Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I tried making it once, and failed miserably.  It was Kefir--Gross. 

Then I tried again, and I let it incubate just a little bit longer.  I kept a closer eye on my water temperature.  And ultimately, God was gracious.


Luscious, Creamy, Delectable...


for wonderful recipes for yogurt and wise living, check out 
More With Less, The Mennonite cookbook

So Fall Doesn't Really Happen Here...

But this does...and it is the delight of my heart each year!  It changes from flaming, brilliant letter, to bright and glorious pink!  And all its leaves cry "Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God of Hosts!"  So no, our leaves don't turn in typical maple tree fashion red and gold and the air still isn't crisp, but this little tree in our backyard makes it all seem a little less painful that Florida doesn't really have a Fall.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Girly Girl...

Annie was so into Miss Kara's pink, shiny purse and louis vuitton  umbrella...

The Art Festival: Marking Milestones in our Lives

For our little family of three, the Winter Park Art Festival marks a number of milestones. We remember life's precious moments, shall we say, by Art Festivals. There are two Art Festivals each year: one in the Spring and one in the Autumn, which is funny, because we don't really have Autumn here. These two festivals are technically different, but really, they're exactly the same.

In the Spring of 2007, we went to the Art Festival as a couple. We rode on Jonathan's motorcycle. We were young and fit with nary a care in the world. A week later we found out we were pregnant with the squiff. Motorcycle riding was a thing of the past for mommy.

In the Fall of 2007, 7 months pregnant and waddling about in my last trimester, we went to the Art Festival with our good friends, the Garmanys. Ash was 8 months pregnant at the time (although she looked a LOT smaller than I, as everyone pointed out, often...nice.) We sweated our way through the art festival for about 30 minutes before decided, "Not worth it, time to go home." A month or two later, our babes were born.

In the Spring of 2008, again we attended the Art Festival, with new baby in tow. We were again fearless, with a few more cares, but trying to pretend that parenthood had changed nothing and that of course we bring our new baby to the Art Festival, like, no big deal. Have you ever tried breast feeding on a park bench in front of thousands of people and their dogs!? Awkward.

In the Fall of 2008 (today!) We went to the art festival...twice. We met up with friends. We strolled. We looked at art. We had a blast. Annie was a total charmer. She drew crowds, I tell you. We spent $13 on 1 bottle of water, 1 gyro and 1 arctic ice (all of which we split). We feel like poor stewards. Hungry poor stewards. But it was still awesome. Because in a weird way, it's all clicked. Life is not "easy" per se, but it has clicked. And we love it now more than we ever could have imagined in the carefree spring of 07.

Thanks God, for so many gifts, blessings, and good things poured out on us, the undeserving recipients of Your grace.

Like Mother Like Daughter

A book in one hand, a bottle of homemade cleaning solution in the other.  I found her this way, toddling toward me with her treasures.  Young and idealistic, ready to change the world, or at least clean it.  Could a mother be more proud!? (Especially this one.) 
I think life is complete now. 

The Most Wonderful Time of the [Day]

Our very favorite time of the day, the time we wait all day to meet with smiling faces, open arms and warm hearts* is the time when daddy comes home! Each day we anticipate, we listen, we breathlessly await that spectacular sound, exhausts roaring over the hum of the nearby highway to let us know that Daddy has turned onto Eli St. and he's rounding the bend, speeding down the street on his (HOTTT) motorcycle to see us! It's only moments, seconds, but it feels like eternity. This warm October afternoon, Annie and I waited outside with our "Welcome Home" signs and camera to capture this sacred time of day.
What bliss.
*cheesy, I know...if you're prone to nausea at the least sentiment, this post is not for you
Welcome Home!!

"Hurry home dad! I can't hold off eating this paper much longer...It's just so tempting"

Mom and Squiff

Daddy and His Girl

Eat With Both Hands!

In addition to walking, and talking, the squiff is fully feeding herself. This has been a trend, on and off, for the past few weeks, but now Annie Pie acts almost incensed if you try to pop food in her mouth. She's quite insistent on feeding herself, thank you very much; which makes for rather a messy meal time. She pincer grabs, and if she's super dexterous that day, she pops the finger food in her mouth. If not, she balls it up in her fist and sort of shoves her whole hand in her mouth, opens it, gags lightly (I think her fingers go too far down...), then pulls her hand out and leaves food in mouth. Pretty amazing, if you ask her doting parents. It is so exciting to watch my baby girl grow more and more independent each day.
(Read: Exciting and PAINFUL...but exciting.)
Here, Annie is big-girl-feeding herself bananas, whole wheat toast and maybe some grapes...not sure. Food is harder to identify the smaller it gets.

Annie's Current Vocabulary:
Dah: dog (or sometimes squirrels, cats, quadruped, etc...)
da-ohl: doll
dah dah dah dah dah: Dad
MaMaMaMa: Mom
Ba: Bottle
Ba: Ball
BaBaBwah: Bye Bye
Bay-Or: Bear (I kid you not)
Book: Book
Ts: Tree
And in response to "Who Made You?": God*
*but sometimes she answers Dah, or Bay-Or we're not sure how well she grasps transcendent beings...

fyi: Annie's language, in addition to being made up of only a few sounds, is also a tonal chinese. So it's really more complex than it seems. of course.

Like Any Woman...

...Annie and her mother, both, share a natural, grounded, rational fear of motorcycles.  Of course, this doesn't mean we don't enjoy riding them (I enjoy it at present, Annie will someday), and as follows, we support daddy riding his motorcycle (on which he looks oh-so-HOTTTT).  However, I find it hilarious and telling that this was Annie's first reaction to being on a motorcycle: