Sunday, January 31, 2016

Saturday Scones

My mom is the queen of Saturday scones. She makes a different kind every week, and my dad is happy to sample. I miss my mom and Saturday scones. But I was thrilled when Dayna brought a cookbook home from the library and made these cranberry orange gems all by herself. Even better...she cleaned up after herself!


Dayna and her classmates had their D.A.R.E. graduation on Friday. A local police officer has come to their class every week this year to talk to the students about making good decisions, resisting peer pressure, and knowing the dangerous affects of issues like drugs, tobacco, alcohol, and internet safety.

49 Years!

Just had to give a shout out to this incredible couple who has set the bar high in their example of a marriage that honors God first, each other second, and then their family. Their priorities and selflessness for so many years have been an inspiration, and I'm proud to call them my parents. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Symphony with My Girl

Dan's parents shared their symphony tickets with Dayna and I this month. It was fun to watch her engaged the whole time, watching the pianist, the cellos, and even the percussionists (a pretty nice gig - 4 cymbal strikes in an hour, but the same pay scale!) She was making some really nice observations about bow holds, musician posture, acoustics, and the different meters of different pieces. I love watching her love for music blossom.

A night out with my girl was pretty special, too!

This Guy

The second half of this month has been eye opening for me. I realize anew just how much I love my husband and how much I depend on him. He had the opportunity to do some job training in Dallas two weeks ago. Four days. Four really long days. One kid with the stomach flu. Three days to finish one load of laundry. One hour to load the dishwasher. Everything seemed to be in slow motion, and I felt ill-equipped to handle the pressure. Nothing seemed to get accomplished, and my best efforts to have a smoothly-run home for his return were in vain. He came home to three high-strung girls and a lot more gray hair (on my head - he asserts that his hair is clear.)

I know that Satan has used this time to throw his fiery darts of accusations and lies, and I confess...he almost had me for a bit. I have wondered if I was enough for my girls. I have wondered if I'm nurturing my family the way they need me. I have felt like I was failing those I love the most.

But I'm reminded that I don't need to be enough. I can't do anything on my own power. God created our marriage. He designed our family. He knew exactly what He was doing as He fashioned four very different souls from four different parts of the world. And as long as He is enough....that's enough for me.

(That, and I'm really glad that Dan is home and doesn't travel often! I'm also really glad that the stomach flu never actually reached the vomiting stage - for those who may know that according to an agreement made with Dan years ago, that's my end.)

Knitting Accomplishments this Month

My needles have been flying. It's been a fun month finishing some long term projects and starting new ones.

My Oregon State socks. Pattern: Socks on a Plane (Ravelry); yarn: Biscotte Clownfish

Yarn: I Love this Cotton
The high scoring season ended in a ten foot long scarf! It came together into a nice cowl (no picture, sorry)
New socks, to be finished this week:
Pattern: Briony (Ravelry); yarn: Regia

Another Birthday

Many find January to be dismal. I get kind of excited. I've always loved my birthday. This year was a lot of fun. I got to sub in the same class I enjoyed for six weeks last fall. Dan sent me flowers at school, and brought birthday treats to share with the kids. I taught piano lessons and was treated to dinner at Cracker Barrel. (Not as good as usual, but hey, I didn't have to cook!) Dan and the girls made my favorite German Chocolate cake, and the family delivered on some thoughtful gifts. Thanks to all for sharing my birthday joy this year!

Hooray for new sock yarn and a new yarn swift to wind it! And the cake didn't last very long...
Happy new sock yarn from Alaska
New yarn swift to wind the yarn!
Look at those sparkles. Now to find the perfect pattern.
The cake didn't last long.

Pondering Race

In our interracial family, we are fortunate that we haven't faced any major or dramatic issues of racial tension. We celebrate the differences within our family, and the differences in our friends. But the longer I'm in this family, the more I have pondered what racism is. What it looks like. The ignorant comments, the intentionally hurtful comments, and the people with their heads in the sand. (I confess, I happily lived in my white bubble for many years and had some simplistic answers to the racial dilemmas others face.) Even yesterday, the woman handing out samples at Sam's Club was skeptical that I was Dayna's mom and gave her permission to try a small piece of bread.

We want our girls to grow up and be confident in who they are. To not make excuses for the difficult things they may face in life. But we also want them to be able to discern and appropriately respond to curiosity, ignorance, or blatant offense. I've long since given up the illusion that we should be "color blind" - instead, we should embrace the beauty of diversity. I'm also coming to accept that some people just have to jump over more hurdles - not because of the way they behave, but because of the way they were born.

A dear friend of mine has a veritable United Nations living in her home. She recently wrote (much more eloquently than I could) her thoughts on protecting her Liberian son from those who may react first and think second. Turns out this post went viral with over 800,000 hits in the first few days. It was picked up by Scary Mommy, the Washington Post, local newspapers and radio stations - just to name a few. She received some pretty interesting comments as well (although I recommend not going there unless you're ready for some visceral reactions) - from support of Black mothers, to ostriches proving that burying your head in the sand won't solve the racial issues, even a few threats (which didn't make it to publication).

I'm so proud of my friend and the food for thought that she continues to give me as I ponder what it means to be white in an interracial family - and an interracial world.

Our Trusty Steed

Over 3,000 miles, six mountain ranges, several audiobooks and backseat squabbles later, our little Ford Escape decided she needed a break. We were three hours from home on New Year's Day when the service light came on. The steering wheel had been acting strange for the last hour, and we decided it was best to see if someplace was open where we could find out the code and know what we were looking at. Of course, Napa Auto Parts was closed on New Year's Day, so we limped to a local McDonald's where we could use their free wifi and do some trouble shooting. We thought we had it figured out, and were ready to get back on the road when the car just quit. No steering at all. So we got back into a parking spot...I took the girls back into McDonald's...and Dan stared inside the hood.

It was then that three different strangers came upon our path and lent their services. One was a mechanic. We discovered it was an electronic steering module that had gone bad. Another one of the men was friends with the owner of the local Ford dealership and arranged to get us seen first thing in the morning. The third man worked at the local youth center and offered to let the girls hang out and play some games. (We didn't take him up on this, but it was a kind offer.) Turns out all three men loved Jesus and wanted nothing in return. They just wanted to show His love.

So in our weariness and ready to just be home, we started looking at God's provision. 24 hours earlier, we would have been in the middle of Wyoming, 100 miles from anywhere, in below-freezing weather. Instead, we were in a McDonald's parking lot, next door to a motel. When the continental breakfast was lackluster, we were next door to McDonald's for breakfast :). The local Perkins had a fabulous pancake dinner. We had three strangers offer to be Jesus to us. (One even offered to drive us the rest of the way home.)

Unfortunately, the diagnostic technician decided to not come to work the next day, so we were either stuck for two more days, or ready to rent a car. The other mechanics assured us we were safe to drive home...we just wouldn't have power steering. So like the pioneers of old, we piled back into our trusty steed and limped three more hours home. (Dan's biceps were really toned by then!)

It wasn't the best way to start the New Year, but if you think about it, it was also a great opportunity for our daughters to see how we handled stress. I may or may not have disappeared to WalMart on a Saturday right after we got home, just so I could be "alone" for a few hours.

Praying now for opportunities for us to be Jesus to others.


Our Christmas surprise over, it was time to head back to Nebraska. On our third day of driving, we decided to bust out the Disney tunes. It was pretty sweet to see Annie singing "Reflection" from Mulan. Even funnier to see her singing it to herself in a mirror.