Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Food, lately

I've been more adventurous since we returned from the States. Somehow tasting all those American dishes again gave me a little more confidence that I can re-create more of it here than I do. So, I'm learning more about spices and creams and garlic.  It's fun.  I'm not sure why I enjoy cooking so much more here, but I do.  I think it's because I feel incompetent at so many other things within a foreign culture.  At least in the kitchen, I have a little freedom.


The boys were in love with the Chick-fil-a grilled chicken nuggets.  This certainly isn't the same, but it's definitely a favorite for us on this side.  Here's the recipe from over at Allrecipes.com.

Krystal's Perfect Marinade

1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
1/2 c soy sauce
1/4 c olive oil
2 T worchester sauce
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 t pepper

(Note: The original also includes 2 T sesame oil but I don't have access to that and it is still fantastic)

So I'm all about rolling food into another meal these days.  e.g. If I make beans for Mexican, the next night, we're probably having veg burgers.  Here's the roll for this marinaded chicken:


Chop a few tomatoes, marinade in garlic and balsamic, then grill for 20 minutes.  Make a garlic cream sauce using real cream, butter and some sautéed garlic.  Then add in the leftover chicken and tomatoes, pour on top of pasta. Wah-lah.  Friends, it's almost as good as Pasta Milano at Olive Garden.

On the ethnic food front, I thought I didn't miss the food here. But I did.  Breakfast in particular.  I found a little spot near our house that will serve me up a pretty plate of poori and some coconut and peanut chutney for a grand total of 60cents. It's possible that this is the best breakfast in the world for that price.  Seriously. 


Last week I went to a party for a friend from another region. They are known for their varied meals, served on banana leaves.  It was delicious. (Ok, most of it. Even after 4 years, I cannot stomach raw mango chutney. I just can't.)


There you have it: our food lately.  Eat up!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Friday, August 28, 2015

Rest


In my flurry over Target-access, I brought back a new bedspread for the guest room. But once we returned,  I decided to snag it for our room.  I love it. 

Picmonkey and I just made a pretty fun wall hanging to match. And a guy on the street framed it up for me. Good words to read before I lay my head down each night.


Who doesn't need a little soul-rest?!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

adventuring



"We should want our boys to be aggressive and adventurous.  They are learning to be lords of the earth.  We should want them to be patient and hard working.  They are learning husbandry.  We should want them to hate evil and have a deep desire to fight it.  They are learning what a weapon feels like in their hands.  We should want boys to be eager to learn from the wise. They are learning to become wise themselves.  We should want them to stand before God, in the worship of God, with head uncovered.  They are the image and glory of God. "  
- Douglas Wilson, Future Men

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

the number three

When we first arrived back in town, I began to notice the way three children are perceived in a culture where one or two is the definite cultural norm at this stage in history.  My neighbors, in particular, seem very amused that my third was another boy.  They find it all very curious, to say the least.  Most are opinionated in one way or another, and they never hesitate to let me know. By the general populous though, we are not really lauded nor are we seemingly despised.  We are, however, most certainly watched.



Not long after our arrival, I took the kids to the grocery just down the street from our apartment.  Normally, I have our groceries delivered or I go to the little shop inside our complex, for obvious reasons.  But, on occasion, I require something that isn't available in the on-line ordering venue.  So, I strapped Asher into the Bjorn and put the other two boys in a cart.  We were, thereafter, followed at very close range through the store by four or more curious employees. They pointed, chattered and giggled their way beside us. I think it was the Bjorn that pushed it over the edge. After checking out and safely making our way to the car, I proceeded to strap every child into his designated seat.  By the time we were all settled, we were looking at around 10 minutes of "situating."  It was at this point that I glanced up to see that almost every store employee had stopped working.  They were plastered to the front window, where they had been avidly watching our entire exit-and-seat-belt process.  We waved…and drove away.

A local friend we hadn't seen in over a year dropped by the house today.  He asked to see our youngest and so I brought out little Asher from his crib.  He looked confused for a minute and then it dawned on him that we now have three boys. A wave of disapproving concern swept over his face and he looked me up an down, telling me how run down I've become - all skinny and dull. I used to be nice, he said, back when there were only two boys.

Ah, I've come a long way culturally.

I almost had to leave the room. But not to cry.  To laugh hysterically.  There's something to be said for the frankness.  I started to pipe up that I thought asian food might have more to do with my weight than a third child.  I considered grabbing a chunk of baby belly fat to ensure him that there's still plenty of meat on my bones.  But, it just didn't seem the moment for it.

He left, shortly after, begging David once again not to allow me anymore children.  Three is far too many for good health.




After school, we went to a print shop. It involved parking on the wild main road and trekking into the narrow lane where the shop is located. To keep everyone alive amid the whirl of motorcycles, trucks, bicycles and street dogs, we all have an on-mom station.  Jude is supposed to cling to my shirt tail remaining on my heels at all times, Silas gets a hand, and Asher is in the other arm.  As a treat afterward, we went into the bakery for a samosa.  I might as well be a super-star.  I'm really not exaggerating to a great extent when I write that every customer turned to look when we entered.


Before, we might have stopped a few shows as we passed.  Now, WE are the full-fledged show. I'm learning to embrace it.

Ah, three.

It's more fun than I thought!


Friday, August 21, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

b-i-g

video

Um.  I know we still have a little time but, what am I going to do when he starts crawling?!? Seriously?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

on mortality

On Saturday morning, a friend from our Louisville days sent word to us that a mutual friend and sister in faith had been killed in a car accident.  It was a shocking turn in her story that no one could have foretold.  I remember when her first baby was born and the small glimpses into her life along the way that were filled with joy.  She was the kind of wife and mother that made everything around her beautiful. I spent the weekend thinking about her husband and three young daughters who were made widow and orphan in a fraction of a second. It was the kind of shocking accident that makes your breath draw in fast.  The kind of hit at mortality that reminds you that, quite literally, any moment could be your last.  In an instant, the lives of those who were sitting right beside her in the car, whose breath kept going, were unalterably changed.

I read the story of Lazarus again.  It is found in the eleventh chapter of the book of John.  Lazarus was ill, and he died.  Jesus, the God-man full of miracles, was in another place.  When he finally arrives at Bethany, Lazarus's sisters, Mary and Martha , are waiting for him. They are mourning, and lament that Jesus had not been there to heal him.  Surely, in all His power, Jesus's presence could have prevented the death.  What follows is a miraculous raising from the dead. After four days in the grave, Lazarus walks out alive. Christ had all the power of God in him.

But before Jesus raises him from the dead, he is with Mary, Lazarus's sister.  She is weeping.  And it says that Jesus was "deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled." What follows is that tiny little verse everyone jokes about when it comes to Bible memory.  It is the shortest verse in the Scriptures. "Jesus wept." What is startling is that Jesus has already spoken to his disciples in a way that makes you feel sure he was planning to raise Lazarus.  He walks into a grieving situation, with full knowledge that he can and will raise him from the dead, and yet he grieves with her.  He leans into humanity and recognizes the hurt, the sorrow, the loss of this fallen, mortal world.  He weeps.  I love a Savior like that.  Full of all the power to raise him from the dead, and all the humanity to be deeply moved by the sorrow in this world.

My friend, Kyra, I have every reason to believe, passed in an instant from mortal life to immortal glory. Her faith was lived out in tangible ways, her hope, very obviously, in the work of Jesus to make a way for her to be reconciled to God.  We weep.  But she rejoices in the completeness of Christ.

The words of Christ echo through the ages.
"I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26
These bodies will die.  Young or old, only God knows. Lean into a hope more certain than the rising of the sun, the grace of God that is ours in Christ Jesus when we believe.

We weep now, in this passing world.  A day of rejoicing is coming.




I realize there are some who read this blog who may not have certain peace that if their mortal life closed this instant and they stood before a Holy God that all would be well for them.  This weekend has made me painfully aware how pressing the good news is. There is such hope.  This video is a great simple explanation.  Close your eyes in peace this day. Christ gave himself for you. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

alive


Hello, friends.  We're alive.

I just found one of Asher's onsie's in the trash can. I feel sure I did it, not the kids. It was supposed to be thrown into the laundry room. I guess "throw" was the only word my brain remembered.

My house helper unexpectedly took off….for five days.  I know, I know.  Poor me.  I didn't have my maid this week.  You feel so sorry for me right? haha.  Give me just an inkling of pity, please:)  Culturally, it would be the American equivalent of your dishwasher, clothes dryer and vacuum cleaner breaking at the same time. (Please note, I am not valuing a person who helps me in the same regard as a machine.  We're talking in terms of work here.)  I've had a few ladies in to help me keep the dust from overtaking us, but rest assured, I want to throw my arms around my house helper when she returns and tell her how grateful I am for her.

Hubs had an amazing opportunity for his business this week.  He met it with all the gusto he could. It meant a whole lot of work though. So we're on the latter side of several 12-14 hour days.

Silas had a school program. The sweet little guy had practiced so faithfully.  But stage fright got the better of him. Mid-song he burst into tears and fled the stage. I love that guy.

Jude is learning about 3D shapes in school.  I don't think I knew what a cuboid was  until that intense homework sheet last night.

It's just been a full week.  Full of friends and healthy work and babies who won't nap and toddlers who wake up at 4:45am for no good reason.  Somewhere in the middle of it though, I started worrying about tomorrow.

How can I go to a school program once Asher is running around? What will I do if I can't find good house help? How can I get all three of those boys out the door on time by myself in the morning? What if this is what success in David's company will always look like? 

And suddenly a lot of sweet moments of kissing babies and loving on tearful toddlers and helping with cuboid homework felt like more than I could handle.

But the today actually wasn't.  Just in the moments, there was always enough. God was giving me grace for every single moment.

The joy-killer was the burden of tomorrow.  All the what-ifs.  The places where I don't yet have the grace for those moments….because the moments aren't here.

So I'm turning the page of my mind over fresh. And I'm praying that I could live today, right here, without all the paralyzing worry over the next day or season.  This quiet moment that will refresh me until the next.  This sweet baby smile that I might ignore in the flurry.  That truly victorious march to the car with backpacks, lunches and three kids in tow. These are the moments I'm given.  There's no promise of tomorrow.

Live today alive.  We're here.  And there is grace for every second.