22 July, 2014

Chicken Intestines and Chai

  Yesterday my dad, my married sister Eileen, her husband Jason and their crew of 6 children headed back across the big pond. They are planning a day and a half of sight seeing in London before they fly back to the good ol' USA.

  It was so much fun to show my family Kenya. One of my favorite things about my dad is that he is so not racist and it showed. He was often surrounded by smiling faces even if they didn't get everything this white "mosay" (old man, a term of respect) was saying.

  Last monday we headed to John and Benter's place, a couple from our church, for an authentic Kenyan meal. So after an hour of bumpiness and potholes and goat and cow dodging, and a 15 minute walk, we arrived.

Heading into the "dala" 

Living room straight ahead, goat enclosure to the left, and a sleeping hut to the right. 

John and Benter

  We were ushered inside and were asked to pray a prayer. That's tradition, especially as many Kenyans believe that the white people bring blessings, such as fertility to both man and mammal, and even crops. We then sat and were served steaming hot chai and mandazis, a first for my family.


Cousins eagerly waiting. Oh, the joy of your very own cup of scalding tea. 




My sister Eileen and her husband Jason, with their oldest child, Ina to the left.

Amazing how much furniture they squeeze into a room. Every couch and chair has spotless, wrinkle free, embroidered cloths carefully placed on them in every home i've been in. Sadly, til our crew leaves they're no longer any of the above. Joseph, the bishop and pastor at our church, and his wife Becky, kindly consented to go along. They're from Belleville Pa and are serving their sixth year in Kenya.



We then headed for a walk to a tiny shopping centre while the ladies got a massive feast prepared. It truly gave my family a taste of Kenya, walking between sugar cane fields and feeling that hot, African sun beat down on their heads. 
The white man and the African expounding to each other. John, the man on the left, is a young man from church who has been a member for a number of years. He would very much appreciate a wife, as he made known at a youth seminar where he shared that the "Lord's return is imminent so get married quickly." Amen.

Of course we hadn't taken enough water for that kind of hiking and would you believe we could buy bottled water at a little store in that tiny "shopping center." So one of the ladies had the privilege of carrying our water back to the "dala." What can i say. Marlin just wasn't up to carrying it on his head. 


Back to the house for a feast and what a feast it was! Boiled beef, fried beef liver (can't believe i'm going to say this but it was DELICIOUS! I've had it wrapped in bacon and drenched in bbq sauce. I've had it grilled and baked with onions. One word. Nasty. But this was really good, much to both my shock and my sister's.) There was chicken fried in oil and chicken stewed in a tomatoey broth. There was rice, fried cabbage, potatoes, chapatis, ugali (always ugali!), steamed sukuma, (a  type of greens and the children loved it. Go figure.) There was chicken intestines. For some reason that was pretty much untouched altho our innocent brother in law, Jason, consumed a bit, thinking it was just chicken. Which it was. Kind of.
The meal was wonderful and the "mazungus" thoroughly enjoyed it. After the meal, we were all given sodas for dessert. And i really don't know why i have my head resting on the back of the couch, looking for all the world like i'm in need of a nap. Now that i think of it, maybe i was. Heat, much walking, and copious amounts of food have a way of doing that to a person.


The ladies hard at work in the kitchen, making all that food over little fires. American women? You are SPOILED! It's ok, you can't help that you were born an american but don't take it for granted. And be willing to leave your comfortable kitchens if God asks that. Speaking to myself here because i have an American kitchen in Africa. I love African women. They work HARD but you don't hear them complain. They always have a big smile for visitors, which is more than what most women could say if they had to serve their guests food cooked over a little fire with little or no ventilation in the cooking hut. 


The food has been served, the soda's drunk. It is now between 3 and 4 o'clock in the afternoon and time for the final speeches, prayers of blessing, and introductions. I don't know why introductions are saved til last but it's how it's done and it works. So John and Benter gave a small speech first, then everyone had to introduce themselves, including the row of Kenyans sitting behind Joseph and Becky where you can't see them. Afterwards Joseph read some scripture, we stood for prayer and then were dismissed. We drove into the compound at home at 6 o'clock, just in time to clean up and head to Mark Beachy's house for supper. And would you know, she thot we might just be in the mood for American food and would you know, we were. :) 

  It was a great day, albeit exhausting, and we are so grateful that John and Benter were willing to host us. So thankful that my family got to experience it and make lifetime memories. 

  And that will have to do for this blog post. I will try and quickly add more posts but there's simply to many pictures to do one post justice. Because there's a boat ride on Lake Victoria to see the hippos, there's Bible study, there's supper by Lake Victoria, there's the market, there's tuk, tuk rides, and there's the Mara. And other things i can't remember. 

 I'll be back. :) 

04 July, 2014

Food and Spirituality

    I used to post about food and recipes. Mostly healthy ones, but that was before we got all spiritual and became missionaries and now no longer care what we put in our mouths.

  Maybe i should run that last sentence by my husband before i post it.

  Maybe he might not agree.

  Maybe he would be right.

  Because one time i knew of someone who also believed that when you reached a certain level of holiness there were other things a person no longer cared about. I was quite astounded and amazed at such amounts of spiritual knowledge.  But my husband said that certain ideas are anything but spiritual because the closer he himself gets to God the more he enjoys those certain things.

  Maybe i should get back to talking about food and recipes.

  I truly thought before coming that perhaps we would be so thankful just for food, especially after seeing how simple Kenyan's diets are, that my man's love for cooking would get replaced with.....with.....well, i hadn't thought that far. Maybe his super spirituality would kick in? I also thought i would lose vast amounts of weight because we would no longer have access to rich foods. I was kind of hoping it would be that way and for a while it looked promising. I picked up a batch of amoebas (nasty parasitic type things from contaminated food and water) immediately upon arrival and spent a large portion of my time studying the back of the bathroom door. I lost my appetite and i figured i had finally hit upon the perfect diet plan. I imagined people oohing and awing over how thin we all had become. And spiritual.

  Lo and behold, as my body adjusted to Kenya, i realized that my appetite for sugary delights was once again increasing in a rather unholy way and my man had not developed spiritual gifts that took away his love for cooking. Or other things.

  Also, while our access to processed foods is somewhat limited here, at least if you don't want to pay obscene amounts of shillings, there are still ways to get fat. With like chocolate cake and peanut butter frosting. Mashed potatoes and gravy. Big bowls of homemade ice cream.

  So i realized, due especially to Marlin's family history of diabetes and heart issues, that we would
have to continue watching our sugars and heavy carbs without the benefit of super spirituality.

  So here's a recipe that we like. A lot. I tend to make these just for Marlin and i because peanut butter is not cheap in Kenya and neither are chick peas or honey. The children eat regular brownies made with sunflower oil and white sugar and flour. Sigh...and to think i would never have considered allowing that evil oil in our cooking and baking before. I do use ghee also but it's still expensive and i just can't justify using it in all our baking. And it seems this crew's stomach is a bottomless pit and it would be rather embarrassing to have the mission tell us to go back where we came from because it seems we have food issues.

  So Marlin continues to cook and i continue to think he looks mighty amazing in the kitchen. Something about the black apron, large knife, and a big smile.....

Come to mama


  And now for the recipe. Please don't harm your happiness and think that anything with beans is disgusting until you give it a try.


Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies with Sea Salt

YIELD: Makes 16

INGREDIENTS:

Nonstick cooking spray
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup natural peanut butter, almond butter, or your favorite nut butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup, honey or agave nectar (i use part stevia)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips
Sea salt, for sprinkling

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8 × 8-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a food processor, add all ingredients except chocolate chips. Process until batter is smooth. Fold in 1/3 cup chocolate chips and spread batter evenly in prepared pan with a buttered spatula. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons chocolate chips over top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and edges are very light brown.
Let cool completely on a wire rack. Sprinkle with sea salt and cut into 16 squares.
Enjoy!

TIPS
Adding an egg to the batter will make the bars more cake-like.
If you’re using chickpeas, make sure they’re peeled.
Feel free to get creative and add nuts, dried fruits, or anything else you like.


14 June, 2014

In the Name of Jesus...



So a church in Ohio sent money to pay for Bibles for a church they have been in contact with about 2 hrs from here...

In the highlands...

In rainy season...

Into the interior...

In a van full of children, SAW (support a widow) parcels and 80 Bibles...

Isn't that the cutest baby EVER??? 
   Our van was FULL but we still found space for vital things like snacks and clothes. After dropping off the Bibles, we were planning on heading to some other Anabaptist missionaries about an hr from there (2 1/2 hrs from Kisumu) to give them the SAW parcels to hand out to the widows in their village. Everybody was happy except for the mama of the family who really wanted to skip the Bible handing out in the interior because she is selfish and the thot of driving into the interior on mud roads in rainy season made her feel weary and ornery. Marlin was warned that it might not be a good idea to drive that far into the interior with a van and i was delighted that God felt like me on the matter and was on my side. Turns out that God was on my side but not the way i had planned. Marlin called the pastor as we were driving and asked him his thots on how the roads would be. He assured Marlin that the roads will be fine, while i muttered in Marlin's left ear that i would certainly NOT trust THAT man's advice. Marlin got off the phone and told me since this man used to drive that he trusts his opinion. I shut my mouth and asked God to please keep it that way. 

   We arrived at the pastor's house and altho we warned them that we can not stay because by then it was already around 10, there is no leaving a Kenyan's house without a bit of tea which will be served in only two minutes. I sighed and resolved to be pleasant and cheerful and drink the chai as fast as possible. Besides, i discovered that the pastor's wife was actually very nice and very friendly and knew English quite well. I also discovered that we were this pastor's very, very good friend and by the way, would we be willing to start a farm in his area, supply the funds and he would be our manager. Marlin assured the man that it would not be a good idea as he is very busy with AGAPE and when Marlin went out for a bit and the pastor suggested the plan to me i took the opportunity to tell him that we serve where God puts us and we have no idea of our future, altho we're pretty positive it doesn't involve having him as manager. I kept the last opinion to myself.
Such is Kenya...



   So after drinking chai, handing out a few Bibles and gently reminding them that we NEED TO GET GOING BEFORE THE RAINS HIT, we all piled in our excruciatingly full van, and with 4 more people added, we headed off into the interior to his second church. Only an hr or so of being packed like sardines with them assuring us that there is no rain coming we finally got off the main roads and continued 14 km farther and onto red mud, slipping and sliding and gunning our way through mud holes 2 feet deep. Marlin kept telling Joseph, the pastor, that we can not have any kind of extended service because in spite of what they were assuring us, the rain clouds were building up and Marlin knew if we get caught in the rain, we would have a real problem. Finally, finally, we pulled up in front of a stick and feed bag structure with people lined up clapping and singing. The mazungas had arrived!!!! We were greeted with hugging and hand shaking and were ushered inside where chairs were lined up in front facing the rest of the congregation. More singing, and then the introductions started with all the elders, complete with formal attire, standing and their wives and then us, and on. And on. And on. Marlin was asked to give a sermon, as long as he pleased, 2 or 3 hours would be great. I glared great holes in Pastor Joseph's back for even suggesting that, for any simpleton could tell the air was cooling and the rains were coming. I began praying deeply that God would hold the rains back and i assured Him that He is amazing and could easily accomplish that and since He loves us so much........



   Meanwhile the service continued with them asking us to sing as a family, and Marlin thankfully sharing a very short meditation and assuring the people that we would love to stay but the rain is coming and we needed to get going. They promised that they understood altho they also said we have to have chai first, but only for a "little bit." Yeah, right. By then thunder was rumbling and i casually leaned over to Eric and Emily and told them to start some serious praying. If Marlin said we needed to get going NOW, then i was quite sure we should have left 20 minutes before. Finally we were ready to hand Bibles out but to my complete dismay, they had certain names to be read off and, NO, NO, NO, i was hearing rain drops. "Please dear God, please, please, please don't let it rain. Seriously, we don't want to stay out here overnight." Long story short, til they were finished handing the Bibles out (no one paid any attention to my suggestion of leaving them pass out their own Bibles while we skedaddled) it was pouring rain, my nerves and stomach were in a mess and i was quite put out with God. We scrambled into the van and for the life of me i couldn't figure out why the pastor from that church was in our van while pastor Joseph was walking down a path towards a mud hut. Yup, they weren't joking about us staying for chai. By that time the rain was coming sideways and as Marlin pulled into the "dala" i felt like throwing myself into the maize and kicking and screaming. There was nothing we could do without horribly offending these people but stay, for if we would have left it would have been like spitting in their face. I could tell Marlin was on edge and when they came out with piles of mandazis and vats of chai, i wanted to puke. But i smiled and gulped my chai and choked down a mandazi while Pastor Joseph and his wife Helen drank cup after cup and contentedly chewed multiple mounds of fried dough. The hut was dark, the rain was pouring and people kept filing in until there were people standing outside. This was a major event in their lives with the white people in their home, even if we couldn't hear a word that anyone was saying thanks to a tin roof.

   By this time i was downright struggling and realized that something was seriously wrong with my spirit. I had prayed for the rain to hold off. That prayer certainly wasn't answered and usually, when i have no control over a situation i'm able to let it go. But having Marlin nervous made me downright  mental hospital material. So while the rain poured and the people slurped and chewed, i did what i should have done from the beginning. I told God that i can't begin to manufacture faith on my own, so would He please do that for me. I prayed for strength to surrender. If it was His will for us to stay in the middle of no-where in who knows what, i was going to trust Him. After a few minutes i realized my fear was leaving, my nerves were calming, and a gentle peace settled over me. The rain was still pouring and i did a happy inside dance when we finally ran to our van, but my fear and frustration had left. Pastor Joseph assured his dear, dear friend Marlin that we would get out because they had prayed in Jesus name and it would be ok. I looked at the rivers of red water pouring over the road and wondered but decided it wasn't for me to worry about.

   Want to know what happened? Well, on the way into the interior before it was raining, the mud was slick and slippery and Marlin had to fight to keep the van where it belonged, but on the way out? In spite of water gushing over the road and in many places not even able to see the road, the roadbed was solid as rock. Not once did we slip and slide but the van plowed happily through vast amounts of water with Pastor Joseph promising after each one that the worst was over.

    After a bit we drove ahead of the storm, dropped Pastor Joseph, his wife and their two children off,  and headed for our friends on blacktop roads with the rain behind us.

    I'm crying as i write this because God's plan was so much better, so much bigger. He chose to show His power to some very undeserving people, in particular the mazungu's wife. How pathetic i am and yet how He loves me. I repented of my selfish and faithless heart and our hearts echoed what Pastor Joseph had said...
  In the Name of Jesus!

Our missionary friends from Kitale.   
  .
   We did make it to our friends house and had a sweet visit. We saw what it's like to live with the natives as your neighbor and how to manage without electricity or an inside toilet. We reveled in the beautiful maize(corn) covered countryside and delighted in hanging onto Big Daddy while riding on a piki piki (motorcycle). Took me right back to being a newlywed and i loved it. Something about wrapping my arms around my man while waving to little, chocolate children as the piki piki rumbles past made me feel very happy. Esp the wrapping part. Ok, and the piki piki. Some things never change. :)


That's my man!! And the two little men in the left hand corner are mine also. Never have i seen Levi's eyes shine as they did after his piki piki ride.

The Marc and Cindy Carrier family who were the first ones at this mission. Cindy is a sweet woman who inspires me with her selfless serving. 


We headed back home Friday morning. 
Back to dirt and dust, bar music and truck horns. 
Back to a huge laundry pile and working instead of visiting. 
But also back to dear friends and our inside toilet. 
After this week, i am content to let Him worry about our future and the next time my faith fails,
 i want to remember 5 words...

A lovely family, Charlton and Natasha Sweazey, who moved to Kenya only a couple of months ago. They have a beautiful testimony and we're excited to see where God takes them. Their baby is due in November
so please pray for them. Moving to a new country is overwhelming esp when mama is pregnant. 


Charlton's mother, Wanda, is the nurse who runs the little clinic for the locals.  I am blessed by her willingness to move across the world and leave her other children and grandchildren behind. Indefinitely. 

IN THE NAME OF JESUS!


Clinic in session. The Kenyan to her right is a retired nurse and helps Wanda with translation.



                                AMEN!!


09 June, 2014

They're back!!!

  My children are back.....happy, busy, and best of all, enjoying being with each other. The older ones are including the little ones in their busy lives of playing house and business. They are best friends once again and my heart is doing a joy dance.


Welcome to Eric's bank.....notice his computer at the corner. It's his personal one (without internet!) where he designed the treehouse, makes home videos, and does his banking. ;) Even now he is holding a bank meeting and handing out credit cards made of stiff paper. I love to see my young man still enjoying this type of thing. Time enough for the real world in the very near future. 

  And i have the tree house to thank. That and the fact that they are together 24/7. They can't escape each other and that's just wonderful. I'm not going to pretend that i don't miss homeschooling. I miss the hours of sitting beside them, teaching them and building relationships. Even when school caused tears and much frustration, and in spite of the times that i had to leave the room so i didn't bite someone's head off, we were always a team. The olders would take turns playing with the littles so that i could work one on one with a struggling student. They recognized that blood is thicker than water. Oh yes, they fought. I mean, hello! We're all human and sometimes i think this family has an extra dose of humanity. Like i said, i had to leave the room sometimes and i must confess that i would lock myself in the bathroom and devour chocolate while reading a book or magazine, hoping that somehow patience would flow into my life through sugar and paper. But i loved it!! They are my heart and my passion (besides my passionate husband) and i will go to the ends of the world to squeeze every drop of life out of this crazy crew. And if that means hiding out in the bathroom for awhile for refreshment, i'm fine with that.

Emily in her house (top part of the treehouse)
 

But for now, homeschooling is not an option, except for Eric and Emily. And we're not sure, after doing a lot of talking, that it's wise to pull them out if the others are still in the schoolroom. The younger ones need their older siblings to watch over them and keep each other walking the line. Still praying about that one.



Zac at his place of business, in what will be the sandbox. 


 Back to the treehouse......i about choked when i found out what that treehouse was costing us. What if we don't stay long term? Is it really worth it? The treehouse is pretty much finished except for the roof, the sandbox lining, and the sand. They have already spent hours playing in it, their creative juices flowing and while i have a feeling that i actually would choke if i could see exactly how my backyard looks right now, i'm going to close my eyes. (update....i told them i'm hiring a landscape crew. They needed to set a price and it will be paid by paper money. Or credit card) There's a time to clean up and there's a time to play. They used to set up businesses all over our huge living room at the farm, with paper money and little offices tucked into every corner and closet. But the hours of entertainment and the hours of their minds and hands busy creating and building was worth it. Sometimes i would hold my head and groan, wondering why in the world i put up with it but somehow i knew that they were learning so many life lessons. It also meant i could eat my chocolate some other place besides the toilet room. And sometimes i just appreciated the hours of quiet happiness coming from the living room. Sometimes it was outside where they would make farms with real boys for cows, chewing on real grass, with a real live electric fence that Eric rigged up. The fence lasted until the shocking began and the father realized what was happening. They built towns outside, using pieces of lumber for tables and farm junk for all kinds of creativity. That was great because the mess was outside and as long as you didn't wander to the back of the shop you didn't even notice the carnage.

Josh and Caleb's lumber yard and wagon fix it shop.
The boys are planning on building furniture for the tree house with the left over wood. 

  So it's been hard coming here, with a yard, a swing set, and a wagon. The first week of vacation was torture, with the children bored and restless and with me struggling to know how often it was ok to go to my escape room with that lovely white throne. As soon as he could, Marlin got the lumber and they got busy and to my shock, it's almost completed after about 2 weeks.


The treehouse that Eric designed and the boys built with a bit of help from dad.
The plan is to add a tire swing somewhere. 

  And i want to add that missing homeschooling is not a slam against the teachers here. They are amazing and do a great job. I don't look at them as "stealing our children" but i view them as partners in the teaching of our children. I have learned quite a bit from them and Lord willing, if He grants us the opportunity to go back to homeschooling someday i will use that wisdom to do a better job at teaching math and english.







Zac and Jonathan's store, altho i'm not sure what they're selling.  From the looks of
Caleb's clothing and feet i'm thinking perhaps some soap. 

02 June, 2014

Tree House

So we decided to build a treehouse/sandbox. The boys needed a purpose and the little ones needed a purpose. It wasn't til after we had begun building and Caleb the gutter cleaner showed up to, well, clean our gutters, that we realized how ludicrous it must seem to a kenyan. He wondered if we're building a "flat." Meaning apartment. If you add an espresso machine and a bowl of chocolate, why sure, I'll move in tomorrow. But since it won't have electricity i'll stay put. However, thanks to the culture block of some air headed americans, it never once crossed our minds that the treehouse would be plenty big enough for a kenyan or 10. I guess if you count the night that Marlin is planning on camping out in it with his sons it could be considered a "flat." And no, i have no intentions of joining them. I'm pretty sure my immune system would revolt.

On to some pictures.

Our truck. Sort of. At least the front seats have air conditioning so we can arrive at church looking like we cared. To bad about all the ones sitting in the back. 

Two handsome, hard working hunks. 

"Seriously, i know what i'm doing." And seriously, he's not running that thing, whatever it's called.

Now this one DOES know what he's doing. I'm just so proud of them. My wee little babies have gotten so big.  Don't tell them i included wee and babies in a sentence about them. They embarrass so easy these days. 

So it's not really a tree house, it's more of a "house between the trees."  And the  sandbox will be at the bottom. Oh glory, my boys will have somewhere to dig without getting their mama's attitudes all in a knot.


He's a cute one with two teeth missing.

His face is dirty but just ignore that and pretend that i cared enough to wash it after he ate.  Face washing is overrated. 

Eric's learning how to work with many "helpers." It's been a painful experience for all involved.  I could paint an amazing picture of how they just love all working together and of how Eric spends hours gently instructing his wide eyed little brothers as they stare with amazement and hero worship. But our neighbors live awfully close and hear pretty much everything. And i'm pretty sure God meant it when He said thou shalt not lie. So while i'm sure there's been instruction i'm pretty sure the instructions weren't  real gentle and the recipients weren't exactly hero worshipping. Wide eyed maybe but not from hero worship.  My involvement so far has been to yell, i mean gently instruct, from the window to stop the fighting and act like they love each other. So i would say all in all it's been going pretty well.

I now ask you a question. Would you like to enjoy a safari around the world and experience first hand what it's like to live without electricity? Sleep with the sounds of Africa surrounding you? You know, piki piki's, bar music, and trucks, while you're serenaded to sleep with the sounds of mosquitoes lulling you into dream land? Wake up and cook your breakfast over a little fire while scorching your backside every time you turn around too fast? It can all be yours, in a treehouse built from authentic African wood. Coffee will arrive every morning except i'll be drinking it while i check to see if you survived the wild night life of Kisumu. Tempting, isn't it?


24 May, 2014

With Great Pleasure We Introduce.....



SAMANTHA!!!

She is dark brown and black, a gift from fellow missionaries, and the cutest thing ever. She was welcomed with great joy by the children and a bit of trepidation by the mother. I barely know how to train children and i have NO idea how to train a puppy, but she is adorable and i think it'll be just ok. 


No matter how cute, she really needs to learn to sleep at night. 

Even Emmy is liking this one




06 May, 2014

Somewhere Beyond the Sunset

   She was only 62 when she died, her body wasted and frail, her mind gone. The day she met Jesus i was gloriously happy for her. We were all exhausted after the long, heart rending 9 year journey into her private hell of mind loss and delusions, and i thot my grieving had happened. But still i grieve and i realize that in some ways you never really get over losing your mother. She gave life to me, nurtured me, laughed with me, spanked me, and cried over me. She was intricably woven into my life and even now she is a part of who i am.

  I catch myself thinking that when we go "home" she will be there, her eyes crinkling with smiles and her arms outstretched. I think over and over again how much she would love visiting Kenya, and how proud she would be of my row of handsome boys and our beautiful daughters.

  Sometimes it takes my breath away when i realize again that she's really, truly gone. And it seems impossible.

  I think of her with Hadassah and that makes me happy, mixed up with sad. She was the kind of person that drew people towards her with her great sense of humor and sometimes also made them mad. She was opinionated and so very full of energy and life, her feet tapping on the floor as she rushed from one job to another. But always, always, she had time for coffee and i used to long to live close beside her as my little ones were born, one after another. I used to dream how wonderful it would be to sit at the table and sip coffee while laughing at the craziness of those Weaver kids.

  She accepted me for who i was and sadly, i didn't always accept her until it was almost to late. I kept thinking she should change this in her life, and that, until God opened my eyes that His love is unconditional and what He really wanted from me was to love her exactly where she was. And by then she needed love more than anything else. He gave us the honor of living beside her and taking care of her while the dementia slowly robbed her of life and dignity. I grew up a whole lot those two years and learned about sacrificial love, and through it all my Heavenly Father taught me of His grace and love.

  So Happy Mother's Day, mom. We love you, always always will. We don't wish you back, so while life races on, we will keep you in our hearts. Hold Hadassah and our two other wee babies for me until i get there.

Love, Darla