Saturday, April 16, 2011

Attack of the Killer Ants and Other Minor Distractions...

Do you remember those movies from eons ago with titles like, "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!"?  I'm embarrassed to admit that I actually watched a few of them during my childhood years.  Anyway, last month, I spent some time learning how to deal with ant attacks.  Some of you may know that Tyren went back to the US last month for a couple of weeks to surprise his dad for his 6oth birthday.  Usually, when Tyren is away from home on ministry trips, we at home experience some kind of distraction/disaster that seems to try to draw our focus away from what the Lord is doing in our lives.  This time, one of those distractions came in the form of ant attacks-literally.  After returning to our home from dropping Tyren off at the airport, we experienced our first attack.  I noticed tons of ants crawling around all over our yard as I began to walk to the front door.  Amerel noticed, too late, and ended up evidently walking into a pile of them which proceeded to crawl up under her clothing, biting her along the way.  It took a while to calm her down and get all of the ants out.  By then, I realized they were actually streaming into our home, also!  I used up all of the bug spray we had and when they were still not all dead, I began to sprinkle boric acid on the remaining ones.  I did the same outside.  That was the end of that!  Or so I thought...
After returning home from an evening church service, I noticed a swarm of ants in our bedroom, which I promptly sprayed with a new can of bug spray that I  had obtained.  Seeing no others, we sat down to eat dinner.  Amerel suddenly said, "Mommy, look!  There are ants coming in the front door!"  I promptly took out my handy dandy bug spray and sprayed the whole lot of them, which happened to be all around our living room and school room, behind all of the furniture and the shelves.  That took care of the ants, but the smell of the spray was unbearable, so we all retreated into Amerel's bedroom to finish our dinner.  I actually had to sleep in there with her and Chayah to avoid breathing in the bug spray that had permeated throughout the rest of the house. 
The next night, after I put the children to bed, I decided to use the bathroom one last time before going to bed myself.  When I turned on the light, I noticed that the hand towel we use for drying our hands was actually swaying slightly back and forth.  Upon quick inspection, I realized that it was moving because it was swarmed with ants!  I could barely even see the towel, it was so covered!  I looked to see where the ants were coming from and found that they were coming in from the roof!  There was a trail of them about 1 1/2 inches wide streaming into the house from the roof.  I ran for my handy dandy bug spray, but after spraying it once, it was empty.  I quickly called one of the missionaries here who had told me earlier that she had some extra bug spray if I needed it.  She promptly brought it over and I sprayed till I couldn't see anything moving.  Then I walked around the house to check for any others and found that they were also coming in the kitchen window!  I sprayed them again until I didn't see anything moving.  Then I contemplated whether or not we should stay in the house or go sleep at one of the other missionaries' homes for the evening.  I decided to stay in the house and sleep in one of the kid's rooms again since they have bug huts on their beds which no bugs can get through.

Just one of the many piles of dead ants I swept up the following morning...
(The white powder is boric acid which I also used.)
Besides the ant distractions, a small snake managed to crawl into our house just before bedtime and lodge itself right in the way of the door that I would have gone into to get our machete to kill it!  Having to think quickly, I called our base director, Peter, and he quickly came over to kill it.  Yay!  I could have killed it myself because it was so small, but I didn't want to kill it without a long knife, keeping myself as far away from it as possible! 
The ant attacks and the snake and all of the other things that I haven't mentioned, I considered minor distractions until our less than one year old laptop just up and died for no apparent reason at all!  That was the one thing that almost took away my strength.  Through all of the other distractions, I was able to keep my focus on the Lord and encourage my children to do the same.  But when the computer just stopped, I was really tempted to be very discouraged.  I knew throughout all of the other distractions that the joy of the Lord is my strength and that my trust is in Him alone.  When the computer stopped, I had to mentally, physically and emotionally pull myself out of the discouragement that the enemy had been trying to drag me down into through all of the other distractions.  I had to determine that I was going to praise God anyway.  There is a song called "I Will Calm Every Raging Sea" that our church has out on their latest CD, A Greater Glimpse.  When I felt as if all of my strength was gone, the words of this song really encouraged me and actually just brought me back to my senses!  Part of it goes like this:

I will calm every raging sea
I will silence the voice of your enemy
If you'll be still and know that I'm your God
Peace beyond all understanding
Tonight is yours because of My Son

...I am your song in the darkest night
Receive my strength tonight...
-Written by:  Mike Kim & Kent Henry (A Greater Glimpse-2010)

Through it all, God was singing this song to me and I received His strength.  His strength is ALWAYS matter what you are going through.  My kids and I learned this promise anew this past month.  I pray that we never forget it-no matter what "light afflictions" may be upon us!  I count it all joy!  Praise God!

Be blessed,

Gardening and Food

First of all, I want to apologize to the few of you who actually follow my blog for being an absentee blogger the past 2 months.  I really just lost track of time and didn't realize it had been so long!  I will try not to let it happen again!  I realized that I actually started this blog post in February, but never completed it!  Anyway, it's totally different now, so I'm starting all over goes!

Well, what have I been up to the last two months that I haven't had time to write one blog??  I've been trying my hand at gardening, for one thing...much to no avail!  So far, my butternut squash and cantaloupe plants have died, I got one crop out of my snow peas before they shriveled up and died, my tomatoes are struggling, and the lettuce has all mostly gone to seed before I could harvest most of it!  Help!  Can anyone give me some tips??  The only things that are still surviving are my local winter squash, a couple of watermelon vines (no fruit yet, but I did see a few yellow flowers), struggling broccoli plants and my flowers.  So far all of my flowers have survived-no thanks to me, I'm sure!  They must just be really hardy!
Anyway, not all of my efforts are in vain.  On the cooking front, I've tried some new recipes the past couple of months (and some old) and you'll see them in the picture collage I've added.  You all know how I love food!  For some reason, most of my attempts at new food ideas usually work out!  I think that God knows how much I enjoy food and He blesses my attempts!
From top to bottom:  Spanish egg & tuna empanadas, veggie burgers, homemade sandwhich bun, pizza with homemade Mexican cheese, and more homemade Mexican cheese-this time allowed to harden enough to slice!
God bless you!
Posted: April 16, 2011