Monday, August 31, 2009

Homemade Pop Tarts

Ok - I don't know that I have ever posted a food that I have cooked before. I am not a gourmet chef. I leave that up to my friend Alicia! (her creative blog is great for ideas!)

Anyway, I was craving pop tarts, and since we can't get them here (or I haven't seen them), I decided to make our own. It was SO easy, and oh, my goodness, they are good. They make regular pop tarts taste like...I can't believe I'm going to say it...garbage.

I make my own pie crust b/c we can't get the refrigerator kind, but the easier the better! (I just used the one crust pie recipe to try this out) I rolled it out pretty thin and then (tried to) cut rectangles. On one rectangle, I placed 1 tsp. of strawberry jelly, but any jelly would be good. You could even do a sweet cream cheese, or peanut butter, or nutella, or whatever!


Then, I put another rectangle on top (trimmed to make them the same size), and pinched the edges to seal. If you need to, you could add a little water with your finger in between the layers to create a better seal. A couple of mine leaked a little filling, but not enough to matter. I then crimped the edges with a fork to make it a little prettier.



I baked them at 425 for 10-15 minutes (takes longer here b/c of the altitude, so you want to watch it until it looks done...golden brown), moved them to a wire rack to cool.
I made 6 with the one pie crust.



I made a frosting out of powdered sugar, a little milk (just enough to get it not a powder anymore), and a little red food coloring. You could top with cream cheese icing, or whatever you had on hand!

Oiola! (Is that how you spell that?)



Anyway, this just took maybe 30 minutes to prepare, making my own crust, and it is so much better than a normal pop tart. It would be a great breakfast item for a Saturday morning instead of getting donuts.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ok...thank goodness, I over reacted! BabyM's diarrhea stopped very quickly, and she was able to get her vaccines! Yeah! She wasn't as excited as I was. She also gained 6 ounces in the last 2 weeks. That is progress...we think. We won't actually know until we visit the nutritionist in 2 weeks. Just keep praying about that, please.

We (the whole fam) drove to a town called Chichicastenango yesterday to meet up with Dee Farney, who was here on a mission trip to work in these medical clinics in the Chichi area. It was such a joy to get to see her and have her here in our country. We stayed at a really pretty hotel and shared a balcony with Dee. We put the kiddos down and had almost 3 hours to sit and chat with her. It was such a blessing.

We did lose her for a little bit this morning that made me pray like I haven't prayed in a long time, but it all worked out. That is a story for another time.

Ok...I may get a bit preachy b/c there has been something on my mind. It is faith and works.

Just to begin: I believe that we are saved by grace through faith. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts.

I do want to talk about works a bit. I believe (and this is just my opinion based on observation and experience) that the evangelical church (in America and here in Guatemala) has taught faith alone. I don't think that you can over preach saved by grace through faith, but there is a GIANT aspect missing when we don't teach works. I mean...we are told in scripture that works are the evidence of faith.

So much stress is put on the maturity of the believer. On being a good Bible student, on growing in faith. But what is growth in a life of a believer if there are no works? I mean...what is the point in faith if it is dead?

The end result of our salvation (the progressive aspect of it) isn't a more holy, less sinful, more studious, person. It is a life of good works.

Eph2:8-10 "8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

What are the things that we think of when we look for markers in the life of what we consider a mature believer? They pray a lot, they show the fruit of the Spirit, they study their Bible and have a good understanding of the Scripture?

Why do we study the Bible? Is it simply to know God better. That is very noble, and the Bible is the best way to know God better, but is that the end result? I mean, ask yourself that questions! Why do you study the Bible? Is it to become more holy? A better person? Because it feels good? To get answers to questions in your life? To find support for your beliefs, to find hope, inspiration, encouragement? Read the following with me carefully:

2 Tim 3:16-17: "16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

We see there all of the things that reading the Bible is good for. It is a wonderful list! But what is the end result of all of those things? Is it so that the man(person) of God may only be equipped? NO! It is equipped for works! We read the scriptures and we are transformed to do GOOD WORKS!

Are you doing good works? Are you feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty? Visiting those in prison, praying with/for the sick, caring for orphans and widows? (This list is NOT exhaustive)

Imagine the life of the man who gets up in the morning, goes to work, works hard, comes home, eats dinner w/ his family, enjoys his wife and kids, watches a little TV, goes to bed, gets up early, reads the Bible and prays for a little bit, and starts all over again.

Or the life of a woman who wakes, gets her children fed, dressed, takes care of the house, cleans, does laundry, cooks, takes the kids to the park, maybe to playgroup, runs some errands and buys some groceries, feeds the family, puts the kids to bed, gets a little devotional time, goes to bed, wakes in the morning and does it all over again.

These are most noble things. These are the things of life that are necessary and good. These are things that fill our time, our minds, our calendars. It is in doing these things with holiness that teaches our children about a life with God. But is that all? I mean...where are the works?

Let me interject here that I am not God, do not want to be, and therefore have no desire to sit in judgment on anyone. I am not looking at suburban men and women and criticizing them in my heart. This is a rant not directed at anyone. These are just my thoughts on the subject.

Anyway...my challenge is this. What works are you doing? What opportunities do you have for doing good works? Is your faith limited to the walls of your home? Or maybe your church sanctuary and Sunday school class? Maybe just to your wallet? (keep the wallets open, folks! He-he!) How could you do more? Not to be saved! Not to get into heaven! But to give evidence. To put your money where your mouth is, so to speak. That is what James means when he says we are justified, not just by faith, but by works!

James 2:14-24

"14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. "

Lets all go do something.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Big D all over again.

Ok...BabyM has diarrhea again. What this means for us:

1. Extremely bad diaper rash.
2. Using disposable diapers (I love putting soft cloth on my baby's tiny tushie! I just don't have the energy to wash out 5-10 diarrhea diapers a day in the pila)
3. No appetite for our little one who needs to eat so desperately.
4. A loss of ounces, yet again.
5. Can't have her vaccinations that she is scheduled to get tomorrow. They are already late b/c every time she is due vaccinations, she gets sick and we have to put it off.
6. Not being able to tell if she is making any progress on her weight gain, and having to wait another 2wks to a month just to know if she is stable, worsening, or getting better.

It is really hard not to get discouraged.
Please just pray for her.

On a lighter note: BoyD and I were playing robots yesterday. I was Eve and he was who knows what, and a piece of paper in his hand was Walle. (All from the movie W.A.L.L.E.)
Anyway, he landed his rocket on the couch and told me that the rocket had an e-mail.

He's three and is pretending that his rocket received an e-mail. It was really funny. He even told me not to laugh, that it was very serious. :)

Thanks for your prayers.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Guatemalan sling

video
You guys know those very expensive baby carriers and slings that you can get in the states? Well, here is the Guatemalan version. They are made from a really thick fabric and are very sturdy! I love using ours! We always get funny looks from the Guatemalans though, because they almost always carry their babies on their backs! I just don't have the skills for that. :)

Enjoy the little video.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Some Kid issues and More Diaper Giveaways

BoyD had a little problem yesterday. (It is a little better today) His right ear is HUGE! It seems as though a little creature bit my child on his ear. We don't know if it was a spider, a mosquito, or what, but he ear doesn't like it.


We have given him Claritin and rubbed hydrocortizone cream on it multiple times, but it isn't really helping yet. Boy, this kid can react. But isn't he so handsome??? I mean, geez! He's a looker! :)


Well, not photos of this one, but BabyM is trying to poop on the potty. She sits down (she is so little she can even fall in the kid potty) and pushes out toots. She is so proud of herself! I think that if we could time it right, we could get her to poop in there. I mean, she's not ready to potty train totally b/c she doesn't shoe many of the other readyness signs, but boy she has desire! It is the cutest thing, b/c she will toot, look up and you and laugh! She wants to be just like BoyD.

We need to buy her a better potty chair. The one we have will tip over b/c she isn't big enough to stablize it.


More diaper contests! If I blog about these contests, I get entered to win, so if you do cloth (or want to try) then check these out!

There is a diaper called grobaby that is so cool! I don't know if you can read all the fine print, but you have these inner layers that you can switch out when the baby's wet, and just keep using the outer layer. When it's all snapped together, it goes on just like a disposable.

My favorite part? It is one size from newborn to toddler! It adjusts. That means that if I had this diaper (and I don't yet, but I'm trying to witn it) then I could use it on the new baby coming in Jan, and on BabyM! Talk about saving money on diapers, let alone saving the countryside here from poopy diapers.

Here is the Link to the website.

There is another very cool website where this mom reviews different products. One of the products that she reviewed is a Bambino Mio cloth diaper. If you want to read about a cloth diaper experience from the perspective of a disposable user, check out this site.

She is giving away two of those diaper sets, and oh, do I want one of those! They work like a disposable when you put them on, (no pinning), but you can reuse the cover over and over. They even sell these flushable liners that you can dump in the potty if baby poops! So cool.

Here is the link for the contest.

There is another really cool giveaway for a Gad cloth diaper. It is super cute and looks so soft! I want one of these also. I am trying to increase my stash for the new baby coming! :)

Now, this is the monster of cloth diaper giveaways from a blog Rocker Bye Baby! I mean, this stuff is for super cool moms with stylin kiddos! :) Even if you aren't interested in this stuff, you should check out how fun these diapers are. The coolest part, these are WAHM diapers, meaning that they were made by Work At Home Moms, so buying these dipes helps other mom's stay at home!

Go Here to see this stuff in detail (or to enter to win)

Looks like a fun store with contests!

Boy, I love free stuff! And I love baby stuff. There is a new website that is launching called BabyHalfOff.com and they are having contests!

On this blog, you can access a contest for a gift certificate. Cool, huh?

Let me know if you visit them.

By the way, thanks for all of the prayers regarding BabyM. We are certainly adding calories to everything, so we will see in a couple of weeks if we are making headway. I am definitely less stresses, b/c as Robin pointed out, I am doing all I can, and the Lord is responsible for the rest.

You guys are all so great!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just a little frustrated.


Ok...time for another update/rant regarding BabyM.

First of all, BoyD was so cute in his little play. All the other kids had full fledged costumes, yet poor BoyD just had a dinky mask, but he didn't care in the slightest. He looked so cute. Sorry, grandmas, Brandon took the camera with him out of town for the day, so all the photos are stored in my memory and we don't yet have the technology to download those! Anyway, he didn't know the motions so he just copied what the other kids did a few seconds behind. It was hilarious, and he was so proud of himself. I, too, was proud.

On t0 BabyM. She is 19 months old and weighs 17lbs 12oz. She is growing at a slower and slower rate. Basically, she has been well since March, but hasn't gained an appropriate amount of weight. She isn't climbing the charts, or even levelling off. Her height and head circumfrence are doing fine, although she is still little.

Trying to get that kid to eat is so frustrating. I can't begin to decribe the stress I am under. It just makes me leave the table in tears. She is on a new vitamin that is supposed to increase her appetite, and is has some. She refuses anything that has any real nutritional value (except for avacados) She will eat bread, pasta, chips, crackers, cookies, all day long.

I saw a recipe some where for a breakfast cookie. I may try to make some of those. We visited a nutritionist, and she told us some things that just don't seem good. The problem is that I am arrogant and prideful, and think that I know what is best, when I probably don't.

For example...we're supposed to stick to white bread. It fills her up less as it has less flour. That makes sense, I guess, but knowing how bad white flour is for you, makes me cringe. She said to puree food for her to eat. I guess that is worth a try (anything is) but I already know that she is a texture kid, and I don't envision her liking pureed meat with veggies mixed in. But, like I said, whom am I? I mean...I am at the point of really trying anything. I thought that she had been doing ok since she had been well, for the most part. She is eating well today, though. Maybe we have turned a corner.

Just please keep praying for her.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

BabyM and the Lion

Ok...so not together! But I wanted to update on our little BabyM, post a couple of photos, and tell about the lion mask that I made for BoyD.

Well, BabyM received 2 vaccines (actually 4, but in two shots) today and is doing well. Woke up from her nap fussy, but other than that, is in very good spirits.

The dr. is sending us to a nutritionist (we go this evening) because although she has grown 3cm in height in 5 weeks, she still only weights 17lbs 12 oz at 19 months old. At this rate she will be well over 2 before she reaches 20 lbs, what most babies reach at a year. Now, the good news is that she is not sick, does not have diarrhea, and is developmentally normal. She just doesn't eat enough to gain the weight that she should be gaining. I'm happy, though, because she is otherwise healthy, and maybe with a nutritionist, we can fatten her up! :)

BoyD is in some sort of cultural program tomorrow that we found out about today, b/c he hasn't been to school in 6 weeks! He-He! Anyway, he needed a lion mask for tomorrow, so I got to
work!



I printed a little template on the computer so that I could get the right size, as BoyD wasn't here. I glued that template to some yellow foamy that I had, and cut out little ears from brown construction paper.

I had destuffed an overstuffed toy and had kept the left over inards, and glued that on for the mane. I tried various methods to paint the mane, and finally settled on some watercolor. It worked pretty well. Then I painted the face, glued on construction paper wiskers (curled a little at the ends) and attached elastic to hold it on him.

When he got home, I measured for the eyes and cut those out. I think it turned out pretty well, and he is at least happy with it. It is taking everything to keep him from wearing it until tomorrow! (I don't want it to get messed up before the program...he'll have plenty of time to wear it later!)


The photos below are 1st: the fourth of July celebration that we went to while we were in the states, Uncle Ian fixing BoyD's hair. So cute
2nd: BabyM playing at the park by Grammy's house. That was like 10:30am and it was so hot that she looks like she has been in a sauna. Sorry for all of you who live in Texas in the summer. The promise land betrayed us a little!


3rd: those are some of my girlfriends from highschool that I got together with while in Lubbock. It was so fun! Aren't they beautiful!





Ok, that's it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cotton Babies



Ok. At the end of last year, we received a diaper grant from a company called Cotton Babies. They sell cloth diapers. For many reasons, we use cloth, but we just couldn't afford the initial start up to have enough diapers for 2 kids in Diapers.

I found this grant application on their website while drooling over diapers, and applied. We were granted the grant, and received 16 BumGenius diapers, a bunch of cloth wipes, bottom spray (for cleaning), and 2 dirty diaper drawstring bags. All free. This grant is for missionaries only. What a ministry! I don't know exactly how many diapers that they give away, but the list of missionaries that have received this grant over the years is amazing.

I just feel so blessed. I am plugging this website, this company, because they are putting their money (or diapers) where their mouth is. They are a company that is giving back. They are serving people who serve for a living.

Please visit them. There is even a place to donate towards the grant.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Mosquito Bite

Just for fun...or because I'm morbid, I wanted to post another couple of photos of BoyD when he got a mosquito bite.

This was a different bite than the one shown below, but had similar dramatic affects. The circle is the bite, the little dot being the center of the bite. Poor baby was a little freaked out when he woke up that morning.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Keeping things neat.

I was w/o internet or too busy to look for almost a month, so I am just now catching up on all kinds of blogs, but there is one thing that I have been reading that I just think is fantastic!

My friend Alicia has a blog outlining her new cleaning method. Before I had a 25 hour a week housekeeper for around $100 a month (I know, I know, everyone is jealous, just move to Guatemala and you too can have this luxury!) I did the flylady program and loved it! I seriously did hardly any work and my house was neat!

For me, with a preschooler, a toddler, and a newborn on the way, the trick to keeping things neat is having the kiddos be responsible for their own stuff. (w/in reason) For example, if I have to pick up my preschooler's toys, then I keep them in something called a "work-it-out box." Since I had to do his work, he has to do some of my work in order to "buy" back his toy. (Pick up the Baby's toys, or put folded laundry in the correct room, for example) BoyD makes his own bed, picks up his toys, can only get out 1 (sometimes 2) toy at a time, and must clean up one before getting out another, puts up his own dirty clothes, takes his plate to the kitchen after eating, wipes down the table (on occasion), feeds the dog, helps me put clothes in the dryer or picks up the clothes pins when they dry on the line, and generally helps me when I ask him to (pick up any trash, put things on the stairs, etc) BabyM picks up her toys (with help), and is learning to take her plate to the table after she eats. She also picks up trash and puts it in the trash can.

I do have a very organized play room and kids rooms, so that my kids know exaclty where everything goes. We also talk a lot about how good it feels when the house is straight. We talk about how nice it looks when we go to bed at night, and how nice it looks when we wake up in the morning.

The real problem is my bedroom. I (and Gladys) keep it relatively neat, but it seems that there is always clean laundry folded on a surface. Clean laundry is my bain. Also, I have a problem with stray glasses. I get a drink, take it upstairs, and leave it. Gladys, every day she is here, gathers up cups from the house to wash. I don't know what my problem is, but I just can't seem to keep up with a cup! :)

You will never, though, hear me complain about housework. I, for the most part, do very little. That being said, I don't want my kids to grow up thinking that they don't have to do chores, just b/c Gladys works for us. We make the kids clean up spills, sweep up stuff, etc.

I know, if and when we move back to the states and I am again responsible on a regular basis for cleaning my house, I will go back to the FlyLady stystem. It works and it kept our home neat.

Oh, a photo for Alicia:

This was taken the morning after taking steroids for a mosquito bite on his forehead. He was bitten on Day 1, Day 2 he woke up with his eye swelled shut and the bridge of his nose flattened out, we went to the doctor and got some steroids, and after taking benadryl that night and steroids for the swelling, he woke up like this. And we thought at the time that he looked SO much better. Poor guy! (I attached a picture of the boy looking normal for a reference, in case you don't remember what he normally looks like. )