Saturday, July 25, 2015


I really don't see how time gets away from me so very quickly.  I love to write on this blog, but somehow I need to find a specific time for writing consistently or something!  After all, it has been over a month...again...since I posted.  So much has happened!  Let me start with the most recent and gradually work backwards.

The student body of PVI singing.
This past Saturday we had Parent's Day for Providence Vocational Institute.  We have been holding classes for 1-1/2 years now and currently enroll 31 students.  Awards were presented from the Sport's Day they recently had, and several local government officials came.

Principal James Sebyoto and Director Keith Stensaas
Keith and I celebrated 22 years of sweet married life in June; however, our anniversary happened to be on the day we took our oldest son back to the airport.  (The first time he left for the States was on Mother's Day!  We have to stop sending him away on important days.)

Pastor Innocent of Faith Baptist Church with Keith preaching.
One thing missionaries learn is that holidays or special dates are not sacred.  It isn't unusual to celebrate an event several days or weeks before or after the actual date.  One of the village churches had asked Keith to preach for them this month, so we decided to make those days that we would be away as our anniversary celebration.

This is the path we walked to the church, also crossing a small stream.
Because of a gift from some recent visitors, we stayed in a motel on Lake Victoria which was very beautiful.  Upon check-in, the manager suggested we get the weekend package.  Not only was this cheaper than paying for two days, but all three meals were included rather than just breakfast!

I am so blessed!

This dual-level swimming pool was just for the residents,
and we had it to ourselves.  That is Lake Victoria beyond the trees.
Although we had planned to stay just two days in Kampala, our stay was extended an extra day as our daughter and her aunt returned from the States.  Keith's sister Alisha had been having some medical problems and needed someone to accompany her to the States.  We volunteered for Shae-Lynn to go, and it provided a great learning experience for her.  (Alisha was able to get some answers and is on a treatment plan for the next three months to see if there is a change in her symptoms.)  It was exciting for Shae-Lynn to come to me with some decisions she had made during her absence, and it was good to see her siblings step up and mature some without their responsible sister around covering for them.

During our absence our dachshund gave birth to five cute puppies.  Ann is a very good mama, so they are all thriving and growing quickly.

Maybe for the first time ever, we celebrated America's Independence Day alone.  I truly felt that I had a holiday.  We ate simple meals, used disposable dishes all day (a big deal for us), and relaxed.  We took a walk to the post office, stopped at a coffee shop for drinks on the way home, and relaxed.

I didn't spend hours in the kitchen preparing food nor did I feel as if I had to entertain all day.  Before bed, one of the children said, "This has been such a fun day!"  We all wholeheartedly agreed.

This was also the first time for us to celebrate Father's Day with two of our children gone.  It makes us realize how short our time with them really is.

We are looking forward to some great things happening in August.  What a privilege it is to serve the Lord!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Somehow, this post got lost in the drafts...oops!  Better late than never, right?

I know...we are more than halfway through May, and I am now posting about April?  One thing I have to remind myself is that this blog isn't to govern my life - it is just a way to share my life.  I wish I had more time to sit down and write, but I don't, so I must learn to be content for when I am able.

I made this skirt from a dress that was Keith's mom's.
Shae-Lynn wore it, Savannah wore it, and now
it is being passed down to other cousins.
April began with Easter celebration.  The Friday before when Keith and I were in town, we saw a group of Catholics carrying a large cross through the streets, causing traffic to stop as people gathered around to bow down to it.  This brought to the forefront of our minds the blaring reason we are here - to open their eyes to the truth.  We don't worship the cross, but the Savior who died on it and is risen again.

The cross kind of blends in with the background, but it is about in the middle .
Every year we have a group of college graduates with the AMT program that visit for two weeks.  Four came this year, and we certainly gave them a wide view of all that missionaries do.

One of our favorite places to eat in Kampala is Java's.
A fishing village Keith took the men to on the Ssese Islands.
Rafting the Nile, which doubled as Stanley's senior trip.
We now have three teenagers again.  Shane is no longer a teen, but Shiloh has now joined the ranks of teens.  It really doesn't seem possible the I'm getting that old!

We waited for Keith and Stanley to return from college,
hence Shiloh is in his pajamas.
Not very imaginative,
but I had to come up with something to shape the rice crispies into!
As his second cake, Shae-Lynn made a cookie pizza which was loved by all.
During their stay, our NGO (Non-Government Organization) of BIMU (Baptist International Missions of Uganda) had their yearly meeting.  We were so blessed to have the president of BIMI Dr. Snyder be our guest speaker along with BIMI African Director Eric Bohman.  We were especially privileged to have Mrs. Lori Bohman attend, also, and speak to the ladies.

Missionary Kids that are such great friends.  Savannah on the right.
My daughter talked us ladies into posing with masks.
 I won't tell who the other three ladies are.
Shae-Lynn and Savannah sang a special with their friend Abigail
at the BIMI conference.
The MK teens enjoyed an overnighter before the conference began.
Friends since birth: Savannah and Elexus.
Honestly - they were friends.  Notice they are on the same
sides and wearing the same colors seven years later.
With all of Keith's family wearing glasses and all of my family wearing glasses, our children are doomed to wear them, too.  Skyler has now joined the ranks of glass-wearers.  When we picked them up, he cried and cried.  The lady at the counter said she had never seen a child complain about wearing them, but that most kids lie on the eye exam in order to be able to get them.

Not a happy patient!

I don't think Savannah will have any qualms
 about wearing glasses.  In fact, she already has a pair picked out!
With the Petersen family visiting the States for a couple of months, Keith has taken over the teen department.  The first teen activity we had at our house and played basketball and a couple of other fun games.  They all had such a grand time!

The teen girls' basketball game
That about sums up our busy month of April.  Thanks for your prayers for us.