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,

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In Honor of Tuesday

And, (in what seems like a lifetime past) Chick-fil-A Kid's or Family Night ('cause we used to love those nights where kids eat free!)...

I would really love one of these...

Or, maybe just this...

(with some sweet tea).

Or, possibly just one of these.  Yeah, that's sounds real good this morning.

'Cause really nothing else in this world sounds at all appetizing.  Nausea is not my friend!

And, I am pretty sure I couldn't really even stomach that once I had a bite or two. But, the moment, it sounds really tasty.

So, when you get a chance...have one for me! ;)

Kind regards,

Monday, January 24, 2011


19.5 months since we came to Africa & 19.5 until we head back to the U.S. for 6 months.  We're at the 1/2 way mark!  Wow.  We have come a long way.  We have learned a lot.  About the world.  About ourselves.  About our Creator and Sustainer.  We still have a long way to go.  I know that it will not be easy.  I also know that He will go before me.  I am very grateful for that.  'Cause one thing is for certain...we could not have come this far, or finish, without Him.

Reflecting on the past & pondering the future,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In honor of MLK Day (a little late)...

(And, because the cute little Sojourners say they funniest stuff.)

Middle Sojourner (to Little Sojourner): Today is Martin Luther King George Day!  He said a speech to millions and millions of people.

Little Sojourner: {blank stare}

Middle Sojourner:  Let's go play!  We'll pretend that you are white and and I am black  and we will put all the people together!!!

Little Sojourner: OK!

I overheard this while lying in my bed and dying suffering from extreme nausea.  It made my day.  I love the way kids think and process things they learn.  They don't always get it exactly right, but they retain the just of it.

On a serious note, Martin Luther King Jr. was a great man and I am so thankful that our country honors his life and memory each year.  His most famous speech is more then inspirational along with much of what he said and did.  (Below are a few of my favorite quotes.)

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

How did you celebrate your MLK Holiday?

Kind regards,

Monday, January 17, 2011


Me += horrendous nausea, not many blog posts, #2 on the 13 Before Thirty List (minus the big amount of weight loss first) & three ecstatic little Sojourners.

Thanks for your patience while I try to keep from puking!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Funny Signs & T-shirts

Often as we are going about our normal life here in Africa we come across funny signs or people wearing shirts with English writing that have no idea what it says- which often makes it extra comical.  Usually we don't have our camera handy.  (Like the time we saw a skinny teenage boy wearing a 2X pastel pink shirt that said "I'm too sexy to be 80.")  I hope to try and have my camera handy more often and share a few of these comical signs and t-shirts with you.  This weekend this one gave us a little chuckle:

He looks like part of a fun family with that smile, huh?


Friday, January 7, 2011

How big is Africa?

I didn't really fathom just how big ot was until I moved here.  Last January we flew from where we live in West Africa to Kenya in Eastern Africa and our flight was about eight hours.  (It took us about that long when we flew from the east coast of the US to the coast of Africa in June 2009.)  We have not been to South Africa but we have heard that is an eight or more hour flight from here to there as well.  It's a really BIG continent.  This picture really helped me visualize just how big it is.

Africa is a big and very diverse continent.  There are lots of different languages and peoples.  There are over 50 countries in Africa and in some of those there are more then 20 different ethnic groups and most of the time each ethnic group has it's own distinct language.

It's a big and interesting place and having lived here for a year and a half in no way makes be an expert.  In fact, the longer I live here the more I realize there is to learn about the interesting and beautiful people and cultures of Africa.

Kind regards,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thursday's Travel Tales & Tips: Overseas Flights with Kids

It's been a while but now that we're home and settled back into our routine I'm hoping to start "Thursday's Travel Tales & Tips" again.  I can't wait to hear what travel stuff you have to share.  Take a look at the rules to read more and then link up your post.
The little Sojourners waiting at an airport; June 2009.

Recently when we traveled to the U.S. and back for a short visit to see family and friends I learned a few things that I would like to share with you.  Maybe they won't save your life, but they might save your sanity.

1.) If at all possible avoid flying after a stomach bug has hit your family.  Things could get messy.

2.) Bring lots of snacks (and an empty cup or water bottle that can be refilled at a water fountain) for use when stuck in really boring and overpriced overseas flight terminals.  (Four euros for a coke and three euros for a dry and not-so-appetizing pastry times five people in your family may give the Mom of the house a slight hard attack.  Or, maybe just a panic attack as she calculates how much of her children's college tuition she spent on a snack.)

3.) Pack a set of clothes for each member of your family- even on your return flight.  You might easily think of doing this the flight there in case your luggage gets lost or something similar.  But, it may be just as important for the flight back!  For example, if one of your children pukes on the plane all over themselves you will have a set of clothes.  Or, if due to weather your flight gets delayed somewhere along the line when your bags are already checked.

4.) When both parents are sleep-deprived, possibly due to lots of delays and two consecutive overnight flights (but even if those things are not true), make sure one parent is responsible for knowing where the baggage claim tickets are and keeping them in a safe place.  When If one or more of your bags get lost these will be extremely helpful.

5.) If at all possible fly an airline with the cool new personal touch TV screen in front of you so that your children will be entertained for hours by kid-friendly movies and games at their (and your) convenience.  Disclaimer: the person in front of them may, or may not, give you and your child evil looks from the whip lash they are getting from your child trying to use said touch screen at the back of their head rest.  You can try 731 times to teach your children to do this gently but it is probably in vain.  Remember- you will probably never see this person again in your life.  It's worth the risk. 

Have a nice flight!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hair Experiment

This year one of my goals is to search for ways to cut our budget down.  Though you would think (I sure did before I moved here!)  that living in a third-world country in Africa would be is not.  There are a small number of things that are local and inexpensive, but the majority of things are imported at a high cost.  Some things are luxuries you can live without (nuts, juice, sodas, canned mushrooms, cereal, etc.) and some things you can not (toilet paper, feminine products, hair products, cheese, etc.).  It is a constant balancing act of what we can do without in order to budget better our own finances and so we can help others more.

In the U.S. I was good at cutting costs to help our family stay out of debt and save for some big purchases; sometimes needs, sometimes wants.  In the U.S. I could shop sales, clearances, and second-hand stores.  I could cut coupons (oh how I miss that!).  I could know where kid's eat free on what days to make a cheap family meal out for our family.  None of those things work here.  Over the last year and a half this is something I have struggled with here.  How can I help my family be better stewards of the money that God has entrusted us with?  What does this look like here?  How can I creatively cut costs while still maintaining a place of rest and comfort for my family?  I have had some small victories in this area, but I have mostly just been discouraged.  I'm hoping a new year will bring some new perspective!

A friend of mine shared this interesting article with me recently on natural homemade shampoo and conditioner and I was thinking this may just fit into my new goal (though it definitely has benefits other then financial!).  I know I can get baking soda here.  I don't know that I can get Apple Cider Vinegar, but I can get regular vinegar and lemon so I might need to do some experimenting with those.

I'll be getting the ingredients this week at the store and hoping to start the experiment this week or next.  I'll keep you posted!
What are your thoughts?  Have you tried this before, or something similar?