Tuesday, December 6, 2011

While you were sleeping...

...we avoided an accident!  And yes, you might recognize that title from a movie that was made a few years ago.  But it seemed to fit perfectly.  Except in our case, God's angels were working overtime last night.

We were on our way to the Anza-Borrego Desert for a few days of R&R before we headed into San Diego.  Bill and I were talking in the front of the RV and I had just finished saying, "Well, we need to make sure we pray often to stay aligned with God's will as we continue growing Believer's Bridge."  The back wheels fish-tailed and we swerved into the other lane.  There was no on-coming traffic which was the first praise.

Bill gently guided the RV back to our lane but it felt like we had blown a tire so we pulled over on the shoulder as far as we could.  Adrenaline running, Bill and Robert jumped out the RV and started looking to see what was the problem. 

After a few minutes Bill came back and said he couldn't see anything.  He turned the engine on and tried moving the RV forward.  A horrible noise came from the back but the RV didn't budge.  So the guys took the car off the back and Bill got the idea to see if he could back up the RV.  It started to back up but the whole RV shook and made a horrible noise and stopped.

As he went back outside he saw one of our wheels in the middle of the road!  After recovering it he looked at the area and found that the lug nuts had broken off and the second tire (the RV has 2 wheels per side in the back) was still on but angled funny.

What seems to have happened is the lug nuts broke and that made us swerve but the tires stayed on.  Second praise.  If they hadn't, we are pretty sure the RV would have fallen on it's side or at the very least ruined the axle by breaking or bending it and who knows what other damage could have happened.

As it was, the wheels stayed on until Bill backed the RV up, but only one came off while the other continued to hold the RV up.  Third praise.

We have AAA RV coverage (fourth praise) so they were finally able to locate someone who could tow the RV backwards to a tire auto shop in Brawley, CA.  The town was only 12 miles from where we pulled off the side, but the tow driver had to come from 85 miles away. 

Bill put on the flashers to the RV and car and put a flair on the road since the RV was barely off the side of the road.  The fifth praise was it happened on a straight stretch of road with clear visibility on both sides.

So we slept in the RV (the tow driver put the tires back on, but w/o the lug nuts and bolts) in the auto tire parking lot and Bill talked to them in the morning.   The owner of the shop seems to be a Christian and Bill also told him about our work in Peru.  I believe he is from Mexico.

Right now we are waiting for Bill to come back with more lug bolts but he has to drive to El Centro to an Auto Zone which has them for $2.50 versus the $15 ones they originally wanted to get. 

SO, we are all safe and VERY thankful for the miracle that happened.  Thanks to all who pray for us!!  There seems to never be a dull moment around here...  Once we get the wheels secured we plan on heading to the desert and RELAX!!!

The "crooked" tire

The huge tow truck hooking up the back of the RV

And that, folks, is what an axle looks like...

Have home, will travel...unless the wheels fall off.

 "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."  Colossians 4:2-6 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Praise and Prayer, and everything in-between

We left our house Thursday, November 10th, heading west, with stops in Texas, Arizona, Utah, and eventually California. 

Praise: We were able to speak at two Sunday School classes at Kingwood Bible Church and reconnect again with some new supporters.  (We had a salsa and chips "picnic" in the parking lot as we sat around and talked.) 

Praise:  We were also able to see family on Bill's side who "happen" to live in the same town (most assuredly a God coincidence.)  They treated us out to eat and boy, did our kids eat!  Good thing both places were buffets.  At any rate, it was good to catch up.

Another praise:  About 1 1/2 weeks before we left, we were able to get renters for our basement.  It is only temporary, but helps keep the house occupied while we are gone and also will help our support.  However, we had been using it for our office and had to move everything out (and think about packing for a 3+ month trip.) 

Prayer:  We ended up with colds, all at different times and various degrees.  Not fun, and added more stress.  Please pray we will recover soon as we still have coughs and some yucky stuff.

Here are some photos of time spent with family in Texas.  We went to a park and it just happened to be Pioneer Days.  They had hey rides, rope tying and all kinds of other things.

Reproduction of a storage area.

Fun on stilts.

Homemade see-saw.

Hmmm, barely enough room for four.

Since we were in Texas and we had to go through this area, we decided to stop by.  Can you guess where we went?  (btw, this became a field trip for the boys... how fun!)

The famous Alamo church building/fort.

Our next stop was Arizona.  So, we stopped by the PIMA Air Museum.
There are hundreds of airplanes!  And the kids had fun pulling each other in the green wagon...

A retired Presidential airplane.

Our next stop was Ogden, UT to visit Becky's family. 
We made it there just before the snow started falling.

There's a few more praises:  we have set up a new program called, "Pennies for Pastors".  This is a way that anyone can help an indigenous leader/pastor just by giving loose change.  So many pastors in the Andes region of Peru where we work go without basic needs that we set this program up to be used in churches, classes, organizations, you name it, to encourage anyone ages preschool-100yrs+ to help other believers with basic needs.  Due to the exchange rate, pennies and loose change can make a HUGE difference to someone in another country.

We set up a website for it at:   www.penniesforpastors.org

SO, the main praise is:  we will be launching the program with Washington Heights Church's Awana program starting January 2012.  If you think your church or organization would be interested, let us know!!

Also, we will be speaking to the pre-K-2nd grade next Sunday at Washington Heights about our mission work, and then onto the Spanish church (also part of Washington Heights) to present to them.

It has been good to see family again and soon to celebrate Thanksgiving.  And on Saturday we will be celebrating Becky's parents 50th Wedding Anniversary. 

There is a LOT to be thankful for!!  We hope "y'all" have a wonderful Thanksgiving too!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Again and again. Then again...

The rat race can wear a person down.  I can't even imagine being Moses leading a bunch of obstinate people through the desert.   I know he must have had moments of despair.  I probably would have thrown in the towel after the first 1-2 years.

So what keeps a person going when the odds are against them?  You've seen it over and over again in movies. Read it in books.  Heard the stories.  The guy is in dire straights and he takes out a beat up photo of his girl.  The memory of her is enough to keep him going.

I finally realized that's the same way with us.  We take out our Bibles and read about the love our Father has for us and the encouragement He whispers when the going gets tough.

It's a tricky thing being in any kind of position.  I have a heart for people who get put in the spotlight and set on a peddle stool.  What is it about humans that we make them out to be larger than life?  Moments of feeling broken down are natural for everyone, including the person in the spotlight.  Especially the person in the spotlight.

So, yes.  I have felt weary lately.  Not only physically (which I either have a pinched nerve or fractured rib in my back- the Dr.s haven't been able to determine exactly so I have to monitor myself) but also mentally.  Which can get to the spiritual.  And that's when your roots are going to grow deeper.

But it takes a conscious decision to make good and right choices when you feel weary.  There's a verse in I Corinthians 15:58 that says,

     "Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."

Man, that is powerful.  It's a shot in the arm to keep going.  

So, we are less than a week away from heading out in our RV again.  

For 2-3 months. 

To continue raising support.

To continue finding teachers for Believer's Bridge Institutes and Seminary.

I have consciously started to cringe at the thought of being in 200 sq feet of space for 90+ days again.  Homeschooling kids and making do in a tiny kitchen with an oven that doesn't work right.  My only comfort is knowing that we'll be in the warmer climate of San Diego and we'll get to see our old friends and new friends again.  There are some quality people out there.

Good thing I'll have a photo, uh, book to look at that will remind me why we are doing what we do.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Quilt Tutorial, Block "A"

As promised, here are the steps to make the quilt square I started working on.  We'll just be making the top part of the quilt in this tutorial. 

We'll just skip an introduction and get right to it:

1)  The first step is to pick your fabric colors.  I chose 2 contrasting colors and a neutral color (white, beige, etc. works great.)  Mess around with colors by using crayons or markers on some graph paper.  Or go to a fabric store and have fun!  I used the 45" fabric, but you could use the 60" and have extra that way.

If you want to make a twin size quilt, buy:  (otherwise, use any fabric you have on hand)

                                           -1  1/4yd (+ extra just to be safe) of neutral color
                                           -2/3 yd EACH (+ extra just to be safe) of the contrasting colors

2)  Next, cut 4" strips of each fabric, cutting a total of 12 strips for the neutral color and 6 EACH of the contrasting colors.  If just doing one square, use just one strip each contrasting colors and 2 strips of the neutral.  I left my fabric folded in the middle.  You can iron it before you cut if there are wrinkles since that could keep you from having a straight cut. 

3)  Now, UNFOLD your strips and put RIGHT sides together (the nice side of the fabric faces each other, so the outside part is facing out) of a neutral color and a contrasting color.  Match them up as evenly as you can. 

4)  Using a self-healing mat, quilting ruler, and rotary cutter, cut 4" squares from each combined strip.  Each 45" strip will give you 10 squares. 

5)  Next, you need to cut each square into triangles.  You can cut each square individually, or not move any of the squares you just cut and cut those diagonally (see photos below.)

THIS way ... (red side just happens to be up)

or THIS way (white side just happens to be up.)

6)  Once I have my diagonals cut, I stack them alternately (see photo.)  This makes it easier for me to chain piece them together.
You can see the contrasting colors peaking out from under the white.

7)  Sew a ¼ “ seam on the long side of the diagonal for all the triangles.  I used red thread for the red fabric and blue thread for the blue fabric.  So I would sew all of one color first, then the other color.  But, you could just use the neutral color for your thread and not worry about changing it out.

Once sewn, iron the seam towards the dark fabric.

Next, just follow the sequence of photos below to see how to make the Quilt block.

Top row

Middle row

Top, middle, and bottom row.

Stitch all rows together and voila, you have Quilt block "A".
The trick is to not sew over the points, but match the points up.  This gives a nice sharp line.

Make a total of 8 "A" Quilt blocks if you want to make a twin bed size quilt.  Otherwise, you could make pillows with just one quilt block by adding a border and backing.

Stay tuned for how to make Quilt block "B" (and finish the quilt) for the next tutorial.


Friday, October 21, 2011

A Homeschool Fun Friday (AKA "Staying Sane")

It's been a long year. 

If you've been following along from the beginning of our traveling/blogging adventures, you have laughed with us, cried with us, and probably marvelled at us sometimes (either in a "wow" way or a "scratch your head" type of way.) 

We first started traveling in our RV for ministry purposes September 2010.  Until now (October 2011) we have lived 10 of those months in our RV. 

You may think that sounds kind of fun and adventurous.  In some ways it is, in others it means some sacrifices.  Those that have actually been inside our RV can understand.  200 sq ft of living space (which include kitchen, bathroom, beds, etc) can create the perfect conditions for explosive pressure.  Fortunately, we have defused quite a few possible eruptions.  But none the less, one's sanity is tested a little more than the average family in a regular home. 

Constant traveling also means we homeschool. 

Homeschooling itself can challenge one's sanity.  So even though we have been back home for a week +, the schooling has not stopped.  In fact, we seem to finally have some form of consistency.  And I proclaimed today and consecutive Fridays as Fun Friday. 

A Fun Friday will be a special treat for having good attitudes and good manners, I will reward the kids with an academic movie (think History Channel or Science or other) instead of their regular lesson.  We'll also be a little more lenient on the schedule for the day.  Maybe they can sleep in an extra 30 minutes, or stay in pajamas. 

We'll also have fun like having a special dessert before lunch or maybe I'll create a Mystery Jar with things like, "Skip doing a Worksheet" and "Act or tell my report instead of writing it".  You get the idea.  The point is for both the students and teacher (me) to get a little break and look forward to Fridays.

As a kick-off, today we had dessert before lunch and a special History Channel movie.  This one was on the Exodus of the Israelites.  The kids had to listen carefully and try to figure out what was Biblical fact and what wasn't.  The person with the most correct got to go out with dad for a B1G1 (Buy 1, Get 1) DQ treat.  It will probably be something different next time.

But when the movie was done we discussed it and read the passage about the plaques and parting of the Red Sea to validate what was true or not.  It was really fun and the kids learned alot.

Speaking of learning, Josh and Robert have been quite busy with projects.  Josh, as you may know, started selling jewelry he makes to get some side cash.  Because of that little venture, we actually have a couple who owns a salon who would like to partner with us to sell our jewelry (I'll be making it too.)  If this takes off, we hope to expand that into other places.

Joshua's "Shop" at our RV spot (believe it or not he was able to make over $50 profit)

Making a pair of earrings (the pink one I'm holding up)

Finished product

Making a display for his jewelry

Robert has been working on a new engine design, what he calls an "impeller" (vs. a "propeller".)  He's been experimenting with PVC pipe to see if he can design a system that can move you through the water without having a propeller on the outside of a boat.  This is coming from the same kid who hates to read, unless it's a car manual or engine book.  Go figure!!  (Wish I had know that years ago when I was pulling my hair out trying to get him to read Dr. Seuss books aloud!!!)

Robert modifying a weed-eater motor

The miniature boat he made to test on

My favorite sane spot when we are home...

So, here's to sanity and the creativity in homeschooling!  And a restful weekend...

  "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.'"  Romans 1:16-17

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Under Construction

It's been a while coming, but I've decided to tweak the blog style/template once again.  Down the road it will probably change again only because we will most likely be switching over to Word Press (a content management system that is all the rage lately... although I have messed around with it and like it.) 

For those of you that don't like change, sorry.  I know it's hard to get used to something and the rug gets pulled out from under you.  It will be OK.  Sometimes change is for the better. 

I hope to also add much more information about Believer's Bridge so folks can have a full understanding about what that is and what we do.  And we'll go from there.  I've noticed Blogger (which is where this blog is hosted) also keeps updating the way we can tweak things, so I'll be exploring their new additions to see if there is anything worth adding.

If you view this blog through your mobile, you may not notice too many changes since it will only show the basics (makes for easier reading I think.)  Beyond that, I enjoy graphic design and doodling on the computer/internet so I think of this as my "Becky" time. 

"I am the first and I am the last;
   apart from me there is no God.
7 Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
   Let him declare and lay out before me
what has happened since I established my ancient people,
   and what is yet to come—
   yes, let them foretell what will come.
8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
   Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
   No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.”

Isaiah 44:6-8

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The other, that, and this

"This, that, and the other, Part II" seemed too obvious.  Just go with it.  :-)

So, over a week has gone by and I'm finally posting.  It's been a  l-o-n-g week.  I'll endevor to give some highlights, seeing as I can't remember everything.

Let's start with some things I forgot to mention before.  A few praises in the support-raising efforts.  We visited Calvary Chapel Birmingham 1 week before we came to Florida.  The first week we were here we received an email from them saying they felt God had us meet for a reason and they would like to support us for $30/month.  Woo Hoo!

We also submitted an application for missionary support to another church in the Birmingham area before we left and hope to hear back from them soon.  Our main reason for visiting Florida was to follow up on our request for support from Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale.  Bill thinks it could take up to even a year to get support from them, but God is amazing and He is in charge.  Keep praying for the doors to stay open and the process to move effeciently there.

This past Sunday we just had some friends tell us they'd also like to support us.  Awesome! 

The kids visited ReachFM radio station today and got a fun tour.  See photos below.  It is also home to Creations Studies Institute, which has a museum and they also offer Elementary and Middle school science classes.  As we walked by, they were having a class for some homeschoolers.  I ended up talking to the teacher and she invited Andrew back for the afternoon for a free class.

Bill ended up taking Andrew, and in the course of events, he and the teacher got to talking about Believer's Bridge.  I guess our ministry really touched her because she ended up giving Bill some money for the ministry. 

SO, there is some encouragement on the support raising side.  The numbers aren't high, but the hearts behind the supporters are gold. 

We have been meeting with friends and friends of friends.  In fact the next few days are already booked!  The other highlight was Bill was able to share about Believer's Bridge on ReachFM this past Sunday night.  I'll have to see if we can get the recording so we can post it.  From that, he met a man who works with Food for the Poor, where we will be taking a tour tomorrow. 

Tonight Bill is meeting with the man we first met when we got here who helps with translating Chuck Misler's work into Spanish.  Who knows where that will go!  God has this intricate way of weaving an incredible tapestry of time, events, and people.  Some things may seem weird to us, but if we have learned anything on this journey, it's to obey.

We will be wrapping up our time here soon and be back in our Alabama mansion (anything will feel like a mansion after weeks in our little RV casita.)  From there we hope to continue meeting with other churches to request financial support and see how they can partner with our minstry.

Here are a few photos of things we've done.  Enjoy!

Andrew making an "omlet-in-a-bag".

Once you put your scrambled egg(s) and desired ingredients in the bag, you boil it for 3-5 minutes.

Little blurry, but voila!  "Omlet-in-a-bag."

ReachFM (94.5 in Fort Lauderdale) studio (and no, it's not live.)  This is where they can record and broadcast later.

Not the best photo, but this is the live studio and the DJ is behind the computer monitor.  Bill and Robert on the left.  The gal in purple is just visiting.

Robert by the entrance to the Creation Studies Institute.  They only open on the weekends, so we weren't able to tour it.  But this wooden dinosaur was pretty cool.

As water reflects the face,
   so one’s life reflects the heart.
Proverbs 27:19

Saturday, September 24, 2011

This, that, and the other

This is what happens when life becomes busy.  There's no way to create a common theme.  The best explanation for everything that has happened since being in Florida (officially a week now), is this, that, and the other.  So without further ado (which, by the way, is from an old Norse phrase, "at do", or "to do"), let the story begin.

Narrator:  (preferably read in an English accent)
"It was a sunny day when the Rowley's arrived at the RV park in South Florida.  They were cheerfully greeted by the 2nd in command, who(m? - all you grammar buffs can use the correct form...) they had come to know on their previous visit.  With all the pomp and circumstance they could muster (which was absolutely none), they detached their newly acquired car, parked the RV, and set up home.  This took all of 28 minutes...."

"Having arrived on a Saturday, they took full advantage of the situation and attended the Calvary Chapel evening service, conveniently located only a few minutes away.  Sitting in the cafeteria for service, they were able to meet with a friend who had recently journeyed with them to the remote area of Los Angeles, in Peru of course." 

"It was their good fortune (although I don't think fortune had anything to do with it - more like providence really) that this friend introduced them to another friend who was involved with Koinonia House, a ministry of Chuck Misler.  His responsibility (from what this narrator could gather) was to help with translating materials (or at least oversight of it) into Spanish. Coincidence?  I don't think so!  Phone numbers were exchanged and hopes of something more coming of it were in the minds of both."

"The following days became a mix of homeschooling for the mother and children, hunting for suitable 'office' space for the husband (anywhere quiet and a sturdy table, with preferably electric outlets), who worked on setting up meetings and responding to emails."

"Thus began their 47th? (they've lost count at this point) adventure since they embarked on this incredible, and at times baffling, bewildering, uncertain, and yet inspiring, courageous, and promising experience.  It is certain the journey is not over and there's still more work to be done."

End narration.

Yep, it's never boring around here.  Of course, Robert would disagree.  He's in the "I'm bored" stage.  But I remember going through that too.  However, one thing I have resolved to do is find things to keep the kids occupied so 1) they don't get into things they shouldn't or aren't good for them (oh you know, drugs, bad influences, rampant internet-related things...) and 2) so I don't have to hear, "I'm bored.  There's nothing to do."  I've decided to make a MakeDo box.

Yes, a MakeDo box.  I actually got the idea from a website.  It will be a box with reusable parts that boys (I guess some girls too) would like.  Things like hinges, small solar panels, nuts and bolts, electrical wires, gears, etc. that the boys (mostly Robert b/c he's into that) can create things with and take apart.  I might have to make each boy one for their likes.  We'll see. 

Something else I got back into is menu-making.  I learned how to create a menu paper set-up thing-a-muhjig from, believe it or not, a Calvary Chapel seminar a long time ago when we used to live here.  I've never forgotten it and use it frequently.  I'd like to show you what I do:

a.                                                                 b.
First, get a plain 8 1/2 x 11" paper.  Fold it in half and fold in half again (a).  Open and fold those sections in half, so it looks like (b).

Next, you will fold the paper four times the other way.  Once that's done you will have a perfect set-up for a weekly menu.  Just write, "Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner" on the short side inside the last 3 "boxes" and the days of the week on the top 7 boxes.  Make sure to black out the top corner.  Should look like this:

Now you have to come up with a menu!  You can also use the back side to create a 2nd week of menus!

PS- I will try to post how to make the quilt squares for the quilt I started soon.  (Of course, I can't continue it until we get home again, but I did take photos before we left.)

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."  Galatians 6:9-10 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Saab Story

- Disclaimer:  Robert came up with the blog title -

But I thought it was pretty funny! 

Anyhoo -
We made it to Florida, towing our newest family vehicle behind.  A 2000 Saab 93, four door, stick-shift, gets good gas mileage, and can fit the 5 of us, plus some trunk space.  And the price was right.  And remember all that painting we did not too long ago?  Well, that payed for the Saab. You can read why we needed a new (used) car here

In true Rowley fashion, we put the tow bar brackets on ourselves.  In order to tow a vehicle behind an RV, you can do one of 3 things:  1) Attach tow bar brackets to your vehicle and use a tow bar, 2) Use a car-dolly, or 3) Use a trailer. 

I was going to take photos of the before and during process, but by the time I found the camera and had the time, Bill had already put the bumper back on and was tightening the bolts on the brackets.  So, here's the final result of our do-it-yourself project:

Normally you would put the brackets inside, directly on the frame, but the frame on the Saab turned out to be a little different than we expected.  So... we had to cut out about two 6" sections of the foam on the other side of the bumber, stack four 6" pieces of 2x4's, drill 1/2" holes all the way through the 2x4s, through the frame and through the front bumber.  The bolts you see sticking out are actually 8" long.  Like I said, wished I had gotten some before and during photos so you would understand what I just said!

Needless to say, we got everything worked out and made it to Florida.  Woo hoo!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

RV Travel, Take Two

Well, we have just about everything we need to finally travel again. 

The last thing to do is attach the tow bar hooks to the new (used) car we bought to replace the Toyota (that finally bit the dust.)  But one came up on Craig's List that fit our requirements.  It had to fit 5 people (somewhat comfortably), be a stick-shift (so we can put it in neutral while it's being towed and not ruin the transmission), get good gas mileage, and be in a specific price range.  The car we found, ironically, was a Saab. 

A Saab, for those of you who don't know, is a sports car.  And the makers also make fighter-bomber airplanes.  But back to the car.  It truly has some get up and go, even with 5 people in the car.  And a decent amount of trunk space.  Another plus for all the ministry things we need to cart around. 

But I'm tickled that we ended up with a sports car of all things.  Just don't let it fool you.  Yes, we still are missionaries and under-supported.  Somehow, though, God has given us an uncanny ability to get good deals on just about everything.  This past year has felt somewhat like what the Israelites must have experienced while in the desert.  They always had manna, and their sandals never wore out. 

So, with just about everything ready to go, we should be heading down to Florida for a while to continue working on ministry ties and hopefully raising our support. 

On a lighter and funner note, Joshua came into the kitchen during lunch today and asked, "Where's dad?", and I asked him why.  He said, "Because I'm going to have a Bluegill (type of fish) for lunch."  My response, "Yep, you definetly need dad."  Apparently he had caught it during his break from school (we homeschool.)

If I got stuck on an island, I think for awhile I'd be a vegetarian, until I got desperate and decided the fish looked a whole lot more satisfying.  But for now, I'm content to have fish sticks.  ;-)

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." 
I Peter 3:15b-16

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Staying Busy

If you read the previous post, you know we are in a holding pattern on going to Florida.  And it may turn out that we won't go to Florida if we wait too much longer due to other events that will be happening in the months to come. 

Staying in an RV is tricky that way.  In order to get the best deal at an RV park, you need to stay 1 month at a time (the rate than becomes anywhere from $13-19/day verses $22-30/day.)  So it doesn't make sense to pay more per day if you aren't going to stay for a whole month.  And since we have to be back here for JOTI (Jamboree On The Internet - a scout thing) in October, our time is running out.

BUT, speaking of time, we have plenty of it lately!  So I've been keeping myself busy.

I pulled out my unfinished quilt and started making it's matching quilt.  It's only been 2 years since I put together the first one!!  So I am determined to finish the matching quilt before we leave (if we leave.)  I'm trying to make 2-3 (or more blocks per day). 

Here's a photo of the almost finished quilt:
(Joshua is holding it up for me.)  It needs some borders, but then I can add batting and backing and quilt it.  

Here's a photo of one of the blocks of what will be the matching quilt:

So all you have to do is envision that block where the tan/red block is and that's what it's matching quilt will look like.  Voila!  Seems easy enough.  I just have to commit myself to making it. 

So, now you know what I'm doing this weekend.  Oh, and Bill is unpacking boxes from the garage and continuing to clean it up.  Robert is bush-hogging (mowing but with a tractor) our field (which hadn't been done in months...), and Josh has been making 3-D guns out of cardboard.  Quite creative, actually.  He left them at his friend's or I would have taken a photo of them.  And Andrew is jumping around between family members just trying to get in on whatever action looks the funnest at the time.

Maybe we've inspired you to something creative too!  Happy weekending!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Quick Update

This will hopefully be short and sweet.  (Although, if I had something sweet I would want it to last awhile...)

If you missed out on the last month or more of our Rowley Adventures, in a nutshell:
We had to pack for 3 different trips:  1)staying in Florida for 4-5 days (summer weather), 2)staying in Andahuaylas, Peru for 1 week (winter-ish weather), and 3) staying in Maryland for almost a week when we got back (back to summer weather).

Then we returned home for almost 2 weeks and we are supposed to be heading to Florida in our RV to spend 2 months there.  Well, a few things have happened and those plans have been delayed.  1) There is a hurricane off the coast of Florida (RV's and hurricanes do not mix well... ok, actually they do, mix that is... but we don't want that to happen!), 2) we had to reissue a special card and the state of Alabama will NOT forward it, so we HAVE to wait for it here at our AL address, and 3) our power has been out since yesterday. 

Those are the major factors contributing to our delay.  SO... please pray for patience, strength to endure the inconvenience of no electricity, and for the special card to arrive by the end of the week (and hopefully the hurricane will have blown over by then too!)

"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 5:3-5

Saturday, August 27, 2011


If there's one thing I'm pretty good at, it's finding freebies.  Some freebies are funner than others (like little samples that come in the mail, most with high value coupons.)  Then there's the new kind of freebie I just got involved with. 

Did you know you can get a free Kindle Reader for your PC?  AND, you can get free e-books for it?  The United States is FULL of freebies.  No wonder we can more or less survive on 20% support level right now!  Now, if I could find free electricity, water, and some of our other utilities...  (Although, we are trying to find odd and end jobs to supplement our current support ~ if you have any for us, let us know!)

But I digress.

Yes, free Kindle Reader.  You too can download this wonderful tool at:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000426311
(And no, it does not come with Jiu Jitzu Knives... but you might find a book about it you can download!)

So, I was having some "Becky time" tonight and decided to see what free e-books were available.  Came across a really neat RV cookbook one.  Don't know how long it will be free to download (it changes constantly) but the link is:  http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Cookbook-Gooseberry-Classics-ebook/dp/B00512QG1O/ref=pd_sim_kinc_2?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2#_
It has a FUN recipe of making omlets in a bag!

Another interesting one I found (home schoolers will be more interested in this than most of you probably...) is "American Leaders and Heroes" about United States history (people like DeSoto, Lincoln, etc...)

Another one I found was the Stonyfield, "Dinners Made Easy".  http://www.amazon.com/Dinners-Made-Easy-ebook/dp/B005GVIYNS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1314497254&sr=1-1

Check it out.  There's some really neat free e-books.  You have to do a little bit of searching, but hey, it's FREE!! 

Seven Grain Bread

Mmmm....  The smell of fresh baked bread is tantalizing.  Especially when you've made it yourself.  I modified a recipe (more than 1/2 of it), so I guess I can technically claim this recipe as my own.

I shared photos before but haven't shared the recipe, so... since I made some this morning, I thought I would post this while it's fresh (no pun intended) on my mind.  Enjoy!!!

Seven Grain Bread(Makes 2 Loaves)

In a mixer ( I use a Kitchen Aid), add and mix well:
1 1/2 C Bread Flour + 1 1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tb Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
5 tsp Active or Dry (regular) yeast (or 2 packages)

Heat either on stove or in microwave until very warm (120 - 130 degrees), NOT hot:

2 C Milk
1/2 C Water

Add to flour mix.  Beat on low for about 3 minutes.

Add the following and use a bread hook (if you have one ~ this makes it SO much easier):

1/4 C Cornmeal (optional)
1/2 C Millet
1/2 C Wheat Germ
3/4 Bulgar Wheat
1 C Oats (quick or regular ~ I only had regular this time)

Here's what I used.  I like Bobs Red Mill for the cornmeal and wheatgerm, Arrowhead Mills for the millet, and usually I try to buy the unbleached flours.  Any kind of Bulgar wheat works too.  And not pictured is the oats (any kind as well).

(5 whole grains above + the white and whole wheat flours = 7 grains)

Use the bread hook or your hands to make a nice dough.  Add more bread flour if needed to get the right consistency: much like play dough, possibly a little "softer".

Grease a baking pan and sprinkle some cornmeal on it. 

Make 2 separate bread doughs by "rolling" the dough in mid-air with your hands, or on a counter if you prefer.  Mine came out to about 16 long and 3 inches wide.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slash tops diagonally if you'd like and let rise for 45 minutes.  Yep, this only needs to rise once and it will be ready to go into the oven.  Bake for 25 minutes or until tops are a nice golden brown.  YUM!!!  Enjoy your hearty and textured HEALTHY bread!  I like to slice mine diagonally and freeze one of the loaves.

And here's how the inside looks.  Wholesome goodness WITHOUT most of the preservatives you find in store bought breads.  Mmm,  mnn, mmm!!