Saturday, August 20, 2011


I've been seeing people posting things on fb via Pintrest and wondering what it's all about.  I know that I am probably late in the game on this, but it is really neat!  Have you checked it out?

This is my favorite find so far:

Pinned by Edris Kim.

Is it not absolutely adorable?!  I am definitely going to need a picture like this after Jr. makes his grand entrance.

It's a great way to see such a wide variety of creativity and get some wonderful ideas.

Here's the link to my boards: MSojourner.

Kind regards,

Monday, August 15, 2011

3 More Hours!

Me, Little, Middle, Ms. & Mr.

Middle and I have been counting the days until Mr., Ms. & Little arrive here in South Africa with us.  Now we are counting the hours!  It has been a very cold, rainy, and dreary day here, but to us we are so stinkin' excited!!!  In just a few short hours our family will be together again and Middle and I are preparing a yummy meal for their arrival with all kinds of delicious food we can't get where we live.


Just Because.

You know how sometimes you just stumble upon a new blog and absolutely adore it?  Well, that's what happened with me and Simple Thoughts.  I'm pretty sure it's been over a year and I just check in from time to time to see her beautiful photos and catch a glimpse of her beautiful style and sweet spirit.

Go on over and take a look. :)


Friday, August 12, 2011

South Africa: A Whole New World...

Middle & I are down in South Africa awaiting the arrival of Mr., Ms. & Little.  And, in less then a month the arrival of Jr.!  So, if you remember, the original plan was for me to deliver in a neighboring West African coutry, but a few weeks before I was to head there, we found out that it was the time of year when French doctors take their vacation, and the other two docotors our NGO usually use decided that this year they would also be taking their vacation at the same time.  Time for plan B: head to South Africa.  (This makes our 7th African country in the last two years!)

Middle & I have been here for about 10 days now.  It feels nothing like Africa to us.  Of course, we are in a large city, so that may have some to do with it.  (Of course McDonald's, KFC, malls, real grocery stores, movie theatres, speaking English, etc. make it feel much more like the U.S. then Africa to us too!)  It's winter here and temps are in the 30's-60's; very cold for us now!  A plus on that is that my energy level is a lot higher.  Apparently the heat was really zapping me in our coutry!

I'm really enoying some one-on-one time with Middle, though things are super quiet and we miss the rest of our family!  We'll share more of our adventures down here in South Africa soon. :)

Kind regards,

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Seven Months

I am not sure if it is a fourth pregnancy thing, being close to 30, low iron, blood sugar issues, the heat here, or a combination of all those things but this pregnancy is kicking my butt!  I have been so tired.  Thankfully the nausea is long gone, but I never had that really awesome boost of energy that I did with the others.  I can't believe in two months I will be meeting my little boy!

This month I have lots of projects to finsh up before I head off to a neighboring country to have this sweet baby boy.  I hope I can get it all done! :)

Kind regards,

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

One of Those Days

You ever have one of those days where everything seems to go wrong?  My friend told me it's a "Africa Day."  Today I am having an Africa Day.  I woke up thinking all was going right.  I had a quiet time, got a bunch of emails and paperwork done, spent some time with Litte while the older two were at school (it's the last day of school; whoohoo!  I am SO looking forward to having them home for the summer!!!), pulled the Sticky Chicken off the bone and got the chicken broth fixings back in the corckpot, did my daily exercises (that seem to be going more like every-other-day exercises since life has been crazy lately), showered, etc.  This was a lot of encomplished for the morning for me these days! 

Then, I realized my house helper wasn't here....for the second day in a row!  I know, a house helper sounds like a luxury, and I sound like a total baby.  But, seriously I do now more here with a part-time house helper then I ever did as a full-time SAHM in the U.S.  You seriously can not imagine the dirt or how time consuming everything here is.  But, I digress...

Oh, wait the shower faucet is pouring water out of the bath onto the shower floor?!  Awesome.  Let's call the plumber who I explain the situation to at about a three year old level.  "Just come' and quick!"  Hand mothions always get the point across better.

So, now I have a bunch more to do today when I already had on my long list.  And, it seems like for every one thing I check off the list some sort of disaster insues that I must now clean-up or take care of.  I am exhasted and I still feel like I have encomplished nothing even though I've been working non-stop all day.

Somehow, this has all been down right hilarious to me today and even though today has seemed like a train wreck I have been laughing through all of it.

So, what am I doing now?!  I'm blogging while my sink soaks.  Of couse.  Because on a day like might as well Shine Your Sink like Fly Lady taught you.  That way along with your train wreck of a day, at least you have a shiny sink.  Right?!

Off to finish shinning my sink and laugh at whaever else today throws my way.  At least there is only a few more hours. ;)

Update: I finished the shiny sink (picture up top)!  And, the plumber brilliantly fixed the link.  Things are looking up.  Oh, I also added the sign below to the kitchen.  Here's to hoping it works.

What do you do on "one of those days?"

Kind regards,

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's a Boy!

So I had a second ultrasound and found out for sure that it is a boy!  I think that after three girls I won't totally believe it until I'm holding him in my arms.

This whole having a baby in a country they don't speak English; not so fun!  The whole ultrasound he is talking a mile a minute in French and I pick up a work here and there (like hand, foot, head, boy, everything is good) which let's me get the just of what he is saying, but still feeling clueless.  It's a tad bit frustrating.  I did however look up the French word for profile which not surprisingly is very close to the English.  (If I am ever not sure how to say a word I say the English word with a French flare and it works about 50% of the time.  Yes, I know I am a total language genious.  Actually I have decided quite the opposite is true!  But, we'll say I get an "A" for effort.)  So, I was able to communicate to the guy that we wanted some pictures and definitely a profile one.  He did a great job, the printer not-so-much; welcome to Africa!

Face picture which turned out pretty well.

Profile picture which didn't turn out well when printed.

We picked up the girls from school and they got to come with us to the ultrasound which I think they thought was very cool.  I have to say after two years living here, having an African man touch my belly was really kind of akward.  I mean, a lot of times they won't even shake a women's hand so the belly...that was just a bit weird.

Six months down and three more to go!  I am freaking out a little becasue a.) it has been 5 years since I had a baby, and b.) I had lots of complications with Little Sojourner and being in a third world country is not really helping to calm my nerves!  I keep coming back to this verse: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5

Kind regards,


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I am still alive...

Not sure exactly what the deal was, but I couldn't access blogger or gmail for a while.  I think I have resolved the issue finally.  So much has happened so I'll try and put up some posts this week to catch up.

How have y'all been?

Kind regards,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"What's wrong with getting married young?"

Mr. Sojourner & I May 1999; 1 year and 1 month before getting married.

I was reading a discussion board where a lady asked, "Do you want your children to get married?"  I read many responses like this: "I want my child to be happy, and if they want to get married- great, but I don't want them to get married young."

This got me thinking: what is wrong with getting married young?!

So, I started another discussion asking just that.  I also shared my story:
I got married at 18 and started having kids at 19. This isn't what I thought I wanted when I was young, but I am so happy and have no regrets.

If I would have done things they way I thought I wanted to once upon a time I would/have:
*Gone to college to be an elementry teacher which I now know I would have regreted.
*Been in debt over a degree I wasn't happy with.
*Forced to work FT because of said debt.
*Maybe not have had as many kids as I do now because of all that.
*Not known the joy of being a stay-at-home Mom that I never in a million years would have thought I would do and love the way I do.
*Dated, lost pieces of my heart to, and been heart-broken by multiple guys.

I realize everyone's stories probably wouldn't be the same as mine.  And, that getting married young is not right for everyone.  But, I know many people who married young and are very content.

Over and over I read responses like this* (*this is one statement that says all of the many things people said so you have some idea): "When you get married young you miss out on thing like: living life, sowing your wild oats, going to college/getting an education, traveling, making mistakes, being sound financially, enjoying single life, enjoying life without kids, gaining work expereince, falling in love and have your heart broken, having fun, etc.etc."

All these responses really threw me for a loop.  I don't feel like I missed out on on anything for marrying young, but I guess that's just me?  These responses also shed some light, for me, on what is truly viewed as priorities in Western culture.

What are your thoughts on this issue?


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Baby Names

Mr. Sojourner and I have always had a boys name picked out and always struggle with agreeing on girls names.  We have three girls and think this must have beens God's way of helping us to learn compromie.  Whatever the we are again without a girls name.  Just in case it is a girl I want to be prepared...

So, I only have one stipulation with name picking and that is that I want the name to have a nickname that ends in "ie" or "y."  I know it's silly, but it's now tradition.  Here are some names I have been looking at (but I am open for any suggestions!):

Katherine (Kathy)
Isabella (Izzy)
Eloise (Ellie)
Olivia (Livy)
Virginia (Ginny)
Eloise (Ellie)
Abigail (Abby)

I need some middle name suggestions too.  I also like the middle name Faith, but not sure which name (if any) of the above that might fit with.

Help me name my baby, if it is a girl. Give me some ideas to suggest to Mr. Sojourner so that maybe we can agree on one. :)

What are your suggestions?

Kind regards,

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Three Great Things on Tuesday

1.) I made the world's best homemade chicken noodle soup complete with homemade egg noodles.  My family said so, so it must be true, right?  It was something that I have been craving so I was pleased. :)

2.) I made my first trip to the outdoor fish vendors.  My sidekick Little Sojourner and a good friend of mine tagged along.  I was brave.  I bought.  I came home with fish.  I am so excited about what I am going to make.  I'll share more about it later this week!

3.) I read this great blog post by a very talented lady who I always enjoy reading.  I think she does a wonderful job of portraying and defending biblical womenhood.  You should go check out her blog Boundless Treasures.

What great things happen to you this fine Tuesday?!

Kind regards,

Friday, April 1, 2011

Worry and The Word

Lately there have been a few things on my mind that seem to consume my thoughts with worry.  Things going on in the lives of extended family that I am 1,000's of miles away and have no control over.  The progress of Middle Sojourner and knowing how to continue helping her overcome her fears.  Our future here in West Africa.  The escalating security issues where we live and in places around us.  How this will effect our future and the plan we feel God has for us.  Etc.  Etc.  Etc.

Life is filled with many worries.  God knows our nature to worry and that is why He has included so many verses about it in His Word.  I have been clinging to these verses:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.  Philippians 4:6-8

For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?  "And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?"  And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.  "But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!"  Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?'  "For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:25-34

What verses are an encouragement to you in times of worry?

Dwelling on the things worthy of praise,


Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Adventures in Baby Registery

I have to admit that I am not really organized or a very good at planning ahead.  I never have been, but I'm pretty sure it has gotten worse over the years.  But, when you are having a baby 1,000's of miles away from family and friends (not to mention cilvilation with Targets and Walmarts and all that), and add to that that it takes 4-8 weeks to get have to do at least a little bit of planning ahead.  So, this has been my adventure the last week trying to figure out what we need for this baby without actually going to a store and looking at things.  I'm pretty sure not having had a baby in 5 years is also sort of playing against me in this.  I have very little idea what I might need!

We will be here a year after baby #4 is born so I am trying to be minimalistic.  We have been given me a hand-me-down infant carseat, walker, and bouncer....sweet!  And, I have arranged to buy a used pack-n-play bassinet and booster seat/high chair from some friends of ours that will be leaving in October...also amazing.  With some basics taken care of I am not too concerned.

One huge thing that will be on the registry is cloth diapers.  I have not done this with my other kids, but think it is the best option for us here.  Disposable diapers are expensive and very poor qualitry here.  Not to mention, because I think I've already harped on it quite a few times, the huge garbage issue here as well.  As I have been looking into the cloth diapers I am a bit nervous.  Did you know there aren't tips on how to use these things in Africa?!  (Well at least I haven't found them.)  So, I am a bit concerend that I will spend large quantities of money (those suckers are expensive!) on something that will fall apart in the African water and heat.  Thankfully my friend has pioneered it for me and given me all her advice.  I love it when friends do that for you.

So, as I am registering I came across this contraption and am pretty mortified....

What the heck?!  Gross.  (You remember my nose issue?)  I will not be doing that.  You definitely will not see that on my registery.

*Edited to add:

The first picture isn't that great, so just to clear up exactly what the contraption does (and what I will NOT be doing), here is another picture.

Kind regards,

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My 1st OB Adventure in Africa

Baby #4

Yesterday I had my first OB visit here in Africa.  I had been dreading it and therefore procrastinating it.  I really do not like to go to the doctor ever, but lauguage and cultural complications were making me dread it even more then usual.  I decided I would procrastinate until my second trimester and then make myeslf go.  Thankfully a friend offered to go with me and her French is much better then mine!  That helped ease my dread a little.  I can function pretty well in the local language but most medical terms are in French (and those I am definitely not familiar with) so I was very glad to have her there.  Between her French, my local language, and the tiny bit of English that the doctor knew we faired pretty well.  I feel much better about follow-up visits.  The doctor asked me all the normal questions (they don't do paperwork here because the litteracy rate is so low, so the doctor asks all the questions and records them).  Then, she led us to the ultrasound room.  As I was following her I was thinking she is really, really tall.  Of course part of that may be that I am only 5'2" and another part might be that African women have a thing for high heels (which I do not really understand, I would definitely die trying to walk around these horrible rocky roads with high heels).  She did an ultrasound and we heard the heart beat.  She *thinks* it is a boy, but wasn't able to get a really good look this time, so we won't know for sure until next ultrasound.  She did all the measurements and everything looks good.  She said I'm in my 5th month.  We asked for pictures and she sends me home with two very similar pictures of the head.  So, now I have two pictures (one shown above) of my babies head.  It's not quite the cute prfofile pics I have with my other kids, but maybe we can work on trying to explain that and ask for a new one next time?  We will see.  Oh, and she gave me a script for all the blood work I have to get done.  I am dreading all that even more.  I do not like needles.  Did I mention I am a total baby?!  No, but you figured it out, right? ;)

Kind regards,

Monday, March 21, 2011

Food Cravings

This preganacy I have mostly had food aversions, but recently I started having some cravings.

They have included:

Shrimp.  Which I can not get here.  (Photo Credits.)

Lobster.  Which I also can not get here.  (Photo Credits.)

Crab legs.  Suprise; I can't get those either!  (Photo Credits.)

And, last but not least....a Rubio's Fish Taco.  (Pretty much the best thing you could ever imagine.  But, sadly only with locations in 5 states including one in my hometown which I sadly missed when moving to the east coast.)  Obviously, I can't ge those here either.  (Photo Credit.)

Are you seeing the pattern here?!  All of the things (including the previously posted Chick-fil-A and dill pickle cravings) I can't get here are the things I am craving.  A bit frustrating.  Maybe it means I won't gain much weight?  There has to be some upside to this!  But, we did find out recently that we will be visiting two other countries in the next few months that are coastal countries!  This means I will get some seafood at some point.  That is pretty exciting!

So, (even if your not pregnant) what have you been craving lately?!

Kind regards,

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beggars: The Silly & The Serious

Seeing beggars is an everyday part of our life here.  It's one of the things that took a lot of getting used to.  Well, maybe it is better to say it is one of the things we will never get used to.

We typically do not give beggars money (for several reasons, one of which I will explain later), but try to keep some food in the truck to hand out to them.

This morning, while we were out running errands, Mr. Sojourner gave a handicap beggar money and afterwards this conversation insued between him and Little:

Little: Daddy, why did you give that man money?
Mr.: Because he only had one arm.
Little: Will he buy another arm with the money?

It is amazing how litteral of a thinker Little is (or any kid at her age for that matter).  Leave it to Little to lighten up a serious issue. :)

Handicap beggar.  Picture credits.

"Tomato Can Boys."  Picture Credits.

While looking up some pictures to share I came across this really great (in the informative sense) article about Tomato Can Boys and I thought it does a good job of giving the truth, seriousness, and sadness of it.  If you get a chance please check it out.  The article shares the reason behind why we don't give these boys money, but instead give them food they can eat right away like bread, bananas, etc.

Kind regards,

Friday, March 18, 2011

International Cooking

I stumbled across this website with some great international recipes.  I have found quite a few that I can't wait to try!  We love trying new recipes around here.

Just in case you are interested I looked up some of my favorite West African recipes:
Poulet Yassa
Rice & Peanut Sauce (very important: make sure you use natural peanut butter not regualr!)

What is your favorite international or ethnic recipe?

Kind regards,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Could Eat My Weight in Stawberries

I love this picture.  Picture Credits.

Last year I had not one strawberry.  Ok, that is a little dramatic.  I did buy a few while we were in the States in mid December.  But, that was barely in the year.  And really I had none from June 2009 until mid December 2010 so that is the truth.  Strawberry season in super short here and is over in the blink of an eye.  Litterally last year it was maybe a month (it was not a good rainy season and therefore not good crops), I don't even think it was that long and I missed me chance!  This year that was not going to happen!

I LOVE strawberries.  Well, I love fruit period, but strawberries are my favorite; have been ever since I was little.  I'd pick fruit hands down over anything else offered to me.  Still will.  So, needless to say, this lack of strawberries has been rough.

So far this year to make sure my lack of stawberries would not do me in again I have: bought a deep freeze, purchased 18 kilos of strawberries (paid a little over $100), and spent 6 hours in the 90 something degree kitchen washing, treating, sorting, cutting, preparing, and storing them.  Would I do it all over again?  Yes, in a heart beat.  I will get to enjoy stawberry smoothies, or strawberry shortcake, or some other strawberry creation sporaticlly throughout the year!  I am siked about that (and so are the other Sojourners)!  All until next strawberry season when we will do it all over again.

What is your favorite strawberry recipe?

Kind regards,

Monday, March 14, 2011

Nothing says, "Welcome Home!" Like...

10 Hours Without Power.
1 Puking Kid.
1 Lost Luggage.

But, I'm so glad he's home!  8 days seemed like a month.

Kind Regards,

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Little Sojourner (while cleaning her ears): "That's nasty. You shouldn't eat that"
Me: "Kinda like eating your boogers."
Little Sojourner: "Yeah, I don't do that anymore."
Me: "Since when?"
Little Sojourner: "Since 9:30."

Little & Me, October 2008

Good to know...

If only it were for real.  One can hope, right? 

Pretty much the thing that grosses me out most in the world is boogers and noses and yet my kids are pickers.  Ewwwwww!  Seeing anything to do with noses, hearning noises invlolving noses, even thinking about noses makes me gag.  Seriously.  It's an issue.  Did I mention that I live in a culture where nose picking is culturally appropriate (as long as you do it with your proper hand; the left of course)?  Oh.  My.  Goodness.

Do you have any remedies for nose picking kids?

Kind regards,

Friday, March 11, 2011

I'm Ready

7 Taxi Rides.
5 School Days.
2 Weekends.
24 Meals.
8 Bedtimes.
8 Nights Sleeping Alone.
1 Scare.
13 Visitors To Our Gate.
2 Days of Internet Fiasco.
8 Days Of 100 & Something Degree Weather.

I.  Am.  Ready.  I'm ready for Mr. Sojourner to get back from his trip.  I am ready to have my best friend to talk to again.  I am ready for the Little Sojourners to have Daddy home again.  I am ready to be driven around by someone whom I love and speaks English again.  I am ready to have "the man of the house" home again.

Me & Mr. Sojourner, July 2004

Kind regards,

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Friend: The Crockpot

So sorry I have been MIA for almost a month now!  I guess you have figured out by reading this that I am still alive.  It's been a busy month combined with nausea and fatigue (it feels like someone zapped all the energy out of me!).  I am hoping since my second trimester is quickly approaching that these things will magically go away.  A girl can hope, right?  And, really my nausea is getting much, much better.  So, that is giving me hope too!

Anyways, I have been doing a lot of crock pot cooking.  I usually use it at least once a week because of the convience and ease of it, but lately it's been more like a couple of times a week!  When you are nauseous it is really awesome to throw all the ingredients in and not have to deal with the smells very much!!!  When you are tired it is great to just have dinner magiclly ready without much work. :) So, yeah....the crockpot is really my friend right now.

One of our Africa friends was over one day while I was putting stuff in the crockpot and he asked what it was and I explained it to him.  He thought about it for a second and then he dubbed it "the lazy women's cooking pot" while smiling very big.  My friend: the lazy women's cooking pot!  It sure gave me a chuckle and hopefully it did you too.

So, I hope to be back to posting more regularly again.  Hope to "talk" to you again real soon.

Kind regards,
P.S. As I was posting the crockpot picture I ran across this picture:
It made me really want one again.  I think it has to do with the pickles.  We can't get dill pickles here and they just sound so tasty with that awesome chicken sandwich! ;)
P.S.S. Please excuse any spelling errors (of which I am sure there are MANY).  My spell check thinks I am French at the moment and is not being much help.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"The Talk" (& A Little Book Talk Too)

I've been dreading it.  Since I was pregnant with my Ms. Sojourner.  10.5 years ago.

Did you know my parents never had "the talk" with me?  I thought maybe that would be the way to go, but then I remembered the horror of piecing things together from peers and being clueless in Sex Ed., and then I decided not to do that to my kids.

Why did I have to have girls?!  If I'd of had boys this would be Mr. Sojourners job and life would be much easier.  But alas, God blessed me with three girls and cursed me with this responsibility.  (I am pretty sure having to have this conversation is part of the curse from Adam & Eve's sin in the garden.  I am not sure how, but it just has to be there fault.  Curse you Adam & Eve!)

While we were in the U.S. I got a few books to help lead the conversation.  (We'll just pretend they are "How to Have 'The Talk' for Dummies" books.  I googled that and they don't have it; you should write it!  I'd buy it.)

Here is the one I used:
There are a couple more in the series.  One before the above book: The Story of Me (God's Design for Sex)(which we have and have used in the past).  And, two after the above one I used: What's the Big Deal?: Why God Cares About Sex (God's Design for Sex) & Facing the Facts: The Truth About Sex and You (God's Design for Sex) (which I purchased in case I need to have further "talks" in the next 19.5 months).

Since the announcement of the baby on the way there have been a few questions.  I figured it was time to whip out the books and give it a try.  How bad could it be?!

My 8 & 10 year old giggled the whole book.  OK, maybe only when private parts were mentioned.  It was mortifying for me.  But, I survived.  They now know the basics.  We even included another talk about inappropriate touching.  (We have had those talks before.  The sexual abuse statistics freak me out.)

So, when did you (or do you plan to) give "the talk"?

Kind regards,