what do your days look like?

So some people have asked me about what my days look like. Now that this has become life I often forget to take photos and sometimes I simply don’t share because its too hard to put into words all the things I have been experiencing. Its not something that anyone would understand without living here. However, it is just nice to connect with you all. I love to see the things that are happening in your worlds. How your kids are growing, how work is coming, what you ate lately. Especially what you ate lately. I miss American restaurants like nobodies business. I would marry Coldstone Creamery now if he would have me… I am getting off track. Anyhow I tried to be intentional for a couple weeks and documented some of my days. Here is what the result is-

At the beginning of each month, the first Tuesday, funds come in for the Lifegate Children’s Home. We use them to pay the salaries of our caregivers, to pay for school fees and medication and we also buy supplies. Lots of supplies. Feeding all the kids ain’t easy or cheap. Which is why its such a blessing have sponsors who care enough to take from what they have and send it here. I carefully manage every penny and often add my own pennies, so to speak, so that every donation is intentionally used. When its time to buy all those supplies, I head up to the home in the morning after the kids have left for school, pick up one of our caregivers- and head to the market. But first I wait 45 minutes for her to prepare. I am the only planner here. In this country.  Except the other american’s. This culture does not plan. And you cant make them!- and we go to Waterloo market for the day. Being in waterloo market is like walking through the state fairgrounds in August. Its dirty and hot and people are shoulder to shoulder at times. Except this is like when you’ve won (nope-bought) 500 pounds of prizes to tote back to your car. We buy 4 giant bags of rice, a huge bag of onions, a carton of 50 tins tomato paste, 36 bars of soap, 10 large toothpaste tubes, 50 packets of juice, 50 cups of flour, 45 cups of sugar,50 cups of dry beans, boxes of seasoning, and the list goes on and on. I have three pages of paper that I take to buy with. Don’t forget the hair cream and lotion. My girls can not live without their pomades and cocoa butter lotions. Soft and sweet smelling. That is our monthly buying. The weekly happens every Wednesday and Saturday for me. Gotta get the fresh stuff, too. Once we get it all home we count every item cup by cup again because we watch everything we use carefully. Everyone in the home helps.

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Preparing to enter the twilight zone… 😉 Waterloo Market

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The supplies are jammed in the middle and very back.

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Everyone helps unload. Except me. I liaded it all in there. That’s why we have all these kids 😉

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We begin to count every cup of rice and document every item brought it.

Wednesday and Thursday I generally go up and see the kids. Our new house is nearly finished and we are so thrilled to move! I check on progress and I play with the kids and check in with our caregivers. I find cool selfies and weird videos on my phone when I get home. Our kids have a slight level of narcissism. They’re still young enough that its cute.

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Our new house

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Another shot of the new place. We are so excited!

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Alpha’s selfie 😉

Friday I have a meeting at the home with my boss Rick and our national director to go over anything. Last week the girls home got plaster done and a storage closet was completed for all the food! We love to see progress. A church generously donated for the construction project. Thank you churches and givers, who make these things happen. Of course after the meetings more playing happens.

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Saturday the 11th was Isha’s birthday. She turned 13. We celebrated with cake and a gift. But her birthday was also her beach day. So Martha, John, and Isha went to the beach with us for the day. We ate  and swam and built a giant sand fort. My favorite days off are ones at the beach with our kiddos.

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Car selfies

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Trying to get everyone in

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Sunday is church and generally a bit of time with the kids up at the home after. And hopefully phone calls with family and by Gods mercy a movie. We have pizza night every Sunday- homemade of course. Papa Johns, why have you left me?!?. But anyhow, we like to relax.

Monday is back to school again for the boys. We do school Monday through Friday. Ty helps when I have to go work and vice versa. Its nice partnering. Friday is test day. The boys favorite! However, this past week was my art week. So I went to the schools teaching an art class and telling the story of Cain and Abel. We are going through the stories one by one. Can’t skip the murderous brother, so we embraced it. Every kid in our school has siblings. Legit. Every kid. SO I taught-Give God your best. And, When you get jealous and angry, give it to God. Chill DON’T Kill. The kids gave great contributions and asked good questions and I am happy to report they were all quite disappointed in Cain. So Monday, Tuesday, and Friday art classes happened. When I was done I went to the home and checked on the kids.

Thursday we had to get the other supplies for the kids. They need shoes and clothes. We buy shoes every month and by week 3 most of them have broken their shoes. It doesn’t matter the kind you buy or the material used. The terrain here is rocky and hard to navigate. Sometimes people here (not me of course- just others) fall a lot. And our kids love to play and run and kick balls. So we spend about $1 per pair of sandals and let them go. We go to Freetown for the clothes shopping because you get the best deals. This month our boys got new shirts for church (and they looked so handsome) and our girls got some pretty new skirts.

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Shopping in freetown

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Sitting in one of the clothing “junks”. They are tarp made stalls with all the items packed in

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Handsome in their new clothes!

This Saturday we played soccer with all the kids. Again, no stinking photos. I’m sorry. But the boys won their game and we girls played each other. It was tied one to one. I’m coming for a rematch soon. Sunday my body hurt everywhere. We went to church and then went up to spend time with the kids. (you’re seeing a theme for my days, right?)

Tuesday I taught art at the bible telling school for the first time. The BTS is Rick’s newest baby. It is our adult education school. They learn bible telling in the early morning, sewing and tie dyeing in the later morning, and there is an adult literacy class in the afternoons. These ladies (and men are welcome but right now we don’t have any enrolled) are getting a chance to learn a trade and provide for themselves. If you think they might like coloring, you are wrong. They LOVED it. Who doesn’t enjoy a chance to relax and color? Its just peaceful. In this culture creativity is not nurtured. Its not something that people think about because you’re so busy just surviving. Forget thriving. One of the ladies asked for an “example” on how to color her sheep. I politely refused and told her she gets to get “crazy” with it. She had some of the best colors. That is my favorite.

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Wednesday, it was back up to the home to see the kids and check in with the caregivers and give hugs and kisses and kick the soccer ball and talk about school and work on math problems and practice how to tell time and get more hugs and kisses and….

Its a great life.

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