Wednesday, September 29, 2010

tennis team

My son plays on his college tennis team.

I learned an important lesson at the last match:
You can hit the ball harder if you stick out your tongue!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

what i really learned in uganda

This is my first "guest post".
It is from my daughter's blog; we live in all we seek
She was in Kampala during the World Cup bombings there and
has so insightfully tried to make sense of it all.

uganda [thoughts of faith + provision]

in the early part of the summer, i (amanda) had the great opportunity
to spend a month in kampala, the capital city of uganda.
i was there as part of my studies towards a masters degree in
international development from eastern university.

[my amazing cohort + our disaster relief professor, francois]

although i didn't have many chances to venture out from the classroom, what i did manage to see was a beautiful country, full of boisterous people ("you are most welcome to uganda" was a popular greeting), bright clothing, eager smiles & delicious coffee. it was quite a contrast to cambodia, where people tend to be a bit more reserved, shy smiles are the standard greeting & the temperature is 20 degrees F hotter!

but the trip will always be tied with sadness in my memory. while i was in kampala, a terrible suicide bombing attack took the lives of 74 people, including aid worker nate henn who worked with invisible children, a group working to end the use of child soldiers in uganda. i was within 1/2 mile of the bombing & heard the bombs go off, although i thought they were fireworks at the time - how strange to be so close to such violence & yet so unaffected.

the experience gave me a lot to think about.

firstly, i was really thankful to be with a group of christians. we spent the next morning praying for the situation together & it was a reminder to me that we really are supposed to be praying without ceasing (1 thes 5:17), together as the Church & that i don't do that enough.

it was also a reminder that Satan really does prowl around like a roaring lion seeking destruction (1 peter 5:8), which doesn't mean i should be fearful, just that i should probably pray a whole lot more.

& finally it was reminder of something that i think i have been learning throughout these last two years in Cambodia (& that has really broken a lot of my theological presuppositions)

-- God doesn't promise us earthly safety & security & sustenance --

He promises us His presence & He sends the church into the world to provide earthly & spiritual sustenance & to work for justice & the oppressed (isaiah 58:6-10 & matthew 25:34-40), but those are signs of His kingdom that is here, but that is also not yet here & the "not yet here" part means that babies in cambodia will die simply from lack of proper food & babies in canada will have complicated breathing problems & even that i could be watching the world cup & be killed by a bomb.

i know that seems like a simple lesson, but when i draw from my own life & experiences, i see a God who always blesses & provides & so its hard to line that up when it seems like God doesn't always do that for others. but I know that God is so much bigger than my own experiences of Him & that i am called to be joyful & grateful for what I have, without ever thinking that God has promised me anything that I have, apart from His presence in the middle of the muddyness & messiness of life & death.

because in the end, God doesn't protect anyone from death, but He does offer us life that is greater.

& (aside from qualitative research, cross cultural studies, micro-finance, disaster relief & advocacy)
that's what i really learned in uganda .

Thursday, September 23, 2010

word verification

I am curious if you use word verification
for your blog comments. I have removed it from my
comment section just to save commenters the extra step.
I haven't had and problems but am curious if I might?

Monday, September 20, 2010

empty nest

It has been a summer of wonderful events and family gatherings.
Our family was all together for the first time
in two years and every moment was a joy.
As the boys left we were sad but we know we will see them again soon.

return to philadelphia

Lindsay and Benjamin

return to fort collins

Lindsay and Blaine

return to oswego

Lauren and Seth

When Amanda and Daniel left today it was extra
hard as they will, once again, be so very far away.

return to cambodia

Amanda, Daniel and baby-to-be

Here is what our youngest left on our message board . . .

Friday, September 17, 2010

cheeseburger soup

Cheeseburger Soup
Serves 6-8

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 of a white onion, diced
5 cups chicken broth
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
2 potatoes (not peeled) cut into cubes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
16 oz Velveeta, cubed (to add later)
Tabasco sauce, optional

Brown the meat on the stove top with the onion, and drain fat.

In a 5-6 quart crockpot, pour in chicken broth. Add garlic, bell pepper, celery, potatoes and spices. Stir in the browned meat and onion.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until potatoes are tender. Stir in Velveeta 30 minutes before serving.

Garnish with Tabasco sauce if desired.

adapted from a recipe found on A Year of Slow Cooking

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

laura bush

When in NYC is is always fun to count your "celeb sightings'. This time, by far, our best sighting was Laura Bush. We had arrived at the last minute to Memphis the Musical and were sent to an alternate door.

Just after taking our seats Laura was escorted in along with both of her daughters and her son-in-law. They sat 4 rows in front of us. I can't begin to tell you how beautiful she is, a picture of gracefulness.

White House Archives

She was in town to join Michelle Obama in Shanksville, PA to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Laura Bush: “This peaceful place was not chosen by the terrorists. They had other targets for their violence and hate. This site was chosen by the passengers of Flight 93, who spared our country from even greater heartache.”

Saturday, September 11, 2010

lesson learned, lesson forgotten

Yesterday we were at Ground Zero.
I wanted to post my thoughts today, 9/11/2010.
I can't find the words to tell you what it was like to be there.

Nine years ago this very night, going to sleep we didn't see it.

The next day we vowed we'd never forget it.

Until we did.

That was then. This is now.

Lesson learned. Lesson forgotten.

Anniversaries Remind Us How Much We've Forgotten
Your World Neil Cavuto

Thursday, September 9, 2010

big apple

Yesterday we headed to NYC with friends
for three days looking to help the
newly retired teachers among us
not miss the opening day excitement at school.

I predict we will find our own excitement exploring
the city and enjoying these two Broadway shows.

Monday, September 6, 2010

thank you

My blogging friend Christine (Vista Woman) so kindly loaned me her pink scarf to give my simple black dress a bit of pop. I didn't wear this dress to my son's wedding as my daughter helped me choose something a little fancier. I did however, wear it out to dinner to celebrate the end of a wonderful summer.

Thank you friend for sending this scarf
all the way to NY from the Pacific Northwest

Friday, September 3, 2010

partners in time

We spent a lovely day in Ellicottville listening to my cousin
and her husband play during the Folk Arts Festival.

"Partners in Time"

Pleasant afternoon.

Great food.

Thanks for inviting us Renee.

Even better ~ Renee and Hank also entertained
us during our 4th of July gathering!