Saturday, September 06, 2008

One Of Those Days

Today I'm having a rough day. It started last night with an argument and a migraine. The argument has been resolved but the migraine is still raging.

The kids are out of sorts (well, mostly it's just Nate) and the plumbers have been here all day banging and welding to fix the leaky pipe in the kids' bedroom.

I feel so disgusted with myself. I try and try to keep it all together- motherhood, being a good wife, ministry etc. But lately it seems like all I've been doing is trying hard not to look and act like the one thing I am-- a tired as heck mother of three young children who has no idea how to keep it all together.

Prayers much appreciated.

*sniff, sniff*

Friday, September 05, 2008

Frugal Friday: Borscht, A Frugal Meal

I first tasted borscht at an old Russian restaurant in our town over 10 years ago. I loved the taste and thought, at the time, that it must be pretty easy to make. I was 16 years old then and not very interested in cooking. However, since getting married, I've made it several times and am always amazed by how simple it is to make! I don't usually follow a recipe for it but you can find some easy ones one (I'd look them up for you but I've got to get my day started!)

There are probably as many recipes for borscht as there are Russian and Ukrainian Babushkas, but for me, I keep it simple. I just basically make a beef and veggie soup and add 2 small beets. It goes something like this: (I use a 5 qt pot)

Sautee in 1 tbsp butter:
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped

Add 1 lb or so of cubed beef and stir until beef is seared.

Cut veggies-- potatoes, carrots, beets and cabbage-- into strips, all about the same size. Add to meat/onion/garlic. Cover with about 4 cups of boiling water.

Add one beef bouillon and salt and black pepper as needed. One bay leaf may also be used. Add more water if needed.

Cook until veggies are tender. Serve hot, with a dollop of sour cream on top. It's very good accompanied with fresh bread and butter.

Borscht is our traditional "beginning of fall" meal. Hetee and I whipped up a pot last night after the kids were in bed and ate it for a late supper. It's fast and easy to make and very economical for our family of 5. And it's pinkish purple, which Abi loves. =)

Happy Frugal Friday, everybody! For more tips and ideas visit Crystal, at Biblical Womanhood.

Oh, and just you know, in Russian, "borscht" doesn't have a "t" on the end. it's just "borsch". I used to study Russian and I distinctly remember writing "borsch" in Cyrillic with no "t". =)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

What's Been Making Me Smile...

With all that's been going on this past week, the funeral and everything, it was hard to think of something to smile about. But, as I'm sitting and thinking about what to write, I am starting to feel much better. These "what's been making me smile" posts are really therapeutic. =)

So here you have it. Here's what's been making me smile:
  1. the smell of Kenny's hair when he comes in from the sunny outdoors
  2. hearing about Nate's funny school antics
  3. Abi and her "Hello Kitty" coloring book
  4. coffee
  5. coffee
  6. Did I mention coffee?
  7. A package from Sara with a brand new SHARP Cutco kitchen knife, among other cool stuff
  8. the fact that we no longer live in a fifth floor apartment (well, this one mostly makes me sigh in relief rather than smiling)
  9. Tom and Jerry
  10. A husband who adores me and makes me feel like I belong
What about you? Have you been having a tough week and need to list your reasons for smiling? Leave a comment!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Welcome To The Mongolian School System

First of all, I just want to say that the outpouring of prayers and financial help for Bogi and Enkhmaa have been overwhelming! Thank you all for donating so that we can move them into a new apartment and cover their rent for a year (about 130 USD per month). We are well over halfway there and are SO excited that God has enabled us to do this for them. Thank you again and again for being a part!

For those of you who have been carrying us with your prayers, a big "thank you" as well. We have felt the grace of God so strongly these past few days and know that it was He alone who has comforted us and also helped us to comfort others.

In other news...

It was with VERY mixed emotions that we said our goodbyes to Nate today on his first day of school. He looked so sharp in his suit and bow tie. September 1st is a big deal in Mongolia and it was a big day for us, too. I took pictures but our digital camera is refusing to cooperate and I don't think I'll be able to salvage any. I'm very upset about that!!!

At the opening ceremony, (remember I said that Sept. 1st is a big deal?) the teachers gave the 1st graders gifts. In the gift bags, among other things was a Buddhist book. Nate promptly removed the book and gave it to his daddy. He took his Bible from his backpack and told me that he was going to show it to his teacher and tell her not to read "that other bad book".

We were told to pick Nate up in the park where the kids would be playing at the end of their first day of school excursion. But after about 30 minutes we got a phone call from the teacher who said that Nate was tired and wanted to come home. Hetee went to pick him up and we found out that the real reason for wanting to come home was because the class was going to see the Buddha statue. He didn't want to go anywhere near it so he showed the teacher Hetee's phone number I had written and tucked into his backpack for just such purposes.

Ack! Buddhism is everywhere you look in this country. Hetee told Nate's teacher that we are Christians and to not push any Buddhism on Nate, so hopefully that'll be the end of that. Nate himself is all riled up about it and keeps saying how it's not right that the teacher would think that everyone believes in Buddha. He is very serious about showing her and his classmates that he is a Christian.

Hetee says we're just lucky they didn't bring the local lama over to "bless" the school. All of this 'religion in the schools' is illegal, by the way, so I don't think it will be a big deal. Just letting go of my baby for a few hours a day period is hard but having to do it in the face of such religious differences that have become such a part of Mongolian culture, is even more difficult than I imagined.

Nate is happy about going back tomorrow and actually staying in the classroom. I told him there would be no more field trips to the Buddha statue and he is happy. I am, too.