Sunday, June 26, 2011

Food on Friday on Friday on Sunday.  We've had a lot going on over the last few days so this is a couple of days late.

Our menu for the following week:

L: Veggie eggs (cut up sauted vegetables mixed in with scrambled eggs)
D: Taco Bell and S'mores.
L: Roast and homemade bread (slow cooker and bread machine) and salad
D: Left overs
L: Cheesy hamburger macaroni and mixed veggies
D: Vegetable soup
L: Left overs
D: Beans, rice, and coleslaw
L: Spaghetti and vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli and carrots)
D: Black eyed peas and cornbread
L: Tuna salad sandwiches
D: Leftovers
L: Beans, eggs, potatoes, tortillas
D: Family Fun night (popcorn, apples and cheese)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Food on Friday

I think I am going to start something new. Brynne, our intern for the summer, gave me this idea and I have no idea if will help anyone or not, but we're gonna try it.

I am going to post our weekly menu every Friday here. Every Friday I sit down and make the menu for the next week. I try to take into account our schedule as best as I can and I try to use leftovers. I then use that menu to make my grocery list and I do my weekly shopping on Fridays as well. I never include breakfasts on my menus because I never know what my mornings are going to look like.

For breakfast we usually eat one of the following:
-Cereal (or granola) with yogurt
-peanut butter toast (make toast, spread w/ PB, and pour on a little bit of syrup.)
-Frog on a lilly pad (bread with the center punched out grilled with an egg in the middle...a mix between a fried egg and toast)
-Eggs and beans and toast.

Ok..on to this week's menu.

L: Chicken tomato basil mozzarella pasta.
D: Leftovers for kids, grownups eat out for birthday party
L: crock pot: chicken with tomatoes and onions served over rice with broccoli salad. (everything is made in advance so we can just eat when we get back from church)
D: Leftovers
Lunch: grilled cheese and tomato soup with carrot sticks and celery in ranch
Dinner: meatloaf, mixed veggies, and salad
L: Black beans, rice, and coleslaw
D: leftovers
L: Homemade vegetable soup w/ homemade bread.
D: Leftovers
L: Bean empanadas (Gladys will make them) with rice and tomato cucumber salad
D: Mussel soup and bread
L: re-fried black beans, scrambled eggs, handmade corn tortillas
D: Family Fun Night (popcorn, cheese, and fruit)

You might notice that we eat a lot of beans. They are cheap, healthy, and we can make 2 lbs once a week and it serves us many meals. We eat cheap. I usually spend around $50 a week at the store. We buy our meat in bulk like once every 2 months and that costs us around $100 for 30lbs of beef. We don't eat meat everyday. We try to use up all of our leftovers.

If you have any questions or want any recipes, just ask! Maybe this can give you some ideas or inspiration.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Last Minute Baby Shower

My friend Tiffany left the country on Friday morning to return to the US and her 2nd baby is due in September, so on Wednesday afternoon we threw her a baby shower and good bye party. She was out of town the entire week before and only had very limited time available for us to do this, so we didn’t even know we could until Sunday afternoon. So I had 2 ½ days to plan and implement the party on an EXTREMEMLY limited budget. It was so super fun! I wanted to share some of my ideas and how we pulled it off.

For the goodbye part of the shower I made a scrap book using cards that I had made from a kit. I bought the kit at Target one time when I was in the states at the 1 spot and it made 8 cards. A FANTASTIC deal. I then went to a scrapbook store and bought the paper that matched and some sticker embelishments as well as a scrapbook to put them all in. It was very inexpensive and I put one card per page as well as a space to journal and a photo. Each guest came in and secretly wrote in a card in the journal. I took pictures at the shower of everyone and I will send those to her so she can print them and just stick them in the scrapbook. She was very surprised and it was fun watching her look through each of the pages. Gonna show some pictures of the scrapbook when I get some. Forgot to take them! :(

For the baby gift, I had to get creative. I didn't have time to really shop around for her and I wanted to give her something special. I had some burp cloths (prefold diapers) that I had dyed red and yellow. I took those and found some coordinating flannels and accent fabric that I already had and embellished the burp cloths with some fun designs. I am going to make a couple of more of those and I will post a tutorial here. It took a couple of hours in all, but so worth it! They came out really cute.

For games I took several of GirlM's baby dolls and some newborn cloth diapers that I had and we played pin the diaper on the baby. It was hilarious! The women had to first work in teams and then individually to see who could pin the diaper on the baby the fastest w/o it falling off or actually pinning the diaper TO the baby. Then we played "what's in the diaper bag" where I filled the diaper bag in front of the ladies with all the things that a baby needs when you leave the house. We had around 15 items and then I gave each person a piece of paper for them to try to remember everything that I had put in the bag. It was fun. There were enough mommies there to fill me in on the things I forgot to include!

We don't know the sex of the baby so the cake and all the decorations had to be unisex. I looked and looked at the walmart for some toy or something that I could use as a cake topper and coudn't find a thing, so I settled on this green bow. I just cleaned off the bottom part really well and then just stuck it on the top.

We did the following for decorations:

A few flower arrangements, some confetti on the table, some color coordinating dishes.

I used a couple of GirlM's doll diapers (plastic) and stuffed them with some tissue paper and hydrangeas from my back yard.

I used some of the bouganvilia from my front yard to weave in and out of this plate from Southern Living at Home and wrote a little note on it. I didn't have any cute ribbon, so I made do.

I hung up some twine over our entry to our Living room like a clothes line and hung up some of GirlM's doll clothes with some little clothes pins that I had already. Instant baby decorations!

We also put up balloons with ribbon all over the place. Balloons are big here.

Just another shot of the table. Some of the food is missing from this picture, but you get the idea.

We used facebook for invites so we could put this together so fast so I made an invitation just for Tiffany as a keepsake.

For food we went simple. We made chicken vegetable tostadas, we had fruit salad with a yogurt/mayo dressing, we had some mixed nuts, and cake. And a Guatemalan punch called Rosa de Jamaica (hibiscus tea). Oh, and a bowl of chocolates.

For party favors I just bought some tiny gift bags and stuck some chocolate goodies inside.

Anyway, it was a ton of fun and a good memory for Tiffany. All in all I spent (on food, gifts, flowers, decorations, favors, scrapbook, everything) around $80. If you were hosting a shower like this with others, it could be even less expensive. Hope this gives you some ideas. It was really a fun time.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Recap of the week.

This last week was crazy busy for us in terms of ministry and our personal lives. Please check out my other blog at to hear more about some of my ministry events of last week.

On a personal note, we had a rough week. We had big kids sick with a diarrhea, but thankfully they got over it quickly. The baby had diarrhea which I first thought was from teething because he is cutting two molars (OUCH!) and that isn’t un-common, but after finally taking in a sample to a lab, we found out that he had a pretty yucky bacterial infection. Now…he is doing SO MUCH BETTER!

The other thing that was rough was that a dear friend of mine that lived here in Guatemala left the country Friday morning with no specific plans to return. Her name is Tiffany and she has been such a blessing in my life over the last 4 years. She has a little girl the same age as BoyD and were our first friends here in the country. Her Guatemalan husband was my language instructor for 2 weeks when we first moved here and we promptly met his wife and his little girl as they lived just a few short blocks away. We walked to each others’ houses, the kids shared baths, and she introduced me to cloth diapers.

This last Wednesday, we had a baby shower/goodbye party for her here at my house because her second baby is due in September. It was so fun and it was good just to enjoy some time with her. I am truly, truly sad to see her go. To see more about that shower, including how I put it together in about 2 ½ days, check back. I will post that next.

So here I am, my Saturday, my day of rest, and I am cleaning my house from the week of craziness, planning the Sunday school lesson for tomorrow, and planning this next week’s home school curriculum.

BoyD has to have his passport renewed so we have an appointment in Guatemala City on Monday. We will be leaving beautiful Xela right after church and taking a ½ day mini-vacation on Sunday night and Monday morning at the Barcelo, our favorite hotel in Guatemala city. We will get to sleep in a bit, eat out, and swim. We need it, even if it is just for a day.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I'm expanding!

I'm expanding! I can only link up one blog at a time to facebook and this is the one that won, but I have another blog that I am starting. This will be a blog about my ministry life. My life as a ministry. I should say "our" life, but I am not sure if Brandon will post to it or not. I hope he does.
Anyway, go on over to to check it out. Leave a comment if you can so I know you made it! So to sum it up:

Reflections of a Wife and Mommy will be a blog about my life as a wife and mom, a homemaker, a crafter, a baker, and a home schooler.

Tales from the Branches will be a blog about ministry things we do, places we go, inspirations we have, etc.

Although there is some overlap, I am excited for a place to categorize my thoughts and experiences a little bit. Remember, you can visit either blog and subscribe to them via e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the little box on the left. I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Saved by Grace through Faith Alone? Really?

Yes. But...

Saved by faith,
Saved for works.

You CANNOT separate those two. Please stop trying. Stop preaching that all salvation is is faith in Christ. Please stop reducing the gospel to fire insurance, or even to an abundant life for the believer only.

"Our Christian habit is to bewail the world's deteriorating standards with an air of rather self-righteous dismay. We criticize its violence, dishonesty, immorality [homosexuality], disregard for human life [abortion], and materialistic greed. 'The world is going down the drain,' we say with a shrug. But whose fault is it? Who is to blame? Let me put it like this. If the house is dark when nightfall comes, there is no sense in blaming the house; that is what happens when the sun goes down. The question to ask is 'Where is the light?' Similarly, if the meat goes bad and becomes inedible, there is no sense in blaming the meat; that is what happens when bacteria are left alone to breed. The question to ask is 'Where is the salt?' Just so, if society deteriorates and its standards decline until it becomes like a dark night or a stinking fish, there is no sense in blaming society; that is what happens when fallen men and women are left to themselves, and human selfishness is unchecked. The question to ask is 'Where is the Church? Why are the salt and light of Jesus Christ not permeating and changing our society?' It is sheer hypocrisy on our part to raise our eyebrows, shrug our shoulders, or wring our hands. The Lord Jesus told us to be the world's salt and light. If therefore darkness and rottenness abound, it is largely our fault and we must accept the blame." [insertions, mine]
--John Stott

So we look down on the homosexuals as gross sinners and we shame the abortionists (or worse, those who have had abortions) as murderers and miss entirely the plank of apathy and self-righteous judgement that is in our own eye. What are we doing to be light and salt? Going to church? Inviting others to church? Hrm. How well is that working for us?