30 June 2007

Encouraging report

Yesterday I went up to Rockford for a post op visit and to review the pathology report on the bone that Dr. K removed on Tuesday. Turns out that there was no infection in that sample! That could be perhaps because that particular sample was not infected, or it could be that the bone is not healing because of a "fibrous non-union" meaning that there is tissue impeding the bone growth.
Whatever it is, it meant that I was able to have the splint removed yesterday and I am now in a cast that allows movement of my fingers and elbow. This is a huge help because my fingers and hand were very swollen and painful. Being able to move them has reduced the swelling and it is almost back to normal. Further, the doc said that I can go ahead and pick up my children and that it would hurt, but I would not be doing any damage to it. So that is good, too.
The best news, though, is that I am to stay on my mega doses of antibiotics for at least two weeks and then I am to have another blood serum drawn. If things look good, it is possible that they could proceed with the bone graft in the next couple weeks as opposed to after a couple months of antibiotics. Which means this whole thing could be over sooner rather than later.
So. Obviously I can type and I'm pleased about that, though it is cumbersome and rather painful, so I probably won't do much of it. Knowing me, I'll save my finger energy for truly frivolous stuff rather than the bulletin and sermons and such.
The family is all doing well. I am so blessed to have a family who just arrives when needed. It's lovely.
Anyway, thanks for all of the well-wishes. I'll respond to y'all soon.

28 June 2007

All is well

The surgery went fine. Now it hurts, but will get better.

Dad was here and has handed off to Gramps. Dad took Annalivia for long, long walk everyday. Gramps is playing with her in the basement. She's in heaven with these playmates.

It's hard to post, so I probably won't or will leave it to Dennis.

25 June 2007

And here I was going to get the corkscrew

On the night before surgery, my supportive sistah, Kali, has delivered these words of encouragement...

Hey Apey,

Just wanted to let you know I'll be thinking of you tomorrow when you get your robo arm attached. Maybe if you got one with a bottle cap opener attachment, Marissa would be more likely to come home and visit us after she gets married. Just something to keep in mind.

Love, Kalin

Menu Plan Monday for the week of June 24

This week because of surgery on Tuesday for me, almost every main dish we will be eating will be from the freezer (denoted with*). My little church is unpredictable at best, when it comes to providing food to a pastor, so this is the plan and if food arrives, we can rearrange easily.

Monday -- Black Bean Burritos* (adapted from this recipe) with salsa, sour cream, avocado, and tomato; homemade Mango Yogurt Popcicles*

Tuesday-- classic Tuna Noodle Casserole*; Salad; Applesauce

Wednesday -- Sausage and Pepper Hoagies*; Salad; Cinnamon Apples (This is one of my dad's favorite sandwiches and since he is coming up to help post-op, I thought we'd have it. I cooked the sausage and the banana peppers and juice and then added the other peppers and onions, leaving them uncooked. All is frozen together so it will be easy to reheat and place on crusty ciabatta rolls.)

Thursday -- Lasagna*; Garlic Bread*; Salad; Oranges for dessert

Friday -- Olive Cheese Bread*; Italian Beans and Greens Soup* (recipe follows); Salad

Saturday -- lunch -- baked Macaroni and Cheese*; dinner -- Brats* on the grill

Sunday -- lunch after church -- Grammy's Meatloaf* (recipe follows) and baked potatoes; dinner -- Cheese Ravioli with Sauce*

Italian Beans and Greens Soup
olive oil
2-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion chopped
2 bunches endive, escarole, kale or spinach (though I prefer the bitter greens), chopped to whatever size you prefer
4 cups chicken broth
2 cans white beans (great northern or cannellini are good)

Saute garlic and onions in olive oil. Add greens and wilt. Add broth and beans. Heat through. If freezing, do not wilt greens much and don't heat broth and beans. FYI -- I think I adapted this from Rachel Ray

Grammy's Meatloaf
This is my favorite meatloaf. It is well-seasoned, but not overpowering and never, ever, ever dry. I usually make 2 or 3 at the same time and put the extras in freezer bags, pressed flat. This allows the meatloaf to defrost quickly. It can then be shaped and baked or put in the crockpot.

1.5 lbs ground beef or beef/turkey mix
1 envelope Lipton's onion soup mix
1/2 c ketchup
1 egg
1/2 sleeve saltine crackers, crushed in your hands (not finely crushed)
1/4-1/2 c. water

Leaving water out, mix all together with hands. Add water slowly to facilitate mixing til it is quite moist, but still holds shape. Freeze or form into loaf for baking. If married to Dennis Stewart, put ketchup only on top. If Grammy, mix ketchup and brown sugar for top and slice green peppers and onions very thinly to decorate the top. Cook uncovered, basting occasionally, until browned and delicious outside and moist and yummy (and done) inside about 45 minutes. Use a thermometer if necessary.

23 June 2007

The plan

So a woman with whom Dennis went to high school called his mother today to find out his new address so that he could be invited to his 20th reunion next year. His mother, being the nation's most stalwart privacy advocate, did not give out the information, but the whole episode led us to discuss how we were both having class reunions next year.
Me: You know, perhaps we should use this as the reason to go on a big diet and become fabulous.
Dennis: (pauses) Or.... (dramatic pause) if not, we should hire actors who can play us.
Imaginary Classmate to hired actor (voiced by Dennis): Dennis, you've changed a lot. I don't remember you being black...

There's just something about a capable man

Yesterday, Dennis finished putting up the poles for a chain link fence in the parsonage yard. He was going to stretch the chain link today, but since it's raining, he'll be getting that tomorrow.
Whenever Dennis launches into a project like this, I once again admire his abilities to do all things mechanical. And I mean-- ALL things. I don't think Dennis has ever met anything he can't do. Everyonceinawhile, he has to stop and think before proceeding, but most of the time, he just understands how things need to be done. And he understands every step that needs to be taken to get to the point of completion so that the job is done correctly. And he does it. Or, if he takes a shortcut, he takes it knowing fully the impact that it will have on the finished product.
I'm not sure where he gets this brilliance. He comes from generations of farmers and laborers. They built their own homes and wired their own electrics and fixed their own cars and tractors and combines and invented solutions to problems if the solution hadn't been invented yet.
This kind of thinking is completely impressive to me. My dad is a financial planner. His father, my Gramps, was the president of the bank. They do a different kind of processing in their daily lives. Gramps is pretty good at fixing and building and such, but it doesn't just roll off of him like it does Dennis. Dennis just knows. And he does. And whenever I see that, I just kind of swoon. Because there's just something about a capable man, y'know?

Crunch time

It is a lovely morning here in northern Illinois. It is softly raining and a little chilly out and all the windows are open so I can hear the birds who are singing loudly. And since it is raining and has been raining, I don't hear the Harleys that usually plague our town on a summer Saturday.
Dennis has taken the kids over to his brother's house to play with their Stewart cousins and see his other brother and his family. The other brother's family lives in Wisconsin and we've not seen them for a couple of months.
I am ducking out of festivities in favor of trying to get some work done before the surgery on Tuesday. I made a bunch of casseroles for the freezer last night and will make some burritos and lasagna and meatloaf to freeze today. I also am trying to start and finish bulletins for a month, since it has occurred to me that I won't be able to type. Again. So I'll need to get the liturgies written ahead of time and sermons in some sort of rough outline. And we are also trying to work on getting the house a bit more organized. We'd like our live-in help next week (i.e. Dad and Gramps) to be able to navigate the basement where the spare bed is without threat of bodily injury. Or at least, with minimal threat.
It has occurred to me that this is the kind of preparation one does before one has a baby. Only one usually has more than a week to do it. And one probably doesn't attempt to do it all. Unless that one is me.
So. Clearly, I should be doing something other than blogging, so I shall. Happy Saturday.

21 June 2007

I'm addicted

And the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem.
I'm think I'm addicted to The Pioneer Woman. And her other blog, Pioneer Woman Cooks.
She is sort of who I want to be with half of my personality, especially if you could mix a little Vicar of Dibley in there too. The other half wants to be Ruth Bell Graham. That could be a fun party. And I suppose it explains a lot of about me.
Anyway. I have been enjoying her blog, and most of all, her photos. I'd highly recommend her photos to everyone and her blog to those who have a pretty evolved irreverent streak. Those who don't, I still love you. I just wouldn't invite you to this shindig.

Recipe: Old-fashioned uber-delicious cake

I got this recipe from an online friend. She titled it Grandmother's Autumn Cake, but since it's not my Grammy or Ga's recipe, I wouldn't feel right about using that title. And it's really seasonless. So. Here it is.

Old-fashioned uber-delicious cake
1 1/2 c oil
1 3/4 c sugar
3 eggs

combine and beat 3 min.

3 c. flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinn
2 tsp vanilla

Mix with above and fold in 3 cups (3-4 apples) chopped apples and 1 c. nuts (opt).

Pour into loaf pans or cake pans or whatever. Bake 1 hour on 350 (and this will look done far before that, but it won't be. Don't be fooled).

Buttermilk Icing
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk

Bring to full boil (you need a large saucepan for this...it doubles) and pour over hot cakes.

These ingredients can be easily interchanged by substituting honey, whole wheat flour, coconut oil or butter, etc. These cakes freeze and keep BEAUTIFULLY if you use the buttermilk icing. The author of the recipe said she took one out of the freezer a year later and heated it up and it still tasted fresh and delicious.

20 June 2007

Where two or three are gathered...

Last night we had an elders' meeting at church. In our system, the elders are the actual leaders of the church. Technically, I'm just an ordained elder. I like elders' meetings. These are the spiritual leaders of the church and most of these men and women take that duty very seriously. They are mostly very wise, deliberate, and discerning.
At the end of every elders' meeting, I lead a prayer as we hold hands and then we all say the Lord's Prayer together. Because there are only 10 of us, and it's rare that all of us are actually there at the same time, we fit nicely around one of the round tables in our fellowship hall.
I have found that one of my favorite things about this time is listening for each individual voice as we are praying together. I hear Larry's strong bass and Kathy's mellow alto and Carl's gravely tenor. I hear Tim strong, but not overpowering and Edythe's slightly rushing and Alice and Sharon, quiet and low.
There is something to be said for common, memorized prayer. As a restoration movement who was founded on the idea of returning to the New Testament description of the church, this is our sole common prayer. But I understand why other sects have found such power in shared, memorized prayer. There is something about all of God's people speaking as one voice the words of the faith from their hearts that reminds me of the reason we are all Church together.
"For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am in the midst of them..." Mt. 18:20

19 June 2007

Bone blues

We had an appointment at the orthopedic surgeon in Rockford today to discuss results of a nuclear medicine bone scan that I had last week. My ulnar bone is not healing and apparently shows signs of infection. SO... on Tuesday of next week, June 26, I will be going to Rockford Memorial for surgery. They will open up the wrist again and remove the $25,000 of hardware in there now and then put little antibiotic beads between the bone (oh -- and scrape out all the infection --ick). Then they'll sew me up, splint my wrist, and the plan is that I'll get to go home that evening. They are then going to give me two very strong oral antibiotics which will hopefully knock out any remaining infection. I'll have an appointment about 72 hours after the surgery and they will put on a cast, I think. Then 6-8 weeks from now, I'll have another surgery where they will do a bone graft and put in new $25,000 titanium plates. And another splint. Then another cast.

Fun times. The State Farm insurance used by the chica who hit us is SO going to pay for this.

Anyway, I am anxious to get this whole thing done with already. I am tired of my wrist hurting and tired of not being able to settle with the insurance company and tired of driving to Rockford to wait for hours to be able to talk to my very competent, though humorless doctor (when I jokingly inquired as to whether it was possible that I could get a hook out of this, he said, "No, no! You'll keep your hand!" Um, yeah, thanks. Hadn't figured that out, Dr. K.)

I'm not so much nervous about the surgery as the splint. It will go over my elbow and hold my wrist so that it cannot rotate. After surgery, it was impossible to pick up Annalivia and I don't know how in the world I'd be able to hold Daniel, but I'm sure I'll figure something out. And showering with a bag for the next 3 months doesn't sound fun, either. But I guess it has to be done.

So. There's the update. More later.

Mr. Loudon Wainwright

I don't think I've gushed here about how much I like the voice, style, etc. of Loudon Wainwright. I found him when I was in seminary and the cool NPR station at the University of Kentucky (WUKY) converted to "adult rock" programming in the afternoon. It was basically like listening to a daily music sampler of somewhat obscure music. From them, I met Paul Kelly and The Kings of Leon and KT Tunstall and Mason Jennings and Badly Drawn Boy. They mixed this with Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan and the Beatles and Colin Hay and Marianne Faithfull and to this day, I try to listen to their afternoon programming via the web whenever the children are taking naps and I remember to do so. (For some reason this music doesn't seem to work with awake children for me.)
Anyway, I met Loudon there and loved his music. And tonight I heard a new song, "Daughter" on World Cafe and realized that I'd like to get his new album, however, it's written for the new movie Knocked Up and there's something about owning "music inspired by the film 'Knocked Up'" that bugs me. I know, I know. I pre-judge. I'm like that. But if someone else in the family wanted to get it and burn me a copy and just write the name of the album on the cd with a Sharpie -- that I'd be ok with.
And fyi, the voice of Rufus Wainwright (L's son) drives me nuts.

18 June 2007

More milestones and the haunting wisdom of Amalee

Tonight we managed to catch Daniel rolling over. We've known that he is able to do it, we just haven't seen it before. He always seems to roll over in his crib or on the floor when we are out of the room. Sneaky lad, but we caught him this time.
And tonight Annalivia had a showdown with us at the dinner table. I'm happy to report we won. It was a full-blown temper tantrum with all stops pulled out. Dennis and I remained calm and firm and also loving and a little funny. We were pretty pleased with ourselves.
All of this to say -- a couple months ago, Amalee posted this reflection and it has been running through my head constantly since then. On one of the blogs I enjoy, a commenter reminded other mothers of toddlers that "the days are long, but the years are fleeting."
These women are so very right. Time has moved so quickly already. May God make me aware of the brevity of these moments and make me truly grateful for every single one.

17 June 2007

Menu Plan Monday for the week of June 17

So as part of my small goals toward more peaceful living, I am creating a weekly menu plan. I am trying to do this on Sunday evenings because I've decided to take Mondays as our errand day when we will be running over to Clinton, IA where gas is 30 cents cheaper per gallon, the grocery store is large and has carts shaped like trucks thereby entertaining Annalivia, and the goat's milk we use for Daniel's formula is two dollars cheaper. Plus I get to get out of town and they have a drive through espresso hut over there where I can get an iced latte. And a Target. So we all end up pretty happy.

Anyway -- I found a link to the Organizational Junkie's Menu Plan Mondays on one of my blog jogs (the only kind of jogging I'm apt to ever do) and decided to participate this week. If you click here, you can find a list of lots of participants and lots of good ideas.

So here is our menu plan, fully realizing that usually these things don't work out quite like this because we get too many leftovers piled up. I'm trying to be bettter about planning that, though, so hopefully this week we won't make too many adjustments.
These menus reflect a.) mainly what is already in our freezer or pantry, in terms of main ingredients b.) the desire to use the grill or crockpot rather than the oven because it is so bloody hot and humid right now. FYI -- the pastas are whole grain, and since apples are on sale this week, we'll be eating lots of those with everything.

Mon -- Grilled Talapia Filets with Lemon Garlic Sauce, grilled zucchini, apples. -- Grill fish. Saute garlic in butter. Add lemon juice, little frozen pesto (about 1/2 teaspoon) and reduce a bit. Pour over grilled fish.

Tues-- BBQ Pork Sandwiches, crudites and dip, apples -- the pork is in the freezer from a pork shoulder roast I got on reduced sale and cooked in my pressure cooker a couple weeks ago. I'll put it in the crockpot with some BBQ sauce and let it defrost and heat while we are at the doctor's in Rockford. I have meetings at church on Tues., so even if I don't get back in time to eat supper, Dennis can handle this easily.

Wed -- Cheesy Broccoli and Alfredo Calzones, apples -- an attempt to use some leftover ingredients based on this recipe, though substituting alfredo for marinara sauce, obviously, and using whole wheat for the flour. If we have too many leftovers of the above foods, I will just cook this and put it in the freezer for later.

Thurs -- Chicken in Foil Packets on the grill, and Apple Skewers. This is a Dennis request, so we'll use whatever veggies he'd like and do the classic foil packet dinner.

Fri -- Homemade Mac and Cheese, sweet peas, apples. Hopefully this will be in the crockpot.

Sat -- Spaghetti with Bolognese sauce and salad. And apples.

16 June 2007

Dreams fulfilled

Once upon a time, not too very long ago, I bought a little flower sprinkler in Target one year before I even met Dennis. I thought it was adorable so I got it though I had no need. I was working constantly at the church, living alone in this parsonage, praying and imagining that perhaps one day I would have beautiful children who would play in such a sprinkler, but also quite sure that would never actually happen.I also prayed, prayed, prayed with all of my heart for someone who would love me and cherish me who I could trust and who was capable and intelligent and clever and kind and would be a wonderful husband and would also be a wonderful father. But I was quite certain that person would never actually arrive, let alone blow bubbles for our daughter on a day when he was trying to get work on a car finished. When I was little, about 5 or maybe 6, I had a beautiful porcelain doll. Marissa had a matching doll that was slightly different. They had orange-flowered dresses and I thought they were just hauntingly beautiful. Mine had medium brown hair and big brown eyes and little bangs cut straight across her forehead. I used to pray to God that one day I'd have a daughter who looked exactly like this doll. And when I was out of college I found a precious advertisement for flooring of all things that featured a little reddish-blond haired, blue-eyed little boy and I tore it out of the magazine and carried it with me because it spoke to me so strongly.
Now, I know that God is not in the business of wish fulfillment. And I would hate to suggest to others who have hoped and prayed far more deeply than I could ever imagine that the Lord has ignored their requests and granted mine. I just want to mention that my heart feels very, very full of blessing today. So many of my dreams are real. And I am so very thankful.

Perhaps stranger things have happened

Or maybe not. Read this. Watch your back.

15 June 2007

Hilarity ensues

So tonight I went down to Peoria to hang out with my sistahs. We met at Kelleher's a faux-Irish pub that we always go to and, upon observing the 20-somethings engaging in their prairie chicken dances, decided to go elsewhere. So we went to a cool Cajun restaurant that Lil and Kalin have previously enjoyed and ate good, if perhaps slightly overpriced, food, had water dropped upon us (well, on Roo, anyway) by the waiter with whom Kalin and Lil went to school, planned Roo's wedding reception, or at least got her to give us license to plan it, and laughed so much that my stomach hurt. Good times, good times. I've got some very, very cool sistahs. I'm sure I've said that before, but it bears repeating. They are just plain cool.
They are also not exactly punctual (which is an inherited McClure girl malaise we all share), so while I was waiting for them to get to Kelleher's, I listened to this hilarious interview (edited to add -- if you don't have time to listen to the whole interview, try starting about 13:15 into the interview) with the guys who are in a new HBO series, Flight of the Conchords and laughed til I cried. Since we get exactly 4.8 channels via cable (PBS comes and goes at will), I will have to wait for the dvd's. But if the interview is any indication of the show's cleverness, it will be worth the wait.

13 June 2007

She cooks, she cleans, she quilts! (but not really)

I am making a concerted effort to be more dilligent in the mother/ wife/ co-keeper of the home areas of my life. I've not yet arrived where I'd like to be in my progress, but I am progressing. Slowly. Incrementally. Perhaps microscopically. But progressing.
Anyway, I have some little goals which may seem just ridiculously little to some of you. Some people are just really, really good at juggling all areas of life. Me... um, not so much without a whole lot of thought and effort.
So... here are my plans.
1. Try eating out only one meal per week. To that end, I've realized we need
- a menu plan of fresh, healthy food
- foods that are easy to throw together quickly
- a well-stocked freezer and pantry
- a list of what is in said freezer and pantry
2. Keep the house liveable. For us that means
- Make beds
- Put away toys before naps and bed
- Keep the table mostly clear
- Keep the dishes washed
- Keep the laundry pile low
- Keep the kitchen floor swept
Bonus points for...
- Putting the dishes away
- Putting laundry away
3. Do something creative that is largely unrelated to church such as...
- Blog
- Garden
- Paint
- Make a collage I've had in my head for 5 years
- Quilt -- I actually took a quilting class for the first time last night and have another a week from Saturday. I'm excited to use my grandmother's Singer sewing machine that she gave to me to sell, but that I'm going to keep because it is going to be perfect for me in my life as a quilting Bee.
So that's it. Small things that make a big difference. I'll let y'all know how it goes.

12 June 2007

More interpreted than interpretive

The kids and I went down to Eureka on Sunday, not for any real reason other than to spend time with the family. It seems as though we just didn't see them much during the fall, winter and spring. And now we need to rectify that.
It was a good visit. We got to spend time with Mom and Dad and Kalin and Lil and her family. And we also got in a good visit to Grammy and Pa. They were excited to get Daniel down on the floor and Annalivia was excited to get Gramps down to his basement where many toys are kept and where her greatgrandfather runs a fascinating play area with such things as a manual typewriter. She loves it.
One of the highlights of the trip for me was getting to see Kalin's Strawberry Scones dance. I had promised to bring her some scones if she offered something in exchange. The dance began with toes pointed inward and was not only pointy and crumbly, but also flaky. It also had narration, so it was less interpretive than interpreted, but I appreciated it just the same.
Once again, Eureka offers good times for the heart, soul, and avant garde artistic sensibilities.

06 June 2007

Recipe: Really good strawberry scones

I was reading a Family Fun magazine at a doctor's office last week and saw this recipe for strawberry scones. They looked delicious, so I made some up today and am pleased to report that they are indeed delicious! Annalivia helped to dump the stuff in the bowl, mix it with a fork, brush milk on the top and sprinkle sugar on them.
Here are my revisions. You can find the original recipe here.

Strawberry scones
1 cup finely diced fresh strawberries
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup sugar, plus a little for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
A lemon, for zest
8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Heat your oven to 425°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, using a few spots of butter or cooking oil to stick it in place. Set the baking sheet aside.

2. Place the diced strawberries on several sheets of paper towel to absorb their juice. Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Zest lemon into the ingredients, taking care to remove just the outermost skin and not the white pith.

3. Cut in the butter until the flour-coated pieces are the size of peas. Add the strawberries, tossing them gently with a fork to coat them.

4. Make a well in the mixture. Blend the 1/2 cup of cream and vanilla extract in a measuring cup and pour them into the well. Using as few strokes as possible, gently stir the dough until it forms a ball. Let the dough sit for 1 minute.

5. Clean and flour your hands and dust your work surface with flour. Place the dough on the floured surface and knead it gently three or four times. Transfer it to the large baking sheet and pat it into an 8-inch circle. Cut into 8 wedges. Use a small spatula or pie server to carefully separate the pieces, leaving at least an inch between them.

6. Brush the tops of the scones with the remaining tablespoon of milk, then sprinkle the surfaces with sugar. Bake the scones until the outsides are crusty and starting to brown, about 18 minutes. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then slide the parchment and the scones onto a wire rack to cool for another 20 minutes before serving.

Backing up blogger

So I decided to answer my own question about backing up blogger and looked for info on how to do it. It seemed way too complicated, so I just did these things.

  1. Went under Settings to Formatting and changed the number of posts displayed to 500. This displayed all of the posts on the main page.
  2. Went to the Page settings in Explorer to View Source.
  3. Saved the Source in a Word Perfect file.
  4. Opened it in Word Perfect.
It's not a perfect representation of the blog, but certainly good enough that if it were lost, we would have a backup. It imported all the pictures, too. Hope it helps someone else, too!

05 June 2007

First haircut

Daniel got his first haircut tonight. It was necessitated by the weird mohawk/ mullet combination he had cultivated over the last four months. It was giving his head an odd flattened look. And rather than wait for it to grow out, since I am one of God's most impatient creatures (second only, perhaps, to Annalivia) I decided it needed to be cut.

So Dennis got out the clippers and gave Daniel his first buzzcut. Which makes him look even more like a little Stewart. I should have cut off a lock and kept it for the scrapbook before we started knowing that eventually Dennis would see the wisdom of my suggestion to just cut it to its determined length all at once, but didn't. So though I was saddened by the sweet little pile of soft and dark baby hair and this milestone that indicates he's growing up, I did not do anything other than flush it down the toilet. And post this on the blog.

03 June 2007

Illustrated synopsis

Edited to note: Blogger has changed the saving procedure and for some reason it is throwing me off! I keep saving drafts and then forgetting to publish them! Oops!

So the last few weeks have been pretty busy around here. We went down to Eureka on Memorial Day weekend and stopped at a park so Annalivia could play on the way down.We had a great time with our friends Joby and Trina and their son Ethan. We stayed at Trina's parents' house while they were away and then went to my sister Lil's house for breakfast and the Memorial Day parade. The breakfast was wonderful and the fellowship was just spectacular. Annalivia and Ethan chased each other around and Dad introduced Daniel to prolonged leaf-gazing. The parade, which is my favorite of all parades, was very sweet in its brevity. This last weekend was the tribute dinner for my college voice professor. I was in charge of the event and was very worried about it, but it went perfectly and was just a wonderful evening. We laughed, we cried -- it was better than CATS. And speaking of cats, my friend Todd, whom I had not seen for 5 years, and I reprised the Rossini cat duet that we sang for our junior recital. It was great.
The following day was the Eureka College alumni weekend celebration, which I managed to skip out on and got to see my friends Remy and Sarah. It was so good to see Sarah, whom I hadn't seen in a good 3 years. She had never met Annalivia or Daniel. It was nice to spend time together, though far too brief.
When we got home on Sat. evening, I laid down with Daniel at 7:30 p.m. and then slept for the next 11 1/2 hours. It was nice. I probably could have slept for many more. When I got up, we went to church and my sermon went well. We had coffee and treats fellowship after church, which was great, and then we did lots of other errands with the loads of time we have now that are on the summer schedule of having church at 9 a.m.
When Annalivia and Daniel awoke from naps, Annalivia and I took our babies for a walk up and down our street while we waited for Daddy to get home.

These days have been so full. Full, but good. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Table prayers

We have been singing The Doxology at our table for the last few months as our grace. It is a nice way to thank God for our food and it teaches Annalivia a song she hears in church also. So far, she only joins in with the words, "host," "ghost", and "Amen."
I was reading one of my little books on table prayers at church today and thought that perhaps we should branch out a little. I remember reading L'Engle's books about the Austins and O'Keefes and their table prayers that were hymns or canons or writings by the great spiritual thinkers of the faith. I thought that perhaps my family would be like this. Not so much. We're doing good to keep little fingers out of the macaroni until the end of a 16 measure song.
Before Dennis and I got married, I wrote a prayer that I hoped we could use as our family table prayer. It proved too long for him back then. It's still a hope that we might incorporate it someday, but for now it remains in my head awaiting use. I bring it out sometimes for funeral lunches at church. It's a little easier to keep fingers out of the macaroni there.
All that we have,
all that we are,
all is a gift.

All is from you, God,
all is to you, God,
for it's by your grace that we live.