Sunday, October 28, 2007

New Number

I have a new number today. Hmm, should I tell you what that number is? Maybe, I need to think about that.

Today is my birthday. I can't say that I am doing any special to celebrate today. We went to church this morning and then had our ESL class. I did spend some time yesterday with a friend, we went for a foot massage and then lunch. My husband gave me flowers. I have a picture but Blogger is not co-operating.

I do think that each day is a blessing from the Lord and that each year is a milestone of the Lord's faithfulness. I have so many things to be thankful for this year.

I also have a great aunt that is celebrating her 97th birthday today. I am 55 years younger. There you can do the math. My great aunt served many years in Central America. A few years ago she had a stroke and how is in a wheelchair but she spends her days writing letters on the typewriter, praying, and even making a baby dress for a friend's baby. I am her special birthday girl because I was born on her birthday. She has been a wonderful example to me of someone who has lived life in Joy. Happy Birthday to you.

I am looking forward to the Lord's blessings and gifts of this coming year.

Flexibility, bending, adjusting

I was talking with a good friend the other week about the need to be flexible when living overseas. I know flexibility is needed no matter where you live but it is highly necessary for survival when living overseas.

I think of flexibility as the ability to adjust and change plans, meals, without complaining.

I am a planner. My husband has learned that and knew when he married me. I like to get up in the morning and know the plan for the day. I like to know what we will be doing next year. I don't like surprises. I like to plans my meals for the week and follow that plan. That doesn't always work because you go to the store looking for manadrin oranges after all aren't they grown here but nope, not today. I could actually give you a long list of things that I go to the store looking for and they are out but that is not the point of this. The point is learning to be flexible. Sometimes for meals that does require some thinking and even creative cooking.

Plans change, meals change, travel holds people up, stores are out of stock, and a number of other things all give opportunities to practice flexibility.

This is something that I am still working on especially the without complaining part.

A Community

It was not a community that I had planned to join but one that happened. It has been an encouraging, supportive, informative, and great community. It is the parents are relatives of Down Syndrome children. I think back to the many people through these years that have been there.
My friend had a dear friend with a DS son.
Our teammate who became Aunt B has a nephew 10 years younger than she with DS.
My sister-in-law has a nephew with DS.
One of K's first babysitter had an uncle with DS.

Then through the years that has been a connection. Parents that have opened and shared their experiences, what they have learned, listen to your fears and concerns, and understand. The other week Miss K and I met with a family visiting here with a DS son about 10 months younger than K. For those of us living overseas it is a blessing to meet someone who is in the same situation that we are.

I have also had some online community as well. Even before K came home from the hospital, I had joined a Yahoo Homeschooling DS children group. They welcomed me knowing that it would be some time until I would formally start homeschooling. I have learned so much from them. One of those friends even sent me the K4 curriculum that has been developed for special needs children.

It wasn't the community I planned to join but I am very thankful for the support and friendship that I have found in this community.

Friday, October 19, 2007

My Latest DIY

Here in Asia DIY is the big there. It is one of those English phrases that I don't hear in the English speaking world but hear here. Do it yourself which is a big thing here. People are beginning to do it yourself. Instead of calling an electrician to change the light bulb you do it yourself. Yes, that was something you called an electrician. Okay, I have DIY that for a long time or I ask my husband to do it.

Well, my latest project was making instant stove top stuffing. You know like they sell in the red box in the grocery store except here they don't sell it in the grocery store so it is a DIY project. I made cranberry chicken in the crock pot and we decided that stuffing would taste good. I dug around and found a recipe I had gotten from a magazine. I think it was Taste of Home. Anyway, it was very easy. You make a seasoning mix -- I had all the ingredients on hand for that. Okay, I used up my celery flakes and I don't think they sell those here so I might have to make my own for the next time. It said to cube the bread but I was afraid to do enough for 4 batches which is how much the seasoning mix makes. I feared I would have moldy cubes. I did enough for 1 batch. I cubed it and put it on a tray to dry.

I came home from Little Gym, boiled water, added some butter and the seasoning and then mixed the bread cubes, put the lid on after 5 minutes fluffed it with a fork. It was so easy and tasted good. No preservatives. The bread was homemade and I mixed the seasoning myself.

What other meals can I make and have stuffing as a side dish?

Here is the recipe:

Instant Stuffing Mix

½ cups plus 1 tablespoon dried celery flakes

3 tablespoons dried minced onion

3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes

2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules

1 ½ teaspoons poultry seasoning

¾ teaspoons rubbed sage

10-1/2 cups dried bread cubes (about 24 slices) or unseasoned croutons

Additional Ingredients

1 cup water

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

In a small resealable plastic bag, combine the first six ingredients; mix well. Place the bread cubes in a large resealable plastic bag; add the small seasoning bag. Store in a cool dry place for up to 1 year.

Yield 3 batches.

To prepare stuffing: In a large saucepan, combine water, butter and 1/3 cup seasoning mix. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add 3-1/2 cups bread cubes; stir just to moisten. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Yield 2-4 servings per batch.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

My latest find

Yesterday my friend and I went to a tourist shopping area. We wandered and bought a few things but my favourite find of the day was this colourful scarf. Hey, D, does that look like it could be in Shanghai Tang? It reminded me of the things we have seen there but knew we could not afford. It is colourful, bright, beautiful and so silky. Just had to share this.