23 January 2012

It's crickets...

...around here!  My head has been so full with things going on in life, and I just haven't been up for writing much lately.  I haven't even been taking pictures!

Here are a few things:
1.  Winter has not really happened here.  We had one real snow day last weekend, but tomorrow is supposed to be near 50!  I am really getting used to seeing the sidewalks and no shoveling this winter!

2.  I made kale chips.  Have you done this?  Take a big bunch of kale, stems cut off and chopped up, toss in a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake until crispy at 250 or 300 degrees.  Quite yummy, I must say, and so good for you!

3.  Lucy is still as funny as ever.  Yesterday, Walter told her to be careful with the marker she was using because it might explode (he was exaggerating!).  Quite calmly, without looking up, she said, "No.  You're thinking of a bomb."
Oh, quite right.

4.  My dear madre gave me some fleece pajamas at Christmas.  They are the best. thing. ever!  So warm and snuggly.  I wish my whole house was made out of fleece.  How awesome would that be?!  Fleece everywhere, all the time, especially on my cold kitchen chairs.

5.  Tim and Kathy Keller's book, The Meaning of Marriage.  Are you single?  Read it.  Are you married?  Read it.  Do you know anyone single or married?  Read it.

6. Being a parent is really really hard.  Nothing brings out the sin in me like coming up against my children, one in particular.  We are so much alike, and no one pushes my buttons like this child.  I am appalled at how quickly anger can flare up in me when this child pushes against me (which has been this person's M.O. since a very early age). Lord, give me strength for the marathon and please reign me in.  Make me wise, make me patient.  I lack, I lack.

7.  I love scruffy old New England.  I love the guys in their Bruins jerseys, the women who barely wear make-up, the people who line up to wait for the library to open at 1 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon (who does that?!), the crazy drivers (pretty sure I've become one), Dunkin' Donuts, gruff neighbors and no parking places.  

8.  John's preaching at a different church this Sunday.  He doesn't preach every Sunday at our church, so he's glad for the practice.  Which reminds me of the time that John was preaching at our church.  Theo was in the front row. He made a big sign on his bulletin that said, "TOO LONG!" and he kept holding it up in the hopes that John would see it and quit preaching.  It didn't work because I made him quit holding up the sign.

9.  Which also reminds me that every Sunday during the sermon, without fail, Theo asks me, "How much longer?"  Do you think I really know how much longer?  No.  Of course not.  I have no idea how much longer, but I always give Theo an authoritative answer, like this: Me, looking pensive and whispering, "Twelve minutes."
Theo is always satisfied with my answer so it always works out okay, even if it ends up being more like 20 minutes.

10.  Do you have a drawer like this?  You should.  All the stuff in the other drawers?  Okay to lose.  NOT this stuff.  Got it?

17 January 2012

A winter hike

Wasn't the long weekend nice?  I love a good Monday off of work.  It really makes Sunday feel different, less pressured and tense.  I don't like for Sundays to be that way, but such is our reality now.  
Yesterday it warmed up nicely to about 30 degrees.  The boys were at a friend's house, so John, Lucy and I headed out for a walk at a little property that was new to us.
The best parts were walking out on the ice on the pond and hearing the amazing sounds of the ice groaning and forming!  You've never heard anything like this.  It was like a combination of whale sounds, loud pops and really really loud bullfrogs.
We also saw lots and lots evidence of beaver activity.  Those buggers are crazy!  They chop down all kinds of enormous trees; I had no idea.

Isn't John's hat awesome?  That thing is WARM.  It was his birthday present last year. 

Oooo, look at the bug art!  Don't you just love it?!  All creation worships Him!

You can tell they were just gnawing on this one!  I had never seen anything like this.

What the?!?  Those beavers are cah-razy, I tell you!

15 January 2012

True Love

I found our reading before the Lord's Supper today really helpful.  I'm not including all of it, as it was a bit lengthy. 
I love watching all the church come to the front to receive the bread and the wine...all of us broken, needy, not as good as we should be, but better than we used to be, needing Jesus, perhaps with no natural affinity for each other, just united in our need for Him, our belonging to Him, and knowing that there is nowhere else to go, for He holds the words of life.

Minister: Beloved in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Supper that we are about to celebrate is a feast of remembrance, of communion and of hope.  We come in remembrance that our Lord Jesus Christ was sent of the Father into the world to assume our flesh and blood and to fulfill for us all obedience to the divine law...We come to have communion with this same Christ, who has promised to be with us always, even to the end of the world...We come in hope, believing that this bread and this cup are a pledge and foretaste of the feast of love of which we shall partake when his kingdom has fully come, when with unveiled face we shall behold him, made like unto him in his glory.

All:  Since by his death, resurrection, and ascension, Christ has obtained for us the life-giving Spirit, who unites us all in one body, so we are to receive this supper in TRUE LOVE, mindful of the communion of saints.

02 January 2012

Christmas with the Caboodle

Seeing as it is just now the 9th day of Christmas, I thought I would recap the festivities around these parts.
Christmas Eve was a busy day this year, as I spent the morning at church for music rehearsal.  Then back home for hours of frantic baking and making.  John made a batch of his famous eggnog. Yes, it does use that many eggs.  We packaged it up to bring to church for John's colleagues.  This stuff is killer; our friends clamor for it every year!

In the afternoon, we stole a few precious hours with our dearest friends.  They are like second parents to our children; I don't know what I would do without these dear ones in our lives!
That's a mean-looking Santa down there on the end.  He's an angry elf. 

Then it was off to church for Lessons and Carols, and back home for a late dinner and a few presents.

Our Christmas Eve meal is Mexican.  This is ensalada de Noche Buena.  The soup below is albondigas, a meatball soup.

This year, at Theo's suggestion, we drew names for gifts to exchange on Christmas Eve.  Theo was SO VERY thrilled to give John this little fountain that he purchased at CVS.   

John wasn't feeling very well, so I STARTED ALL the wrapping at 10 pm.  I finished MANY hours hours later, so I felt QUITE glad that no children woke up until 8 am!!!  Hallelujah!  Here's what the kids looked like waiting to come downstairs to open their stockings.  Hee hee.
We didn't have much time for breakfast before leaving for church.  Just look at these cuties.

Then we came home, got back into our pajamas, ate brunch and opened presents.  It was glorious!
Then Lucy and I took a good nap, and John left to deliver a Christmas night sermon.  The Lego builders and I held down the fort.
I don't know about you, but Christmas dinner is not all that important to me.  Just give me a great Christmas breakfast.  However, John did serve us a delicious beef tenderloin, which we enjoyed very much!  And look, we even used the bread and butter plates!  Fancy!

Hey, Mom and Dad, do you see the preponderance of Texas paraphanelia that showed up here?  We need to step up the Arizona representation! 
A lovely day in every way!

01 January 2012

Welcome 2012!

H a p p y  N e w  Y e a r, y' a l l!
John has been away at a family wedding in his homeland (Texas), so the children and I celebrated on our own this year.
This afternoon we went for a little walk at a park near our house.  Lots and lots of people and dogs were out celebrating the new year and the strangely warm weather!
It is always SO. GOOD. to get outside together, even if I have to cajole and fight to make it happen.  There is nothing like throwing rocks and breaking ice and examining moss to make things right in the world.
Looking forward to ALL the great things that 2012 holds!