Mom's Blog

Monday, November 28, 2005

Holiday traditions - remembering and returning

Miguel, an enthusiastic and creative chef certainly hosted for us an exceptional Thanksgiving feast. Every dish was exquisite from Lamb basted in raspberries, to quinoa baked with cheese and potatoes, and bell peppers with anchovies. There was more than we could eat and certainly a learning experience for all of us. If you have not read his Thanksgiving post, do so. We have much for which to be thankful and I certainly am thankful for the opportunity to share my kitchen with my sons who enjoy being together and trying new things. Next year - who knows who will host it. Thanks, Miguel. I know it's not easy using someone else's kitchen. You did great!
We had Novali here for the weekend and a wonderful family tradition was brought back with her eager particicpation. When the children were younger and stayed home more we always decorated the tree together and then sat with freshly baked cut-out cookies and hot choclate while we contemplated our tree - never perfect, but always beautiful. We carefully unwrapped the pieces of the Nativity and reviewed the part each character played in the story of our Savior's birth. It was a delight to watch Novali's intensity as she helped trim the tree and then as she eagerly listened to the Christmas story. (Earlier we had prepared the cookies) She gently placed each piece in the stable as we talked about the birth of Jesus. A night I'll never forget, nor do I think she will. (I need to learn how to post pictures to this blog, because the pictures we took of that night are so precious.)
This morning as I contemplated all that has occurred this weekend, I picked up my Bible for my morning devoations. I have been reading through the book of Isaiah and my place this morning was chapter 44. Verses 21and 22 gave me much to think about:
"Remember these things,O Jacob, for you are my servant, O Israel. I have made you, you are my servant, O Israel, I will not forget you. I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you."
In these two verses are four things God has done for us: he has made us, he has swept away our offenses, he has redeemed us and he says he will not forget us. Wow! He asks of us only two things: to remember and to return. He asks us first to remember and then he reminds us of what he has done - in fact most of the previous chapter are specific memories of God's great deeds for the Israelites - Certainly if we remember what great things God has done in history and in our own lives, how can not but return to Him in praise and worship? Traditions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas are ocassions in which we remember and in our remembering we return to His side. May this holiday season be a time of remembering and returning for each of us. My prayer for this Christmas.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Lost and Found

Thought my blog was lost as I couldn't sign in for some reason yesterday no matter how many times I tried. Tried tonight and no problem on the first attempt. I wanted to respond to Andy about our weekend in Philadelphia. We had a great time. Actually it was part of our anniversary celebration considering that on November 10th, our 32nd wedding anniversary, both Daniel and I were in different towns with doctor visits. I was trying to get my brace adjusted and Daniel was getting one prescribed for his knee.
Philadelphia is always so beautiful. This was our second fall visit and definitely the fall hues were magnificent. Getting there was an interesting experience, considering I was traveling with a carryon that contained a cooler full of frozen shrimp and porterhouse steaks. The airport security chuckled as they passed the bag through the scanner. Actually I had wondered ahead of time if they would question whether we were carrying boday parts or something wierd in the bag. Then, as usual, I had to be body searched because of my braces. The obviously inexperienced security guard was so nervous and had no intention of explaining what she wanted me to do. Then as Daniel approached to hand me my sweater, she totally freaked out and screamed at him, "Get away; Can't you see that she has not been cleared yet? You can't come near!" You'd think I was radio active or carrying a ticking bomb! I started to laugh, but quickly realized that that would only make things worse. So much for the quiet little Tri-City airport.
All in all it was a relaxing weekend. The visit to the museum and exhibit of the human body was something else!
And it was nice to see the building and type of 'home' Andy is buying. Thank you to Saloumeh
and Andy for hosting us.
This was the first weekend that I used a wheel chair most of the time out. The feeling of being 'different' and dependent lessened as I realized how pain free I could be 'walking' all around the tennis complex and museum. Makes me think that I might rather trade the bulky brace for the chair in many instances.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

paying attention

"You have seen many things, but have paid no attention; your ears are open, but you hear nothing" Isaiah 42:20
How often is this true in my everyday life! I'm reading the paper and Daniel speaks to me; somehow I answer, but didn't really listen. I drive along the road to a familiar destination and realize that I haven't seen anything along the way and wondered how I got so far without paying attention.
How much do I do this with God, the master of intelligent design? How much do I miss out on His soft whisperings? I'm afraid that if we don't listen to His soft whisperings, in order to get the message a storm may need to pass our way.
The end of this chapter in Isaiah tells what happened to Israel because they didn't take time to see and listen: "So he poured out on them his burning anger, the violence of war. It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand, it comsumed them, but they did not take it to heart." Isaiah 42: 25.
More than ever, now I have the time to see and listen. I am no longered burdened with the incessant cares of the heavy teaching load, the constant demands on my time and brain. I want to slow down, to really see and listen.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Family resemblances

Hate to tell you guys, but look at your dad and I and you will see yourselves in 20 years! My uncle Don passed away and we made the trip to the funeral home. Uncle Bob stood talking to us and all the while I was so stunned with how much he and my dad are alike. Of course, I've always known they look alike, but in watching closely the gestures, facial expression, posture, and even manner of laughing, I couldn't help but be amazed at how much the two are identical, more so than any twins I have ever known. When Aunt Violet walked over to me, I was taken aback. It appeared as if my grandma Coates was right there. What a perfect resemblance. Actually if was eerie as I looked over the crowd and could tell to whom everyone was connected. We all like to think we are unique, but we can't escape the matter of DNA or genes. You'd think our family was cloned! My cousin Diane looks just like her mom who looks like her mom. I think I look like a combination of my two parents - maybe more like my dad. What do you think?