Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Road to Thanksgiving

After slacking for two weeks with no posts, I am going to make it up to you. Here is a little story about Thanksgiving in Nicaragua.

Well, first, you should remember that Nicaraguans do not celebrate Thanksgiving. This is an American holiday.  At times, it is a little like swimming upstream....for example, the number of cans of Libby's Pumpkin are limited...and I failed to find a can this year. So, I decided to use AYOTE.  Ayote is a local squash that is very similar to pumpkin.  Despite the outcries of my children claiming that I could essentially ruin the pie eating experience by using ayote, I forged ahead and prepared the "pumpkin."

First, I boiled it...because it is as hard as a rock.

Then, into the blender.

Now, I have my "pumpkin" puree.
Let's be isn't the "pumpkin' we taste. It is the pumpkin pie SPICES we love.  Ground cinnamon....check.  Ground ginger....check.  Ground cloves....NOT TO BE FOUND.  However, there were whole cloves.  So, Andrew ground the cloves for me.

Thankful for my Pampered Chef chopper thingy.

Of course, lest we forget our sense of humor...why not get your septic tank pumped on Thanksgiving morning.

 Apparently, to further the development of 'sense of humor', when you open up the can of evaporated milk that expired almost a year ago and it looks like this..... send your wonderful husband to the grocery store to buy a new can.  It is now, that you are glad that it isn't a national holiday in the country and stores are open. (Although, it sounds like stores stay open in the U.S. now too. Hmmmm.)

On with the story...the pumpkin (ayote) pie turned out lovely and tasted like pumpkin pie...because is the spices we taste not the squash.  And yes, I made my children say, "Oh, Mom, you were right! We were wrong. It tastes just like pumpkin pie!"

 Things went rather smoothly after this.  We decorated. We finished all the final touches on the food. We cooked the turkey. We enjoyed good company. We gave THANKS to our God from whom all good things come!

Gratitude. Todah. Yadah. Thanks. Appreciation. Eucharistos.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Window Wednesday

A Typical Nicaraguan Squirrel
photo credit: Andrew Bracht

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tuesday's Teachable Tidbit: My Cat Ate My Schoolwork

One of the experiments in our recent science lesson was to look at how fossils can be made in clay, silt and sand.  So we gathered modeling clay, silt (dirt) and sand and we attempted to make a seashell fossil with homemade plaster of paris (good ol' flour and water).  Well, we ran into two problems.

Problem #1: Nothing ever seems to dry in Nicaragua.  Even after setting the containers in the hot sun, we still ended up with sticky goo. By the way, when we made salt-dough ornaments a few years ago...they turned back to dough while hanging on the Christmas tree.

Problem #2: When you have an outdoor cat that LOVES bread and all bread-like products, including dough, your schoolwork is not safe as it attempts to dry in the sun.  The dogs also enjoyed the leftovers when we weren't looking.  I guess we will find out tomorrow which one ate the bright pink modeling clay.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tuesday's Teachable Tidbit: Obedience

Our current read-aloud is Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. It is a great book and we are all enjoying it! (We like the movie too...though quite different from the book.)  So, I am going to make this a teachable moment. Ella of Frell, the main character, was given the 'gift of obedience' at birth by a fairy.  She has no choice but to obey commands given to her. However, she considers it a curse rather than gift.

This week, I read the following in My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.

"Our Lord never insists on our obedience. He stresses very definitely what we ought to do, but He never forces us to do it. We have to obey Him out of a oneness of spirit with Him." ... "If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation. If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself."
Obedience is a gift when we give it out of love.

And as Oswald Chambers says: "If I obey Jesus Christ, the redemption of God will flow through me to the lives of others, because behind the deed of obedience is the reality of the Almighty God."

(-excerpts taken from November 2)