Archive for the ‘Good Eats’ Category


Christmas Dreams…

December 24, 2005

The house smells of my freshly baked maple-pumpkin pie and hot shortbread cookies (thanks to Barbara Bush's secret recipe 😉 ), all the presents are neatly wrapped in sparkly paper, as is our front door (starry paper, of course), and my husband and mother are nestled snug in their beds.

Oh, did I mention the weather prediction: 80 degrees tomorrow!

It's definitely Christmas in Phoenix.

Merry Christmas to all 🙂


Love In Deed and Truth…

November 21, 2005

Mood: Blessed
Song: Insert a sappy love song here


Coming home after an exhasting day of explaining to seventh graders why they should focus on English rather than on the new X-box or Harry Potter

to find:

a freshly clean house and dog and my husband industriously cooking us a delicious dinner after making me my very favorite ice cream (pumpkin…mmm…). The hug I got when I came through the door was the highlight of my day :).


Manilla Envelopes

October 29, 2005

Mood: Full (Thanks to Cold Stone Pumpkin Ice Cream…YUM!)
Song: "Autumn" (I'll Treat You to Cold Stone Ice Cream If You Figure Out Where That Song is From…)

About the title:

1) what you use to send information to an absent friend in Manilla
2)items in my classroom which contain information about each of my students 🙂

I knew I went into teaching for the express purpose of corrupting…um, I mean molding…young minds. Last Thursday, my plotting reached new levels. It is still a thrill when students actually seek me out over the lunch hour just to say "hi." One in particular is a girl from my 6th hour named Rachel. During class later on, Rachel mentioned to me that she'd been inventing new words. Of course, I told her about my plan to write a dictionary; she enthusiastically agreed to participate, and we decided to make it a class project :). Here are a few entries:

"mediatious": somewhere between "beautatious" and "grotatious"

"camalious": extremely thirsty

"snail": true

You'll have to buy the dictionary to find out all the rest :).

In other news, it is finally, really, fall. It's snail. Even in Arizona, where seasons is part of a hotel chain's name only, the weather has a decided nip in the air. Pumpkin everything is available, and those aware of my pumpkin obsession know how thrilled I am. I can't wait 'til Monday, when I get to participate in the Fall Festival at my church. My mother and I have a balloon animal table (it's a little known talent of mine). Today, however, I was far too busy to practice constructing giraffes or parrots…

C.'s schedule has changed 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 :). Instead of working Friday-Monday (I work Monday-Friday) he'll begin working 24 hour shifts, giving us weekends together :). It was amazing to wake up this morning and KNOW that neither of us had to run off to work. Luxuriating in each other's company is a rare privilege, and it doesn't matter what we do as long as we do it together. Although it is easy to become sidetracked by little issues when we're apart too much, having time together reminds us of how precious our marriage is. Not that we had ALL day to just stay at home…

At 10:30 we were due at my grandparent's house in North Scottsdale to participate in a family discussion about long term solutions. My grandfather is fading away, and I weep to see this brilliant man reduced to a shell. He is undergoing radiation treatments for a slow-growing brain tumor, and my grandma is optimistic about his full recovery. While my God is the God of the miraculous, it looks as if his earthly life will be terminated all too soon. The true tragedy, of course, is that niether of them have faith. My grandmother is a mess, and it is hard for me not to become embittered when I consider that her life up to this point has been one of ease because of my grandfather's hard work; she is so resentful of what she percieves as his "stubbornness" to allow anyone to help him that she screams at him and even curses at him when she's fed up. The rest of us are filling in, of course, since my grandmother is so frail at this point it is physically impossible for her to assist him even in the simple tasks of getting out of bed or dressing. She's exhausted, but she doesn't want help either, as much as she needs it. I'm afraid that assisted living is the best option, but she's not at a point where she can even consider that. It's a bad situation all around, and I can do nothing but pray for wisdom.

What a day! Thank goodness I could go into my mental "Pumpkin" box for a while.

Yes, I realize this picture is a year late, but I couldn't resist…it's just TOO perfect 🙂


In Vino, Veritas?

October 28, 2004

Mood: Amused
Song: American Pie (explanation to follow)

Note to the wise: there are some things that DEFINITELY make it on Juliet's T.M.I. list (too much info can actually be a bad thing 🙂 ).

Picture this:

A long day already, I am ready to go home and watch the Donald's ridiculous coiffure flailing about as he mercilessly shouts out "you're FIRED!" *include visual of Trump's finger-pointing bravado here*

The last student, my 8:00, walks into the writing center. Though his name is Hamad, he prefers Omar, for reasons I can only speculate about. Being the professional I am, I say, "okay, why don't you have a seat and we can go ahead and get started." He complies, and then it happens…

I ask him how I can help him, and he tells me, "You know, I'm not really sure about this paper I wrote; It might not make very much sense, since I was completely drunk when I wrote it." ?!?!?!?!

Actually, knowing that interesting tidbit of information actually helped explain quite a bit about the paper :). Comma splices=slurred speech. Hmmmm… Maybe I should have had him explain "American Pie" to me. I never did really understand that song.

There are days when, Atlas-like, I carry the weight of useless regrets like so many sandbags. My beloved would agree with this, that I have to see the humor in life; otherwise, it would be unbearable. I thank our Lord that he gives strength when our human bodies are about to snap. It's pretty pathetic when you look forward to student teaching because your life is actually going to ease up some. This morning I could bearly force my eyes to open-they felt like they had literally been stapled shut. Business aside, however, I have never been as fulfilled as I am right now. I am so blessed, being able to breathe the *only slightly polluted* air, fill my stomach whenever I want (although it is NOT getting Ben and Jerry's Brownie Batter OR Primary Berry Graham, no matter how much it is pleading), and know the fulfillment of loving and being loved in return.

Life moves on, season to season, a perfect mixture of change (THIS year) and stability (another spring), and it is as if I have moved into the primeval, archetypical springtime of life at last.


Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Ravioli, Pumpkin Muffins, and Pumpkin ICE CREAM!!!!

October 16, 2004

Mood: Content

Song: "On Fire"-Switchfoot.

So I'm at work on a Saturday-Your point is??? 🙂

Here's where I'm at emotionally right now: It's not always a very pretty place but then again…





so often the beauty in this life

cannot be observed with the naked eye

because our sight organs simply aren't strong

enough. "I have learned", the Apostle Paul tells us,

"in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to

be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every

circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hung-

er, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who streng-

thens me" (Philipians 4:11-13, NESV). I have to admit-that verse used

to irritate me greatly when I was a child. I remember Sunday mornings

when all of us children would sing the-I'm sorry to confess it-annoying

song set to those words, and to this day I have trouble getting the

tune out of my mind. As I become a chronological adult, I have

to admit that I'm still no closer to discovering Paul's secret.

It seems at times, as Dickens's Ebeneezer Scrooge says

so eloquently, that the littlest things can affect us-

getting a *light* pumpkin spice Frap at Star-

bucks or reading your fiancee's blog to

discover that he misses you tons

Those are the things that can turn a day compeltely around; they are reminders of how very much we have to be grateful for. I'm enjoying the cooler weather (90 degrees is STILL much better than 110-almost sweter weather for us Phonecians). I love Charles; watching him grow in so many ways has been one of the most amazing experiences and I can't wait to become his wife. I love my family, and even though we know exactly how to push each other's buttons, God has blessed me with thier support. Taking small steps in the right direction (not reacting in anger when someone hurts me, choosing a cup of grapes instead of the Hob Nobs I'd MUCH rather have, not stressing about completing my assignments perfectly…), I will learn to eagerly anticipate finding out where God will lead me and discovering the person he is slowly shaping me into. That said, I will return to my million-item to do list :). Did I mention that, even though I missed out on Sonic Peach Slushes this year, I'm really glad it's October so I can fill up on all the pumpkiny items my heart desires?