Sunday, July 17, 2011

Amelia Bedelia Comes for a Visit

How many of you remember Amelia Bedelia books?  I used to love reading about all of Amelia's funny accidents and bloopers!  She was able to turn very simple activities or jobs into disastrous mishaps that usually destroyed or wasted other people's property.  I always wondered why she was ever hired again by anyone as a housekeeper or babysitter after the word got out about what had happened at her last job!  But in the end, everything miraculously ended up being fixed up and everyone was happy.

Amerel loves to bake.  She was given a children's cookbook by my younger sister the last time we were in the U.S.  She loves to look at all of the recipes and decide which one she's going to try next.  In the beginning, I would usually be around to help guide her as to how to interpret the ingredient measurements, recipe directions, etc., but now she has gained the confidence to start using the cookbook on her own.  Normally, she does a great job making pancakes, muffins and cakes out of her cookbook.  But the last two times she made recipes on her own, without parental guidance, somehow things just flopped!  Even though these were recipes she has made before, she somehow misread the ingredient measurements and ended up putting way too much of some ingredients and too little of others.  In the end, the recipe was nothing like it was supposed to be.  She ended up being very discouraged in her ability to bake.

This last time, she was trying to make pancakes out of her cookbook, which she has successfully made multiple times with and without my help.  They ended up with way too much sugar and too little of some other ingredients.  I tried to doctor it up so that we could still have pancakes, but it didn't work.  They just kept burning!  I prayed about how to salvage the "pancake batter" and decided to try to make it into two cakes.  I had to add some other key ingredients to try to make it work. 

This particular morning, I had lots of personal agendas that I wanted to get done and now I had no time to do them because I had to spend most of my morning fixing up Amerel's recipe.  I was not very happy that I had to put all of my planned activities aside and had a bit of an attitude.  After spending some time moping, I realized that I needed to stop moping and figure out how to encourage my daughter.  I began to pray and ask the Lord if there was anything that could be learned from these two seemingly disastrous recipe mishaps.  I realized that this could be something the enemy could use to try to steal away the joy that my daughter has had over baking and cause her to feel as if she couldn't bake anymore.  I felt that he might probably try to turn these last two mishaps into something that could end up discouraging her and making her feel down on herself in lots of other areas of her life, also.  So, after the first pancake turned vanilla cake came out of the oven perfectly beautiful and delicious, I called Amerel over and began to share with her what I felt the enemy might try to do if she continued to dwell on the mistakes of the last two recipes.  Afterwards, she felt very encouraged and prayed that she wouldn't allow the enemy to discourage her and take away her joy of baking.  She also prayed that she would be confident to continue baking in the future.  Isaiah then prayed words of encouragement over her.
Now we have two beautiful cakes to eat and share, even though we started out expecting a wonderful pancake breakfast.  Just like in the Amelia Bedelia books, we ended up with something good and everyone was happy!  When we choose to stop moping and allowing discouragement to set in over our failures, we can allow God to turn our failures into successes and into something beautiful that can be useful in our own lives and also in the lives of others!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What's Been Going on the Past 2 Months?!

This blog contains all of the stuff I thought about posting over the last 2 months, but just never got around to it!  Hope you enjoy all of the photos!

Amerel and Isaiah graduated on May 13th.  We celebrated with a special dinner of pepperoni bread, one of their favorite meals, and other special treats.  Thanks to Tyren's parents in CT, my sister in NJ and another special friend in NJ for supplying us with pepperoni from the U.S. for special times like this!  Also, thanks to another special friend in CT, we were able to buy ice cream for dessert!  Yum!!  (Ice cream is about $13 for 2 liters so it's a very special treat that we don't buy very often!)
Amerel is now a 6th grader and Isaiah is a 3rd grader!  Time flies by so fast!

Below is a photo of myself and a team from the World Race ( that we hosted for a few weeks last month.  Since I'm the head of our Hospitality department, I was very busy with scheduling, and other things concerning the team.  In this photo, I am holding an orientation with them shortly after they arrived from a very long ride on the back of a truck preceded by a long bus ride to get here.  It took them almost a week to arrive to our base from Maputo due to a long bus ride, overnight stays and then the long truck ride.  It would have taken them just 3 days by bus from Maputo to Lichinga, but they were given the wrong transport information in Maputo!

Chayah turned 2 years old on June 25th!  She loves to lick the beaters when they have sweet stuff on them like dream whip topping, another item supplied to us in a box from the U.S.  Since it was her birthday, she got first dibs on the beaters! 
Chayah loves playing with Amerel and Isaiah's legos, which doesn't always please her older siblings.  We ended up finding something similar to Mega Blocks for her in town as her birthday gift.  She hasn't been bothering theirlegos ever since!

I've renewed my interest in sourdough baking.  Most of you probably don't know that I experimented with sourdough off and on for a couple of years when we lived in America.  It's something I've always wanted to get back into, but just never started it again until now.  So far, I've made sourdough bread, pancakes (that started out as waffles, but due to the batter sticking to my cast iron waffle maker ended up as pancakes), pretzels, and sourdough crackers. 
The first photo is the beginning of a batch of sourdough crackers, which has recently become one of our family's favorite snack foods!  See the next photo for the outcome!
This last photo was my first day teaching at our Iris Lichinga Bible school.  I am really enjoying being able to teach adults!  I'm used to only teaching children...mine!  I need to have a translator since I still can't communicate in Portuguese.  Pray for me that I can learn it enough to communicate!  I can usually understand when people speak to me in Portuguese, but I usually have to respond in English.  There are 6 teachers for this session of the Bible school and I only teach on Thursdays.  Tyren is also one of the teachers.  It's amazing to see how God has been lining up our teachings even when we haven't been discussing them with one another before class.  We've found out that our teachings are actually complementing one another's so that the students end up getting a fuller understanding of what God wants to say to them students through us. 

It's been a busy couple of months for us!  Oh, yeah, I almost forgot! I'm now five months (25 weeks) pregnant with our fourth child.  Surprise, surprise!  We were, too!  The baby is due at the end of October.  Hopefully, I'll be blogging again before that happens!  But, until then...