Monday, April 15, 2013

What is your normal?

My "Tiny" Cup and My "Elegant" Cup
A while back I wrote about some of the things that are "normal" for us here on the mission field.  Tonight as I was fixing my evening cup of coffee - not in my "Tiny" Cup or my "Elegant"Cup - I got to thinking that you might find it interesting not just to read about what is normal for us, but to see what is normal.  My Sweetie is really going to scratch his head and wonder why in the world I took all those pictures of our pantry items.....until he reads my blog!  So here we go on our visual journey of what is normal in our daily home life on the mission field....
My normal morning routine

My children don't know that in other parts of the world milk comes in plastic 1/2 gallon or 1 gallon jugs!  They think milk comes in boxes that you get from off the shelf (not refrigerated) in the milk aisle at Tottus (our local grocery store).

Many condiments come in these sachet-type packages.  I don't buy mustard or catsup this way (I can get those in plastic bottles), but I do buy mayo, crema de aji (chili sauce), and huancaina (creamy sauce that is used with potatoes), tomato sauce (Sorry - I didn't think to take pictures of the other sauces!) in the sachets - they fit into my refrigerator better - you know that top row in the door of the "frig" that always ends up holding all the condiments you could ever want....yep - that spot!
Tomato Sauce
Then there are some things that are just staples in my pantry - things that can be made in a hurry - you know in case you have starving-children-who-won't-last-another-five-minutes-until-mealtime circling you like piranhas and you have no idea what you're going to fix for lunch because you failed to plan a menu for the see where this is going.... 
Canned Corn and Boxed Cake Mix - A treat!
When we go to Wong (another grocery store we frequent), we can find Betty Crocker Cake Mixes and canned corn!  Wong is where I can find Italian Herb Seasoning and "Lemonade Salt" (Martha's creative name for Lemon Pepper!)

And last but not least...what is in that bag anyway?  Eggs, of course!  Doesn't everyone buy their eggs this way???  This is when I buy them from the market...though I used to buy them this way also from the grocery store in the Philippines.
I can buy them in a carton from the grocery store.
Here a carton of eggs is 15 eggs.   How I buy them depends on if I have time to make a trip up to the market or not - I can usually get the same amount of eggs if I buy them by the kilo as if I buy a carton, but by the kilo is usually cheaper!
This is my normal, and I love it!  I love going to the stores here - it is always an adventure - for example....Tottus recently rearranged their store - the milk and the snack aisles trading places!  I am still getting used to the "new normal"!  I love going to the market also!  My kids like to go past the stand with all the pets....puppies, kittens, rabbits, birds, and cuy (guinea pig)....if they could convince their parents they would bring home one of everything every time they walk by (make that everything, not just one of everything!)
So...what is your normal?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Family Moments

I thought I would share some "Family Moments" with you today....
Martha and Daddy praying together
 I took this picture recently when Matt and Martha were praying together.  It is such a joy and blessing to hear my children pray.  Their simple faith always amazes me!
Retrieving the ball!

The Suction Cup Ball
The other night the kids were playing as you can see in the next few pictures...I'll offer some explanations so you'll know what in the world you are looking at!  The kids have a ball that is made of suctions cups.  It came with two "paddles" - for playing catch.  Martha and Ian rarely - if ever - use the paddles!  The other day, they discovered a great new way to play with the ball - Ian found that if he threw it onto the window, it would stick.  It sticks just enough to get a shriek of laughter from the kids, then falls off so they can throw it again!  Talk about simple pleasures.....!
Can you see the ball stuck to the window?
 Another favorite pastime is wrestling with Daddy!  Ian never gives any warning to Matt - when Matt sits on the floor, Ian comes running as fast as he can and tackles Daddy - kind of like a line-backer!
Martha is usually not far behind in joining in the fun!  That night, Ian was on top of Matt and Martha dove on top of Ian!
I took this video of Martha and Ian.  I hope you will be able to see it...Martha is learning to skip and it is so funny to see her "practicing" her newly acquired skill!  As you can see, she hasn't quite gotten the hang of it, but she is now always asking me to skip with her!  Enjoy!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Strength as my day

After 1,000 cups of coffee (okay, okay...maybe not quite THAT many), and several bottles of Coca-Cola.....our taxes are done!  Most people make their resolutions for a better year on January 1st.  I make mine as soon as I get done haggling, struggling, agonizing, and lamenting over the taxes!  You know, better receipt keeping, better organized, get the idea!
I'm confessing here to failing miserably at following Philippians 4:8-9!  In fact, last night I was actually growling at the verses that are posted on the wall above my sink - as if that changes anything!  Today, while I was waiting for help from the tax people (you know, take a number and wait.....), I had the Christian radio station playing on the computer.  They were playing "He Hideth My Soul."  In the second verse there is a phrase that says, "He giveth me strength as my day."  I have often puzzled over that phrase...what exactly was Fanny Crosby trying to say?  I realized today what it means...some days are tougher than others - those are the days when I need more strength.  God gives us the measure of strength according to what we need for each day - for all the trials and blessings, the ups and downs, the joys, the doubts, and the fears.  Isn't God so wonderful to give us exactly what we need, when we need it, and in just the right measurement?
May you be blessed today with strength as your day!