Saturday, June 28, 2014

It Takes A Village

Some of you have already volunteered your time and money for the Days For Girls Project that was led by Melanie Gaddy for the girls and women in Haiti.  But for those who have never heard of this, it is an awesome organization and I wish I had known about it before.  Because it is awesome.  It makes me want to have my sewing machine here.

{Click Here for more info about this organization}

There are women all over the world who endure their cycle every month without the needed hygiene products.  There are more women who don't have these things than women who do have these things.  As inconvenient as that time of the month can be to some, imagine living in conditions where you had no access to the things you needed, and if you did have access, having no money to pay for these things.  That is the reality all over the world.  

I have so much to blog about and share with everyone.  First off, the medical clinic that I have mentioned in some of my recently previous posts is becoming a reality.  The building materials were purchased last month while Keith Avaritt was here.  The main idea and focus of this clinic right now is for it to be a place that women can stay if they need medical care during their pregnancy.  We want this to be a place they can stop on their hike out to seek more medical care, or a place where a doctor can come in and treat them.  While thinking about a supply list for the clinic, one of the most basic things came to mind.  These people do not even have access to feminine hygiene products, much less postnatal pads.  Then Melanie Gaddy ran the Days for Girls Project for the women and girls in Haiti, and I believe this was God showing me a way to help these women now.  No need to wait for a clinic, these women need these items now.
{This is Magdalena, a native of the Cabeccan tribe, a women who is dedicated to educating and helping the girls and young women of her tribe.}

I NEED YOUR HELP!  This Indigenous reservation is home to thousands of women.  I am dreaming big, but how awesome if all of these women could eventually have these items!  The Days for Girls organization is helping make this possible.  This organization has figured everything out.  My initial goal is to have 50 regular kits and 25 postnatal kits brought with Keith Avaritt at the end of July.  We have exactly 3 1/2 weeks to do this!  The organization asks that we donate $10 a kit to cover the costs, so they can turn around and make more.  Please pray about this and see if you can help just one women or more.  With God all things are possible and I know that He will supply the need.  Huge things happen when everyone helps.  With a village of people working together, a huge task, is nothing.  Anyone who would like to make a donation for these kits can make a tax deductible donation here.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see the donate button for the Days for Girls Project.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

All For A Craving

Well, after lots of Pinterest failures, and a few successes, I can add another success to the drawing board.  ENGLISH MUFFINS!  That was my go to breakfast in the states.  I love English Muffins toasted, spread with some peanut butter and then drizzled with honey.  Growing up I would mix the peanut butter with corn syrup, but you know with the "at least gonna try to eat healthier...with some things," I now use honey instead of that awful high fructose corn syrup.  I just reserve that awful stuff for that healthy pecan pie that is at least 800 calories a slice, and I am probably being generous with that calorie count.
A few months ago I had seen a recipe for English muffins, looked at it, and thought that is too much trouble for that.  Then the  other day I saw another one that said they were super easy.  I took a look, and they looked super easy.  And would fix my craving for some good English Muffins.  I can find them here at PriceSmart (aka Sam's in Costa Rica), and I have subjected myself to that cardboard before.  That is the usual for most things here.  If you want something good, you have to make it for yourself.

Go to your pantry and pull out these ingredients.

  • 3 2/3 C flour, plus a little more for kneading
  • 1 envelope of dry active yeast (or 1 1/4 tsp yeast, if you buy the huge bag like me)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 C lukewarm water
  • 2/3 C plain yogurt (I used sour cream, but in Costa Rica the sour cream is very similar to yogurt)
  • Cornmeal for sprinkling
  • Oil of choose for skillet, I used coconut oil
You can do this by hand in a large bowl or if you have a mixer that just means less work for you.
Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in a bowl.  Then dump the yogurt in. 

Add your warm water.  Not too hot or you will kill the yeast.

Then let the mixer do the work, or start stirring with a big wooden spoon.

While the mixer is mixing sprinkle a large cookie sheet with the cornmeal.

I mixed on speed 2 until I knew the flour wouldn't fly out everywhere, then I sped it up to high, or on a Kitchen Aid I used speed 8.  I let the mixer run for about 7-8 minutes.

Then I generously floured my pastry mat before placing the dough on it.  Then I sprinkled probably an 1/8 C flour on top of the dough.  You then roll it out to be 3/4" thick and cut them in 3" diameters.  I used a kitchen cup.

Place them on the cookie sheet then sprinkle corn meal on the other side.

Cover and let rise for 1 hour.  If it isn't warm in the house, just place in the oven and turn the oven light on.

It is crazy how they start puffing up in the skillet.  I noticed they didn't rise a ton in the hour, but puffed very nicely when I started cooking them.

They were super yummy right off the skillet!

I converted David and the kids.  He does not like English Muffins.  But he managed to eat two, hot right off the skillet this afternoon.  Planning on making some breakfast sandwiches soon.  This recipe made 13 muffins.  With 6 of us, they won't last long enough for me to need to freeze them unless I double the recipe, which I probably will next time.  I would pre cut them, wrap individually in saran wrap, then place them in a  freezer bag.  Pull them out the night before and place them in the fridge.  Try these soon!  You won't regret it. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

2 Years and Counting...

Be warned.  I did not proofread.  No time for that.

Time flies.  In some ways it seems like just yesterday that we were going through the stress and trials of an international move with a family of 6.  And today, I sit here in shock that we are now legal residents of Costa Rica.  It is kind of surreal.  In my wildest dreams, ten years ago, I would have never imagined this would be my life.  Amazing how God works in our hearts and changes our lives, sometimes in a blink.  In some ways the past two years seems like just that, years, and then in other ways it was a blink, a blur.  But, it is official, we are residents and pray that the Lord will guide our steps and keep us here as long as he wants us here.

What is going on in our life?
  • I have a daughter who starts 4th grade in two weeks!!!  What???  She passed third grade with flying colors and tested way above grade level on her standardized testing.  Post Grad on some of them!!  Go Olivia!
  • Two little boys who have two more weeks of 1st grade and then will be BIG 2nd graders.  Whom also did amazing on their standardized tests and tested way above grade level.  Go Carson and Logan!
  • A little Princess who is starting Kindergarten, a year early.  She is bored and is ready to start school.  So, I have a very eager Kindergartener who is ready to start in two weeks.  Wish me luck!!  4 kids schooling.  I already have NO spare time!  Yikes.
  • David is juggling 2 services every week and 3 every other week, 2 different locations.  And was in much need of his two Sundays off while we were in the states.  He does this along with everything else he has going in the middle of the week.  He is an amazing man!  And all of it in Spanish!  And the best husband and father!!  Kind of love him!
    {hehe..I couldn't help it.  This was one of those 
    things I just happen to catch with the camera.
    He usually proof reads and checks my posts,
    but not this one.}
  • We have been so encouraged by the new group of Brothers and Sisters in the Atenas area that are meeting in our home on Sunday mornings.  They make me feel like home.  Mrs. Gloria is my second Mama and also doesn't miss a beat correcting my Spanish and making me repeat everything a million times until it meets her satisfaction : )  And she doesn't let David be my crutch when I don't understand.  They are family!
  • Spend every Saturday evening studying with the Atenas group for 3-4 hours.  Love that I get to go to these.  We have an amazing neighbor, Rita, who loves our kids to pieces, and is always here in a second to help out.  She and her two daughters come over every Saturday night to watch and play with the kids.  The kids love her and her family and love going to her house and them visiting us.  This was a huge blessing meeting her almost a year ago.  She looks out for us all the time!
  • Keith visited the reservation while he was here and looks like the clinic is going to happen.  Construction has not started yet.  My understanding is the lot is being cleared.  Things may be slow on this front for now, the rainy season has begun.  I don't think the supplies could be taken in there right now.  
  • Have spent the last week recovering from our whirlwind trip to the states.  The kids and I spent 6 weeks there and David came for 2 1/2 in the middle.  It is hard being there without him, but you have to make those plane tickets worth it!  I say whirlwind because we didn't stop until the last week we were there.  When you don't buy anything for over a year, except a few things here and there we have brought down, it makes for major stress trying to get every SINGLE person clothes and shoes...especially when kids grow out of clothes while we were there!!!  WHAT???  
  • Working on getting supplies for the five Indigenous women who are helping fellow women on the reservation.  So far we have a fetal doppler donated and also a TOCO/FHR monitor donated.  I am working on obtaining some other supplies and getting prices for the items that are needed now, clinic or no clinic.
  • Starting the process for Days for Girls for the women and girls of the Cabecar Reservation.  I am hoping to get this going and have the first of, I hope, many projects of this down here at the end of July when Keith and Lesa Avaritt visit and Rob and Heather Moore visit.  Time cruncher!!  It will be here before I know it.
  • Have got to get my continuing education credits done sometime  online, so I can keep my nursing license.  Planning to meet with the Doctors who have been working on the reservation for years and start volunteering doing medical things (I couldn't think of a better word!).  I miss medicine and nursing so BAD!!  I need this.  Looking forward to this meeting.
  • Trying to find the time to study Spanish, but lately there has not been any dedicated book study time, just using what I know and correcting what I can and learning from the real life experiences.
  • Meal times are Spanish practice for everyone at the table. 
  • Trying not to get stressed...I am a lot better than I used to be, but then some days I think about things too much.  Usually I am so busy I don't have time to think and that is a good thing..and bad.
  • Still waiting on Cool Whip to be imported.  My friend Dom says the local Coope grocery store will import anything.  I think I am going to test his theory soon.  I will keep you posted on that.
  • Trying to make my kids be bookworms.  Carson is a natural bookworm.  Liv is a bookworm with my old American girl books.  Logan, well, we are working on that.  Leia makes up her version of the story : )

  • I actually missed "casados" (typical tico cuisine) while I was in the states.  But, I was filled with Larry's and as much Mexican food as I could get.
  • We need a beach day.  I mean we live 40 minutes from the ocean and we haven't seen it since January, when my parents were here.
Our plate is full but our cup runneth over will all the blessings we have received from living here.
{Glasses are a bear}