Autumn and Apples

I want it to still be summer. And it mostly is. This morning, though, it smelled like autumn.

My friend Joanna (of Eating Like an Immigrant) keeps mentioning crock pot apple butter. When I saw apples on sale (ordered online, 3 kg for about $3), I decided it was time to make some.

I used Erin’s recipe for Crock Pot Apple Butter, but made some modifications. I cleaned the apples in a water/vinegar soak and then cut them

Modifying it to NOT peel the apples, but used a quick apple cutter like this to cut the 6 kg of apples quickly. Oh, I cleaned them in a water/vinegar soak first and this apple cutter made the prep take no time. To be extra cautious about the canning safety, I added a little citric acid to the bottom of each jar before doing a full 10 minute water bath.

Besides these jars, we had another large jar which is already gone!

Apple Butter

Heartfelt Discipline: Interview with Clay Clarkson

I’ve really enjoyed the podcasts from ThatMom, Karen Campbell — I can’t believe that she’s been recording great mommy-inspiration for almost seven years! Recently she’s put up a great interview series with Clay Clarkson of Whole Heart Ministries. I remember a girlfriend lending me a set of cassette tapes (!) in 1999 of Sally Clarkson encouragement about mothering. I was knee-deep in toddler / preschool / kindergarten busyness and found them just the inspiration I needed.

With a houseful of teens, I still seek sources of encouragement which help me refocus on the Lord and minister to my family. Both the Clarksons and Karen are good sources for that sort of in-the-grind, look-to-the-Lord encouragement.

Heartfelt Discipline, by Clay Clarkson has been recently republished (I can’t believe I first read it in 2004, and yet still haven’t written a review!) It is definitely worth the read, but if you don’t have time for that. . . at least listen to the podcast interviews!

Years, Miles

War Baby

I met Irina for coffee and a walk the other day.

Last time we were in Kyiv, we still had dial-up internet and people here often went to cybercafes and the world was a lot less connected. We said we would stay in touch with our friends in Ukraine. While we had good intentions, even with e-mail, it was hard to stay connected. Facebook has helped make that easier, and while I value online relationships, it just isn’t the same as people who are nearby, in our local lives.

Such patience and forgiveness so many of our dear ones have had with us. We are slowly reconnecting with people who are important to us in Kyiv. It is hard, though, because it is also a reminder of those in Nairobi. . . the in US. . . who we aren’t in touch with on a weekly, monthly, yearly basis.

Probably the dearest gift of our transient lifestyle is the people God brings into our lives. Sometimes we know it is just for a short season. But many times it is for a lifetime.

Friends over the years, over the miles. . .

He’s Got Rhythm


C12′ s first drum kit. He assembled and tuned it himself today. Thank goodness out neighbors are out of town right now. (And that there are two floors separating the bedrooms from the neighbor’s apartment…)

Pole, Pole

In Kenya, they say pole, pole… slowly, slowly.  Like the tortoise and the hare, things get done slow and steady.

We received our HHE, our “stuff,” about three weeks ago. I am not the one who whirlwinds to settle in… Unpacking dining room and kitchen boxes today.