Sunday, December 28, 2014

Pantry Challenge

I am going to do a pantry challenge to start out the new year.  Many people around the net are doing this starting on the 5th of January, but I am going to start it tomorrow with the exception of New Years Eve.  We usually have a big group over on New Years Eve and will usually do some finger foods and everyone requests Oreo balls which are not cheap to make.  Right now we have an abundance of deer meat and sausage in our freezer and we put up lots of green beans, squash, and tomatoes this year.  My pantry is also fairly full and I would really love to clean it out some.  The bonus to all of this is to save some money after overspending the month of December.  So to get started I baked some breads to start off our week.

We will eat the cinnamon roll and cinnamon bread for snacks and breakfast and the wheat bread will become sandwiches and accompany soup. 

Dinner tomorrow night will be white bean soup with the leftover turkey bones from Christmas.  I already had the beans in the pantry and then I added carrots from the fridge and garlic and onion that I already had.  The beans came with a seasoning packet that I will add.  All of it will go in the crock pot because we have some appointments tomorrow and I will not be here all day to cook it on the stove.

We have some leftover chicken in the fridge so I will make some chicken fried rice on Tuesday or some chicken broccoli cheese casserole if I can get some broccoli.  I will let you know what I decide.  I hope not to spend more than $200 this month in groceries.  I don't know if it will happen but that is the goal. 

El Salvador part 2

Now I am going to talk about our work in the village.  The village that we visited was about an hour drive outside of San Salvador.  The people there were so warm and inviting.  We had two goals while we were in the village.  One was to build new houses for two of the families and the other was to hold a mini vacation bible school for the village children.  The girls and I helped with the VBS because we were useless when it came to building houses.

These are from inside the house before we tore it down.

As you can see these are pretty primitive houses.  The have no running water and very little electricity.  They may have a light bulb but not much else.  This is what it looked like as they were going up and the finished product.

They were really excited to have a new house.

These are some pictures of us playing with the children.

The children were so sweet and loving in the village.  As you can see, it was hot and we were in the dirt.  We were filthy at the end of the day, but the children had fun.  It was so interesting to see these people still living so primitively.  They wash their clothes in the river and bathe there as well.  They all seem happy though and we can learn much from these people.  It doesn't take things to make yourself happy.  We loved the village and were sad when our time there was over.

On Saturday we did a Christmas party for the village at the beach.  I will post those pictures in another post. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

We had a great Christmas yesterday.  We got up and opened our family presents to each other and then had my parents and my sister and her kids over for more presents and dinner.  It was a fun and relaxing day.  I really didn't do too much cooking and everyone chipped in and helped. The weeks leading up to Christmas made it so that we didn't get done much of what we usually get done during the holidays, but the holidays came just as well and I don't think anyone missed it too much.  It makes me think that we should scale down the holidays from now on.  You see, the week before we left for El Salvador I had exams for my college classes, had to get my Christmas presents done, and on top of that I had strep throat.  To make the strep worse I went to the Dr. on Sunday and the rapid strep test was negative and I was told it was a virus and was fine to go to work.  I worked all day Monday then  got a call Monday afternoon that it was strep and that I needed an antibiotic and shouldn't go to work on Tuesday.  The problem was that I was going to be off all the next week.  Well at 7:00 that night I had a fever of 102 and I was texting my co workers trying to decide if I should go to work the next day.  Luckily some of the other teachers made me come to my senses and I stayed home on Tuesday.  I went to work on Wednesday but still really did not feel well until Thursday so that whole week was pretty much shot.  Then we had to get ready to go to El Salvador then we left Monday morning not returning until the Monday before Christmas.  So to make a long story short not much got done for Christmas and it was OK!

So I just enjoyed sitting in my living room last night eating popcorn, watching TV and knitting.  I want to enjoy my time off for the holidays before school and my college classes start back.

Tomorrow we go and visit Tyler for Christmas.  This is our first visit since he has gone to the youth home.  I hope the visit goes well.  I know that he is angry with us for sending him there, but I do feel this is the best chance he has to have a good future.  Yall pray it goes well.

Well, I guess I have to go get a shower and try to tidy up this place.  I also want to undecorated today.  I love Christmas but I also like it out of here after it is over. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Remember why we celebrate this day.  It is the birth of our Lord and Savior.  Merry Christmas!

El Salvador 2014

The week before Christmas my oldest two girls and I took an 8 day trip to El Salvador.  Our church has been taking a team every year for four years.  My oldest daughter has gone two other times, but it was my first time and middle girl's first time.  I can't really describe adequately how I feel after this trip.  I have so many emotions.  I really love the landscape and the weather but at the same time it is dirty and riddled with garbage.  The people we met were so warm and welcoming, but at the same time there is so much crime and poverty.  I guess I will do several posts and talk about what we did.  On Monday was mostly a travel day.  When we arrived in the San Salvador airport we had to wait to see if four of our boxes had arrived.  We each traveled with carry on luggage and then put all of our toys and supplies that we brought under the plane.  There were 24 of us and we took 27 boxes and 5 didn't make it there on the first day. 
This was outside of the airport.  We had to get through all of those people to get to our bus.

The first night we wrapped about 500 Christmas presents to take to some of the orphanages that we were going to visit and for a village Christmas party.

On Tuesday we visited an home for special needs adults.  These guys were a lot of fun. 

I felt pretty good about this home.  It was a little run down in parts but not too bad and the residents looked like they were well taken care of.  After lunch in town we went to an orphanage for children with AIDS.  We weren't able to take any pictures in there, but the children were sweet and seemed to enjoy us.  We had cake and a piƱata. I didn't get to see inside of the home because we were outside, but it seemed ok as well.

On Wednesday we visited a home for special needs children.  Most of these children were severe and profound.  We danced with them and had cake and made balloon animals.  They seemed to enjoy us too. In here we weren't to take many pictures either so I won't post any.  The home used to be run by nuns so it was fairly nice.  In the afternoon we went to a boys orphanage for boys ages 12-17.  This place was pretty run down and used to be a prison.

These are pictures of the bathrooms and bedrooms.  They are pretty run down.  I met a boy there who liked to read and we gave him a Spanish bible.  He kept giving me hugs and seemed like he just needed some love.  I really enjoyed him and was sad when it was time to leave.

I will write tomorrow about building houses in the village and the fun we had at the Christmas party and at the beach.