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.