Happy Christmas!

fr. michael doesn't like the phrase "merry christmas", he thinks the word "merry" just doesn't do christmas justice. so he implores all of us to say happy or joyful christmas. and it has been! chris and i are in colorado, missing victor and the chickies, but loving the snow. it's still coming down and while i haven't left the house almost at all, i can see why someone would want to go play in it.

i hope it's snowing (or that something equally as magical is happening) wherever you are. christ has made his way into the world! happy christmas!


Happy Advent

advent is probably my favorite time of the year. it's a time to prepare for Christmas and to sink into winter. the earth begins to get ready to hibernate, with a sense of expectation. for me, it's an expectation of Jesus and also, the expectation of our own little baby to come this summer. that's right, chris and i are going to have a baby! a friend of mine recently said that many times when scripture talks of waiting it refers to an active waiting. i am waiting and there's not much i can do to speed up the process but an expecting woman's wait is hardly idle. it's a waiting of preparation and anticipation. just like this advent season.

i also find a lot of meaning in the "sinking into winter". many of us go through mild (or otherwise) drepression during the winter and i am always ready to welcome in the spring time but the quiet, cold, dark winter holds so much depth and meaning. we try to use less electricity during the advent season in our house. we use oil lamps and candles when the sun goes down and it sometimes it really does feels like you're sinking...

i like this reading i found about advent:

"When the day dawns, let us all receive him. We go to the manger and worship. We give to him our gifts. We take his light to the poor. Until then, we are the poor, the weak, the blind, the lonely, the guilty and the desperate. We light candles because we who are in darkness are in need of a great light. We need a savior. So we wait amidst the ruins, we protect the lights we hold in hope. We sing to one who is coming. We look and wonder. We pray for his star to take us, once again, to the miracle."



i'm sorry for the month-long blog hiatus... you know how it is. during that time, though, we did travel to holland, germany and switzerland! we were able to go because of Jesus For President stuff. so chris and his co-author were mostly speaking at churches and i just tagged along. we had a great time and met great people. it is so wonderful and embarrassing that everyone (a lot of people) in europe speaks english. the catholic/protestant dynamic was also fascinating... i haven't learned much about it but i know that when chris mentioned we were catholic many found it shocking and confusing. the church is divided everywhere but i really felt the deep divisions in europe. knowing a bit about the history of the church in europe, of course, sheds some light on why things may be the way they are. we had some good conversations about it and i think that there are folks over there wanting to bridge those gaps.

so here are some photos! (they are not in order...)

country side in holland

utrecht, holland

basel, switzerland over the rhine (river)

rhine river

and again...

cute little goat at st. crischona in switzerland



the home we stayed at in switzerland

the church at st. chrischona

the 5 little goats and the mean old wolf (in marburg, germany)

beautiful church in marburg




so, it's been awhile. you know, i just haven't had the energy to post much in these last couple of weeks. it's been hot... so hot. and i've been lazy.

what you've missed is the growth of our chickens... and my chili peppers. you've missed the wonderful time we spent with our great friends and godson. you've missed chris' first day as an adjunct professor at cabrini college in PA. you've missed our trip "down the shore" with more great friends and today you're missing the loads of fun we're having with libby, the pup we are dogsitting for a few days. because of all you've missed i thought a pictorial (can that be a noun?) would be the best way to get you in the loop.

super cool godson

super cool monkey

professor haw

cute kid!

turbulent seas

so many jellyfish! or implants...




funny. and smart.

go watch this video.
i like john stewart so much and i also like, maybe partly because some people are so irrational and silly and vilifying towards him, president obama. despite my desire to keep my hope out of the political realm, i think he's smart and cares about people in this country. he's not trying to kill anyone's grandmother.


a review of sorts...

for the last couple of months i have been in a woman's group going through the book, "traveling with the turtle". i very much recommend joining a group doing this study to women who are interested in women's spirituality and peacemaking. the readings are phenonmenal and the exercises, while usually out of my comfort zone, have surprised me in their depth and relevance. in fact, the only criticism i have for this study is that, while it is written and compiled by two catholic women, is doesn't seem to have a lot of specifically christian content in it. i think there is enough about women's spirituality and women's issues in the scriptures, in other christian writings and in the life of jesus to be included. but i have loved going through this book! and i always love meeting with other women who care about god, justice, and peacemaking. so take a look.


melon salsa

i found this great recipe for cantaloupe salsa that i wanted to share... it's amazing! this picture doesn't do it justice - it's so bright and fresh looking. i used my wonderful thai chilies to kick it up a bit.

Makes about 2 cups of salsa

2 cups diced cantaloupe
1/4 cup diced (1/4 inch) sweet onion (such as Vidalia) or red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or cilantro
1 (2-inch-long) fresh hot red or green chile (skip the seeds if you want to dim the heat), minced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix everything and eat immediately.



can i just share with you how ridiculously gorgeous these 2 people are? and these are just their engagement photos... the wedding was beautiful!

congratulations amber and nate!


chris is super proud of his newest creation and you know what, i am too. it's great and really shows how far he's come as a potter. so here it is (unglazed): teapot.

in other, related news, we had an arts event with some local artists in our home a couple of days ago. chris, and our friend ben, sold pottery, melissa sold thai goods from an initiative called "warm heart", and blew made and sold wonderful coffee drinks through her travelling coffee house, leotah's place. it was an experiment and it went really well. so, we'll do it again in the first few days of december and invite more people and maybe more artists as well. i'll keep you posted!

blew's coffee was amazing. some of the best i've had... and she can do the leaf thing with foam, you know what i mean.


home sweet home.

we're finally home and enjoying ourselves immensely. well, chris is throwing tons of pottery to make us some money and i've been complaining about the humidity. but we've also been spending time with our chickens (they love frozen watermelon and cooked spaghetti) and in the garden and we saw the newest harry potter movie, which i liked and the theater was a great respite from the heat.

i thought i'd share some photos from our garden and chickens... and one of our car carrying our big canoe. the canoe was my dad's and i have many memories of being on the rivers and lakes with him. i'm happy to have it.

i think when cucumbers turn yellow, that's usually bad. ?

thai chili peppers!

i love zinnias!