Mikayla's High School OE trip part 2

Thought I'd share just a few more photos from the workproject the high school recently went on with Habitat for Humanity Philippines.
Mikayla really enjoyed the work!

Mikayla is the yellow shirt at the back of the photo

relaxing fun with friends

working hard

housing going up!

James' First Day of Summer School

James is going to summer preschool for four weeks with his friend Sojo. They started class yesterday and had a great time!

Sojo and James eager to go to school!

Two friends walking to school!

Entering Values School

Sitting in class waiting for playdough!

After class with Teacher MaLou. Sojo and James had a great first
day of school!

Hot Pandesal

Almost every morning a vendor walks down our street around 6a.m. and in a sing-songy tone cries out "hot pandesal."

Pandesal is the most popular bread item here in the Philippines.

We really enjoy eating these with pineapple or mango jam and butter for breakfast, or plain for merienda (a snack), or making them into sandwiches for lunches.

from the website: http://panlasangpinoy.com/2009/08/13/filipino-food-bread-of-salt-pandesal-recipe/

Pandesal or The Bread of Salt (which is also the title of a popular short story written by NVM Gonzales) is probably the most popular bread in the Philippines. This bread is the favorite "agahan" (breakfast food) of most Pinoys (slang for Filipino) and can be eaten plain or with "palaman" (filling).In the Philippines, all bake shops and bakeries sell Pandesal. Sometimes, this is sold in rolling stores(usually a honking bicycle with a big box on the back). When purchasing from a neighborhood bakery, be sure to be there before 8 am because the supply runs out after that time.

Recipe: Pandesal

2 cups all purpose flour 2 cups bread flour 1/2 cup white sugar 5 tbsp butter, melted 1 tsp baking powder 1 1/4 cup fresh milk, warm 1 pouch rapid rise yeast 1 tsp salt 1 cup bread crumbs 1 piece raw egg 1 tbsp cooking oil

Cooking Procedure

Combine the yeast, sugar, and warm milk and stir until the yeast and sugar are fully disolved In the mixing bowl, combine the dry ingrdients starting with the flour then the sugar, salt, and baking powder . Mix well by stirring Add the egg, butter, cooking oil, and yeast-sugar-milk mixture in the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients then mix again until a dough is formed. Use your clean hands to effectively mix the ingredients. In a flat surface, knead the dough until the texture becomes fine. Mold the dough until shape becomes round then put back in the mixing bowl. Cover the mixing bowl with damp cloth and let the dough rise for at least 1 hour Put the dough back to the flat surface and divide into 4 equal parts using a dough slicer Roll each part until it forms a cylindrical shape Slice the cylindrical dough diagonally (These slices will be the individual pieces of the pandesal) Roll the sliced dough over the breadcrumbs and place in a baking tray with wax paper (makes sure to provide gaps between doughs as this will rise later on) Leave the sliced dough with breadcrumbs in the tray for another 10 to 15 minutes to rise Pre heat the oven at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 10 minutes Put the tray with dough in the oven and bake for 15 minutes Turn off the oven and remove the freshly baked pandesal. Serve hot. Share and enjoy!

Number of servings (yield): 8

Reflections on Jerard 4/9/12

Kurt and I went out for dinner the other night, alone, to talk -
and with tears in our eyes and voices we both expressed how we feel we have lost Jerard - like he's died to us, but we still have his body and just a small spark of him left to care for.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,
declares the Lord,...

His laugh is gone.
He had a great laugh.
The recognition of voices he used to register in his eyes only occassionally happens now.

So, how do I describe Jerard to others when they ask?
I don't really know what to say anymore....
he startles like a newborn.
he doesn't swallow.
he seldom makes a sound, except being picked up or bathed. Both seem to be very uncomfortable experiences for him.

And we each grieve in our own way.

Ben talks and tries to tickle him like he used to...and sadness etches on Ben's face as he gets no response.

Kurt snuggles Jerard with his beard. It used to make Jerard smile and laugh. But now? No response.

James puts his face up to Jerard and says, "Jerard, this is Kuya James. I love you, brother." And sadness registers in James' eyes.

James rubs his brother's head. There is a slight response of calm registered on Jerard's face. But oh so subtle.

He is a mix - there is some subtle response at times....
but mostly it seems like no one's home.
We hold him, bathe him, change his diapers, feed him,

love on him, and hold him up to our ABBA in prayer -
praying that HIS will be done and we be faithful stewards in caring not only for Jerard, but for each of our children.

Psalm 39
...2 I was mute and silent; (Jerard is...) I held my peace to no avail,
and my distress grew worse....
...4 "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; ...."And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My (our) hope is in you.
...9 I am mute; I do not open my mouth, for it is you who have done it.

...12 "Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my (our) tears!
for I am a sojourner with you, ...13 Look away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more!"


Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.