Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Our visit with friends

We had a great visit on Monday with our friends Severjon and Mamude. They have a new baby nephew that was born while we were in Bulgaria. They put out pretzels and popcorn for us to snack on and Sawyer helped himself. The two little boys in the pictures with Sawyer are Tarkan and Denis. Sawyer really loves them and the three of them play so well together! They say "Aide" to Sawyer, which means "Let's go" or "come on" if they want to go play somewhere else. Later we heard Tarkan tell Sawyer in English "Come on". It was really cute:)

Friday, July 24, 2009

International World Changers

A group of International World Changers from Virginia have braved the heat this week to come and serve in Skopje! What a blessing they have been to the precious Roma children!

International World Changers

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

back in Skopje!

We are back in Skopje, Macedonia! That's where we have called "home" for the past year. It's nice being back. Sawyer was happy to get back to his all his toys. He has been enjoying playing his Thomas the Train game and listening to books on his Story Reader. He even woke up this morning asking to go to school but his school doesn't start until September. Thank you all for praying for us!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cheesecake Recipe

For many years now, my mother Teresa has baked a delicious cheesecake. Many people look forward to when she bakes a cheesecake. Here's the recipe she uses. It's from a lady named Myra from Ila, Georgia.

I was hesitant to bake a cheesecake over here because I knew I would not be able to find the exact same ingredients that are needed. But this week I decided to give it a try and it turned out delicious! Eric and I were both very excited! I'm glad I can make this dessert for my husband now because it's one of his favorites. I want to keep a record of the adjustments I made to the recipe for next time.

Myra’s Cheesecake Recipe

(with ingredient substitutions out to the side that can be found in the Balkan countries of Eastern Europe)


2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs or substitute 2 Cups of your favorite cookie or cracker

¼ cup Sugar

1/3 cup oleo or butter (melted)

Mix melted butter with cracker crumbs and sugar. Press on bottom and sides of 10” spring form pan. (I was able to find my spring form pan in Sofia at HIT.) Bake five minutes at 350 degrees.


1 and ½ lbs. (or 3 of the 175g packages) Cream Cheese

¾ Cup sugar

2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon Vanilla or 2 capsuls of Butter-Vanille Aroma by Dr. Oetker

2 tablespoons Cornstarch or flour

1 Cup Sour Cream or a medium sized container of Kiselo Mleko 3.0%

Beat together cheese and sugar until light and smooth. Beat in eggs, vanilla and cornstarch only until thoroughly mixed. Stir in sour cream until mixture is well blended. Pour into crust. Bake cheesecake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and place in refrigerator to cool immediately. This prevents cracks from forming in the cake.

Yes or No?

from Eric

The Lord has taught us a great deal about communication during our time in the Balkans. One thing that I have noticed in Bulgaria is the similar (and sometimes same) words used in both Bulgarian and Macedonian, yet the difference in head motions. The motion from side-to-side actually is "yes," while the up-and-down motion means "no." This has led us to follow up many times with the "Do you mean .... ?" question. There is a third, circular head motion, which expresses a "maybe" or uncertain "yes/no," which has usually meant we need to ask someone else. Despite our limits, God has given us the information we need. No matter what the head motion, the eye roll seems to remain universal. Ha, ha!

Friday, July 10, 2009

...a heritage, reward, and blessing

I am reading an amazing book right now-- Feminine Appeal by: Carolyn Mahaney. I've been blessed each day this week to read the thoughts and advice from this Godly lady. Thank you to my sweet friend Miranda for giving me this book! The book is about the seven virtues of a Godly wife and mother. I am being encouraged and convicted daily by what I am reading. My "homework" (there are great study questions in the back of the book) for this week is to write down ways that my child is a heritage, reward, and blessing to me.

A reward is "something given or received in recompense for worthy behavior". I feel so unworthy to be a mother to Sawyer and to our new little one on the way. I have no "worthy behavior" that should win me such a prize like motherhood, but I am reminded that my salvation is exactly the same! I am saved by grace through faith and I sure don't have any "worthy behavior" to gain myself salvation. Not that children come anywhere close to salvation but they are a blessing and a great thing to thank and praise God for. Carolyn Mahaney is reminding me to view motherhood as a joy and not just a duty, as a delight and not a burden.

Sawyer is a heritage, reward, and blessing to me...
every time he sings a song
every time he smiles
every time he gives me a hug
when I see him run fast to the playground full of excitement
when he tells me his Bible verses he is learning
when I try to read him a book but he says "I read it"
when he wants to "help" sweep the floor

And when frustrating times come, like when he won't go to sleep at night or when he refuses to eat his vegetables, I MUST remember that he is a heritage, reward, and blessing from the Lord!

"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!" Psalm 127:3-5

Friday, July 3, 2009

Areopagus in Athens, Greece (Mars Hill)

Acts 17:16-34 tells of Paul at the Areopagus in Athens. This site is very close to the Parthenon and we were blessed to be able to see both.

"Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: 'Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: To An Unknown God. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.'" (Acts 17:22-26)

Father's Day in Ancient Korinth

We went to Ancient Korinth on Father's Day. Korinth is where Paul spoke to the Corinthians in AD 52. We've been very blessed to be able to visit four Biblical cities in Greece now: Thessaloniki, Korinth, Athens, and Philippi.