Friday, March 14, 2008

Moving Day!

Tomorrow we move. We've already done a little painting. The house colors tropical green and orange. We left the green, and painted the orange a navy blue. The blue actually looks really good with the green. And, it matches our tapestries perfectly. We still have to change the outside of the house eventually (again- turning the orange into blue).
Our phone and internet service will be cut off on this end tonight. It should be reconnected at our new house Saturday or Monday. And then we will be leaving Tuesday morning for a 4 day trip. So, I probably won't be blogging much in the next week. But afterwards I'll have lots to blog about!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Comida Dominicana

As far as cheap foods go, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do..."

Ok, so I'm not in Rome, but since I live in the Dominican Republic, the cheap food tends to be rice and beans (as in most parts of the world). I know that doesn't excite some people, but here, rice and beans are good. The first few years of living here, I have only succeeded at one Dominican dish- pastalon (casserole). My favorite pastalon is pastalon de platanos (Sweet plantains, ground beef- optional, and cheese). Lately, however, I have been more bold. Last week I made the typical rice with Dominican red beans. It actual tasted good- and Dominican. The secret? cilantro and tomato paste. Last night, I tried moro de guandules (rice cooked with pigeon peas). I asked one of the ladies who often cleans my house how to make it. I made it, and Daniel declared it a success! So, I thought I would share the recipe, as it is very cheap here:

Disclamer: I have absolutuley no idea of the amounts I put in, but I'll do my best:


-2-3 Cups pre-soaked guandules (they're somewhere between peas and beans)
-ajo (garlic- I used 2)
-cebolla (onion -I used 1/2)
-ajies verde (green banana peppers-I didn't have these at the time, so I left them out)
-cilantro (I used a handful of the tops of stems with the leaves attached)
-chicken cubes (I used two large cubes)
-salsa de tomate (tomato sauce- I used oh, a large spoonful, maybe)
-water (I think I used on the high end of 4 cups)
-arros (rice-I have no idea- do the spoon test: see below)

Put a little oil in a good size metal pot. Sautee the garlic, onion, pepper, and cilantro with some salt and pepper. (I don't know if this is exactly how Dominicans do it, but it seemed good to me). After a few minutes, add the chicken cubes and tomato sauce. Pour in the water and guandules. Bring to a boil. When the water is boiling, add the rice. Spoon test: add enough rice so that your spoon can stand up without falling over).

Boil for a little while. Then, when almost all the water is gone, put the lid on and leave it for about 20 minutes. (My metal put is handmade so the lid doesn't seal properly; therefore, I leave it on when I boil off the water, and put saran wrap underneath while it steams the rice for 20 min). After 20 minutes, it should be done!

I served this with pastalon (mashed sweet plantains, shredded cheese, another layer of plantain, and another layer of cheese; bake until cheese is golden) and Dominican salad (shredded cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, and tomato with a vinaigrette -super salty- dressing).

Monday, March 10, 2008

Salto Jimenoa

The husband/carrier-of-baby-while-hiking
The waterfall
I think he's trying to figure out how to climb it
climbing a smaller rock
He's trying to figure out how many gallons of water per second are coming over the falls (he's just like his daddy)
The fam
The cool shades
The fam again
The whole outfit
Hmmm...not so happy anymore
The end.

For more pics, check out Meet-and-Greet Monday at Beth's site.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Passionate Part II:

This post continues my reflections from the women's retreat. For Passionate Part I, go here.

The topic of Saturday morning was "Valuing God Above All Things" What does this mean? It means to delight in God, to long for Him. To do this, we need to realize our own brokenness. The greater an understanding we have of our sin, the greater an understanding we have of God's grace, and the more we delight in it. The more desire we have for God, the more glory we are able to give to Him, and the more we are able to experience His glory!
However, we often fall short. In fact, all of us fall short.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." -Romans 3:23
Unfortunately, we are much too easily satisfied. We find delight in other things- many of which are not bad, and are even good- but these will not fill us. Hobbies, food, work, relationships, nature- these are necessary things, but they alone cannot bring us ultimate joy. They can only point the way, as they often do.
During the reflection time, we focused on Romans 1:20-2:1; thinking about the personal things that keep us from experiencing God's glory. The list in verses 29-31 is humbling.
"Being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful."
It's easy to look at this and think, I'm really not that bad. After all, I'm not wicked, am I? I don't murder, I don't hate God, etc...
However, it's necessary to take a closer look into my own heart and thoughts. How often do I think of myself before others? How often do I react out of anger when someone does something that hurts me? How often am I arrogant in my thoughts? If we take an honest look at ourselves, we won't like what we see! It's so much easier to think about what other's do, and compare ourselves to them.

I spent the rest of the time reflecting on God's glory and enjoying being in His creation. I looked at the tall pine trees, pointing towards heaven; at the beautiful endless blue sky. I thought about those trees. I want to be like them- pointing straight towards God, instead of being so focused on myself. Afterall, this is my calling. I love being a wife and mother, but I am so much more than that. First and foremost, I am a daughter of God. He does not look at me and see "a housewife." He looks at me and sees his child. And when I think of that I am filled with joy and a longing to point towards Him!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Happy Birthday, Grandpa Rod!

Today is my dad's birthday. If you can't what this is, it is a sign that says, "Happy Birthday, Grandpa Rod!" with a tracing of Jeremiah's hand on the top right corner (that was pretty hard to do). Oh yeah, and you can tell Jeremiah tried to eat it. :)

Unjust Accusations

Daniel and I, as well as other teacher as JCS, are struggling right now. Many hurtful accusations have been made towards the teachers and administration regarding how they discipline the students. For example, Daniel was told, in front of the students, that he was treating them like animals for having the line up and walk in a straight line to go to class, and do practicing it until they do it correctly. I am not going to give specifics, because my intent is not to complain or to gossip. It is to

1) Ask for your prayers for us and all of JCS


2) give me an opportunity to muse on how we should respond.

Ironically enough (although God usually works this way) our passage for Bible Study this week is 1 Peter 2: 13-25. (The accusations started Thursday, we've been going through 1 Peter for a month)

Verses 20-25 talk about suffering unjustly.

Vs. 23 says, "When they hurled their insults at him (Christ), he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly."

How glad I am that we have a God who defends and cares for us. Our reaction should not be one of revenge or bitterness. Instead, we just follow Christ's example, and love those who wrongfully accuse us. Of course, that's much easier said than done, especially when my husband's been hurt. However, we need to have Christ as our reason for staying. He is the only one who will never let us down!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Thoughts for the Day

"Offer sacrifices of righteousness and trust in the Lord." Psalm 4:5

"It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man." Psalm 118:8

"When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can {mere} man do to me?" -Psalm 56:3-4

"My soul {waits} in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken." -Psalm 62:1-2

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit." -Jeremiah 17:7-8

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Words: John H. Sam­mis, 1887. Music: Dan­iel B. Town­er

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Well, it looks like we're doing it. We found a house we like, and God has already provided us with some of the support we need, so we're trusting in Him and grabbing the house while we can. Obviously, nothing is certain until we sign the contract and move in, but we've told the landlord we want to rent it and that we plan on moving in over Semana Santa (Holy week- the week before Easter; also spring break for the entire country). We're very excited about this house. It's cleaner, quieter, and has a yard. I won't go into too much detail, because I want to wait until we move in and take pictures. Oh, it also has an extra room, so now we have a guest room if anyone wants to visit! :)

Monday, March 03, 2008

Cubs and More

For all the Cubs fans!

Happy Boy!

Can you tell he just woke up?

He likes the saucer!

Sunday, March 02, 2008


We've had a nice little display of fireworks here on two occasions: Wednesday night for Independence Day, and tonight for the end of Carnival. When we heard the first "BOOM" on Wed. night, we ignored it, since we're so used to lots of random noise. But then I decided to go out on our porch to check if there was anything to see. I was impressed to see real fireworks. These weren't the firecrackers they sell here at Christmas time. These were like U.S. independence day fireworks. It only lasted about 5 minutes, but was very pretty to watch. Then tonight they set off more fireworks. We went out right away (after jumping from the initial boom which set off all the car alarms around us). Once again, there was a beautiful 5 minute display of fireworks, including the loud "BOOM" ones that only make a small spark, and even my favorite "chandelier" fireworks which fill up the sky! The most amazing part- Jeremiah slept through it both nights (even though I had just put him down and closed the door before they started tonight, and they were set off only a few blocks away-safety guidelines, what are they?)!