Friday, June 30, 2006

It's vacation time. I remember the old days when my mom would research the right place during the winter and write for reservations. We would wait months before we knew for sure if we were accepted. How the internet has changed things. One thing that hasn't changed is that I am my mother. I plan the vacations and Steve prefers it that way.

This morning I spent HOURS on the internet. I began by researching state park campsites until I realized that sleeping in the back of our jeep with a tent-like attachment would be good for about 1 night. And that will be in a driveway down the shore where Micah and Kim are staying. More about that later. Next I looked at cabin rentals at state parks. No vacancies for next week which is 4th of July week. What were we thinking?! Finally I sat back, lifted my eyes to Heaven and did what I should have done first. I asked the Lord where He thought we should go. As usual, He gave me an awesome idea. We will do day trips in NJ, a different county each day. Even at the high cost of gas, we will pack lunches and sleep in our own bed at night. I believe we will save money in the end. Since missionaries have quite limited budgets, that's a good thing. I found an awesome site to help us in our planning and am providing this link. It's name is "Are we there yet?" It catagorizes the places to go by genre and tells you what else is nearby. Very cool. We will have to take pictures with the digital camera and learn to put them on the blog. Keep posted.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Every summer I seem to try a new iced tea recipe. This year's favorite came about because good friends treated us to lunch at Red Lobster. I tried Boston iced tea and fell in love with it. I looked at recipes on line but they all used WAAAy too much sugar. Here's how I make it. I brew a teapot with 4 decaf tea bags and let it steep for a good 15 to 20 minutes. I pour said tea into a pitcher and add a low sugar form of cranberry juice. If I have lemons on hand I add fresh lemon juice. It is refreshing and can be adjusted for more sweetness if needed. For me, the more tart the better I like it. Anyone else have a refreshing iced tea recipe to share?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I've been reading recipes for Dutch Baby for two days. My search began when I realized I had some strawberries that had better be used soon! First I thought of an omelette for dinner, topped with sliced berries and it quickly led to Dutch Baby obsession. And I found out lots of people are really obsessed, too. For anyone who does not know, it is an oven-baked, eggy, puffy pancake thing. Being the lazy person that I am, I didn't want to bother with the heating of the cast iron skillet, the stove-top beginning, the pre-heating Etc Etc Etc. Thus I put a little unsalted butter in a skillet-for-one...(my husband was away in Newark all week-hence the sketchy eating), I whisked up one egg, a little flour, a little milk, some salt and a bit of sugar. Poured the mixture into the hot butter, lowered the flame a bit and watched to see what would happen. I have never seen one egg turn into such a large amount to eat. It did start to get too brown before I lowered the heat, but then it puffed. I turned it, shut off the heat and covered it. After about a minute, I plated and covered it with my sliced strawberries. Ummm! I am sure all the real Dutch Baby afficionados out there think I am crazy, but I am also well fed. Try it.

Friday, June 23, 2006

O, for a booke and a shadie nooke
Eyther in-a-door or out,
With the grene leaves whisp’ring overhead
Or the Strete cries all about!

Where I maie read all at my ease
Both of the newe and old;
For a jolle goode booke whereon to looke
Is better to me than golde.

I hand copied this poem years ago on a little slip of yellow paper and just unearthed it in a desk drawer whose bottom had not seen daylight in a decade. Packing does have a way of helping things come to light. If you know me or my extended family, we ARE this poem.

Today is Friday so I babysit for Caleb, my 3 year old grandson. Every week we go to the library, the BIG playground, and the stream next door to "throw rocks in the water". What fun we have. We also bake something every week. Today it is to be brownies. We are making memories as I will see the boys much less once I move.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

OOOkay, just realized my last 2 posts aren't showing up so I'm trying to figure out why. Since Claire set this blog up for me before she left the country, I could be in trouble.
Well, we passed our last building inspection: Plumbing, electric and the building inspector all had to sign off before we could close up the walls. The insulation was being done yesterday and today and the next thing will be sheet rock. Whoopee!

Steve has begun to build some relationships out on "our" street, one neighbor in particular has had long conversations with him. My contacts are limited to hellos and smiles as I am not so good at working on the truck in front of the house. Now when I can start gardening, it will be a different story.

Speaking of gardening, knowing we are leaving Wyckoff in August meant we had to be creative about what we did here. Last year we did some container gardening and wintered over several of our plants. We have a huge red hibiscus, an azalea, and white climbing rose bush. Last week we put 4 cherry tomato plants in another large pot so they will all come with us. We have no grass, only a cement double driveway. We think we will put down some astro-turf outside the back door and in front of the (unusable) garage and call it a lawn. There we will put our container garden and our table, chairs and umbrella and call it a yard. (o: We also have narrow gardens in front of and at the side of the house, and a good place in that side garden for bird feeders. I love to feed the birds, watch them and listen to their songs. I was in Newark for a teacher's meeting yesterday and as I walked back to my car, I heard birdsong! What a blessing!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sorry to anyone who reads this little blog, I missed a month. May was busy, as that is when I directed my first choral concert at Newark Christian School. Since I have no training to be a music teacher, this was a very big deal. I am so glad to say the kids did a wonderful job. Fortunately they liked the music I selected and the (mostly) drum track that accompanied it. I was so proud. The fun part was that it happened to be my 55th birthday. What a present!

I have just finished reading ONE VISION ONLY, a biography of Isobel Kuhn. I found myself in the story of her life as I read her thoughts on being called to Thailand after the age of 50, thinking she was done with foreign mission work. Let me quote Isobel: "When does the life of God pour through you richly? When you accept the challenge of a new thing for Him!" She has articulated for me what I could not quite put words to for myself.

Work on the house is progressing nicely. We still may not make it in by mid August however. If it is not ready, we will move temporarily into an apartment in the building that houses other World Impact missionaries. I realize that if that happens we will have the blessing of living side by side with our mission family. If the house is ready, we will have the blessing of not having to move twice. Maybe the apostle Paul is finally getting through to me. Am I actually learning to be content with whatever happens? Thanks for reading.