Friday, April 19, 2013

What a Privilege to Serve the Lord!

"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you 
that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called."
Ephesians 4:1

To walk worthy of where God has put me to minister, WOW!  What a task!  I feel so unqualified sometimes to be called wife, mommy, missionary!  My lack of patience, my selfishness glare me in the face, showing me how short I fall of being qualified for the position of wife and mommy!  And, even though I grew up declaring my intentions of being a missionary, I have become shockingly aware of the character flaws that seem to scream how unmissionary-like I am.  I am timid, easily reclusive and possessive of time alone with my faily, scared of moving outside my comfort zone (which is very small.  I mean, come on, who almost cries returning things to Walmart?), someone content to stay in the same, small town, near family her whole life.  Yeah, sometimes I think God definitely made a mistake in picking me.

Even though I am well aware of my failures in the jobs He has assigned me, I am still prone to ask, "Why me?"  "Why does so-and-so get to do such, while I have to do this?"  -Thinking of myself "more highly than I ought to think."  This verse always helps me to remember not only my faults, but Oh!  The privilege!  My job of serving my husband and being his helpmeet (not he mine); my job of lovingly training my children; my job as a missionary wife - it is not a burden placed upon already weak shoulders, but a prize worth working for!  

The orphanage we worked at while in the city. 

O, Lord!  Help me to view this calling as the privilege it is, acknowledging my shortcomings, but not becoming burdened by them.  Oh!  That I may walk worthy of the vocations you have called me to!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Flighty Thoughts from a Mommy

 Waiting for a walk...
Except Daniel, he came back to get me instead of waiting. ;)
Ahhhh.  Quietness!  That has been extremely rare in our home lately!  Except for RARE occasions, the kids have been waking up before 6:30.  This morning, the boys were awake before 6!  I am usually awake, but oh!  How I long for quietness, especially in the mornings!  The past two days they slept until 7!  I got SO much done!
 The kids enjoyed playing in the big open space while we were waiting for the new couch.

Using the new car that Grampy and Grammy Curtis sent. :)  Thank you!

When we are not outside working and enjoying the beautiful weather, I have been trying to organize and rearrange the house to make it feel more spacious.  I feel almost desperate about it...maybe because I know we'll be adding another member to our tiny home soon.  I also have a hard time with clutter...which I can never seem to get rid of.  Eric is SO good and understanding about it!  He just bought a new couch for the living room, which really opens up the room, giving us not only more space but more storage too!  Next is a bookcase to do something about all of these books.  Our old couch was huge and definitely didn't fit this space.  At first I felt so guilty about getting a new couch, but I LOVE it!  Our old couch, which we bought 6 years ago for our first SPACIOUS apartment, is in the boys' room.  We had to take the arms off to get it to fit, but it fits!  Now Sammy has a bed instead of a mat on the floor.  :)  I think I have spent all my "free time" since we returned to Ukraine rearranging and organizing...which is a big reason why I still have not posted a video of the house, Mom C.  Hopefully soon.

Daniel wanted to be a part of it too.

I'm having a hard time finding time to post.  We have so many Bible lessons, house visits (and hospital visits this past week)...that all of my free time is spent just trying to keep up with household chores and school.  The few times I have sat in front of the computer to type something I've fallen asleep.  I use to type in the mornings before the kids woke up, but I have been using that time to get ahead with meals and cleaning since we have been gone so much.  We've also started working on the garden.  YAY!  I was seriously considering not attempting one this year, but Eric has been excited about expanding it, so now I've caught planting fever.

Our widening garden.

Sundays have been busier than usual lately too.  Not only do we have our services and meal, but we have been doing a Bible lesson after services too.  Nastia and Masha (the neighbor girls Anna always asked prayer for) have been faithfully coming to church.  I absolutely LOVE watching Masha when we come to pick her up in the van!  She gets so excited when we pull up in front of her house.  Every Sunday they are waiting in the yard.  As soon as she sees us, she starts bounding, practically flying, down the pathway.  I always wish I had my camera!  I'm sure it wouldn't even do the sight justice.  Bogdan and Nikita have been pretty irregular.  It has been a long time since Bogdan has come.  Please continue to pray for this family.  Their family situation is so sad.

Putting together a puzzle from our friends, the Clough family, in America.
Thank you!
As you can see from the pictures, it's been like Christmas here at our house.
We had 2 boxes come last week!  

Tomorrow I am supposed to be going to the doctor's again...never my favorite or most relaxing thing to do.  After that, we will be having Vasily and Sveta over for supper.  I prefer to be home on days when we are going to have company, but oh well.  Thankfully, I have the meal planned out in my head and it should all work out.  Friday we will probably be going out with Eric to pass out Resurrection tracts...unless Daniel is sounding worse.  He has had a terrible cough lately.

I apologize for the flightiness.  It seems like the more pregnant I am, the more flighty I become.  Only 3 months left to go!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Oatmeal Flour Cottage Cheese Pancakes

~Hasn't even been up 24 hrs and I'm already editing it!  Accidentally made pancakes with 6 eggs instead of 8 (I'm pregnant) and I think I like that even better.~

Thought I would post the recipe before I forgot.  The first time I tried making oatmeal cottage cheese pancakes they came out so awful that I could not eat them (the kids did), but I kept trying.  I probably would have given up, but we were getting so much goat cottage cheese that I wanted to find different ways to eat it.  If you know us, our weekly pancakes are pretty important.  FINALLY, after a few weeks of trying different things, I was able to make a good pancake.
A few a little burnt, but I haven't been able to get any other pictures.  Usually they are devoured too fast!

2 c. oats
2 c. cottage cheese
4 tsp. vanilla  (this is approx. as I use vanilla powder - a little in each tsp with hot water)
6 eggs
4 tsp. honey
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 ts baking powder  (the pictures were before the baking powder)
optional: 3/4 tsp of maple flavoring

Put oatmeal in blender until it becomes flour.  I then put all of the other ingredients into my food processor until blended.  

(The maple flavoring is probably not on the diet and processed, but it adds a lot to the pancakes since we usually can't get maple syrup.  I have substituted maple syrup for the honey before, but we use it sparingly.)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

One Busy Month

Wow!  I can't believe it's been about a month since my last post!  Many posts have been written in my head, but I never seem to find the time to actually type them out.  As you can guess, we have kept busy around here.  It is warming up and the sun has finally come out.  How good it feels to see blue skies again!  And GREEN GRASS!  I've even been hanging my laundry outside.  Ahh!  It feels SO nice (and smells better too) to not have wet laundry hanging everywhere!  I was so anxious to get it out of the house that I started hanging it out at the first sign of a semi-warm nice day...we got rain, then snow, with the laundry on the line.  The next few times I tried hanging clothes again - same thing.  It has became a joke with the neighbors.  They now yell over every time I hang a load saying, "It's going to rain today."

So, what have we been up to?  Here's a quick overview of what we have done outside of church activities...

Eric and Sammy made a puppet theater for our Sunday School.  I don't have any pictures of that yet, but Eric took a couple pictures of them hard at work. :)
Sammy LOVES being Daddy's helper.

My spare time has been spent sewing curtains for the boys' room, pillow covers for some throw pillows and the cushion in the mudroom, made laundry soap and dish soap (a TOTAL flop, probably because of the greasy Ukrainian soap I used) and experimenting in the kitchen.  I am not a seamstress, but my girls think I can do anything - sewing or cooking.  They are begging me to teach them to sew.  Guess we will be learning together. :)
The ruffles ended up being longer than I wanted, but I was not about to take the entire pillow apart to redo it.

Since we have been on such a strict diet, I have had to be a little more creative in the kitchen.  I've made almond flour-cheese crackers, peanut butter (YUM!!), and cottage cheese pancakes that taste and feel just like the real thing! {Recipe soon to come...maybe. ;)}

When we were in the States and since we've been back, some of you have asked if it was going to be easy to keep our diet here in Ukraine or if it's harder to find "diet" foods.  I actually think it's easier to find natural things here.  Here is just one our village on almost every corner you'll find someone selling fresh goat's milk or cow's milk.  We get fresh goat's milk 3 times a week and the same lady sells cottage cheese, kefir, cream cheese...all from goat's milk. :)  The price is cheaper than buying the processed stuff at the store!  I sometimes have a hard time drinking/eating the stuff because I am SUPER sensitive to any milk product when I am pregnant, but the kids all love it.  Most of the time none of her stuff has any goat flavor and I enjoy the kefir blended with bananas, frozen strawberries and sometimes raspberries or cherries.
Sammy getting the goat's products with Daddy.
As far as how the diet helps us.  Ever since we had the parasites, our stomachs have been all messed up.  As soon as we get off the diet, we start having upset stomachs, messy bowel movements...let's just say it's not fun or pretty.  Even with those side effects, we are "off" the diet right now.  In fact, I made my first frosted cake in AGES today.  Eric asked for it and how could I say no?  I still really want to cut out the flour and sugar again.  I feel so much better when I am on it.  Especially since I've had so much trouble with my gums.  They were bleeding and very swollen, that at least has gone down.  The gums are still receded and sometimes sensitive.  I'm afraid all this junk will make them worse.  I also noticed that I get "morning" sickness (why do they call it that???) and heartburn when I'm off it.  (I write this as I snack with Eric on Oreos that a dear friend sent us.)  Why is it SO hard to eat healthy?  Cleaning with natural products (except dish and laundry soap), I clean almost everything with vinegar and baking soda,  - easy.  Beauty products also not so hard...but giving up sugar and white flour?  Wow! Is it hard!  I've been reading the book Teachers of Good Things by Francie Taylor (excellent book) and she hits a little on healthy eating.  She says,

Once we know the right thing to do for our bodies, it becomes a sin for us to do otherwise.  "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17

That has been convicting me ever since we went off the diet!  Well, my mind is completely everywhere.  Sorry that it became mostly a "diet" post.  I wanted to answer your questions and my email is still not working so I can't reply to your emails there.  I need to just get a new account.


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