Friday, October 31, 2008

A Kiss From Prince Charming?

The other day I was making dinner when Emma Grace came in starving. She grabbed an apple to appease her hunger until the food was ready. Not 2 minutes later I walked into the living room to find her...


Did she take a bite of the poisonous apple that sent her to a dreamlike sleep? Does she need a kiss from her handsome Prince Charming to break the spell? (Of course, only her daddy would do for that!) In her fairty tale world, I'm sure that would be just perfect for her.

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On a totally unrelated note...I added a new feature to my blog.  You will notice the google search engine to the left.  You can now search my blog using key words.  So if you want to see all the posts on University Village, for example, but don't want to weed through the ministry label, simply type it in and google will bring up all my posts relating to that!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yes, My Very Own Garden!


I'm so excited to finally have my own garden! Although I feel a little guilty or maybe it's that I feel I'm cheating. I've wanted to plant a garden for a very loooong time, but between being a mom, working full-time ministry, and everything in between, it seemed I didn't have a lot of time to even start one. I was so excited when Jeremy told me that Johannes, one of the gardeners at University Village, could plant what I wanted!

At University Village, there is lots of room for gardening. There was even a garden left behind by the previous tenants. So I went to EZGrow seedlings the other day to find what I wanted to plant. I felt like a child in a candy store picking out broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, onions, spinach, coriander, thyme, and rosemary. And it was so cheap! R42 for 125 vegetable and herb seedlings! With the exchange rate right now, that's about $4! Now I just need to get my remaining items: carrots, green beans, eggplant (or brinjals as they call it here), baby marrows (like a small zucchini), basil, parsley, dill, and chives.


The thought of having fresh veggies for dinner every night makes my heart so happy! Now I just have to wait for my little sprouts to come into fruition.


This is an idea that our DTS team got when they were in Malawi for outreach. You dig a huge hole and fill it with all your compost. Then you put dirt on the top. After it rots, you turn it, making very fertile soil. By the way, that's Johannes, the one doing all the work for me!

I have been busy researching organic gardening including natural ways to keep away aphids, beetles, and other insects. A great resource as I've learned what to plant here, has been the website, Gardening in South Africa. She has so many great tips on what to plant next to each other and natural remedies to spray on your plants. As I learn more about it, I will post tips that seem to work.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

An Easy Craft!

I'm always on the hunt for crafts to do with the kids. It's something we all enjoy doing together. I came across this one (I honestly can't remember where I found it). It was simple and actually serves a purpose! I cut out the first letter of their name using thin cardboard. Then I glued magnets to the back of a clothespin. The kids decorated their letters using paper, flowers, paints, ribbons, etc. Then we hot glued the letters to the clothespin and stuck it to the fridge. Now they can proudly display their artwork on the fridge!

Joshua's

Emma Grace's

Jen's

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Young Mother's Group Starts In Kabokweni!


Last week I had the privilege of accompanying Lindsey, my friend and fellow staff member to her first gathering of the Young Mother's Group in Kabokweni. Lindsey has a 6 month old daughter, Isabelle. She has seen the need for young mother's to have somewhere where they can learn about caring for their babies as well as share the joys and struggles of raising children. She began praying about starting a group and God began opening doors!

Last Tuesday, 9 young mother's showed up! We did satin hands together (Mary Kay), shared the best and most challenging things about being a mom, got lessons on tying a baby to our backs, and just got to know each other! One young mother simply said that she doesn't like children and that she doesn't love her 7 year old. It broke my heart to hear that. Please pray for this young mother and others out there like her.

Isabelle thought the experience a bit claustrophobic...

Please also pray for Lindsey. I admire her to see the need and make this happen! Please pray that God will continue to give her wisdom on which topics to cover as well opportunities for discipling these young moms.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hibiscus Tea

From Blog Pics

This is a great refresher that is only sweetened with apple juice - no added sugar! I love it because it's light and not too sweet!

Boil 4 cups water.
Steep 4 hibiscus tea bags plus 1/2 cup fresh mint for 10 min.
Discard bags and mint.
Add 2 cups each apple juice and cold water.
Refrigerate until cold.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Meet Our Friend, Schalk!


Schalk and his wife, Lida, are dear friends of ours here in S. Africa. We met them the first trip we took here in 2000. Schalk has commented a few times about making it onto our blog. Well, he actually did on Joshua's 6th Birthday but maybe that wasn't good enough. No, we decided he could use a whole blog dedicated to him!

Yesterday at 8:30 AM Schalk and Lida became the proud parents of their 3rd daughter, Christine. This is to say CONGRATULATIONS on your precious new life. We can't wait to meet her!

One Of White River's Best Kept Secrets!


So I know most of my readers are located in the states and that this bit of info won't be too helpful (or maybe even exciting to you), but I was so excited I had to share it! You see, I've been frustrated with the available peanut butter here in SA since I arrived last year. I know I was spoiled in the states with all the abundant choices. My kids have been used to eating natural peanut butter with no added sugar, and I was disappointed when moving here that I couldn't find that in the local grocery. Sure the label said natural, but I could tell when opening it that it wasn't natural. Very sweet with a texture that had the evidence of added trans fat.

I recently visited The Nut Shop here in White River with the expectation of just buying peanuts and making my own peanut butter. I'd been there before but this time, guess what they had!? Real all natural peanut butter! And the best part? Only R7 a jar compared to R20 at the grocery! So while my USA friends might be bored reading this important tidbit of info, I hope my local SA friends find this helpful - especially if you've been as frustrated about peanut butter as I've been!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Future Fashion Designer?

Emma Grace LOVES to pick out her own clothes. Here are some of her creations. Think she has a career in fashion design?




Friday, October 24, 2008

Soccer Match: Hillsview VS Mbonisweni


The kids here in the communities LOVE soccer. It's amazing how you mention a game and they come out from the woodwork! Our Mbonisweni TTH team organized a soccer match between kids from different schools in the Hillsview and Mbonisweni areas. There was about 200 kids who showed up to play in the tournament. The boys played soccer and the girls played netball. (To read more about the rules of netball, go here.)

Some came decked out in their nice jerseys...


While others played shirts vs no shirts...


The girls were serious about their netball...



While curious kids found more exciting things to do...
(Yes, folks that's a HUGE African sized beetle!)





By the way, how many kids can you fit into a Nissan bakkie (Afrikaans for truck)?


Answer: More than I can count!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's Time To Scrap!


I bought this album a while ago for Joshua's next scrapbook album. It was an ok album but I realized my main motivations for buying it were: 1. it was on sale and, 2. the color would work for a boy. Now as I've pulled it out, I realized it needed some eye appeal. So I got to work with my plethora of ribbon as well as some metal letters.

These are double sided alpha tiles called Spare Parts made by The Paper Studio. They retail for $5.99 for 36 pieces. I bought them at Hobby Lobby for half price. I find that all the craft stores frequently do great sales on scrapbooking supplies so if you go in, and it's not on sale, give it a week!

My love for ribbon! I just chose several different ones in boy colors and tied them. It's simple but it really added to the look! By the way, this scrapbook comes from the line The Perfect Scrapbook and is available in many colors.

Now it's pages are ready to fill with my son's memories...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Whole Lot Of Tagging Going On!

I've been tagged again. Yup, that's right. Two days in a row! I must be a slow runner! This time I was tagged by my friend, Courtney. Different tag and different rules, though.


7 random and/or weird facts? That's so not like me. Let me see what I can come up with...

1. I am an organization freak! (Please hold the laughter!) Your sock drawer, refrigerator, life, house, whatever, I'm sure I can organize it.

2. I love sales and getting a good bargain. When I lived in Connecticut, my friend, Christine, and I loved shopping together because she's the same way! We would purchase our deals and then come home and add up what we would have spent should we have paid full price. It brought us so much excitement to see our savings. Meanwhile our husbands were rolling their eyes!


3. I graduated salutatorian in my high school class and had to make a speech in front of 2000 people.

4. I've traveled to about 15 different nations. One of those trips was to Thailand. We took a team of students to work in refugee camps, villages, universities, etc. We were driving along one day and our local contact said we had just crossed into Burma! We drove to the front lines, where the soldiers were! Jeremy and I got our pics taken with the soldiers holding their machine guns!

5. I played the flute in high school. Although I'm a little rusty, I can still break out a tune!

6. I am allergic to artificial sweeteners. Even the smell of sugar free gum makes me nauseous. If I have an artificial sweetener, I get an awful headache and sometimes stomach cramps.
7. I always secretly knew in my heart that I would be living overseas for a period of time. Now I'm living out that desire!

Hope you've found those 7 random/weird facts about Jen Price remotely interesting. Please friends, no more tagging, I'm running out of breath! :)

I now tag...
1. Lindsey
2. Tiffany
3. Brittany
4. Carla
5. Song (Hey, it can be next week's blog post!)
6. Elisa (I know I just tagged you and you're moving and all so if you don't have time to do another tag, I completely understand!)
7. Liesl

Reading...Playing For Pizza



I really enjoyed this book by one of my favorite authors, John Grisham! His literary works mostly include legal dramas, but every once in a while an easy reading fiction pops up. That's what Playing For Pizza is...an easy read. It's about a young man who can't make it in the NFL and goes to Parma, Italy to play football. I liked it because it reminded me of two of the places I've lived in my adult life ~ Texas and Connecticut. Texas because of the great football. Go Cowboys! And Connecticut because of all the authentic Italian food you can find in New Haven! Wooster Square is full of all the great pizza, pasta, cannoli's, and gelato you can find! Red and white pies are all the craze! If you want an easy read, I'm sure Playing For Pizza won't disappoint!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I've Been Tagged?

So my friend, Tiffany, tagged me. What does that mean, you ask? It simply means I get to tell some of my husband's favorite things. So here goes...


Relationship with Jesus
His family
Rocking out on his guitar
Writing music
Time alone (it's also one of my favorite things when he gets time alone! smile...)
Movies (Lately it's been The Bourne series - love ya, Jeremy!)
Traveling
Hanging out with friends
Starbuck's coffee
Sleeping in

I'm sure there's more but these are definitely a few of his favorite things... Is there a song about that!? So who to tag next? Hmmm... Lindsey, Courtney, and Elisa, TAG, YOU'RE IT!!

Mother/Daughter Date!

Last year sometime I started taking Emma Grace on brunch dates. It was fantastic. It gave us a chance to connect and do something fun. Well, with the busyness of life lately, I haven't taken her on a date. Last week she asked me about everyday if we could go to brunch. Finally I took her. We had to go to the same place we usually go, Courtyard Cafe, and then to the chocolate shop next door to get her butterfly chocolate. We had a great time. I realized next year she will be in school. I want to get in as many dates as we can before she's off to school every morning!

French toast for breakfast!

My girl posing for pics...



And trying to play chess with pieces as big as her!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Get Your 2009 Calendars Here!

That's right! I've designed a calendar available in 2 different sizes and styles of photos from my last year in Africa. It's available to purchase at my store on Lulu. I also have several of my prints available for purchase in 8X10 or 11X14 poster sizes, framed or unframed. So head on over here or look on my sidebar to check it out! Here's sampling of the prints in the calendar:



The past year and a half I've realized my love for photography and capturing a story with my photos. This is one of my creative outlets to show off some of my work. Let me know what you think! And these would make perfect Christmas gifts! :)

"If you want to publish your content using a more traditional approach, there are plenty of new tools available. Lulu is an independent publishing marketplace for digital do-it-yourselfers." - Entrepreneur.com

Lulu has creators from 80 countries and distributes to over 100.

Pupcakes!

That's what Emma Grace calls these tasty treats!  I found this great cupcake recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  It's great because boxed cake mixes are rather expensive here.  Of course, homemade is better and also trans fat free!  Here's the recipe and the frosting recipe I use.  

Yellow Cake
2 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk

Combine flour, baking powder, and 1 tsp. salt in small mixing bowl.  In large bowl, beat butter for 30 seconds.  Add sugar and vanilla and beat until well combined.  Add eggs one a time, beating after each addition.  Add dry ingredients and milk alternately, beating after each addition.  Line muffin tin and bake at 375F for 18-20 min.  

Butter Frosting
6 tablespoons butter
4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

In small bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy.  Gradually add half of powdered sugar, beating well.  Beat in milk and vanilla.  Gradually beat in remaining powdered sugar.  Add more milk if necessary.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Thorn In My Side...


We bought this fridge the beginning of this year.  Worked great in the beginning but now it is becoming a thorn in my side.  I guess I'm just not used to having to defrost my freezer.  It's a pain and a lot of work!  As you can see, it had gotten so bad I couldn't even open the top drawer.  Ice everywhere!  The reason?

The seal doesn't even close all the way letting in air, causing ice to form and quickly!  I buckled down a couple of Sundays ago and decided it was time to get rid of all the ice.  I turned the outlet off and began chipping away at all the ice as it melted.  The only highlight was my kids coming in and admiring the progress.  Several hours later I was proud to have this:

Now I am seriously looking into what we can do to prevent ice build-up in the future!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Recycling Follow-Up

About 6 weeks ago, I wrote a post titled Go Green.  I talked about how there's little outlet for recycling.  Well, I am happy to say I discovered this glass recycling bin in town!  Now I can at least recycle my glass items.  And from the looks of it, I think other people are doing the same!
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