Friday, May 29, 2009

Heeeeere's Vanessa at 6 months!

I have never ever seen such a pink-and-white baby!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Be careful what you wish for!

Our living/dining area is oddly shaped. As you come into the front door, there is a small area, I assume intended for living room, then the room expands, again assuming for dining area, as it si closer to the kitchen. But that did not makes sense to cram all the living room furniture in the small area and let my dining room table float in the larger area. So we switched them. It freaks people out to come in and see the table first. Anyway, we always wanted to remodel so as to make the smaller area bigger.
We received a "supernatural financial blessing" so we decided to move ahead with the project. So now I have two workmen here every day, and one of them is staying with us........for four weeks! ARRRGHHH!
I also decided that the new living area was going to be different. Its going to be painted RED! Yep, I am going to live on the wild side! No more beiges and creams for me. All kidding aside, I just felt that for once in my life, I would take a risk. You know what? I looked on the Sherwin-Williams web site, found the right red, and guess what? The colors that the remaining walls are, are exactly the complementary colors that they would choose!

The new camera will be here tomorrow, so I'll take some "before" photos.

BTW, since the new camera will be here, I will be posting a gajillion photos. Please bear with me!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sacrifice on the altar of "Convenience"

I have been reading "Coffee Tea Books and Me " posts about frugality, and they have been a blessing. We are not hurting finacially, but we are not rolling in the dough either. I think it would seem that we had more if we were more frugal. Economy used to be one of the traits of a successful homemaker.

Anyway, there isn't much more to say that hasn't already been said by others. However, as an American living abroad, I can see more clearly a few things about our society. One of the things is the American love a convenience. We worship convenience. We would rather spend money than time and/or effort.

One of the areas where is this more noticeable is the area of food. Most women do not cook anymore, or consider making Hamburger Helper "cooking". (note, I love hamburgur Helper...i have very unsophisticated tastes!) We buy many things pre-made. Even if they do not taste as good as the real thing, we prize the convenience. Even if we know that it is not nutritious, we prize the convenience.
The price that has been paid for our convenience has been great. For one thing, overweight, as most over-processed foods are high in fat and sugar. Overweight has lead to other horrible consequences like diabetes. We sacrifice our health on the altar of Convenience.

Another consequence is not as noticeable, and maybe most people don't even care. But it is that fact that since we don't make things without mixes and such, we don't know how. We are trapped. Even cookbooks today start their recipes with "open a can of........." I love church cookbooks, but they are largely useless to me. Most of the recipes for cakes start with a boxed cake mix. Most of the savory recipes call for cans of cream of mushroom soup and velveeta cheese. Now, don't get me wrong, I love velveeta cheese! But, we sacrifice our skills on the altar of Convenience.
I have become empowered as I learn to cook great food from scratch. I spend time, money and effort, but it has been worth it! As I get more skillful, I will spend less money!

Does this make any sense to anyone? Hope so!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Cheesy lightbulb moment!

I have noticed that Americans cook with a lot of cheese. I love cheese, but its so expensive.
Anyway, I was watching Tammys tutorial about making pizza, and she put a ton of cheese on that pizza. I would have used half. I know Tammy is frugal as well, so I figured she must be paying a lot less than I do. Then I actually did the math. We pay over 4.5 dollars a pound for cheese. Can you believe that? Cheese is, pound for pound, more expensive than most meats here.

Anyway, I guess its just as well. Cheese is one of my weakness.

Do, you mind my asking, how much do you pay for cheese?

Crying it out, part 2

Last night was a lot better. We woke Dear Baby at 12 for her last feeding. Then, as 3 am, like clockwork, she woke up. But last night, she only cried for 10 minutes. Praise the Lord! Then she woke again around 6 am, which is just fine.

I am curious to see how it goes tonight. I don't want to get overly optimistic. We'll see!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Are we headed into another weekend already?

I remember a time when my blog posts were about something, not just about how busy I am!

I know that having a baby is a good thing, but one must come to terms with the fact that things must change. Time must be structured differently. However, "structure" and "baby" don't go together very well at this house.

Update on the Baby.

Last night was the first night of the "crying it out" phase. No, we did not leave her alone, but we did not pick her up and I did not feed her. I don't think she got the memo about the changes, because she expressed her extreme dislike for the new regimen.....for 1.5 hours. Not too bad. According to Dr. Jessie and Tracy Hogg, this should take up to 3 or 4 days, if we are consistent.

Update on my Mother's day gifts. In lieu of the Wii, I asked if I could order a DVD. I wanted "The shop around the Corner" with Jimmy Stewart. This was graciously OK'd. So yesterday I got online to order the DVD. 14.99 dollars. OK....Shipping 16.oo dollars, total...about 30 dollars. For one lightweight DVD? I don't think so!!!!

Neil was in Valdivia yesterday and bought me the most beautiful cup and saucer. So fine! And do you know what? I broke it today! I feel so bad. It was a clean break and I can fix it with some crazy glue. Wasn't planning on using for actually drinking, thank goodness

I have been mulling over some ideas about motherhood. Maybe I'll have time soon to blog about them.......

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oh, the missionary life!

Its been a while since I sat down at the computer to write. We had a wild week, last week. Neil was gone on the 1st and 2nd of May, and the 4th and 5th. It changes everything. We had our super Puppet event on Saturday after several rehearsals. I only went to the last one. There were over 110 in attendance and 11 children were saved. We had about 25 first time visitors.
I had spent all of Saturday morning cooking. You see, we have no decent restaurant here. So, do you want to have a nice meal for your mama on Mother's day? Then you have to cook it yourself! But when? On Saturday morning, of course! I made our favorite, meat loaf. Nobody likes meatloaf but Mom and me. Too bad, its our day! I also made 7 layer salad, which must be refrigerated overnight. Hallellujah! We love, love, love 7 layer salad. For after the puppet event, I also made Mimi's Cafe's corn soup and corn bread. Mmmm! We actually had that for lunch and supper. It was just that good!
Its a good thing, too, because Saturday was wild. And after the event, we had to clean the Church! Yea! It wasn't too bad since there were several of us. Sunday dawned cold and rainy. We usually have a low attendance among the children on these days, but it wasn't too bad. My family wanted to buy me a Wii, with Wiifit for Mother's Day. Do you know how much a wii costs here? 500.00 dollars. !!!!!!! I graciously declined. Do you know what I could do with 500 dollars? Then Monday Eileen and I worked ALL DAY, making up for what we hadn't been able to do all weekend. And Today, we had ladies Bible Study. I am tired. The house is so-so.
But its all good.
Well, its almost all good. Neil went to get money out of our local ATM. And the machine didn't give him the money! We called our bank, the ATM's bank, opened a claim. This isn't going to be easy or fun. I hope we don't lose the money. Please pray for us.
I've still got tons to do, and Eileen's got a bad cold. But I don't think I'll do one more useful thing tonight. Enough is enough. I think I'll go watch some Star Trek!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Too busy again

This week has been unbelievebly busy, and the end is nowhere in sight. Neil was gone for 2 days, so that makes things a little more difficult.

We switched the Mafil ladies Bible study to Wednesday, so that we could have more time for the study in Lanco. As I said in another post, we've restructured the group into four different tables with leader at each table. We are now having a 3 o'clock meeting for the four leaders at my house. That way we can encourage and instruct them, so that they can lead and occasionly teach their groups. They are really excited at getting some leadership training. But the truth is, its servanthood training.
The meeting went good. We had 19 ladies, so we were thrilled. In Mafil we had 3 besides Mom and me. I taught about Cain and Able. They had heard about Cain and Able, but knew nothing about them. I used a flash card lesson. Only one of the ladies can read and write. Please pray for one lady named Claudia. She has so many problems with no visible solution, and she has become so discouraged.

We are having a big puppet event this Saturday. Please pray. I have to bake some cakes and work at the sign-up table. OK by me! Mom has to do puppets. Eileen wanted to do the puppets, but she's at the sign-up table instead.- Oh well, next time, BabyDoll!

Tomorrow we have to go into the city for Vanessa's six-month check up. That means we get to start her on real food. I am hoping that it will help her sleep more during the night. A mother can hope, can't she? Sleep deprivation is getting to me!

We are waiting for two more documents to arrive from the US to move forward with the container paperwork. Please pray.

We will be getting a new camera to replace the broken one, but in one month. I can't wait! If you all could see our Vanessa, it would brighten your day!

Blessings to you all, pray for your missionaries!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Repentance and salvation

My mom was preparing her ladies Bible study, and pulled out a book she's had for years. I've never seen her read it, but its always been there. Its called "Genesis to Deuteronomy" (catchy title, don't you think?) by C.H.Mackintosh, first published in the 1880's.
I found this quite-long quote to be fascinating.

Our divine Master called upon sinners to repent and believe the Gospel. Some would have us to believe that it is a mistake to call upon persons dead in trespasses and sins to do anything. "How", it is argued, "can those who are dead repent? They are incapable of any spiritual movement. They must first get the power ere they can either repent or believe."
What is our reply to this? A very simple one indeed-our Lord knows better than all theologians in the world what ought to be preached. He know all about man's condition-- his guilt, his misery, his spirtual death, his utter helplessness, his total inability to think a single right thought, to utter a single right word, to do a single right act; and yet, He calls upon men to repent. This is quite enough for us. It is no part of our business to seek to reconcile seeming differences. It may seem to us difficult to reconcile man's utter powerlessness with his responsability; but"God is his own Interpreter, and He will make it plain". It is our happy privilege, and our bounden duty, to believe what He says, and do what he tells us. This is true wisdom, and it yields solid peace. Our Lord preached repentance, and he commanded his apostles to preach it; and they did so constantly.