Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Love letters

Each week like clockwork, I receive a little note from Zurufah.  The other kids give them sporadically, but I can really count on her to give me one (usually on Fridays).  I cherish every picture/letter/homemade snowflake/envelope that they make.  I wish I could scan the notes so that you all could see the cute little drawings and see their handwriting, but I thought I would share some of them with you anyway.  Keep in mind... the spelling is theirs, not mine!!!

Dear Taylor,
I love you so much.  I will miss you.  You are beautyful.  I like you so much.  You have beautyful hair.  You are my mummy.  Even if you are mad, I still love you.  Thank you for love me
From: Zurufah

Dear Princess (because Prava explained to the girls that we are all daughters of the King),
I love you so much.  I will miss you so much.  I pray for you.  You are my best princess  You are so beautyful.
From: Sarah

Dear Taylor and Jay,
I love so much.  I hope you are fine.  Thank for everything and helping me do work.  May God bless you so much.  Bye bye bye
From: Lincoln

Dear Mummy Taylor,
I love you so so so much.  Even if I am mad I still love you forever.  I will pray for you everyday.  I will miss you so so so much.  I will never forget you.  You are so so so beautyful.  I hope you are fine.
Love, Rose

Dear Taylor
I love you so much.  I thank you for teaching us the songs.  I appreciate your hard work.  Thank you for loving us.  May God bless you so much.
From Ezera

Dear Taylor,
I love your hugs and kisses.  I love you so much.  You are so sweet.  When I go to Uganda I will miss you so much.  Thank you for everything.  You are like my mom.
Love, Rose

And now for the letter that made me laugh out loud.  This one is from Zurufah, our little drama queen and attention-getter.

Dear Taylor,
Who do you like the most in children in Central Team?  I love you so much.  Thank you for everything.  Who do you like the most in children in girls and boys?
Love, Zurufah
(Then, of course, she list everyones names so that I can circle one!  Hmmm...I wonder what she was hoping my response would be??? She's so subtle...)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

An unforgettable Easter

Here's a little glimpse of our Easter!  The week before, Prava, Ashley, and I stuffed nearly three hundred Easter eggs for our kiddos!  (This is in the tiny "living room" of the RV.)

We left church right after our concert Sunday morning, found a nearby park, and hid the eggs.  We were racing against time since the kids were soon on their way!

I wish we had a picture of them jumping up and down screaming when they heard what we had planned for them.  They've definitely never done this before and were so excited to take part in this American tradition!  Here are the girls getting ready to begin the hunt :)

Checking out their treasures:

These last pictures aren't from Easter, but I wanted you all to meet the girl who has stolen my husband's heart.  This is Neha, our oldest little one.  She and Jay have a special bond...they are together constantly!
She always steals Jay's hats!  There's a lot of love here!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A little bit of confusion

In Uganda, the children don't eat meat very often.  They eat chicken on certain days, but because the beef has been unsafe and made people sick in the past, many people just don't eat it at all.  Now that the kids are in America though, we have them eating all kinds of things, including hamburgers, hotdogs, spaghetti with meat sauce, roast, beef brisket, and roast beef sandwiches.  With that in mind, here is the conversation we heard on the bus yesterday:

Rose: (seeing a bunch of cows out the window) Auntie Ashley, have you ever eaten cow??

Ashley, unsure of just how much the children knew about what they eat in America, just raised her eyebrows and smiled.

Rose: You should really try it sometime.  I had it once... in my country.  It's good.  If you ever go to Uganda, you should try it.

She was so nonchalant and clueless about it, we all just died laughing!

Later in the day, we asked Isaac, "What are hamburgers made of, Isaac?"  He just shrugged his shoulders and guessed, "Flowers???"  Oh my goodness.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What would I do without them?

There are two things that keep me sane on the road: Ashley and Prava.  They are the two young women who are chaperones on the team, who are my "right hand men," if you will.  But even more than that, they are the only two adult females I really get to talk to!  Since they stay with host families each night, we really savor the time we get to spend together.  I don't know what I would do without them!  They are always there to help (and there are definitely times they don't want to!) and I know I can count on them for anything when it comes to the well-being of the kids.  I depend on them each and every day, and am sooo thankful that they put up with me!

Here we are in Albuquerque a couple of weeks ago:
Now to preface this next picture, I have to explain some things.  Before and after each concert, there is a lot of time we spend in the costume room with the kids either waiting for the concert to start, waiting for a meal, waiting to load up equipment, waiting on host families...I think you get the idea...WAITING.  Anyway, at the beginning of the tour, the kids would play UNO for hours on end.  Prava, Ashley, and I would read books and talk and join in with the kids.  Then the kids learned to play Speed (which is still a favorite).  But then came the ultimate... Phase 10.  Have you all played this game?  I originally just bought it for the "Aunties" to play, thinking it was too complicated for the kids, but after watching us for a little while, they started stealing my cards and playing on their own!  Well, I bought enough decks to go around and now everyone is happy.

Prava, Ashley, and I have a running tally going of who wins the most games.  Each game takes about an hour and we each have six tally marks right now (that is, of course, until I pull ahead again!), so you do the math.  We have taken this game to a whole new level and created our own rules and levels.  The kids are competitive too...I think this one is going to be their favorite for a while longer!

In a typical costume room at a church:
And a typical scene you may walk in to: