Thursday, June 30, 2011

Beer Bread

This bread is so yummy and so easy! Even if you claim that you cannot cook, you can make this. It is a definite crowd pleaser!!

3 ingredient yeast bread:
3 cups self-rising flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 12oz. can of beer

Mix and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Remove from the oven about 5 minutes before it is done and spread 1 T melted butter over the top. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


And his boards are over! 

Folly Beach...can you believe how beautiful it is?
Dinner at Bowen's Island

Friday, June 24, 2011

Today is the big day

Cole is on his way to the testing center to take his step 1 of his medical school boards. I am so proud of him!!!

Please keep him in your prayers today. We have been reminded of 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 which says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

I can't wait until 4 o'clock!! We are going to celebrate with fresh seafood at Bowen's Island tonight :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pizza to die for...

Delicious. Quick. Easy. Cheap. Healthy Not Unhealthy.

Cole said last night that this was the best pizza he had ever eaten! I said, "Really?! You sure have eaten a lot of good pizzas...and this is your favorite one ever?" And he said, "It is definitely on up there!" 

This IS a delicious pizza and perfect for week-night meal. 

The recipe for Corn, Pesto, and Tomato Pizza is here. Publix has great homemade pizza dough in the deli section. It needs to sit for an hour outside of the refrigerator before rolling. I used the tomatoes I had picked from Boone Hall instead of the cherry tomatoes the recipe calls for. And, to save time, I used a can of corn instead of shaving fresh kernels from the cob. Enjoy! 



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Tomato Pie

My favorite thing about summer is the food! Fresh fruits and veggies..mmmm!! Not only are the foods much more flavorful, but they are also much cheaper and much healthier! That being said, my least favorite thing about the summer is the heat! Whew, the heat wave is here! I realized this on Saturday afternoon when Chrissie and I went to Boone Hall Plantation and Farms to pick fresh produce. I said this last summer, and I am afraid I am saying it again...I don't think I can do this heat every summer for the rest of my life. But then I think of the fresh peaches and know that we are probably in the south to stay :) Thank goodness we can easily retreat to the mountains to alleviate the summer heat! 

I am sad to say that I forgot my camera on our outing to Boone Hall, which I am aware is unacceptable for a blogger :) You will have to forgive me. Chrissie and I had a really fun time chatting and picking away! It was a nice break after my 6 day work week! 

I couldn't wait to whip up a summer tomato pie when I got home with these tomatoes. 
My vine-ripened tomatoes
Summer Tomato Pie
We also ate and picked tons of blueberries and blackberries! Cole and I have made a variety of smoothies for breakfast with them. It is amazing how much fresh fruit can jazz up a mix, too. These blueberry muffins are Martha White's 99 cents muffin mix. Take in a 50 cent coupon, which doubles at Publix, and profit 1 cent off of the mix. Add in 1/2 cup fresh blueberries (which are very cheap when you pick them yourself) and there you have it...blueberry muffins fit for a king, easy and basically free!
Blackberry Smoothie 
Blueberry Muffins
Wherever you live, go find a local farm or produce stand, pick and purchase your favorites, and then let the flavors and smells of the fresh food inspire creative and healthy cooking this summer! Do you have any favorite summer recipes? 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Have you ever...

ridden a camel on the beach? Probably not, and I hadn't either until our recent trip to North Africa. I have always wanted to do this and had added it to my "bucket list" since I read an article about it in a National Geographic Traveler magazine a few years ago. Little did I know when signing up for our trip that we were in for this treat too! 

Between the two weeks of clinic we traveled to one of the coastal towns in the country. It was a place of civilization and modern conveniences! We stayed in a hotel for two nights and enjoyed some R&R before another week. It is amazing how excited we all were to have real beds, toilets, and showers. Oh, the little things in life :)

I'll be honest, the ride was bumpy. Really bumpy. And we were high up. Higher than I thought we would be. My inner thighs were sore the next few days because, poor camel, I was squeezing so hard. Cole often reminded me (thank goodness I was riding duo with him) to relax and enjoy myself because we were really riding camels on the beach in North Africa. Pretty cool! 

A little nervous as you can tell
 Yes, I am wearing a skirt. But, believe me, not on purpose. My luggage was mixed in with the pharmacy supplies. How did I manage that? As if the ride wasn't interesting enough...a skirt complicated things a bit, especially the loading and unloading part. Did I mention this city is known as "the windy city"?!
Our group. Beautiful!
Our shadow
This little guy loved Cole's leg. He used it to scratch his face!

Once I got comfortable, I loved it! It was a really fun experience! There are more fun pictures of this adventure on facebook! Somehow I am having problems transferring them to iPhoto on my computer. I will leave that for another day. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Spoleto, a bachelorette, and my rotation, Oh My!

For 35 years Charleston has hosted the world renowned Spoleto Festival USA. For two weeks May-June the city has wonderful performances and abounds with people from all of the world! My grandmother, JoJo, has attended this festival for all 35 years. In her "early years" she would come for the entire two weeks with friends. Unfortunately now her friends are too old to participate, but my parents make it possible for her to continue to come for a weekend each year. This time she stayed with Cole and me! We had a great weekend of performances and good food. This was our schedule:

Friday- Westminster Choir (at The Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul) and Emilie (at Memminger Auditorium)
Saturday- Chamber Music (at the Dock Street) and The Magic Flute (at Sottile Theater)
Sunday- Chamber Music (at the Dock Street)

I began coming with JoJo when I was in college and now I look forward to my weekend of culture each year :) 

Last weekend, the girls and I celebrated with Lesli at Wild Dunes. She is getting married in 2 weeks!!

My summer rotation has been keeping me busy. I am at Roper downtown this month and learning a lot.  My weeks lately have been busy with that, Bible Study, running, friends, and cooking..and lounging..if you can be busy with that?! I promise to post some recipes soon! I have some good ones to share! I probably won't be cooking for two weeks, thanks to my family's sweet friends who brought food to feed my parents and visitors this week. Good thing Cole likes leftovers! 

Thank you for those of you who have recommended books. I am going to add "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett and "Saving CeeCee Huneycutt" by Beth Hoffman to my reading list! 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Uncle Buddy

Today my family is mourning the death of my mom's brother, Uncle Buddy. We will miss him dearly. Please keep my family in your prayers.

I have been reminded of Ecclesiastes 3 today:

 1 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

 9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Aunt Ellen and Uncle Buddy

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Clinic Days

I thought I would share pictures and information on the medical clinic that we had in North Africa. Hopefully this will give you an idea of how the clinic operated and our specific roles. Unfortunately, I have the least amount of pictures from this portion of the trip. Not intentionally! The people, especially the women, were very uncomfortable having their pictures taken. Most of them were dressed in multiple layers (like 6 or 7) with cloaks over their heads and faces. Some of the more conservative women had their hands covered as well. Most of the pictures I do have are of the least conservative of the population. Just keep it in your mind as you scroll through that these pictures aren't a totally true representation of the people we served! 

I also want to mention that we cannot reveal the exact place we did our work on the internet or in writing. I also cannot post photos of landscape or of anything else that could identify us at a certain place. This is to protect the missionaries that are serving in this place undercover. I have been really vague on these posts for that reason. If you want to here more details, just give Cole or me a call! 

The first week we held our clinic in a cultural center in a village at the base of the mountains. The patients waited in line outside until their number was called. First, they were seen by the triage staff. The nurses took their vital signs and obtained information on their chief complaint. 
This picture is a little blurry, but I love it! It was a great time to love on the kids!
Next, the patients were taken to a treatment room to see one of the doctors. Interestingly, many of the women would only see women doctors with women translators, so we had two separate rooms. It took us an entire day to figure this out, and decide that it was necessary to ask each women if they wanted to see a female doctor. Thank goodness we had them! We found this out because the women would come to the pharmacy and tell Molly or me about this problem that they had not been treated for. (We were female, of course, and we usually had a female translator so they were obviously comfortable telling us). Turns out, some of them had completely made up another story than what was really wrong to tell the doctor. This was common if they had any sort of "female problem" or anything involving showing their skin. Some of the women could not show their faces in the presence of men!
Treatment room
Next, the students took the patients from the doctor to the pharmacy waiting area and gave us a "prescription" for their medication. 

We filled the prescriptions and then used a translator to tell the patients how to take their medicine.

The second week was organized much like the first. We had clinic each day in what appeared to be an art center. I had the opportunity to triage for a few hours one day. This is a photo of myself, my translator, and our patient.

Next, the doctors. Cole worked alongside a doctor most days. He had a ton of practice using his interviewing and diagnostic skills!

See Cole back there?! I caught a snapshot of this lady dressed in the cultural attire. 

And then of course, the pharmacy was the patient's last stop. 

The physical therapy and occupational therapy teams worked really hard too! We brought and gave away tons of shoes, crutches, walkers, etc. They also made some really crafty things to aid disabled patients in their normal daily tasks. I don't have any pictures from their areas to show.

Summer Reading List

1. Heaven is For Real
2. And the Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers
3. Radical by David Platt
4. The Moon and the Mango Tree by Pamela Ewen
5. What Did You Expect? by Paul David Tripp
6. Desiring God by John Piper
7. Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper
8. The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
9. As many magazines as possible!

So maybe this is a Summer and beyond reading list! Since I am still in school the thought of reading another book during the school year usually isn't a pleasant one. However, one of the things I look forward to the most in summer is catching up on my reading! To me, reading=relaxation, and I am pumped about that this summer! I am currently in the middle of numbers 3, 4, and 5 and they are all really great!! Radical is the book I am reading with my Bible Study this summer. We have just finished a year-long study of Isaiah that was really great and challenging, but mentally tiring. I am looking forward to a change in format to reading and discussing a book. I have heard wonderful things about Radical, and the first two chapters have proved to be so! It is a great book to begin after our trip to North Africa. The Moon and the Mango Tree is a novel set in the early 1900's in Siam (present day Turkey). It is told through the eyes of a newlywed girl whose husband just graduated from medical school and has been called to the mission field. Thanks Molly for the recommendation. It is a fun and light read! Cole and I are reading What Did You Expect? together with our Sunday School Class. It is teaching us a lot about marriage.

Have you read anything lately that you couldn't put down? Any must-reads? What is on your summer list? I would love to hear your recommendations!

Monday, June 6, 2011


Although our trip made for a lot of happy moments, there were sad ones as well. 

This man came to our clinic with the chief complaint of hemorrhoids. The triage staff noticed his frail appearance and brought him directly to Cole and Noami. Cole took his blood pressure and it was 80/40. I have never heard of someone's blood pressure being that low. They immediately began an IV of normal saline and continued it for about 3 hours. Upon examination, Cole diagnosed what the man thought was hemorrhoids to be rectal carcinoma. I will spare you the details of the adenocarcinoma tumor in his rectum that Cole told me about, but let's just say it was very late stage cancer. Cole grew up a few years, I believe, during this morning. It was his first experience involved with telling a patient and their family of a cancer diagnosis.  Cole will most likely have the unfortunate opportunity to have this conversation a number more times in his career, and the reality of the heaviness, sadness, and desperation hit him. This cancer would kill this man, and unfortunately, kill him very soon.

We had no physical medicine or procedure to help this man. The strongest pain killers we had were ibuprofen 400mg, which even doubled and dosed three times a day isn't sufficient for a terminal cancer patient. He was dying a painful death. This is sad, but even worse is that this man, nor his family, knew about the hope of heaven. Cole and Noami were able to use one of our Christian translators to pray for this man and his family. They prayed that this man would know Jesus before he died. They prayed that his family would know the peace that only Christ gives. Cole said it was the first time he realized that he didn't have any comfort for this family. When heaven is on the other side, there can be joy in death. Sickness and pain will be gone. Our bodies will be restored. For the unbeliever though, death is real, and hell would be worse than the present excruciating state of this man.  

Pray for him. Pray that he cries out for the eternal Savior that Noami and Cole told him about before it's too late. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Greater Things

John 14: 12-14 "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You many ask me anything in my name and I will do it."

Let's take a closer look!!

What has Jesus been doing? Jesus had been furthering the kingdom of God on earth. His purpose was to reveal God so that people would know Him. Jesus did this through teaching, loving on people, his attitude, helping others, deeds of compassion, and performing miracles. Basically, He pointed people towards the Father and gave us a glimpse of the Father.

What does "greater things" mean? The "things" are things that Jesus did on earth (see above), things that resulted in transformation of lives and cultures. We are called to do greater things, which means not greater in that they are more amazing but greater because they will be wider in world-wide scope.

How can we do greater things than Jesus? Jesus was only one man here on earth, but the Holy Spirit now indwells every believer.

How can we accomplish greater things? The Holy Spirit is the one who gives us the power to do "greater things". We know this from v. 12 when it says "because I am going to the Father"= Jesus went up and Holy Spirit came down...and we know it from Acts 1:8 which says, "You will receive POWER WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES ON YOU; and YOU WILL BE MY WITNESSES in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

What does it mean to ask for things "in His name"? Praying in His name means praying in a way that is consistent with His will and character. Effective prayer must ask for and desire what Jesus delights in and what pleases Him.

Will Jesus really grant us everything we ask for? **He says YES IF they are asked IN HIS NAME. The ultimate purpose of God answering prayers is SO THAT THE SON MAY BRING GLORY TO THE FATHER. If God is not glorified, then He will not. If we ask for it IN HIS NAME, He promises that it will be answered. BUT, the answer may look different than we expect. If our desire is truly in accordance with His (that is to bring glory to God), then we will be able to submit to and be thankful for however our prayers are answered. This verse gives us confidence in prayer!!

I am left asking myself, "How do I better make my prayers in accordance with God's will and character?" It is also a challenge to evaluate my life to see if I am really living out the "greater things" Jesus commanded of me as a believer. He didn't just give me these words to reflect on or as an option, but to obey Him by responding to His command to use the Holy Spirit in me to do as Jesus did - further His kingdom here on earth!

We thank God that He chose to use us, broken and weak vessels, to accomplish greater things. We pray and trust that He will continue to do greater things in North Africa and in our own lives.  

Friday, June 3, 2011

All Nations

We are told in Scripture that one day there will be at least 1 person from every nation, tribe, people, and language standing before the throne of God praising Him!! The Lord will not come to redeem this world until that happens (Matthew 24:14). On this trip, the Lord gave me a sense of urgency for the Great Commission He gave to believers (Matthew 28:19-20). There are places and people that have never heard the good news of the gospel! Romans 10:4 says "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?"

Let these verses of truth put pictures in your mind of that time to come when all believers will be praising God together!

Revelation 7:9-11 "I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. They cried in a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."

Matthew 24:14 "This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the WHOLE WORLD as a testimony to ALL NATIONS and THEN the end will come."

Matthew 28:19-20 "Therefore go and make disciples of ALL NATIONS, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Isaiah 2:2 "In the last days, the mountain of the Lord's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and ALL NATIONS will stream to it."

Isaiah 45:22 "Turn to me and be saved, all you ENDS OF THE EARTH; for I am God and there is no other."

Jeremiah 16:19 "O Lord, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in times of distress, to you THE NATIONS will come from the ENDS OF THE EARTH."

Psalm 102:15 "The NATIONS will fear the name of the Lord, ALL THE KINGS OF THE EARTH will revere Your glory."

Psalm 98:2-3 "The Lord has made His salvation known and revealed His righteousness TO ALL NATIONS. He has remembered His love and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH have seen the salvation of our God."

Acts 10:35 "God does not show favoritism but accepts men from EVERY NATION who fear Him and do what is right."

1 Timothy 2:1-4 "I urge that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone- for kings and all those in authority, that we may all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved."

And, possibly my favorite. Psalm 67 "May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us, that Your ways may be known on earth, Your salvation AMONG ALL NATIONS. May the peoples praise You, O God; may ALL THE PEOPLES praise You. May THE NATIONS be glad and sing for joy, for You rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. May the peoples praise You, O God; may ALL THE PEOPLES praise You. Then the land will yield its harvest and God, our God, will bless us. God will bless us, and ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH WILL FEAR HIM."

At the end of each week, the villages we were serving in wanted to give us a party of appreciation! They were so thankful for the medical care we brought to them. They had music, cookies, and hot mint sweet tea. It was a sweet time of dancing and cheering and laughing with each other. And, did we do some dancing!! In my mind, it was an earthly picture of how I imagine heaven one day! God promises it- at least one person from each nation, tribe, people, and language. I hope that I will recognize these faces, and at that time we will all be dancing and cheering all the same, except this time praising God together!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Culture Shock

In North Africa, table manners go out the window! If you do everything opposite than we do here, you will be on track. First, we ate everything with our hands! One big dish is served to a table of about 7 people. It is called "Tajine" and looks like a big dish with a teepee on top. Everyone imagines it cut into a pie and you take from your own piece. There are a few techniques to master, some involving bread and others rolling up the food into a ball and flicking it into your mouth. Since everyone's hands are in the same plate, it is important that everyone's hands be clean!! They pass around a dish to wash your hands or alcohol hand sanitizer also does the trick! It is looked down upon to touch your fingers to your mouth because your hand is going back into the communal plate. It is also looked down upon to reach into someone else's piece.  They have this weird left hand, right hand theory there. Your left hand is used to do "dirty work", like personal cleansing things. Your right hand is for eating, exchanging money, shaking hands, and anything else involving others. This was hard for Cole to get used to since he is left handed! I also read that it was customary to burp after a meal, but I never witnessed this "good table manner". All of this was very awkward at first, especially not having silverware, napkins, or your own plate. But, it only took one meal to get used to! Eating like this was super fun and a culture shock! But, i'll be honest, I was looking forward to a fork on the airplane!

The food was absolutely wonderful. We had lots of veggies, cous-cous and oranges. Like in most countries, to keep us from getting sick, everything we ate had to be cooked or able to peel. Needless to say, I was craving a raw salad when I came home. Here is what I made. You can find the recipe here

Quinoa Caprese Salad
I also made these lemon pies for my Bible Study this week. I made 2- one from scratch and the other using ready-made ingredients - to see which one I liked better. They are both refreshing summer desserts. The votes are in and the totally homemade pie was definitely the favorite. I guess it is worth the extra time!!

The favorite is Southern Living's Zesty Lemon Pie. The smooth and light texture, homemade graham crust, and freshly whipped cream made this one so yummy!

The next is Southern Living's Lemonade Pie. A bit tangier and crisp taste than the first, this one uses frozen lemonade concentrate and cream cheese to make the filling. It is much faster to make because you use a pre-made crust and cool whip, and it is also non-bake which saves time!

They are both pies I will keep in my recipe book and make again! 
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