Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Eve menu

I am the world's greatest NYE party pooper. I hate staying up late! Here, NYE is a biggie. Big cookout, mostly lamb or mutton, which I dislike. But everyone has an Asado.

One year, when we were living up on the hill, overlooking Loncoche, I had the brilliant idea of making Pastel de Choclo, corn pie, instead of a cookout. Neil agreed and Mom and I undertook the work of Pastel de Choclo. As we sat out on the porch eating our delicious Pastel, something incredible happened. We could smell the meat of all the people cooking in the town below us! All of a sudden, our pastel didn't have that smell! We are quite the carnivores, so our corn-laden goodness came up short!

Lesson learned, this year like all the rest, we are having an Asado!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

An Arias Christmas, part 1

For my birthday in October, I wanted to order the movie "The shop around the corner" What I found at Amazon was this. I ordered it in November. It arrived on Dec 23. Can you believe it? Just in time!
We've had a great Christmas season. My bigger kids are at the time when they realize that Christmas is not just the day, but the planning, buying, baking, wrapping, all through the month.
To top it off, we watched "Christmas in Connecticut" yesterday afternoon. We had never seen it. I don't think Ronnie enjoyed it too much, but the girls did! What a fun way to kick off the celebration!

An Arias Christmas, part 2

We had our Chrsitmas Eve service at 7. The choir sang four songs. Every seemed to enjoy it. We even had a special guest. The mayor of Lanco came to our service last night! But even better than that, we had 3 people who trusted Christ for salvation. Our table, ready to go. We had crock-pot BBQ ribs, baked potatoes and 7 layer salad. I was going to make several desserts, but ended making only peanut butter squares. Yummy! And quite extravagant for these parts. No one uses up their peanut butter so rashly unless it is Christmas! Of course we each had our very own can of Dr. Pepper. No sharing tonight!


My boy!

An Arias Christmas, part 3

Here's my big girl, who is now 14. We hardly get any shots of her because she is the family photgrapher!
A lovely gift for Daddy

Inside this big box are several other packages, one inside the other. The ring my husband had made for me was in the middle. Eileen loves wrapping packages that way! Its a hoot, unless you're the one opening the gift.

Vanessa was entralled, even if the gifts weren't for her!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A glass of Christmas cheer!

Oh yes! A whole case of Dr.Pepper! Originally priced at a dollar fifty a can, we found it on sale for 50 cents! Hip, hip, Hurrah!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Christmas letter

My Grandma sent me this lovely graphic, and this letter was sent to me by dear friend, Wanda.

Letter from Jesus about Christmas --

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season.
How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish; I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up... It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5 Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine. Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember :

Just a thought........

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Christmas table

Seeing that Christmas is essentially an eating holiday, its a blessing to have Christmas dishes.
Years ago, I bought a cheap(read-ugly) set from Kmart. Of all of the things that were lost in the house fire, those were the least-missed. Two years ago I had the opportunity to buy these and I am so happy!

We eat off Christmas china everyday in December. So far, we've only brocken one salad plate!
I know that dishes get broken, but my family is special, and I 'd rather have a few broken dishes, than a cupboard full of unused dishes waiting for something "special".

Friday, December 11, 2009

Please indulge this mama!

My sweet baby loves to look out the window!
Her Daddy gives her Oreos!
Looks like her sister is training her to be a model. Hmmmm. we'll have to have a Talk about that!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I wish I had more time

I love Christmas time! I love any excuse to give gifts and bake. I love the festive decorations. I am big on nostalgia. Ronnie said the other day that he wished the Christmas would come sooner, but I need the whole month! In fact, next year, we are going to start the day after thanksgiving!

I have done better this year. I got several cards off to my nearest and dearest. Well, most of them!

I have a feeling that Christmas in heaven will be even better. We'll get to celebrate Jesus' birthday, and He'll actually be there for the celebration!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

My Christmas house!

We absolutely love our tree. Both of my older children tell me that they could stare at it for hours and not get tired of it! Me too. Vanessa is learning the meaning of "Don't touch!" It hasn't been entirely pleasant for her.

Friday, November 27, 2009


It was great!
The final menu was,
mashed potatoes
pumpkin pie
watergate salad
multigrain rolls
chocolate mousse

corn pudding
seven layer salad
cranberry jello salad
green beans

I think that was it. There was food everywhere. We had a wonderful time of food and fellowship. Bro. Phil is encouraging my fed-up-with-his-PC husband to get Macs. Fine by me. We have been plagued with computer viruses.
Brenda showed me some really cool websites with crafts for Sunday School.
We also Wii'd a while. I am beginning to enjoy Thanksgiving more and more as I grow older.

We are gearing up for Christmas. Tree and decorations go up on Monday. Yeah!! I am thinking about how I will paint my windows this year.


The last ladies meeting of the year!

We had a soup and salad dinner. We had a salad competition. Above you can see some of the better entries. The salad "clock" won!. I taught about the power of praising God in all situations of our life. It was a great night, but I am glad the weekly meetings are over for a while. I'll be readly to start again, come Fall. South American Fall, that is, maybe Arpil, 2010. Do your faithfully attend your church's ladies Bible study? If not, you might be missing out on a huge blessing!

Do you at

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Here it is!!!!

Dear Ms. Arias,

Thank you for providing evidence of physical presence in the United States for the periods of August 1994 to December 1995 (16.5 months), December 2000 to June 2001 (6.5 months), July 2004 to Jan 2005 (5.5 months), and August 2007 to Jan 2008 (5 months), for a total of approximately 33.5 months.

This, in addition to the evidence you submitted previously, is sufficient to proceed with the application for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad for your daughter, Vanessa Elena Arias. We will proceed with the application today

Yahoo and Praise the Lord!!!!!
Now, there is a good reason to give thanks

Monday, November 23, 2009

Vanessa's paperwork

We finally compiled several years worth of documentation to send to the US Embassy. It should have arrived there last Tuesday. We sent it by courier, so I know that it is not lost in the mail. The thing is that I have not heard from the charming vice-consul. I don't know if that is good or bad. I figure that if it were bad, he would have contacted me. By the same token, I expected to be contacted if the documentation was adequate. At any rate, we still don't know, so please pray. If this doesn't work, we'll have to go another red-tape route that will cost several hundred dollars more. Yuck!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What happens when your husband is tone deaf

My Dear Preacher husband used to be entirely tone deaf. Sitting next to him in Church during the song service was torture. When he was in Bible School, he tried to sing in the choir. The director finally broke down and told him just to lip-sync.

Anyway, he doesn't know if someone is singing good or badly. Now, I sing. Not great, mind you, but I love to sing. I started our ladies choir a while back. They are OK, not great.

So, Neil is at the conference in Argentina this past week, and they were planning one for next year here in Chile. He proudly offers my choir and ME to provide special music. Yikes! Oh, yeah, and they want me to be the pianist. Huh? My piano playing is "iffy" at best. I mean, its good for our Church where there's nobody better. Oh boy, we had all better get to practicing!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dressing, a Thankgiving recipe

Julie Mom, this one's for you. I do warn you, however, that my recipes are not exact. I bake with exact measure, but the rest of my cooking is more "iffy". As one lady put it, I never get tired of my own cooking because nothing ever comes out the same way twice!

Dressing (or Stuffing) whatever you like to call it!
5 cups stale bread cubes
5 cups cornbread, roughly cubed
1/4 cup butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
chicken or turkey broth, about 2 cups
1 egg

mix the bread cubes together
Saute the onion and celery in butter until crisp-tender
Add to bread
Add the egg, slighlty whisked, to broth
Pour the broth-egg mixture over the bread and stir until wet but no dripping.
Add salt, pepper and sage to taste

Pour into a buttered casserole dish, cover with foil and bake at medium for about an hour.

We love this stuff!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Next week we are celebrating Thanksgiving. Not Turkey Day. Not Football. We are celebrating thanking God for his blessings and care.
Julie Mom is hosting a Thanksgiving recipe exchange. Now, I love recipes, but when it comes to Thanksgiving or Christmas, I go totally traditional. Nothing new. Its very comforting to me to know that our menu will be exactly the same every year. Here's the Menu
Turkey and gravy
dressing, made with white bread and cornbread.
Mashed potatoes
Corn or corn pudding
7 layer salad
Yeast rolls

Pumpkin pie,
chocolate mousse
waldorf salad, which we eat as a dessert
black bottom pie

I am going to try to do more tablescaping than I usually do, which is nothing.
I'll try to post some pictures.

This year, Mom and my sister and her family are gone to the US, so I am hosting this year. Also the Longs are gone, so its just us and the Robinsons. We see them about once a year for Thanksgiving. We always say that we need to get together more often, but we don't. I wish we did. We're all so busy!

Our nation seems to be forgetting the Pilgrims, and is celebrating ghosts, goblins and witches instead. Lord help us!

This year, after dinner wie'll probably go WiiBowling. Yeah! I love Wii bowling!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Wii finally took the plunge and bought a wii and a wii fit. I have to say, we love it! Its been worth every penny spent. Wii only have the games that came with it, but we are having a blast.
The wii fit is not aerobic enough in and of itself, but we have all lost weight and gotten stronger.
The best thing is that we play as a family. The kids are so happy about that. We have a bit of a friendly rivalry going on. Everyone has events that they are best at. I am champion at the ski jump. Eileen is first in step aerobics while Ronnie is best at hitting the soccer ball with his Mii head. I also learned that my husband cannot do the hula hoop. Not in real life and not in virtual reality. Its a hoot to see him try though!

Neil's gone to Argentina for a Fuegos de Evangelismo conference. So, the kids and I are having a WII part-tay!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

My baby's birthday

We had a special celebratory breakfast for Vanessa's first brithday. It has been an amzing year for all of us. I chose to share these photos because they show the sweet relationship between Vanessa and her brother and sister.
Thanj you, Lord, for them all.

Friday, October 30, 2009

My Tortilla maker, a video

Tortilla Tutorial from Rhonda Arias on Vimeo.

Vanessa at the pool table

I don't know what this world is coming to! So little, and already playing pool.

Chilean Food, Porotos con Riendas

Here is a typical dish, eaten at least once a week. Porotos con Riendas, which translates to Beans with Reins. It beans, with pumpkin-like squash, a sausage-onion-bell pepper saute, and spaghetti, thus the "reins". I love these beans! Also, I add a bit of tomato sauce as requested by DH.

Sometimes these are made with no meat at all, and they are still good! I make mine with ground beef instead of sausage.

Chilean Food, Empanadas

These are another very typical dish, but not one eaten every week like the cazuela or carbonada.
Above are the fried ones. Yum! They are both filled with groud beef, onion, one small slice of boiled egg, one olive (with the pit) and maybe a raisin or two (I leave these out)

They also make baked ones with the same filling. Most latin cultures have their empanadas. Even within Chile, there is a variety to the empanadas. They also make them with shellfish. (gross) My sister-in-law makes them with chicken. Very good.

They also make appetizer-sized ones with cheese or the beef mixture. Here in the south, they make mostly the little ones and they add chile, which is not common in the north.

All Chileans love empanadas. What's not to love?

Chilean Food, Carbonada

This, to me, is the boring part of Chilean food. Here, you see carbonada. Does is look familiar? It should. It is basically the same as cazuela, just all chopped up.
This is a tasty vegetable beef soup.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chilean Food, Marraqueta

The basis of the chilean diet is not tortillas, as many assume, but bread. The one shown above the the marraqueta. This is the most delicious of them all, IMHO. They are fairly large, each half about the size of a bagle, but lighter. Don't buy them while they are still hot because you end up eating the whole bag!

The most common bread is the one above, the hallulla, pronounced eye-you-yah.

These are good, but I am now sick to death of them! Chileans, however, never tire of them. They are life and breath to them! Give me a marraqueta any day.

Chilean Food, Cazuela de Vacuno

This is, by far, the most typical Chilean dish. Cazuela de Vacuno. Basically its beef and vegetable soup. But, as you can see, all the veggies are in big pieces rather than all chopped up. It has beef, potato, squash, corn, green beans and rice. Often it is garnished with fresh, chopped cilantro.

The interesting thing about this soup is how it is eaten. Americans want to eat a little bit of everything. This is not possible with cazuela. You must, must, must eat the broth first. If you don't, you will splash broth all over everything as you try to eat potato or meat first. Please don't ask me how I figured this out!

Chilean families will eat this at least once a week. It can be eaten as an appetizer or a main course, depending on how much meat you have to put in it. You can also make it with chicken.

It is very tasty and healthy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A fabulous birthday gift

Most Americans do not realize that South America is not Mexico. They assume that you can get delicious Mexican food all over the place. Unfortunately, this is not the case at all. So, we must make all our Mexican, or Tex Mex, from scratch. Being Californian, we cannot live without our Mexican food!

I celebrated my 37th birthday last week. My Mom gave me this wonderful tortilla press/cooker.
It presses and cooks at the same time. And the best part is, its 220 v, so I don't have to use a huge transformer like when I use my waffle maker!
I've already made tortilllas, and they turned out great! Happy Birthday to Me!

Putting it all together

I truly believe that the chapter and verse separations in the Bible are very helpful. Only, sometimes we separate things that were meant to go together.
We were studying John 14 recently and it just dawned on me that the famous words "Let not your heart be troubled..." does not stand alone, but as part of the conversation between Jesus and his disciples at the last supper. Peter has just been told that he will deny Christ three times. Even so, Jesus tells him not to let his heart be troubled.
Now, some will take this as an excuse to be mediocre and sinful, after all, God is going to love us anyway. But I think that even though Jesus knows just how bad we can be, I am encouraged not to be as bad as I can be.
Just a thought.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

From Inspiration to Application

The Vinegar Solution

My dishwasher is OK. They don't sell the really good ones here, so mine is top of the line.....for Chile. It doesn't rinse very well, so I always must use the special rinse liquid, which is expensive.

I had read on several blogs that you can substitute vinegar for the pricey liquid, but I am often skeptical of amazing claims. But, I figured, what could be lost if I tried it? Nothing! So I squirted the vinegar in. You may not believe this, but it works better than the pricey stuff!

Not very "wow!", but the long-term savings means that I can actually use my dishwasher more often. Now I can hear a hearty "Amen!" from chief dishwasher, Eileen.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Do Hard Things

This past week, I noticed a book brought by one of the team. Do Hard Things. I had read about this book, but never had access to it. I quickly borrowed it and read it before they left. What a treasure!
I talks about the extremely low expectations everyone has for teenagers these days, and how that its crippling us. It challenges the reader to do hard things that make us strong and helps us to excel for the glory of God.
I know that I am way past being a teenager, but this was an exciting challenge to me! If you can, read it! Share it with your child.

Our Guests

We had a team of 13 come down from California. They came to work on the church building, the camp, and do a VBS, couple's event, ladies meeting and leadership training. In 7 days. We all worked from sun-up to way past nightfall. The VBS went great, we averaged 130 for the three days. We had 6 children saved. This team brough all sorts of stuff to set up a a carnival with games and activities. It was amazing!

They had wanted to do some drama, but due to the obvious language barrier, it was decided that they would do mime skits. Excellent! Mimes go over great here.

We also had a great couple's meeting. The team included a chef. She made stuffed steak and stuffed tomatoes, rice pilaf, and sinfully delicious tarts. We had several visitors for this event, and one lady was saved.

On the last day, we had a big ladies' meeting. We brough over the ladies from Mafil and along with the ladies on the team, we had 46. Wonderful! One of the ladies form the US shared her testimony. She had been through so much during her life. Most of our ladies was able to relate to the story of abuse and sin that had made this woman's life one of great misery. They were also able to relate to the great Savior that has freed her from sin, guilt and shame, and given her the ability to forgive. Our ladies were just blown away.

God moved greatly in our midst and I thank Him for that.

I'm back again!

And so much to share! But I'd like to start with a small tribute to my husband, the Preacher. A week before all our guests arrived, my dryer died. I was alarmed because getting my washer or drier fixed can take over a month. First you have to take the appliance into the city an hour away, let it sit at the repair shop until they get good and ready to take a look at it. Then order the parts from the US. (The don't sell full sized dryers here) Then, as time allows, they fix it. ARRGGHHHH!!!
Enter Preacher Knight in Shining Armour. He opens the dryer, noting that its just a broken belt, removes said belt. He knowingly scavenges repair shops in Temuco and finds a belt that had been salvaged from someone else's dead drier. He then takes an entire morning and FIXES THE DRYER! My Hero!

Now I can prepare for all my guests. Praise the Lord!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

A break

We will be receiving a group of 14 from California next week, for 8 days. I will be hosting the pastor, his son, and an old family friend. In fact, this man's daughter was my first "best friend" when I was about 3. Mom will have the 6 ladies and the other 5 men will sleep at the Church.

We are going to be insanely busy, so I thought I'd just log off for a while. I will post pictures of all the special activities that we will be having. Please pray that souls will be saved this week!

We still have so much to do before they come! Please pray that I will not lose my: sanity, temper, children, or head!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Missionary Joys....Dealing with paperwork

I told you that we had to go to the US embassy. Thats in Santiago, 500 miles from here. We got Ronnie and Eileen's passports renewed easily. Then we had to file a consular report of birth abroad. Sounds easy,right? Wrong! My children aren't automatically US citizens unless I can prove I resided in the US for 5 years, 2 of which were after the age of 14. That was 20 years ago. Can you remember events from 20 years ago? I gave them all the evidence I could come up with at the time and it wasn't enough. By the way, passports stamps are not considered valid as evidence. Sounds crazy? YES! So, since we've been home, I have been going through junk I would have tossed years ago. I've found a few pay stubbs from 1994. Church bulletins with our names in them. A few medical tests from when I had a seizure in 2001.
I am uncertain as to what more to do. Everytime I talk to the guy in charge, he says, "Unfortunately..........." I feel like bopping him in the nose.

Please pray that all will go well. I'll have to make a quick trip to Santiago in a few weeks.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

In praise of yo-yo dieting and Starting Over

I know that the "experts" say that yo-yo dieting is bad for you. But I ask, where would I be now if I didnt' diet occasionaly? I would weigh 300 pounds! So much for the "experts"

So, after not losing the baby and furlough fat, I had decided to start Weigh Down again. I have the home video series, and it helped me lose 50 pounds several years ago. I always feel good doing weigh down, and its always a spiritual time for me. The only awful thing about it is that I am reluctant to share it with anybody in view of the cultish turn Gwen Shamblin has taken. I looked her up on the internet after years of not doing so, and I was appalled at what I saw. She looks anorexic, and she took "big hair" to new and scary heights. But what is worse is her anti-trinitarian views. To me Jesus Christ is everything, and as it says in Colossians, "In Him dwelleth the fullness of the Godhead bodily" Jesus is the physical incarnation of the living God, and to call Him anything less is blasphemous.

That reminds me of something Bro. Jim Preston says. He told us that if Satan cannot get you to deny a truth, he'll get you to go overboard on another. Its really dangerous to take one doctrine so far that it contradicts other biblical doctrines. Or, some people go over the edge on one issue, and it clouds the other issues that they proclaim. For example, Kent Hovind's views on taxes caused him to lose his ability to speak freely about Creation. I like the Pearls, but I feel that his somewhat-odd statements about salvation and the gap theory take away from their sound, practical advice about child training. Please, Lord, give me balance!

Anyway, Eileen and I will be weighing down regardless of skinny Gwen and her "Church"
After all, another sound piece of advice is "eat the meat, spit out the bones"!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Our experiment, a recap

We experimented with Extreme Frugality for 6 days. We called it our Great Depression Week. We timed our showers and baked our own bread in the cookstove oven. I did all my cooking on the cookstove. We seriously monitored lights. We unplugged everything. We watched no TV. We seriously limited computer time. I dried my clothes on the line, something that I really don't like to do because I don't like to iron and I don't like the feel of line dried clothes. Neil went into the city twice on the bus.

Our motives were these:
Saving money
Appreciating what we have
Recognizing just where the money was going

What I learned.
cooking on a wood cookstove is a lot of work. Maintaining the fire is of chief concern.
Not using my drier is a lot of work.
Making your own bread is a lot of work.
Eileen and I thought that we would have a lot of time to do Spring cleaning, but it took all day just to get the regular housework done. We were exhausted!

Every night became Family Night. We read together, we played Rook together. We went to bed early!

We will continue to do this experiment one week out of every month, fine tuning the details as we live them out.
Do I want to live that way the rest of my life? No. Could I if I had to? Yes. I am thankful for all my blessings? You Betcha!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Praise the Lord!

Carlita survived the first of two surgeries! We were on pins and needles there for a while, but she is fine for now. They still have a long way to go, but this is wonderful. Thanks for your prayers.

Urgent Prayer request

Our trip to Santiago was not only to get the kid's passports, but to accompany Carlos and Josselin and their baby Carlita at the children's hospital there. Carlita's heart has only one chamber and she was taken to Santiago for surgery. We waited with them as long as we could, but we had to come home. They waited, as the surgeries are not scheduled. Today, Carlos called and said that they are taking Carlita in today. But before the operation, the Drs are going to have a serious talk with the parents, as this operation has a greater chance of failing than succeeding. If she doesn't have the operation, she'll die anyway.

Please pray for Carlita, who is 4 months old. Please pray for Carlos and Josselin, and their son, Michael.


Monday, August 31, 2009

a Break

We are headed to Santiago to get the kid's passports.
I have been so busy today, I didn't get to post like I wanted.
Please pray that we will be able to get the paperwork done!

Wonderful blessings to you all!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Our experiment, days 4 and 5

My alloted 10 minutes on the computer are way to short!

I can totally understand why people were so happy to get rid of their cookstoves and cook with gas! Both of my grandmothers cooked and still cook with electricity! i'll go into this more, but when this is over and I can type more.

Ronnie has adjusted to diminshed computer play time. For him, that has been the only real change. For Eileen and me, well, all our work has been multiplied. Neil had to go into the city twice.....on the bus. Going on the bus isn't bad at all, its just that once you get there, you're on foot for the rest of the day. Makes me appreciate our car, and the fact the we have the money for gas and tolls.

Today, Saturday is our last day. Amen! I want to use my stove again. Sunday I'll try to write a few closing thoughts.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Days 2, 3

I missed posting yesterday. I had no time.

We are becoming accustomed to shorter showers and less electricity. We have brought our electrical use from 9.5 kwh to 5.5 kwhs, which is less than we hoped for, but less all the same.

We finished off the lentils, and I made chicken and dumplings with whole wheat flour. They turned out pretty good. I am hoping that the kids will get used to whole wheat and multigrain as opposed to pure white.

We also discovered that its easier to have one light on than to use candles. Also less mess.

We'll be glad when this is over, but I know that we'll never be the same.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 1

Yesterday we all had computer withdrawal symptoms! We worked hard at keeping lights off and not buying anything. We have been reading the electricity meter. we figure that we use about 9.5 Kilowatt hours per day. We were hòping to get that down to 5 but we only got down about 3.5. We were dissapointed. Interestingly, our gas tanks have no gauges, so we don't know how much we are saving there. I have beem cooking on the cookstove, no gas and no microwave. Showers are timed at 3 minutes. We had lentil stew for dinner and will have leftover lentils tomorrow. The good thing is that we like lentils! I made 3 loaves of multigrain bread yesterday. They are delish.

We will do this until Saturday. I hope that we will make some good habits that will hold over for good. We'll see.

Got to go, times uo again!

Monday, August 24, 2009

An experiment

This week we are doing a family experiment. We are honoring those who went through the great Depression, and learning to appreciate what we have by going through an extremely frugal week. My internet time is limited to 10 minutes, so I won't be able to blod much about it until later.
We are limiting electricity, water, gas and food. I mean, we have plenty of food, but there will be no extras. All my cooking will be on the wood stove, and most of the clothes drying will be on a rack in front of the fire.

It will be interesting to see just how low we can go. We take so much for granted. I am hoping that will change.

Time's up!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Getting fit update

Well, its been 4 weeks now of working out, 2-3 times a week. I am loving exercise TV because there is so much free content. Yesterday we did a cardio-slimdown, which is just challenging enough to keep me from getting bored. Today we did Leslie Sansone's 2 mile walk. Great! Easy moves, yet plenty challenging. So far, we switch between the cardio slimdown, the 2 mile walk, and a ballet workout. I like doing the ballet one because Eileen and I aren't particularly graceful, and I am hoping this will help. Soon we will start WeighDown again. I want to get the exercise thing down before I start the eating thing.

I have been thinking about the spiritual aspect of exercising. I know that the Bible says that bodily exercise profiteth little, but the truth is that bringing the flesh under control is always a good thing. It really depends on your outlook and reason for exercising.

One more thing. I cannot exercise in the evening. Two nights ago we did, and I was awake for hours. Precious sleep hours lost!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tracts do work

Michele wrote this post about sharing the Gospel. She talked about how that tracts do work.
This last week we saw the truth about this as well. Four weeks ago, a family began visiting our church. The have a 4 month old baby girl with severe heart defects. This family are neighbors to Pati and Fabian, members of our church who had invited Carlos and Josselin. But when Carlos and Josselin walked into the door, Pati was surprised to see them. Apparently, they had not accepted their invitation. This past Sunday, Carlos invited Neil over. He told him about their little baby's problems. Neil asked them how they decided to come to our church. He said that Fabian had invited them, but they had ignored the invitation. Then later, they wanted to go to church, any church. One of them had one of our tracts with our address and services hours. They thought "Why not this one?" And so they came. I think that they were just as surprised to see Pati and Fabian, as they had been to see Carlos and Josselin.

Carlos says that he is saved, but Josselin recieved Christ Sunday night. We are so pleased. Please pray for their sweet baby, Carla.

She's nine months old!

The camera loves you, Baby!

I have had no end of things to blog about, but not one peaceful minute. Even now, there's work to be done and Vanessa is fussing. But if I wait, I won't blog at all! Poor Vanessa's gums are bothering her greatly. She is still waking every two-to-three hours every night. My Goodness! I hate it. I've tried to try everything, but can't get Dh on the cry-it-out bandwagon, and I'm afraid anything less will not work. Obviously....she's nine months old and wakes like a newborn.

DH turned 40 this year in July. We celebrate Apollo 11 every year, since that's where they got DH's name. This year was a biggie. We followed a recreated lunar landing for about three days.
Of course, in Spanish, they call it a "mooning" since they say you can't "land" on the moon. I don't even try to explain why we don't call it a "mooning"!

We celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary last week. It was a bit subdued due to the fact that Neil was busy at a fellowship meeting during the three days prior, and due to the fact that Vanessa is too small to be left behind for any decent kind of anniversary celebration.

Got to go, Vanessa's fussing has turned to full-scale crying!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Do you read Boomama?

I do. When I need a really good laugh, I head over to Boomama archives.
Here is the post about her mama's stunt pillows.
Here's the one about Bojangle's Boberry biscuits
And finally, the one about the green salsa

Her devotion to Diet Coke is a subject near and dear to my heart.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Peace and quiet

Due to unusual circumstances, I am home alone with Vanessa, who is asleep. Now I can blog! Wait a minds a blank. I have absolutely nothing to blog about.

I do have an idea for a series. Sometimes I feel guilty if I spend too much time on the computer. I tell myself that it is helpful, and it inspires me to do better at many things. So.....I want to do a series about going from inspiration to application. Not just about that but actually telling and showing things that I normally would put off or not do at all, that I have done, thanks to my blogging.

Now, the first thing that I am inspired to do is to get off my franny and get the morning work done! Chao!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

OK, so even missionaries need exercise!

But I haven't done any in a while. There are no Curves here, nor any ladies-only gyms. In fact there are very few gyms at all. I don't like walking here in town, because I always run into several friends and aquaintances, and its rude not to stop and talk. But if you stop, what's the point?

I have a few old videos, namely Richard Simmons (gross) and Stormie Omartian, who I love. But that video is almost 20 years old. Things have changed alot.

I bought a DVD by The Firm, but I couldn-t figure out all the moves and it was way too fast.

So finally I found what I was looking for. Free videos, for beginners.

Eileen and I have done 3 different workouts over two weeks. so far so good.

I don-t have any grand ideas about getting skinny, but fit is always good.

What I really want is a workout that exercises both the body and spirit, with uplifting music, and Scripture memory. I am this close to making my own videos. Don-t laugh. It could happen.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My budding Photographer

Eileen offered to take some photos to remember Sandra's pregnancy. They were very happy and best of all, they are going to pay her! This was her first photography job, and hopefully not her last.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Nanny.....or Mommy

I was looking for exercise videos, but I found this.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Baby Shower, part 2

Just a few shot of all the ladies there.

Baby Shower, part 1

We had a blast at the shower last night. Here is the gift table. She recieved a bunch of nice things. We also played a few shower games. Here we were given a pregnant lady to dress. My team won, but no thanks to me, I just glued the stockings and shoes on!
To eat, we had a salad bar. But, for fun, we had a salad contest. The winning salad waqs the "Bib" salad, below, to the left. My favorite was this one, the "bottle" salad.

Here was another finalist. Don't you jsut love the sculpted red pepper?

The big winner!

After the salad, we had corn chowder that I had made, and rolls. It was dee-lish!