Make it your own and have fun with it. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and you don’t have to spend lots of money. Your kids will love something special and different and just being able to spend time with you!

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When You’ve Got Nothing & That’s OK // Mama Shares Monday

…I wait for inspiration to strike.

…I’ve got nothing.

That’s how some days feel. You feel all used up. Your energy gone and you just want to sleep for 10 more minutes instead of being loudly pulled out of bed by incessant toddlers or a crying babe. Brain power has dropped by about 99% and all you feel like you can do is mindlessly scroll through your Facebook feed.

The good part about the days, or the weeks, months, or seasons where you feel all used up and like you’ve got nothing to offer, is that you don’t have to do it all. You don’t have to do it all because Jesus already did it all! Jesus sacrificed himself while we were yet sinners. Not after we got all cleaned up, got the kids ready, cooked dinner, and then sat down and wrote a super inspirational and life changing blog post. Nope. Jesus died for us when we had nothing. When we felt used up. When were sinners in all the big and small ways and weren’t even looking or paying attention. You don’t have to do it all because Jesus already did it all!

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So today when you feel like you have nothing to offer, stop trying to dig so deep. Stop trying to push yourself harder because you feel like a failure or like you should be better. Stop trying so hard to do it yourself and abide with THE ONE that has already done it all. Abide in Him and know that He who has started a good work in you will see it to completion. Know that the season may be hard, but CHOOSE to abide joyfully and know that He is at work. He is at work in you and has already done it all.

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So know this. You don’t have to do it all, because Jesus already did it all! And isn’t that a relief, friends!?

 

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Currently // 10/9/15

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Eating / Sweets! I’m usually the one with the sweet tooth, but Dustin and Jia have been coming up with lots of recipes and new ideas for desserts. I’ve definitely been enjoying it, though I have been suggesting we spread it out a bit instead of making them all at once!

Drinking / We’ve now made lemonade a few times. It tastes pretty good, but you might be confused if you saw us making it. It looks like we are using limes, but the lemons are always green here!

Practicing / Prayer. Honestly, sometimes I am not always the best at remembering to pray and bring things to the Lord. To invest time in prayer, rather than just shooting up a quick request or a thank you. So I’m practicing. I’m learning what forms of prayer work best for me. Often taking a walk or pacing allows me to connect more and focus on communicating with Lord.

Mastering / Bottle feeding and eating at the same time. I never really used the bottles with Gracie, and Lillie refused to take one, so I’d have to say I haven’t had much experience  with the bottle. Now that we have our foster baby, Helen, there are times when she’s hungry, but so am I. Getting the hang of the whole bottle feeding and being able to stuff my own face, because you know that’s important too!

Playing / We continue to visit the Babies Home at Smile Africa a few days a week. Lately I have started bringing a few books to the home and trying to have a sort of Story Time with the kids. They love the books, but the sitting and listening instead of coming up and trying to grab the book needs a little work!

Finishing / Our tourists visas run out again this month, so we’ll need to be making a trip to Kenya as we wait on our work visas!

Reading/ Continuing Just RISE UPA big thank you to The Influence Network for this free read! It’s a good one and I’m really enjoying working through the book and the journaling questions.

Remembering / To love well and start here.

Wearing/I posted another capsule wardrobe post this week with thoughts on ethical fashion. Check it out here!

Cooking / Jia experimented and made some awesome bagels the other day. Tomorrow it’s pancake day here in our house. I’d say we are going strong in the breakfast department.

Working / Continuing to work with the Smile Africa Ministries shop and we are hoping to have some products available for people to purchase before Christmas!

Traveling / We are traveling around Tororo and right outside of it a bit this weekend as we check out a few different feeding programs with someone that is visiting us here. Next week we also hope to get to Kampala.

Wanting / I love how many sunny, clear blue sky days there are here, but every once and awhile, a cool drizzly day where you cuddle up and just stay inside all day sounds kind of nice. The grass is always greener, right?

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what we have been up to this last week. What is happening currently in your life!?

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Wear // Capsule Wardrobe {4}

Here’s to another week of capsule wardrobe posting and figuring out how to use what I have, stretch it as far as it will go, and be grateful! I am certainly learning along the way that I can definitely do with less clothes. I usually cycle through the same few pieces of clothing in different combinations anyway! But sometimes it’s hard to let go, ya know? To give away that shirt that hardly ever gets worn, but you KNOW that once you give it away you are going to have an outfit that NEEDS it. So basically you can hashtag that mindset and sum it all up as #firstworldprobs!

So instead of getting more clothes, I want less. I want staples, ethically made and high quality, that I can feel good about wearing, and because they are good quality, I know they will last longer. I’m still needing to do more research on ethically made clothing, but I’m beginning to realize that’s where I want to put more of my money, not just stock up on 10 different colors of cheap shirts that will wear out in a few months! I have found a few shops that I would love to start purchasing pieces from. Everlane is one that I’m looking at that appears to have great staples and is not outrageously priced. Use this link for your first purchase to help a girl out and get me some store credit! Then do the same with your friends! You can also check out my Pinterest board here, where I have begun to pin some resources for ethically made clothes and conscientious fashion.

So while my wardrobe doesn’t represent all things ethically made or the highest quality clothing, I’m still whittling it down. Going back to the basics and learning how to use and be grateful for what I have…which really is a lot!

Also, did you know you can tie a scarf like a vest!? Mind blown, right!? Fold scarf in half hamburger style. Hold each of the corners at the top that are farthest apart length wise and knot them together. Open it up and slip it on like a vest.  For pictures on how to tie the scarf, check out this pin here. Your welcome.

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Skirt: Old Navy// Tank:Target// Scarf: Kohls // Shoes: Keens

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