Saturday, October 31, 2015

Saltine candy

“Christmas Crack” {AKA Saltine Toffee Candy}

  • 1 cup butter (NOT margarine - original recipe calls for unsalted butter but I've used both)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 40 saltine crackers
  1. Heat oven to 400.
  2. Line 12x17 cookie sheet with foil and spray well with cooking spray.
  3. Layer the saltine crackers on top of the foil.
  4. Heat butter and sugar on stovetop and heat until gently boiling, stirring constantly.
  5. Reduce heat to very low boiling and cook, uncovered, 3 minutes, until the mixture is thickened and sugar is dissolved. (Be careful to avoid burning the butter and sugar- that will ruin the recipe!)
  6. Pour butter and sugar mixture over crackers and spread evenly.
  7. Bake 5-6 minutes in oven.
  8. Remove pan from oven and let cool 3-5 minutes, then sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  9. As chocolate chips melt, carefully spread into an even layer over the toffee layer.
  10. Let cool completely (refrigerate to cool more quickly.)
  11. Break into bite-sized pieces and serve. . . yum!
  12. Store covered in refrigerator.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Apple update

Here are some of the items I've been making with the apples.
 I use the peels and cores to make apple cider vinegar.  Some I freeze to make apple scrap jelly later.
 Apple pie filling.

 This is the second box of apples.  One more to go.

 On the left is dried cinnamon apple slices.  On the right is dried peels that I will grind into powder later to use to add flavorings to smoothies, breads and the like.
 This is a tray of cinnamon apples in the dehydrator.

 The crockpot is full of apples cooking down into applesauce.

Half pints of apple sauce and spiced apple slices.
I try not to waste any part of the apple.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Apples, apples every where

Last year I bought three bushels of apples and put them up.  They were and are quite tasty.  I made apple pie filling, applesauce, apple cider vinegar and apple butter.

This year I again bought three bushels of apples and shared half of a bushel with a friend.  I am making dehydrated apples, apple cider vinegar, apple pie filling, applesauce and spiced apple rings.

I canned the applesauce in quart jars last year and this year I plan to can several in half pint jars so they can be taken in lunches.  I am also canning some of the spiced apple rings in half pints as well.  Those things are more of a treat for us and we don't eat tons of it so it made sense to use smaller jars.

I also plan to dehydrate the apple skins and powder them for flavoring foods.  I think I might also make some apple peel jelly.

I've been keeping the dehydrator going for the last few days and it will continue to run until I get done with all these apples.

I think I will take a break from apples next year.  We will see.

I just wish I could get peaches by the bushel.  You would think I could since they are grown not too far north of here.


DATE: OCTOBER 24, 2015
Manuel loads the water well parts from the MFA aircraft.
With the help of multiple donors, we were able to meet the $1,700 parts bill for the water wells in Meluco District,  pay transport costs, AND provide the 3 man team’s food expenses for 5 days in the bush!  Unknown to me, the “2015 price list” that I quoted from was not correct due to the massive foreign exchange “turmoil” that took place Oct. 1st.  This caused ALL imported parts prices to sky rocketed throughout Mozambique in the last few weeks!  (these water well parts are imported from India)
BUT GOD KNEW THAT, and provided through multiple donors to make up the difference!
These are much needed,
as we just received requests to repair ANOTHER 4 WELLS in Balama that that have broken.
Oct. and November are the driest of the dry months, and our busiest with water wells. 
The rubber water well rings usually only last about a year.
Keeps Manuel and his 2 man team hopping for sure!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all who gave so generously so that more than 40,000 people can have clean water in the next 2 weeks.
Our week jumped out of the starting gate on Monday with a 4:30a.m. drive for Layla and I to Pemba. 
Layla left for RSA on a commercial flight, and MAF fetched me in their 6 seater Cessna for the 1 hr. 20 min. flight to Nampula City, 7 hours drive to the south of us.
With the water well parts being the priority, MAF (Missions Aviation Fellowship) offered Manuel and I a helping hand, sparing me the long, bumpy, and VERY exhausting  14 hour round trip drive to Nampula.  
Thanks to Steve, our MFA pilot, for these pics from his iphone.
Manuel is my “right hand man”, as Eric Dry trained him to be our “handy man”.  Besides maintaining the vehicles at our base, he is our WATER WELL FIX IT MAN!  One of the best around, as his “fix it” skills are requested by multiple districts each dry season.
He went with me to Nampula to make sure we received the right parts needed to repair the 20 water wells in Meluco. (Was a good thing, as he discovered several errors in the order which he corrected.)
MONDAY NIGHT, in  Nampula:
Capena, our Balama office manager, called to say we had a team of orphanage inspectors coming from Pemba on Wednesday at 11 a.m.  That meant I had to cancel all plans for Tuesday shopping in Pemba, and race to Balama instead of fetching the much needed baby formula, and fabric for making clothes for our orphans.
TUESDAY in Nampula: Manuel left by taxi at 6:30 a.m. to fetch the water well parts.  At 8:30 a.m., I renewed my passport and was ready to go.
MAF was very accommodating, and had us out of the airport by 10:30 a.m.   We were back in Pemba by 12 NOON and made the 4 hour drive to Balama, arriving before dark!
WEDNESDAY: Our entire Staff showed up early to help organize the food and equipment for the food distribution for the inspectors to observe on Thursday.  Watching “HOW” we distribute the food to the widows was a main item on their agenda.  They arrived at 11, and we were in meetings with them until almost 4pm that afternoon, as they read every detail of our children’s files.   (All was found in order, PTL!)
THURSDAY:  The inspection team left with smiles on their faces, as they were happy with our food distribution process.
They wanted radios in the 2 houses of younger children, so they could listening to music and the news.  (The 8 boys in the dorm have had a radio since day one for this purpose.)  They also wanted more “traditional food” added to their diet, so that correction was made immediately on their weekly menus.
Since we corrected these problems within that same day, the inspectors were extremely pleased.
FRIDAY:   2 a.m.  Pastor Alberto, Evangelist/Bible School teacher working with the 830 new converts in Namuno District, called me to say he was very sick and needed immediate transport to the hospital.  Our 2nd driver, Genito, was fetched by bicycle by one of my guards, and was on his way to Namuno District to fetch him by 4 a.m. (Alberto is now recovering at home from a hernia attack.)
At 5 a.m., I drove to Pemba to fetch LAYLA, who received her Residency Visa, AND to purchase the much needed BABY FORMULA and FABRIC for the children’s clothing. 
UNKNOWN TO US, BABY FORMULA PRICES  greatly increased as it is also imported.  Most stores were sold out because the store owners don’t have enough money to buy at the higher price in RSA.
My 2 man team and I spent 4 hours going to every store and tiny market stall in Pemba, buying up the few cans that each had in stock.
PTL! We managed to obtain a 5 week supply (160 cans) for the 32 babies currently in the program! 
One of the major importers has promised to save us 15 cases when her November shipment comes in.  For this we are most grateful!
Our motto:  We do what it takes to provide for our children, and QUIT is not in our vocabulary.
Keep your prayers coming that the “promised formula” arrives on time in November.
Never a dull moment around here for sure.
CARLITOS JORGE AND AMBROSIO, showing off new bike and AWANA game materials after setting new attendance record in Marica Village.
These 2 are the “dynamic duo” when it comes to Children’s Evangelism
Carlitos Jorge and assistant,  “now grown up orphan” Ambrosio, did their 3 normal AWANA programs in NQUIDE Village on Saturday.
They then traveled on their new motorbike to MARICA Village to start a new program.
596 children and 46 adults attended this meeting, with all hearing the GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST for the FIRST TIME!
In a village of 4,000, this is AMAZING!
DE BUNNY is “bushed” after all that happened this week, but it’s amazing to watch as “Jesus’ plan” provided our needs and brought many to know about HIM at the same time.  Perseverance and persistence.  Much needed qualities for all those who serve JESUS, no matter what country you are in.
Bush Bunny Brenda Lange
Layla Silva (happy to be “home” again).
  I know someone is truly “called” to serve when they look forward to returning to “remote” Balama.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Altered neckline t-shirt

I am not fond of the neckline on t-shirts.  It feels too close to me.  I am one who doesn't care to have fabric or even necklaces up close around my neck.  So t-shirts make me feel uncomfortable.  I decided to alter the neckline in an old t-shirt.  I figured I didn't have anything to lose since I don't like to wear it the way it was made anyway.

First I cut the neck close to the stitching.  Then I folded the fabric over and pinned it.  Next I used a long straight stitch to hold it down.  This is all that needs to be done and I did that on two t-shirts.  This morning I decided to go one step further.  I added lace.  Again thinking no harm no foul.  If I didn't like it I would only be out the lace since I didn't wear this t-shirt because of the neck.  Soooo, I added lace.  I used a three step zig zag and went slowly so the lace laid down just right.  I paid attention to how far away the lace was from the edge as well.

This is how it turned out.  I really like it.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Fall / Winter garden

We cleaned out the raised beds and added more soil a couple of weeks ago.  Now the fall garden is mostly planted.  I will have cabbage, green peppers, Brussels sprouts, tomato, zucchini and yellow squash.
Most everyone around here had failed gardens this summer.  I'm hoping the fall garden does better.
I really like the vegetables we planted.  If I could get my stuff grouped I could start all my seedlings.  I have a greenhouse after all.  Its a small one, about 8X10 but plenty big enough to start seedlings.  I am going to try harder to get things going for the spring garden so I don't have to buy plants.  It makes the garden so much more economical.

Bush Bunny Brenda Lange

DATE: OCTOBER 10, 2015
Youth Leaders Carlitos  and Ambrosio returning from N-Quide Village.  Set a new record today with 425 children in attendance today.  (3 meetings over 4 hour time span).
Carlitos Jorge and his assistant, Ambrosio, (one of our orphans all grown up now), have set up THREE AWANA GAMES sites in the remote, but very large village of NQUIDE (N-Qwee-dee).
Traveling on Carlitos’ old but faithful motorbike, these 2 young men hold 3 complete programs each Saturday morning in 3 different areas of this large village of over 2,500 people.  Many adults attend also, as the children are tough competitors making the games very exciting and LOUD!
Devotions with a Bible Lesson follows each competition, and many are starting to understand who Jesus is.  Nquide is an “unreached” village, so it takes some time to get everyone to know who is God, and why He sent Jesus to be our Saviour.
Pastoral training with Carlitos George using a dramatized story to illustrate to our Balama County Pastors what he learned at the AWANA Conference in Mozambique earlier this month.
Carlitos is a very “animated” teacher who uses object lessons and dramas to help everyone understand the lessons.
 Thanks to your prayer and love gifts, Carlitos and the other 26 AWANA leaders are now spreading God’s Word in a very real way to over 3,000 people each week in THREE COUNTIES.
Pastor Gito has been busy evangelizing in N-Tele (N-Tell-y) Village for almost 6 months now.  He announced at our Sept. 30thPastor’s meeting that the church members had completed their grass roofed church area.  Gito invited our youth team to come dance and sing at the inauguration to help them officially open the church today, Oct. 10th.  So off they went with their keyboard, speakers, and battery set up to praise the Lord over another village coming to Christ.
Balama Youth Team off to the inauguration of the new church in N-Tele Village.
September to December are the hot, dry months here in northern Mozambique, which is also known as the “time of hunger”.  Most of our orphans can raise enough food to last up to 6 months of the year, but need help from August to January when their newly planted seeds begin to produce food.  During these months, we spend many hours loading and unloading our 6 and 7 ton trucks at food give outs in 2 counties.  This coming Monday to Friday,  we will load and distribute over 30 TONS of dried corn and beans to more than 1,500 orphans and widows in 17 villages in 2 counties.  This means many long hours for our staff, drivers, and distribution teams.

Orphan boy helping his granny carry their food allotment to his village.
A widowed Granny carrying her food allotment for herself and the one little orphan she cares for.
They are bearing fruit, as more and more of them come to Christ, and help lead other children to know Him also.
Layla has a big heart for serving Jesus.  She has learned more Portuguese in this 7 day period than I thought possible, and also started teaching English to our school age and pre-school students this last Tuesday.  She’s wonderful to work with, and a joy to be around, as she loves to laugh and sing.
A merry heart does good like a medicine!  I am very grateful that Jesus “spoke to her spirit”, telling her this is where He wanted her to serve.
Keep her in your prayers, as she has an intense learning/orientation period ahead in these next 3 months.
Bush Bunny Brenda Lange

Friday, October 9, 2015

Thursday, October 8, 2015


In addition to these last month I crochet 15 hats for our mission group and 14 this month as well as a few gifts.  I guess you could say I like to crochet.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Fly traps

Re posting this.

Make several of these fly traps, they work so well. Take an empty 2 litre bottle, add one banana peel, one cup sugar and one cup apple cider vinegar. Fill to where the top starts to curve or a little higher. Cap and shake to dissolve the sugar. Take the cap off, hang by a wire in trees and bushes. Especially near the animal pens. We used these by the tons on our farm. So cheap. When full, cap and throw away. If you use twine the squirrels will chew them and they will fall. If they do fall, there is nothing there that will hurt animals or children. These are really amazing. I found the recipe in an Amish cook book years ago and have used it every since.

Celebration Bush Bunny Brenda

 Brenda receiving Licensing Plaque from Balama Administrator.
With license in hand, we are now able to legally host as many orphans as Social Services sends us.
The photos are worth a 1000 words, so read and enjoy the fun we had that day.
All 24 orphans enjoying the banquet in their honor after Plaque Presentation.  Goat and Rice for all!
VERY HAPPY ORPHANS in their Banquet clothes.  Only 19 shown, as the babies were tired and already taken home for naps
Head table at Banqquet. Left to Right  Balama Administrator, Provincial Director of Social Services, Bush Bunny, and two government officials.
Pastor Fred and Program Manager, Capena paying salaries.  Capena wrote all the documents necessary for this licensing. Without his help this moment might never have happened.
Layla showed up at the Pemba airport dressed out in a “square dance” type skirt and her Texas Cowgirl boots!
I cracked up when I first saw her at customs, as there was no doubt where this girl came from.
We have had a great 2 days getting to know each other and are busy getting her orientated to what is where and how to do things.
She is a great culinary chef, so I’m showing her the “Balama way” to roast 2 chickens.
Then we will let her show me a better way to do it the next time.
Lots of work ahead as we continue food distributions this week.
Layla will jump in with both feet to teach English to our children this coming week, as well as learn how to handle the warehouse distributions.
Lots of Love to all of you make this program possible.