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Modern Missionary Mamas

Because your Redeemer lives.

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tips and tricks

How do I… screen a metal door?

How do I...

Windows are pretty easy to screen; most of us can get (or make) a frame, put the screening inside and mount it. But doors? Mama, doors are another story, and most of the doors here have some kind of openness to them, even when they’re closed. Never fear! There is a solution.

First, you’ll need some rubbing alcohol. Grab a rag and use it to clean the surface of the metal so that the glue will adhere well. You may also want a pair of disposable gloves to protect your skin from the cement in the next steps.

This is a bottle of rubbing alcohol

Next you’ll need…screen! It comes in big rolls. There are different quality levels with different sized holes, so go for the smallest gauge and toughest material you can find. I prefer fiberglass over aluminum, but that’s just a personal preference. If the fiberglass rips, it’s more easily repaired with screen tape.

Next you’ll need a sharp pair of scissors. Screen is actually pretty easy to cut. I measure the width of the door, then leave it longer than necessary (why will become clear). Leave it as wide as you can to allow more surface to contact the metal. When I was a new, fresh, green missionary (not the decrepit old lady I am now), I used bias tape I made from an old sheet and bound the edges on my sewing machine to make them look nice. (I was so industrious. Sigh.) I didn’t do that this time. I’m not sure if it would work with the clear cement; you might need RTV if you’re going to go that route.

Once your screen is the right size across, you’ll go ahead and start using the clear PVC cement to attach it directly to the metal. It smells pretty bad, so you may want a fan. I found it best to apply it fairly heavy, wait a minute for it to start to dry, then apply the screen once it’s tacky. (It’s helpful to have two people to do this part, but I know how you roll, mamas, and if it’s just you, you can totally still do it.) Press the screen to the cement all along the edge; the cement will pass through the screen. As it starts to take, I do another pass with the cement over the top of the screen. Hold it in place until it can take the weight of the screen (two or three minute at most; it dries quite quickly).

Next, you’ll work your way down each side of the door. If you have any odd things you have to work around, go ahead and make the cuts to accommodate it first. Then, just like across the top, put a layer of cement on the door, pressing down the screen, and applying another layer of cement on top. Be careful not to pull the top away if it’s still drying; you could wait until it’s hardened to do the sides if you’re concerned.

Once the sides are both done, you can tell how much you’ll need at the bottom. Sometimes the screen can gap or fold funny, so that’s what it’s important to leave the bottom part longer, to ensure coverage. You do not want to get to the bottom and be half an inch short. (Trust the voice of experience, mamas.) Then you can go ahead and follow the same procedure at the bottom. Once it’s all done, I do one more layer on top of all the edges, just to be sure. This whole project only took 1/4 of the PVC cement. If I was using RTV, I would expect to use a whole tube, maybe a tube and a half, depending on how thick you put it on.

As you can see, some parts of my cutting were straighter than others…I had a five-year-old who was alternately trying to help and wrestling with his sister…it was so helpful…but it did impact the straightness of the screen. Which I now have to live with.  Forever.

Since these screens are not removable, I usually just use a stiff-bristled brush like with a dust pan and brush them clean. Try to make sure the wind is blowing through the house going out, not in. A fan is helpful.

Admittedly, I haven’t tried this on anti-corrosion paint. I’m not sure how that would work, but bare metal or regular painted metal should both work.

Also, I have no suggestions for getting your children to actually close the door behind them. You’re on your own there.

Hang in there, mamas! And while you’re at it, hang some screens. You’ve got this.

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Nervous flier?

If these pictures have your heart racing and your palms sweaty, maybe you need to read the following article…

Seven tips for the nervous flier

Airline travel is part of the deal for most of us! Is it harder or easier with your kids? Do you share your fears with them or try to hide it?

Make it Monday: Compost Tea

Make it Monday

No, mama, the tea isn’t for you, it’s for your garden! If you want to give your plants a little boost and you don’t have MiracleGro (snort), you’ll only have to wait a week for this liquid gold! This works on indoor OR outdoor plants and it’s perfect for city dwellers with no room for a compost pile.

She recommends eggshells, coffee grounds and tea bags; I would also add a banana peel for potassium. In fact, I just toss banana peels onto my plants regularly; they turn black quickly, but don’t smell bad or attract pests.

How to make compost tea

Give it a try!

Make it Monday: Oat Milk

Make it Monday

Hi mamas!

We’re making some changes to our diets around here, and we’re not finding it so easy. Eating healthy is great. We love it. What we don’t love is paying for it. So for those looking for a dairy-free milk option overseas, I don’t think you can do better than this. You already know how much I love oats for gluten-free baking, but now it’s coming to the rescue for us dairy-free folks as well. Amazing!

https://simpleveganblog.com/how-to-make-oat-milk/

She recommends soaking them and then dumping the water. That’s to cut down on phytic acid and make it easier to digest. If that’s not important to you (or you just don’t want to waste the water), you can skip it. If you’re like me, it’ll make as much difference as five minutes spent with the mountain of laundry you have to fold…that is to say, not much. Another recipe also mentioned adding cinnamon and vanilla, which sounds amazing and perfect for a smoothie.

Are oats available where you live? What food solutions are you pondering at your house?

#Momhack: Cooking While Traveling

We’re at our organization’s HQ for two weeks, doing some training and meetings, and the food situation? OY. Because my babies want ALL. THE. SUGARY. THINGS. and Mama doesn’t want crazy behavior due to too many treats. So I’m fighting back on costs and sugar with whole chickens…the leftovers of which I’m putting with stir fries, over pasta and into soups.

But my #momhack today has to do with flavor…because I don’t want to buy a whole bottle of sesame seeds for my stir fry, but without it? Kinda bland.

As you can see, even this tiny jar is $2.21, which is really more than I need for two weeks.

Instead, I went over to the bulk section at Winco Foods, and got just two tablespoons for $0.39. BAM.

In case you’re still not convinced, I also needed thyme and sage for my chicken soup, neither of which was cheap for a whole bottle…

A little trip over to the bulk section…(and look at all the options!!)…I scoop out what I need into a small plastic bag, write the four-digit code on the twist-tie, and close it up.

And I ended up walking out with just what I needed for two batches of soup. I paid $0.09 for thyme and the sage? Well, there was so little in the bag, it wouldn’t register on their scale, so they gave it to me for free. That would make me feel bad, except they’re the ones who designed the system, not me. So hey, I’ll take advantage of it! You don’t have to rely on junk food just because you’re traveling, and the smell of soup simmering can make even a temporary place feel like home.

Don’t let the big jars intimidate you! If you’ve got a kitchen available to you, don’t let it go to waste. Your wallet will thank you.

You’ve got this, mamas.

Aunt Flo, Mother Earth and You

While many of my posts are appropriate for both sexes, guys, you’re probably gonna want to pass on this one today. And if you don’t, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

And ladies, today’s post may freak some of you out, too, so here’s some lavender, which is supposed to be calming…

Menstruation.

And now the guys believe me and they’re out of here.

Good! Now that it’s just us, let’s talk, mamas. Most likely, if you’re using disposable menstrual supplies, you are spending a small fortune every month on these things. And now some of you are thinking, ‘if’? Yes, mamas–for I am about to introduce you to the sanity of reusable menstrual supplies. Let’s talk ‘why’ first, then move to ‘what.’

More lavender? Okay.

They’re affordable: You can make or buy these quite cheaply compared to disposables.

They’re reducing your chemical exposure: My understanding is that most disposable supplies are laced with bleach, fragrances, petrochemicals and other things that aren’t great to have that close to you. (You can read more about that here.)

They’re good for the earth: Because if you trash our planet, where will *I* live?

There’s been some kind of innovation wave that I completely missed until a kind missionary friend told me what she used. Personally, I had no idea there were so many options out there! So here we go.

Cloth reusables: these are like regular maxi pads, but they have snaps instead of glue. They’re usually made of cotton or bamboo. I’ve found lots on Etsy or Amazon and even patterns for making them on Pinterest. In my opinion, it’s better than washing cloth diapers; they’ve come out very clean.

Menstrual cups: these are small silicone cups that catch the blood like a tampon would. Most are reusable for a long time, and there’s now a huge variety of shapes and sizes! Between you and me, I don’t know much about specific brands, so if anyone’s had a positive experience, please chime in!

Six ways to fold a menstrual cup

Sea sponges: I know, right? Weird? Maybe. But if it works, a game changer.

Leakproof underwear: Apparently, this is a real thing. It’s build right into it, in a variety of absorbencies. Neat.

What do you think, mamas? Am I rocking your world or is this TMI? Share your experience with us, if you dare.

Quick and Dirty Transition Tips

Hello, mamas! I’ve missed you. I’ve been in a time of transition as I travel towards furlough/home assignment for a season, so I thought I’d share a little bit of how I’m treating myself well in the blur:

I give myself a full two days to recover. HQ meetings start Monday? I come in on Friday night. I arrived in PDX on Tuesday night for a conference on Friday night. That gives us all time for the jet lag to wear off (really, kids? 3:30 AM seems like morning to you?) and to get over any illnesses we picked up on the plane. (Though I still stand by my habit on wiping down arm rests, tray tables, windows and screens with a sanitizing wipe. It may get weird looks, but we had no illness this time!)

I navigate triggers with extra time and space. And by that I mean reverse culture shock triggers. And by that I mean the grocery store. Knowing they’d remodeled again since I was last there, I happily left my kids with my mom-in-law while I navigated the assault on my senses that is the grocery store. Mamas, I had to do anxiety breathing. I don’t know exactly why it’s a trigger for me, but it is. So do I try to “just pop in for a few things” on the way to something else? No. No, I do not.

Just say no. I know. Your time is short. You want to see everyone, and they want to see you. But I know I can’t. I wanted desperately to drive to Salem last night to see a dear friend who goes back to Indo next week…but my kids needed time with me to process the next phase of our transition and recover from the exhaustion of doing American church for the first time (again). And it may sound silly, but I needed that, too. Give yourself time to putter, to knit, to write. You can dive into work soon enough.

I let the tears come. My oldest did NOT want to go to Sunday School. Usually, my guy is the tough one who’s good at Sunday school drop off, but it was just me yesterday. And when I walked away from him, I held back tears. I held them back so well, down the hall, down the stairs. I held them back from the usher who greeted me. I held them back from my dad-in-law when I found him in our row. But when the music started, even though it was a song I didn’t know (maybe because it was a song I didn’t know), I let myself come undone. The whispered voice said, No façades now. Not with me.

But people will stare! I know. They did. But that’s where my heart was at. It was grieving my Haiti home. It was overwhelmed by the increased noise and lights. It was sad for my scared boy who just wants to be with me. So I cried in the presence of God. You can, too. You don’t have to pretend this isn’t hard. It is.

I exercise outside. I’m in a temperate part of the world, so you may not be able to do this, but it so helps me with jet lag and burning off the residual stress of travel.

I should’ve stayed off Facebook and Twitter. Ah, the endless scroll. It’s too easy to lose myself in it, too easy to ignore my kids and those present with me. I was happier when I had some distance from my phone.

You’ve got this, mamas.

Surviving Christmas Overseas

http://unendingjoyadventures.com/2017/11/29/surviving-christmas-overseas/amp/

Some good thoughts here!

How to get a lego out of your kid’s nose…

Okay, so E is always sticking stuff up her nose, so I know it’s just a matter of time before I use this trick. Also, we’re overseas, so it’s harder to get to medical care…and frankly, I just thought this was genius. So enjoy Georgia and her ill-fated nose incident!

http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2017/08/georgias-managed-to-get-an-orange-pip-stuck-up-her-nose.html

 

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