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We Made it To South Africa (+ how to follow along with our trip!)

Kathrynne woke up yesterday morning and said, “I can’t believe we’re flying to South Africa today!”

I couldn’t believe it either!

I was a mixed ball of excitement and sadness and nerves. I was so excited that I get to go back to South Africa — I’ve been so ready to go back ever since I left! And I’m thrilled beyond words that I get to bring my family with me this time!

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 5.56.51 PM

However, I feel sad because Joy and Lisa-Jo aren’t going this time. I will miss those girls so much. But I’m super, super happy that my other manager and good friend, Brian, is coming this time.

And there’s some anxiousness that I feel, too. Mostly about how my kids are going to do on the flights and with the time change and with all of the newness all at once.

We Made It to South Africa

I usually am fairly minimalist when packing. I mean, I’m the girl who can pack for 8 days in a carry-on.

But taking my family halfway around the world and being gone for 8 days made me set aside my minimalistic packing skills and go more for the Have Options & Prepare Well mode.

Because there’s nothing like (2) 15+-hour-long flights with 3 kids to make you want to make sure you have options!

Everyone got a backpack for the flights + a suitcase that we checked. Mom got the last say in what they brought (“Yes, you must bring an extra change of clothes in your backpack. Trust me, a LOT of accidents can happen in 15 hours!”)

Oh and you can see the final stack of books I opted to bring here.

We Made It to South Africa

South Africa may not be ready for us, but we’re coming for you… right before boarding our flight.

We Made It to South Africa

The best part of our flight to South Africa? They gave us Milano cookies (my very favorite)!

The worst part? The kids only slept a few hours and they DIDN’T have wifi (despite the fact that they advertised that they did and I’d kind of banked on it to get a few projects done!)

Oh well! I got to sleep (thanks, Dramamine!) and read a book and it was nice… Aside from some bad attitudes coming from the 10 and under crowd.

I have decided that if you want a good test of your inner character, take 3 kids on a 15-hour flight. I had quite a few prayers going up for extra patience during that last hour when it felt like we were on the verge of imploding.

We made it to South Africa!

15+ hours later… tired, but oh so thrilled to be here in South Africa!! Our kids were especially excited to have their very first stamp in their brand-new passports!

(Oh and it was amazing how the kids could barely seem to keep their eyes open and had all sorts of bad attitude going on the last hour of the flight, but as soon as we got off the plane, they were fired up and ready to go again!! They just finally all crashed and fell asleep 30 minutes ago and we’re hoping they stay asleep for a good, long time!)

We spent the evening with Lisa-Jo’s parents — eating, talking, laughing, and playing Bean Boozled. Tomorrow, we’re headed out to one of the communities where Take Action is ministering at. I’m so excited to get to go back and see the progress that has been made since I last visited!

We Made It to South Africa!

We got our very own South African scarves, courtesy of Lisa-Jo Baker’s parents — who are so graciously hosting us right now.

Isn’t my scarf absolutely the perfect color?? I love it!!

Also, I’m grateful to be sharing this South Africa trip with these two guys (my wonderful husband, Jesse, and my business manager, Brian), both who gave up a whole week of their lives and flew halfway around the world because they believe so passionately in what God has called us to be a part of here in South Africa!

What You Can Expect Here While I’m Gone

In case you are wondering, my wonderful assistant, Meg, will be sharing great deals here, answering comments, and posting on Facebook. I’ve been training her to take over for me this week and she’s already been doing an AMAZING job!

If you want to follow along with our trip adventures, be sure follow me on Instagram. I’ll likely be posting there most consistently.

I also discovered tonight that the wi-fi may, indeed, be strong enough for me to do a quick video on Periscope each day. You can watch tonight’s video here. And then download the Periscope app and search for MoneySavingMom to follow the rest of my scopes this week.

I also plan to blog at least every day or every other day to get you a peek into what we’re doing and learning and trying. No promises, but I’m hopeful I’ll have a chance to check in and post at least a few times while we’re here.

Thank you so much for your prayers, your encouragement, and your excitement about this trip. It’s truly a dream come true to be here with my family!

My “Rules” For a Minimalist Wardrobe

ruls for a minimalist wardrobe

Guest post from Carly of Happy The Home

Like me, I’m sure many of you would love a $1,000 shopping spree to your favorite clothing store. Truth be told, some of us would be happy to spend $50 or $100! But for most of us, we can’t spend a lot of money on a whole new wardrobe at the drop of a hat.

A few months ago, I began trying to simplify things in my life and home in an effort to spend more time doing things that are important to me. I wanted more time for Bible study, so I get up earlier. I wanted less laundry, so I minimized my kid’s clothes. Now it was my closet’s turn. But OH MY! It was not going to be easy.

I looked for ideas and found good blogs and articles for help with what to keep and what to get rid of. The What I Wore blog, and How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe were very helpful. Additionally, I texted my sister for her advice, as she always looks cute and we tend to like the same things! I also made some rules of my own.

My 6 “Rules” for a Minimalist Wardrobe

1. I won’t keep something if it’s uncomfortable or doesn’t fit me well.

2. I won’t buy anything new (at least not for a while).

3. I won’t feel bad keeping some of my favorite t shirts and gym clothes, but I will sort through them.

4. I won’t consider any “dry clean only” items except coats.

5. I won’t hang on to gifted clothing simply due to nostalgia.

6. I won’t keep anything because it “might fit if I lost a few pounds”.

With those rules in mind I also looked through my clothes by pulling EVERYTHING out of my closet and dresser. I decided to keep the following:

  • 6 pants
  • 8 blouses
  • 8 sweaters/cardigans
  • 4 skirts
  • 4 dresses
  • 3 vests
  • 5 scarves
  • 4 pair of shoes
  • 2 belts
  • 2 tights

I don’t think there’s a magic number to how many items of clothing one should have… and the pictures I took are merely to show how many things you can create with a few of these items.

What you see in the pictures are: 3 pants + 5 shirts + 2 jackets + 1 dress + 1 scarf + 3 pair of shoes

minimalist wardrobe

By no means have I exhausted the possibilities, but it’s exciting to think that I can do more with less. I want to simplify to make things easier and I don’t want my life to be characterized by “excess” and “disorganization”.

You might decide to keep way less than I did. But this is a start for me. Hope you enjoy watching a fashionably-impaired person enjoy a day of dress up!

Carly is a stay-at-home mother to four boys. She blogs at Happy The Home about faith, family, homemaking and all that lies between!

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