Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tomorrow morning, early (very early, like 6:15) we will leave our house and take a fast train to the capital city. We plan to spend the next several days with our other American partners, having time to talk, pray, plan and fellowship together. The idea is to "retreat" from our day to day work here for a bit and have some time away to be refreshed and renewed. Of course, it helps that there are Starbucks and Subway nearby! John did a great job planning family times, together times, and even a men's evening out and a women's evening out. We'll all be staying in one big furnished apartment, so it will be a weekend of togetherness! We're looking forward to it!
From there, John and I will go directly to another city nearby where we are hoping that our baby can be born next April. There is an international hospital there but it's totally unknown to us, so we wanted to go and look at the facility, meet with a doctor, and generally scope out the situation. [I.e. ask pertinent questions like, "will my husband be allowed to be with me in the room while the baby is being born?" and "What is your idea of natural birth?"] We also will need to look for housing in the area. So after a few days in that city, we will finally arrive home next Friday.
All this to say, I do not know what our internet access will be as we are gone. I may not be able to blog for awhile. Wow, and when we get home it will already be December 7th! Christmas (and Clara Anne's third birthday!) is just around the corner!
Until then, happy trails . . .
All of us together. Congratulations to the happy couple!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Lou, my helper, pretty much did dishes all day as I worked on one item after another. I roasted the turkey this morning, then took it off the bone and used the bones to make stock, then used the stock to put into the stuffing and gravy. I hope it will all be tasty! New this year--I tried a recipe for Hot Brandy Sauce (never fear, it is cooked so the alcohol all dissapates!) which is to serve with the pumpkin pie. I snuck a lick of it and it was wonderful!
My friend Amy and her family are hosting the gathering, so we will all invade her house tomorrow. She's making the mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, macaroni and cheese, and a chocolate mousse pie, and my friend Rachel is bringing her famous cheesecake ball, an appetizer plate, deviled eggs, the dinner rolls, and the cranberry sauce. Rachel is also our craft-and-fun-kids-stuff organizer extraordinaire, she got together several really fun ideas to make Thanksgiving memorable and meaningful for the kids.
Well, there's lots to be thankful for, every day, not just Thanksgiving day. But for now, I'm just thankful that I'm done getting ready, largely due to the fact that Lou helped me all day and my girls happily played together without much mommy time. I'll be sure to post some pictures from our celebration tomorrow, as well as some thoughts on what I'm thankful for this year, in a day or two.
Now the only question is, what will we eat for supper tonight?
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
There was a slightly longer line, so I ended up waiting quite awhile, but in the end everything checked out fine. The doctor also thought I looked small so ordered another ultrasound, but thankfully everything looked good to the ultrasound technician. What a happy thing to hear that strong heartbeat and see all those limbs moving!
Everything was fairly routine until I was about to leave. I was finishing up talking with the doctor, and a woman came out of a nearby room, crying quite loudly. She had her winter coat balled up in her hands and had buried her face in it, crying all the while. She was totally alone. My heart went out to her, though at first I was not sure what to do. I started to walk toward the exit, and then I remembered my extreme regret the last time after I didn't say anything to the girl about to have an abortion. My spine stiffened in resolve and I turned around, only to find that the woman had retreated into the bathroom. I paused for a moment, just waiting, and soon she came out of the bathroom and headed toward the exit herself. I then took my opportunity to fall into step beside her.
She was still crying at this point, and so I just very quietly said, "Excuse me, you seem very unhappy. Is there something I can do to help you?" She immediately began to pour out the whole story. She had just had an abortion--but she didn't want it. The doctor told her that her baby was sick, and had a problem, so she should abort it, and her family agreed, but she didn't care--she wanted the baby. "I'm already 38, now I can never have another baby. Oh, my baby, my baby is gone," she said as she wept bitter tears. I empathized with her as we were walking, and she responded with the typical Asianese "It's nothing."
We continued down toward the street and the turning point came when I shared with her my belief. I told her that I knew God could help her, that God loved her, and to my surprise, she responded with vehemence. "No, God cannot help me. He can never love me, not now. He can't love me, I just killed my child." I told her again, "He does love you! Look, here I have something that can tell you about his love. Will you please take it?" She took it and seemed to calm just a little. As we parted, she went to catch a bus and I pleaded with her again to read the item I gave her, to be comforted, that God loved her, and we said a hurried goodbye.
I got in a taxi and came home, processing the event. It all happened so fast and I wished I had had more time with her, or at least gotten her phone number or name or something. Since then, she has really been on my heart. Will you ask our Father with me that though last Thursday was a terrible day in her life, that it could be the start of a great work in her heart? My hope is that someday, she might look back and say, with Joseph, "You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good."
I was quite surprised at how willing this woman was to open up and share with me, a complete stranger, about an obviously very personal crisis in her life. Could it be that more people are willing to share more often than I think, if only they were asked? This incident really gave me a renewed resolve to engage others in heart conversation as much as possible. May we all not pass up any opportunity to touch another heart for the Father as we go through our daily lives!
2 cups orange juice
3/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
about 10 ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until frothy and ice is thoroughly crushed. The ingredients are flexible--use more orange juice for a more distinct orange flavor, a bit more sugar if you like it sweeter, etc. Enjoy!
Monday, November 12, 2007
So I think a bit of a flu bug has hit. The girls are now fighting off runny noses, but I am starting to feel a bit better, thanks to a lovely long bath at my friend Rachel's this morning (boy, do we need to get a bathtub!) and being able to eat and drink a bit without throwing up today. It's funny how being able to eat is such a blessing that we truly take for granted 99% of the time. I'm hopeful that perhaps I will be feeling much better soon and that the girls or John won't get it. Kudos to John, by the way, he really stepped up and took over with the girls the last few days. It was funny, though--last night he took them to McDonald's and they ate and played at the play area, and when he got home he was so tired! He said, "wow, it really takes a lot of energy to engage with both of them!" I obviously couldn't agree more!
So now I should get back to resting. Sorry for the lack of posts lately--I keep waiting for my energy level to rise a bit and instead this past weekend is what happened. But, this too shall pass, right? Here's hoping for happier news next time!
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp sugar
Combine all ingredients in a blender, mix well, scraping down sides of blender if necessary. Spray a small skillet lightly with non-stick cooking spray; preheat to medium.
Pour a thin layer of batter in pan (about 2 Tbsp for a small pan, 3 Tbsp for a bit larger pan.) Move pan in a circular motion to create crepe-sized pancakes. Cook the first side until the edges start to look slightly brown and dry (about 30 seconds), watching closely as batter cooks quickly. Turn and cook second side about 15 seconds. Repeat procedure with remaining batter. Roll up each pancake and serve immediately with syrup, or spread the insides of the pancake with a bit of jam or preserves, roll up and serve.
We had these for breakfast this morning and I still have some batter left for a few more pancakes tomorrow morning. Chloe ate three by herself, Clara Anne ate one, and I find that 4-5 usually satisfy me. Because of the eggs, though the pancakes are light and tasty, they are also more substantial in a protein-y sort of way than your traditional bread-y pancakes. Enjoy!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Clara Anne and I have been working on a memory verse each week. We practice it in the morning after breakfast and our Bible reading, and she has been doing quite well with it! This week's was rather long, so we made up some actions to go with it. In the video you can see her looking up (she's watching John) for the actions. The video is a bit dark, but hopefully you can hear her sweet voice speaking even sweeter words of Truth! Enjoy!