No name post

I keep trying to think of a witty title but nothing is coming to me. Probably because the stuff that’s going on around here is only really exciting for me. And even then, exciting would probably be a stretch :)
The windows for the apartment got installed Wednesday and Thursday. For the last few weeks I’ve been feeling like we hadn’t really made much advancement on things because everything still looked the same. The bosses had mortared the upper halves of the walls and the ceilings in all the rooms and left the lower halves to be done after the electrical was run. Thony spent about two weeks in there with a hammer drill just digging trenches in the walls so Evens could run the conduit and wiring. That job literally took about two weeks and it just looked the same every time I went in. I make a point of only going up a couple times a week just to stay out of the way. Wednesday we went up after the window guys left for the night and walked around. I realized that all but two rooms were mortared completely. No exposed conduit, no trenches in the walls, electrical boxes ready to be hooked up. Today they started mortaring the windows in (the installers just screw them in and our bosses fill in the cracks and smooth things out) and it looks good. We can actually see what the place is going to look like now. The end is in sight and it’s exciting! It’s been such a long process and rather than talking months we can start talking in weeks until we think it’s done. The nice thing is we’re not pressed for space at the mission right now so we can make sure absolutely everything is done before we move in 
I did a *little* project this week. After having months on end of visitors last year the last couple of months have left me less than enthusiastic about cooking. I still enjoy it, but I haven’t wanted to put too much effort into it. This week I did two things. First, I went through all the scrap papers with recipes on them and printed off some new ones. Then I cut them down to recipe card size and laminated them and shoved them into a recipe book that my mom made for me. It’s just a photo album with slots to slide pictures into, but instead I slide in the recipe cards. Laminating them means I can wipe them off when they get all gunky. The second part of the project was actually making a meal plan. I went through all of my recipe books and wrote down the name and page number of the recipes that I wanted to cook for dinner (breakfast is easy here, as is lunch). From those lists I planned about a month or so of meals, then just repeated for another month and a bit. Now I have about 3 months of meals planned. 
It might sound silly to some, but I had two big reasons for wanting to do this; a) We want to eat better, and eating better meals planning better; and b) I want to try to lower our grocery bill. Right now I tend to buy what I think I want to use, then try to use what we have in house for dinner. Not such a bad plan, but there are definitely things that sit on the shelves for a while. One criteria for the recipes that I chose was that they had simple ingredients that we usually keep on hand, like basic veggies, basic meats (chicken, beef or ground beef are our staples and fish when it’s in season), and basic spices etc. No extras that we can only get occasionally because I don’t always know when the next shopping trip will be. Now, when we are going in I can look at the meal plan and write a very specific shopping list from it so we’re only buying what I know we need. Obviously there will always be little extras but I don’t want to just buy stuff because I *might* use it. 
I’m interested to see how this works out. So far I can tell you that I like looking at the calendar on my fridge and thinking “Okay, I JUST need to take this out of the freezer and defrost. Perfect!” I tried to pick things that were pretty simple to prepare as well. The last couple of days dinner has been so easy. We try to have salad with dinner and I’ll usually make a big bowl of it that we’ll eat over a few days. I’ve also become a big fan of making big batches of labor intensive things, like fish cakes or fried fish and freezing the leftovers in pre-portioned bags. What is usually an hour long process each time now becomes about an hour once and then a case of just taking a bag out of the freezer and throwing them onto a pan in the oven for 30 minutes. It almost seems wrong, it’s so simple. 
Right now Olivia is throwing things out of her toy basket onto the floor. We’re in that phase where “no” and hand slapping isn’t so effective when Olivia is touching things she’s not supposed to. It can get exasperating so we’ve been looking for new methods of discipline. Enter the socks. Yes, I said socks. When we’ve told her that she’s not supposed to do something and she keeps doing it we put socks on her hands. It’s very frustrating to a very inquisitive one year old when they can’t pick anything up. The key is making little fists inside the socks and putting rubber bands around the wrists so they can’t be pulled off with her teeth. I have to admit, the sock torture, as Chris likes to call it, is pretty entertaining for us as well. 
Speaking of Little Miss. She has some sort of flu bug. I used to have a weak stomach and wondered how on earth I would deal with kid vomit, but I think this amazing thing happens to moms and all of the sudden you become a vomit super hero, especially when it’s literally all over you. Like I just put these clothes on and now I’m soaked right through and I didn’t know you could hold that much in you type of all over you. Like this morning. She had a fever of 104 F at 1 am and is still a bit warm, but can hold everything but her milk down so we’ll just avoid that for a bit. Apparently there are all sorts of flu bugs flying around right now. For the most part she’s still herself, just a warmer self. I’ve had a cold all week and managed to step on a nail on Monday and was finally walking normally yesterday, so we’ve had fun this week!
I should go. I keep trying to type, with the computer on my lap, and a one year old trying to lay across my arms. That takes a lot of talent, just so you know. Hope you’re having a good weekend.
~Leslie
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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

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