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Sunday, March 31, 2013


The weather in Toti is cooling off a little. Today is overcast and VERY windy. I am really enjoying it more! Still sticky from the humidity. I wonder if it ever goes away! I'm sure the lower the temp gets, the less the humidity effects you.

The kids are enjoying being here for the most part. Marissa and Mya have lots of friends, and love playing with the neighbors and swimming in their pool. Today they went swimming with them, and then joined their family on a trip to a nature reserve. When they got home, they came and played at our house and now they are back swimming again!

Brandon has really missed Joburg. He misses our home there and he misses his friends. He has enjoyed the youth here, and is making new friends, but it takes longer to make close friends as a 13 year old boy than it does for a 5 or 10 year old girl. :) He LOVES the ocean. We don't spend enough time there in his opinion (mine, too). Just yesterday he said it was calling him.

I have been lonely for a close friendship, as well. It will come with time, I'm sure! I have loved meeting new people, and especially love our new church, Grace Baptist Church in Amanzimtoti. The people are friendly, the messages are sound, and I love singing in church again. I have played my flute in church for the last 11 years and I didn't realize how much I missed singing in the services. And there's just something about worshipping in a church where I can sing my heart out and I don't stand out in the crowd because there are lots of people and the sound is full enough to drown me out.

People keep asking me how I feel about the move and if I'm settling in and I don't really know how to answer them. I am content to be wherever God wants me. I am glad I have my family together. I love the ocean. But that doesn't make it easy.

When I left Joburg, a good friend helped me put things into perspective. People kept asking me if I was excited. If I was completely truthful, I would have answered, "I don't know!" I couldn't figure it all out. And she simply said that I must be experiencing the same emotions as when I left the US and came to South Africa. She hit the nail on the head. I didn't know what to expect in Durban.

I hate goodbyes. I hate being far away from those I love. I would love to live close enough that I could pop over to one of my sibling's houses and spend time baking together or playing games and laughing. I want to live near a close friend who loves my children and will babysit at the drop of a hat. A friend who desires to spend time with me as much as I desire to spend time with them. I want to be able to have a meal with my Mom or go shopping together. I want....

But I  have found that I can't allow myself to dwell on "I want". Because, for now, that's not what I have. And it's not what I REALLY want. What I really want is to do whatever I can to point others to the cross of Christ. And if being in a close proximity to my family and dear friends isn't the best way to accomplish that, then it's not what I really want. It would be hard, anyway, as they are scattered from South Africa to Switzerland, Ireland to Alaska, and everywhere in between!

So, for now, I will continue praying for one dear friend here in Durban. One who will laugh with me, cry with me and prod me to walk closer to Christ. And I will continue to love those of you that are far away with all of my heart, because it's the only way I know how.

I am grateful for my husband and children, and the close bond that we have and the way that we can minister together. I am looking forward to the day that we can all worship together in Heaven.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Read More Books! (cont.)

We are trying to read at least one "new" book each day. We have LOTS of books and haven't read them all to Marissa & Mya. Here's our list of "new" books we read this week!

We Help Daddy

Merry Christmas, Amelia Bedelia!

Miss Nelson is Missing!

The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story

Chicka Chicka ABC


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Getting Healthy

As I have reached an all time high weight for me, I have once again gotten serious about getting healthy. I am tired of the yo-yo struggle I have experienced with discipline in this area of my life. It's a good thing that God gives grace and mercy, and loves me no matter what shape I am!

I started this journey only a week ago. I have removed wheat, rice, and potatoes from my diet. The last time I did this it proved to be very successful and I had quick results. However, previously I also removed white/brown sugar as well and replaced it with sweetener. In the meantime, I have decided not to use artificial sweetener, so I haven't cut down as much on sugar from my diet this time.

I am eating fewer than 1200 calories and I have also been exercising at least every other day. It's been kind of fun to track everything on My Fitness Pal. I know it's only been one week, but I weighed myself today and there has been no change. :(

I am not going to give up. I can do this! Just wondering if I need to get more extreme. No sugar in my tea (which would probably mean no tea)? A lower calorie limit for the day? Or is it just that my 40 year old body takes longer to respond.... I think one answer is more exercise.

I have half-heartedly started a couch to 5k program. Guess it's time to get serious about that, too. Here we go!

This fun little tool will keep track of my progress:

MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

Friday, March 15, 2013

Read More Books!!!

I have accepted a new challenge - read my kids a new book every day. I used to read a lot to Brandon, but as life gets busier I realize I haven't read as much to Marissa, and even less to Mya, with the exception of school read alouds. I have a lot of kids books and want to start purging a few, so my thoughts are that I will read a new book each day and let them each pick a book to read as well. This way I will know which books are their favorites so I know which ones to keep! I thought it might be fun (and keep me accountable) to blog which books we are reading.

Bonus: cuddle time with my "babies".

Here's the first two:
Amelia Bedelia

Guess How Much I Love You