Friday, September 28, 2012

the burgundy bakery

Sophie and I are having a blast being neighbors. I love that she is right across the hallway. The other night, I was going to make my first attempt at homemade cinnamon rolls for my expat ladies Bible Study. Each week, we have a treat for our morning group. This week it was my turn make it.

I asked Sophie if she wanted to come over and learn with me. We had a blast making these yummy treats. It's amazing what you learn when Mr. Pillsbury isn't on the shelves in the grocery store. Did you know you can make your own cream cheese from plain yogurt? It's easy!

Sophie measuring out the cinnamon.

Our dough is rising!

Who needs a rolling pin when you have a cup?

These were so much fun to make!

Yum!

"And Moses said to the people, 'Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.'" Exodus 14:13-14

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

a good day in the Philippines

You know those days that you plop down on your bed after a full day... and your heart is so full? That's exactly what I felt last night. I couldn't help but smile.

I hosted a "Ladies Open House" for some of my favorite students. The plan was to come and enjoy good food, air conditioning, and talk about the Lord.

We had a blast together. We baked, laughed, shared frustrations, prayed, relaxed, drank hot tea, and enjoyed the fragrance of the vanilla candles I brought back from my last trip to the States. We came together to exalt in our tribulations and see what the Lord might say to us.

God's word is so encouraging, and brings so much clarity and wisdom. That's exactly what happened yesterday. God's Word spoke truth. God's Word convicted. God's Word guided. God's Word encouraged. 

I am so thankful for these ladies in my life. At the end of the day, we made quesadillas, cut up some apples, opened a bag of chips, mixed up some crystal light, and ate picnic style on the floor. 

It was a wonderful day. I am so thankful for blessings like this.

Coco and Mia.

Mia enjoying learning how to bake.

Loving the Aprons! Thanks Mama and Anna!

Coco brought the recipe for this dessert. It was great.

Sophie cutting up some apples for dinner.

Coco preparing the quesadillas.

Christine getting to spend the night once more after the flood! It was great having her over again.

Coco and Sophie!

Dinner!

Painted nails!

Love these ladies!! 

And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:35-45

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.  And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:1-5

Saturday, September 22, 2012

rosel's 18th birthday

My friend, Rosel, turned 18 yesterday. We had a wonderful celebration!

Eighteenth Birthday's are a big deal here in the Philippines. Her family went "all out" preparing the decorations, food, and their attire for the celebration. It was a wonderful time. Rosel looked beautiful, as did her sweet mom.

I was chosen to be a "gift giver" for the celebration. I was one of 18 friends that stood on stage and explained the reason I choose my gift for Rosel. I butchered the speech... but she got the gift, so that's what mattered most

One of my favorite parts of the celebration was the 18 boys that danced with Rosel. Let me tell you, it was a sight to see! For most of these boys, I'm pretty sure it was their first time to dance in a formal setting. Boys were trying to pull out the "spinning" move, where they twist the girl... but instead.. most of them were spinning themselves. It was a sight to see. One of my favorite boys from church, Henry, was my favorite dancer. You could tell he practiced in front of the mirror before the event. He danced his way over to Rosel and put the rose between his teeth to give it to her. It was priceless. And, he actually got the spinning right... you know.. he actually spun Rosel instead of himself. Haha. The dancing was my favorite.. although, I wish that it turned into a big dance party at the end where everyone got to dance. 

It was great to see everyone dressed up! I straightened my hair, and most people didn't even recognize me upon first glance. My favorite guard, Kuya Brian, told me that I should be on a hair commercial. He also told me that I was "more beautiful" today. Haha. It was a risk.. straightening my hair during rainy season. I made the decision about 3 o'clock when I realized that it hadn't rained much all day, and the 10 hour forecast was clear until the middle of the night. 

It was a great cultural experience and a great time with friends.


Some of the decorations! And, the cake!

Liza and Remo!

Renee Ann! I love this girl!

Church mates!

Me with the Birthday Diva.

Half of Rosel's family.

Some handsome guys from Church.

Renee Ann and Joseph! I love this couple!

Sweet girl!
"For Christ died for sins once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit." 1 Peter 3:18

"Our God is in the heavens; He does all that He pleases." Psalm 115:3

"Consider Abraham: 'He believed God and it was credited to Him as righteousness.'" Galatians 3:6

Thursday, September 20, 2012

foreign students club

This week, the Foreign Students Club at my school had our yearly team building seminar at a water park here in the Philippines.We got up early and rode a jeepney out to the park. It was a wonderful time with old and new friends. I am the only American foreign student... but stand among some wonderful friends from South Korea, East Timor, Nepal, Thailand, and Myanmar. 

If you know my family, you know that water parks are our favorite. We've scouted some pretty great ones in the past... but our favorite of all is Disney's Blizzard Beach. Because of this, when I showed up to the water park this week, I opened my eyes to the two water slides on site... one being the same length as my body, and a wave pool that could double as a skate ramp because of its lack of water- I was a bit skeptical. 

With such great company, how could you not have fun? We had a wonderful time together.. participating in some fun team building games, dances, and swimming activities. I was by far the most brave one in the pool (thanks to my swim team and triathlon days). And.. I was one of the few people wearing a real swimsuit.

It was so interesting to experience the cultural differences between us all. Some were scared of water, and about half didn't know how to swim. Some were fearful of the sun making their skin tan. Some were scared of the slide. It was also crazy to see what could get people's adrenaline up. It was wild to see the things that got their heart rate up and adrenaline pumping were something that I would have been excited to do when I was 6 years old. Nonetheless, it was sweet to see. 

It's so wild how different experiences in our lives change us. Perspective is everything. 

I am so glad that I grew up alongside two crazy boys that pushed me to my limits, got me to conquer some of my fears, and made me strong. Our family is always pushing the limits. I like that mentality. 


On the Jeepney before we left.

On the way!

This is my Burgundy Place family. We all live in the same apartment building.

The wave pool would have been of better use to skateboarders... since it was empty. haha.

Annie! Such a sweet friend from Myanmar.

Team White!

The Whale Slide. My body was as long as the slide. haha.

Team Building Activities.

Dance moves.. get it Nancy.

Sophie's team.

Neighbor and wonderful friend, Sophie.

The slide!! 

Jacuzzi.

Sophie during the sponge race.

My gym buddy!

Neighbors in the belly of the fish.

"Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days." Psalm 90:14

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12


Saturday, September 15, 2012

culture shock... again


These last few weeks have been round two of culture shock for me. They say this is common. I think I’m realizing that everyday things aren’t going to change. I’m learning to deal with everyday differences that clash with my own personal thoughts and ideas and beliefs.. and it’s easy to get critical. It’s easy to get frustrated.
  
Things that I once laughed off, are now becoming irritating. Pray that I learn again how to laugh at the unbelievable amount of waiting, unneeded stamps and approval processes, different cultural norms, and constant state of sweating. 

Pray that my patience and cultural understanding would increase.

Pray for grace each day.

Unique to the week:
  • I learned how do a studio photo shoot this week in Photography. 
  • Boxing is so legit. I love every minute of it. 
  • I finished part one of my Romans study... chapters 1-5.
  • I fell down the slippery steps from the overpass after my boxing lesson. I guess my body was a little more fatigued that I thought. I have a couple of bruises to show for it. 
  • I got an awesome package from FBC Hogansville this week! It was such an awesome surprise.
  • I am loving the expat Bible Study on Wednesday mornings. It is a refuge.
Burgundy Place painting night. I love these ladies.

At least they put up a warning sign for the bad traffic today.

What an awesome blessing! Great package from FBC Hogansville!
I love these ladies from Miriam. We always have a good time studying the Word together.

"Grace is the source, faith is the condition, works the evidence and His blood the means of our justification." - This is a pretty great summary of Romans 1-5. Thanks, Kay Arthur. 



"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character, and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly." Romans 5:1-6


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

boxing

I've recently been looking for a new way to liven up my schedule. Boxing has become my answer.

I've been eying the boxing ring in the gym since it opened... and I finally decided to take the plunge. I found a trainer that was willing to meet and coach me twice a week. He name is Gilbert. Kuya Bert.. that's what I call him. He weighs at least 50 pounds less than I do and is about 6 or 7 inches shorter... but he's a great coach. He is a legitimate fighter.

I'm learning some new Tagalog words during our training sessions... and I am loving every minute of it. My favorite move: Apat. It's four fast hits in a row.

I am so dang sore, but it's worth it. I am pretty sure I've never worked out my arms like this in my life... and trust me, they are letting me know. Good thing being sore is one of my favorite feelings in the world. 

Watch out, Pacquiao... here I come. 

I love pulling boxing gloves out of my gym bag.

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10

Sunday, September 2, 2012

new journals and the "ber" months

This weekend marks the first of the "ber" months. SeptemBER, OctoBER, NovemBER, DecemBER... you get the idea. Well, I've learned that in the Philippines that means that it's time to begin celebrating Christmas. I was in the grocery store yesterday and they had the Christmas soundtrack already playing on repeat. It's going to be a great four whole months of celebration! Here's to the "ber" months!

Today, I had a few girls over from church and we had a blast creating new prayer journals together. Crafts are so much fun. After their midterms, it was a good break from studying! 

Before with the supplies and blank Record books.

Measuring out the paper.

Glue, Glue, Glue!

Halfway there.

Starting to decorate the covers.

Rosel looking for inspiration!

New prayer journals!

I love crafts!

"Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16 

"And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12