Monday, August 24, 2009

Odds and Ends

  1. I am way, way behind on posting...but of course, you already noticed that since there's been nothin' new to read for a while...sorry, life has a way of whirling and twirling until the days just sort of run right into each other...
  2. The kids started school a week ago today and it was a very interesting week...Jojo in his K4 class with 3 other little guys; so cute!!! Gracia moved up to the 1st and 2nd grade classroom where she is now not the only girl in the room! Micah also changed classrooms, moving into the 3rd and 4th grade far he claims it's 'boring', but I have a sneaking suspicion that he's actually having fun! JD is in 10th grade and it seems to have been the right choice of grade for him...he is taking a Bible class, Physical Science, Geometry, English, Computers, and P.E. This week he also began practicing with the basketball team...the change in climates and altitude is affecting his game, so he'll have some adjusting to do there! He's also amazed at the amount of homework he has compared to back in Venezuela...he definitely has very little free time here, not necessarily a bad thing, if you know what I mean... :)
  3. There was a mouse in my bedroom this morning...I thought I saw movement in the windowsill and sure enough, this mouse came swarming down the curtain into one of the potted plants on the bookshelf and then disappeared for a few seconds until it made a dash for the bathroom! I really am not a terribly squeamish type of girl, but I do confess to a couple of squeals here and there...brave Miguel shut himself up in the bathroom with the beast where he was able to slap it silly with one of my hero! And all this at 5:30 this morning! Too early for such excitement, really...
  4. I've been kinda sad lately, thinking about three of my sisters and my Mom getting together for a few days in Missouri this week...I'm really quite happy for them to get to spend the time together, but on the other hand would really love to be there and hang out with them! It's one of the hard things about this missionary life, the times we're separated from's hard to be so 'close' and yet so far!
  5. Also been thinking about my sister Chrissy in Ecuador...she had some really weird rash break out on her arms a couple of weeks ago that turned into quite a nasty ordeal. She was able to get out to town and see some different doctors, none of which have known exactly what is causing the rash or what to prescribe...she actually ended up hospitalized for a few days when the rash became infected! Sister Kathy and family just left Ecuador on their furlough, but PTL, their other coworkers (who had been on furlough themselves) returned in time to help out with things. They are thinking that perhaps it is a reaction to a plant there since my niece and nephew also had a bit of the same type of rash, too. The Awa people that they work with tell of a plant that gets 'angry' if it is not properly 'greeted'...that one sounds like a prime suspect! But honestly, I'm praying for Chrissy that she will heal quickly and not have to go through this again!
  6. And to leave you tonight with a laugh...last week I was down in the basement with about five other people, showing two new single guys to their room...I had just explained to the guys that they needed to be sure to shut the window in their room when they left the house because the rain coming off the roof tends to splatter in and drench the entire room. At that point I turned and looked up in time to see Jojo taking a leak right in front of one of the basement windows!!!! Apparently he has absolutely NO idea that even though you can't see IN the windows, you can see OUT of them perfectly well! One of the guys then said, oh, well, now we know the REAL reason you need to shut the windows...ay, ay, ay!!!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Chile Relleno Step-by-Step

I tried my hand at making Chile Relleno (literally 'stuffed chili') this week before Delia left so that she could say she had tried it. They turned out really yummy according to all who tried them, so I'm counting them a success! :D Although as I read through the recipe I later found in a book, there were a couple of things I didn't do 'right'. As with any recipe, though, I'm sure there are variations in the methods of preparing chile relleno...

The chilis used for chile relleno in this region are the
california chili or 'chilaca', although I've heard
that the poblano chili works as well.
First thing to do is toast the chili over the gas flame until
the skin begins to separate from the 'meat' of the chili.
Parts of the chili will turn a bit black, that's okay.
The flame should be low to medium high...too
high and they might catch on fire like one of mine did...

Once you remove the chili from the fire, place it in a plastic
bag for a few minutes, then take it out and
remove the skin. The skin should come off
relatively easily if it has been toasted long enough.

Cut a slit in the side of the chili and remove as many
of the seeds as you can. Chilacas are not very spicy,
but sometimes the seeds can be.
Stuff the chili with a strip of cheese...other fillings
can be used as well, such as ham and cheese,
tuna, etc. I used a toothpick to close the opening in the
chili, but I don't think you would have to.
Lightly salt and pepper the chili before
coating it with some flour.

I used the whole egg this time, but it would probably
work better to use just the egg whites since they whip
up better. But anyway, beat the eggs or egg whites
until they are frothy.
Dip the chili in the egg right before frying.
It is best to use a shallow bowl for this.

Fry the chili in hot oil (coconut oil would be awesome
for this recipe) until golden brown.
It won't take long, mine were done in a jiffy!

Set the chili relleno on a napkin or paper towel
to soak up some of the oil and then

JD had two! I think he liked them...


This last week I made a major mistake at Bible was our first time meeting since taking a break for the month of July, so I felt it was important to attend even though I woke up less than enthusiastic about going out (we've been super, super busy for the last week and a half!). Besides, Delia really wanted to go and have some fellowship with the ladies, so off we went.

Even fortified with a second large cup of coffee, I was still not quite "with it" as we walked into church...not to excuse anything, but sometimes these cross-cultural things take a lot of concentration when they don't come naturally! As I walked in, there were two ladies by the door helping carry chairs over to the American missionary lady, one Mexican. I did not expect to see Linda, the ex-pat and got distracted by that fact and completely forgot to greet Licha, my Mexican friend, right away and with as much enthusiasm as I had greeted Linda.

Now, if you know anything about Latin culture at all, you will know that greetings and goodbyes are super important...ignoring someone by not greeting them is a huge insult and communicates to that person that they are beneath you or that they are not important to you. So imagine my embarrassment as Licha came up behind me and softly asked, "Aren't you going to greet me, too? You are going to make me feel badly!" Oops, major oops! I immediately realized what I had done and asked for her forgiveness and gave her a hug. She was very kind to forgive me, and perhaps even knows that we foreigners can be a bit different in this area...

But you know, I am so glad that she did feel free to point out my mistake because she could have chosen to remain silent. Had she done so, she might have continued to feel badly about the whole thing and let it come between us, and I would not have recognized my mistake and learned from it. I am very thankful she found the courage to bring this to my attention...bravo for honesty and courage in relationships!


In Venezuela, it is traditional for children and even adults to ask their older relatives for a blessing every day or every time they see them or talk to them on the phone. Traditionally, the children would actually kneel to ask the blessing, but nowadays it is more common for them to just fold their arms in front of them. The response from the older adult is "Que Dios te bendiga" (God bless you). We have tried to teach our kids about asking for the blessing, but it's hard when we are not around extended family very much. But while Abuelita was here, she appreciated the kids asking for her blessing every day.

In the days before Abuelita left (she had a really great trip back to Venezuela, btw), she actually wrote out a blessing for each of the kids and even for JD and Miguel and I. She read her blessing to each child and then prayed over them. I'm not sure that they understood everything that she said, but it was a special time with Abuelita and I think that every child appreciates being prayed over. :) Here they are getting ready to start...

When Micah's turn was over, he came over to me
and whispered, "I loved that!"

Gracia had a little trouble concentrating,
but since she spent many nights upstairs sleeping
with Abuelita, I think that they had some
special times together.

Jojo's smile says it all...

Jkaile was super-interested in playing with his castle
when it was his turn, but we got him distracted
with a candy and then he was able to settle down
and listen. :)

And then it was JD's turn!
Oh, JD...
Here they are...finally serious. lol!