Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Packing Distraction: Lemon Sugar Scrub

Since we move this Saturday, both Tim and I have been a bit overwhelmed with the details of packing, renting, cleaning, etc. I decided to take a bit of a break from it all yesterday morning and come up with a cute little gift for my Thursday Bible Study ladies. Since we studied the book of Esther, I thought a "beauty treatment" gift would be fun.  I found this recipe for Lemon Sugar Scrub at Under the Table and Dreaming and decided to give it a try...

I love this recipe because the three ingredients are things I usually have at home. Sugar, evoo, lemons. That's it!

I used a bit more olive oil then the recipe called for because the bottles I bought have a narrow mouth and I needed the scrub to pour out a bit easier.
After mixing well, I scooped the scrub into the plastic bottles I bought at Michael's (40% off) and decorated with a colorful "thank you" sticker and raffia. I love how they turned out!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dangerously Delicious...

My dear friend Hillary recently turned me on to a blog called The Pioneer Woman. I think I've gained 5 pounds just from looking at the pictures of the amazing dishes she creates. After scrolling through a few dozen ridiculously delicious looking meals, I settled on what she calls "Cinnamon Baked French Toast."

I am in serious trouble.

Basically its one of the most wonderful foods I have ever put in my mouth. The recipe copy that went into my kitchen book has been re-named "French Toast Bread Pudding" because thats what it is.

Heaven help us.

Tim and I are bread pudding crazies. Like, we join the old people and go to Mimi's cafe just for decaf and bread pudding. Sometimes we call ahead, pick up the pudding, and bring it home to eat with our own decaf. We love the stuff. So now that I have a way to eat it for breakfast...again, serious trouble.

Disclaimer: While looking at the recipe, don't pay any attention to the quantity of the ingredients. Just focus on the quality of the dish. This is not a low fat, sugar-free meal. Honestly, its probably fills my calorie count for the day BUT it is so worth the extra cardio.

Tip: I baked the dish for 45 minutes to get the bread pudding texture. If you want less fluff, Pioneer Woman suggests cooking it a full hour. Also, I only used half a stick of butter in my topping. I just couldn't bring myself to use the entire thing.

(photo from Pioneer Woman)

Your Welcome.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Emergency Prayers Needed!!!

I received this email late last night from on of our contacts for Mission of Hope. This letter was forwarded to us from Dr. Cheryl, the Medical Coordinator for the clinic at MOH. Tim and I got to know Cheryl well during our week in Haiti and I have never met a more dedicated person in my life. Please take 5 minutes to read her update. It will help give you a picture of what Mission of Hope is doing in Haiti and how you can pray for them. I have inserted a few of our pictures from Haiti to help with the mental pictures as you read...

"Ok, so Dr Craig (ortho surgeon) left Wednesday. Then all the fun began. It started Thursday with a mass trauma bus tap tap accident that brought in approximately 20 people with multiple traumas. We had many cases for Dr. Craig :) It was during the afternoon so it was nice to have the help of our Haitian staff and daylight unlike the earthquake night.

In the end we had correctly diagnosed 7 pelvic fractures even 2 ramus fractures (with no diagnostic tools) and 3 other ortho fractures (diagnosed by c-arm) that were a mid shaft humerus, a humeral head, and a compound tib fib and many other cuts and scrapes. We found ourselves transferring to General Hospital and University of Miami cases that they would usually be sending to us on ortho weeks. We had everything taken care of in about 5 hours. The team did amazing and there were a lot of high 5's when we had the x-rayed confirmed diagnoses the next day. 

Then came today.....oh today. 
Ok so only 3 days later, just as I was about to dose off for my Sunday afternoon snooze, I get a call from Lindsay saying they are bringing in another accident, she knew nothing else but it either had American's bringing them in, or American's had something to do with it. 

I got to the clinic as the first tap tap arrived. This one was worse with approx 20 people again both American and Haitian injured. A young mission team working with a group in this area of Haiti had their truck overturn on a mountain road close by. We had both white and black, coming in on multiple tap taps, one after the other with large trauma. Almost the entire team and their Haitian staff were affected.

Our worst ones were serious head traumas (2 americans, 1 Haitian) with multiple lacerations; 2 femur fractures; 3 de-gloving injuries (Haitian): bilateral arms (not much left of them actually), one foot, and one lower leg. The lower leg was not only de-gloved, but the tibia was fractured so bad that the foot was barely hanging on and no muscle was visible at first glance (an amputation for sure); 5 other concussions with head lacerations (americans), 2 potential t-spine fractures (americans); partial scalping and multiple facial lacerations; other head lacerations; other cuts scrapes and shock. OK I think that is it but I may be missing some.

The team again did great and God provided. It happened on sun so this means no Haitian staff. We have no team nurses this week except one from Trinity. But, as it was a local accident, our friends from Global mission showed up with 4 nurses and 1 ER doc, Samaritan's purse sent a couple nurses, another organization showed up with 2 Haitian docs and 2 nurses and University of Miami sent over all their ambulances. We ran rotating ambulances for the patients and worked for 5 hours.

Bottom line is post earthquake, the ER comes to us whether or not we have an official "ER" or "urgent care clinic". I am praying for funding....

and I am going to bed."

Dr. Cheryl van der Mark
Medical Coordinator
Mission of Hope Haiti
The MOH entranceA Haitian taxi ("tap tap")The MOH Medical Clinic

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Necklace Frames

I saw this idea a while back and have been talking about trying to create my own version for a while now. I bought the frames at a thrift store a month or so ago (99 cents each) and took Sawyer to the fabric store earlier this week. I was really surprised at how easy they were to make once I had all the tools...

First, I primed and painted the frames an off-white:

Second, I used adhesive spray to glue down the material to the backboards of the frames:

While I trimmed the excess fabric around the backboards and screwed the hooks into the fabric/boards my wonderful husband "antiqued" one of the drying frames. We used epoxy to glue the boards into the frames and we were done!!

I love them!! The one with the birds is for my mom for Mother's Day (shhh, don't tell) and the other is for my room. The hooks on mine are a bit low but the frame isn't super long...just a thought for the next time I make one. Super fun, super cute, super cheap!

Monday, May 3, 2010


I have sat down at least four times to write a blog about our recent trip to Haiti. Each time I make an attempt, I go blank on what to say. When I try to organize my thoughts I find myself distracted with moments of trial and victory in Haiti, followed by feelings of violation with the home break-in, and ending with the overwhelmed reality of us moving in three weeks. My hands freeze up and my mind goes numb. Kind of like when your in the middle of a movie and the power goes out. Just a "bloop" and nothing. So here I am again, sitting at my computer, attempt to write something meaningful and thought provoking if for no other reason than to get my brain moving and processing again.

Our trip to Haiti is hard to explain. I find myself more and more frustrated each time someone asks, "So how was your trip?" I'm not frustrated with the person asking, I'm frustrated with my inability to come up with a sufficient answer. If it makes any sense, I don't even know that I know how the trip was. I do know that the Haitian people are amazingly resilient. I know that the earthquake destroyed their already damaged country. I know that every Haitian had someone close to them die. I know that 3 to 4 million Haitians are now homeless. I know that the only solution to the restoration of the country is Jesus. I know that the American news stations are no longer reporting on Haiti so people assume its all ok now. I know that Port au Prince still smells of decomposing bodies that are lying underneath the rubble. I know that God is at work in Haiti and that the number of new believers is astounding. I know that I want to go back soon.

We heard the earthquake stories of a few Haitian nationals and North American missionaries. Many of the scenes they described have put mental pictures in my mind that I wish I could erase because they are so terrible. I have done some traveling and have seen a lot of poverty and desperation. I could never have imagined the horribleness that I saw in Haiti. And yet God's presence was almost suffocating at times. He is there in that country and He is at work. We literally saw the fruit of His work each day we were there. It was like sitting back and watching a play. We were the stage hands moving the props and helping the Haitian actors while the Divine director/writer continued unveiling His work of art.

A very wise friend who knows me incredibly well gave me the book Dangerous Surrender, by Kay Warren, the day we got back from Haiti. I started to read it yesterday and was overwhelmed by the similarities between Kay's words and my unspoken thoughts. She writes about being "seriously disturbed" by the reality of our world. Not the temporary gripe about gas prices or republican/democrat stuff that so many people spend their time wrapped up in, but the really awful, evil, dark stuff that we skip over in the newspaper or mute on the television. She talks about not only allowing your self to be disturbed but then to figure out what God wants you to do with yourself once you have been.

I didn't expect to be so "disturbed" by Haiti. Like I said before, I've traveled a bit and have seen poverty. It always ends with a few prayers of thankfulness for all I have been given and the desire to sponsor another kid in a third world country. Within a few months I'm back to the outlet malls justifying my need to buy a headband or another cute purse. My prayer is that Haiti continues to disturb me deeply, so deeply that it changes how I live and look at the world in a dramatic way.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from Kay's book so far:

God in His sovereignty decided where you would be born and allowed you to live in a place that has almost everything anyone could ever desire, so there is no guilt that he has ordered our lives in such a way. The only guilt we bear is the guilt of ignoring the men, women, and children of this world who do not have what we have- the guilt of spending the majority of our time, money, and resources exclusively on ourselves and our families. That is legitimate guilt. (p 22)

We arrived home on Sunday afternoon to find our front door jam almost completely ripped off and our front window screen-free and open. They only took a few things from each of our dressers (my jewelry box with my wedding ring, heirloom family jewelry, pearls my dad gave me on my wedding day, necklaces and bracelets from anniversaries, etc.) but tossed our room up a bit. Walking into our home and seeing, first, all the stuff we have, and second, all the stuff that was stolen, created a mess of confusing emotions. I was angry and sad that many of my most precious things were gone but after just returning from Haiti, I was so thankful my husband and child were not lying crushed under a concrete building. How upset could I truly be that I now had less stuff then before?

Though I am upset about my stolen jewelry, each frustrated thought ends with the face of someone I saw in Haiti who has lost everything and now sleeps under a tattered sheet in one of the hundreds of tent-cities surrounding the capitol.

For now, I spend a lot of time praying for Haiti and asking God to continue to guide me in my processing of our trip and the week that followed. I have come to love and identify so well with this quote from Pastor Chambers:

"If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart." Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, November 1