Saturday, October 31, 2009

Last Church...

So, last night was our fun end of tour concert (even though we have one concert left tomorrow..but it's a big ticketed event, not conducive to silly aunties and uncles). I thought I would feel more emotional, but I didn't..maybe because I know I will still be with the children for another month and a half, and I will see them sing again with the Cincinnati symphony in December. We had fun though. During sound check Steve put on Gilbert's costume and surprised the children by coming out to sing the "O Happy Day" solo.
Auntie Lindsey, Auntie Rachel, and I joined the children for warm-ups. We put on the boys' hats and did breathing excercises. The children pretty much lost it. Haha. During the concert we all sat in the front row and helped conduct on some of the songs. When "O Happy Day" rolled around at the end we surprised them again by jumping up on stage to dance with them. Laura did the solo and the rest of us made a fourth row in the back and danced like fools. My host commented later that evening that I "looked really great up there." Hahaha. All I could think about was how much fun I was having and how I never would have been caught dead a year ago dancing like that on a stage in front of all those people. How I have changed :).
I honestly don't know how those children do what they do. After one song I ran off to man my product table at the end of the concert. I was huffing and puffing and almost choked until Lindsey brought me some water! Note to self: take dancing lessons when tour is over.

Today we drove through the gorgeous hills of W. Virginia and Virginia to get to North Carolina. This is our last church on tour. unbelievable!! Monday we head to Mirembe House for about 5 weeks to prepare to sing with the symphony and to prepare to go HOME. Please continue to pray for us as we go through the process of ending tour and I look toward the future. I'm so happy to be sharing this journey with all of you.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


This week we are beginning to experience the beginning of the 'lasts' on tour. We have 3 concerts left on church tour before we spend some downtime at Mirembe House in North Carolina and the children perform with the Cinncinnatti Symphony in December before flying home the 16th. Today was my last "official" day off on tour. It was a wonderful day in Charleston, West Virginia with my two best friends from tour. Highlights from the day:
1) Slept in until 10:30 am in my 'bear cave' after going to bed at 2:30 am.
2) Enjoyed a leisurly morning alone.
3)Drove a cute white Honda into downtown Charleston.
4) Bought a cute new sweater in preparation for Christmas in Canada (after Patrick and Laura watched me try on about 20 in JC Penney!)
5) Saw a friend from Moody (Mike) @Starbucks in the mall (he is getting ready to go to Uganda as a full time missionary!)
6) Walked along the river and did a fall photo shoot with my 2 best friends.
7) picnic on the water (in the rain) with really yummy cheese.
8) Had tea and mini dance party with Sarah, Peace, and Gladys before bed.
9) Listened to Josh Groban Christmas music while blogging :)
Life is good. Life is changing. I am thankful. I am excited. I love my friends. I am blessed.

Be sure to check out Facebook for more pictures :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Boys Will Be Boys

I love being an auntie to boys...last night I stayed with 6 of the boys and we had a party here in beautiful Charleston, West Virginia. Yes, it included me walking around with a baseball cap on sideways, saying "Yo, what's up boy?" Hehe. I love my job. It also included me up at 11:30 giving out cough medicine and throat losenges (sp?) because nobody could sleep. I don't mind that part either. I like taking care of sick kids. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the evening...
"I didn't know what beauty was until I saw your face" -Nelson to Auntie Angela

"Hello, my name is Hanny. When I grow up I want to be a honey man." -Hanny

"Leadership is hard...people want different rules. I would rather be a minister and bring people close to God and teach his rules, rather than be a king making my own rules for people." -Nelson

"I wish I had your voice Nelson. I would scare people." -Geofrey

"How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?" -host son
"Is that English?" -Nelson

"Girls are crazy. They get annoyed and stay annoyed for years." -Lino

"Boys, don't buy me a python for Christmas. I won't write you letters when you go back to Uganda." -Me (after the boys were looking at pictures of snakes and talking about how I need one)
At bedtime I had just tucked the boys in when they all jumped out of bed. Gilbert shouted "remember what Auntie Laura said?" They all started circling me and then jumped on me on the bed in a huge dog pile. We all started laughing and our host said, "We call that a dog pile. What do you call it?" They said, "a sandwich hug!" Then all I heard was, "Auntie Angela is the tomato..I am the cheese...I am the mayonaise!" Hahaha. Thank Auntie Laura. Loved the bedtime hug.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

West Virginia Fall Evening I go to bed or blog??? Definetly blog :)
I am here in a hotel room in West Virginia enjoying a few rare hours of peace and quiet, but also feeling a little lost without my children and wondering how awefully lonely I will feel after tour.

The leaves in WV are beautiful! I just wish I could get a really good picture of them...unfortunately when the bus is moving is not the best time, and that is when I see the best panoramic shots. This week has been refreshing and exciting. Three small tidbits of exciting news:

1) Laura had a host give $700 in cash the other day to use to buy the children any new clothes that they need. She said her mom gave her the money before she died and she hadn't known what to do with it until now. Wow! Laura and Lindsey and I went on a shopping spree today to pick out $700 worth of clothes. It was so much fun!!!
2) The church we are at here in Huntington decided to bless the children with new winter jackets as the weather is turning colder and colder (there have even been threats of snow!). The jackets were presented to all the children last night amidst squeals of joy and dancing around the room. Some people are so generous!

3) I got to spend my day off today with an old friend from Moody. Kalyn and I were inseperable our first week at Moody in 2005. People thought for sure that we had been friends before coming to school, but indeed we had just met. I thank God for Kalyn's friendship, especially that first week. She is now married with an adorable son (Xavier) and we spent the day talking, catching up, and playing with Xav. Good times! Praise God for good friends in so many places. It's refreshing.

Now I am finding anything to do, but go to bed, because I want to enjoy the peacefulness of this hotel room and the productive feeling I have right now :) However, there is not much else to do at this goodnight world. Off I go to dreamland...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Best Tea Party of All Time

If you think life is boring..bring yourself down to the level of a child and play their games with them. Tonight my hosts had to go out for worship team practice so we had the house to ourselves. I popped my head into the girls bedroom and suggested we have a tea party. The suggestion was met with squeals of joy and questions about what exactly a tea party is. "Do we just drink tea?" Peace asked. The night only got better from there. We raided the kitchen and made hot chocolate and lemon cake with strawberries on top.
I let the girls dress up in my clothes, scarves, hats, and jewelry. The lipgloss was the icing on the cake. You'd think they had died and gone to heaven. There was an oblong swinging mirror strategically placed in the room, along with a perfect round table and wicker chairs.
When the dance music started the girls danced, posed, and giggled around the room while I took pictures. Those girls know how to work it...let me tell you! Peace, Racheal, and Sarah are total naturals who know how to work an outfit, and make my photography skills look great. They make my job behind the lense easy. We sat down to tea (hot chocolate) and cake and toasted beauty and adventure of it.
I think this picture of Racheal perfectly captures the beauty and joy of these children. She is one of the most joyful and pure girls I have ever met.

After the tea and "crumpets" we had to work off some calories so we turned on Kirk Franklin and danced to our little hearts content. Life doesn't get any better.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Conversations That Last...

I have recently had some very touching, very funny conversations with a few of the children. Let me share a few of them with you...
Conversation #1
This morning Scovia came in when I was putting on my make-up. She had her Bible in hand and she said, "Excuse me 4 is leading devotions this morning and I would like to share something with my brothers and sisters. Can you help me find something to share with them?" I told her that was great and asked what she had in mind, or if God was teaching her anything in particular lately. She scanned the page and said "harvest." Okay, well I told her I would look for a good verse about harvest. We settled on Matthew 9:37 (The harvest is ready..but the workers are few...) I explained to her that the harvest is people who don't yet know Jesus as their savior. The workers are the missionaries that God needs to go share the good news about Jesus. She asked me to write down some questions she could ask the others and togethere we jotted down a small page of notes. She asked, "What is a missionary? Can you write that down, because I know somebody will ask and I need to be able to tell them." So I explained what a missionary is. At the end she thanked me and carefully placed the notes in her Bible and held it close all the way to church. I wasn't there to hear what she shared...but I will try and tell you how it went :)
Conversation # 2: The other day in P4 class the children saw a picture of me and my sister. They went off on how beautiful we are. Nelson said the kings will fight over us and Gilbert said they might not even eat for a day! Julius said, "I wish I was older." At that comment all the boys started laughing and asked what he would do...He became shy and said, "Okay, okay...I will just say it...I would marry Auntie Angela!" This brought the whole class into an erruption of laughter. I thanked Julius for his comment and assured him that God will bring him a lovely wife his own age someday. Nothing like a group of 4th grade boys
to boost my self-confidence :) I love them.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fall is My Favorite

I haven't had the opportunity to rake leaves for several years. Living as a guest in people's homes every day doesn't allow us the opportunity to do many chores or regular household activities, which we often miss. Last night my host offered to let the girls rake the leaves in her front yard. We jumped on it..literally! Scovia, Sarah, and I raked to our hearts content and then jumped and rolled around in the leaves, giggling all the while. I let the girls bury me in leaves and we had a giant leaf throwing fight. These are the moments in life that create a great story. Jump in the leaves, play make-believe with your children, throw a tea party, dance in the rain, make memories that will last and leave an impression.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Splashes at Kalahari

Usually I hate water parks. This was different. When we pulled into the Kalahari waterpark in Sandusky, Ohio this week I could tell it was no low budget, dingy, smelly waterpark. It was HUGE. It was clean. It was bright. It was fancy. And best of all, it was themed like an African safari. Kenya, the giant costumed walking elephant came out to greet us in the parking lot and had us laughing from that point forward. Since all the kids have gone back to school, we had this huge, exotic, indoor waterpark pretty much to ourselves for an entire day. The children were overjoyed just to jump and swim in the wave pool...until we dragged them over to the GIANT waterslides and they discovered the thrill of zipping through a tube on a big water donut, with their friends. The squeals and smiles were priceless. I wish I could bottle up Christopher's smile and his joy and keep it forever. He and I laughed and screamed and smiled all the way down the slides time after time. Childhood memories of the Emigrant Lake Waterslides came flashing through my head. I used to love them as a kid, but this was a million times better. I even tried the surfing ride several times. To my complete amazement and shock I was able to do a couple of flips and pretty cool tricks. Very impressive after my failed attempts at surfing in New Zealand in 2004.
The chef at the resort found out that Jackson wants to be a chef when he grows up and invited him back to the kitchen to watch him for awhile and ask questions. What a treat! The kid sported his paper chef's hat and got us all invited back for free ice cream sundaes at the end of the day. During the ice cream party we somehow landed our own personal DJ who found out what dance songs the kids know and played them for us. We all ended up on the stage having one big dance party by the end. Sometimes I'm amazed at myself when I realize I am in random public places dancing the macarena like a crazy woman, with a bunch of African children! Good day.