I’m breaking my I’m-through-with-this-blog silence to post something I’m thinking about today.
As many of you know, our dear friend, Greg Hewlett went to Heaven forever this morning. While we are really sad about him leaving us like this, we are really happy for him, as he has been healed of cancer forever. Thanks be to God!
Anyway, as I have been pondering his earthly departure at age 42, I am reminded of the Heidelberg Catechism, Question #1 (our family just started memorizing this a week ago, fittingly). It says:
“Q: What is your only comfort, in life and in death?
A: That I am not my own,
body and soul,
in life and in death—
to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven:
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.”
I’m confident that Greg is in Heaven today, getting together with Jesus and Paul and all those other delightful saints, knowing and being known by His Savior. All things have worked together for his salvation. He is home now.
As you know, this space is extremely neglected. Is anyone even still reading this sorry blog? Please comment and let me know. It might be time for me to quit (as if I hadn’t already, ha ha).
Of that fabulous and well-loved favorite game….”What’s in Angie’s camera?”
It’s been a while, so let’s take a Happy-New-Year-look, shall we?
When we put up our Christmas tree, our family tradition is to have fondue. So I fired up the fondue pot and filled it with cheese and other things (all GF, I assure you). It was yummy.
As it turned out, it took so incredibly long to cut up and/or cook all the dipping things that we had to postpone the tree-raising until the next day.
(Skipping around now…) A few years ago, when we still had a pickup truck, I *accidentally* pulled into the garage too quickly and tapped (er…”knocked”) a (rather large) hole in the wall. See how my hand is sort of Barbie-sized next to it?
Yeah…well….anyway… I finally patched it up about a month ago. I’ve sanded it since and now it looks *slightly* better than the gaping hole. Oh well. ::shrugs::
When we traveled around for Thanksgiving, I made GF cinnamon rolls from a mix. They looked really yummy!
Unfortunately, they had all the deliciousness of sugared rubber. It was disgustingly nasty. Except for the sugar part.
Also while we traveled, we saw my parents. Here is my dad with his big toy.
We all took rides on his prize-winning 1928 Rumley Oil Pull Tractor. It was really fun. I hadn’t been on that thing in over 20 years. Crazy. And I got lots of really great pictures of it. (Note to parents: I forgot to show you the pictures! Sorry!)
For Christmas, I received some really wonderful gifts. My very own parents heard my cries for a working vacuum cleaner and responded. Here is our new family member. He has been put to and effortlessly passed the Dishman Hardwood Floor Test. He’s got a difficult job ahead of him, dontcha know?
The second gift I will mention is what my fabulous in-laws gave us. Fiesta ware!! The dishes we’ve used daily for the last 14 years have been leaping to their proverbial deaths with some help from the children unloading the dishwasher. As a result, we were getting low. No more, though…. Introducing some of the most cheerful dishes ever made (colors picked out by John Dishman, himself):
It’s impossible to be grumpy while eating off of these babies. In fact, one morning I was so disappointed with how the day was starting that I fixed myself a cup of coffee with HOT CHOCOLATE MIX added in my favorite colored cup. You would think that would be the blue, right? WRONG.
GREEN!!! And oh yes, I did. BEFORE I made the kids’ lunch (see the bread in the background?). Who says I don’t live on the wild side, eh?
And last, but not least, this is what our family will be doing this year–and probably for many years to come, because it could take awhile–(already started, actually–just now taking picture):
The picture might be a tad blurry, but it’s Spanish for The Total Savage Gringo. Oh yes. Rosetta Stone. We’re gonna need all the help we can get!!
I took a bunch of Christmas pictures with…FOOD!! But haven’t compiled a post yet. I know you are dying to see all of our food. We had omelets for Christmas brunch with Uncle Peter (great pics!) and black-eyed peas on New Years Day. And this morning, I cut open a pomegranate just to see what was inside. Surprise! It’s really beautiful! As a bonus, it is Luke’s new favorite fruit.
Happy New Year!!
This is what vegetable-hating children do:
The beginning of school brings a change of seasons in this rollercoaster called life. My life, in particular. After almost 10 solid years of being home with small children (All! Day! Long!), suddenly, I am all alone*.
It sounds as if I’m sad and weepy or wishing for more babies (Let me be clear–THIS CONTAINS NO TRUTH WHATSOEVER), but I think it’s normal to grieve for the end of one season and at the same time, look expectantly for what’s to come in this new season. In any case, I’ve taken a break from blogging (you might have noticed) and I’m trying to figure out what’s next for me.
Ok, so that’s the deal with me.
Now, having said all that, this is part of what I’ve done the last 4 weeks…
This will be the only comment about the serious amount of neglect this blog has endured recently.
This summer has been so busy. Summers used to be these l…o…n…g periods of life that seemed to d…r…a…w out with no foreseeable end. But then, the kids grew up a little and became interested in other things. Horseback riding, art and soccer, to name a few summer camps they attended. That was this summer. We purposefully planned our vacation for the end of summer, so that we would have something to look forward to throughout the hot, heaviness of the season. It worked. We might have to do the same thing next summer. It seems to help the insanity.
This is where we went (about a month ago)–
Very relaxing, yes. Except for when we were hiking and we’d come upon a stick that looked EXACTLY like a snake. And there were quite a few sticks that would fall under that category. And so, I present to you: “Sticks That Look Like Snakes”. Observe:
Trust me when I say that there were a bucket load more of these “snakes” (and pictures! See? I was thinking of you while on vacation!). Ugh. But we never saw an actual snake. Just lots of sticks. And rocks. And a few stinkbugs. Luke “made friends” with a stinkbug and named him “Sammy”. My boy cried and cried when he had to leave him. I think Sammy was relieved to see us go.
An entire week of spontaneous camping, hiking and tomfoolery (and rain and bugs and chipmunks and cool weather). Oh yes, vacations are worth all the anticipation. Very good.
So, I was prowling through my recent pictures and realized that many of the posts I took pictures for, I have never posted. Why? Not sure. Busy with stuff, I guess.
Most of these are of food. You really shouldn’t be surprised by now.
I’ve only included 3 non-food pictures. So let’s start with the food and get it out of the way, shall we?
First up, homemade chips. We were out of corn chips, so I cut up some corn tortillas, brushed them with olive oil, sprinkled them with kosher salt and broiled them in the oven. Nice and crispy!
Then there are the chips that I *forgot* about and when I ran into the smoke-filled kitchen (remind you of anything?), I found this in the oven..
And no, those aren’t chocolate. Ahem.
We turn now to The Gluten-Free among us….Here is how I am now making pizzas for Luke and I these days — using crackers:
Feta and mozzarella on a gluten free cracker (I like Natural Nectar’s Crackelbred crackers), broiled in toaster oven (taking my life in my own hands!). You could always spread some pizza sauce on there before putting the cheese on, but I’m not a big fan of pizza sauce.
We went to a party and took a friend’s recipe for Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad. It had a record (for me) number of 17 ingredients! I don’t usually voluntarily make anything with more than, say, 5 or 6 at most. But I was intrigued.
It’s a wee bit fuzzy, but I assure you that the actual salad was not. This is one of the best subjects for photography, as it has lots of different textures and lots of different colors. Best of all, Mark liked it.
We celebrated a few birthdays in recent days, complete with cakes. Here is my oldest daughter’s cake, from the friendly Costco bakery…
And here is my own original offering for Luke’s birthday. Doesn’t really compare, does it?
I kinda got carried away with the sprinkles and by then it was too late. He liked it. I guess that’s all that matters.
We have enjoyed some donuts. The wheat-ful version:
It goes without saying that this is obviously only the box and not the actual donuts. You’ll have to trust me when I say that it’s really not worth wasting digital space for them. Sad, I know.
Ok, now we’re done with food. You are thrilled, I can tell.
For my first non-food picture, I must give you some back story. For Luke’s birthday, we went out to eat at a fun little hometown cafe. We sat in the booth and got ready to order. Luke began to look at the decorations around the cafe and at the pictures hanging on the walls. He spotted one picture and shouted, “Look! A pirate!” This is the picture:
Fuzzy and hard to see, but it’s Mother Teresa. A discussion about Mother Teresa vs. Pirate followed. He has been straightened out.
While at preschool one day, he was called on to share a sentence about something that happened to him, so that the teachers can show the kids how to write a sentence and pick out the letters that they are studying that week. This particular week, they were studying “A” and “U”.
The sentence is good, but I had no idea they were studying algebra! In preschool!! Apparently, they were only counting the As and Us in the sentences. Too bad. I was hoping they would give him an early start.
And finally, this is what happens to you if your sprinkler system explodes in your face. No, he was not hurt. Just dirty.
Thus concludes this installment of “What’s in Angie’s camera?”. Until next time…..
Here is a list of some new words that I’m encountering in my daily life:
1. Interceptive - This word refers to the notion that your 7 year old needs orthodontia. As in, “Your 7 year-old needs interceptive treatment for her small mouth that is suddenly exploding with teeth.” The details consist of a metal/plastic contraption that widens one’s palate over the course of a year or so. Sounds painful, eh? That’s what I thought. I have interviewed 3 orthodontists. All of them claim the same thing. Supposedly, this is to prevent them from having to extract* multiple teeth so that when she is 12, they can put a full set of braces on her. Oh yes, this is only Phase One. Luckily, the nearly-9 year old has escaped a similar fate. Apparently, her mouth (according to 2 of the 3 orthodontists consulted) is big enough to accommodate her mouth-load of teeth. She gets to wait until the age of 12 for the full set of braces. The bonus news is that the price of a “full set of braces” is not exactly pocket change, especially for someone with 2 (oh wait, I mean 3!) children. The following is a message for any high school student or beginning college student in want of a lucrative career path: Check out orthodontia as a profession!!
Stylin’ palate expander picture courtesy of Google Images.
2. Callus (Or rather, the plural Calluses) - My nearly-9 year old has these on her hands because she LOVES LOVES LOVES to go across the monkey bars. I am developing these on my fingers because I have started playing the guitar. I know most of you reading this, your mouths have dropped open and some of you might be passed out on the floor. But it’s true. A friend has taught me how to play the chords (the chords only!) of Amazing Grace. From age 4 until age 14, I played the piano, so I can read music fairly well. My real problem is getting my fingers to not feel the pain. Especially that bottom E string - OUCH! The same friend helped us look at guitars and even found one on craigslist for a good price. So I am now the proud owner of a Seagull Entourage Rustic Mini Jumbo. I love that “Mini” and “Jumbo” are both in that name. It’s so…paradoxically cool.
This is my actual guitar taken with my actual camera, shutter button pressed by my actual fingers. I have some other, better shots. I can tell this will be an excellent future photography subject.
3. Steady Hope - This has nothing to do with the President, but it has a lot to do with my past dearth of blog postings. And it has everything to do with my current outlook. I am sorry to say that I have not had this same hope in this way the past year or so. I have allowed many external factors to lead me to a dark place and I did not know how (or if!) I would survive. It has only been in the last 2 weeks that I can say that I have felt truly joyful in the last year. Holy Week 2009 was a major turning point for me. I think that is the best way I can put it. Juxtaposing my depression with the humiliating turmoil Christ experienced on my behalf has been very helpful in my recovery. I don’t want to minimize my depression — it’s a very real thing. And I don’t have all the answers. Heck, I don’t know why or how exactly my perspective is different. My circumstances haven’t changed. My opinions of those circumstances haven’t changed. But I am being changed. I’m not all the way there, but I can sense some small cracks of light in this dark tunnel of despair. And that feels hopeful. So, rejoice with me!
De Morgan, Evelyn. Hope in the Prison of Despair. 1887. Found via Google Images on various poster-selling sites. And also, I love this painting.
4. Old - As in, “I am old.” I can tell, because my baby (!) is going to be 9 years old next week. NINE!! I remember when I turned 9, my grandmother called to wish me “Happy Birthday!” and she added, “You are now a pre-teen!” Yeah, Grandma had a way with words!
This is me, not my grandmother. Ahem. Once again, Google Images comes through for me.
So there you have it. That’s a look at my little world for the last few months. Not very pretty, but it’s working for me thus far! And you didn’t even have to endure a stupid odometer picture!
1. If you want to get your haircut and you find a haircut place you like, go in. If the only lady available to cut your hair has a blue mullet (well, at least, the top was blue), walk out. I mean, unless you like blue mullets. I’m still recovering from my Extreme Hair Catastrophe from 3 weeks ago. Just…walk…..out. Ugh.
2. It IS possible to go to the elementary school’s open house until 8pm and then throw your luggage in the car and drive for 4 hours to stay in a hotel for 5 hours to catch a plane that you may or may not be on. When you don’t get on the plane, use the next 5 hours before the next flight to entertain your children with your Netflix account via free WIFI (courtesy of the gracious airport). Might I recommend the oldest possible episodes of both Batman and Scooby-Doo for your viewing pleasure?
3. When you go to New York City, because you’ve never been there before and your super nice relatives live there and want you to come for a visit, go ahead and walk over the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn into Manhattan. Don’t forget your coat (and scarf and gloves and portable heater) — it’s frosty cold in March. Also, when you see all those people walking from Manhattan towards Brooklyn with nice (and presumably hot) beverages in their Starbucks cups, hold your drool. Finding the nearby Starbucks will be something of a trick. And you DO NOT KNOW THIS TRICK. The Starbucks is located another block past the subway station that will help you back to Brooklyn. Heed my words with hindsight, friends.
4. When you meet a brilliant up-and-coming choreographer, hug her! She’s your sister-in-law! (Hi, E!)
5. Take lots of pictures. Even if you feel stupid. Take them. And use more light next time. Ugh.
6. Eggs, bacon, sausage and blueberry pancakes make for a warm, tasty, cozy family breakfast.
7. Tea drunk from the following cup will always taste like roses to me (this doesn’t make sense to anyone but me).
8. This is now my favoritest sign of all time found in New York City:
9. I’ve been using Facebook primarily as a dumping place for my really nice pictures. I’m thinking of shutting down my Facebook page completely and investing in flickr instead. Not sure about that. Thoughts?
10. Obtain a really nice video camera/camcorder while the kids are still little. Our camcorder broke when Luke was about a year old and we finally replaced it this month. All those delightful moments — LOST! Well, ok, it’s not that bad — our kids are still fairly young, but we missed almost 4 years of pweshus footage (or blackmail towards the future significant others)!!
11. Always include photos in your blog posts. (And not ones of your odometer. Ahem.)
and of course, this:
Yeah, you could say that we’ve been travelin’……
Here’s the official update….
I did NOT have my camera with me at 76,543. I do know that I was driving on a major highway, so snapping the picture might have been slightly dangerous. But as you know, I laugh at danger. Still, I did not have the camera with me. I also did not have my camera with me at 76,667 or at 76,676. I guess I’ll have to wait for 87,654. I know you are all waiting patiently. You are nice cyber-friends.