Saturday, March 9, 2013

Point Defiance Zoo

"How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your 
creatures."  - Psalm 104:24

Today we took Joshua for his first trip to the zoo. It felt so good to spend all afternoon outdoors walking about. Although, a trip to the zoo on the first sunny Saturday in months was not a very original idea; it really draws the crowds and we had to wait in line a long time just to gain admission, but once we were inside we had a lovely time and I was able to capture some amazing photos.

Joe loves it when I ask total strangers to take our family photo ;)

The tiger cubs were my favorite!

Adult tiger.

This was also Jael's first trip to the zoo.
We brought her along for her birthday and the tigers were her favorite animal too.

Joshua was fascinated the entire time. This was pretty much the look on his face the whole time we were at the zoo. "Ooooo..."

Red Wolf.

Arctic Fox (too cute!)

Polar Bear.

A sleepy Muskox.

Sea Otter.

We wrapped up the day with a ride on the carousel- I think this my have been Jael's most favorite moment of the day!

"All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things." - Psalm 104:27-28

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Walk in the Park

Monday's sunshine was so magnificent, especially in contrast to all the rain we've had lately. I decided cleaning could wait a day and that I would take Joshua for a walk to the park. 

Disclaimer: This picture is deceiving- by seeing only this sweet, angelic face
no one would ever guess the mischief and havoc Joshua is capable of creating.


Joshua absolutely loved the swing, but he was not about to surrender
his Teddy for a moment.

"Come quickly, Spring!"

Monday, February 25, 2013

Cookie of the Month

Soft & Chewy Orange Cranberry Cookies
·       1 cup butter
·       1 1/2 cups sugar
·       grated peel of 2 oranges
·       2 teaspoons vanilla extract

·       1/2 teaspoon baking powder
·       1 teaspoon salt
·       2 large eggs
·       3 cups all-purpose flour
·       1 1/2 cups dried cranberries

·       1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans

1) Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line them with parchment.

2) In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, orange peel, vanilla, baking powder, and salt.

3) Beat in the egg. If the mixture may look slightly curdled; that's OK.

4) Add the flour and dried cranberries and nuts, stirring until well combined.

5) Drop the dough onto the baking sheets. This dough hardly changes size or shape during the baking process so place onto the cookie sheet in large, lumpy cookie shapes, about 1/2" thick.

6) Bake the cookies for 6 to 7 minutes, until they're barely set, and a light golden brown around the edges. (THIS IS IMPORTANT! Don't over-bake; if you do, the cookies will be hard, not soft and chewy.) The cookies may appear to not be quite done, but don't bake longer than 7 minutes; they'll finish baking as they cool.

7) Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool them right on the pan. If you need a pan to bake the remainder of the cookies, give the cookies about 5 minutes to set before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Yield: about 2 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Potterville Nation

Here are a few excerpts from the article "Potterville Nation" which Pastor Williams mentioned on Sunday:

Our lives seldom attain to any glory, not here. Only a few men can be war heroes, like Harry Bailey, or business magnates, like Sam Wainwright. The rest of us, just about everybody, will face the choice that the protagonist, George Bailey, faced all his life. We may recognize the duties that bind us to this spouse, these children, these neighbors, this family history, this utterly ordinary place called Bedford Falls, or we may go our own way, and pursue those objects of appetite that we commonly call “our dreams.”

Potterville is, of course, where we now live. I make no special claim to holiness here. I live in Potterville too, and have helped to make it what it is. But I do notice it. Potterville is a place of abandonment.
We form romantic attachments, we play house. Then we break the attachments, and abandon the house. No harm done, except to our capacity to love, and to cleave only unto one person, till death do us part. We marry, and have children, and abandon the children to the care of strangers. We leave town, not to become a citizen of another town, but to become a citizen of no town at all, and abandon the work of local government to a few meddlers nearby and an army of bureaucrats from far away... Mass entertainment has degraded minds and souls everywhere, and we sigh, and say that it has always been that way, although something tells us that our grandfathers and grandmothers made their own entertainment, with their kin and their neighbors. But those cultural habits have been abandoned, too... Since Potterville is a place of abandonment, the churches follow suit, and abandon their mission. That makes everybody happy. The people of Potterville want to divorce, dispose of their children, and follow their dreams. So the churches avert their eyes, demurely, when their parishioners divorce—for the churches are old ladies in lavender, and must observe certain proprieties. They fairly encourage the people to dispose of their children. Doctrine? Catechism? Confessions? Preaching must submit to the times: the Potterville Times.

No, Bedford Falls cannot satisfy. Nor can your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your body, your anything on earth. But what do we seek, leaving and leaving again? Consider it, next time you are in the Potterville International Airport, to be found wherever planes depart. For Potterville Airport is a peculiar place in this regard, as George Bailey learned, though he had to suffer to learn it. All its planes come from Potterville, and land in Potterville. He who would valiant be, let him turn to the ordinary business at hand. The true pilgrimage is here.

Read the whole article here: Potterville Nation by Anthony Esolen.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy First Birthday Joshua!

My wonderful son Joshua turned one year last Monday, on December 31st. What a wonderful first year it's been and how quickly the time has gone! He has already developed such a personality. He brings me joy at each of his new discoveries. He makes me laugh at all his antics. He keeps me busy chasing after him (what a fast little walker!). And often he frustrates me with all the disasters he causes; but even in spite of this I can't help loving him so much!

In honor of my first child's first birthday I wanted to do something extra special. I wanted to preserve my memories and Joshua wanted to eat cake so... my friend Naomi came over last week and helped me photograph my "cake smash" session with Joshua. I know it's a lot of photos, but this was the best I could do to narrow-down my selection of the best shots. There were just too many great pictures. I hope you enjoy them at least half as mush as I do ;)