Monday, July 26, 2010

Finishing projects

So I have recently gotten a few projects done and I thought Id share.

This was a crochet done by my aunt when Issac and I got married. I have been wanting to frame it as to keep it in better condition and not to get torn up. Recently I realized I wont be buying frames anytime soon so I quickly stitched up a pillow to put it on. And luckily it matches my new couches quite well. I have some of the same material left that I plan to use to make two throw pillows for the couches. This will have to wait until I can buy some stuffing though.

I had quite a bit of left over fabric when I made the curtain for the girls room. Here is the pillow case I made for Alana. She loves it as you can tell. I still have a little more fabric left and if I can get it to fit right I might put a little ruffle on the end. The case came up a little short after the hemming so you can see the pillow a little. This may not seem a big deal but I'm sure eventually it will drive me batty and I will find a way to put a ruffle on it. ;)

This one was the biggest of the projects I had lately. We had recently taken Joslin out of her crib because she learned how to climb over and I didn't want her to fall. the problem was that the bed she was sharing with Alana was very tall. At first to remedy this we placed the back of our old couch up against the side of the bed. The problem was the foot of the bed. Being only a year old she still wakes up and moves about quite a bit at night and I was getting little sleep worrying about it. We decided to put our Sofa Cama or futon up stairs for the girls to sleep on. Its a lot lower to the ground and is plenty comfortable for them. One of the springs is popped out toward the bottom but they are short enough that they are not laying in that area. This made them and me more comfortable and Joslin likes that she can climb into her bed on her own. This also helps me reach them better for kisses at night. ;)
So all of that to say that the tall bed got put into the play room/guest room/TV/living room. I decided to see if I could make it a little more like a day bed or a couch so to speak. With the material left over from the downstairs curtains I made a huge pillow. Halfway through making it I realized it would cost me and arm and a leg to stuff it. Around this same time I had decided to clean out and rearrange the closet. I realized that a lot of the disorganization was coming from all of our blankets and sheets. So I left a fairly large opening in the pillow and places some Velcro that I had from before. So that big pillow is full of our blankets. I still had a small piece left of that fabric and did the same thing and filled it with our sheets and pillow cases. We have a blue sheet set and this is what I put on the bed. I then cut some felt leaves to match the pattern on the other material and sewed it onto two of the blue pillow cases. One actually has a pillow in it and the other has a blanket. All in all it turned out to work well and is very comfortable to sit and watch movies. That was kind of a long post but I was pretty happy with the fact that I was able to save money on the stuffing and also clean out my closet. So far its working well, and we figure that when we need all the blankest most likely we will have someone staying in the bed and wont be using it so much like a couch and wont need the big stuffed pillow.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

mango heaven or hell?

I have now decided its heaven but I was skeptical. A friend of ours just got back from vacation at his home town in San Luis Potosi, and he brought us mangoes. Not just a couple but he brought us a huge bag that when I put them in my fridge last night it filled my entire lower shelf. A fellow blogger once wrote how she ate mangoes every day for a month and I mentioned how I could never do that because I hate to prepare them. But hey beggars cant be choosers and Ill take free food any day. Especially something my family loves so much including myself. Yesterday evening I pealed and cut three of the small ones for us to eat with biscuits for breakfast. That actually worked really well this morning and as I ate them I contemplated on what else I would make with them today.
Issac had the idea last night for me to puree some and freeze it for us to eat as freezies. This was simple enough and I cut up about six of the smaller smushier ones for this project and actually decided not to add any sugar because they were pretty sweet. We dont add sugar to a lot of things actually. My brother in-law thinks Im cruel because I will feed my girls corn flakes with out sugar. Funny thing is they love it and especially with some bananas thrown in. For the freezies I used some small plastic cups that I had left over from a party. Im hoping they do ok in the freezer once the mango expands.
Of course I had to make some agua de mango which did get some sugar added and this took about three or four of the smaller mangoes. This is so much yummier than Zuco. ;) Between both girls and myself I think we ate at least four or five of the small ones just cut up fresh today. I then remembered I had mixed up some Bisquick mix the other day and decided to make a cake with mango in it. I used brown sugar instead of white just to add a little kick and so far it smells yummy. Its cooling on the stove top right now and calling my name.
Then once I started to get to the bottom of the bag I noticed there were larger ones there also. These were not quite as ripe and smushy as the smaller ones so as for now I cut only one up that looked pretty ripe.
Now I still have six large mangoes in my bottom drawer of my fridge waiting a bit to get ripe. Any ideas on what else I should make would be nice. I'm sure Ill use at least two of them for aqua but they are pretty big so now I still have four. Ok I'm sure my girls will at at least one or two fresh. Gee so I only have two or three left.
For sure this was heaven and it didn't take as long as I thought it would to figure out what to do with it all. I may look into what it would take to make some jam considering I still have some Bisquick mix and biscuits are the easiest and quickest thing to make with it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

passport card

This is really just a question but and Im hoping some of my readers may have some good info for me. To all my Mexico/US traveling friends do any of you have the passport card. My mom needs to get her passport to come down here and the card is way cheaper but I have never used it. I just want to make sure she wont have problems going or coming. Seems like she wouldn't its not all that new but I dont know anything about it. Please fill me in if you do.l

Saturday, July 17, 2010

confident in Gods care

This morning I woke up to a minor irritation. I hate to admit it but I usually check my e-mail and such before I do my bible study in the mornings. And today it was a good thing. Anyway it helped and touched me so much today I thought Id share it on my blog. Truly this reading has helped me also because I am often scared about the birth of this baby. And to be honest its not so much the pain of not having the epidural as knowing I will not have any loved ones in the room with me. Often prayer is what gets me from thinking on it to much. I'm thankful that my God is a comforter and that he can give me the confidence that I could never have on my own. If I let myself take control I am weak and fearful, but; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me John 3:16. I have come to rely so deeply on him I'm not sure how I would take my next breath without him. Here is the reading I had for today.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles Psalm 34:17
When faith seems difficult, we struggle to understand its privileges. Trials conceal the truth concerning the benefits that come with being God´s child.
Unbelief obscures the tender care he has for his children. After all, nonbelievers would find it hard to believe that God cared much for their greatest problems, much less the intimate details of their day. Only with faith comes the certainty of love.
As God´s children, you can be confident He cares for every trouble, even the small, irritating ones that still ruin a day in seconds.
Face the loss of a loved one or a minor argument with the same confidence: God cares for you r troubles. Cry out softly or shout it from the roof tops, and He will hear.

Lord, You have shown Your love in so many ways, yet we still miss the point. Thank You for the privilege of coming to You with even our small irritation.

From God´s word for Couples devotions for growing together.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Seguro: week 19

Sorry I get annoyed with using the months because they are really off from the true date of pregnancy, so from here on out I will be posting the week that Im on when I visit the seguro.
This visit was a little tougher because they made my appointment during a time when my husband could not get out of work. Because I knew I would be seeing a nurse and not the doctor I was ok with it. The girls actually did pretty well... I have good kids thank God. My appointment was set for 445 and I got there about 430pm. I was called in to see the nurse around 5pm. So not to bad of a wait. I have decided that when I meet someone for the first time I should outright explain that I sometimes have trouble understanding if they talk to fast or do not enunciate properly. The problem is my husband is so picky sometimes about how I speak that for a bit people dont realize that I do not know spanish well. But all in all I was able to understand her and when I wasn't I explained things to her and she was patient and either slowed down or spoke more clearly. She asked all the normal questions about swelling, head aches, dizziness, pain and or bleeding. Everything is going well so we moved on and a guy who was obviously a new nurse took my blood pressure and measured my stomach. He did the measuring with me lying on my back on the table then stepped back and told me to get up. These tables are tiny and I was afraid of falling off if I rolled over and so I tried to get up to my elbows first and get up the way you do when your not prego. He then was like no no no and came over to help me roll over and started a teaching charade about how I should get up from a lying position. I explained to him that I understood this but that I was scared because he moved so far away from the table. I hope he will stand closer for future women, but who knows. The other nurse was steady putting stuff in the computer and I assume documenting the teaching and such that this young nurse was getting ready to do with me. He flipped through a booklet that on my side had pictures and on his side had information for him to read to me. He did a good job and talked to me about eating right, hygiene, and taking my prenatal vitamins. He also discussed properly fitting clothing and shoes and how important that is. I never mentioned I was a nurse because I like that they do the teaching and am interested in how much the do with the general public. The other nurse then addressed what type of birth control we wanted to do after the baby was born. As I said with the other visit the doctor had mentioned this also and when we told her we wanted my husband to have the operation she said it would be no problem and moved on. We forgot at that appointment to ask how he was to get set up to have it done through the seguro. So I now asked the nurse if he had to see the general practitioner first before seeing the surgeon. NO HE DOESN'T. Get this all he has to do is show up at my 7month appointment and they will set it up from there with her. This is all turning out to be much easier than I had thought it would be. I also asked her about what they do for pain during the birth of the baby at the hospital. As I suspected there will be no epidural but if they have to cut they do give you a local anesthetic. So that came as some relief. I also asked about if the baby would be left with me and thankfully she said it would. In the private hospital I wanted the baby way way earlier than they would bring her to me. And Im pretty sure they feed her before bringing her to me. I mentioned this and she said that if I was wanting to nurse the baby they would rather me be the first to feed the baby. So aside from not getting the epidural Im liking the out look of this hospital stay better. I hear the nursing care sucks but seriously it sucked at the private one also. They made sure I had enough vitamins for the next month and sent me on my way. On my way out I set up my next appointment and headed home.

When its to hot to cook boycot the stove

Its actually really nice here now with the rain but I see that some of my friends both in Mexico and in the states are struggling with the heat. So here is a little something I found when it was to hot here to cook.
So here are the ones Iv found please share if you have more. Im putting in my changes that I made so I can make them here in Mexico. For example a lot of them had cubed cooked chicken which in the states you can buy in a can or frozen well not around here so I put ham in all of them or you could get some mariscos. I suppose some of them could use tuna also but not sure on the taste.

Tex Mex (hee hee I always find it funny to make tex mex)
6-7 slices of ham cubed (depending on the thickness)
1 can corn
1can black beans
1/2 green bell pepper cubed
1c diced cheese (I used chiuahua)
1c thick and chunky salso (I actually bought salsa for the first time in a long time instead of making it)
half the bunch of cilantro

Mix all but salsa cilantro and mayo, mix these in a separate container. It didnt suggest how to eat it but what we did was put it on tostadas, it was very yummy, I was mixing the sauce with the bean mixture and hubby liked it better to spread the mayo salsa over the tostada then put on the bean mixture.

This turned out yummy and I didnt even use the pecans.
Crab spread for wraps
1pck cream cheese
6oz can crab meat (dont have this around here so I got surimi, same thing)
1/3 c mayo
1/2tsp thyme
1Tbsp horseradish (cant find this either I plan to just leave it out)
1Tbsp mustard or Disaun (no idea how to spell that)
1/4 c parmesan
3Tbs peacans
Mix up and chill several hours spread out on wraps (flour tortillas) and serve.

Greek Salad
2c cauliflower florets
2 c broccoli florets
1c sliced fresh mushrooms
1c pitted olive
1/2 c green pepper
1pt grape tomatoes (dont have grape ones here but I did manage to find cherry ones)
1c Italian or greek salad dressing
1c crumbled feta cheese (Ill be using the regular crumbly quesadilla cheese)
1/2 cup pine nuts (yep wont be using thsese)

Mix and serve

2c cubbed chicken or ham
1/3 c green onion
1 tomato
1 avacado
1/3c dressing
1Tbsp mustard
flour tortillas
1 1/" c fresh spinich
1c blue cheese.

Mix first 4 ingredients, mix next 3 in separate container, put dressing mix on tortilla followed by ham then spinach and cheese and wrap.

I was asked on my bean post to share some ideas of how I cook mine. To be honest I dont have a recipe. But here is what I do, I soak about 3/4 kilo of beans in my crockpot overnight. In the morning I add water till the pot is full, cut off a chunk of onion which is usually about a 1/4 of it, peal and cut in half about 2-3 pieces of garlic depending on the sizes, put in one chicken bulion cube, then I add what ever spices I have available like oregano (my husband loves oregano), thyme, and some garlic power. Oh yeah I love garlic so if your not a big fan leave out the powder and add less fresh garlic. I dont add any salt at this point. I have found that they can get pretty salty if you do. And let cook on high for 6-8 hours depending on how mushy you want them. When I freeze them I let them dethaw by setting them on the counter most of the day. Then to re-fry them I just heat oil in a large pan, after its nice and hot I poor in the beans with the juice, sometimes you may need to add some water and depending on how they came out you may need to add some salt. Let them simmer in the juice or water for a little while till they are nice and soft. I use the squisher thingy (lol I have no idea what its called and so far no one I know does. Iv asked and they say what comes down to the thing you make beans with.) But it comes with most spatula groups here in Mexico and if flat on the bottom with little wholes in it. Ill add a picture. So you squish squish squish to your hearts delight and let the juice or water simmer out. Some people like their beans watery and others dont, I like both and make which ever will serve well with what we are having.
Here is the squisher if anyone has a proper name please share. ;)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Beans beans good for the heart....

Oh yeah the more you eat the more you fart.
Or you may have grown up with: Beans Beans the magical fruit... the more you eat the more you tute.
No this post is not about farting its about beans. ;) I have to tell you though the first time I sang this little diddy in front of my husband hes like.."What did you just say." When I sang it I was sure he would say, oh we sang something similar as a kid. There are a lot of the the nursery rhymes and child songs that he knows in Spanish because magically kids in both countries grew up with them. (I blame TV) But in the land of beans they didn't sing about what they do to your digestive system. Maybe that's partly because they eat them so much beans just dont have as strong and affect on the Mexican stomach of steal. Ok I said this wasn't going to be about farting didn't I.
So not only are beans good for the heart they really are magical because they are also good on your budget. this I do believe is why they are so necessary and a staple here in Mexico. You can buy a kilo of pinto beans for 10-12pesos depending on when and where you by and a kilo of black beans for only a few pesos more. Issacs mom and aunts work part of the year in a childrens home that his other aunt runs. At this home they have a huge pressure cooker. How huge you may ask. Well they cook close to three kilos of beans at a time. They serve them at dinner that night and whats left over after they cool off they freeze in packages. When one or the other is here in El Valle they tone it down a bit and do one kilo at a time but the same principle applies. You cook a lot, freeze them, and then you can have beans pretty much every night or day.
For our house I still do not own a pressure cooker, this will be remedied on some birthday or mothers day but who knows when. Really though I'm fine with out it, instead I have a medium size crock pot. I like the way the beans taste better when they have cooked and simmered in the spices all day. Pressure cookers are nice sometimes because they are so fast. When mi suegra cooks the one kilo it takes less than an hour and when I cook half kilo in my crock pot its an all day thing. Both the examples above accredit for the beans soaking the night before. But with the pressure cooker you dont even have to do that you just let them sit an extra 30min or hour in the cooker. After cooking the half kilo I'm usually able to separate it in three portions (although Em finding with the baby eating more and more its slowly turning into two portions). The first we always eat as whole beans because they are fresh. The other two get frozen and when I dethaw them they get refried.
Beans can always be kept lively and seem like a new meal every night. If you ask my husband how he likes his beans he goes into a forest gump tirade about... Whole beans and eggs, Whole beans and chorizo, whole beans and rice (maybe with some carne molido) this could go on for awhile and then he would go into refried beans with...
To be honest beans have a lot of protein and although you do still need some meat in your diet they help to replace much of what is needed. Just take a look at the guide below it says meat AND BEANS, they are one in the same as far as your nutrition is concerned. Mind you you will not get iron from them so you still need your occasional beef and such. When I moved here and found my grocery budget was much lower than it was before I was concerned that our health may suffer a bit. But to be honest thanks to the freshness of all the food we eat I think the opposite is happening. I seriously cant remember the last time I ate something that was prepackaged out of my fridge except American cheese slices.

So now with our savings gone and our for sure tight budget on food I will be working my little crock pot once or twice a week to get those beans going. The other staple that can be added to these beans that helps to add to a yummy dinner and not a lot to the price is rice. Yum beans and rice. I cant believe after two years in Mexico this is my first post on Beans.

Friday, July 9, 2010


One thing I have loved about being a stay at home mom is that I get to put all my craft ideas to use. In Mexico when they build houses they dont seem to give any thought to the windows and the fact that you may want curtains. This has been a hurdle for every place we have moved into. This new house is no different. I used the curtains I had already made for the large back door and window but nothing even resembling these would work on the front windows. The windows go all the way to the ceiling and in the upstairs bedrooms they go all the way to one wall leaving no room for hanging rods. they also open inward which posed more problems. What we came up with in the end was a thin metal pipe secured toward the ceiling with a hook or nail (or tape in some instances) and I hand made the curtains to be long enough and easy enough to open and close by adding loops to the top. The picture of the curtain in my room is not updated (the black and white one) I have now put shower curtain rings into the top to make it easier to open and close. It actually doesn't look as tacky as it sounds. ;)
In the last photo is a picture of my youngest daughters name. We had one for Alana that was given to us which is very nice. I felt Joslin needed one to. This is made from sheets of thick plastic which came off of a metallic shelf we had gotten for free. I took the sheets off and saved them in case I could use them later. They did come in handy after all. My favorite projects are ones like this one where Im able to find things from around my house, for cheap or free and make them something fun.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Update on Church going

I think in one of my posts about our new place I mentioned that we found a church close by. Keeping Christ in the life of our family is so important to me and my husband. We were both raised and still are Non catholic Christians and that's not always easy here in Mexico. We were going to a church near our other house which we thought to be the only Christian church in town. It is pretty large for our taste, but we knew we needed to be going ourselves and to have the girls going. I teach Alana a lot about the bible at home and I feel this is just as important as her being in church. Kind of like I dont think teachers should hold all responsibility of educating my children. Kids learn best when they are getting the information from loving parents at home as well as others outside the home. Ok off that soap box I want to tell you about my church.
There are never more than 15-20 people including the kids each Sunday. Except a couple Sundays ago was the 8year anniversary for the church here so people came in from the church in Guad and it was a full house that weekend. But even with all those people everyone stood around and talked like old friends. This is what Issac and I really want in a church is fellowship. I do feel its important for us to be feed by a pastor and to be reminded of principles from the bible but to be honest we have found we can find that online. What you can not find is Christian fellowship.
The lesson last night was about letting God take control and knowing that he will care for you. We have seen this over and over in the last couple years since we moved down here and I know we will see it over and over again. But even with all this proof its easy to get anxious about money, and clothing, and shoes. But you know what he reminded us of... that God provided for a whole nation in a desert for 40 year. For 40 years they had shoes on their feet, cloths on their backs, and food and water in their stomachs. Sure it prob wasn't the best looking clothing or shoes and they were eating plane bread with no jam, but they were taken care of. Man, its just always so good to remember that I am so cared for by being who is much more than I can ever know.
After church we stayed and chattered and ate and the girls had a blast playing. We have not experienced this kind of thing since being in the states. I believe that "church" is not the building or the sermon or even the preacher. Church is the people no matter where they are and one of the truest showings of the church is when those people fellowship together. I cant tell you how revived I am today. Its so nice not to come out of church feeling frustrated and discontent. Its nice to understand enough of what the preacher is saying to at least get the point of the sermon. I do still miss a lot of the jokes and stories but because they post the verses on a screen I can keep up with those and then catch enough of what he says to understand. And Issac always chats with me about it after so I can catch more than I did at first. Oh but I did volunteer to put a lesson together for the kids as long as I had someone in the room to do all the talking. The teacher was really excited. Im pretty sure she is a full time worker and I love putting these things together as long as I get to sit through church sometimes to.
So last night I got to chat with a bunch of ladies about babies, pregnancy, kids, husbands and all that good stuff that ladies chat about. That was so nice. I did have to ask them to repeat a few times and sometimes I just didn't ever figure out what they were saying but for the most part I feel I was able to actually connect.

Ok now I need to stop posting, go clean my house so I can read other blogs later.

I love when others post pics so here is one that has nothing to do with this post. ;)

We love our yard.

4th of July and Kitty Ke

Just wanted to write a short post about the fourth of July. I plan to always keep my girls educated on all things American. So this year Alana watched a cartoon that PBS has put out called the Liberty Kids. It was actually really cute and educational, we watched the first fourth of July episode. At four years old I'm not sure how much of it she really got but she liked the show anyway. I also had her paint a flag which she did very well and later that evening she explained to her papi what the American flag looked like in great detail. It was kinda cold and rainy here so to warm up a little we made some star sugar cookies and ate a lot of them of course with strawberry jelly to make them red. I have to say the best part of our day was going to church last night, this is for another post. I'm feeling post happy today. ;)

Below is a couple pictures of Ke Ke our new addition to the family. I had told my daughter that when we had a house we could get a cat and she started asking for it two days after we moved in. Kids don't let anything slip by. My husband and I both love cats so we were all for it. This cat is amazing with the girls and so far they are doing ok. I have to watch them very close and there is a lot of, "put her down", "dont pull her tail," "Stop that," " leave Ke Ke a lone for a min." going on but that's to be expected. We do take Ke Ke brakes where she gets put on the patio and I dont have to hover for a bit.
Ok I just went and previewed the blog and realize it looks like I was saying that Joslin goes on the patio but that's not what I meant. lol She just happened to be playing outside and the cat inside for this picture. Obviously the cat is the one who gets put on the patio for Ke Ke break time. But this was just to cute and as you can tell the cat actually wanted to get to her. Im not sure whats wrong with this cat but even though Joslin and Alana are not always gentle she loves them.