Sunday, December 23, 2007

Our U.S. visit/ Merry Christmas!


Visiting the States:


Sorry the posting has been non-existant lately. We have been busy during the day, and not getting much sleep at night. Besides this, we are having a great time visiting family! Jeremiah has been having fun with his grandparents, his aunts and uncle and the rest of other family. We have also had some snow fun. We cross-country skied, ice-skated, and went sledding with Jeremiah (only the sledding was with him). We've seen old friends, gone into Chicago, and even went on a date! It's been great to have Jeremiah meet family and friends. He's enjoyed it and has been flashing smiles and laughing lots.


Christmas:


It has been wonderful to have our first Christmas with Jeremiah. It definitely has given us a whole new view of Christmas, and a little understanding of what Mary might have felt: that, while giving birth to our Savior, she was also giving birth to a precious, fragile son; her firstborn, who was in her un-experienced care.


Jeremiah Update:


Jeremiah continues to grow bigger! He has also discovered his tongue, and enjoys sticking it out and making noises. Unfortunately, he also has not been sleeping well at night and wakes up 2-5+ times a night. This has been making it very difficult for us to feel rested.



All in all, besides the lack of sleep, we are having a good time visiting Wheaton. Here is a pic. for you to enjoy. For more, go here.



Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Tour of Homes

Welcome to a Dominican Christmas!

We are excited to open our home to you. The first thing you will probably notice is the heat. As you stand in front of our house, you will see our down-stairs neighbor's palm tree decorated with Christmas lights.
You may hear fireworks being set off in the distance, as this is a popular thing to do around this time of year. Open the gate, walk up the stairs, and you arrive at our little home. When you open the door, you will walk in to one large room. This room is our living room/family room/kitchen/dining room all rolled into one. We did our best to make it look Christmas-y and homey. First you see our Christmas tree (yes, it is artificial, as they do not have real ones here).

As you look around our room, we have a few shelves filled with Christmas mementos from home.
Feel free to make yourself at home, have a seat on our coach, and play with our baby (it's his first Christmas!).
We'll be watching Christmas movies soon, so stay a while! And of course, don't forget the refreshments- my yearly candy-cane cookies, and the ever popular Dominican Christmas drink- ginger tea (made from fresh ginger!).

So relax and enjoy a very different, but memorable, Christmas!


Be sure to visit other participating homes at BooMama's page.

Note: Unfortunately, we had to take down all our decorations last week, as we were flying to the States and do not want our cat to eat them all while we're gone!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Meet the Daddy

Merry Christmas!
I am so blessed to be married to a wonderful husband and father. Daniel has been so supportive and encouraging both during my pregnancy, and now with a baby. He willingly takes on extra chores when I'm not able to because of nursing, teaching preschool, etc. I look forward to next semester when I'm able to help more (because of not teaching), but I have very much appreciated his desire to serve.

Bundled up and Ready!

While I was pregnant, though all the physical things were def. only happening to me, I never felt like it was "my" pregnancy; I don't know how he could have made me feel more like this was something we were walking through together than he did. And even now, he wants to do whatever he can to take care of Jeremiah. He changes his diaper and swaddles him during night time feedings, he washes the diapers in our "semi-automatic" washer (then I do the spinning and hanging), he plays with Jeremiah, sings to him, and enjoys carrying him in the carrier when we go on walks (keep in mind we live in a very male-dominated society). I am so thankful for him!

Happy Pumpkin Baby

Since this is the meet the "daddy" post, it's all baby related. Later I'll have a post that tells more about the other sides of him. :)

More Meet-and-Greet Monday posts.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord, Jeremiah slept through the night! It's been a while since he's done that. We put him down at 8:30, and he slept until 7:00ish. Yay! Sleep for mommy! His nose has seemed much better today, too.

Pumpkin Soup

I love soup! When I was younger I would always order soup at whatever restaurant we went to. I was my daddy's "soup" girl. So, when I saw a carnival on soup, I knew I had to participate!
Here is a pumpkin soup recipe Daniel and I made yesterday. We found it on soupsong.com.
French Pumpkin Soup

2 cups pumpkin, or other winter squash, peeled and cubed
salt and pepper
water or chicken stock, just to cover
2 wedges of Laughing Cow cheese (or some mix of yogurt)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Garnish: minced parsley (sometimes we do this, sometimes we don't)

Put the cubed pumpkin, salt, and pepper in a saucepan and just cover with water or stock. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer til the pumpkin is just tender. Purée in a blender, solids first, then pop in the cheese wedges and process til they are melted into the soup. Right before serving, stir in the lemon juice.
Pour into bowls, top each with a sprinkle of minced parsley, and serve immediately.
It's good warm or cold (which is good here, when it is more often warm outside than cold). You can also use yogurt if you would like, instead of the cheese, or in addition to it. We used our local squash here that very closely resembles pumpkin. Yum, yum, yum!
For more soup recipes, click on the image above.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Brief Peterson Update

So, here's what's been going on in our lives lately:

Baby/ Lack-of-sleep Related:
Jeremiah has been teething and has had a stuffy nose for over a month now.
Tuesday night he kept waking up and crying because of his nose. We kept putting saline in his nose and aspirating it.
At 2:30 he woke up, and I fed him, cleaned out his nose, and Daniel changed him and put him back to bed. He kept fussing. We tried putting him in the infant seat because it is more upright (we had inclined the crib mattress). He still kept fussing.
Finally at 3:30 I held him so he would fall asleep. I held him until 5:30. I didn't sleep much.
Daniel got up and took Jeremiah, and I finally slept.
Because I was tired and Jeremiah wasn't feeling very well I stayed home from school yesterday. Jeremiah needed lots of extra attention, probably due to sleepiness.
Last night his nose was much better, but he kept waking up anyway: 11 something, 12 something, and 1 something. I kept sticking the pacy in his mouth, and he would fall back asleep. So, I was able to get some sleep. Fed at 3:30, then he slept until 6 something.
Yes, this is the same child who was sleeping through the night at about 2 months...

School Related:
1 1/2 more weeks unil Christmas break! Next semester I'll be doing tutoring of some sort.
We've had some difficult situations at the school lately. Please pray for the school and for wisdom for the leaders. If you want more info on what to specifically pray for, let me know and I'll email you.

Living Related:
We've decided that we will need to change homes for next year, due to problems here. We keep trying to fix the problems, but they keep coming back. Even though the bat poop has lessened, we can still smell it in the baby room, living room, and our room. It's pretty dusty and it's hard to get rid of the dust, due to the brick walls and high ceilings. Other health concerns include ?lizard? poop in the pantry, some termite issues, and the constant smell of exhaust in the house. These things didn't bother us much before, but are bigger concerns with a baby around. And then of course, there are the things that keep breaking that we needed to repair, because the land-lord won't fix them (water pump, gate, faucet that's almost totally corroded, etc.). So, though we have enjoyed living in this home (and it does seem like home, so it will be hard to move), and are very thankful for having this place, we feel that it is time to find a place that would be better for a baby. However, this will mean a rent raise (not many places are as cheap as this), which is difficult as my paycheck is decreasing.

So, those are the things that have been going on with us lately. We continue to learn more about trusting in God with our future as he takes us through the different seasons in our lives.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Jeremiah the Sailor

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted- between doctor's visits, getting things done around the house, and not sleeping well, I haven't done much online recently.

Here are some pictures of Jeremiah the Sailor:



Go to Beth's site for more meet and greet Monday postings (yes, I know I'm a day late...).

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Congratulations Jeremiah!

It's official! Jeremiah is a U.S. citizen. We received the passport today. We're very excited!!!
To celebrate, we're having an American dinner: BLTs and broccoli salad. Actually, that's what we were having for dinner today anyway, it just happened to fit...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Jeremiah's Buddy


For this week's Meet-and-Greet Monday, we'd like to introduce you to one of Jeremiah's buddies. Dylan is the son of Leah Law (the preschool director here). I met them when I first student taught here, and Daniel met them when we moved down. They're an important part of our life here, and we consider them family (Leah is Jeremiah's "Aunt" and Dylan is his "cousin"). We get together with the Laws at least once a week (for our Tuesday night dinners-along with Regan), and enjoy spending time with them. Dylan loves Jeremiah and is very good with babies. We had fun with Dylan on our recent trip to Monte Cristi (picture below).

Jeremiah's First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving this year started out with cinnamon rolls at Leah's house. Next, we went to the school to play some football. Afterward, we ran home (literally; Leah took Jeremiah and Daniel and I jogged home), finished baking our food, and went to Leah's for a small Thanksgiving dinner that included Leah, Dylan, Karen, Regan and his parents, and us. After dinner we relaxed and watched Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving.

From there, we went home, fed Jeremiah, and joined the large gathering (JCS people and others) for dessert. Then, we went home and packed for the weekend. The next day, we started off on our trip to Monte Cristi with Regan and his parents, and Dylan. We spent two nights camping on the beach and being eaten by bugs. The area of Monte Cristi is very different than the rest of the D.R. It is very dry and has a lot of low shrubs and cacti. Around our campsite it was rocky, and not very "beachy." Highlights include: a short but very enjoyable hike, hanging by the pool of a nearby hotel, cooking fish and other yummy food over the fire, playing games, and seeing beautiful views (like the sun setting over the ocean and the full moon rising-not over the ocean). It was an adventure, and we came back with lots of bug bites, but it was enjoyable, even so. :)
Monte Cristi
Peterson Fam at JCS Fall Festival
Jeremiah and the Fall Fairies at the JCS festival

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving from the Pumpkin-farmer boy (and the rest of his family).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Exercising with Baby

I enjoy exercising. But, I don't want to sacrifice baby nap time to do it. The solution- exercise with the baby. While I was pregnant, I exercised using a pregnant moms dance exercise video. I really enjoyed it, and looked into videos of exercises I could do with Jeremiah. I discovered the Mambo Moms exercise video. I enjoy doing it, and it calms him down and puts him to sleep. He loves doing the floor exercises with me. I use my new Ergo Baby Carrier to do the video, but any baby carrier would work. It's great to exercise and "play" with Jeremiah at the same time. But of course, if you're looking for a free way to exercise with your baby, turn on some music and dance! Or, go for a nice walk. Here's a page to find some strength exercises that can be done with baby (the exercises for mom are near the end of the PDF).


More "Works For Me Wednesday" Posts here.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Teething Time


Jeremiah is teething! We realized this when he started putting his mouth on everything possible and drooling. Then we discovered that when he wasn't sucking... he was bitting! Poor boy... he's so good-tempered, but is not very happy when his gums are hurting. I tried his teethers today, and he didn't want them. When I gave him my finger, he bit down so hard that it hurt. I'm not sure what else to try...


Misc. Pics
Jermiah the Indian

You can't tell, but Jeremiah's sleeper says, "Taylor" on it. (as in the University) Regan got it for him over the summer.
Check out other meet and greet posts.




Saturday, November 17, 2007

Corned Beef

I meant to post on this sooner, but hadn't gotten around to it.


Our first year here, Daniel and I really wanted corned beef for Saint Patrick's day. However, we are unable to buy it here. So, last year we decided to corn our own beef. It worked well! We used a recipe, but didn't follow it exactly. This year, we corned some more beef, this time to use in reuben sandwiches. Here's how we corned the beef:


We bought about 3 1/2 pounds of a beef roast and cut it into large chunks. Then, we put the raw meat cuts into a large, ziplock bag and rubbed them well with about 1/2 Cup (or a little more) of non-iodized salt. We added a few tablespoons brown suger, some black pepper corns, allspice, thyme, sage, paprika, a few bay leaves, a chopped onion, chopped carrot, and a chopped celery. We put the bag of meat in the fridge with something heavy on top (so the juice runs freely). Then, every day for the first few days, we would massage the bag to make sure all the meat gets cured. After 2-3 weeks, (we waited 3), we took out the meat and put it in fresh cold water to rinse out the salt. We did this a few times (using new water), so we could rinse away as much salt as possible. Then, we cooked the meat in water with more onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves, and some garlic. It cooked for a few hours. If you want a corned beef meal, you can also throw in some potatoes and cabbage, and lots of peppercorn (while cooking), and eat it as is, but we took the beef and made reuben sandwiches using rye bread (we had bought from the north shore and frozen), saurkraut, home-made thousand island dressing, and white cheese (alas, we could not find swiss, but we will try again next time- which happens to be tonight). We decided to make open face sandwiches. Some time we will try to make our own saurkraut, because we also had to buy it at the north shore (not a lot of options in Jarabacoa). We froze the leftover beef to use for future meals (some of which we will be eating tonight).


So then, for the pics:


Cooking the beef



The reubens



Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Itty Bitty Baby

Here's a video we wanted to post a while back but it never seemed to work. What a difference 3 months makes!

video

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dancing Jeremiah

video

Jeremiah loves to dance! The music coming is not coming from our house- it's coming from the house across the street. And no, I didn't fall asleep very quickly because it was playing until at least 11:00.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Get in the Game

Today during church, our pastor spoke about "getting in the game." Unfortunately, I was out feeding Jeremiah during the sermon, but Daniel took notes for me and shared it with me, and I really appreciated the analogy our pastor made. He spoke from Hebrews 12:1-2.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. "

He talked about how many Christians, though they are on the team, sit on the sidelines and don't actually "play the game." He stressed that Christianity is not a spectator sport. As long as we're not involved, satan isn't threatened by us, but as soon as we involve ourselves, we are a threat. He describes the "great cloud of witnesses" like a hall of fame, where we learn and grow from the lives they lived for Christ. We need to "run with perseverance" without the weight of sin. It is a marathon and our goal is to finish well. In order to do this we need to "fix our eyes on Jesus," and look ahead towards our goal, not behind us as we run. Finally, we need to realize that though we will face trials and pain in our life, it is only temporary, and the hope of Heaven gives us joy. (This is the part I came back in for) Just as Jesus had joy in spite of the pain of the cross, and woman who are in labor suffer pain, but then such joy from having the child, our earthly pain in temporal, and our joy is everlasting!

Our visit to the U.S.

Changing Jeremiah in the park


Some building in the park


So, on Friday, we visited the United States... for about 2.5 hours. Ok, so it was just the U.S. Embassy, but it was Jeremiah's first time on U.S. "soil." After waiting 2.5 hours, we had our interview (which lasted about 5 minutes), and were told that the passport should arrive in a few weeks! Yay! We're going home for Christmas! Afterwards, we went to the Colonial Zone (where Christopher Columbus established the first city, and built the first church in the New World). We ate, did Christmas shopping, and walked around. Jeremiah got to eat/was changed in: the U.S. embassy, a restaurant, a store, and the park around the old fortress. And only the U.S. embassy had a changing table in the bathroom. Ah, the joys of traveling with a baby. :)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Happy 3 months, Jeremiah! (yesterday)


And what an incredible 3 months it's been! Here's a picture of Jeremiah only a few days old, and still in the hospital. I was trying to post this with a video yesterday, but it has not been working. Argggg! We'll get the video up when we can.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Want to turn your Christmas Upsidedown?



I prefer my trees right-side up. But, if you really want an upside down Christmas tree, it's "only" $299... that's less than $300!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Meet Jeremiah: The Pool Baby

On Sunday we decided to have a family fun day.

First, we went to church.

Then we had lunch, and I slept.


My first attempt getting in the water was very unsuccessful, but the second time I was happy to be in it (the water was chilly-even to Mommy!).

video

Later, Daddy held me in the water. The neighbors were playing 80's music.

I posed for a "cool baby" photo.


Then Mommy dried me off and I giggled and smiled.

For more Meet and Greet, go to The Natural Mommy.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Baby Products and Chemicals

So, my mom sent me a link to an article about possible dangers of baby personal care products. I didn't think much about it at first, because the article isn't very specific, but then I decided to look into it a bit more. As I researched on the internet, I realized how many skin care products contain chemicals that are not good for human use. I don't know why I never questioned in the past the chemicals that I put on my skin everyday. I have allergies, and I never thought about the possibility that my worsening allergies may be due to things I use everyday. Even more, it made me think about the products I use on Jeremiah. Why did I not think that putting talc or mineral oil on him might not be a good thing? Now, I don't want to be an over-obsessive mother, but I don't like the thought of using un-necessary, harmful chemicals on him on a regular basis. In my searching, I found a great website that rates many different products, lists the ingredients, and why certain ingredients are harmful (ex. found to do (fill in the blank) when tested in high doses, or found to do (blank) when tested in low doses, etc.). It's a very helpful website to find products that are less harmful. My question is, how does one afford these products because, just as the tendency is with health food, the healthier products are generally more expensive than the unhealthy ones? When I massage him I can use vegetable oil (better anyways because it's edible and he often sticks his hand in his mouth) and cornstarch on hot days or at night to prevent heat rash (he gets very sweaty). But, any recommendations for inexpensive safe diaper rashes (he gets a little in one area if we don't use diaper rash cream), baby wash, suntan lotion, etc?
I also want to look into better products for myself that I use daily (certain things every one in a while I don't think will be too bad). My allergies have worsened over the years and my use of lotions, body sprays, etc. have increased. I don't know if there's a corollation, but it's worth looking into. I have an aloe plant I sould take advantage of, and I have 100% cocoa butter, and Vitamin E oil.
Any thoughts? Do any of you use natural products?
Another helpful website.
(note: The website with the ratings also rates the health and protection of sunscreen products)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween

Last night some of our teachers put on a halloween party. There were great costumes and yummy food (and some American candy!). Here a pic; go here for more Halloween pics and other random Jeremiah pictures.



Loaded Mashed Potatoes


So, we were going to have loaded baked potatoes for dinner. But, baked potatoes take such a long time (at least in our oven) and we didn't feel like waiting that long. So, we decided to do loaded mashed potatoes instead, and since we don't peel the potatoes for mashed potatoes, they took less time. On top of the potatoes we put chicken (already grilled, from the freezer), broccoli (also pre-frozen), tomatoes, peppers, and homemade cheese sauce. It was yummy. :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Noel Update

The rain is slowing down, but today is only a half day of school, which means I won't be teaching (we had no school Mon or Tues). We were less affected than the coastal and flat regions, but I imagine that many people in Jarabacoa with poor shelters have been affected greatly. For more info on how Noel has affected the D.R., go here.

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Talkative Jer

video

So, I didn't get this up in time for Meet and Greet Monday... but here it is: Jeremiah being his talkative self! It also includes "The pouty face." We realize this is probably only exciting to us and the grandparents, but you're all welcome to watch.

Monday, October 29, 2007

My kitchen

Picture taken our first year here, before we had decorated or added to it...


I just saw that Ashley tagged me for a kitchen meme to list 8 random things from my kitchen or cooking. Hmmm... my kitchen....

1. It has a really cool counter (check out the pic). Unfortunately, there is not much counter space on the right side of the sink, which makes doing dishes frustrating. And there's no dishwasher (does anyone in the D.R. have one,? I don't know).

2. We need more freezer space! Recently, we have enjoyed putting things away in the freezer to use for throw-together meals. We have frozen veggies (fresh veggies that we blanched), lasagna, home-made pasta sauce, pizza dough, cookie dough (I only wanted to bake half, so I froze the rest), rye bread (not home-made), fresh beans, egg roll wrappers (also not home-made), chicken broth, fruit for smoothies, cherries, cherry juice, ground beef, grilled chicken, a seafood mix (mussels, shrimp, white fish, and octupus), and of course, milk for the baby (also home-made ;). )

3. Our pantry- recently cleaned out, de-poopified, and re-organized!

4. Our bread machine and rice cooker, great appliances! The rice cooker also works as our bean-softener.

5. I recently put together a "Peterson meals" list so I can quickly plan easy, not too expensive, meals for the week. Daniel does the shopping. :)

6. Daniel and I both love experimenting with new meals, especially if they're from other cultures. We love just about every type of food!

7. One of my favorite Dominican foods is Pastalon de Platanos madura. We've been able to make it taste yummy, but I have not been able to make rice and beans or chicken have the good Dominican flavor. We do experiment with random rice dishes, though.

8. I love to make homemade tortillas, bagels, and pretzels. The tortillas have turned out well, and I can make them much faster than I could the first time I tried.
Ok, I tag.... hmmm... Ashley already tagged the people I would tag... Ok, Regan, I want to hear 8 things you can make! I also tag Lindsay Wells. :)

Noel: Snow Day!

Oooooh... pretty colors!

Ok, so it's not really a snow day, it's a rain day, but a snow day sounds better. School for the entire country has been canceled today. Since Thursday night, we've had at least 18in. of rain (so says Daniel; estimating conservatively). It's been rather loud on our tin roof, but I like the sound. It makes me sleepy. :) However, it doesn't help that I've had a sore throat, stuffy nose and ears, and have felt tired and weak since Friday. So, I am very thankful for a day off of school, and for a wonderful husband who takes good care of Jeremiah and me!

For more info about tropical storm Noel, go here.

As for other things, I have been teaching afternoon Kindergarten for two weeks now. It is going alright- I enjoy the students and I enjoy teaching. We have a wonderful friend who watches Jeremiah on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I carry him the other days, but if he's fussy I find someone to hand him off to (there are so many people willing to help at JCS!). Because we carry Jeremiah a lot, and I want to carry him more, we decided to purchase the ERGO baby carrier. We decided it was worth the cost for a carrier that would balance the weight better and put less stress on my shoulders. With it, we can also carry him on our backs, so I can wear him while I do the dishes! It has been a crazy past few weeks, but Daniel is now done with one of his grad school classes, grades for the last 9-week period are in, and Jeremiah continues to sleep through the night (most of the time). So, things should (hopefully) be falling into place as we get used to our new routine. I hope I'll have more time to post; I'll try to get a video of Jeremiah up soon, and let you know our most recent cooking/baking fun. :) As for what I'm learning- besides patience and trusting in God, I've been re-re-reading (for the 3rd or 4th time) Tozer's book Pursuit of God. No matter how many times I read it, I continue to learn new things from it, and each time come away with a deeper desire to really know God and get rid of the "self" junk that keeps me from knowing and serving Him better.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Jeremiah's Dedication

On Sunday, Jeremiah was dedicated. Jeremiah's dedication was important to us because it was a public statement of our desire to give Jeremiah and his life to the Lord. After all, God created Jeremiah and knows him and loves him better than we do! It was a great reminder that the best hands to place Jeremiah into are God's hands.
Praying for Jeremiah

Cutie Pie

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Spring Cleaning

What do bat poop, mouse poop, lizard poop, termite poop, and baby poop all have in common (besides the fact that they are all poop)? They all frequent the Peterson household. This weekend was the weekend for cleaning. Okay, so maybe it's not technically spring, but in the D.R. it feels like spring all year- (except for summer which just feels hot). Since we have been having issues with bat poop getting into the house, we decided we needed to caulk all the areas where there are gaps between the roof and the brick wall. Since we would have to clean out the entire pantry to do so (and we knew we had termites in the pantry), we decided to have the house fumigated. So, we spent Friday getting the house ready (putting sheets over things, taking things out of the pantry, etc.) and caulking. We spent Friday night and Saturday night at the house of a couple from JCS so we could keep Jeremiah out of the fumigated house. Then on Saturday (while Jer. was still there), we started cleaning out the pantry, cleaning cobwebs, and putting the house back together. We're still in the process, and the house still smells funny, but it's nice to know that we have less bugs and have a cleaner house!

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Beach

Saturday was Jeremiah's first trip to the beach. Boy did we have fun! We took a day trip to the North Coast with some other JCS teachers. I was not sure if Jeremiah would like the water, but he loved it! At first, he whimpered a little, but as he got used to the temperature of the water, he started to smile and laugh! He never cried, not even when a wave splashed water in his face; he took in a little salt water, and then spat up. But at that point, we decided he had had enough water time. :) Here are some adorable pictures of the little man! Go here for more...

Looking adorable!

Isn't he cool?

Notice the sandals I finished crocheting that day, and then we proceeded to lose one. :(

In the ocean!


Visit the Natural Mommy for more Meet-and-Greet posts!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Introducing: A Kindergarten Teacher!

Starting tomorrow I will be teaching afternoon kindergarten at JCS at least until January. I will have Jeremiah with me for part of the time, but I have a helper, so if I need to take him to somebody if he is fussing, I can. I am excited to teach again, and a little bit nervous, since Kindergarten is a far step from 4th grade! But it will be good to work with a different age group, and get some preparation for when Jer. is that age. :)
So, sorry about the long break in blogging. Wednesday was a hard day, and then I was at school for a good deal of Thursday and Friday. And Saturday we took Jeremiah to the beach! (more on that tomorrow) I plan to continue blogging, but please forgive any delays due to teaching, especially during the first few weeks.
So, some really good news- last Friday (a week ago) was the first day we had 100% (of the hired staff) at school and not sick; though some were still recovering. Yay! Also, Daniel's finishes one of his two grad school classes next week, and then next semester he will have only 1 class, and then be done with school! :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Jeremiah Holding

We've been trying to get this to upload for a few days now, but here it is!
video

Monday, October 08, 2007

Meet-and-Greet-Monday

Beth at Natural Mommy is hosting a Meet-and-Greet Monday, to show off our families. :) What a great idea (since most people reading our blog really just want to see pictures of Jeremiah)!



Here are the latest pictures of the cutie (more here).




Oh yeah, and here's the Chai. She's not nearly as cute. ;) And no, I didn't put her in there, she did it herself...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Trials, Trust, and Praise

In my quiet time, I've been studying James. It talks a lot about trials, and the results of trials. This is especially timely, given the trials that JCS has encountered this year, as well as the individuals at JCS. Since the start of the school year, JCS has dealt with not having enough teachers, and having most of the teacher get very sick and hospitalized, between Dengue, the Rat disease, and other diseases. Follow the link about Dengue sickness- it's a news article about the outbreak of Dengue throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. This has been a strain on all of the teachers. For us personally, we have been dealing with the (wonderful) trial of a newborn baby, going many days without running water (which is really gross when having to change diapers), and discovering piles of bat poop falling into our bedroom (it's a good thing we moved our bed before the baby came, or it would be on our heads!). And Daniel has at times been overwhelmed with the combination of teaching, grad school, and being a husband and father.
So, that said, it has been good to be reading James.
James opens the his letter, after a greeting, saying, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials..."
Wait a minute! I'm supposed to take joy in bat poop, changing diapers and not being able to wash my hands, and struggling with anxiety that my precious baby or husband may get sick?
But he goes on to say, "knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
And then James goes on to describe different ways we can react in times of trial. We can let the trials tempt us to despair. If we fall into that temptation, we can become bitter, impatient, fearful, angry, and even turn our anger on others. This is definitely the easier route to follow. How many times when we've lost water for days have I said to Daniel, "I can't live like this!" And I've felt like throwing in the towel. The first time we had poop come into our bedroom (last week), I feel like I dealt with it patiently; Daniel and I took care of it right away (well, him mostly, I watched and tried to be helpful as he crawled along the beams near the ceiling). Then he swept and mopped while I nursed Jer. The next day we did 3 loads of laundry to wash his clothes, the bed sheets, and anything else that might have had bat poop on it. However, when we discovered piles of poop in our room again yesterday, I despaired. My first thought was, "I can't deal with this!" I felt overwhelmed. I let the trial bring me to despair.
The other route we can take is to let the trial be a "testing" that develops perseverance, patience, and maturity of faith. Eventually, this will lead to fruit and righteous works. When I choose to react in this way, (which is not as often as I would like!) my faith and trust in the Lord grows as I see Him prove faithful (even if things are still hard). And by choosing to trust in Him, I am then able to bless others, instead of growing angry and affecting others negatively. And, of course, we can only do this through His strength.
And, Paul says in Philippians 4 , "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
So, instead of focusing on the trials and becoming anxious, I should be focusing on the goodness of God and the blessings he pours out on us!
And so, here are just a few things I'm thankful for (thanks Jes, for sharing yours)

-Knowing that God will continue to provide for us, and being able to look back and see all the times that He has!
-A Wonderful Husband who is such an encouragement!
-A healthy baby boy, in spite of being born in a foreign country, and having a c-setion
-Getting to have both our sets of parents visit us after the birth of Jer.
-A community here of people who give us support and love
-An inverter for when the power goes out, internet, and a pump, for when there is city water
-The gift of music- being able to listen to praise songs and sing to God, it's such a joy (and who cares how I sound!)

I could go on, but I'm going to finish with the words of a Hymn written by a man who has experienced more trial than I have in my life. Oh, that I might have this kind of faith!

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

Refrain

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Refrain

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

Refrain

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!

Refrain

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Refrain


-

Bat Problems

Does anyone have any suggestions about bats? When we first moved into our apartment, we had bats that would occasionally come into our house, and used our pantry as their poop place. Daniel sealed the space in between the wall and roof. For a few years we only had to deal with the annoyances of hearing the bats and having them poop on the outside of the house. But, suddenly, recently, they've decided to start pooping into our bedroom. Daniel sealed that crack last week, but then the poop appeared again yesterday- in great amounts! It's disgusting and unhealthy, especially having a baby in the house. Any suggestions? How can we get rid of the bats for good? Unfortunately, we cannot reach the bats; they're too high up, so the bat powder stuff will not work. Any I don't know of any animal control places here, in the Dominican Republic...
I would appreciate any help! Thanks. :)
For more opportunities to share your advice, see other Works-For-Me-Wednesday posts.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Smiley Baby

Jeremiah has just started really smiling over the past few days. We just had to share this with everybody. Enjoy!

video

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Random Stuff

Uggg... it's been a hot week, at least during the day, and in the house (which takes forever to cool off in the evenings, and we can't leave our front door open for very long until we put our screen back up). Anyway, it's been too hot to think of anything much to write on our blog, so I'll update you all on the latest food going-ons.
Recently our chinola vine beared (bore? what verb is it) fruit (2 actually) and we made 2 glasses of chinola juice. Yummy. :)
Our menu for the week:
Saturday night- split pea soup (peas soaked in our rice cooker) and bread-machine herb bread
Sunday- burgers, grill fries, salad, and jello
Monday- Mango-melon soup, wraps with homemade tortialls, and roasted corn dip with homemade "pita" chips (using the homemade tortialls, which are somewhere in between and tortilla and pita because I don't like to make them thin)
Tuesday- Dinner group at Leah's
Wednesday- meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and vegetable
Thursday- use leftover mashed potatoes and put in leftover vegetables from the week, and meat from the freezer
Friday- leftovers, throw together, find something in the freezer, or eat the bats in our roof that keep pooping in our house

So, there it is. Other things worth mentioning... Jeremiah is starting to "Goo", smile, and laugh! We are trying to get a video put up of him, but are having difficulties getting it from our camera to the computer. Speaking of Jeremiah, I should go feed him.....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Roasted Peanuts

So, we finally tried roasting peanuts on our own. It worked out very well. For at least 1/3 of the price, we can now have our own freshly roasted peanuts instead of buying pre-roasted ones. Here are some foods with which we used our peanuts...

Chinese Chicken Salad (yummm)

Homemade snack mix


My base was a recipe I got from my mom. However, I adjusted it based on ingredients we can buy here. Here's how it turned out:

Melt butter in the pan in the oven. Add some amount of the seasonings (didn't measure). Add cajun seasoning. Put in: corn flakes, casaba crackers (made from yuca), cheetoh type things, dry ramen noodles, and peanuts. There wasn't enough butter and spices, so I added more spices and oil. Then I baked it, stirring every once in a while. And it turned out pretty yummy. Here's the original recipe:


Chex Mix

6 T butter
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ t seasoned salt
½ t onion powder
2 2/3 C Rice Chex
2 2/3 C Wheat Chex
2 2/3 C corn Chex
1 C mixed nuts
1 C pretzels
1 C bite-sized garlic flavor bagel chips or regular-sized
bagel chips broken into 1” pieces.

Melt butter in open roasting pan in preheated 250° oven. Stir in seasonings. Gradually add cereals, nuts, pretzels, and bagel chips; stir to coat evenly. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on absorbent paper to cool. Store in airtight container.




As far as other fun food things go, this week so far we've made pasta with spinich, tomatoes, pine-nuts, etc., Cabbage Roll Casserole (Taste of Home), and Grilled Pork rolls with Grilled Polenta. Wednesday is Tuna Casserole.