Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
I haven’t blogged for awhile. It seems that life has been going by very fast. I have had too many marvelous things happening all at once. I have also been back at school. This has created another outlet for my writing cravings. It left blogging low on the priority list. Then again… So many marvelous things have been happening. I need to get things journaled before I forget the details.
The first important thing I want to remember happened in August. It had been months since my last visit to Recife to see my fiancée Cynthia. We felt that we might get our appointment to the embassy in Rio for the fiancée visa interview in November. We wanted a trip in-between because it was so difficult to be away from each other. We planned a great trip. A few days in Recife and a few days in our favorite beach town Porto de Galinhas.
In Recife we spent effort trying to find the perfect foto for our wedding announcements.
(another not so serious attempt)
(a view at sunset)
We have been married now for 4 months. Its a true joy to look back at what we wanted to be our wedding announcement fotos.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
One Friday afternoon after work I packed the kids into the car and we drove off into the desert. We love camping. I grew up in Western Washington. I don’t remember many camping trips in Washington when there wasn’t rain. Camping in Arizona is a different story.
It was late afternoon when we arrived. It was still well over 100 degrees. There was one thing that would make it so that I would enjoy myself no matter how hot it got. I got an e-mail from the Department of Homeland Security on our way out of town. The e-mail said that the Department of Homeland Security approved our application for a fiancé visa and they were going to send it to the National Visa Center for further processing. YAY!
We choose a campground that was away from the National Park facilities. We setup the camp. It was Kohler’s job to take fotos as we pitched the tent.
One good thing about the heat was that it appeared that we were the only ones brave enough or stupid enough to be out there camping. We had the campsite all to ourselves. Kohler took full advantage of this. He was as loud as he could possibly be.
We went on a hike. It was only supposed to be a couple of miles so I wore my Brazilian flip-flops. There was a dried up cactus on the ground. I kicked it. The spikes went all the way through my flip-flops. I spent the rest of the night pulling spikes out of my foot and my flip-flop.
The cactus were really sharp as Dylan demonstrated for us.
It was still fun though. There was an old abandoned ranch-house and coral. It was great to explore.
The kids freaked themselves out a little bit with ghosts and spiders and snakes. I’m pretty certain we did not see any of those things.
We hurried back to the campsite and I started dinner. There are few things that taste as good as meat cooked over hardwood charcoal.
Dinner was good. The sunset was awe inspiring. The kids settled in to their tent. We played a game together. Dylan played us a part of a song from his Zune, and we guessed the name. I did okay, even with the new stuff.
Every once in awhile I would sneak away to take fotos.
The next day we explored Tombstone, AZ. The kids really enjoyed it. That night we watched the movie. Kohler couldn’t believe that we were just there! It was exciting for him.
It was a great weekend spent with the kids. I loved the fotos I got. I loved the games that we played and the memories that we made. The best part was that we were one step closer to getting our visa.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
In our family Kohler has the unique distinction of having a birthday in the middle of summer vacation, right before the 4th of July Holiday. For the past two years I have taken the kids to the national park of Kohler’s choice as part of his Birthday present. Last year we went to Mt. Rushmore. This year Kohler decided to go to the Grand Canyon.
The canyon is amazing. As you walk up to the edge you suddenly see how gianormous the canyon is. You suddenly feel small and insignificant. There are places that you can stand at the edge of this enormous canyon where you can see the curvature of the Earth. You get an impression of just how big the world is. It is almost unfathomable.
At first you do not feel safe standing at the edge. In many places the drop to the next step is not as far as it appears when you are further from the edge. Dylan and Kohler saw this right away. Sierra did not get close enough to the edge to see this until later. She could not understand why Dylan and Kohler were jumping around all over the place so close to the edge. It took her hours to get enough courage to walk up and peek over. Even when the drop is not so far you still get the feeling of vertigo when you look up and out over the expansive canyon.
Sunset was the greatest. The canyon lit with a dizzying array of colors, tints, and hues. We were rained on. We were haled on. It was well worth the wait.
Kohler did NOT like it when the rain made it so his hair lost it’s fluff.
Sunset was when Sierra finally got brave enough to go to the edge.
I LOVE the colors that come out at sunset. Skin tones are much more rich.
Even I looked okay with the canyon behind me.
Bothers and sister goofed off together as always
The park's architecture was impressive.
Thanks Kohler! It was another fantastic summer vacation.
Hmmmm. Where will you choose next year?
Monday, October 19, 2009
I love to visit Alto do Mandu. This is the area where my fiancé lives.
Alto do Mandu is built on a hill and from this view you can acres of palm trees and heavens of blue skies with fluffy clouds. I love these steps that bring you right up to the house that my fiancé lives in. The walls are covered in moss alive with scurries of geckos. Sunsets from this vantage are breathtaking.
Alto do Mandu may not be the most wealthy neighborhood in Recife but it’s beauty is priceless.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Lately I’ve been paying Sierra to scan old fotos of my mission etc…
Some of the fotos that really brought back a bunch of memories were from my first area in HuaLien County. We went to the same place for breakfast every morning. It was my first exposure to Chinese breakfasts. I had never considered Chinese food for breakfast before, and I was reluctant to try it my first morning in Taiwan. It was AMAZING! One of the things I liked most mornings were DanBing and DoJiang cold. Dan Bing translates as egg cookie. DoJiang is simply soymilk. I missed soymilk so much when I got back to the United States that I made it myself from scratch several times. I’m so grateful that I can walk into any grocery store now and find it. The plain stuff is almost the same as what we drank in Taiwan.
Since scanning those fotos I have been craving DanBings. To my surprise my kids love them. Kohler was afraid to try them last weekend. Today he asked for them! I was happy to oblige his wish this morning.
Here is how I made them.
#1 You start with green onions and you chop them up finely.
#2 You beat 2 eggs. I use egg beaters. They are better for you and you don’t have to beat them. Then stir in the chopped onions. To make it authentic add some white pepper. (some people don’t like white pepper. I LOVE IT!)
#3 I use two frying pans this makes it much easier. Heat them both up on the stove with a little oil or a spray of PAM. You can use spring roll wraps or the raw tortillas from Costco. Lightly fry one side of the wrap.
#4 In the other pan pour the egg-onion mixture.
#5 Place the wrap fried side down on top of the cooking egg mixture.
#6 When the egg starts to firm up flip both the egg and the wrap into the other pan.
#7 When the wrap starts to brown fold it in thirds.
#8 Cut it into bite sized strips.
#9 Dress it with chili paste and soy sauce.
#10 Finally watch your kids gobble them up. Sorry Kohl, I should have taken another foto, your eyes are a little funny in this foto. But you CAN tell that you enjoy it.
Friday, April 10, 2009
A few of the days that I was in Brazil in February Cynthia had to work. This was a good opportunity to work on my Portuguese with these two ladies, Cynthia’s Mom, and Grandma.
They are two of the most fun ladies I know. This day I talked them into going for a walk with me around Cynthia’s neighborhood, Alto do Mandu. This is a beautiful part of the city. The neighborhood is built on a pretty tall hill that Cynthia’s family lives at the top of. The family has lived there for generations and many of her cousins live close by. Evenings spent in Alto do Mandu are often enjoyed out side talking to the neighbors. It is a very fun place to live.
Mom and Grandma love to laugh. My Portuguese is not very good at all but they are still a joy to be around. They truly know how to have a good time. They KNOW how to have joy.
We walked down the hill, around the hill and then back up the hill on the other side.
We only stopped for a rest once. That break was filled with laughter also.
When we got back Mom and Grandma waived their arms in the air and yelled: ‘Chegamos, chegamos!’ ‘We’re back, We’re back!’
This was another treasured memory from my trip to Brazil.