25 November 2009

To Grandmother's House Road Turkey

You know, with all the traveling we do, this just might be a viable alternative to McDonald's for our gang... except we'd be missing the playland!
  • 1 Boneless turkey breast, about five pounds, sliced into thin strips against the grain
  • 3 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 carrots, finely diced
  • Dry white wine
  • Flour for dredging
  • Butter for greasing foil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Three-quarters cup heavy cream
1. At home, combine the turkey, potatoes and carrots into a bowl with the wine and cover. Marinate two hours in the refrigerator, then drain well (and don't drink the wine). Setting the vegetables aside, dredge the turkey pieces in flour, then heavily butter five large squares of foil. Arrange equal amounts of turkey and vegetables in each square, and season with sale and pepper as desired. Cup the foil around the turkey and vegetables, and pour over each serving as much heavy cream as you can without making a soupy mess, then seal carefully.
2. Cook on the engine about four hours, turning once. We're assuming grandmother doesn't live in the next town.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
from Manifold Destiny, the guide to cooking on your car engine

Wordless Wednesday - Found in Grandpa Gene's Basement - Tim said, "DON'T ask."

24 November 2009

A bunch of "dindons" ... or turkeys!

We've been friends with the Kelloggs for a loooong time. Tim and James were school buddies and we often hung out and double-dated during an earlier season of our lives. In fact, the night Tim proposed, Amy had dropped me off at his family's home after our first evening of hunters' safety class (the things you do when you're young and in love), Tim and I went to the Tridge... he slipped the ring on my finger and the rest is history. But, after we told his family, my mom and called my dad (who knew it was coming, but was in Japan at that moment), we crashed in on James and Amy to let them know the good news! Their daughter was born just days after Nadia (we were literally in the hospital at the same time) and they are in the same class this year at school; their little guy is close to Tori's age. Although our respective lives don't cross as much as we'd like... it is often the parking lot - picking up or dropping off kids - we always look forward to the opportunity to visit and hang out again when we are back in the States.

22 November 2009

Nope... Not interested in trading places...

...with my oldest and hubby, that is. They headed north a bit to try and "harvest" just one more Bambi for our freezer. After they left?

The rest of the gang and I headed to the library for a few hours of book delight (and the Thomas the Tank Train table, if you are part of the pre-school crowd). Then, we wandered through the dollar store for awhile, figuring out how we wanted to decorate our Christmas tree this year (all of our decorations are back in Niger). After that, we came home, got ready for bed, ate nachos for dinner and then listed to the first CD of an audio book, Tiger Tiger (by Lynne Reid Bankes). I left the kitchen mess for tomorrow... but we sure did enjoy the first part of the story and are looking forward to listening to some more tomorrow afternoon.

Cuddled up on the couches with pillows, blankets and my kiddos sure beats tramping around wet woods or sitting in a damp deer blind any day!

20 November 2009

Cooking in Congo

No, we don't live in the Congo... but we do live a good part of the time in W. Africa and our cooking experiences are very much like this... I laughed as I read and thought, "Been there, done that!" and realized that maybe that is why I now have such a hard time following a recipe exactly... or even almost exactly!

16 November 2009

Glorious, Indescribable

Remember to turn off the music in the sidebar if you want to hear Brendan and Rebekah sing with their classes at school. Sorry this isn't a single video... we were having battery issues.

15 November 2009

Keep Walking with the Lord

Remember to turn off the music in the sidebar if you want to hear Nadia, Anna and Victoria sing with their classes at school.

14 November 2009

13 November 2009

Battle of the Books

Tomorrow morning, Nadia and Anna are beginning the Battle of the Books, or at least they are hoping to. I wonder if I know what I'm getting into...

12 November 2009

Elsie Mae's bday... only 2 months "en retard."

...I mean, the photos are "en retard."

We actually held the birthday celebration at right about the right time!

Rebekah Joy worked long and hard, trying to get a birthday portrait...

Didn't she do an awesome job?

I was particularly pleased with my birthday cake inspiration, especially since I didn't have a lot of time for preparation.
It was easy

oh so super cute

and gobbled right up!

The best sign of a successful party? The guest of honor collapses into an exhausted and adorable bundle on the floor, crashing with her favorite gift just in reach for the moment she awakes, ready to play some more!

11 November 2009

Priceless Words - A Change from Wordless Wednesday

Mornings are getting colder here in Michigan.

The trees are bare, the yard is mostly raked... mostly only scattered leaves remain.

Several of our children are discovering the wonder of "frost."

Each morning, as we leave for school, they are finding a heavier and thicker frost on the grass, the car, the trees... and someone inevitably makes the following exclamation: "Look Mom! It's snow!!!"

I hate to have to disappoint them with the response: "Sorry, dear. It is still only frost this morning. The snow will come soon. And when it does, through the window, the ground will look almost like it is covered in cotton."

After this exchange occured again this morning, Nadia replied, "I don't know, Mom. You might be wrong today. The stuff on the grass is really white, almost fluffy - almost like cotton..."

09 November 2009

"Somebody Else's Kids..."

I recently came across that expression for the second time. The first time was in the story of a special education teacher, her classroom and the children she wanted to see learning and growing, children that the rest of the educational system had forgotten and for whom they had little concern even when they rememered their existence.

This summer, I was again confronted with the expression in something I was reading. A few years ago our mission asked us to begin participating in activities that would encourage our personal growth and development and part of that has been an assigned reading book each year. We’ve read at least 3 now, and each one has confronted, challenged and encouraged me – but none so much as the book we were given to read this past summer entitled “The Hole in Our Gospel” by Richard Sterns. The following is one of “those” sections that brought me to my knees as I realized my own sin and guilt in this very area… my own struggles with this very mindset…

“Whenever a major jetliner crashes anywhere in the world, it inevitably sets off a worldwide media frenzy covering every aspect of the tragedy. I want you to imagine for a moment that you woke up this morning to the following headline: “One Hundred Jetliners Crash, Killing 26,500.” Think of the pandemonium this would create across the world as heads of state, parliaments, and congresses convened to grapple with the nature and causes of this tragedy. Think about the avalanche of media coverage that it would ignite around the globe as reporters shared the shocking news and tried to communicate its implications for the world. Air travel would no doubt grind to a halt as governments shut down airlines and panicked air travelers canceled their trips. The National Transportation Safety Board and perhaps the FBI, CIA, and local law enforcement agencies and their international equivalents would mobilize investigations and dedicate whatever manpower was required to understand what happened and to prevent it from happening again.

Now imagine that the very next day, one hundred more planes crashed – and one hundred more the next, and the next, and the next. It is unimaginable that something this terrible could ever happen.

But it did – and it does.

It happened today, and it happened yesterday. It will happen again tomorrow. But there was no media coverage. No heads of state, parliaments, or congresses stopped what they were doing to address the crisis, and no investigations were launched. Yet more than 26,500 children died yesterday of preventable causes related to their poverty, and it will happen again today and tomorrow and the day after that. Almost 10 million children will be dead in the course of a year. So why does the crash of a single plane dominate the front pages of newspapers across the world while the equivalent of one hundred planes filled with children crashing daily never reaches our ears? And even though we now have the awareness, the access, and the ability to stop it, why have we chosen not to? Perhaps one reason is that these kids who are dying are not our kids; they’re somebody else’s.”

I know about the reality of these "preventable causes [of death] related to poverty" firsthand... in my own family as I've watched my own children struggle through malaria, dysentery, typhoid... as I've sat with families who've lost a child or other family member from one of theses diseases... as I've wept because a neighbor's child is no longer there to wave and greet us... as we've handed out kilos of rice and any fresh veggies left in the fridge to someone begging for the next meal for their malnourished and hungry family... as we've paid for and given away treatment or transported children to the clinic for bloodwork and a doctor's diagnosis... It is even a small part of the children's presentation that I do in churches: "The most dangerous wild animal in all of Africa is... (and I let the kids try and guess, but no one has successfully... yet) the mosquito." Yet have I recently spent time praying, seeking what God might have me to do about this? Certainly not like I did when it was my child who was sick. It is easy to forget, to get caught up in the busyness of school programs, soccer and volleyball games, homework, H1N1 and whooping cough and forget... or just choose not to consider because it is so far away and it is easier that way.

Yet, God's Word is clear:
"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'

Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'

Then He will also say to those on the left hand,'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.'

Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
-Matt 25:31-46

One version uses the phrase "those who are overlooked and ignored" instead of "the least of these." Just the other day, I read a friend's blog that has broken my heart anew... I've finished reading this book, I'm working through a bible study about "respectable sins" - including the sins of ungodliness and selfishness - I don't believe in coincidence, so that begs the following questions: What will I prayerfully do? & What do you think? What will you prayerfully do?

*Sigh*

She came home from school today, proudly announcing that she was a cheerleading "flyer..." and that she wouldn't be playing basketall this year as she wanted to focus on cheerleading. I understand her rational and am pleased that she chose to prioritize her time and not try and do EVERYTHING, but what I don't understand... is the choice. I would have never chosen cheering for a bunch of guys over getting out there and playing the sport myself. So, *sigh* - I guess I'll get to watch her fly this year instead, and be thankful that my quickly-growing-up-not-so-little-girl-turning-into-a-young-woman has the confidence to do what she loves and be who God created her to be, even when she knows that isn't her mama's preference!

08 November 2009

The Sacrifice of the White Hen

There was a young Nigerian boy named Olu who had a pet white chicken. They became great friends and inseparable companions. One day the hen disappeared and Olu cried and cried. Then after three weeks the white hen returned to the compound with seven beautiful white chicks. The Nigerian boy was overjoyed. The mother took very good care of her chicks.

One day late in the dry season the older boys set a ring of fire to the bush area outside the village. Everyone stood outside the ring as the fire burned toward the center. The purpose was to drive little animals such as rabbits and small antelopes out of the circle. Then the waiting cutlasses claimed their prey. When the slaughter and the fire were over, Olu and his friends walked through the smoldering embers. The boy noticed a heap of charred feathers and smelled burned flesh. It looked like the remains of a bird that had not escaped from the fire. Then Olu realized in horror. It was his beloved friend the white hen all black and burned to death. But then came the sounds of chicks. The mother hen had covered them with her body and they were still alive and well. The mother had given her life for her children. She died that they may live."

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Yoruba, W. African story (from afriprov.org)

07 November 2009

14 Today!

(He's the upsidedown purple shirt in this photo... FWIW, I didn't teach him to stand on his head on the stairs.)

These photos were taken by the 9th grade class sponsor, Mr. Forbes (I "scavenged," them off of FB) at the jr/sr high's "Fall Bash" on Friday afternoon... they did some sort of photo scavenger hunt instead of classes... sounded like a good idea to me, too, and certainly a lot of fun!

Finally - those last Sips of Summer ~

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