Thursday, September 24, 2009

11 Years!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Helpers

Some countries function on a 'helper/boss' basis. Like this one. There are no washing machines and dryers and vacuum cleaners and dishwashers to do all our work for us, so people do! We have 8 ladies who work at our house on a rotating schedule. They do everything from wash the clothes to weed the gardens. And they are happy to do it, we get our work done and they get a paycheck! It's very foreign to us as westerners, but actually, a really wonderful system.

But, the two most important helpers in our house are 7 and 9 years old. One of my worries is that because we have so much help already, our girls will become lazy and dependent on other people to clean up after them. But, actually, the ladies that work for us are doing a great job of teaching Daisy and Ally. On the days they don't have school, they each pick an 'Ate (older sister)' and help her all morning. They are learning to wash clothes, fold clothes, wash dishes, weed, etc, etc.

I'm so proud of them, and sooooo thankful for them. It's not just the housework either, they are two extra pairs of hands to help out with Neo too!

Ally 'helping' to 'alam' (pick out the rocks) from a sack of rice. I think the lure of looking pregnant took over the desire to help out.

Daisy is my 'Morning Neo Cuddler'. She crawls into bed with him and waits for him to wake up while I either jog or take my shower or tend to visitors, etc. She's amazing and such a great sister!

Here, Daisy is learning how to knead bread with her Ate Marita. Marita, by the way, has gotten so good at making bread, she runs laps around me! She is definitely more qualified to teach Daisy than I am!!

Ally and her Ate Enday are busy weeding the flower garden. They started out washing walls, but it turns out Ally can't reach very high, so they moved out to the garden.
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Neo's Room

Once upon a time, I had a beautiful office (see below). But then, God gave me a beautiful son, who needed a bedroom. So, after almost two years of Neo sleeping in our room, this week, he moved into his newly remodeled bedroom (and Mama's moving her office downstairs!).

Night night, Neo!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Baby Love

I love babies. I can't explain it, but I just can't get enough of em', especially the sweet little ones that fall asleep on me. The highest of all compliments!! So, here are some babies that will make you smile.

This 'pile o' babies' all attended our recent ladies seminar with their mommies. So many of these little ones have such a special place in my heart. Some because they have healed broken places in their mommies hearts. Some because their mommies are like sisters to me and some just because they are soooo cute.

These two ladies live next door to Josh's best friend, 'Benjie'. The baby in the front is named 'Daisy Grace'! :) And the baby in the back is a precious miracle. Her name is Princess. And it should be. She is number 9....8 boys, and then Princess!! Last month she nearly died of pneumonia, but God in his grace spared her life and she continues to be the joy of that family!

O.k., now on to MY baby love. I know he's two and half now, but he's number three and 5 years younger than number two, so he's always gonna be my baby. Here he is helping Daddy make a Bible lesson.

Here he is sleeping like a little angel. He will only go to sleep surrounded by his treasures. His buddy 'Yertle the Turtle', his 'choo choo', his 'broom broom', his 'night night' (blankie) and 'Sponge-a-Bob' (I don't know why he adds the 'a'). That Sponge Bob blanket is the best thing we've ever stolen (sorry Sis and Bubba).

A boy and his puppy. Melts my heart. His older sisters are terrified of our dog, Paquiao, but Neo loves him to death. Whenever he plays outside you can hear him calling, 'C'mon Chopchow!'

Oh that face. Don't you just want to kiss it!!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Boring Post

You've been warned. This is a boring post about my garden. There is one person in the world who will find this remotely interesting...that's my sister. The rest of you feel free to move on to a more exciting blog.

This is my 'root crop' garden. This is my proudest accomplishment. I've got sweet potatoes to the far right. You can see a big rock, and the green all around it are sweet potatoe tops. Then the tall-ish plants in the middle are called cassava, they are also like a sweet potato. Then the great big leafy plants to the left are called labog and they are also similar to a sweet potato- but not really. All of these are considered acceptable substitutes for the people here if they have no rice. They are boiled and then eaten dipped in soy sauce or fish sauce. And, you can eat the leaves to, like spinach!

This is my pumpkin plant. I didn't plant it, it was here waiting for us when we got back from Manila, and it already has a big pumpkin growing on it! It's not helping out the lawn much, but I'm proud of this pumpkin monstrosity!

This stuff is called 'Angelica', it's amazing. It's an herbal medicine. And what you do, is take a leaf and pound it a bit with a hammer, then put it anywhere on your body this is sore and wrap and ace bandage around it and IMMEDIATELY you can feel a cooling effect! It's so cool!!

This is a kind of squash - I think it's called chayote in English. My family hates it, but I cook it all the time because it is so easy to grow. The best thing about it is that it's easy to hide in a meal - it takes on the taste of whatever you cook it with! And you can eat the leaves (below)!!

This picture is just to prove that my entire garden is NOT boring green!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Family Happenings

Neo still continues to be the cutest little boy in the world. Here he is with his face covered in Cajeta...which was supposed to be for his banana, but once mommy turned around, he dove right in!!

The girls make us so proud. Here they are helping their Uncle Nick clear rocks out of his potato field. Such hard workers!!

Here is our 'family'. These are the ones we call 'Amay and Inay (mother and father)'. They are our precious co-workers and here they are singing under my bedroom window at 4:30 a.m. on my birthday!!

This is a picture of our whole team (minus the Howells) at a wedding in a village about 6 hours away. Filipino weddings vary as much as American ones. Some are small at held at the home of the bride, some are huge and held in churches. This was one of the latter.