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Simple and ordinary objects are extraordinary to children.

Simple and ordinary objects are extraordinary to children.

I have been blogging on our current journey at our other site. This post is similar to my normal posts at Absoluterhema, so I am sharing it here. Hope you enjoy. Please feelfree to checkout our latest adventures at themnvjourney.wordpress.com. Also “like” us on Facebook at Facebook.com/mnvjourney.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Father’s Day

I have been absent…again!  I will not make excuses this time even though I could.  I have had ups and downs and everything in between over the last few months.  However, I want to focus on the ups.  So my return blog will be on Father’s Day.

Did you know that Christian Scriptures actually say you are not to call anyone on this earth Father?

Ouch.  Yes, you read that sentence right.

Look at this:

Matthew 23:9 (KJV)
9  And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

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Yet, Christians all over the world celebrate Father’s Day by honoring their earthly father.  So how do we reconcile this earthly holiday with scripture?  This is what my family did for Father’s Day this year; we spent the whole day in prayer, thanking our Heavenly Father for all HIS blessings in our lives.  This is just one small step in honoring God over man.

What are we thankful for?  Here is our top three items of thanksgiving right now.

1. We have been saved, both from a spiritual death and an earthly death.

2. We have our health.

3. We have a future.

So what are you thankful for?  I’d love to hear your comments!

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2014 in Ministry, Motherhood

 

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Yesterday we took a break.

Yesterday we took a  break.  We visited a nearby state park and then stopped by the local playground.  By the time we arrived at the playground my youngest son had fallen asleep in the car seat.  My oldest son was afforded some much needed alone time with mom and dad.

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Top of the slide

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Thomas and Thomas

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Bottom of the slide

The last few weeks have been intense. We are living off-grid on our new property.  It has been very cloudy and rainy, so solar power has been low.  I think it has been a blessing from God.  We have spent more time reading books with the kids and playing in the yard.  Our dog has benefited from longer sessions of fetch.

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Bringing back Mr. Quackers

I have also spent more time cooking and baking.  It makes the children very happy when I make a special meal for them.  When we got home yesterday I realized there were only two hotdogs left.  Not enough to feed a whole family!  So I created biscuits with instant potato flakes to cut down on gluten, sliced up the dogs, topped the biscuits and baked them.  Served with sweet peas and apple sauce.  Even my husband asked for seconds and thirds!

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Mashed potato biscuits and hot dogs.

I really like baking with instant potato flakes.  I have made cakes, breads, and pancakes with the spuds.  The end product has been lighter and more moist than the full gluten versions.  It was a nice way to end an awesome day out with my family.  What have you done to take a break lately?

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The best gift is service to others.

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Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 39 years young. Most days I do not feel much older than 29.
Yesterday I felt every year of my age. My youngest son, Satish, has been sick for three days with a cold. Not much sleep to be had with a toddler not breathing well at night. I don’t mind though. Great love to be found in the moments with a child.

Most years I do not like my birthday. I have never had much reason to celebrate. Typically the people closest to me do not even remember my birthday. The exception would be my aunt. She always remembers and always sings to me. Even if we do not talk on the phone she will e-mail me the birthday song. I cried when I got the e-mail today. It touches my heart.

I decided to focus on my special day differently this year so as not to get bogged down with depression. It needed to be a day of service to others. I spent the day with my husband and children cleaning the house. We are living in a very small space right now and everything seems to get cluttered quickly. So cleaning was the order of the day. We prepared for a special lady of 74 to join us for dinner. Her birthday is on the 16th.

When I took a break from cleaning, my oldest son, Thomas, decided that I needed to have a necklace of beads. There was no discussion about it. He said. “These are for you mommy,” as he thrust them over my head. I had been talking with his daddy at the time. My first instinct was that I didn’t need the beads. They would get in the way while cleaning. But the Holy Spirit prompted me to wear them anyways. My son thought I needed them so I probably did. They had come in a box of toys that had been given to the boys over the weekend. Thomas loved the beads and I knew it meant a lot to him for his mommy to wear them. That thought was confirmed later when he said to me, “You love me mommy because you’re wearing my beads?” In that moment my heart seemed to burst with the fullness of love. Oh dear heart, I love you. God loved us first and has taught us how to love.

I wore the beads all day. They are the most precious gift a mother could be given. They were offered from the heart of my son. I even wore them as I made dinner. I had decided to make Indian food. My friend loves Indian food as do I, so it was an easy decision to make. I made Butter Chicken Masala, Matar Pulao (Rice with Peas), and chapatis (flat bread). For desert I made brownies from scratch. I had found a recipe for brownies called Better than the Box. I don’t remember what website I found them on, but my husband loves them! Yes, they are better than box brownies.

I had a fabulous time. We ate and talked the night away. The boys fell asleep while we chatted. My husband really loved that my friend could talk about anything and she loved to listen. She brought a peace into our home as real friendship does. My son, Thomas, fell asleep while she rubbed his hand. There was a sweet surrender to her gentleness of spirit. There was also a sweet surrender inside myself. As I made the day about others I was blessed. My prayer for this year is that I may remember to make every day about service to others.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2014 in Motherhood

 

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The Blue-tiful Sandwich

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For this post I planned to write about my weekend. I wanted to share about all the wonderful women I met this weekend and the changes within myself that took place. But my oldest son, Thomas, began to bless me as I wrote.

He said, “I like it when you work mommy. I like it you work so hard to give us food. I like how you make food for us mommy.”

This is a small miracle. My son can be very polite. But he has been asking for things by saying “I want…” It has been a battle to break that cycle with him. So when he made these simple praises, my heart opened. I wasn’t expecting what happened next.

“Are you hungry? What would you like to eat Baba?” I asked.

For those who don’t know, Baba means father or daddy in Hindi. My first visit to India was during my second trimester with Thomas. We traveled to India on a health related-mission and started businesses there. It was natural to use Baba as a nickname for our first son.

In Spanish the definition of Baba is saliva or drool. You can imagine all the looks and comments we receive living in Mexico. The nick name is a neat conversation starter.
But I digress.

“What would you like to eat Baba?”

“A samhich.” he answered.

I know that samhich is spelled sandwich. To understand the full cuteness of the moment the word is samhich, as my son of almost four years pronounces it.

“A samhich.”

“What kind of sandwich?” I asked.

“A blue one.”

“A blue one?” I asked.

“Yes, a blue one.”

“Okay. What do you want on your blue sandwich? How about peanut butter?”

“And raisins.”

“We don’t have any more raisins. How about honey-butter?”

So the blue peanut butter and honey-butter sandwich is born.

I had food coloring in the cupboard. It was bought two weeks ago to make play dough for the kids. As I went to get the food coloring, my husband was already at the stove warming the Texas toast to be used. I am blessed with a husband who holds degrees in mathematics and physics. He is an engineer in all meanings of the word. Whether it be one of our green energy projects, ministry, or domestic engineering a blue samhich; he is awesome.

Wikipedia defines an engineer; “An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics, and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems.”

As soon as I dipped the bread in the blue food coloring, he toasted it so the sandwich would not be soggy. Would I have fixed the soggy bread? Considering I had not thought past having the food coloring, I would say the answer is no. My husband, also named Thomas, had the solution before I had even realized there was a problem.

The blue sandwich turned out blue-tifully. My son was pleased and even astonished that we did make him a blue sandwich. When he saw that I was coloring the bread, he exclaimed “red and orange too!” My husband responded the other colors would be for next time. Today he could enjoy the blue sandwich. Hope you enjoy it too!

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Posted by on February 18, 2014 in Motherhood

 

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Returning to the US

ImageIt had been two years since the last time we had visited the United States.  Our journey back into the states was the end of a two month journey throughout Mexico.  I have to admit I was a bit nervous entering back into civilization.  We had just gone through so much on a personal level that I was not sure what I was even feeling on a day-to-day basis.  I was not ready for the stress of the border crossing.

I was nervous because we had been given so much (mis)information as to whether we could drive our Mexican Nationalized Vehicles into the states.  Most people told us that we would not be able to enter and that our stuff would be confiscated.  Our insurance company said it was no problem and issued a policy.  Here I have to thank Mexico Mike of www.mexicomike.com.  He has been a huge source of help to us during this time.  He recommended a very knowledgeable associate at Sanborne’s Insurance who assured us that we could bring in our Mexican Nationalized Vehicles because we have our Mexican equivalent of green cards.  The best part, we do not have to have Mexican driver’s licenses.  This was a huge blessing as we had not taken that plunge yet.

So here we were at the border when three customs agents came and asked us to pull out of line and go through a different gate.  There was no one else being pulled out of line.  We knew it was because we had our RV with us, but it was still a little nerve racking.  However, I am very happy to report that it was the easiest border crossing we have ever gone through!   The agents were efficient, fast, and friendly.  They were even concerned for our dog as they brought the canine patrol over to check our rig. We were back on our way faster than we have ever gone through customs!

Thank you to all the agents who worked at the Mariposa Crossing in Arizona! 

 

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2014 in Ministry, Uncategorized

 

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Miles to go. . .

Leaving the RanchStopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

How often have I felt this way?

I promised my readers that I would blog several times a week and yet much time has passed and no word from me. Not that I have lacked the desire or things to share.

I have literally had a very slow journey to make that has taken all my time and concentration.

So here I am finally at three, four, five o’clock in the morning sharing my heart.

For those of you who do not know, my family has been living in Mexico working on a mission and ministry for about four years now. We have not been back to the US for a visit for two years.

Things can be challenging in Mexico. Everyone hears of the violence and problems there. Our experiences are no different. We have received death threats and attempts on our lives.

The difference is that God has always kept us safe. The most recent attacks started this last September and escalated through November.

We moved our family out of our ranch and visited with our attorney and friends in Guadalajara for some time in December.

Then the unthinkable happened. Our three year old son was molested by a man in the community where we were staying. Our whole family was devastated. We removed our family yet again and are in the process of trying to have this man convicted.

The problem is the justice system in Mexico does not seem to work for the people. We prayed extensively and God said to go back to the US to regroup and minister to our son.

So we made the long journey back. It took weeks to drive the Mexican roads in an RV and truck. We did make a few stops along the ways and met with much support.

We look forward to meeting with our supporters in the US and building stronger relationships. We hope to build new relationships too.

In our hearts we know God will be sending us back to the battlefield in Mexico. We are at peace with that most days. The work is great and very rewarding. Right now we are looking for the rest.

Now it is time for me to sleep before the youngest wakes up for his next nursing.

May each of you dear readers receive your peace and take your rest this day.

With much love for you,
Elizabeth.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2014 in Ministry

 

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Garden Greens

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So I am still recovering from the flu and finding myself dizzy and tired.  I have been paying extra careful attention to what I have been eating. For the past few days I have been making fresh salad from my organic garden.  I love the days of walking outside and picking tender leaves and herbs for a fresh delight.  My youngest son also likes to help pick the daily veggies!

I have been using a mix of the following ingredients from my organic garden:

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Baby Swiss Chard, baby leaf lettuce, cilantro, basil, rosemary, mint, and/or radishes.  Radishes have been a new ingredient for me.  I have always had indigestion after eating them even though I love their bitter heat.  I have learned that if I pick them very young and grate only the white inside, then I can enjoy them without any nasty after effects.  I am so pleased to finally be able to enjoy them!

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Some days I add fresh tomatoes, fresh organic eggs (from my chickens), canned fish, avocados, or strawberries.

The ingredients vary from day to day, but the freshness is everyday!  I love getting my greens straight from the garden.

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Today I made a fresh rosemary and basil yeast-less focaccia bread and served my famous rosemary white bean soup.  It was a feast!  My husband was satisfied and the kids enjoyed the avocado and strawberries in their salad.

Let me know if you would like either of those recipes and I will post them as well.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2013 in Health

 

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Tomato Soup

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While I was laying in bed with the flu I had a craving for tomato soup. I have fond memories of the school lunch line on days when tomato soup was served.  We would get a big bowl with grilled cheese sandwiches.  Granted, today I know that the soup was not very healthy and the ingredients in the sandwiches should not be consumed by anyone….but it is still a fond memory for me.

So I had a craving, but not for the traditional soup out of a can.  The recipe below came into being just from a few thoughts and cravings.  I must say it turned out really well and I will make it again.  Even my 16 month old liked the spiciness of the soup.  It can be served as a cold Gazpacho or as a nice hot and hearty soup.

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Tomato Soup by Elizabeth:

1 kilo Romano tomatoes, ends cut off

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 large onion, chopped

2 inch piece of ginger, pealed and minced

2 celery stalks, cut and pealed

1 6 inch piece of rosemary

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Put all ingredients in a stock pot, cover with filtered water.

Boil on high until the tomato skins start to peal off.

Make sure onions and celery are tender.

Remove tomato skins and rosemary.

Blend in batches or use stick blender to puree.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

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Note: I prefer a good Himalayan rose salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

Serve warm or cold.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2013 in Health

 

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The Big Let Down

When I started my new blog I had grand ideas of how I would blog everyday.  Then I thought about it and decided to be more reasonable; I have children after all!  So I thought 4-6 days a week.  Then I said, “Okay, get real.  I know that I can handle about 3-5 days a week depending on my work load.”

The first week went really well!  I had five posts and a notebook of ideas and themes for future posts.  And then….life happens.  I come down with the flu.  It has been a full nine days since my last post.  I spent those nine days in bed, unable to even walk let alone eat, and whimpering to my husband who had just recovered from three weeks of the same affliction.

So now I am back, humbled, and ready to write.  I think I will devote a few posts to health and nutrition since it has been on my mind so much these days.  The first thing I did when I was able to get out of bed was head for a good green drink.  I have two favorite green drinks: nopal cactus and alfalfa.  Today I will talk about the later.

Now before you start making moo sounds at your computer screen understand that humans can digest alfalfa too.  It has great benefits.  It is a good source of vitamins A, C, E, and K4.  It is also a good source of minerals calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and iron.  It is said to help with upset stomach, kidney and bladder problems, diabetes, high cholesterol, and other issues.

I tend to blend or juice it, add water and lime, sometimes ice too, then enjoy.  It really helps me get back on track especially after eight days without eating anything.  My favorite recipe is as follows:

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Put the following ingredients into your blender:

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2 6-8 inch clippings of alfalfa (from my organic garden)

2 cups of filtered water

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Blend on high for 1.5 minutes.

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Strain pulp from the liquid.

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I strain into one cup and then pour the whole mixture into a mason jar.  Check out the amazing green color!

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Make sure to remove all the foam and clippings.

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Add juice of 1 lime, stir and drink.  Ice can be added if desired.

The only thing I would mention here is that it does smell like grass when blended.  The taste is acquired and my recipe is actually a little watered down compared to most I have had.  The first time I had the beverage it was made much stronger and had sugar added.  I was not able to drink it.  After much experimentation with ratios, this seem to be the best blend.  I do not use sugar.

Also, as it is an herb, consult a dietician or physician before using especially if you have hay fever.

My suggestions here are just that….suggestions.  I am not giving any type of medical or dietary advice.

Hope you enjoy!  I surely do!

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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