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Showing posts from October, 2010

I "Snissed"

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I've pretty much always had a bladder of steel.  I'm the girl that makes it through the night without waking up to pee.  Even now, almost 5 months pregnant, I barely wake up in the night to go (and yes, I'm staying hydrated).

But last night, while I was cooking dinner, I sprinkled in the pepper and I sneezed...(so stereotypical, right?)

I sneezed really hard...    (far away from the food, in case this story is grossing you out)...

And then I sneezed again...

and, well...you know.

This is a normal pregnancy thing, right?  Please tell me this is normal.  I mean, every time I sneeze now, guys, I have to make a conscious effort to hold things together...and if a couple of sneezes catch me off-guard like that??

Sheesh, I just hope this doesn't happen to me in public!

The Nicaraguan ABCs: N is for...

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Noise.

5am  COCK A DOOODLE DOOOOO!!!!!   I groggily awake to the 5 dozen competitive roosters living within a one mile radius of our house...and then I doze back to sleep.
6am Dogs are barking pigeons are rat-a-tat-tatting on our flimsy tin roof horns are honking birdies are singing
8am  Neighbors' TV is blaring neighbors' obnoxious "talking" parrot is squawking and screeching horns still honking the clippity clop of horse hooves go by woof! woof! woof! Tedd gets up and the dogs let him know they need to go to the bathroom
mid-day to afternoon ice cream man rings his bell up and down the street  horses go clippety-clop motorcycle engines go vrooooooom!  street vendors yell "tomatoes!" "tortillas!" "limes!" squealing pigs  (neighbors' parrot never stops squawking) tin roof creaks under the sun the fans are humming people talking a small downpour appears and the rain is deafening on our tin roof...10 minutes later, it's gone. the truck with the loud speaker…

Staying Cool

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Our sweet little Annabelle knows how to stay cool on hot days...

20 weeks

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Baby's about the length of a banana now (from head to heel; 10 inches) and he can hear!  That makes me so happy to think he can hear our voices (it makes me think twice when I start whining), and Tedd's been talking to him frequently ("Hi baby, it's me, your daddy!").  I've tried to take more time to worship when I'm at home during the day, too, knowing that he can hear me singing.  20 weeks!!  That means we're HALF WAY!  Woah.
Speaking of half-way, I've made it half-way through the alphabet in my little "series," The Nicaraguan ABCs.  I've been choosing an object or theme for each letter of the alphabet that sort of gives a glimpse of what my life has been like these past 8 months in Nicaragua...like "C is for Chicken," which describes my first experience making chicken for lunch, from scratch...starting with the live chicken!


By the way, if you haven't voted yet, there's a poll with our top 8 baby names there in th…

The Nicaraguan ABCs: M is for...

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Motorcycle

This is our motorcyle.  Here it’s called a “moto.”  We use it to get to literacy classes, because Liquia is an hour and 15 minutes away.  We started out borrowing other people’s motorcycles three days a week, but that got old reeeeeally fast, especially when other people’s motorcycles were breaking down on us and we’d get stuck (the road to Liquia is rough).   We were trying to decide whether or not to buy our own motorcycle since it was a big investment of money.  Tedd kept bringing up the idea of riding horses out there (which made me want to cry at the thought of it, since it would take us hours to get out there and back…twice a week…for 8 months...please, no).  We were praying about it for a couple weeks when someone made a donation to our ministry account for almost the exact amount of a reliable motorcycle.  We hadn’t told anyone about our need.  Now, almost 8 months later, we’ve got just two more weeks to teach classes in Liquia, and the moto’s still running, and the s…

Tostones

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This is guineo (also called banano in Nicaraguan Spanish).  It’s very similar to a plantain, and is basically a cousin of the famous Chiquita banana.  You can eat it ripe, and it tastes sweet, like a banana, but you can also fry or boil it while it’s unripe and it comes out tasting like a potato. So tostones (sounds like “toast-toe-nays”) are slices of unripe plantain or guineo that are smashed and fried.  They’re goooood, and are a perfect french-fry substitute.  Here's how to make them (and please excuse my ugly pictures - we don't have any windows in our kitchen here, so I have to use the flash :-)

First take a green (unripe) plantain or guineo and chop off the ends.  Then peel, like so… Once peeled, cut into approximately 1” slices… In a pan, heat up some vegetable or non-virgin olive oil (about ½ c) and when it’s hot, add the plantain/guineo slices. When they’re turning yellow underneath, flip them over one by one to fry the other sides. After they’ve turned slightly golden (o…

The Nicaraguan ABCs: L is for...

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Laundry.

Washing machines are rare here, and usually reserved for the “wealthy” (at least in rural small-town Nicaragua where we live).  If we had children, or if we were living here for more than a year, I think we would have seriously considered getting a washing machine.  But since it’s been just the two of us here for less than a year, and because we wanted to relate to the locals as much as possible, (not appearing filthy rich to our literacy students, who are mostly very poor), we opted to wash clothes by hand. It’s been a humbling experience for me.  It’s hard, very time-consuming, and sometimes even painful. Your hands and forearms can cramp up.  (Tedd even strained a muscle once when ringing out really heavy pants & for several days it would hurt to even unscrew a bottle cap).  Almost every time I’m scrubbing clothes and ringing out sheets, I think of the women all over Nicaragua who are washing clothes almost daily for their family of 12 or more, usually having to walk dow…

Cooking w/ a Cause - Follow Up

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Last night was such a success!  I was really nervous because I normally make the rice by eyeing the ingredients and adding whatever's lacking at the end.  I was also nervous about teaching a recipe in Spanish, since I'm not very familiar with kitchen vocabulary, but everything went so well!
Here are some pictures of our "class" Walter & his wife (not sure how to spell her name : )  Notepad ready to go!

Pausing between bites to smile for the camera...
mmmm...the final result!  Want to try it out?
I really hope this will help them out a bit.  Next week Walter's wife is going to show me how to make flour tortillas from scratch, and the week after that Tedd plans to teach them how to make a good ole hamburger!  Should be lots of fun!

Hey, Baby - What's Your Name?

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"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
-Shakespeare-


Isn't that so true?  What if a rose were called a "Snooklegump" or a "pwinkytoof?"  (yes...I did just make those up off the top of my head - sign me up, Dr. Seuss)  Even if a rose were called something really bizarre, it would still be the same beautiful fragrant flower that it is.  It's the other way around too, though.  If puke were called "fluffy-snuggles" it wouldn't make puke any less disgusting.


It's my opinion that it is primarily the person that makes the name, and the name isn't as powerful as we give it credit for.  That said, names can be weighty.  It would stink if your kid is shy and homely and on top of all that, his name is Gaylord.  (Not that we would ever admit that our kid is homely, right?)  (and, uh, no offense if your kid's name is Gaylord)
I've hesitated to do this, but I'm making myself vulnera…

Chinese Fried Rice

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love fried rice.  
This recipe is a specialty at home & I make it all the time.  I've spent about 3 years perfecting it, and when I gave a little cooking class last night, I finally jotted down proper measurements so that I can share it with y'all.  Wanna try it??  This'll feed about 6. The "cooking class"
Ingredients: 2 lbs of cooked day-old rice* (see how to make good rice) --- 1-2 lbs of cooked chicken* 4T brown sugar 3T soy saucegarlic cloves, minced --- 11T oil (we use regular olive oil for frying; extra-virg. will smoke!) 1 jalapeno (optional) 1/2 a bell pepper, dicedonions (I prefer the sweet yellow ones): 1& 1/2 chopped and the other 1/2 finely chopped and set aside --- 6T soy sauce 1/2 a head of garlic (about 6 good-sized cloves) 1 carrot, diced 1/2 c of frozen peas, slightly thawed (optional) --- 4 eggs
* Notes * I say "day-old" rice because it helps give the fried rice that somewhat dry, toasted, "crunchy," texture.  Make your rice ahead an…

Cooking w/ a Cause

I am so super psyched about this opportunity!  Let me preface...

When we meet people who have needs, we try our best to enable them, rather than just handing them money.  That's another part of literacy ministry that's so great - it enables people to educate themselves and have more opportunities.

Ya know that great saying:
"Give a man a fish, feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime."


It's so true!
Last week, our friend Walter started asking us about business ideas to help him provide for his family.  Their livelihood right now is selling tortillas, bringing less than $25 a week.  Tedd volunteered us to teach Walter & his wife how to make fried rice (my specialty ;-) and/or hamburgers so they could have something unique to sell out of their home.  We could help them invest in ingredients to get them going, and they could take the recipes and run with it from there!

So I made fried rice for Walter and he said he really liked it and we …

19 weeks

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Funny thing...when Tedd showed me the pictures he was taking of my belly last night, I asked him "is that really how I look?"  Every picture looked like I was sticking my belly out, but I knew I wasn't.  I was practicing good posture and trying to hold my stomach muscles in a really natural way so the picture would be a realistic depiction, and not exaggerated.  I guess I'm really pregnant, huh?

(oh, and pardon my hairy gorilla arms)

And a few little updates: As far as names go, we're stuck.  We've narrowed them down to about three and we literally cannot decide.  Good thing we've got plenty of time.
Baby boy's kicking and rolling around in there and I can feel him for sure now.  I LOVE it!  Tedd's been able to feel him too!  Something we've really enjoyed is when he stretches out and we can feel his feet poking really hard through my abdomen...Tedd described it as feeling like "the end of a broomstick."  
And next week, we're half w…

The Nicaraguan ABCs: K is for...

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Kiddos

First, there's kiddo #1 in our life that we haven't met in person yet, but with whom we're already smitten!  "Must be the water," some Nicaraguans say..."I tell you, Nicaragua is a fertile land," others say.  Our pals here are pretty proud that this kid has a little bit of Nicaraguense in him...well, not really...but he could at least claim that he's "Made in Nicaragua."

Secondly, there are the ESL class kiddos, the ones who are responsible for driving us nuts.  They've also given us a lotta laughs and learning experiences.  When we started promoting English classes around here in March, we sorta scratched our heads when the majority of enrolled students were 10 and under.  Duh!  It seems like a no-brainer, but we've been working with adults for so long, we hadn't even thought of the possibility of teaching a kids' class.

Well, why not?  we said.  So the class began...as well as the mayhem every Mon/Wed/Fri from 5 to 6p…

The Nicaraguan ABCs: J is for...

Jesus

This post was hard for me to write...

I realize not everyone who reads my blog is a Christian.  I hope my writings don’t offend anyone.  It would be difficult for me to separate my beliefs from my blog.
Here in Nicaragua, Jesus is Who I want to share.  Not the trinket religion, sugar-coated, bumper-sticker Jesus that's so often portrayed, but the authentic, change-your-life, He's-worthy-of-all-praise Jesus. I want to share Jesus by teaching someone to read the Bible.
Today, in honor of "'J' is for Jesus," I just want to take a second to tell my story.  I’ll try to keep it short.  It’s terribly common, and doesn't have a very exciting plot, but my story, for me, is a matter of life and death.
I may have been 5 or 6.  Regardless of how young and “innocent” I was at the time, it wasn’t hard for me to recognize that I had an ugly side to me, and that I wasn’t perfect.
My “Grammy” was talking with my mom about Jesus (she does this a lot – talks about Jesus),…

Not to Brag or Anything, But...

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We've had three full pitchers of fresh-squeezed limeade this week, and this is what is currently remaining in the fruit drawer...
(the yellow ones are the juiciest!)
So...while you are enjoying hoodies and apple cider and pumpkin bread, I will be sipping ice-cold, fresh-squeezed limeade, and trying to stay content in this hot tropical weather I've been living in for 8 months.  Sigh.  I miss fall.  But I know I'll miss limeade, among other things, once I return to the homeland, so I'm just tryin' to soak it all in while I can.  So here's to being content in all situations (and seasons)...cheers!

Baby Lodes Gender Reveal

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