3/31/2009

Lots to do

How many of you have tons of things to do but have been pushing them aside because it didn’t need to get done today, and finally realized it is about time to get those done. Well, that was me last Saturday. I was going to get a list and everything (did I mention I love list because it is what gets me to get things done?).
Of course, on Sunday I got sick and my desire went away… ha!! No, I really need to get things done.


* My windows need to be clean.
* The girl’s room needs to be redone
* Me and the girl’s passports need to get done because they expired….. a while back
* My Spanish I.D needs to get done (really those 2 haven’t been done because I have to get my picture taken…. Hate getting those shots)
* My kitchen needs a deep clean inside the covers and lots of rearranging (my kitchen does not have enough counter space (or actually not at all)), but praise the Lord, I have a kitchen.
* I really want to get some reading and scrapbooking done.
* I need to organize my photos
* Need to print photos for our new “multi-frame wall décor” thingy
* Need to reorganize the girl’s toys and figure out a way to make them stick to it
* Need to take the girls to the doctor for their revision and get some vaccines that are missing because the American schedule is a little different
* Reorganize the office and put some photos up to try to decorate that room
* Put frames to two of our pictures
* Get recipes organize (I want to print them out individually and plasticize them as well as finding some new addition to our meals- would love to make a 2 month meal plan so I don’t have to keep doing week plans)
* Need to design and print the flyers that we are going to pass out the week before Easter
*Need to design a new flyer to pass out on a regular base because Matthew has found a size that works better, and the old (2 month old) flyer don’t work for that size.
* I need to potty train my 2 1/2year old before she starts school
* Need to get a working out schedule that may work for me and give it a try

These are some of the things that come to mind right now, but I know if I sit long enough my list will really grow. On top of that I need to leave a couple of mornings for discipleship…..

Should I get started? Does anyone have a good way to organize her days? A good idea how you would tackle all those things? Mind sharing some of your organization skills? I do have a planner where I write down the "must happen" of that day, but these kind of things need something more than a regular daily planner.


3/30/2009

Weak.... sick...... need medicine....


I don’t feel good. I started feeling it yesterday. We have had some beautiful days and short sleeves was a must. Yesterday the day was cooler than a normal spring day, or what I had consider normal taking the weather we have had the last couple of weeks. So, getting ready for church I was wearing a short sleeve shirt and a jacket/cardigan on top. Didn't take a jacket. It wasn’t enough, it was cool, and since I had to pick up M.L for church and couldn’t find parking next to the church, I had to walk in the cold for a while.

When I got back home, I was feeling achy already. Got into comfy clothes and my sweet husband made lunch. Took some medicine and stayed in the sofa. I passed out (it was supposed to be a non drowsy medicine) for 3 1/2 hours!!! Can you believe it! When I woke up I was feeling even worse.

Monday morning has been slow. Been in the sofa all morning also. Achy body, weak, head pressure, stuffiness…. I don’t feel good.

My sweet husband just came back from the store. He is taking care of lunches again. Making his super great burgers.

Because we are missionaries and in a starting church, our schedule is a lot more flexible, but I hate staying in the way of him getting out on visitation..... So I praise God that I got sick on our family day :), Monday. I really praise God for my wonderful husband. He is just the best!


3/26/2009

New recipe: Crisp chicken and sauce

Last week when I shared the Shrimp calzone recipe, I said I would try to share some of our favorite recipes, one every week. I don't know for how long I would be able to do that, or if I will remember :), but at least this week I did remember.

I found this recipe several years ago in one of those free magazines that Public sends out. It turned out into one of the favorites of every member of the family. The girls love it, Matthew loves it and I love it. And it may take 30 min to get it all done. Can you beat that :)?

So here are the ingredients: (Serves 4)

2 cups Minute brown rice (I use at least one more cup)
1 can chicken broth Ritz crackers, finely crushed (TUC for those here in this side of the ocean)
2 tbsp Grated parmesan cheese
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/3 cup Chive and Onion cream cheese spread (Finas hierbas if you are in Spain)

And here is how to make it:

Kayla was the cook help for today. They love to help but when I allow one to help, the other two come running. So we decided to make them take turns.

Mix cracker crumbs and parmesan cheese in a plate. Dip chicken in cracker mixture, turning to coat.

Cook rice as directed on package using 1 1/4 cups of the broth and 1/2 cup of water. If you are not using minute rice, or you are not using the regular cans of chicken broth, just cook the rice with lots of chichen broth because the point is that the rice would take the taste of the chicken.

Add remaining 1/2 cup of broth and cream cheese in a small pan. Cook on medium heat until mixture comes to boil, stirring constantly. Simmer 3 min, or until sauce thickens. Set aside

Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken and cook. Don't you love it when everything is getting cook in the same area?





How we serve it?. Rice first. Chicken second. Sauce on top. Enjoy!.............


....... She sure is :)




3/25/2009

From the one that knows me best


Last week I asked my wonderful, sweet, handsome (ok I'll stop) husband to write a few things that would describe me. I know lots of you ladies don't know me personaly and wanted you to be able to a little more. I asked him not to put anything embarrassing :), he did a good job.


So here they go:



30 things that I love about my wife


1. No one is allowed to touch her feet or tickle her anywhere
2. She could never be a fair-weather friend
3. She likes to serve—if you really need something done she will find the time and way to do it
4. Very sincere
5. She loves to travel and see new places—her dream is to visit Vienna
6. She is a godly woman who enjoys spending time in the Bible and listening to good preaching
7. She is a great mom that will do anything for her children—always sacrificing
8. Very witty and quick thinker
9. A great cook, although she doesn´t really like cooking
10. Very humble, doesn´t take compliments well
11. A night owl—not a morning person
12. She is very protective—be ready to get an earful if you start talking bad about her family or friends
13. She is very sociable—likes to be out and to spend time with others
14. She can laugh at her mistakes; my favourite line of hers is ‘Go ahead, make fun of the foreigner’ (talking about herself)
15. A friend for life
16. Hates when people lie more than anything else
17. Her favourite candy bar is 3 Musketeers and favourite drink is Dr. Pepper
18. When she hears or is telling a funny story she laughs and laughs because she pictures the scene in her mind—she can´t breathe, can´t talk, and is usually crying.
19. She is a woman of great practical wisdom
20. She loves a good book
21. She doesn´t eat much for breakfast, but likes a good dinner
22. She has an eye and passion for decorating
23. She enjoys shopping—more for others than for herself
24. She loves a good movie—romance or comedy
25. She could eat a chorizo sandwich on Spanish bread every day of the year
26. Not an animal person
27. Definitely a city girl—not much for camping
28. Loves to take pictures, but doesn´t like to be in many of them
29. When she gets a good idea she wants to get started on it NOW
30. When she gives her heart, she gives her WHOLE heart


It is nice to hear the way others think of you, those that really know you, even if that love sometimes blind them hehehe.

Thanks for doing this for me baby. I love you so much! (sorry ladies, I just had to :))



3/24/2009

I am it, I have been tagged

Dani Joy tagged me to post 7 things that people usually don't know about me. I have done it before, but I did my best to post some new ones. If you are new here, or don't know me, please don't judge me by number 2 , it was a dark time :), we all have one of those don't we?

Okay, so here are the rules: I need to link to the person that tagged me. I need to share 7 things people may not know about me. I need to tag 7 people to share 7 things and link to them. I need to let them know they've been tagged.

So, here we go


1.- When I was 1 we had a neighbor my same age (1 week apart). For what they tell me I could speak full sentences while my neighbor couldn’t at all. I always carried a baby doll by the hair, and the neighbor’s mom thought the one talking was my doll because “there was no way a little girl could talk so much”… yeah, I am a talker…

2.- When I was in 11 and 12 grade I was a bit of a bully to twin girls in my class. Not proud of it ladies, but I am guilty.

3.- Before I found out I was pregnant with my 3rd child I didn’t want to take a pregnancy test because “there was no way that I could be pregnant”…. But….. I was pregnant.

4.- I didn’t go to college. I drop high school in 12th grade, didn’t see the point. I went to work as a secretary (connections) and when I finish I realized how dumb dropping school was, so I took some classes in accounting and office administration. Really loved that kind of work.

5.- Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a stay home mom. I enjoyed working outside the home when I did it, but to me, there is nothing like taking care of my home, my girls and my husband (not in that order necessary).

6.- Once my three girls are in school I would love to take some kind of photography classes because it is something I love, and would love to be able to do good.

7.- I don’t play games I know I can’t win. I will try one time and if I stink at it most likely I won’t play again. I am way to competitive. :)


Now, for the ladies I am tagging to join the fun:

1.- Nina at Portugal Bound
2.- Jen at I believe in love
3.- Rachel at Smith Family of Six
4.- Ashley at Alberto-n-Ashley
5.- Grace at LifeperQs Plus
6.- Becky at Cook Family





I would also like to thank Dani Joy for giving me this award. It is my desire to let God's light shine bright through me. Thanks Dani, you sure derserve one to :).

I would like to give this award also to some ladies that allow His light to shine clearly through them.

Dani Joy because, yes girl you deserve one too.
Jen for the wonderful work they are doing for the Lord in South Africa
Deanna because we have been friends ever since I got saved and she has always been a great testimony and help to me.

So many others I would like to award, Nina, Jill, Juana, Arancha, Ashley, Laura, Nicole .... but my husband wants me to get off the computer... lots of things to do this morning. But consider yourseld awarded as well. What a great God we serve!!!!!

Thanks ladies so much for you friendship even through this blogsphere. I love you gals!

THANK YOU LADIES FOR LETTING YOUR LIGHT SIGN FOR THE WORLD TO SEE HIM BRIGHT!!!


3/23/2009

Rare Blessings

Most any missionary in Europe would understand what a rare blessing it is to lead someone to Christ. Not the kind of rare that never happens, but the kind of rare that happens every now and then. So when it happens it becomes the highlight of the week (as it should be even if you get to lead someone to Christ daily).

Sometimes we pick the fruit after much work and personal investment. Those times are so rewarding knowing that every second you spent with that person was used by the Holy Spirit to work in her/his heart to lead them to that point.
Other times are a surprise, for you are picking up the labor of others. This is the blessing I received last Sunday. I was able to lead to the Lord a Spaniard lady whose son has talked about the Lord in several occasions. Let me share her story with you.

In 2002, M.L’s son died without any warning from a strange illness. He was a Christian, and at the time of death was doing a personal Bible study in “Things to come”. We know that because for 6 years she was wondering what that little paper inside her son’s Bible meant. It had a few letters and lots of numbers. There were Bible references from Revelation, Daniel…
He was young. He must have been an amazing Christian because, although his mom had never gone to church, she knows lots about the Bible. He must shared a lot with her. When he died, he left a mother searching for God. What she found though was a different thing. She found a “church” where, as she told me yesterday, didn’t use the Bible. Some people's eyes were in blank and moving in strange ways, and they brought her to the middle and told her to tell God to “accept her”. No Bible verse, no conviction, nothing. She left the church and never returned. After her son died though she fell into a great depression, missing her son much, and needing to take strong sedative daily to help her with anxiety attacks.

About a month ago, a young Christian lady, friend’s with her son (a different son) came to Spain and told M.L. she was looking for a church. M.L. told her about her pass experience. The young lady looked for a church in the web and found us, PRAISE THE LORD! Both of them came to church yesterday, the young Christian lady and M.L.

As soon as they came in, M.L. started telling me about what happened with the “church”, her son… She wanted to hear, she was so soft. She showed me her son’s Bible. I listened to her for a while and then started telling her how God was the only one that could heal her. How her son was now in heaven, with no sorrow, no pain… really in the best place he could be. She didn’t know that, she was so relieved. I told her one day she could be with him in heaven. I gave her the plan of salvation. She believed it, she wanted it. She prayed. And praise God, she got saved. She gave me a great hug.

Afterwards she told me that the day before she was so excited she forgot to take her medicine. God knew she needed a clear mind and that medicine takes that from her. She wants Bible studies.

I told her that when one person gets saved there is joy in heaven. I told her that her son must be jumping up and down.

He shared much with her before he died. His death gave her the need to search God. I was able to lead her to the Lord with his Bible. I think he was jumping up and down.
He will see his mom again in heaven.

3/19/2009

Beautiful flowers

Matthew came yesterday to the house bringing flowers. I used to like the typical roses. White tulips where my favorite for the longest time. This "Gebera daisies" are now my favorites. They have those all over the flower shops in Granada. I just love them.


But by far my most beautiful flowers are my little ones. My three blessings. My sweet girls. Today they had haircuts (well at least the two oldest ones because Matthew doesn't let me cut Noelia's :)). I always take them to the hairstylish but decided to try to do it myself today. I was pretty happy with the results. In the pictures the hair was still wet but.... They look so cute :)!
AFTER(sorry... )

BEFORE



BEFORE


AFTER

Here in Spain today is Father's Day. Kayla and Nicole made each a card and a gift for Matthew at school, and Noelia "bought" him his favorite candies.
He is the greatest daddy. He told them stories for over an hour so I could keep them still while cutting their hair. Kayla's card was really cute because in it she told him how thankful she was for all the things he does for her, and went on to write some of them. That was perfect because Matthew's love language is "words of affirmation". He is the best dad ever!

I am leaving tomorrow to Jaen and will be back sometime saturday. Have a great weekend and
I'll see you on monday.


3/18/2009

What is for lunch?

Okay, so I figure after yesterday's post, and telling you about my story of the spaguettis I needed to post something to proof my family is eating :).
One thing before I go on. Did you get to read the comments from yesterday? One is from one of my nephew? (one of the ones from the spaguetti story). If not, let me put it in here for you, it will give you another laugh, especially if you know him :).

From Alberto": I remember the day of the spagettis like it was yesterday!! I was the one gagging and begging my aunt not to make me eat them (I cried too, but not in public). But recently at Matt and Pilar's house I really enjoyed all of the meals. My favorites are the chicken parmesan and the shrimp calzoneto."
Alberto, I am really sorry for doing this to you. And to proof it, the rest of the post is dedicated to you. The shrimp calzoneto recipe!

When I asked some people what they thought I should write about, several asked me for recipes ideas (I am glad I am not the only one that needs some help in the menu planing department). Of course, I am sure you were asking for Spanish meals, but like I explained yesterday, I learn to cook in the States. I will work on finding spanish recipes just for you guys :).

This recipe has shrimp though and seafood is big here in Spain so...... :) So this recipe (of course it is a recipe) was given to me by my friend Deanna. Here is the link for the original recipe from foodnetwork.com . Now, like we all do, you may choose not to use some of the ingredients (like I did), but wanted to give you the original recipe and then let you do without whatever you want.
This says serves 6 but I like mine stuff, so I use the same amount to make 2 calzones. They end up pretty filling so you may want to make some salad and share one of those. Or follow the recipe and make the 6. Up to you. I do not make the dough (although Deanna does and it is great) I use the refrigerated pizza dough. I also don't use so much cheese, but because I make 2 instead of 6 (the pizza dough I use is really big anyway). Here are some photos of the before and after. This has turned into one of our favorites.

Shrimp is pretty cheap here (unless you are trying to buy it in Christmas). I payed 3 euros for 1lb. Peel it, cut in in smaller pieces and put salt and pepper.


Put in skillet the rest of the ingredients (but cheese) and cook until is more like a paste.

Mix it with the shrimp... (I always think you could stop here and serve it as an apetizer with some bread.
Spoon shrimp mixture over Pizza dough and sprinkle cheese

Blush edge of dough with egg. Place calzones in an oven and cook till done :).
And now enjoy :)



Sooooo good!!!


I am going to try to post one recipe a week of something I have make that week. I would love if you did the same, maybe that way we can help each other. Let me know if you do please.

3/17/2009

Burned out

Yep, I am burned out with my meal selection… I am tired of eating always the same. I am so so tired.
I am always so not looking forward Monday mornings because it is when I do my meal planning for the week. I so hate that time of the week. Chicken parmesan, quesadillas, steak sandwiches, fish, pork chops…… always the same deal.

I am not a cooker. I can cook, my meals taste good (I think, maybe I should ask my family), but I am not one of those that enjoy thinking of a new way to surprise my family with a fancy dinner. My favorite section in cooking magazines is the 30 min meals. I am just not one that enjoys cooking. Still, I pretty much cook everyday of the week, especially since we moved to Spain.

I learn to cook in the States (sorry to those that were expecting Spanish recipes from me).I learn out of the Taste of Home magazines. As soon as I got to the States (once I was married) a lady in church adopted me as her secret sister. She got me a free 1 year subscription to the magazine. I think she realized Matthew was losing weight J.
When I got out of high school, I started working in a city 1 hour away from my house. So I would left in the morning and come back at night. Never had the chance to learn from my mom. Neither did I have the desire.

I remember once before I got married. I was in the States the first time for a visit and my sister call. She needed me to take care of her boys lunch because she was visiting someone and could not make it. She wanted me to make spaghettis. How easy was that? To make my humiliation greater I should say I was about to turn 21. I had never make spaghettis before. So I ask my sister how I was supposed to do that. She really needed to get off the phone so she told me to figure it out.
So I knew it had meat, pasta and tomato sauce. I couldn’t find the tomato sauce but did find a can of tomatoes. I put it all in water. Didn’t fry the meat, just put it in the water. I also put the tomatoes. Are you feeling sick already? Well just imagine how my nephews felt. I recall one of them actually crying (he was 12 or 13) and the other one gagging. I felt so insulted hahahhahah. I still hear from my nephews about “that one time when Pilar made spaghettis for us”. J I think this is why I never venture to make any meals unless I have a recipe.

Yes, I follow recipes, and I follow them pretty well, so I think this is why my family think I can cook. I can make pretty much anything, but I need a recipe, at least the first few times…… until I memorize it. Really, would you be over the fear of “figuring out” how to make something after my traumatizing experience…. I think no…. and I don’t think you would recommend me to J

So, now I am done with my meals and really need some new ones. So, tomorrow night, while the girls are in bed and Matthew is off to football practice, guess what I will be doing? You are right, I am going recipe hunting in the web. Any places that you like to find recipes from. Any recipe that you love that wouldn’t mind sharing with me. Am I the only one that have a very embarrassing story?


3/16/2009

Monday Fun- Family day

Mondays are our family day. Matthew stays home and we get to do things as a family. We would read books together, rent a movie that the girls would enjoy and eat pop corn, play games, do crafts.... It is really up to the girls, they decide.

This monday was a little different, we were replaced by this little kitchen. :)

Good weather is here and we have a little patio in the back of the house that they girls have been using to play with chalk and be out. It is pretty small, there is not really room for a lot there, but last summer it turned into the girl's favorite place to be after the garage. See, we bought a small kids swimming pool and we put it there. Here it gets way over 100 degrees in summer so the swimming pool was great for them. They were really tan after a couple of weeks. So we told ourselves that we would buy them a little kitchen or a little play house for the outside until it was swimming pool time, so they could enjoy the outside. We also got us a couple chairs and table so we can also enjoy it.

When the girls came back from school they saw their little kitchen, they were so excited!. Afterwards we went to the park for a while. It wasn't our normal family day, but we were all together and they were having fun :).


A face says it all :). Nothing more beautiful that seeing my children smile.

3/14/2009

I need help!!

I need you guys to help me out with this one. Last week I was inspired and knew exactly what to post every day, but this week.... not so much.

Anything you can think of? Anything at all? Any questions? About me, my family, Spain,the next door neighbor.... okay I can't help you with that last one.

Help me please :)!


3/13/2009

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

Isn't it beautiful?

It is a hand painted ceramic plate made in Spain that I bought the other day in Granada. These kinds of things are typical here in the south. These plates are not for eating at; it actually has something in the back so they can be hanged. If I knew it would make it to its destination save, I would do a giveaway so one of you ladies that read this blog (all 3 of you :)) could have one.

I am thinking I would like to do a giveaway one day so you guys can have something typical from this beautiful country anyways, just with a least breakable thing. Anyone would like that? How do this giveaways usually work? Anyone knows.

Anyhow, I am looking for the perfect place for this plate (probably my little patio) and I think this is the beginning of a collection. Can you believe Matthew loves those just as much as I do?



Do you see this face…. I know, you can’t stop looking at the apple can’t you?

Back to the face, this is my husband. He is also the one that prepared this for me just because.
Apple with caramel, milk chocolate and white chocolate, and let me tell you it was sooooooo good. He is just that sweet. He also is one of the reasons why I can’t lose weight…. Well, maybe I am the only reason, but if he makes this for me, what am I supposed to do? They were so good.
When we were on deputation we would stop in the outlets sometimes. There they had this “Chocolat Factory” store where we would get the covered chocolate strawberries, and also those apples. I have been missing it… he is such a blessing.


I hope you ladies have a great weekend. By the way, if anyone has a question that would like me to answer here, about us, me, Spain, anything; or if there is anything in particular that you really want me to write about or see in here let me know. :)


3/12/2009

Life turns into ministry, Ministry turns into life

We found a park close to our house. It’s only about 5 min. walking and we have taken advantage of it in the last beautiful spring days.
Parks are always full of people here in Spain. For us, there is more than one reason why those parks are so great.


#1.- We have three growing girls are that very active (just like any other kid). The older ones go to school, so they already get some out time. But my little one is 2, and doesn’t go to school yet. So she has all that energy that she needs to use, or all she does is jumping up and down at the house.

#2.- A lot of the girls friends from school go to that same park. So the girls have so much fun when we go. Noelia of course does better with older kids since it is what she is used to anyway; so it is fun for the three of them

#3.-The parents of these kids are also there, so it has given us the opportunity of meeting a couple of those parents. With time those people may became friends.

#4.- There are also other children, with other parents, that we may not know anything at all about them, but in Spain, people are very friendly, and soon enough will start talking with each other.

#5.- As missionaries anything turns into a possibility for the ministry. With time we may be close enough to them where we’ll be able to share the full gospel with them. Right now you can drop things here and there, but we have come to realize that you get a lot more done if you wait until they ask. Then you have the chance to give it all. It is different when you just meet someone and you know, most likely, it will be the only time. Then you tell them, because you never know what is going to happen. But then there are others, to whom you minister in a different way. You are nice, you talk to them, and with time, the question will come. We pray God will use this that someone may come to know Him.


3/11/2009

A walk through Granada

This last few days we have had beautiful weather, spring weather, my favorite season.
It is funny how much the weather can affect one's mood. Nice, warm,sunny days will put you in a better mood. Will make you want to do more and be more active.
On Tuesday I had things to do, but we decided to go out in the morning and walk through the city. I took some photos so you can see a little bit of this beautiful city and even a little bit of the people


Here I am. Not very photogenic I know, but I usually am not in the pictures I post,so I thought I would do this time.

In Spain we have lots of parks everywhere. Sometimes the ones with playgrounds, and others, just to walk, with gardens and benches. Almost in every single one of those parks you will find fountains


Those parks are always full of people. In the monings you see a lot of older people there. Usually men. They sit there talking to each other.





Streets in Spain are always full of people and cars. Here in Spain people walk most of the times, even if you are going to spend the whole morning going from one place to another.

There are still plenty of traffic. Probably one of the reasons why people walk so much. You can spend hours driving around the more busy areas and leave haven't been able to park. This is why here in Granada there are lots of pay parkings... still, you can find yourself not being able to park in those either.

Lots and lots of people in the streets. Madrid and here in Granada are the only two cities where I have seen so many people out at any time of the day, any day of the week. This was on tuesday at about 11 am.



Although Spain is a modern country, in the plazas you can see this little outside stores. This is a flower shop, there are 3 of these in the same plaza.

Once the good weather comes, the cafeterias will put up chairs and tables so people can get a drink and sit and enjoy the sun. Here in the south you get food snacks (called "tapas") for free with your drink. They try to give you a very good tapa because the best they are the more people they get to come. You can get full with the tapas that a couple of cokes will give you.

Another thing you see here in Granada is a lot of tourists, spanish or from any other country. Granada is one of the best tourist areas in Spain. You also see lots of young people because we have a huge university here. We get tons of americans just because of that.

This is one of the old muslim's shop streets (notice the arquitecture on the top of the photo). Granada was the capital of the muslims when they were here in south Spain in the 1300. You can find lots of stuff in this little shop. Lots of muslim souveniers, but also spanish ones. And not, it is not the photo, this street is that narrow.

This shops are very small inside but they can stuff lots of things inside. This shop had mostly muslim souveniers.

A different shop.
This is a "hostal" (a cheaper hotel) downtown Granada. I thought it look cool. All the things in the wall are not painted. Those are plates of differend kinds (suns mostly)

And the most beautiful thing in the city at that time, my little one, with her very fashionable purchase.