Thursday, July 29, 2010

missional #4 new friends

 I am writing at camp. And just met Todd. He’s the camp grounds manager and is heading to Haiti next week. Charis loved his dog, Beau or Bo? idk

Remember Haiti? The earthquake back in January 2010? 
He’s working with one of my favorite groups- Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief . Cody is trained to work with this group as well. I’ll let you guess which area. Todd will be building  $1500 cinderblock homes in Port au Prince. God bless them. Haiti needs the help. 
This is Carrington. 

She was Cady's junior sponsor at camp. She did the missions study one day at camp and did an awesome job. She is as sweet as the chocolate bar she brought from where she lives- Madagascar. 

Her family lives there and works to share the gospel message with the Madagasi. Her stories were wild and she inspired me to pray for this island country off the coast of Africa- where 18 million people live in poverty with horrible drinking water and little knowledge of Jesus Christ. Maybe God will send Cady there one day where she can see Carrington again.

I am so blessed to have gotten to know some of the people from NW OKlahoma at camp and these 2 new friends.

Missional #3 the family version

Missional #3
Well my sister in law is in New York this week. She is another one of my friends on mission this week. 
Mandy is not only family, she’s a BBF. 

I know she’ll be working with a certain group of Islamic people in  NY this week. 
Mandy and I have been on several trips together, including 2 out of country. 
Since having kids she’s given that up, keeping her focus at home- until now.
I gave her my crib and high chair to sell in a fund raising garage sale. 
Praying for things to happen. 
Here are some pictures from my brother and his family's trip to New Orleans.

I'll let this picture speak for itself, my nephew is over on the far left

Missional #2- my students version

I know a lot of people going on mission trips this summer. Some are family, some friends, & are some students I've taught! I shared about 3 trips in June. And did 6 posts on the trip I organized to Gulf Shores, AL. I already wrote about Hillary's trip to the UK. (Our home the revolving door post)

My 15 year old piano student Douglas is in the UK this week with Go missions. I brought him back  Euros from my trip to Nepal. He lit up. He really wanted to go on this trip. I helped him go financially. So I feel like I went too. Neat thing I went to camp in NW Ok and met a guy that served with him on that trip. Here's a link to all the team updates. IGO ministries sends groups all summer.

But this week I got to visit with a friend and former student - Chelsey Grudy

We had breakfast for lunch! My favorite. Silas was at his cousins so it was a girl thing. I have taught Chelsey and all her girl cousins. I absolutely love this family.

Chelsey is a peanut butter on pancake girl! I tried it, it was good. No juice here- Mountain Dew.

In the sunglasses front row ,  is Whitney Hall. I teach her sister. She is an amazing athlete and has recently won a national title in the High School Rodeo Circuit. That is the extent of what I know about that. She's good, real good. Her family is another one of my favorites. Down to earth, God fearing, fun to be around- sweet people. She went with Bethel Assembly, her church on this mission trip as well.

The fed the hungry.
Prayed for those in need.

Saw a lot of new stuff- inner city, poverty, drugs, lost people. They also saw the ocean, some for the first time.

They made phone calls for the organization, helping out those who do this year round.

More feeding the hungry.

My favorite story was when they were serving soup to the homeless they were worried they wouldn't have enough. They prayed for enough and at the end it was more than enough- some of my readers aren't believers (yet!) but those of us who are believe it was a miracle.

stay tuned I have more stories....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

at camp, again

Camp. day 1
I find myself at camp once again this summer. 
This time Cody is camp pastor. I am just along for the ride. The kids and I were asked to come. So here we are. I have meals prepared three times a day. Rejoice! However, there is no internet. Ahhhhhh! 
We will survive. People have been known to live without it for centuries so I am not worried. 
We are 2 miles north of Vici, OK. Cody and I came here years ago the summer we got married. It’s in the Northwestern part of OK. The slow pace and lack of responsibility gives me time to think. 
So far I have learned 
       1. People up here are really nice, they have no idea who I am, not that I’m anybody
       2. The dirt is sand not red. And it's everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

  1. It’s not as open as you’d imagine, there are trees here. 
  2. Charis is 2 and has clearly not ready for camp anytime soon.
  3. My older kids are growing up way to fast. 
Speaking of growing up. Silas’ summer milestones include buying shades to make him look cool, choosing deodorant and cologne over toys. 
A somewhat Happy Camper
day 2
Well Camper Charis peed in her bed last night. Always fun when your child seeks to ruin other people’s property with no washer/dryer available.
We’ve pulled out no less than 30 stickers out of shoes and I am still perplexed at the amount of sand in NW OK.
Cady has found BBF’s -twins. Her summer fascination with twins has come full circle. These girls are cute. 
The camper is a novelty. Little bathtub, little sink. Close family time. Unplugged and unconnected as we are, we have reverted to looking at flowers, physical activity and squashing bugs. 
stinky camper
later day 2...
well I found a washer, took a nap outside (in a reclining chair under a shady tree) , watched my daughter shoot a bow and arrow, watch God at work using Mr. Irresistible (without moving an inch myself- alas it can happen), have officially begun a diet (They give small portions: funny- when they yelled for seconds Cady when up but returned empty handed, when we asked why she said, “It was the same stuff” :)) and have been reading a book on recycling
In regards to recycling I am doing pretty well, I am a saver by nature- reduce and reuse and recycle. I am used to weird looks from Cody and other mother’s my age. The older people at church get it. It comes from my parents. 1. they are older than my friends parents and were born just post ww2 and used to mandatory rationing 2. we never had a whole lot of excess- plenty of wonderful memories and what we needed 3. necessity is the mother of invention- we have multi uses for everything or can use our left brains to be creative
BUT I am going to make a few changes- 
*being more intentional with those cloth bags I insisted on collecting- no more forgetting them in the car!
*a compost pile - I need better soil anyway
*turning stuff off when not in use
*making a difference where I can, like at church when I lead- I have come to loathe styrofoam- easy yes but who says kids can’t wash dishes? we have plates and cups- I could save quite a bit in saying no to peer pressure and implementing this- who knows maybe someone else will follow suit. 
I am a former tree hugger, I admit. But I conserve out of a different perspective now. The earth is the Lord’s we are to take care of it, not for ourselves but in graditute for what God has done. I have a feeling it’s all gonna get worse before it gets better and the Lord himself will restore the earth- I’m not too worried but I’ll do what I can. Because I am cheap! And I love when people look at me strange cause now I can just say, “Go green” and I’m cool again.

day 3 
We will sleep in our own beds tonight. Hurray!
We took off after lunch to explore the region. There were 3 state parks within an hour and we choose Alabaster Caverns. I love exploring our state. I don’t think our state gets enough credit for it’s parks and recreation areas. Caverns in Ok. Here’s some pictures.
Above the caverns, cool ravines- 

I loved the mile long walk through crazy stuff like this

The area where the caverns were had the red clay we are used to- unlike the camp with the sand. Charis got it all over me and her both. We washed up and joined the campers for family night. The cook out was delicious. I will miss all the meals. 
This is what Charis looked like after the church service. She played in the sand then smears it all over her face when she brushes her hair back. 

Stinky and Dirty Camper

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

a visit with my brother, part 2.....(embarrassing moments)

Well Friday night we headed out to eat. Chris wanted Uncle Julio's but got voted down. Right down the street in Ft. Worth's swanky art district was this place...

 And they took us. When they suggested eating at a market, I was thinking Quincy Market in Boston. It's like a food court in a mall. Sure that will work- let's do it.

The place was packed and they were gearing up for Friday night grill outside and live music. This place is an experience not just a store.

Well I was a little surprized to find where we were eating was  pretty much a huge deli section. Filled with fresh and gourmet food. Translation- nothing my kids like to eat. The choices were a bit overwhelming. For some reason we started at the drinks. Where I found this....

My given name being Lorina, I thought it was cool. It was strong stuff. Good, though.

This is the year of food for me and so I was loving this trendy upscale "market". This was no Duncan Walmart. Here is the cheese section

And this was in one of many kiosks full of gourmet stuff. Yes, it was fun. Yes, I jealous for 5 min- wishing I lived near civilization again. But the traffic is horrible in the city and who would pass up seeing things like this everyday?  ...

Don't get that in the city.

Well I had 3 kids with me, a stroller that wouldn't work properly and suddenly 3 glass bottles and several boxes of deli food. I don't like taking my kids to Walmart, I was suddenly wondering why we choose this place.

They let you sample everything and I then understood why Chris brought me here. I tried all kinds of new things- it was so chaotic I couldn't even tell you what I tried, but I loved it.

The kids were hungry and we finally found enough things the kids would eat- though Cady didn't touch the coconut chicken tenders.

We rode the elevator upstairs to a quieter eating area Chris and Rachel knew about. But more problems when we didn't have the microwave and fountain drinks or bottle opener on that level, having to lug everyone back downstairs to do these things. ARgh! by the time I sat down I was done. Eat or don't eat, your choice but I am sitting down.  Chris, Rachel and I sat together. The girls sat behind us and the boys at a bar several feet away.

We tried to talk about the loss of Chris' and I's uncle that week or their upcoming mission trip or balsamic vinaigrette .  They had some- I am so sold on my recipe I didn't even try it. But look what I did find later....

Remember it from the balsamic craze? Just when I thought they had discontinued it. I found it again. I bought several bottles!

I was enjoying a delightful chicken salad when I heard a sound. Unsure of what it was I turned around to the girls table- Charis had gotten out of the stroller and sat with the girls. Then taken the lid off her fountain drink. She has a fascination with ice. Well she had spilt it. And not only had she spilt it on herself and  the floor but she spilt it by the railing that overlooked the massive, ritzy "market". And to my extreme horror there were people underneath that railing getting soaked. Looking up and saying, "I think it's a small child."

Yes a small child who is too smart for her overwhelmed mother.  A small child who climbs everything, a small child who has yet to develop fear or manners. A small child who just spilt sprite on some poor lady's high dollar boutique hat.

My children have annoyed people in dressing rooms, turned off lights & climbed displays.  Silas evacuated an entire hotel by pulling the fire alarm , Charis pulled down my shirt and flashed everyone in McDonald's and used to spit up on everyone and thing in site. Silas and Charis have both dropped their pants and peed in public several times - I thought maybe we'd done it all. I thought we were passed embarrassing moments. Nope.

What do you do?

Monday, July 19, 2010

A visit with my brother...part 1 (the prayer closet)

I have 2 older brothers, wonderful people.Chris is the oldest, you may remember him from here.  He lives in Texas. He married Rachel in 1997 and they have 2 kiddos. The youngest had a birthday last week and we took the invite (whether we were really invited is up in the air, I believe I invited myself along with my loud children) to come celebrate with them.

Paul is 11, last year we got to be with him on his birthday - they used to live in Florida so we were excited to have the chance to celebrate with them. 

 and the little princess

her hair is wild

And her dimples are too cute.

So this year when I needed to head to the city to get things for the new bathroom and they were going to NRH2O for the birthday I packed up and went that way. Sorda, I left all my clothes at home. And Cady had twice as many because she packed herself and I packed for her. Too bad I don't wear a size 8 kid.

Last year when I walked through their new house before they moved in, I noticed a peculiar closet.It's a safe room actually. Built to get in when a tornado is coming.

I told Rachel she had a prayer closet. Muslims pray 5 times a day and some of them will have a prayer room in their homes. I have always wanted a prayer room. I pray all day- in my sleep, before meals, in need, in praise. I pray A LOT. My prayers are not mandatory they are in response to God drawing me to himself all day long.

Rachel is who she is today because of prayer. She has seen some really hard times the last 5-6 years and the only way we got through them was prayer. Chris, I and every pastor in east Texas. She is passionate. She is persistent. She is inspiring. She is relevant. She is real. She is a changed person. 

She took my suggestion and made that closet into a prayer closet. This visit she invited me in.  The pics were on my phone. Sorry for poor quality.

She hangs pictures of people and ministries she's praying for.

She is an avid reader.

My favorite.

I wish I had a closet or a prayer room, maybe one day. But in that little room is where Rachel finds the ability to put one foot in front of the other in a battle she fights every day with depression, anxiety,  and oppression. She fights on her knees and she's winning. But the enemy hasn't stopped. We didn't "pray a prayer" and suddenly she was healed. Not in this case. But she's come so far and God has used her pain to glorify himself. She will write a book one day. She needs to. She took Jesus at his word and believed him when he said, " The peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives." (John 14:27) When she asked the world for peace of mind they suggested a pill. She said no and kept searching.

Prayer changes things. Sometimes us, sometimes the circumstance. When a believer beckons God's ear in faith after solid obedience to his word he not only listens and perceives, he acts. He promised he would. And when he doesn't act the way we think he should, there is a reason. He is God and we are not, that's reason enough. I have lived long enough to have many prayers not answered. He has always comforted me in the disappointment. And so I keep praying.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Deep Dish Pizza recipe

I married THE renaissance man- a jack of all trades. Remember this. While I have a tendency to grip about the amount of tv viewing- it does produce things like this....he watched a show on pizza joints on Food network and voila! He did it.

The wonderful thing about making your own pizza is options. If we order out, we get one, and it's generic. Pepperoni or sausage. I tend to like tomato and pesto, veggies galore. So I love making our own. I had a great recipe and then adopted a new one from PW's cookbook.

It makes a lot, refrigerates well and tastes perfect. Takes about an hour to go from this....

To this.......

UMMM, it's ready. While you were waiting fry up the meat, get the other stuff for it- this is deep dish, meaning it's a man's pizza, meat galore. We use this stuff too...

And we are into value, GREAT value.

You'll need some sort of deep dish baker, we use our pampered chef one, but any thing with sides will work. Sprinkle corn flour on the bottom of the pan, We use the stuff above.

Over lay the crust well over the edges. Add a little sauce.

Layer on the meat. This one has a layer of pepperoni, a later of sausage and then canadian bacon.

And because he's a man, he added bacon.

Slice the cheese thick. Don't use pre shredded stuff, it's got like weird stuff in it so it won't sick in the pkg. I have been using whole mild mozzarella, it's softer and good for stuff like this. But I hand shred it too sometimes.

Next comes the sauce.  A good layer of it. And top off with the seasonings, italian, garlic powder and Parmesan. I would use real Parmesan but this is Cody's pizza and he prefers the fake bottled stuff. 

He pulls the side crust up to make a thick layer, we've also simply wrapped it over the top like a calzone- very good too. Pizza pie.

Bake at 375 for 30- 45 min. watch it, don't let it burn. And be sure to invite people to the party who will bring things like this for dessert. Homemade by Whitney Pruitt. I loved that girl before she brought me this! Thank goodness she took it home. I could've eaten the whole thing.  

1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.