Seven Things I’m Loving

This nail polish.  It's such a happy color.  I first saw it on my brother's wife this summer.  On our last shopping trip before crossing the border I picked one up.  One of the girls asked "Mommy, are you trying to be like Aunt Bekah?"  I guess so.  I keep thinking I'll re-paint my nails a pretty pink, but all I end up wanting is blue!!

This nail polish. It's such a happy color. I first saw it on my brother's wife this summer. So on our last shopping trip before crossing the border I picked one up. One of the girls asked "Mommy, are you trying to be like Aunt Bekah?" I guess so. I keep thinking I'll re-paint my nails a pretty pink, but all I end up wanting is this blue!!

Speaking of shopping trips...found these at a certain super store in the States for ONE DOLLAR each.  Even if they only get the girls through a few months of school, that will still be worth the three dollars spent!

Speaking of shopping trips...found these at a certain super store in the States for ONE DOLLAR each. They may only get the girls through the first few months of school--but will still have been worth it!

Between 2003 and now I have been pregnant for a full 3 years combined and have been nursing for 4.4 years combined.  Of course there were a few small breaks in there :)  I am taking advantage of this time when I'm not pregnant or nursing to get my own body healthy.  I ordered this tea from Mountain Rose Herbs to aid in some hormone balancing.  It is also amazingly delicious!!

Between 2003 and now I have been pregnant for a full 3 years combined and have been nursing for 4.4 years combined. (trust me I did the math many times to make sure this was right. I was often preg and nursing at the same time if that helps in case you're trying to figure out how those numbers work :) ) Of course there were a few small breaks in there :) I am taking full advantage of this time when I'm not pregnant or nursing to get my own body healthy. I ordered this tea from Mountain Rose Herbs to aid in some hormone balancing. It is also amazingly delicious!!

Such an amzing list of good healing herbs in this tea!

Such an amzing list of good healing herbs in this tea!

I had been struggling with eczema for almost a year which was so strange because I have never had ANY kind of allergies of any form.  The more reading I did the more I kept coming across the connection between eczema and an unhealthy liver.  So I decided that I would start by taking some liver cleansing herbs and see what happened.  WELL--eczema is gone.  It will return just slightly if my diet is really bad.  I took this for about 3 weeks and still take it for a few days every now and then!  Pretty amazing, huh!

I had been struggling with eczema for almost a year which was so strange because I have never had ANY kind of allergies of any form. I got some prayer and really felt like I needed to look at my diet. Mostly--stop eating so much junk. The more reading I did the more I kept coming across the connection between eczema and an unhealthy liver. So I decided that I would start by getting the sugar out and taking some liver cleansing herbs and see what happened. WELL--eczema is gone. It still returns just slightly if my diet gets really bad. But the eczema is still nowhere near as severe as it was. I took this for about 3 weeks and still take it for a few days every now and then! Pretty amazing, huh!

I've been making huge batches of granola bars and muffins for the girls to take to school for their snack time.  I've found two recipes that are great and this one is the protien bar from Passionate Homemaking and it's full of nuts and prunes and a little honey.  This is my other favorite granola bar recipe.

I've been making huge batches of granola bars and muffins for the girls to take to school for their snack time. I've found two recipes that are great and this one is the protien bar from Passionate Homemaking and it's full of nuts and fruit and a little honey. This is my other favorite granola bar recipe.

I've been bothered with the thought of all the nasty chemicals in our laundry detergent that stay on the clothes and end up sitting on our skin all day and night for our entire lives.  Our skin absorbs things and I just cringe at the thought of my babys' bodies absorbing cancer-causing, infertility-causing and who knows what else all day and all night.  When we were home I ordered some Charlie's Soap.  It is totally non-toxic AND it ends up being cheaper than what we were paying before for toxic laundry detergent.  It doesn't smell like anything but the package reads "Leaves nothing but the good old-fashioned sweet smell of clean.  If you want flowers, go pick some."  Pretty funny.  Anyway, it gives me a good feeling knowing that there are a few less chemicals roaming around in our bodies :)

I've been bothered with the thought of all the nasty chemicals in our laundry detergent that stay on the clothes and end up sitting on our skin all day and night for our entire lives. Our skin absorbs things and I just cringe at the thought of my babys' bodies absorbing cancer-causing, infertility-causing and who knows what else all day and all night. When we were home I ordered some Charlie's Soap. It is totally non-toxic AND it ends up being cheaper than what we were paying before for toxic laundry detergent. It doesn't smell like anything but the package reads "Leaves nothing but the good old-fashioned sweet smell of clean. If you want flowers, go pick some." Pretty funny. Anyway, it gives me a good feeling knowing that there are a few less chemicals roaming around in my family's bodies :)

Another bonus is that it only takes one Tablespoon so I can bring back lots from the States without it taking up too much space in the car!

Another bonus is that it only takes one Tablespoon so I can bring back lots from the States without it taking up too much space in the car!

My husband's slippers.  It's kind of hard to explain.  He works hard in everything he does so there's just something so wonderful about him getting home and getting into relaxation mode.  He's the type to rolls out of bed and immediately gets dressed--shoes and all.  You'll never see him in pajamas past 7am.  I guess it's satisfying to me as a wife to see my husband be at peace and rest in our home and I see that when he gets comfortable and puts his slippers on.  Am I crazy for lovign his slippers?  :)

My husband's slippers. It's kind of hard to explain. He works hard in everything he does so there's just something so wonderful about him getting home and getting into relaxation mode. He's the type that rolls out of bed and immediately gets dressed--shoes and all. You'll never see him in pajamas past 7am. I guess it's satisfying to me as a wife to see my husband be at peace and rest in our home and I see that when he gets comfortable and puts his slippers on. Am I crazy for loving his slippers? :)

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Ravioli and Tortellini

I really love good pasta.  When we lived state-side it was always a treat to buy a package of gourmet tortellini—mmmm.  Since that is impossible to come by in our little market town in Mexico, I’ve had to improvise!

Actually I never thought of making my own pasta until one night I walked into the mission base kitchen (years ago) and found one of the college summer staff girls making ravioli!  What???  You can MAKE that???

Since then I’ve made it a handful of times.  It’s surprisingly easy to do and hard to mess up.  It IS slightly time-consuming though.

We made it a fun activity with the girls—kind of like playing playdough and making dinner all at once!

The pasta is just 2 cups flour with 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks, beaten.  Roll it out as thin as possible.  This is the time consuming part :)

The dough is made from 2 cups flour with 2 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks, beaten. Roll it out as thin as possible. This is the time consuming part :)

My big helper.

My big helper.

I've done different things for the filling.  This is carrots, onions and zucchini that I processed in the food processor then cooked in a little butter until tender.  Then I added a bunch of grated mozzerella cheese.  Cut the rolled out dough in small squares and add a TINY bit of filling right in the center.

I've done different things for the filling. This is carrots, onions and zucchini that I processed in the food processor then cooked in a little butter until tender. Then I added a bunch of grated mozzerella cheese. Cut the rolled out dough in small squares and add a TINY bit of filling right in the center.

For tortellini, fold and match two corners...

For tortellini, fold and match two corners...

Then roll and stick a finger there to wrap the other corners around to form a ring.

Then roll and stick a finger there to wrap the other corners around to form a ring.

There it is.  Not perfect but it will work :)

There it is. Not perfect but it will work :)

After I did a few, I let the girls have at it.  They made a lot of different shapes :)  The key is just to make sure there isn't too much filling.  I went behind them and pinched and sealed off all the gaps so the filling wouldn't fall out :)

After I did a few, I let the girls have at it. They made a lot of different shapes :) The key is just to make sure there isn't too much filling. I went behind them and pinched and sealed off all the gaps so the filling wouldn't fall out :)

I had a big pot of boiling water ready and dropped them in one batch of 8 or so at a time for about 3 minutes.  Then I dumped them in this bowl with butter so they wouldn't stick together.

I had a big pot of boiling water ready and dropped them in one batch of 8 or so at a time for about 3 minutes. Then I dumped them in this bowl with butter so they wouldn't stick together.

After we made a variety of shapes, I think we decided that these ravioli shaped ones were the yummiest.  And by far, the easiest to make!

After we made a variety of shapes, I think we decided that these ravioli shaped ones were the yummiest. And by far, the easiest to make! Just use two squares and pinch them together to seal.

Goofy girls.  One important suggestion---use white flour.  These were quite heavy because I used whole wheat.  We ate them but they would have been so much better with white flour :)

Goofy girls. One important suggestion---use white flour. These were quite heavy because I used whole wheat. We ate them but they would have been so much better with white flour :)

Here's the finished product with some tomato cream sauce.  Yum.

Here's the finished product with some tomato cream sauce. Yum.

For an easy and delicious pasta sauce chop an onion and a few garlic cloves super fine and saute in butter for a few minutes.  Add some tomato pure' and salt.  Let cook for a minute or two then add some cream then let it heat up and serve.  So easy and so delicious!!  We do this often for a quick meal.  The sauce---not the ravioli!!

For an easy and delicious pasta sauce chop an onion and a few garlic cloves super fine and saute in butter for a few minutes. Add some tomato sauce and salt. Let cook for a minute or two then add some cream then let it heat up and serve. So easy and so delicious!! We do this often for a quick meal. The sauce---not the ravioli!!

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Well Drilling and More

Chris and Dave and a local friend working on the well.

Chris and Dave and a local friend working on a well.

This friend has been such a blessing.  He also has a well drilling business in another town and has been a HUGE help to the guys while they learn more about the whole process and the machine.

This friend has been such a blessing. He also has a well drilling business in another town and has been a HUGE help to the guys while they learn more about the whole process and the machine.

I'll need to get some more interesting photos.  This is the easy part when the machine is doing the work!

I'll need to get some more interesting photos. This is the easy part when the machine is doing the work!

This well that they're working on happens to be at the mission base where we used to live!

This well that they're working on happens to be at the mission base where we used to live!

It was fun for the kids to run around and play!

It was fun for the kids to run around and play!

Gloria on the deadly teeter totter.

Gloria on the deadly teeter totter.

Junior, the dog.  What a good boy he is.  He was always so protective of our kids when we lived there.

Junior, the dog. What a good boy he is. He was always so protective of our kids when we lived there.

I think he was happy to see us :)

I think he was happy to see us :)

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City and Funny

My good friend and mentor Rhonda and I went to the city for an over-night stay last week.  She and her husband live here in Mexico and work with us but will be leaving shortly to pursue the next  phase of ministry in their lives.

It was a wonderful break for me and a fun time to hang out together before she leaves.  We got to do all the fun things WE wanted to do there that the guys would never want to do!  Usually our trips to the big city are for a very specific purpose—which usually involves waiting in offices and getting 759 copies of our documents and fun stuff like that.  Since my husband is so efficient, he likes to get ALL of his big city stuff done in one trip.  So that sometimes means many offices in one day.  Not too fun but just part of life I guess.

Wow, I got a little off subject there.  My point is that we had so much fun!!!!  No offices, no copies, no confusion—just fun!

I was wanting to share a funny picture that still just kills me for some reason.  You know how some things just hit you and you can’t help but fold in half with laughter?  These hilarious thoughts or memories often come to me at night when I’m about to fall asleep.  Chris pretends he’s asleep…maybe he’s really asleep…I don’t know.

We stopped at a pharmacy to pick up a few waters and saw the sign below.  It was taped on the screen of an ATM machine that was apparentely out of order.

Now say out loud "Don't work it." with a deep voice and a Mexican accent.  There ya go.  OH---you're making me laugh!!  Stop!!  Please.

Now say out loud "Don't work it." with a deep voice and a Mexican accent. There ya go. OH---you're making me laugh!! Stop!! Please.

And here we are.

And here we are.

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Making it lovely

I LOVE decorating but have been unable to get over the impracticality of it all.  I look around us here in Mexico and see that some, not all, but some are barely able to afford a place to LIVE.  The problem is, this has kept me from embracing my job as homemaker!  Chris is out and about so who’s job is it to make our place homey and restful?  Mine.  No, our house doesn’t need to be decorated perfectly and look AMAZING for it to be homey but there is something to making it lovely.  It’s good for it to be a place we like to just BE sometimes.

I decided when we were in the States visiting that I would pick up some fabric to make pillows and curtains for our living room and also try to make our bedroom a more lovely place.  The bedroom is the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see at night so it is important to have an orderly, restful and nice bedroom….at least that’s what I believe.

A while back my mom ordered us some new sheets so while we were visiting we kept our eyes open for a good deal on some kind of bedspread and OH we found the PERFECT one.

I haven’t gotten around to fixing up our living room but I finally did our bedroom and now I LOVE it.  I now read books to the girls before bed in there and just enjoy being there.  Our bedroom has often been the dumping zone–ya know–the place I’d throw the pile of clean laundry to fold later and then the box of magazines that need to be gone through and any other usightly mess that I didn’t want in the front room.  Well not now!!

Here's the before.  (realistically)

Here's the before. (realistically)

Okay, this is the before pic using whatever blankets we had to keep us warm.  Not terrible just not LOVELY :)

Okay, this is the before pic using whatever blankets we had to keep us warm. Not terrible just not LOVELY :)

And here it is now!  Oh so lovely.

And here it is now! Oh so lovely.

It's amazing how much of a difference a simple bedspread, a throw and a pillow makes!

It's amazing how much of a difference a simple bedspread, a throw and a pillow makes! Oh and that is our mosquito net. It actually looks kind of nice though!

We found the bedspread at Ross for super cheap then my mom got me the fuzzy rug as an extra treat for my feet :)  Chris called it the dead animal.  I think he's just jealous that he doesn't have one for HIS feet :)

We found the bedspread at Ross for super cheap then my mom got me the fuzzy rug as an extra treat for my feet :) Chris calls it the dead animal. I think he's just jealous that he doesn't have one for HIS feet :)

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More Weird Food

This is a pitaya or in English I think it's called a dragon fruit.

This is a pitaya or in English I think it's called a dragon fruit.

Here you can see the size better.  A friend brought one to me and I was honestly a little scared of it!  I just sliced it down the middle and...

Here you can see the size better. A friend brought this to me and I was honestly a little scared of it! I had no idea how to eat it so I just sliced it down the middle and...

OH GOOD GRACIOUS---what the heck is this thing!!!!!

OH GOOD GRACIOUS---what the heck is this thing!!!!!

It kind of matched Lauryn's shirt.

It kind of matched Lauryn's shirt.

It is actually VERY yummy!  It reminds me of a kiwi.  Please ignore the hideous half painted nails.  Thank you.  For some reason I can't link something on here but if you're interested you can just google "dragon fruit" or "pitaya" if you're interested in any important information about this fruit besides my opinion :)

It is actually VERY yummy! It reminds me of a kiwi. Please ignore the hideous half painted nails. Thank you. For some reason I can't link anything on here right now but if you're interested in any information about this besides my opinion you can just google "dragon fruit" or "pitaya". I guess you knew that though...

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This Seems Familiar…

We had two girls very close in age, waited a few years then had two more girls very close in age.  It’s funny how similar number 1 and 3 are to each other and even CRAZIER how similar number 2 and 4 are to each other!  I came across these pictures recently…it’s like deja vu!!

Here are my two littlest girls.

Here are my two littlest girls.

Playing around on the floor in jammies...

Playing around on the floor in jammies...

Sept. '10 067--revised

Here are my two oldest girls back in '06.

Here are my two oldest girls back in '06.

Playing around on the floor in their jammies.

Playing around on the floor in their jammies.

Dec-Jan 0607 028--revised

Yep--I even have one of these angles!!

Yep--I even have one of these angles!!

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Daddy Date

Chris rotates taking each of our girls out on a daddy date every few weeks or so.  They get so excited for this time with Daddy!  I think it’s so special and so important for our girls to have this time to connect with him.

This was Molly's turn.

This was Molly's turn.

She's all prettied up and so happy!

She's all prettied up and so happy!

There they go---up to the center of town to get an icecream!

There they go---up to the center of town to get an icecream!

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Weird Food

I thought I’d start occasionally sharing some of the interesting food we eat here in Mexico!

This is chayote.  This particular type of chayote with the spiney, pokey things on them are only available in the Fall.  They are delicious!  You can buy them raw and boil them forEVER yourself or what I prefer to do, is go up to the market where the little old village ladies sell them already cooked!

To me, it tastes like a big giant artichoke heart.  It’s almost a creamy consistency like avocado and a very mild taste.  If you’d like to know more about them you can check it out here.

Depending on how tough your hands are--they are almost impossible to hold.  Ouch!

Depending on how tough your hands are--they are almost impossible to hold. Ouch!

Here is one all cooked.

Here is one all cooked.

Once they're boiled, they split open easily and then we usually just scoop them our or CAREFULLY peel the prickly skin off and cut it in chunks.  One place I read suggested scooping the flesh out and mashing it with butter and salt just like you might do with squash.  Maybe we'll try that next time.  We actually really enjoy them plain just like this though!

Once they're boiled, they split open easily and then we usually just scoop them our or CAREFULLY peel the prickly skin off and cut it in chunks. One place I read suggested scooping the flesh out and mashing it with butter and salt just like you might do with squash. Maybe we'll try that next time. We actually really enjoy them plain just like this though!

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Yep, I’m still here!

Blogging is a hobby for me.  If a hobby ever begins to feel like an obligation…it has to go bye bye…or at least take a hike for a while.  So there’s the explanation for why I have been absent from the blog world :)

I’m back to give an update on life.  Here are some pics of what we’ve been up to…

9-4-10 001--revised

All my BIG girls in their uniforms, ready for school!  Jenna is in preschool, Molly in kindergarten and Lauryn in first grade!

All my BIG girls in their uniforms, ready for school! Jenna is in preschool, Molly in kindergarten and Lauryn in first grade!

Gloria is SUCH a good little mommy.

Gloria is SUCH a good little mommy.

Jenna too!

Jenna too!

This house is FULL of little mommies!!

This house is FULL of little mommies!!

Our little neighbor girl visits everyday.  Molly is so sweet with her--I think she just fell down.

Our little neighbor girl visits everyday. Molly is so sweet with her--I think she just fell down.

First grade is no joke around here!  These are all her text books and notebooks and supplies...that we spent hours covering with paper and then plastic...that was SO much FUN I almost couldn't STAND IT!!! :)

First grade is no joke around here! These are all her text books and notebooks and supplies...that we spent hours covering with paper and then plastic...that was SO much FUN I almost couldn't STAND IT!!! :)

This girls is learning how to read and write and is doing such an awesome job.  We are so proud of her!

This girl is learning how to read and write and is doing such an awesome job. We are so proud of her! (this pic is from her first week)

And here they all are---true to each individual personality.  Lauryn--being goofy, Molly--being huggy, Jenna--with no clothes on, and Gloria--grumpy :)  I love these girls!

And here they all are---true to each individual personality. Lauryn--being goofy, Molly--being huggy, Jenna--with no clothes on, and Gloria--grumpy :) I love these girls!

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