Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cafe

I have this memory of serving an older brother, just home from work, a handmade menu and playing chef to make his dinner.  All I can remember making is crispy pieces of fried ham and cinnamon apples with butter-lots of it.

Yesterday is proof that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.  Aidan loves to cook, he's 11 and likes to spend his money buying exotic spice combinations.  He's actually a really amazing at the chef thing. Chloe delights in creating beauty, and celebrating anything-give her a reason and she'll squirrel off to her room with various art supplies, whipping up something special. 

They cooked up a plan to combine their talents and make some money.  A few select people were invited for the inaugural opening.  Invitations were made, a menu planned, and grocery shopping done.

I'm not speaking from bias when I say that Aidan's breakfast burritos are AMAZING!  He uses a complex concoction of spices that shouldn't work, but somehow does.

fresh eggs from the girls
making coffee
Chloe dressed the part of hostess, made place cards, and was in charge of all the waitressing.

name cards
Breakfast was a complete success.  One little guy at the table enthusiastically told Aidan that "public restaurants are much fancier, but the food here is WAY better".  And all I had to do was heat tortillas!

At this rate, it looks like I'll be out of a job soon.  Now, if I can only get them to cook vegetables...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kiss and Tell

I'm watching the stream of ants that magically appeared after I laid out the ant traps.  And I feel really bad, because they are telling each other in ant talk that they found something really special.  They've called out all the workers ants and they are rapidly decreasing the amount of clear poison in the little plastic case.  But I know, they are all going to die, and I feel bad about it.  I'm telling them that I'm sorry, and I asked them nicely to please go away.  I spent a week vacuuming, squirting, and squishing.  I used up a tube of silicone caulk trying to block off all their entry points. But they kept coming back, and ranging farther and farther into the house.  I'm sorry little ants, but you really left me with no choice. 

In other notes: our pile of adoption paperwork is slowly moving into the "filled out" pile.  We still need to get fingerprints, doctors notes, cpr trained, and a few other items, but we are plugging along.  We've answered all sorts of questions about each other and our personalities, parents, siblings, friends, dogs, chickens...(time to kiss and tell).  Chris and I got into a rountine of sitting in bed at night with a pile of paperwork and a movie, occasionally peeking over the other's shoulder to see what was being said about us.  (Okay, maybe most of the peeking was being done by me.) It was interesting though, that the way we rated ourselves was almost always spot on with the way the other person rated us.

And to finish: here's a picture of Aidan being super manly by swimming in an alpine lake.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


The kids started school last week.  After a couple of days of quiet, I start to miss the little critters.

6th grade and 3rd grade!
The garden is a crazy riot of greenery.  I planned and organized with neat little rows and burlap lined walkways, and I was SURE that I gave everything plenty of space this year.  Guess not.  Trying to pick produce without stepping on something important is a balancing act which looks like an intricate yoga pose, and has sent me sprawling into the tomatoes more than once.
I never finished painting that stretch of blue trim after I fell off the ladder last year.
Sunflowers make me happy
Missy Franklin
The newest member of our clan.  Chloe earned the bunny after 2 months of a "Bunny Responsibility Plan".  She spent the summer cleaning the chicken coop, providing them with fresh water and food daily and getting up with the sun to let them out of their house.  This cuteness is the result.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rolling Ants on Binders

Every year, around the times that the kids go back to school, a council of ants convenes and decides to invade my house.  For some reason they decide to ignore the large numbers lost in previous years to squishing, squirting, and vacuuming, and think this year will be the one the takeover is successful.  Seriously, whoever is in charge should be fired.   If I were a peon ant listening to the dying scream of my comrades, I would stage a revolt.  Or maybe these are the ants who ticked the queen off and so she's having her revenge.  Bad queen.

We survived the first few days of back to school.  There was one small crises when it became apparent that I was the only parent to succumb to the large, plastic, 3.97 binders from Wal-Mart.  (Although in my defense, I was just following the school supply list)  However, certain middle school disaster was averted after a marathon, multi store shopping trip that ended with the desired item found and clutched in my completely cranky and there's no way on earth I'm going to another store hands. 

Today is my first soccer practice.  The one where I'm coaching because no other parent would volunteer.  My last coaching experience was Aidan's wee ball team, back when it was okay to stand on your head on second base and half the team might leave the field in the middle of an inning for a potty break.  I was never quite sure how I got wrangled into coaching then, I just signed up to "help" and the next thing I know, they're handing me a roster list and telling me good luck.  I'm not sure any of them actually learned anything about playing baseball.  But at least they all felt good about themselves.  And we had good snacks which is really the important part. 

And because every blog post should have a picture, here's one of us rolling down a hill.  The classic part where Aidan rolls with wild abandon and then runs into Chloe and I, and makes her cry.

hill rolling at it's finest

Monday, August 13, 2012

Little Big News

Summer's almost over and the kids will be heading back to school in 2 days.  I've been absent from this blog as we've been squeezing the last goodness out of summer.  There is a layer of dust on the computer and a to-do list piling up, but we've been knee deep in making memories.  Riding our bikes to get ice cream, playing in alpine lakes, turning little bits of ordinary days into moments to remember.

A few weeks ago, I was checking out a waiting children photo listing and someone caught my eye. Chris and the kids were also immediately hooked. We've been in a holding pattern about adoption, anxious to go ahead, but feeling stuck somehow.  But this one little girl gave us the courage to turn our waiting into action. There is mounds and mounds of paperwork still to go, and lots more waiting to come. Right now we are holding things loosely in our hearts because there is much that has to be happen before we can be matched with her.  But we have stepped into the process, and the pile of paperwork we just received is daunting to be sure, but here we go!

We are a little bit nervous, a little bit excited, and a little bit scared.  Kind of like how when you look at that little blue line telling you that you're pregnant, you know your life is about to change, but you're not sure exactly how.  And there's still that little bit of nervousness of the unknown What Ifs.  But we are just going to take it one step at a time, and trust the Author who gives life to our stories with these new pages.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Why I love Two Gay Men

I'm not making a political or a religious statement.  I sorta think there's a few too many of those running around anyway.  I'm just gonna tell a story. 

I can't imagine how difficult it must be to be gay in the "buckle of the Bible belt".  It was difficult enough for me as a "good christian" growing up there, trying to make sense of all the rules and regulations that the church provided.  But I guess there's a certain sense of safety in following a set of guidelines that are prescribed to get you where you want to go, and get you out of where you don't want to go.  You know like how if you follow the speed limit you won't get sent to jail for speeding?Unfortunately, I'm not really sure anymore that it works like that.

 I used to be the most black and white thinker; just like my dad.  His initial view of homosexuals would have made the most conservative right winger proud.  I'm not sure exactly how he started changing, but I think that it began with his two gay neighbors.  And maybe the fact that they became humans, and friends, not just another statistic.  I wonder if they were cautious about the two christians that moved in next door.  After all, they must have felt the sting of our religious fervour at some point in their lives. 

I think it's ironic that two men in a group of people most stigmatized by the church, lived next to a man who also began to feel the sting of rejection, from his own people, as the disfigurement from his cancer grew. 

I love these men because they are the backs that carried my dad to the emergency room as he was dying.  They are the ones who took care of the little details that death demands, and made a wall around my mom to protect her from prying questions.  They sat with me on the front stoop and never once offered a hollow sounding cliche because they were angry and sad too.  They are the ones who didn't fade quickly back into their normal lives, because it was their loss too.  And they whispered...let us know what we can do, because we would do anything, anything, for your parents.  And they meant it, because they treasured the love my parents had given them.

I've been asked if I was angry at God.  And I'm not. Because In the midst of darkness and rejection, I've seen His relentless pursuit to give Grace.  I saw Jesus myself, that day my dad died, through the hands of two gay men.

So y'all can fuss and carry on, boycott and whatever else.  But I'm thinking that it might be missing the point.  Maybe the point that a front porch view and a knock on a neighbor's door give you.  The point that Grace is not exclusive and Love really does transcend all boundaries.