Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving weekend

God blessed us with a lovely and relaxed Thanksgiving this year.  Zev's parents, Dave and Judy, drove down from upstate New York to spend a few days with us and we enjoyed catching up and a nice Thanksgiving dinner (inspired by Bon Appetit magazine!)  I was Zev's little Sous Chef while he directed the course of events!
Zev asked me to get 5 sweet potatoes from the Commissary.  Needless to say, they had these MASSIVE sweet potatoes, which you can see Judy holding above, and we only needed three!  They were sweet too!
Holding up our "thankful" bread basket!  The basket is special to me; I bought it in Rothenberg ob der Tauber in Germany, and it says "Unser t├Ąglich Brot gib uns heute" which translates to "Our daily bread give us today" and is of course reminiscent of the Lord's prayer ("Give us this day, our daily bread....")  I thought it was cool.  Can you see my belly in this picture!  That top was "long" on me a short time ago!
Guten Appetit!

The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins, He will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD.  Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing. 
Isaiah 51:3

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful for a baby BOY!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Zev and I feel so abundantly blessed this year, especially with the recent news that we will be having a baby BOY!
I am 20 weeks and 6 days pregnant today.  On Tuesday, our baby measured at 21 weeks and the doctor said he looks healthy :-)))
GOD is GOOD.

We pray that you count your blessings and enjoy and appreciate the ability to breathe and smile every single day.
God bless.

Whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
Proverbs 14:31


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dear baby....

To our unborn child,
I want to tell you about your daddy, Zev.  You will meet him soon and you will love him just as much as I do; maybe even more, if that's possible!  He will love you too and even though we don't know if you are a boy or a girl or what you will look like,  we already love you so much.  I wanted to record these thoughts, because even though I keep a personal journal to record this pregnancy, I wanted you to see in the blog book that we loved you even before we met you.  You are a creation of God and we can't wait to hold you in our arms.
 Your daddy really is an awesome guy.  He is kind, loving, generous, gorgeous, sweet, considerate and funny.  He is a hard worker and has strong values.  I lean on him sometimes and he leans on me.  But in different ways.  You'll see.  You'll also see that your daddy likes pizza and ice-cream and would survive on these two food groups if he could.  Seriously.
Funniness is important in life and comes in handy sometimes to break any sourness or bitterness that arises in relationships.  I knew from the day I danced with your daddy at that ball in Sydney, when I was "Wendy" and he was (meant to be!) "Peter Pan" that the rest of my life would involve this man.  We will have to tell you the funny story of "how we met" someday.  I like to tell it :-)) I hope that one day you will meet a person who loves you and cares for you and respects you.  It's important to dream and talk about your plans for the future.  Even if that involves living in 3 continents during the year and driving a motor home around the country.  One day, perhaps.  Never stop exploring the world around you.  Never stop dreaming...
I read this Psalm yesterday and I thought about how our lives are changing...for the better, with your upcoming arrival.  It's amazing to think that in 4 short months or so, we will be parents.  And trying to figure out how to balance sleep and changing diapers and nursing.  We have a lot of learning to do but I think we will be ok.  We feel so blessed by God.  I have been feeling little bubbles in my belly in the morning, and I think that it is you.  Is it? I love you.  See you at your ultrasound on Tuesday!
Mummy xo

Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways.
You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.
Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion all the days of your life;
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem,
and may you live to see your children's children.
Peace be upon Israel.

Psalm 128




Monday, November 14, 2011

Veterans Day 2011

This weekend was Veterans Day weekend and as Zev didn't have to work on Friday, we decided to get outdoors and enjoy the great autumn weather we have been having. We went on a nature hike on Friday at this local reserve, where you cross over 14 little bridges along the way!
The colors on the trees were gorgeous. Zev color-coordinated his outfit as you can see.
Even though Zev would usually run through a trail like this, we walked it (because someone in the family is growing a baby in her belly!) and talked. It was nice.
I think Zev grew a little taller that day...
It was neat to spend Veterans Day in the States, as everyone seemed to celebrate the patriotism associated with the military and it was nice to see flags everywhere. A special flag committe even posted flags in our neighborhood. There are a lot of military retirees that live around us.
On Saturday, we headed to the old town where we visited the local farmer's market. I had heard quite a few people rave about this famer's market, so I mentioned to Zev that this might be something fun to do and out we headed. I must say, that after living in Germany and visiting some incredible farmer's markets (like the one in downtown Old Esslingen every Wednesday and Saturday!), the one we visited on Saturday was not that great! Still, the location on the water was pretty and we even got to visit the historic battlefields afterwards and learn all about the Revolutionary war and siege tactics and how the Americans and the French pretty much out bombed the English (using cannon balls of course!) I love having such interesting history in the local area. I also love the fact that we live close to some beautiful waterways!
The park ranger made Zev and I laugh; she was pretty serious about her military history and even gave some kids who were running up and down an embakment a talking to! She gave a thorough tour though, complete with verbatim quotations from old English, French and American generals (including General Washington!)

Yesterday we went to the church that we have been visiting the past few weekends and visited a Sunday school class too. The people were nice in that class and made us feel at home. The sermon was great too. The Pastor preached on Hebrews and about running God's race and endurance. Sometimes it's good to remember that life is a journey; more like a marathon and not so much a sprint.
Zev mowed the grass after church. I was preparing some dinner when I peeked out the window and laughed to myself when I saw this sight for sore eyes. Yes, he has his fresh coffee in his right hand as he is mowing our lawn. He just needs a ride on lawn mower with a cup holder and he is all set. Look at those gorgeous legs :-)
Hope that you have a lovely week! God bless xoxo

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  Hebrews 11:1

Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists, and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
Hebrewes 11:6


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Fabulous Flowers and Auntie Gladys' special recipe

Today was one of those days that starts out bad but ends well. Aren't those the best sorts of days to have? My day didn't start off well because Zev was out of town yesterday and today (he gets back late tonight, thank goodness!) and I didn't sleep the best without him by my side. I have a lot of work to do to keep me busy which is good and so I plugged away at my cases today, but it just wasn't the same without Zev. Well, after running some errands, I came home and heard a knock on the door and opened the door to receive these gorgeous flowers for me!!
They were sent to me by Zev! When I called him to thank him, I asked him why he had sent these gorgeous flowers; it wasn't a special occasion after all! You know what Zev said? He said that he had sent them to me because he missed me and because he had left his pregnant wife at home by herself. I love this man. My day got instantly better by like 110%. Tonight the Spouses group on base had their monthly Gourmet Club get together and the theme was Spanish dishes, and since my background is Peruvian and Uruguayan and I saw a recipe for Arroz con Leche (rice with milk) in a Spanish cookbook, I decided to use one of my family recipes to make Arroz con Leche! Auntie Gladys has always made the best Arroz con Leche hands down so I pulled out her recipe and made it. The secret (as Auntie Gladys reminded me last week) is to watch the rice very carefully. Just like a risotto. You leave for one minute and the rice will burn in the pan. Well she was right. I just kept stirring and then, per her instructions, once everything was cooked, I popped the dish in the fridge to chill it down.
Auntie Gladys, thank you for your recipe and for your special tips on how to make this work. It was a real hit at the dinner tonight and I only had one portion to bring home to Zev!!
The lady who hosted the Spanish themed gourmet night had a gorgeous house which was totally designed in a Spanish style. It really was so pretty, complete with a Spanish water fountain out the front and Spanish decor inside. And she has never been to Spain or South America! Here is the hostess making paella!
I got to catch up with some lovely ladies who have become my friends; Natalie and Olinda.
One of the most ironic things about being pregnant is that I don't seem to have "room" for food as much as before!? Isn't that funny!? I seem to feel "fuller" sooner which is probably a good thing. I am eating the same as I was before in terms of quantity, but I have always had a healthy appetite. The biggest difference is that I don't care for sweets as much anymore; bring on the savoury!

It is amazing to me how a day can turn brighter by the act of someone else. I hope I can "pay it forward" tomorrow and the next day and bring a smile to someone's face and make them feel special. Maybe that next person is going to be you!

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later; I'll give it to you tomorrow"- when you now have it with you.

Proverbs 3: 27-28.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

18 weeks and a gorgeous daddy!


...choose this day whom you will serve...But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Joshua 24:15

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Perspective

This morning I went walking with a new friend that I made (she lives around the corner from us and we originally met at that college football game Zev and I went to a few weeks ago and then I ran into her at the Y and she told me about this awesome trail through the woods, which we walked this morning. It WAS awesome too. 14 bridges over lakes and through beautiful woodsy areas.)

Anyway, so her name is Maria and she volunteers at the local Food Bank. I love walking because you can talk and learn about the other person a lot. Well while we were walking, I asked questions about the Food Bank, like who goes there to get food (apparently all walks of life and people who would surprise you) and what kind of foods they accept (everything- usually stuff donated from supermarkets like baked goods that are past their due date or canned goods and sometimes produce). The way that Maria was describing the Food Bank really intrigued me; the fact that the number of people they are feeding has dramatically increased since last year is a reflection of our ecomony I think. A lot more people are out of work and having to feed a family on low or no income, especially during the Christmas season is hard.
I see little signs to donate canned goods here or there all over town and sometimes we do it; bring a canned good to an event or donate clothes and things. But the fact that there truly is real poverty and people that literally can't afford to go buy groceries at the end of the month pains my heart. It especially pained my heart to hear that a lot of young airmen and their families receive a care package from the Food Bank when they first arrive in the area.  The Air Force gives us an allowance to move, but sometimes that comes in later and when you need to live out of a hotel for a few weeks, meals for a family can really add up.
I am going to a Spouses Luncheon next week that is one of those "Bring a Non Perishable Item" events and it puts different spin on things when I contemplate that there is someone out there that will really appreciate the food they are receiving. Especially during Thanksgiving. The Y is also doing a program where you can drop off a bag of groceries for families in need. Anyway, this is just my (random!) thought for the day. I am so grateful for our blessings. God has abundantly blessed us. I want to give some of these blessings back to God and to serve His people and share His love on earth.
Hope you have a great day!
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22,23