Friday, April 30, 2010

Haircut Part II

Ok, here is phase II of the haircut night. I must add no child was injured in the making of this video. That ridiculous squealing is because he either thinks he is a pig or he doesn't want me holding his head still!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Big Ben Gets a Big Haircut!

Ok, so here is a little peek into our family. I am sure you will not laugh as hard as I do when I watch this, but I almost cry I laugh so hard. We decided BB had a couple of 'thick patches' that needed a trim. I know he looks nearly are wondering how I could possibly use the phrase "thick patch" to refer to anything having to do with his head. But he was starting to get this little streak down the front of his forehead, so it was either cut it or gel it. CC isn't into gelling his boy's hair (now that he has a son, he has an opinion on it.)

I cut CC's hair, so I assumed I'd be the one cutting BB's hair. And I'll admit I was a little excited. Our little bald baby girls were much older than this when they got a first haircut. The night for the haircut approached. I was prepared with scissors and determination when CC announced, "No, I'm doing it. And I'm buzzing him." Now my girls would have DIED at his age to have an electric shaver coming at them. But as you can see, BB thought it was the most wonderful moment of his life to be in the hair chair. I have video 3 clips, so I'll post them for the next few days. And you can see how things progressed....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sunday Night Church

We do go to church here in this exotic land. There are two English speaking churches in this city of 5 million. It makes church hunting easy. We meet only on Sunday mornings, so most Sunday nights we try to gather as a family and 'have church' at home. We download some wonderful words from Ronnie Stevens (the one who married us), David Jeremiah (the one who baptized me), or Adrian Rogers (the one who walked with the Lord for such a long time and whose lawn my brother the way my brother says he was the same man on weekdays as he was on Sundays).

It seems when we gather everyone has to be touching my body in some way. Some nights I get a head massage. Usually the big girls take notes, and I help them with outlines. Perma-Baby colors a Bible story picture. And Big Ben dumps out crayons. We all have a role to fill, I guess.

Recipe for Mennonite Cinnamon Rolls

You asked, I'm giving.

Mrs. Vernon Kurtz from Illinois and Mrs. Elverne Martin from Indiana submitted this recipe entitiled "Breakfast Rolls" to a cookbook. This cookbook came to me intentionally. Living here, I make most things from scratch. I would love me a good ready-made pizza or pie crust from time to time, but I've learned to deal with it. And I think my food tastes better now anyway. So, once on a drive out in the middle of Tennessee, I stopped at an Amish store. I asked for a basic cookbook where all recipes would be made from scratch. The little lady cocked her cloth-covered head at me and said, "We make it all from scratch." Right.

So, here it is:

Breakfast Rolls
1 pkg. yeast
1/4 cup warm water
4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. grated lemon rind (didn't have this, so I used some extract I had)
1/4 c. sugar
1 c butter or margarine
2 eggs, beaten
1 warm c. milk
1 c. sugar
1 T cinnamon

Dissolve yeast in water. Combine flour, salt, lemon rind, and 1/4 c. sugar. Cut in butter. Combine eggs, milk, yeast, then add to flour mixture. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight (or all day if you plan to serve it for Breakfast Dinner like I did.) In the morning, divide dough in half, roll each piece into an 18 by 12 inch rectangle (mine was an oval, it worked anyway). Spread with soft butter, sprinkle remaining cinnamon and sugar on it. Roll up tightly, cut into 1 inch slices. Place on a greased cookie sheet and flatten each roll with your hand if you want that look. They don't need to rise, they're ready for the oven. 400 degrees for 12 minutes. They are not super-sweet, so I glazed them with a powdered sugar/milk glaze.

I plan to post the Fried Rice recipe, but it is more challenging. It was more of a tutorial. I need to study my notes first. :)

Caught in the Act (with pictures)

I made cinnamon rolls for dinner one day this past week. Do you ever make breakfast for dinner? We love it!
I found a good Mennonite recipe. You make the dough early in the morning or the night before, then all you do is roll it out, slice it, and bake it.
Wonder if that Mennonite woman has a little boy that finds her dough close enough to the edge of the counter to reach it? I do.
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Thank you for coming!

This is my final post about the visit from our Singaporean friends. I hope you've enjoyed a glimpse of our time together. It was such a blessing to have them here....

So, to you, Kia Hwa and Lai Chan, thank you for everything...things like carrying our tubby boy!
....and for the fun of seeking the adventures of this country with us!
Thank you, also, for the 'normal' time at home (if life in our home is ever normal)...bringing us gifts, reading stories, tucking little people in bed, sharing tea/cookies after the kids went to bed, prayer time together, the Asian meals we cooked together.
I shared with our friends that a visit from folks like them is extra special. We live far, far away from relatives. We need brothers and sisters here, my kids need aunts/uncles here. Thanks to the relationship we have with the Lord, we are that to each other.
Until next or there!
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Fried Rice Lesson

One of our last activities with our Asian friends was to cook a couple of authentic Chinese meals together. She helped me make ginger-garlic chicken wings, fried noodles, jelly desserts, char siew chicken (no pork here!), and fried rice on our last couple of nights together. The meals were delicious! I learned some things. Fried Rice seems to be such a common meal, but she says it is one of the harder meals to master. She said if you go to a new restaurant, you can order fried rice to test if the cook is really good. I learned I had been doing a lot of things wrong.
But now I know what to do! And I assure you I will have one happy husband and many happy children whenever I choose to make this meal!
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cappadocian Travelogue: Waiting for our Return

This furry guy is quite capable of staying home alone when we are gone for a few days. He doesn't get in to too much trouble. He most likely finds an olive, fallen from a breakfast table long ago, and bats it around for fun. (We've seen this.)
But he is mighty glad when all the little people return.
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Cappadocian Travelogue: House of Memories

If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you've seen this place before. It's a place to eat where you come right into the 'den' of the old house, sit on pillows around a low table, and eat a meal cooked by the wife of the owner. She and I have become friends. She has just been married 7 years, is significantly younger than her husband, and is precious. This photo above was taken last Spring.

I had just been to the public bath (women-only side!) and had a good scrub down. It seemed criminal to put on make up with absolutely no dead skin cells present on my body!

This is the real deal. Come on, we'll take you!
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Cappadocian Travelogue: Underground City

Long ago, when Christians were hiding for fear of persecution and martyrdom, they fled to this region. They carved homes, and even entire cities, underground. We were told there are hundreds of them here. We asked a local which one was his favorite, then went to see it. Well, actually, THEY went to see it. I happily agreed to stay back and let the baby have his nap. Shhh. I've never really outgrown my fear of being underground, trapped, unable to heart is pounding just to think about it!
I am assuming, in spite of the look on his face, that this guide was very nice and helpful. :)

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Cappadocian Travelogue: Vineyard

Hassan Bey, who owns and runs our cave hotel, offered to take us to his family's vineyard. His sister and her husband were working the vineyard that day. Most village women prefer to not have their photo taken, so I do not have one of her.
We enjoyed seeing first hand how the family tends their vineyard. Because they are conservative in their beliefs, they do not use it to make wine. Instead, the press it and let it ferment only slightly, then make pekmez, which is like our molasses. They sometimes mix it with tahini (a spread made from sesame seeds), then spread both on bread. It gives a salty and sweet flavor together. I use pekmez to make white sugar into brown sugar. Brown sugar is either unavailable or expensive here. Making my own is easy with pekmez.
He showed us how he severely cuts back the new growth on his plants. This causes it to grow stronger and bigger and produce sweeter, bigger grapes.
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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cappadocian Travelouge: The Many Faces of Eva

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Cappadocian Travelogue: Up Close and Personal Part II

Blog Update: I decided to send two posts per day. We have long since been home from Cappadocia and said goodbye to our dear friends. But I had so many good pictures thanks to Uncle Kia Hwa, I wanted to post many of them here. Hope you are enjoying them and can keep up with two posts per day!
Now: on to Up Close and Personal Part II
I love to hear this one pray.
This one has a strong loyalty to those she loves, which will take her far in life.
This one never meets a challenge she is unwilling to take. Scraped knees prove it.
This one I never expected to have and made me a mommy late in life. No regrets.
I haven't forgotten Perma-Baby. She is tomorrow!
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cappadocian Travelogue: Finishing our Hike

We really wanted to hike from one town to the next town, through the canyon. However, the dirt is so loose (remember, loose enough to carve a home into it!) that the path has slipped away. We met up with some hikers who told us that a guide charged them 20TL (US 15) to get them through the canyon on an alternate route, but they had to literally hold each other and push each other through some of the steep path. We glanced around at our 5 kids and decided to stick to the lowlands!
And some of them were getting very tired...
...but were too interested in what was around them to fall asleep.
This one was not injured, just tired, and demonstrating it dramatically! Thank goodness for a strong Papa. About all I can handle is the 30 pounder!
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cappadocian Travelogue: A Hike Through Flood-formed Canyons

This day was beautiful, so we took our friends on a hike through one of the canyons.
The water lines throughout the canyon are clearly visible. Though you may not read it in a guidebook, it is clear to us that at some point it was filled with water, slowly receding. Supporting our theory is the fact that the ark is encased in ice high on a mountain top in this country!
Fresh spring mountain water...colder than a fridge could make it!

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