Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome, little 2012...

Hey all of you people...HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  We have always celebrated New Year's with games, food, friends and lots of fun and this year is NO different!  40 missionaries and all of us 'old people' gathered at the Mission Home on Saturday [lockdown time was 6 p.m. so many arrived late afternoon] and we partied until 2012!  Those who came were the ones assigned to areas close to Cauayan.  The celebration here is very dangerous so ALL missionaries were to be in their apartment by 6 and NOT go outside.  The Filipino's are crazy for fireworks and many actually will pull out their guns and fire them randomly so the safety of the missionaries was the most important thing.  Those who came to the mission compound to celebrate were made to spend the night [oh, darn! President's famous breakfast is so hard to take!] and the sister missionaries went to the local sister's apartment and had a slumber party.  The jury is still out about the amount of sleep they did or didn't get!!  President and Sister set up ping pong, they had volleyball and basketball as well as Mexican Train all going at one time.  Such a fun tourney at the ping pong table and I am not sure if the Russell's weren't the grand champions.  They are both VERY good!!  Around 10, all that were interested gathered in the mission home family room where we played '17 Miracles', the newly released movie, for them to enjoy.  It was a great evening.  The Carlos' supplied the bulk of the snacks but we all contributed.  I made and took two pans of Graham...pronounced 'GRAY HAM' [that is the way it looks to be pronounced when reading the box!] and it was a hit!  Graham is a favorite Filipino dessert and is SO easy and delicious.  Here is the recipe if you want to try it:

Making Graham
9x13 pan or a bowl would work-must have the capability of a lid.
Layer like a lasagna...
Graham Crackers [not crushed, just cover the bottom of the container]
Add a layer of the 'filling'
Sliced fresh mango's [or peaches, or strawberries, or blackberries, etc.]  Could use frozen also if the fruit you prefer is out of season.

Continue to layer and end up with crackers and the rest of the sauce.
Freeze and when you want to enjoy, pull from the freezer and spoon out a hunk!  It is SO yummy..

Sauce:  1 can of sweetened condensed milk mixed with 2 C of cream.  I used a triple recipe of the sauce for these two pans and it worked fine-I like it a little creamier...that is one recipe I will bring home and use with my grandpeople for sure!

The missionaries were dressed in differing attire depending on their activity-here are a few chomping down the goodies!

Elder Schmidt, Elder Ziegler and Elder Lundy are enjoying the eats.

President and Sister Carlos adding their touches to the goodies.

Elder Griffin looking for his next kill...he ate ALL evening and never got full, all 6'8" of him!!

Does this look like junk food heaven or what???
The sale of fireworks is a big business here.  I think recently I talked about the 'gypsies'..that is MY name of the people who come into a city, set up tents and sell their wares during a certain period of time.  In Cabatuan we had a festival in the fall and had these tents here for months!  Most of the stuff is similar to dollar store quality back in the US but some things I have picked up were great!  I got a wonderful meat cleaver for $7 [350 pesos] and will bring it home for sure.  Anyway, the sale of fireworks is no different-nothing is outlawed and everything is legal so it is a free-for-all!!  The type of fireworks that we see in the US in the huge displays that are only available to commercially licensed and certificated pyrotechnical companies are sold here for dollars so you can imagine the hullabaloo on New Year's Eve!!  It truly sounded like a war zone and by the end of 45 minutes, my ears were so tired.

Check out this link if you want to be there with us-Randy recorded it on the IPad and put it on UTube.

My three sons and my 12 grandsons would be in heaven here!!!

The street lined with firework vendors.

Saturday afternoon we went with the Zone Leaders for a while and in trying to find a house, took a wrong turn and came upon a Balute farm!!  Many of you have heard of Balute and know it is a delicacy here in the Philippines but I am here to tell you THIS lady ain't gonna try it!!  If you want to know more, google it, folks!!  YUCK!!

Balute Farm, one of three of four on the banks of this river.
Earlier that day, we attended a Youth Cultural Show.  It reminded us of the old Roadshows and was actually a lot of fun.  Long, but a lot of fun.  Here are five of my favorite girls..

Christiana, Glory-Anne, me, Jessa, Mary Jane and Santa
All in all, 2011 was a great year-we learned SO much, experienced SO much, loved SO much, cried SO much, laughed SO much, ate SO much and missed SO much many of the people we love SO much.  We know 2012 will bring us lots of new experiences and changes but there is one thing that will be constant...our deep love for our family and each of you...happy happy my friends...

She will never be 'Emma' lady bug that I wear...

1 comment:

  1. Wish I had a couple like you and Randy to help in our mission. I get to do all those things by myself! I love reading about your experiences. I can certainly relate to alot of them. Keep up the good work.
    Trisha Call