Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas

I was looking through Christmas pictures and thinking to myself, 'Hey, our Christmas seems pretty typical, right?' I mean doesn't everyone do stockings and make a huge 'gift mess' and cooked candied yams....and cook their ham in a....rice cooker??? O.k., there's always something that keeps us from being 'too' normal.






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Monday, December 22, 2008

Important Days

Around our house, December is NOT just about Christmas. It's a busy month for the Moffits! First we've got Ally's birthday. She turned the big 7 on the 7th.

Not to be outdone by her little sister, we then have Daisy's birthday, she turned 9 on the 18th.

And then there's Neo. No, he doesn't have a birthday....but he does have a 'Gotcha Day'. We brought Neo home on Dec. 18th 2007, so that is also a special day around here.

And when all the dust has settled from those important days....then we can dive right into Christmas!

Then in January........we can relax.


Daisy, Ally, Britney, Christian and Neo all ready to dive into some Birthday Cake!


Daisy, Ally and Neo-boy posing with their 'Gotcha Day' gifts!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ladies Christmas Party

Turns out, Christmas outings in the Philippines are a much bigger adventure than back home. For one thing, getting anywhere is about 3 hours down a muddy road. Oh, wait, make that 7 hours if the road is REALLY muddy. We're talking so muddy that we ladies had to get out and pull the truck out of 6 bogs! Plus there was the little incident where the steering went out and we 'leaned' up against a bank on the side of the road.

Our little 'steering mishap'

So, eventually, we found a guy who could weld the steering wheel back together, but in the meantime, we ate our breakfast in the banana grove across the street.

Not quite breakfast at Tiffany's, but a banana grove isn't such a bad place to picnic!

Finally we arrived in town. Unfortunately, it ended up being a National Holiday (those happen about every week and a half) and everywhere was packed with people. But, no worries, this was a group of Filipinas...which means the more crowded and the more noisy...THE BETTER!

Me and my beautiful Inay Elsa, smiling for the camera in our new earrings... only $.25, what a steal!

All in all, it was a good day. Nothing went according to plan. We spent a total of 13 hours traveling. We pulled the truck out of the mud 6 times. We nearly wrecked. Well, for an American girl, it was a recipe for a very bad attitude. For a group of Christian Tala Andig woman, it was a recipe for laughter, good attitudes and fun memories.

The funny thing is, I was scheduled to teach a Bible lesson to the group, but because of the chaos of the day, we re-scheduled it for another day. Ironically, I ended being the one who was taught. God taught me that laughter in the midst of chaos is a lot more fun that complaining. He taught me that it's not how smoothly the day goes that makes it a good day, but the people you're spending it with. He taught me that good things come to those who wait, as I watched in awe as my Filipina friend, Jane, worked her cultural magic in every store we went to...and came away with some serious bargains! He also taught me about mud.

That's right. A group of ladies, dressed in their 'city-best', with pants rolled up and mud squishing between their toes as they pull a truck out of a muddy bog...well, that's just got 'life lesson' written all over it. And also, reminds me of a verse about God lifting us out of the miry clay and placing our feet on a solid rock. Hmmm. That verse has new meaning!

The adventure never ends.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Our Weekend At The Ubaans

We spent the weekend with our friends, Benjie and Jinila, here are a few pictures....

Jinila and I and her daughter, Chin-chin, in the 'kitchen'.

The 'guest room', minus one guest, Josh. Yes, we did in fact all fit!

Meal time. Simple, yummy, satisfying.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Food

I've found that the longer we live in the Philippines, the less American food we eat. Mainly, because it's easier to cook up a big pot of rice and then cook up a few vegetables to throw on top then it is to go through the 37 thousand steps it takes to make lasagna, salad and breadsticks.

So, I thought I'd share some of the Moffit's favorite rice toppings.

Now, I do NOT consider myself a good cook. Over the ten years that I've been a wife, I've learned to cook, and of course, living three hours down a muddy road from the closest restaurant, take-out or microwaveable meal has also helped force me to learn my way around the kitchen.

So, if you are Mrs. Fancy Chef, please click out of this blog and continue browsing www.reallyhardandfancygourmetrecipes.com, but if you want to learn a few easy rice meals, read on, my friends....

1. Pork and Potatoes:
Cook up a big pot of rice.
Topping:
Brown ground pork, garlic and onions in a few tablespoons of oil.
When cooked, add 1 cup peeled and cubed potatoes,
1/2 cup chopped carrots,
1 large can tomato sauce,
2 bay leaves,
pinch of oregano,
salt,
pepper,
1/4 cup soy sauce.
Simmer until potatoes are tender, serve over rice.

2. Adobo
Cook up a big pot of rice.
Topping:
Marinate 1 lb of chopped up (skins on) chicken thighs in,
1 cup vinegar,
1/3 cup soy sauce,
1 tbsp. crushed garlic,
pinch of oregano,
1/2 cup brown sugar,
pepper,
salt,
1 bay leaf.
Throw it all in a pot, cover with water, simmer until it's almost dry (about 1.5 hours)
When done, add a bit of water to make it saucy,
Serve over rice.

3. Our family's favorite: Sweet and sour meatballs
Cook up a big pot of rice.
Brown 1 lb of pork meatballs.
When cooked add,
1 1/4 cup ketchup,
1/4 cup brown sugar,
1 tbsp soy sauce,
1 tbsp lemon juice,
1/4 cup water.
Simmer 15 minutes.
Add one can of pineapple tidbits.
Heat through.
Serve over rice.

Enjoy!!