Saturday, October 31, 2015

Ten Things I Wish People Knew About My Field-Nepal.

I was asked by the Baptist Missionary Women's blog to create a list of ten things I wish people knew about our field for a blog hop including missionary wives from all over the world. My mind began to churn.....Ten things ten things....ummmmmm....ten interesting things about Nepal, ten things that make people want to visit Nepal, ten things I like about Nepal. No, no, no. Ten things I wish people knew about Nepal.

Wow, that's challenging. I could list hundreds of things I know people don't know about Nepal unless they live here but to list 10 things I truly wish people knew that's another story. If I had a captive audience what would I want them to know about the place that I call home. My blog is generally filled with third world tips and life experiences while keeping house near the rooftop of the world. But today isn't about how to bake with real butter, boil fresh milk or decorate with limited resources. Today is just about the field that God has placed our family in 6.5 years ago. Challenging as the topic may be, here goes.

1. I wish people could understand the inticricacies that goes into every background story we tell.

I wish they could understand the depth of the story due to the drastic difference in culture represented here compared to our own. I wish they could see that a seemingly insignificant story of seemingly insignificant success was mountaneous and ginormous in our eyes due to the giant spiritual and cultural obstacles the Lord overcame to make it happen. Sometimes, I simply wish I understood the intricacies of the culture we are surrounded by and sometimes I wish I could just push download and you could have the file safely transported into your brain in 2 minutes (or 2 hours if your on third world speed:).I'm so thankful for all those around the world who listen and care about our ministry here. I don't feel alone or misheard I just wish you knew the depth of the story that only comes from experiencing it. I'm sure we all no matter where we come from or where we serve feel this way about some situation in our Life.

2. It's great to be home by 7pm every night!

When the sun goes down in Nepal within an hour or so the majority of people are home and in for the night. I didn't really realize the awesomeness of this until we retuned on furlough, where churches don't start till 7pm and people and their children are out that late or later on a regular basis. I'll tell you this girl loves to have dinner on the table by 6ish and be done for the night! We can play with the kiddos and get them in bed at a reasonable hour and spend the night enjoying each other! I'm sure some people in the states are able to do this also but it's a challenge for sure. There are so many things to do and friends to visit with and meetings to attend and sales we need to raid:) I get that and we are generally never home by 7 on furlough and we squeeze every drop of fellowship and fun out of it we can. But, I love to step back into life here and know 99% of the time night time is just family, fun and relaxation.

3. Everything is homemade and it is so good!

We live in a third world country where frivolities and amenities are not abundant. We are blessed with a large chain of supermarkets that I am extremely thankful for, but don't be mistaken it isn't Wal-Mart. There are not 20 different brands and choices of cheese, cereal,pop or anything else. Our main abundance of choices exist in teas and biscuits.


So when grocery shopping generally the items we come home with our flour, sugar, eggs, cheese, cream, milk, butter, fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, rice, pasta, bread and some drinks. Oh and get this frozen corn and canned pineapple and retired beans:) Those are a few of the processed items we have. So if it's on that list ladies we make it! We definitely spend more time in the kitchen but once you adjust to that you can enjoy the yumminess of all things homemade. Pie crusts, pizza crusts, tortillas, cookies, cakes, and everything that is set on the table for dinner. We do from time to time crave some restaurant food.



My husband dreams of his beloved Chipotle Chicken Crispers from Chilis but for the most part food is so good here we don't get too homesick for food.


4. This land is in the middle of the spice Capitol of the world!

While they do not have some of the Italian spices they are overwhelmed by most of the other spices.

It is normal to walk past a small store filled with bags of fragrant spices piled high in colors of red, orange and brown. You can see a cloud of smoke fro, the freshly ground spices and you can smell it a block away! Mmmmm .....and if Nepal lacks for anything it isn't spice and flavors.


5. You can affordably buy beautiful pashmina(cashmere).

Pashmina is a type of cashmere. It's the lightest, warmest and comfiest material you will ever feel. People pay top dollar in the states and we are blessed to buy it at a reasonable price since it is made here in Nepal.

6. Nepal has had much influence from England.

Therefore they are big tea drinkers, they follow the English school system, learn the England English way of speaking and most of their western influence of dress comes from Europe or Korea. So if you hear us talk about going on holiday, eating biscuits, our daily cup of tea or see my husband wear slim cut suits with pointy shoes, or rave about football(soccer) don't be surprised. Our cultural surroundings here are #1 Nepali and #2 British. The only American influence is TV and that generally that isn't a good influence. We are a very multi-cultural family.


7. We live slow paced-chaotic lives.

I know, sounds like an oxymoron right? But, I find it to be true. Most days our lives are filled with tons of things to do but never reigned by a tight schedule. When you get off the plane in Nepal you might as well pack up your watch and relax because time is not important here. Here people are never too busy for a visit with a friend, or a cup of tea with a stranger. If you come to visit you come for a couple of hours and are looked at perplexingly if you try to leave after a brief visit. Parties, events and business' all have flexible hours. You can arrive within 3 hours of the expected time without having any disturbance or surprise by the host or customer. If, you arrive at all! Your delivery man who said he'd be there at 8am may show up at 5pm, your party or church guest may show up two hours late, and church visitation generally consists of 1-2 visits lasting an hour or more each.

Rarely does a day go as I plan it. Something always comes up. Even when things do go according to plan, we may not have a PDA beeping with all our appointments but homemade meals, dishes by hand, hanging laundry, homeschooling and cleaning a house in a filthy environment will always keep your schedule full!

But we generally have the freedom to take a pause when need be and enjoy life, friends and family.

8. Nepal is arrayed with bright and brilliant colors.

From their houses to their clothes you will generally not find a full color in Nepal.

Their outfits are a mixture of patterns and multi-colored fabrics. Their houses are

brightly painted. Most houses we have ever rented had multiple pink and orange

rooms. It's difficult to find something in a boring color like tan! Why would you want

that? Or children's shoes that aren't covered in speckles, sparkles, lights and

pattern. So if you are in love with color oozing from every possible place than you

will live Nepal

9. Nepal has a very struggling government.

Around 15 years ago the beloved Nepali King, Queen and many family members were assassinated by assumadely his brother. He then took over as King. His reign didn't last long as people did not have any affection for him. He was soon Ousted in favor of a more democratic government. However after hundreds of years a under a king the freedoms they desired was given to people who were very uneducated about government or politics. Also this culture is one that thrives on gossip and bartering. Due to this they fought and bickered for approx. 7 years about a new constitution. The good thing about this is it took a country from a Hindu monarchy where converting people to a new religion was illegal to a secular country where freedoms are much more abundant, although still restricted. Since signing their new constitution India has been mysteriously enraged about their new laws. Because of this, they have cut off all gasoline, cooking gas and many other products. This has made our life quite challenging for the last 6 weeks. We have been either paying super inflated taxi rates or riding our bicycles.

People have sat in gas lines for days and sometimes only for the gas to to run out before they receive any. Life is always a crazy place in Nepal.

10. I wish you could know that we are Happy.

Despite any hardship, trial or inconvenience we are happy where God has placed us. I wish you could know and see the spiritual victories that God answers on a daily basis. I believe and know that God works in all Christians lives across the globe on a daily basis. I know that without a doubt! But I can't help but feel special in the way we are privileged to see God work on the foreign field.

Our daily lives require spiritual battles and triumphs, petitions given and answered by the Lord. They can be minute and small such as the fervent prayer for safety on roads that are chaotic to say it mildly, for gas or water or food supply in a place that is torn by political and geographical disasters, for speed in a post office where it can take hours on a bad day.

To large life changing events such as, the salvation of someone you've poured your heart and life into for years. Nothing can describe or explain the feelings of seeing God answer these prayers. He is unmistakably present everyday caring, providing, comforting, convicting,guiding, giving discernment and lighting the way.



Please continue this blog hop with Rachel from Estonia and all the other great ladies that come after.














Thursday, October 29, 2015

Leftover Blessings

Leftover Blessings
Don't you just love being able to turn one meal into two?
Don't you just love something that's mostly easy when you come home after a long day?
Don't you love figuring out how to improvise to get the desired product when your plan A flies out the window?
We trudged in near 5pm having been out since 9:30 that morning. It had been a long but good day. In the rush to get out that morning with two little ones I hadn't thought to take meat out to thaw or decided on a meal for dinner. When leaving we thought we are going to run a couple of errands and be back by nap time.
Have you ever tried to do a few simple things in a third world country? Hah!
No matter how much we plan, connive or organize we just cannot rush out and whip through some simple errands and arrive home anywhere near the planned time.
So as I found myself in the stock room of the post office with two babies, my husband & three employees I realized my day was not going as planned. I found myself pouncing like a gazelle over heaps of unorganized packages heaped from floor to ceiling with return labels from every imaginable country. After waiting in the lobby for over a half hour I decided maybe this would go faster with some assistance. So we dug and shuffled, piled and shoved packages to find the one labeled 7069. With spatterings of advice being thrown from the workers. "Not there sister!", "Look well sister, I'm too old for this!". My husband with his trusty flashlight app by my side, my 3 year old climbing boxes like a conquering conquistador, and the postal worker entertaining my baby boy and the interesting postal worker in his strange blue lab coat was the dream team today. After an hour of scouring the back room finally incomprehensibly so we found our package at the very bottom of a stack in the back of three 5ft stacks of boxes. But hey there was birthday presents and imported snacks in this box! We were going to find it! We had waited two weeks to find gasoline for our vehicle so we could make it to the post office we would NOT leave empty handed!

Sooooo after our adventure we drove home to a cold stove and no meal plan. We pounced on our new packages and played and snacked. Then came the challenge. What on earth would we eat? And, can I stay awake to do it? One or both of the children had been awake since 5am due to very loud thunderstorms and the electricity had just switched off. Our battery system isn't set up yet so we only have the one really dull lightbulb in each room the apartment generator runs. When it switches off at night you immediately feel nigh on to a coma.
After a brief inventory of the contents of our fridge. I found about 3/4 cup of leftover philly steak meat, cheese, frozen pizza dough and a bag of frozen sliced mushrooms. Hmmmm....I think this can work.
1. Retrieve the frozen pizza dough from the freezer. Fill a bowl with hottest water possible. Place a smaller bowl in the water with the frozen dough inside.
2. As the dough has defrosted refill the small bowl with hot water and place it in the oven(not on). Place the larger bowl on top of the steaming water with the dough inside. Close and allow a few minutes to re-rise.
3. Look for pizza sauce. Find none...... Search Pinterest. New plan. Make a white garlic pizza sauce.
Melt 1 T butter
Press 3 cloves of garlic in the butter
Add 1/4 t red pepper, 1/2 t basil, dash of black pepper.
Add flour slowly until you have a thick roux.
Add milk slowly until a nice pizza sauce consistency.
Add 1/3c cream- oh yah I had some cream and milk in the fridge too:)
Add more milk if necessary.
4. Turn on oven for pizza........nope electricity off! Turn on stovetop......nope out of cooking gas due to gas shortages from political fights. Next plan, turn on our one burner cook stove. Place griddle pan on the burner with rolled dough.
5. Cook one side till firm. Flip. Add sauce. Philly steak meat, mushrooms, tomatoes and a mixture of Gouda and yak cheese. Put a lid on top to melt cheese.
6. Eat!!
Plan A rarely works in crazy third world life but plan B can include wonderful days filled with family fun and memories and the yummiest pizza you have had in a while!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Thought for the day

"You can NEVER truly take back the effect of your words! Make them sweet, supportive,loving and helpful."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Parenting Challenge #2- Daily putting ME in my place.

Selfishness. It is the ugly root of many parenting problems. I've realized it, seen it and many times overcame it but it will rear its ugly head again on a regular basis. I've heard it said many times by my father my #1 goal in life is to raise godly children. This sounds so good to a new parent. Me too! Let's grab the list of rules and guidelines and get to work. Use this training method, say this not that, allow this and not that.......screechhhh and halt. Every method I've tried, every truth and principal I seek to follow while perfectly sound and good will be a failure if I don't have the selfless-ness to PATIENTLY follow through DAILY.

Why do I have these words in bold? I think every parent knows. Because those two words are the hardest part of parenting. It's not hard to set rules. It's not hard to come up with plans. It's hard to calmly in the face of defiance, attitude, child like indifference stay the course with a loving kind Christ like spirit every day. Recently while reading a wonderful book on mothering realized in the first chapter that many of my frustrations in parenting were due to selfish desires.

"Grrrr......why do I have to tell you so many times!?"

What's my real frustration here? Why do I have to take MY precious time to deal with your disobedience. Why do I have to interrupt MY schedule or my relaxation to correct or even love when the time arises. As parents we know many times the reason behind the outward behavior isn't always defiance but a cry for attention. I'm sure we can all see the thread of selfishness in every though and every word.

Little did I know the day those babies were born began a journey in shaving more and more of me away. Not the good and God intended creation he made me to be but the selfish only concerned with myself part. From the day they came home and kept me awake for hours thoughtout many months of nursing to potty breaks in the middle of the night, times of correction, times of teaching, times of loving. All of these times slowly work to take away the constant thought of Me, Me, Me. But I'll tell you ladies this only happens if a willing vessel allows the molding.

Yes, I've realized in the last few months how selfishness can wreck and ruin our peace of mind. But I have also realized that if I don't daily lay my selfishness down at the altar and pick up the commission of motherhood Satan will have victory in my life. Often it is easy to think, YES, one week of successful calm peaceful parenting! I'm a success, line up ladies autographs are free! Until the very next day we trip and land flat on our face.

I'm not saying to not take time for yourself or most definitely not encourage we cheat our spouse in this journey to self-less parenting. Every good things must have its place but to have any measure of success I must realize God has given me a huge and wonderful task of raising these wonderful children for his glory and that will only be accomplished if I stop running my life as a train speeding towards all of my desires.

Challenge: Parenting is not about ME! It isn't about me being happy or me being pleased. It's about pouring my life and love selflessly into my children so that they can grow to be godly children that please God with their loves. Sometimes that means the best thing I can do for them is to love their daddy or take some time for myself but I must make those choices with wisdom and not laziness. To do any of these things I must daily meet with Christ and hand over my heart and my desires. I must submit myself to his will and guidance. Without a doubt when I do he will guide me to be the best mother possible.

Help this mother Lord be the best I can possibly be for you and for them.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Real Butter

We've all seen the tubs of "I can't believe it's not butter!" Well I am pretty certain once you have baked with butter, smeared it over biscuits and sautéed all your goodies in it you will never make this quote.

There is nothing just like butter! Only the real McCoy. I had never experienced cooking with real butter until we moved overseas. In the states it is pricey in comparison but overseas it's the only option and Boy am I thankful! Everything is more rich and decadent when using pure butter!

There is one problem when working, especially baking with butter. It is extremely hard! When it comes to mixing and blending or spreading its quite a challenge. It can leave you with ripped and torn bread and desserts that are a fail! But no fear it can be remedied.

Yes, your first thought maybe leave it on the counter for soft butter. I didn't know before moving overseas you could safely do this. I still don't know the science of it but my butter is always out with no problem. We do go through it farely fast also.

For half of the year this plan works for me but for the other 6 months my house is SO cold that my butter is as firm in the fridge as out! Believe it! So winter season posed a new problem. I actually gage the beginning of winter by how firm my butter on the counter is:) After a few years I finally figured how to soften butter for effective baking. If you have any experience with baking with real butter you know that too hard butter makes recipes wayyy to thick and completely melted butter makes for runny flat recipes. So how do we accomplish that beautiful middle ground? You have two options,

1. Chop up your butter as in the above picture and put straight in a small pan or pot. Heat just until there is a small pool of melted butter on the bottom and then pull it off.

2. Put it in a double boiler or a glass now, above a pot of simmering water for a slower more controlled heat until you receive the same affect.

Then remove from the stove and place it in a separate bowl from your recipe

Mash it until you only have small lumps and it's all soft. Now you have butter perfect for baking. If you happen to over melt your butter, no worries it will ALWAYS go back if you are patient.

I even have an example for you due to me taking blog pics:) Give it 5 minutes or so and it will begin hardening again and you can mix it up and you are back to the desired results.

If you think the consistency of your butter doesn't matter. I challenge you to make it this way and see the drastic difference you will see! Hope this helps some confused bakers such as I.

Happy Baking in Butter Land with melted ooey gooey goodness.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

Fall is in the Air

Fighting Back Against Fall Home-Sickness

There is nothing like Fall. I know a lot of people who dislike certain times of the year or even holidays but I've never met someone who disliked Fall. For some reason it is annually filled with memories and general wonderful goodness. Every year my mind floats back to Bonfires, corn mazes, cider, chilly mornings and sweltering Arkansas afternoons, increasingly early sun downs over Illinois corn fields, sweatshirts, pumpkin treats and pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!

The yearly excitement is nothing short of contagious. Boots are busted out and sweaters are dug out and we say good bye to sticky hot summers.
As we moved overseas 6.5 years ago we soon realized not all places flaunt this beautiful season. While our new home is packed with beautiful scenery I can't help but yearn for fall. Where we live there are few trees and the temperature doesn't accommodate the beautiful rainbow of leaf colors. There aren't piles of leaves on the ground in Novemeber. No one decorates their front porch with scarecrows or pumpkins. The few fall decorations we can scratch together confuse and baffles the Nationals of our country. They know we like but they don't know why??? I was once asked, "Oh is it the corn holiday again?". Referencing my baggies stuffed with corn kernels to replicate the dried corn husk decoration.
But despite the obstacles I refuse to let go of our lovely unforgotten season! I will endeavor in to create a lil piece of Fall goodness! We will bust out the decorations, make a few if need be, buy pumpkins from the fruit stand and proceed to roast, purée and can the results and waft the fumes from all Yankee candles with a fall scent.
Our first task of the season was to whip out my first ever successful batch of snicker doodles. Thanks to Sally @ Soft & Thick Snickerdoodles. - Sallys Baking Addiction.
Little hands helped with the cinnamon sugar rolling before we popped these in the oven.
Due to a shortage of cinnamon powder I used ground cinnamon sticks. That will explain the large brown cinnamon flecks.
Next came the apple fritters!
Loving everyday and project of Fall goodness! Hope wherever life finds you this Fall you will have a great season!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Curls and pony tails

                                                    Little Girl Hairstyles
Attempting a new hair do on my little girl whose head is covered in long swirling curls. It took a little extra time to maneuver and keep her still but it was cuteness.

I'll tell you it was harder to get her to sit still for the photo then it was to do the hair style!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Great Beginnings to Learning

                                            Great Beginnings to Learning
I've been spending the last 4 weeks or so trying to scrap together a few minutes to get a game plan for K3. Finally after one crazy afternoon of perseverance and crazy Music being played Loudly in the background for a Hindu holiday we finally had a lesson plan! Thanks to a $10 download from I had a digital weekly lesson plan that I then used to convert into a three day a week plan. Each week involves these things:
-Bible story with song
- Bible verse
- Bible song. English/Nepali
-1 Nepali Word
- Educational song-ex. days of the week
- a new number beginning with zero
- Three Colors
- 1 craft
- 2-4 books to be read
- application games or activities
- learning activity book
Now I know this sounds like so much But it seems like when well coordinated you can do a lot in a little time. We have done school for 20-30 minutes 3x a week for two weeks now.
I'm really hoping to add her charcacter studies to our free days just for a brief story time and application, but we haven't got there yet. This is my synopsis of our first two weeks.
1. My daughter loves learning and school! What a blessing. Mommy didn't enter this adventure with a lot of enthusiasm but I surely love seeing how much she enjoys learning and studying together.
2. Singing is a miraculous way to teach. We had been teaching our daughter verses at night for months but nothing has stuck near as fast as doing it with songs. She had it mostly down in a week!
3. It's a great avenue to spend quality time with a child individually with loads of praise. As you add children to your home it always gets a little difficult to spend quality time with each one. This has been a great benefit of schooling for us.
4. Teaching my child the Bible is an honor. Training her at a young age of the majesty, power and gracious of God is pretty cool.
5. I have a smart cookie:)
6. I can do this! I'm sure I will get overwhelmed again but for now this has been a big reassurance to me that I can with the Lords help and some planning and flexibility do this school thing!