Sunday, September 27, 2009


I love to cook, which should be no surprise to anyone who reads this blog. The wonderful thing is that Dave loves to cook too, and he is a GREAT cook. If he ever offers to cook you a meal, cancel all prior engagements because you will not want to miss it.

Even though I enjoy cooking I seem to get burned out occasionally, and about a month ago I hit that place. Ugh. I hate that, since I spend a majority of my days in the kitchen. Anyway, there have been a couple of fun things that we have done that has revived my enthusiasm for cooking.

The first was that my playgroup did a meal swap. What fun! We divided into two groups, and my group had 5 ladies. We each decided on a meal that could be frozen and swapped, so I ended up with 4 new meals in my freezer. Awesome! I have used one meal a week for the past couple of weeks. TOnight, I am cooking the chili bake, and making corn muffins and beans to go along with it. ANd I still have one more meal that I can use next week. It also gave me some fun ideas of things that I like that I rarely if ever jambalaya...yummy.

The second thing I did was join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture...I think?) group. I am super pumped about this. Every week I get to run to a local pick-up place and get a bag of veggies that was picked from a local organic farm the day before. The thing is, actually, I am not so into the organic thing...after doing some research on it...but the local thing I am super pumped about. And of course everything is in season. This past week I picked up some things that I have NEVER cooked with, like mustard greens (I actually did not even know what they were) and eggplants. So, when I got home I started planning my meals for the week, and decided on Baby Lima Bean Soup with Mustard Greens, Peas and Onions Dave made it on Friday. Hello! Yum! He did doctor it a bit, but I think only added another cup of limas and a cube of veg boullion. It was awesome. Tomorrow I am having some little friends come over and help me make Lamb and Eggplant Moussaka.

I have also been making bread, which is a fun little hobby. I need expand my abilities here, but I am enjoying it. OK, the buzzer is going off, I need to check on my corn muffins!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

About Belize

I should finish the cheese sauce that I am making for my lentil coriander lasagna tonight. And I should also clean the kitchen from making cookies with the girls yesterday, and then of course there is also the situation of my desk which has blown up since Dave took over it a couple days ago. Scanning massive amount of paperwork and looking through past years of business reports trying to make sense of all the numbers. I might be crazy, but our last accountant did some WEIRD things with our quarterly reports. I swear I could have done a better job with the numbers…and then someone can pay me $175 an hour. Sweet! And you know I am worth every penny. My mom used to say that no one could afford me. I think she was trying to make me feel better when my second year out of college I was still below the poverty line. Ah well, here’s to being young and poor.

SO, while I do have other things to do, I thought I would finally write up a little note about our trip to Belize, yea that was over 6 weeks ago. But, we’ve been busy.

I think in some ways it is hard to sum up how the trip was. It was very different from every other mission trip I have ever been on for many reasons. The first reason is that we went alone, as a family. We were not with a team, so there was not that crazy, energy, excited that bounces off everyone. I think that is not a bad thing, and it is not always realistic to life. Like, when do you ever spend every waking moment with 6 other individuals for a week, doing something that is purposeful in a unique environment? It is just not reality. I do a lot of really unique and purposeful things everyday (good grief, I am a Mom) and I rarely do them with 6-10 other people who are pumped to be there. It might be fun if I did…but actually after day 3 I would probably be irritated.

So, in some ways for me, while we were in fact in another country, what I did everyday was not any different than what I do everyday. Of course, I do not normally spend hours smothering my children in sun block, Burt’s Bees (insect repellent), and powder before we walk outside to sweat to death, and swat off mosquitoes. I know, you think I am speaking of August in Atlanta, but I assure you…Atlanta has nothing on Belize. There were definitely adventures to be had…like staring into the refrigerator and trying to figure out how to make meals from scratch with only 2 pans and a cook top. Things got really creative and that was loads of fun.

The clinic in Patchakan is on a great piece of land, probably a couple acres on the main road in the village. Behind the clinic there is a lot of green space and shade and two little house, one blue and one yellow. We stayed in the blue house which had a screened in porch, 3 bedrooms, a bathroom and nice kitchen/living room area. It was had 2 working fans. Nice. I LOVE fans. The girls and I spent most of our mornings in the house, or out in the yard chasing the random cats and chickens, or being chased by some rabid geese. When it got too hot or we were tired of the mosquitoes it was back inside to read, play blocks, or play on cushions and mattresses. The nice thing is the girls were so young they are pretty good travelers. They knew we were in Belize, but it did not really affect our routine. I keep saying, goodness having two girls this age is hard no matter if I am in Atlanta or in Belize, so I might as well go to Belize!

Dave began working in the clinic in the morning. He was able to do a lot of preventative work, which he was really happy about. It’s a bummer to go somewhere and only pull out people’s teeth. It was encouraging to know that these folks actually want their teeth and that there is a chance to help educate them on better cleaning practices. The clinic services a mostly Mayan population which while not destitute were certainly too poor to go to a dentist in town. It is kind of the same idea as non-profit health clinics here in the states, like Good Samaritan. The clinic is Christian and is run by Belizean staff. They have a chaplain, an administrator, nurses, the whole works. We took our lunches with the clinic staff which was fun for me and the girls. Annelise LOVED the clinic administrator, Pamela, and called her “Lalela”. Everyday after lunch Pamela would take Annelise outside to pet the cat and play. It was a nice break for all of us. Hadleigh was too shy to go most days.

Since the clinic was yards away from our house, and because there was only one dental chair Dave had a light schedule and was able to come back to the house between patients to check on us. He was always finished at 4 and then we had the rest of the evening to ourselves.

We had a special blessing while we were in Patchakan. Two other teams of folks were also in the village with MTW that week. One team from Houston, and one from Yazoo City, MS were there to do some light construction work and then they ran a Vacation Bible School in the afternoon. The church was 4 blocks away from the clinic, so in the afternoon I walked the girls down to the church to participate in the VBS. It was great fun for them to have some time to interact with the Belizean children. This was one of the things that we desire for them, and it was awesome to see how the Lord worked out some of these little details for us. What a blessing. By the end of the week, even Hadleigh had made a couple of friends. On the last day they walked hand in hand into the church for the last song and prayer. What fun!

The final blessing for me was that the MTW missionaries and the clinic staff seemed to truly understand why we would want to come as a family and really encouraged us in our desire to continue these trips. Sometimes I think we were crazy to go to Belize with our girls, but when I look at the big picture I know what the Lord has put on our hearts, and so we must continue to work toward that. It was just nice for me to have people affirm us, and encourage us to continue. It is important, and valuable. We want to experience God’s church all throughout God’s world and we want to do it as a family. And that is not weird, although sometime I think it is.

We were blessed and challenged by the believers in Patchakan, and I look forward to going back soon. Maybe when it is not so hot! Thanks to everyone who made it possible.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Windows...What to Do

In honor of all the efforts to be green, we are getting new windows. Actually I care nothing about being green...or rather, I was green LONG before it was cool. I remember being in elementary school and sorting through cans and bottles and magazines and boxes and newspaper. Then after we sorted everything we would lug it down to the local recycle place and they would pay you 1 penny/can or something like that. We always watched how much water we used because we lived in California, but this was all even before being green became cool there. I suppose we were green because my mom grew up on a farm, and that is REALLY green. OK, enough about that.
So, our house is old, which is cool, I like old houses. But we are trying to make everything more efficient, so earlier this year we put in some new insulation which was SUPER cool. And now, the new project is new windows. Our current ones are 40 years old, and last winter we felt a steady breeze through many of them (even after Dave weather stripped everything). So, yea, we need new windows.

The problem is that getting new windows seems to open a huge can of worms because there are all these options. So, now we are trying to determine what kind of windows we should get based upon what we think we want our house to look like in the future... So here's your chance to weigh in. The trim on the house needs to go, so we want to paint the trim/gutters, but are not sure what color. Thoughts? And then based upon that, what color should our outside windows be? Gray? Black? White? Cream? There are like 20 colors to choose from.

I think we are going to have to hire a professional, but if you have an opinion we would LOVE to hear it. Help!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Summer Fun

I just wrote a long post that vanished into thin air. So, here are a couple pictures of our August happenings. We put off all errands for the month and I took lots of time to spend with the girls. We had lots of fun outings to the zoo (where we finally discovered the birdcage...isn't that the best? the girls LOVED it wach time we went), the pool, the park, playdates, and our last fun day was to Krispy Kreme...the one downtown where you can watch the donuts being made. Yummy!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Today both of my girls began school! I was so pleased that when I dropped them off they both ran happily into their classroom without even a sniffle or a look back. Of course, Hadleigh has been waiting for school to begin ever since it ended last May! But I was surprised that little Annelise was so eager to run into her class. Great news for me!
Hadleigh Begins 3 Preschool

They both have small classes this year with just 5 students in each class. I am so happy about the size and think they will both have great fun with their teachers and other classmates. And of course I get my first real weekly break since having children! I have gotten SO much accomplished in just two hours. Of course, now I am taking a little break to post the pictures from this morning. YOu can see pictures of Hadleigh's last two first days of school here. I was shocked to see how little she looks compared to Annelise.

Annelise Begins Parents Morning Out