Strugglin'

Obviously, I've been struggling with getting blog posts up. Life has been busy lately and a bit stressful so the first thing that gets cut out is my blog. I guess I'm not a real blogger then because if I really was, I would be blogging ALL the time no matter what. Well, I'm not. Firstly and foremost I am a child of God, then a missionary, then a wife, then a daughter, then a nanny, and then a ton of other things, and then a blogger. Sorry to pop some bubbles if you thought otherwise.
My last poll was about respect. The question was True or False: Gray hair wrinkles is a sign of respect in Yemli culture. The grand total of one vote was True, which is true! Way to go! :)
One of the things that has been difficult for me to transition over from Yemli culture to USA culture has been the almost fear or hatred of oldness. I just want to put out there that this is just general observations I've made by viewing popular media and I know does not apply to EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the US or around the world. So, back to my observations...
In Yemli, the older a person gets and the more children a married couple has, the more respect they get. It seems here in the US, the younger the person gets and the less children they have, the more respect they get. Yes, I did just say the younger the person gets...
Here is a beautiful elderly woman from Yemli. You can see her gray hair popping through her head covering. She is working on a bilum, or a Yemli purse. Women making bilums is a very common sight in Papua New Guinea.
So, in Yemli, at large gatherings, the old people always are served first. After them, the parents are served, and finally the children are served. Often, the Mom will be breast feeding her infant throughout all this going on, so that would be the one exception. As a person gets older, people begin to listen and think about their thoughts on a much deeper level than they would have if that same person said the same thing when they were younger. In church, when an elderly man or woman stands up and shares their heart, everyone listens and takes their thoughts to heart. 
Something that my Mom taught me was that gray hair really is her crowning glory. Proverbs 16:31 says "Gray hair is a crown of glory, it is gained by living a Godly life." My mom has embarrassed that and has told me numerous times that she doesn't want to dye her hair no matter how gray it gets. She has gained her gray hairs and her respect.
Just to sum up this whole thing up, one of the most respected names my Mom has in the village is "Avonga" which has a very fabulous meaning. Can you guess? It means "Old Woman." I just love that! In fact, in Yemli, calling an elderly woman Avonga is really just what you do. It's kind of like Mrs, Ms. or Miss except Avonga is only used for older women with gray hair.

Moving on..
I've been making quite a few smoothies just to detox and have a healthier breakfast or lunch. I have been mixing in fruits along with a couple handfuls of spinach. The other day I threw a plum in with my smoothie. Oh my goodness, it was AMAZING! I totally recommend throwing a plum in! Be sure to take the seed out first :)

Also, nanny life has been great. I decided I am going to give names to my three little kiddoes. Its just annoying to have to say Nanny kid one or nanny kid two. So, here are my kiddos..
Spidey is just newly four and is OBSESSED with Spiderman, hence his name.
Minnie is just newly two and LOVES Minnie Mouse and anything that has to do with being a princess.
Duckie is the baby, newly one. And she has this adorable little ducky I gave her for her birthday that she carries around everywhere and that got her her name!

So, this past week has bene SO FUNNY with the three kiddos. Duckie is starting to talk and her words have been "kack kack" (Quack Quack), "hi" "bye bye" and "da da" (all done). I LOVE it that she says kack kack as one of her first words :) Spidey and Minnie have been talking away and asking TONS of questions.

 For example, we walk past this tree with the green tape around it MANY times on our way to the library. I'm not sure if MN is the only place where these terrible bugs are devouring and killing all the Elm trees, but regardless, the little beetles have killed way too many Elm trees and now there are these green things around all the Elm trees warning everyone about the trees and showing a picture of the beetle. Basically, when you see the bug like that, kill it!
So we walk past there many times, like I said. Spidey noticed it right away when they had first put it up and asked me what it was for. I knew that I had to come up with a way for him to understand what was going on with the green tape, so here's what I told him: "There's a very naughty bug that eats the Elm trees because he thinks they are a yummy restaurant. But, because he's eating all the elm trees, they are all dying. So we have to tell those naughty bugs that they are not allowed to eat elm trees!" Now every time we pass, he tells me about the naughty bug that eats at the nummy palm tree restaurant.


The other day we visited a brand new toy store. Oh my goodness, WAY TOO MUCH STIMULI! But, Minnie found this little bag and began zipping and unzipping it. She asked me, "What is this?" and of course, I told her I had no idea but that she needed to put it back on the shelf. She looked at it again and then matter of fact said, "Oh, its princess underwear."
 
Last but not least, here's what Minnie and Spidey say every time they see this picture:

"There's Michael holding Joanna like a baby."


We also have been getting lots of yummy vegetable from our garden. Here is our largest harvest this year. I have never tasted such delicious cherry tomatoes before. Yum!

And, we got this HUGE zucchini from our garden. Yes, that is a zucchini! I am so excited to use this. I think I'll turn half of it into some yummy gluten free bread, and the other we will just fry up or make into chips. Delicious!
I am sure you're getting LOTS of free or cheap veggies from your gardens, farmer markets and/or grocery stores. How are you using up your veggies and fruits?