Showing posts from April, 2011

Another Saturday morning...

It's sunny! Hurray! People in Portland, I think, have a greater-than-normal appreciation for sun. I definitely took it for granted when I lived in less rainy climes.
So far the morning has been pretty good. I got the living room floor vacuumed, the kitchen floor swept, and a few things in the bathroom cleaner) There is laundry in the washer and Ruby is starting to stir from her morning nap. This morning we ate breakfast together: cut up banana and toast for her, the rest of the banana and a bagel with cream cheese for me. I also tried giving her formula from a sippy cup. She thought it was really amusing, but I don't think it resulted in much of the formula actually being imbibed.
Now I'm going through a pile of baby clothes to try to sell at a resale/consignment shop up in Portland. This store happens to market itself as "high end", and they turn up their noses as "discount" brands like Carters, etc. Well! I've never really looked at the p…

Mr. Crafty-Pants (and an unrelated rant)

My husband comes from a long line of thrifty tinkerers. His grandpa, for example, never throws a thing away, because he might need it again...and crazily enough, he often seems to find a use for the thing (his garage is something that would leave any normal person in shock and awe.) Allen just loves to think up ways to make things from what others might consider junk. Okay, even from things that he would consider junk. He is good at "repurposing", as they say. So, here's one of his latest creations.

Allen took apart two pieces of equipment at work that were already broken: the "seat" is from a pressure washer and the "carriage" is from an edger. Using some of his fancy tools in his tool box (a Dremer drill being one of them), he fashioned this little stroller. Of course, the downside (or one of them) is that Ruby won't fit in it much longer because of the narrow width of the seat. But it's a cool project anyway. Here's a link to …


The first few pictures here are of Ruby in a traditionally fancy Easter dress. The only problem was that it sized "9 mos." and Ruby's been wearing 12 mos and 18 mos for a while now. So, I squeezed her into it long enough to snap some pictures, then changed her into something that fits better! But these are pretty precious pictures, if I do say so myself.

Here's one of my favorites: doesn't she look like a little princess?

We went to the 12 pm service at church. Imago Dei's tradition is to conduct baptisms twice a year: once in the summer outdoors in the Columbia River, and once on Easter Sunday. The church building we're in now has a huge baptismal font. They also have a tradition of making a short movie that weaves together short interviews of the people getting baptized. I love hearing their stories and testimonies. It's always real, and often very emotional. Many people hit some kind of rock bottom which led them to Christ and to their deci…


Not enough time. I have tons of pictures to post about Easter and things to say, but neither time nor energy to do so now. I know the weeks of school are drawing to a close, but I don't feel like I have the strength to make it. I know I will; after all, I bore a child. If I made it through labor, I can probably eke it out to the end of the year. But the end of the school year doesn't hold the same sort of promise that a born child does. It promises summer, which is wonderful, but doesn't seem related to the efforts put into the year. How much of the knowledge I've worked hard to impart will just be forgotten a few weeks in? Too much to contemplate without gloom.
On the plus side: I have a job with students that I care about and coworkers I learn a lot from, a nice place to live, good food to eat, clothes to wear, my daughter is cute, my husband is truly loving and always finds new ways to treat me well, and Jesus is alive. Not too shabby.

Holy Week

In honor of it being Holy Week, I thought I'd include some great pieces from J. S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion. There are many things I loved gaining from my St. John's education, and a familiarity with this piece is certainly in the top tier.
Holy Week, in case you don't know, is what Christians call the week leading up to Easter. The Sunday before Easter is called Palm Sunday because it was the day that Jesus and his disciples entered Jerusalem. Jesus entered on a donkey and the people of Jerusalem were really excited to see him. They waved palms before him and treated him as a victor coming into town. Thursday is known as Maundy Thursday (and I'll have to get back to you on why the adjective "maundy"). It was the night of the Last Supper (the last meal--a Passover seder--Jesus ate with his disciples before He was crucified). Friday is called Good Friday, the day of the crucifixion. It is called good because Jesus died for our good and He died t…

How to surprise and delight your wife BEFORE she comes home from a long day at work

1. Don't wait for her to get home--simply go to her work to meet her there!
2. Wear a very attractive outfit that shows off what a good looking mister man you happen to be.
3. Come sporting a baby (preferably your own; if you can't procure one of your own, you can borrow one from a friend on the understanding that he/she will be given back in very good condition)
4. Patiently wait for her to be ready but pique her attention by saying, "Have you eaten lately? Do you have any plans for the night?"
5. Whisk her away to the location of dinner (you can either tell her or let her guess where). Make sure to have everything the baby needs to be happy and cute. Also tell her that there's more...
6. Take her to Bridgeport Village and eat at Agave Grill, where it is happy hour and everything is cheaper!
7. During dinner, while she admires how cute and well-behaved the baby is being, tell her, "I told you there was more...I have combed through our finances and it is go…

On Nurse Hotlines

I love 'em. I'm a new mom, and I like that there is a free hotline to call when I'm not sure about some medical issue. Allen and Toby think otherwise. They are annoyed at all the questions the nurses ask to diagnose the possible problem. Today I called because Ruby fell out of the bed head-first. Toby was with her. Of course he comforted her and did pay attention to how she was acting, but still, I just wanted to know for myself what I should look out for, just in case it worsened. Too much of a worrier? Maybe. But if it's a free hotline, why not ask? That's what I think.

"King Corn" and food for thought

I'm most of the way through watching "King Corn", a documentary made by (among others) an Arbor grad named Curt Ellis (I taught his niece and nephew, by the way!). It's a pretty eye-opening look at how much corn dominates our daily lives. It also made me sad to see the way that cattle are raised for the slaughter nowadays on giant feed lots. All they do is eat. They don't really move much, just eat corn. Made me not really want to eat hamburgers and such. Most foods are processed with some kind of high fructose corn syrup. Almost everything, in fact.
So where does that leave me? I don't really want to be part of that, but the thing is that healthy food--food that is not very processed or is not GMO or pumped full of antibiotics, etc.--is really expensive. Whole Foods isn't nicknamed "Whole Paycheck" for nothing. New Seasons (a similar type of store around here) is just really expensive. Winco, on the other hand, is cheap...and the Wi…


Things I'm grateful for today (not ranked in any particular order):
1. The good powers of technology...that I can be connected in real time and real sound so that Ruby can show off for her grandma, grandpa, and aunt who live 2,000 miles away.
2. Singer-songwriter Sara Groves, who has incredible lyrics like this:
who can know the pain the joy the regret the satisfaction
who can know the love of one life, one heart, one soul
at two you're at abstraction
3. Medicine
4. A God who is infinitely more patient than I am with resistant people (because I am a very resistant person to Him)
5. A sweet and sacrificial hubby who works for me, waits on me, woes me, wins me (and brings me little treats when I'm sick!)
6. A really great teaching partner who has helped me stay sane professionally this year and is good for teacher talk therapy (i.e. our carpooling to and from school)
7. A job. At all. And one--which, for all of my grumbling--is pretty important and an opportunity to minister.
8. A…

Ruby's recent achievements

How can she do it? How can she fall asleep and stay asleep for 45 minutes with her head hanging off her mattress? Amazing.
Ruby was diagnosed with an ear infection in both ears; this morning, I elected to keep her back from daycare. She didn't have a fever, but Wednesdays are the days when all 7 other babies are there, and she never sleeps well because it's so loud there that day. I figured a quiet day at home would be better (and better for the other babies.) Ruby did some pretty cool things.
1. Clapped for the first time!
2. Waved while saying something that sounded like "hi!" (imitating me)
3. Waved while saying something that sounded like "bye bye!" (again, imitating me)

She's also learned to climb things besides stairs. She did this the other day and Allen got some pictures of it.

She also got into her dad's business cards the other day...

And she's become very flexible about eating...

And of course, her top two teeth are coming in! I couldn…

How do you help people who don't want your help?

When do you shake the dust off your feet on their doorstep?
Does it matter how old they are?
Is 11 too young?
Is it fair to give the full attention of two adults to a child who refuses to do anything when there are many others who want your help but can't have it because you're busy with the one that doesn't care?
I remember reading "Bartleby the Scrivener" by Herman Melville in 11th grade and thinking, "Wow, this guy is a pain in the butt. Good thing this is just a fictional work."
I have a few Bartlebys (Bartlebies?) in my class. One in particular just sits. My aide and I have pleaded, reasoned, asked, and tried to figure out what's going on for him/her. All we get is a shrug. Nothing. Just stonewalling.
Finally, after watching him/her do nothing for 75 minutes, I went to the principal and asked what to do. He said, "You know, we are not babysitters. We are educators. If s/he's going to do nothing, s/he might as well do it at …

What's next?

Wonder what will happen next year. Will I get to do what I want to do? Will there be the money in the budget for it? Will the school make it another year? Probably...but the year after that?
This reminds me of a poem. So, in the spirit of Melissa Madenski, I will share it. It is part of Pablo Neruda's Book of Questions.


Is it true that a black condor
flies at night over my country?


How did the abandoned bicycle
win its freedom?


What do they call a flower
that flies from bird to bird?
. . .

And why did cheese decide
to perform heroic deeds in France?


Where is the center of the sea?
Why do waves never go there?


Do you have room for some thorns?
they asked the rosebush.


Where can you find a bell
that will ring in your dreams?


Why do I go rolling without wheels,
flying without wings or feathers,

and why did I decide to migrate
if my bones live in Chile?


Are they birds or fish
in these nets of moonlight?


Will our life not be a tunnel
between two vague clarities?
. . …

Great Weekend: Part 2

Today (Sunday) held a very special treat for us. Rebecca, my best friend from Burroughs (a friendship beginning in 1996, yo!), came to visit, and brought with her the wonderful Claude (her fiancĂ©). They have been together for quite a while now, but I had never met him in person. It was so great to see them, and it made me wish that we lived in the same town, or even just an hour or two away, so we could have get togethers and hang out. During our freshman year of college we visited each other several times, but after that we weren't in touch as much. I saw her briefly at my wedding, but it was hardly a time to catch up. Today we had only a few brief hours, but it was so nice to chat. It was great to meet Claude. Of course, having spent years staying up late, late into the night with Rebecca talking about boys, I had very high expectations for her future spouse! Claude, however, certainly exceeded them all. I eagerly await their wedding next summer and hope that I can be t…

Great Weekend: Part 1

Allen called me from work on Saturday and said what a busy day it had been so far. "Is there anything I can do to make sure home is a nice place to return to?" I asked.
"Yes. Be ready to party."
He explained. "I'm going to come home tired, but if you're tired, then we're just going to be super tired and go to bed at 7:30 and that thought just depresses me. I want to do things with you. So, if you can just be ready and active, that would be great."
"Okay," I replied. After we finished talking, it got me thinking, Hmmm, what can I do that will be fun tonight when Allen gets home? The thought of a treasure hunt came to me. Okay, fun, but where to? I then remembered that Allen had been mentioned a Mexican restaurant near our house that he'd heard good things about. Bingo! I made up some clues and texted Allen, "I'd be excited to come home if I were you!" His interest was piqued!
When he got ho…

Tender-heartedness: Blessing or Curse?

Haven't said much on here for the past few days, mostly because I haven't had much to say. But Ruby is napping right now and Toby's in the bathroom so I can't clean it at the moment (and I'm just flat out ignoring the kitchen right now), so I will take a bit of time to blog it up.
I know that it is a medical fact that a woman's body is flooded with hormones from the beginning of the pregnancy to post-partum; hence "baby blues" and the oxytocin bonding at birth, etc. God was very gracious with me, given that I tend towards the depressive side of things, to spare me full-blown post-partum depression. Don't get me wrong: the first few days after Ruby was born were insanely emotional, and the following weeks were not easy, either. But I don't think I succumbed to the depths of depression that many new mothers fall into. Here's the thing, though: I thought that all of those havoc-wreaking hormones were supposed to go away! Ruby's off…

Allen on the radio!

The other day, Allen told me that he had been interviewed by OPB (the local NPR affiliate) while he was depositing bottles at the new bottle return center near our house. Today, as I was carpooling home, I heard the story, and Allen was mentioned and even had some airtime!! The link is here. It also mentions and quotes Ben Cannon, one of the state reps who is also a teacher at Arbor. So, it's pretty much a win-win. Yay!

My Amazing Husband

Full warning: this blog just may become a place of gushing about the excellent husband God's blessed me with. If you don't like all that mushy stuff, feel free to move on.


Here are a few great things about this husband of mine:
1. He's really considerate. Right now, he's washing dishes in the kitchen so I can have some down time to blog.
2. He's generous. This month in our budgeting we each gave ourselves a $15 "allowance" for purchases that we don't consider super necessary (energy drinks, some cute thing for Ruby, etc.) He spent most of his allowance on buying me something to eat for dinner tonight since he had to leave early to go to soccer class.
3. He's diligent. Allen has been collecting soda cans and bottles for a few months now and turns them in for money. He's up to around $25 now (which, at $.05 a can/bottle, is a lot of cans and bottles!!!). He's doing it so I can get a haircut from a nice place. Today, while he…

Remember the Sabbath...

We've been working through the gospel of Matthew at church for a while now and today the text was Matthew 12:1-21: 1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.” 3 He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry?4 He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests.5 Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent?6 I tell you that something greater than the temple is here.7 If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”9 Going on from that place, he went into th…

The Return of the Toby

He's back from England with new and improved sunglasses and is very tired...but also watching something on his TV which I can hear through the baby monitor. Go to sleep! It's what all the sane people are doing these days!

The etymology of LOL

Two questions:
1. If you're someone who writes LOL, do you actually laugh out loud when you use it, or is it more of a smile type of thing? If it is a smile, there's a perfectly good emoticon for that, you know. :) Or even :P if you're feeling feisty. But I seriously doubt that most people who write LOL in their texts and emails do laugh out loud.
2. If you, like me, enjoy saying "LOL" out loud to amuse/slightly mock the preteens and teens in your life, do you says "loll" or "ell-oh-ell"? I like saying "loll" but perhaps that is incorrect. But even if it is, I probably will keep saying it.
A third bonus question:
3. Who came up with LOL, anyway? Was it someone who honestly laughed out loud and felt the need to communicate that rather than text/email "hahha, I just laughed out loud!" or instead of "haha"? These are the questions on my mind at the moment, so you know it must be a Saturday!

Saturday=Chores and Errands

If/when I get to work part-time next year, I look forward to being able to spread out chores and errands a bit more throughout the week rather than have to do it all on Saturday. During the work week, the last thing I feel like doing/have time to do is vacuum, do laundry, clean the kitchen floor, etc. That's especially true now that Allen is working, too. On the days that he is home with Ruby, he does do chores and errands, but lately Ruby's been going through a very clingy phase: she just wants to be held all the time and cries when she's put down. They've noticed it at daycare, too. She's getting her top two teeth in right now, so maybe that has something to do with it. She's fun to snuggle, but it also makes it hard to do much of anything. If I try to type with her in my lap, she's got her hands all over everything in a surprisingly wide radius, and FAST! And although we "babyproofed" our apartment considerably, she still can find thing…