May 18, 2017

It is an honor

I stood at the front of the congregation last Sunday. Mothers were lined up to my left, and mothers were lined up to my right. Shoulder-to-shoulder we stood, the front line of an army, a chorus of heralds, a chain, a wall. Our deft fingers held long stemmed roses, thorny in places, smooth in others, blooming at the end. Our collective stories would fill a library of volumes. Our tears from over the years would fill a swimming pool or two.

The woman to my left? A mother from India, her children now grown. I didn't know her name (lots of turnover in our all-expat congregation) but I didn't need to. She looked at me. I looked at her. We smiled at each other, and in that moment, as the preacher thanked G0D for mothers, she and I shared so much. In her eyes I saw, "Well done, my younger sister. You are doing the hardest job of all. You are seen. You are understood. You are loved." I can only hope that she saw, in my eyes, "Thank you, older sister, for blazing the trail for the rest of us. You are honored. You are beautiful. Be at peace."

Sunday School craft

Small kitchen + I love cooking = spending Mother's Day afternoon making pretzels with the kids..on the floor.

My momma: all that I hope to be and more.

May 05, 2017

I'd rather be hiking

You know those "I'd rather be" bumper stickers? I would have one for fishing. And for writing. And playing soccer. And cooking. And definitely hiking.

Good thing I don't have a car of my own, or it'd be covered up in "I'd rather be" stickers, and people would think me the most discontented person ever.

But I'm actually quite content, I'm just a doer. I love doing things. I'm not much for sitting and sipping and chatting. I'll be bringing out a deck of cards at the very least. And if it can be done outside, all the better!

So it stokes the campfires of my heart to see my son enjoying the great outdoors with his Boy Scout troop. When the troop found out that I was a camping and hiking enthusiast, and especially a backcountry cooking enthusiast, I was brought in to demonstrate some of my skills. Thanks to NOLS, I've had lots of experience with a camp stove, and so I chose to demonstrate backcountry cinnamon rolls and backcountry pizza. I used these recipes, which are virtually the same recipes we used in the Australian outback over 15 year ago:

The boys were gentlemanly and interested.

I wanted to impart my love of backcountry cooking to these boys because being in the great outdoors shouldn't mean compromising our God-given palates. We shouldn't have to subsist on overpriced jerky and granola bars until we finally get home to a hot meal. In fact, I told the boys, nothing lifts the morale of the group more, after a night of rain, a fall in the creek, and a busted tent pole (or other such events) than a hot, yeasty pizza oozing with melted mozzarella.

And nothing says "good morning" like hot cinnamon rolls with your pour-over coffee as the sun rises over the valley.

The food pics are from my demo at the scout meeting, but that last pic is from an actual scout campout - the trip they took last weekend. Here are some more pics from that trip:
That's Gene in blue.

We live in a fairly gorgeous part of the world.

Due to the nature of our lifestyle here, I haven't been able to impart my love of soccer to the kids (to the extent that it was offered to me, anyway), but to watch a child of mine lace up a pair of hiking boots and heft a pack first to his knee, then around to his back, well, it fills this trail junky's tin cup to overflowing.