Wednesday, October 31, 2012

wordless wednesday

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012


last week it was three years since my farmor passed away. 
i miss her. 
she was such an amazing woman and grandmother. 
there are often things i wish i could share with her or talk to her about. 
i am blessed to have had her in my life for as long as i did and so thrilled that she had a chance to meet michael as well. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

faces of kenya

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

wordless wednesday

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012


One day on our way back from Njuruta we stopped at the waterhole where the community travels to get water as well as where they take their animals to drink water. 

As you can see, there is water ... but not very much. This is the source they travel miles to get to? I think I had pictured more water. I am grateful to see some water, but will continue to pray that Njuruta will be able to have water closer to where they live.

PS. If you have a chance, ask Michael about standing in Jesus' footprints:)
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Saturday, October 20, 2012

social day

Our last day in Njuruta was the 2012 NJURUTA SOCIAL DAY. What a blast. It was such an incredible day seeing the entire community coming together to have fun. I just love how they take time to laugh and have fun despite their circumstances. Wow. So much we can learn from them. 

The day was filled with fun and games. EVERY age group participated! And every age group gave it their ALL. If it was a foot race - everyone sprinted as fast as they could regardless of their age. I love it.  A fun surprise was the break we had to take because of the RAIN! Yes, rain. Praise the Lord for the rain. It was short, but we are still thankful for any rain they get.

They took this social day very seriously so they spent time stretching before beginning the games ... and so did we:)

At the end of the day prices were handed out to the winners of the games. The prices were things that they needed in their homes such as wash basins, mugs, bowls etc.

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

diy thursday: 100% natural ant spray

There is nothing worse than ants in your house. While it doesn't happen often - anytime is too often:) I don't like spraying toxic bug spray inside the house, let alone the kitchen. In an effort to not mix bug spray toxins with the dinner of the day I set out to find a natural solution. A couple of years ago I discovered an inexpensive and completely natural ant repellent - white vinegar. Yes, white vinegar seems to do everything! Ants seem to hate white vinegar. If I see any ants in the kitchen I simply spray vinegar on the ants and they die immediately. Then as a preventative I just spray the countertops with vinegar and they wont come near it.

I thought I would share this simple solution if you didn't already know about it. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

wordless wednesday

Saturday, October 6, 2012

the road to njuruta

One day as we were driving to Njuruta we saw an amazing sight. As we were arriving for the day we saw the community working hard on the road in the sweltering heat. All of the women and many of the men were outfitted with whatever tools they could find trying to break apart the big boulders so they could be more "easily" removed. Wow, what an incredible sight!  This task seems so overwhelming and I am not sure I would even have tried to attempt it. It is a long harsh road full of large boulders fitted well into the ground. I was so encouraged to see this community come together and not be discouraged by the task at hand, but to rather meet it head on.  These people know that a smoother road means better teachers and better access to water, medical help etc. This community knows that if they just wait for someone to come and clear the road for them, they will wait for a long, long time. Instead they know that working together they can accomplish this task that seems so staggering.

What a great reminder for us to not give up if a task seems too overwhelming, but to rather tackle it one part at a time.

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Friday, October 5, 2012

feeding a community

In Njuruta we were able to help feed the community on days we were there, allowing them to participate in our program for the day instead of spending the day fetching water and looking for food. It was such a blessing to see the smiles on the children's faces as well as the adults. It was, however, also a very difficult thing to participate in. Because of the drought it is hard to grow food. Because of the awful condition of the roads it is hard to get anywhere to buy/sell food. It is hard to realize that the meal that we provided was perhaps the only meal of the day. A reality that I cannot fully relate to. How blessed we are. This helps put things into perspective and help us see how valuable our partnership with Njuruta is through Food for the Hungry in helping this community become self-sufficient. This will of course not happen over night. It helps us know how to pray. 

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

can you say dusty?

No, we do not have awesome tans - this is dirt. Njuruta dirt to be exact. Njurta, Kenya is very windy and with that very dusty. Mix that with some rain (praise the Lord for rain!!!) and this is what you get. We realized how incredibly blessed we are on days like this. We were able to return to our guesthouse and take a shower. The people in Njuruta do not have this luxury. It really helps put things into perspective. It is good to take time and think about the blessings we have and realize how much we take for granted.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

wordless wednesday

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

medical camp

One of the days we were in Njuruta we held a medical camp. Food for the Hungry arranged for a team of medical, pharmacy and dental residents from Meru to come to Njuruta to help with the camp. Even though Meru is close to Njuruta none of them had been there before. It was a great day where over 350 people (mostly children) received a check up. Wounds were bandaged, medicine prescribed, and teeth extracted. It was wonderful to be able to be part of such an important day. These people cannot easily get medical help because going to Meru is a difficult journey given the condition of the roads - so what an incredible thing to be able to bring the medical professionals to them. 

One of our teammates, Oliver, who is a doctor, led a hygiene seminar for the parents and guardians and answered medical questions they had. He also was able to help a boy from a neighboring community, Marere, get glasses so he can see again. I remember this boy from my previous visits to Marere. He was always such a happy boy full of energy and smiles. I had no idea that he was unable to see. What a great day!

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Monday, October 1, 2012

milling mondays: 100% whole wheat bread

this post first appeared on the grain mill wagon

Before I started milling my own flour I would bake my own bread.  So when I decided I wanted to start milling my own flour, I knew I would probably bake bread often.  I like the idea of making bread that actually has some nutritional value.
This recipe is great not only for baking sandwich bread, but I also use it to bake hamburger buns.

100% Whole Wheat Bread
Modified original recipe from King Arthur Flour
print-email-text recipe
3 ½ cups whole wheat flour (about 2 cups hard white wheat berries)
1/4 cup dry milk
1 packet active dry yeast (2 ½ tsp instant yeast)
1/8 cup molasses (or honey)
4 Tbsp applesauce (or oil or a combination of the two)
1 ¼ tsp salt
1 tsp diastatic malt
1 ¼ cups lukewarm water
This recipe yields one loaf. I often double the recipe and make two loaves so I don’t have to bake every week or I make one loaf and some hamburger buns.
Grind about 2 cups of hard white wheat berries. This should yield around 3 ½ cups of whole wheat flour.  I of course use my WonderMill.

In a glass or small bowl mix yeast with 2 Tbsp lukewarm water and add a little molasses or honey to feed/activate the yeast.  Let it sit and work while adding the other ingredients together.
Mix 2 cups of freshly ground whole wheat flour together with the dry milk.  The rest of the flour will be added later.
Then add the apple sauce, molasses, salt and malt.  To read my blog post about how to make diastatic malt please go here.  Malt can help the bread rise, give a great texture and brown the crust.
Add the proofed yeast to the mixture.
Use the same container the yeast was mixed in to collect the water needed for the recipe. This trick will help include the remaining yeast left on the sides of the container. Add the water to the mixture.
Mix all the ingredients together. I use my KitchenAid stand mixer.  Once all the ingredients are in the mixer I mix them together using the dough hook on setting 2.  Slowly add the remaining flour if needed until the dough gets the right consistency. You want the dough to be wet, but at the same time you want to use enough flour to allow the dough to come together. Let the mixer mix for about 8 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover it. Let it rise until it is puffy but no more than doubled in bulk. For me that is about 1 hour – but don’t let it rise for more than 2 hours.

Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface and shape it into an 8” log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 ½x4 ½ “ loaf pan. Cover the pan and allow the bread to rise until the center has crowned about one inch above the rim of the pan. It usually takes me about 30-45 minutes – but don’t let it rise more than 2 hours.
Towards the end of the rising time, pre-heat the oven to 350F.
Once the oven is pre-heated and the bread is done rising, bake the bread for about 30 minutes.  The finished loaf should be about 190F inside.

When it is done remove the bread from the pan and let it cool on a rack.
Enjoy! This bread is moist and delicious AND nutritious.

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