Thursday, November 20, 2014

Molly is 2!

Wow! I've been having the hardest time accepting the fact that our "baby Molly" is now a big girl. We are so proud of her! Here are some updates on Molly:

Molly is now sleeping in a twin bed. She sleeps 11-12 hours at night and takes a 30-60 minute nap (most days).

She is a great eater! There are no foods she doesn't like. Her favorite food is bananas and she eats 3-5 small bananas a day. She always cleans her plate. She also LOVES Ugandan food and is always begging Miss Betty for bites of her food. 

Molly is an outside girl. She wants to be outside a lot more than Graham and I do. She is now big enough that her and Graham can play some outside by themselves. 

She is an astounding climber. It seems she can find a way to reach just about anything in our house!

She loves to play legos, baby dolls, blocks, color, and look at books. She also loves trying on everyone's shoes. 

She was a bit slow to talk but she is now learning new words everyday. Some of my favorite things she says: bambam (banana), help please, I love you, guys!, Elmo, baby, night night, puppy, etc.

Molly is a bit of a trouble maker and has a great ability to get into things. She has several times opened my makeup bag and put on mascara, she has dumped lots of flour and sugar in the pantry when we forget to close the door, she once dumped two liters of milk on the kitchen floor, she's thrown lots of things like remotes away, she has colored with marker on the doors and walls, and lots of other things I can't even remember. Needless to say I have to be very diligent!

Molly is a total momma's girl but not too clingy anymore. She always loves her Miss Betty. And her Daddy can get her to sleep when no one else can. Graham can make her laugh like no one else. She is also completely familiar and comfortable with everyone on our mission team. 

She is wearing size 3T clothes, size 5 diapers, and size 6-7 shoes. 

From her curly hair to her chubby feet, we are just crazy about our girl. We are incredibly proud. 

Picture Overload!

Monday, November 10, 2014


A introduction is a very important cultural event in Uganda. When a man and a woman get engaged, they have an introduction in order to introduce to bride and groom to each other's families. A couple of weeks ago I attended my first introduction when one of the LIU students I've been mentoring got engaged. Her name is Edith. 

First of all, you MUST wear a gomes (traditional African dress). Everyone does. My friend Jill and I had gomes' made especially for the occasion. And now I'll have one for next time.

Don't we look lovely??

We arrived two hours late, and the introduction was just's called African time. It's difficult for me to explain the introduction, because it was confusing even for me. There are separate sides for the bride and groom, and each side had a spokesperson with a microphone. The whole thing was a long theatrical performance. Various people were introduced and danced. Gifts to various people were solemnly bestowed. Snacks were served. After a LONG time, the bride finally came dancing out, dressed in her finest. Then there was the "search" for the groom. When he was finally found, there was a gift presented from the groom's family to the bride. 

At this point there was a lull right before the dowry was to be presented and we slipped out. We didn't want to be driving home in the dark.

The groomsmen (in traditional Ugandan attire):

The bridesmaids:

The formal giving and receiving of gifts:

Here comes the bride! Edith is beautiful inside and out and I'm so proud of her.

And....they found the groom!

Together again:

I enjoyed my first introduction. It was very interesting! However it was very long and I can't imagine taking my kids to one. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Creamy Balsamic Vinegarette

Salad is a tough thing to come by here in Uganda. It grows here, really well actually. But it's not something the Ugandans eat. I can sometimes get it from my garden or from a generous friend willing to share.

Since you can't get salad, you also can't get salad dressing. I often make ranch by mixing 1 packet of ranch (I have stocked up on those) with 1 c of milk and 1 c of mayonnaise. I didn't even know you could do that before I moved here!

But recently I have found my favorite homemade salad dressing. I was lucky enough to find a bottle of balsamic vinegar in Kampala ($10 - totally worth it) and this delicious recipe that I can get all the ingredients for. Try it, you'll love it! To me it's just as good as eating in a restaurant...well almost. 

The recipe comes from this website

Creamy Balsamic Greek Yogurt Vinegarette

1/4 c plain greek yogurt (I just used regular plain yogurt)
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 t dijon mustard (I used regular yellow mustard)
1 T honey
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl or jar and shake or whisk until combined and smooth. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Appreciation Lunch

Around this time last year we hosted a lunch to show our workers how much we love and appreciate them. We decided to make it an annual event. This year everyone came! 11 adults and 15 children, not including us. Betty and my new worker Justine arrived early to prepare lunch. We ate matoke (similar to bananas, but not sweet, they are cooked and mashed), rice, beef, chicken, pork, and chapati (fried flatbread), sodas, and cake. Lunch was ready and served at 3:00, pretty typical lunch time here. The kids all had a ball playing in our yard. The only two downsides were that it was really rainy and that Molly got sick with the stomach bug Graham had a few days ago.

We love and trust our workers so much. We have three guards, one housekeeper, and I recently hired Justine to help Betty out twice a week since I've been leaving my kids with Betty more. 

Here is what matoke looks like before it's cooked:

The spread:

The kids' table:

Here is what I chose. I can eat Ugandan food but I certainly don't prefer it. I do love chapati though.

*sidenote: Molly loves it all!

The adults table (and me with my mouth full):

Is this little girl not precious? Her name was Jacinda.

Our guard Isaac and his family:

Justine and her family:

Steven and his family:

Betty and her niece she is raising:

Martin and his family:

Graham had a blast playing with all the kids.

I am always looking to show our workers how much we appreciate them and I look forward to next year.