Sunday, August 31, 2008

Silent Sunday (Like Wordless Wednesday, but on Sunday, y'know)

Sarah at the Grand Canyon

A teaser photo from our July furlough. More to come on Wednesday!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Just Found a Neat Homeschool Site

Well, I've been surfing around tonight (read that: sitting in front of the 'puter alternately smacking the screen and my ankles to kill the skeeters who are eating me for SUPPER! I'm ok. Really.).

Anyway, I just ran across a neat homeschool site with a great giveaway -- which I, of course, want to enter. SO this is my entry post! The notebooks Blogger Friend School is giving away are beautiful and what's so neat from my perspective is that they fit exactly with what I'm doing with my youngest 4 this season. We will be focusing on plants, birds and bugs of Mexico this year, and I'm really looking forward to it -- and so are the kids!!! I love when that happens!

Click over and see what their site is all about!

New School Year, New Look

Well, here we are at the beginning of a new school year and we're in the throes of preparation. (Read that: deep-cleaning every room in the house and trying to make sure I have all the books I need and the copies made that I'll need the first week.)

I have a bunch of "stuff" running through my head, such as:

  • My sewing has been spread across the kitchen table for about 2 weeks now...maybe more...but I hesitate to put it all away yet, since I still have projects waiting. Hmmm. Another day or two.

  • Caleb's B-day is coming up fast. I woke up this morning thinking up a special post to embarass, er, I mean honor him for his 14th birthday. Of course, I have to work on it when he's not hovering over my shoulder, lurking and waiting for his chance on the 'puter.

  • Sarah's French class starts next Saturday. No big deal for me, really, but it involves a trip into town (which costs an extra $10 in gas). I really enjoy our Saturdays in town. It's a great time to connect (and I get to use the wireless internet!), and the class only costs $20 per month (plus transportation), but...sigh. I just need to trust God better.

  • Which leads to the main thing stirring up my mind all night long and making me a little, um, grumpy. My lack of faith. I know for a fact that God has never "forgotten" us nor has He ever left us stranded, but sometimes the testing times (remember the wonderful verse "the testing of your faith works patience"?) seem to stretch on and on...and on and on. We are seeing the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, but sometimes I would just like to not feel worried. Yep, that's my issue. I need to not worry. Don't worry, be happy, right? Whatever.

  • Anyway, so that I can feel like some part of my life is under control, my neighbor, Desert, and I have resumed exercising 3 mornings a week. Wednesday was our first day. I was SORE Thursday morning. No pain, no gain, or in my case, loss.

  • Our ministry website died. Well, it was nice while it lasted, but it had become a bit of a behemoth, so I wasn't too sad to see it go. The web server, Christian Web Host, was excellent, their customer service is fantastic and their rates are really good. Our problem was that we couldn't count on having an extra $10 per month to pay for the service. They had graciously gifted us 6 months of web-service because we are a non-profit ministry. Very cool. I learned a WHOLE lot about web publishing in that time (enough to be a danger to myself and others), so it was by no means wasted time.

  • Now I'm working on another blog as a website, since Blogger blogs are free. If you're into the whole "HTML tweaks" and changing your template, check out this site: Tips for New Bloggers. That's kind of a misnomer, because the whole site would totally overwhelm a "new blogger", but if you're a somewhat experienced blogger who has a lot of patience with computers and extra time to kill (why do I do this? I'm none of those!) you'll love this site. When I get it looking more like a website and less like a jumbled mess of non-working links, I'll let you know.

  • It's hot. At this instant the temperature is 90 and the humidity is 72%...inside. I'm sitting with a fan barely a foot away blowing on high. It's bearable. The pool is a fainter shade of green today. No one really cares because the water is cool (we cover it at night and life the tarp in the morning to make a canopy) -- the water coming out of the faucets this time of year could burn you. Doesn't make for a very refreshing shower. Because of the heat, I don't want to cook. Kids and Hubby aren't very pleased with that, so I cook anyway. It's part of the "Mommy Job".

  • The mosquitoes are insane. I don't think anything I could write would even begin to explain how insane the mosquitoes are. I won't even try. Sarah is going to write a post about them soon. I'll let her elaborate.

Well, if you've made it this far in this post, you are a true friend (or you are as addicted to your computer as I am. I'll pray for you!!! ;^) ). Thanks for listening to me ramble on. Now, I'll stay on topic and wrap up this post...

So, school is starting next week (or so) and with it I'm doing a little re-vamping of our Blog sites. The kids will be posting this year as part of their writing/typing assignments over at our Family Blog and we'll be having a new ministry website soon, I hope, and this blog (Beautiful Feet) will be more "homeschooly" and "mom-y". More of me yapping. AND THEN I'm writing a cook-book of sorts (which really isn't much of anything yet) over at Mother Hubbard's Blog (I like nursery rhymes!).

So that's where I am right now mentally. Doug is in the green pool (we can't get keep ahead of the algae because of the intense sun and heat) yelling for me to come jump in. I think I'll go take a dip and cool off. That's where I am physically!!!

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!!!" That's where I am spiritually!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Sorry, I have a hard time keeping Wordless Wednesday "wordless"!!!

These are some friends of ours from Queretaro, southern Mexico. They were down last month to visit and did a performance in our village. Their show, while very entertaining, is mostly evangelical. A clear gospel message was shared at the end and Pablo (the dad) shared his testimony.

Look at all the red-headed clowns!!!

Evie and Munsie had a great time hanging out!

We're looking forward to another visit...soon!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

That's Fine

Ok. Has this ever happened to any mom besides me?

Just now, Hubby came in and asked if he could have a drink of my lemonade. My what? I don't have any lemonade. What's in that cup?

Then Evie piped up, "Dad! That's my rock! Don't drink it."

Why is there a rock in a cup of soapy water sitting on the counter? Because it was dirty, of course! Duh.

Dad told Evie that she shouldn't leave cups of soapy water on the counter, and she replied that she had asked Mom and Mom had said it was OK.

When did she ask me??? "Mom," she said, "I asked if I could wash my rock and you said, 'Yeah. Ok. That's fine."

When? While I was typing at the computer.

Hold it!!! Teachable moment...

"Honey," I said, "when you ask me a question or tell me something and I'm typing at the computer and I say 'Yeah. Ok. That's fine.' That means, 'I didn't hear a word you just said, but I love you very much.' That doesn't count as telling me something or asking permission. If you need permission for something, I need to be looking at you directly. Using your name in a sentence is better."

We had a good laugh together (since Dad hadn't actually taken a drink of Evie's rock).

The cup of soapy water is still on the counter. FYI: don't drink it. It's not lemonade!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008


This is the chore that never ends. For those of you who've never read the book "Holes", it's about a youth facility which houses "troubled boys" and forces them to dig holes in the desert. The book has lots of twists and turns, but I ultimately see nothing wrong with the idea of forced labor!!!

Here are Seth and Jessee helping to flatten the hill behind our house. Andrew and Caleb are working, too. You'll see some sand flying on the left edge of the pic. I'm sure that this photo portrays how these guys were feeling as they threw sand down the hill...shovelful after shovelful after shovelful...

Friday, August 08, 2008


Well, I said I wasn’t going to post many recipes on this blog, but when someone asks, it's my pleasure to oblige! Recipes are a lot more fun if you can post photos, too, so here are some photos of my new friends Gail and Nancy making empanadas at our house.

Gail’s husband, Rick, was in charge of making scrambled eggs for the gang that morning. Has anyone out there ever made scrambled eggs for 30? Well, he did a great job!!!

Evie, Jonny, Tekla and Cameron enjoying “Mexican Pop-Tarts”

Here’s the recipe:
3/4 cup lard/shortening
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder

The only special equipment you need is a prensa (tortilla press). You should be able to find one at any Mexican grocery store, BUT if you just want to make a few without purchasing a press, just roll the dough-balls out with a rolling pin to a scant 1/4 inch thickness.

For the filling:
I use strawberry jam which has been thinned a little with water (store-bought jam will need to be thinned, home-made stuff will probably be thin enough to spread well without thinning). Any flavor of jam will work and some folks like piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar) as a filling. IMO piloncillo is a pain to work with and the kids all prefer jam, so…

For the dough:
Cream together shortening and sugar
Add eggs and vanilla and mix well
Combine flour and baking powder and add slowly to egg mixture. Mix well.
Mixture should look like soft sugar-cookie dough.
[Note: Add the 5 cups of flour in two additions and stir to mix so that dough doesn't become too stiff. Depending on the weather, you may need more or less flour. If dough is too soft, knead in equal parts sugar and flour. If you happen to get it too stiff and crumbly...try adding an egg or let it sit in the sun for a few minutes.]

Form the dough into balls about the size of a fat golf-ball or a racquet-ball. If you’re using a rolling pin, roll the dough-ball out to a circle about 6 inches in diameter and a thin ¼ inch thickness. If using a tortilla press, lay a piece of waxed paper down on the press (or thick plastic wrap works, too), place the dough-ball on the waxed paper, cover it with another piece of waxed paper and gently press flat. (Just so you know: unless you have some special, high-dollar press, your circle of dough will be thinner on one side than the other. Don’t worry about it. Just make sure the thin part is no less than 1/8 in thick so it won’t burn.)

Now is the tricky part – this takes practice, so don’t get frustrated. Even ugly empanadas taste good!!! Take your flat circle, which is encased in waxed paper and gently remove the top paper. Flip the circle onto your cookie sheet WHERE YOU WANT IT TO BE WHEN IT COOKS. You won’t be able to move the circle once you place it on the sheet, so flip it well! Remove the other waxed paper.

Spoon about a tablespoon of filling into the center of your circle and gently fold the circle in half. Lightly pat the edges together (you can press them with a fork if you want) to seal in the filling. One empanada is ready to go! Yes, this is a time-consuming labor of love, but it’s so worth it! Place your next dough circle about an inch from the first. These pastries don’t expand a lot, but they do poof a little. Remember that if they’re too close DON’T TRY TO MOVE THEM TILL THEY’RE COOKED.

Bake in a moderately hot oven – 350 degrees or so – for about 10 minutes or until the edges begin to turn slightly brown. Viola!!! Empanadas! Let them cool in the pan only a moment and then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely (that is assuming your kids let them cool!) Pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy!!!

Let me know how your first batch turns out!!! Once again – ugly empanadas still taste good!!! :^)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Wordless Wednesday -- Blackmail

This is what happens when you don't respond to my emails month after month after month.
I post the most embarassing photos I can find of you.
Andrew and David -- I expect an email...SOON!!!!