Jul 30, 2008

July 29, 2005

The beautiful belly!

After 12 hours, I'm... only 4 centimeters???

Many an hour was spent in the tub.

18 hours and 7 centimeters later...

Relying on support from Billy and our doula, Anita

Our midwife Nancy, who's had 5 children, can see the lighter side of it all.

And, we await July 30th...

Jul 17, 2008

Summertime Pics, vol.3 -- Berry Pickin'

We spent the morning picking blueberries with Sherry, Isaac, Asher & Jodie at Reed Valley Orchard. They have pick-your-own prices, as well as pre-picked berries and all manner of yummy jams & spreads inside. (I'm dying to try the pumpkin butter.) We spent about an hour amidst the bushes, enjoying the sunshine and the peacefulness of being outside.

As relaxing as it sounds (and it was), I have a new respect for folks who grow and pick produce for a living. This hearty berry crop didn't just spring up overnight, like green beans or squash. These bushes took several years to reach full bearing potential, and must be covered with fine mesh to keep snacking birds away. (This grove of bushes was grown inside a huge mesh tent.) And after the bushes fruit, someone has to pick the gorgeous berries, and this takes a little longer than picking a squash.

I don't say this to complain; it just bring the price of food a bit more into perspective. I realized that when I go to Krogers, or even to the farmers' market, I tend to get a little judgmental and dissatisfied with the prices. "Why does a pint of blueberries cost so much?" After sweating in the sun for an hour picking berries, I began to wonder why they don't cost more. And it became more apparent at the register -- you save $2 a quart picking your own. No question, it was worth it.

We ended up with almost a gallon of blueberries (picked by us), a quart of blackberries (pre-picked), and a jar of pear preserves that Sherry highly recommended. Plans for the fruit include a batch of jam and at least one pie. Sherry was telling me how to freeze them, but I didn't pay much attention -- I'm fairly sure none will make it that far.

Miranda assesses the crop. At first, she didn't distinguish between green and blue berries, but after a while she would come up to me with a handful of gorgeous ripe berries. (I don't want to know how many she ate on the sly.)
Sherry displays her harvest.

Isaac and Miranda take a well-deserved rest in the shade. Ah, the life of the preschooler.

Praying, I guess.

Jul 15, 2008

Summer outings with friends: Flushed Away

Miranda & I spent yesterday morning at the movies with her buddy, Isaac. (Here's a great post Billy did about their blossoming friendship.) We saw Flushed Away, a fun film about a posh pet rat from the royal London suburb of Kensington who gets swept down the toilet and into the hubbub of the rat city in the sewer. It was clever at several levels, a trend which I've seen growing in children's movies, I suppose in an attempt to also appeal to the parents who take their kids to those movies. Below are some awesome quotes from the film.

  • (spoken by the large, albino rat) Yeah, curry affects me the same way, guv'nor. I've got a bum today like the Japanese Flag.


  • Whitey: [after spotting the ruby in Rita'a back pocket] The booty's in the booty!


  • Tadpole: Is it the Glorious Amphibian Dawn, Dad?

  • Toad: Anything for you, my little man.

  • Tadpole: Can I have a pony?

  • Toad: No.

  • Tadpole: A puppy?

  • Toad: We'll talk about it.

  • Tadpole: Can we talk about it now?

  • Toad: No! [All the tadpoles start asking for puppies]

  • Toad: No, you can't all have puppies! Please, daddy's working!


  • Toad: You find my pain amusing?

  • Le Frog: I find everyone's pain amusing, except my own... I'm French!


  • Le Frog: We leave immediately!

  • Henchfrog: What about dinner?

  • Le Frog: We leave... in five hours.

Jul 13, 2008

Summertime pics, vol.1 -- Summertime BBQ

I shamelessly stole the idea of summertime pics from Caren (but she borrowed it from another friend, so I suppose it's ok). Instead of trying to completely chronicle every occurrence of the past few months, I'll bring in some pics and try to give some glimpses of the fun things we've done lately.

Speaking of stolen, pretty much this entire post came from the ashram. Our friends the Nystroms hosted a summer barbeque for an Iraqi family, newly arrived as refugees and sponsered by our community. Omar, Suhair, and Yousef are lovely and blended easily into the evening's program of burgers, swimming, forest exploration, cornhole, and catching fireflies. They will hopefully be coming to our place soon for hot dogs and swingset revelry.

Cornhole, anyone?

Graham, Isaac, Ya 'el, Yousef, and Miranda

That's a funny face, Asher!

Graham & Isaac proudly display their catch

Jul 10, 2008

random meme (love it!)

I've been tagged by Loco Lara. Thanks, hon!

Here are the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Seven Facts About Me:

1. I have a very small tattoo on my right hip. It's my sorority letters & symbol. I would really like to change it, but am not sure how to do so without serious pain or money.
2. I love to do electrical work, especially anything with the breaker box. Running wire is my least favorite.
3. I want to become a runner, ie someone who loves to run. I dreamed once that I was running through the country, and loving it. I'm afraid I'm too lazy to make this dream a reality.
4. I used to ride horses, hunter-jumper and horse trials. I would LOVE to ride competitively again someday, if I could find the time and the money.
5. I can't decide if I'm an introvert or an extrovert. (You're welcome to vote on this one.)
6. I like to go to movies by myself; no need to find someone who also wants to see that weird indie flick or that tasteless slasher. Also, no one tries to steal my popcorn or Jordan Almonds (THE candy of choice at the movies).
7. I love doing tequila shots, in moderation.

OK, here's who I've chosen: Mike, Joy, Melinda, Peter, Jodie, Janet, Diane, and Alana. I can't wait!

Jul 2, 2008

And now, the rest of the story

To all the sweet folks who have emailed or called -- John is fine, he's not dead. Sorry to get everyone concerned. Yesterday, it was all I could do to get the pictures up. Today, I've added some commentary and now, the fuller story. My hope in sharing it is not to impinge on anyone's dignity, but to share with the people who love our family -- all of it -- and seek their prayers and support.

Ever since our move, just one year ago, John has been slowly sliding downhill. We've struggled as a household over issues of rent, medication, family connectedness, and other things. By April, we all knew that a change was coming. It's been a difficult decision, and as a wise friend surmised, even more difficult thing to carry out. Yesterday was so depressing in so many ways, as we packed up the things which we'd accumulated during our 6 years of common life -- his NBA and UK posters, his pictures of JFK and Jesus, his Ghanaian shadowbox (which my family compiled for him), his clothes. I cried several times, especially when I came across his Christmas stocking, which I made for him for him in 2002, our first Christmas together.

John has many decisions to make now, some of which will be difficult. It's hard to know how to feel. Could we have been more faithful? How do we avoid vilifying ourselves, or him, in an attempt to ease the grief we feel? How do we trust God to care for us in this time?


Jul 1, 2008

Go well, dear brother

August 2007: I love this picture -- affection and trust (or was it just the 3 of us being squashed in the truck??)

June 2008: Paint paint paint!

March 2008: John always made sure that Miranda wouldn't fall. He took very good care of her.

Sept 2006: All the neighborhood kids liked John.

July 2006: The Trifecta Trio (Billy, Mike & John) and their mascot, the Wunchinator.

December 2006: Munchie shares her scarf with her buddy.

December 2007: The beautiful shadowbox of Ghanaian items, which my family collaborated to create for him.

February 2007: Reading with Munchie. She always liked that.

December 2006: Santa brings some of John's favorites in his stocking.

January 2006: Miranda's first trip to a beer garden, where she hangs out with the only non-drinker!

Summer 2004: Billy & Troy are good pals.

October 2005: John and the Munchie.

August 2006: Eating at "Country Cookin', by George!" with Maria & Miranda, on the 4th anniversary of his moving in with us.

December 2006: Decorating committee, chair and co-chair.

March 2007: We celebrate John's 40th birthday.

December 2006: John helps Miranda take a spin on her new tricycle.

This is how I always think of John -- smiling. We're so glad you're our friend, and we trust God to keep us so for a long time.