Saturday, November 29, 2008


We're still in South Africa, waiting to get our car serviced--one of those inconvenient necessities. In the meantime, the kids have decided to take advantage of grandpa and grandma's pool. It's been a bit of a shock coming from a very chilly autumn to the middle of summer. The mosquitos are buzzing and the humidity's on the rise, but the grass is green and the flowers are stunning.

There is always a few things that strike me when I return to Africa after being away for a while.

The throng of people walking along the side of the road.

Groceries stores with wall-to-wall customers and no air-conditioning.

A breeze sifting through the open windows of the house.

Birds and insects chirping in the early morning hours.

Bright blue, cloudless sky.

Neighbors music playing in the background.

Smell of jasmine lingering in the night air.

Ahhh. . .it's good to be home.

So for those of you living above the equator, here's a bit of summer help with those ice cold days.



Friday, November 28, 2008

A Day of Thanks

I feel as if I slept through Thanksgiving this year. Seventeen hours on a plane followed by a five hour car trip tends to knock some of the energy out of me. And we're not even home yet.

But despite missing Thanksgiving-at least on Thanksgiving Day-I have stopped to think about all the things I truly am thankful for. Here's just a couple for starters.

I certainly would never recommend spending your first year of homeschooling on three continents and four countries, but we did and not only have we finally almost finished the year--we go January through December--the kids have done terrific.

Because of our move into Mozambique, we decided not to take our furlough this year, but God had other plans and we had to return temporarily. What a blessing it was to spend the past two months helping out my family and spending time with them.

I mentioned the living on three continents above, but believe it or not, I'm the kind of person who would love to just settle down in one quiet spot. But then I think about the experiences we've had, and the people God has brought us together with and I know I wouldn't have it any other way. We've met so many great people this year from Brazil, to Mozambique, to the good 'ol USA.

And so, in spite of the horridly humid weather this side of the world, there are so many other things to say thanks for. A supportive husband, three beautiful children, friends and family, a house with toilets that work, new contracts with Summerside and Zondervan, good health. . .

So what are you thankful for this holiday season?

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Be blessed today!


PS I had to share this photo of Gabe with his grandpa. He drew this motorcycle, framed it, and gave it to him for Christmas. Not sure if the photo does it justice, but he's one talented kid. (Even if the complement is from his mama!)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Safari 2008

Here's some video footage of our last trip through Kruger, including our encounter with a pride of lions.



Monday, November 17, 2008

Countdown. . .

It's hard to believe it, but we're into our last week in the States. Scott has arrived, we've celebrated an early Thanksgiving/Christmas, taken family photos, and I've just about finished all the last minute details of mom's move.

Whew! It's been quite a whirlwind.

While all of us have mixed feelings about leaving family and friends, I'm looking forward to returning to our new home and getting back into a regular schedule. Instead of hot chocolate, turkey dinners, and Christmas lights, we'll be heading in a very hot summer, days off at the ocean, and building sandcastles in the sand with the kids. If only I could skip the seventeen hour flight home--followed by a ten + hour drive.

Thanks so much for all your prayers and emails during this time!



Monday, November 10, 2008

Don't believe everything you read. . .

While I rarely surf the internet, there are a few nights when it's too early to sleep and I'm too tired to write when I find myself wasting time on the internet instead of coming up with some great prose for my editor.

Like tonight. I thought I'd google my name just for fun.

One of the first things I found out about my name was that I had a book published I never sold. In fact, when this cover was first posted on the internet, I wasn't even published. Well, you guessed it. I just found out that this cover is still online at a couple places with my name on it. When someone told me about it years ago, I quickly contacted the publisher and they fixed it. But you can still read the teaser for my story--which was rejected--here.) Can you guess which one was mine?

Of course, with a common name like mine, that hasn't been the only online mix up. There's another author who writes secular romances and at one time used my name as a pen name. Now even while this author isn't me, you can find lists of books with hers and mine all together under "Lisa Harris." I long ago decided I'll never be able to correct this, so I've given up on worrying about it even though I've wondered if her covers might shock some of my readers.

So like they say don't believe everything you read.

As for me, I'm off to finish my word count for the day. (Yes, I really am. . .)



Friday, November 07, 2008

Love Finds You. . .

I've just signed a contract with Summerside Press for Love Finds You in Revenge, Ohio, a historical novel that will be released next Summer. If you love to read, check out Summerside Press's new line of books. Here's what they have to say.

"The LOVE FINDS YOU™ series gives readers a taste of local life across the United States. The novels—uniquely titled after actual American towns with quirky but intriguing names—inspire romance and fun. Each fictional story draws on the compelling history or the unique character of a real place. Stories center on romances kindled in small towns, old loves lost and found again on the high plains, and new loves discovered at exciting vacation getaways."

The covers are fantastic and they have some great authors lined up. You can visit them here for more information!



Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Home made vs. Store bought

One of the biggest changes for me while in the States is cooking. In Africa, everything is done from scratch. But while I'm here, I have to admit to doing things the easy way, throwing away the cookbook, and using mixes as much as possible. And not only is it easier, it tastes just as good. Right?

Maybe not.

The other night I made Sloppy Joes which is one of my kids favorites. But instead of gobbling it down like normal, Gabriel asked me what it was.

"What is it? Sloppy Joes of course," I told him.

"These don't taste like your Sloppy Joes," he said.

"That's because they aren't what I regularly fix. The sauce came from a package."

"But it taste like spaghetti sauce. . ."

Needless to say, he wasn't impressed. Which actually made me feel good. Because before long, we'll be back eating my home made Sloppy Joes. . .and Gabe will be happy.



(ABOVE PHOTO: Jayden just hanging around at the Fall Festival)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Win a Taste of Africa!

I'm getting ready to hold another drawing for my yearly Taste of Africa contest, and this year, I've decided to choose three winners! I'll be drawing names from my newsletter list, so if you aren't signed up, it's simple. Just go here and follow the directions.

Each winner will receive a personalized box including some of the items you see here, like tea, chocolate, bookmarks, and spices, all from the heart of Africa, as well as a signed copy of my latest book, Final Deposit.

So sign up today!