Through Every Season

Month: April 2012

Coleman Funnies

My kids say the funniest things and..
I am always wanting to write them somewhere…

I bad about losing the ones I scribble down.
If I post them on FB, they may never speak to me again..
They never read my blog so.. I am starting a new post label.

Sunday morning I woke Judi up an hour before time
to leave for church to give her time to shower if she needed to.  
She is not at all a morning person and was not too happy with me.  
She wants me to wait to wake her until 15 min. before time to go.
She’s told me this before.. but I just didn’t get it.  I love mornings.

To get her point across this time she said emphatically,
 “I value sleep more than I value beauty.”
I think I got it.

Today we were talking about possibly going to
Fiesta Texas this summer and Judi asked, 
“Is ‘fiesta’ a Mexican or American word?”  
I laughed.

In her defense, she said, “Well, I’ve been studying

Spanish for so long now that I don’t know which is which.”
Spanish is her favorite subject.
I am so thankful for the good medicine of 
laughter my family shares with me each day.
I hope you’ll take time to treasure those moments with your family, too.

Making Meal Planning and Preparing Easy

Cooking has never come naturally to me.
So I’ve been working on making 
cooking and shopping as easy as possible. 
I’ve been finding recipes on line and 
printing them on 4×6 cards for a while now.
I like using this protective photo magnet sleeve to hang 
them on my oven vent while cooking… easy and accessible.
I list the ingredients on the left with what to do with each one on the right.
Once abbreviated, most recipes will fit on the front of a 4×6 card.
Longer recipes are usually too complicated for me.
I write notes right on the card while using it; making it easy 
to adjust the recipe to our taste and reprint it on a new card.
This one called for too much red pepper.
I found this mini planter at Michaels to hold my 4×6 recipe collection.
If at least three of my four kids like a recipe, 
I give it a star for each and it goes into my box.  
If fewer than three want me to ever make it again,
it goes into the trash.. unless I really like it.
A few months ago I made this menu planner out of a 
14.5″ x 24″ frame that I found on sale for $10 at Michaels..
I used scrapbook paper in my favorite colors to define each section.
There’s space for six 4×6 recipe cards in the top half. 
Keeping these visible helps keep me inspired.
I’d seen many ideas on how to hang recipe cards;
on a string with clothes pins, in pockets, on cork board…
I like magnets and decided to attach 
washers to the glass to attract the magnets.
Learn from my mistake and don’t use hot glue ..
Many burnt fingers later and.. it peels right off the glass.
Double stick tape does the trick.
I decided week day magnets would be a set-up for failure,
and made vegetable themed bottle cap magnets instead.
The bottom half of the frame holds a list of 
 easy meals that I made years ago to help me stay
out of the rut of making the same thing every week
And this shopping list..
I had hoped framing these would inspire the kids to 
mark their wish lists on it..  so far they haven’t. 
Occasionally they’ll call out, “Mom we’re out of ____”
And I’ll tell them to add it to the “list”.
Dry erase marker wipes right off the glass.
On “Shopping Day”, I print out a new shopping list,
and one or two new recipes from my “Recipes to Try” computer file.
Then I mark my list as I go through my recipes, 
check my menu planner/list, fridge, and cupbords.
It’s working pretty well.  We’ve tried a bunch more new recipes
since making the menu board.  Even Judi has gotten on line
and helped me find new recipes to try.

D.C. Birthday Trip: The National Zoo and Old Town

After breakfast at Chick-fil-a in Crystal City, 
we road the metro to the National Zoo station.  
 We were so glad that these escalators were working.. 
after riding this one up 3 stories..there was another one story 
escalator to ride before we reached street level.
 Hilton on the hill.
 Mega crossing at the zoo entrance.
We arrived early and went to see the pandas first thing.
This one was still sleeping and rolled over 
and covered it’s ears when the loud kids showed up. 
 This one was out for it’s daily jog.. 
 Down the hill and 
back up and around again and again.. it’s behind
waggled back and forth like a duck.  So cute. 
We were also just in time to see the Gorillas 
come out for their morning hide and seek game.
The zoo keepers hide their food and 
 they rush out to find it before the others do.
 This one chased down a younger faster one that found the one he wanted.
 The big one above found three balls full and ate every last drop..
ignoring the little one above that was asking, “What about me?”
The sun felt good.
After lunch in China Town we went to 
Old Town Alexandria. 
Saw the Potomac River and
Christ Church, where George Washington 
and Robert E. Lee worshipped.
And ate BBQ at King Street Blues
A nice ending to our D.C. trip.

D.C. Birthday Trip: American Art and Portrait Gallery

I spent my afternoon at the American Art and Portrait Gallery.  
I enjoyed it far more than I expected.  I thought I might see the whole thing
in a little over an hour.. but spent hours and hours there and arrived
 just in time to meet Mike at Fuddruckers for dinner down the street. 
 I actually came up out of the wrong end of the metro.
And was surprise to find myself here.
Happy to see our meeting place.
All the China Town signs are in English and Chinese. 
 It wasn’t far to the gallery.  
The building started out as the U.S. Patent Office in 1836.
They’ve done a beautiful job renovating it.
It has this beautiful enclosed courtyard where you can eat
lunch, hang out and listen to a live band playing.
Can you see the wave in the glass ceiling?
This Cadillac weather vain was my favorite in the Folk Art exhibit.
I expected the museum to showcase American artist and their art.. 
which it did.. but with an emphasis on famous Americans.  
 A portrait of Pocahontas.
 Benjamin Franklin
 Loved this little painting
 Thomas Edison
See the writing to the left of the painting?
Each painting of a famous American had a short biography next to it.
 Ronald Reagon 
 Will Rogers
 Love the bears.
Angel 1887 by Abbott Handerson Thayer from Boston.
 Elizabeth Winthrop Chanler
by John Singer Sargent  
 Cafe’ at Biskra, Algeria
by Frederick Arthur Bridgman
born in Tuskegee, AL in 1847 
 I loved this painting.. the little boy is reading the 
Bible to his mother, who has her hands folded in prayer.
Sunday Morning 1877
by Thomas Waterman Wood from VT.
I like his other paintings too.. Google him.
 Loved the movement in this sculpture.
 George W. Bush
Laura Bush – I thought if someone were to paint 
a portrait of me.. I’d like to look like this.
 Loved this photo of Orson Welles
by Harry Warnecke – The first photographer to use
color photographs.. He worked hard to convince
the New York Daily News that it was worth the
expense to publish a color photo once a week
in their Sunday News supplement.
Lucile Ball
photo also by Harry Warnecke
 Katharine Hepburn
Love this pose, too. 
Then on the 4th floor there was even more art to see.. 
in the Lunder Conservation Center.
These three floors make up the fourth floor.. instead of rooms 
of art they contain shelves and cases and drawers of art.. 
with just enough room to walk between and view the collection. 
It’s like the attic of the museum.  So wish I could see the NGA’s attic..
Then on one end there is Conservation Center.. 
Where you can walk down and watch their conservationist at work.
They have a room for everything from the frames (above) 
to paintings and sculptures.  Each room has a touch screen video 
player in front that explains how they do the restorations in that room 
and shows examples of wonderful before and afters.
What a fun job.

D.C. Birthday Trip: Botanical Gardens & American Indian Museum

Monday I had all to myself to go anywhere 
the metro and my feet would take me.  
After visiting the NGA a second time I went to the Botanical Gardens.
 I started at the side gate.  Enjoyed the azaleas.
 Love the color contrast.
View from the front.
Tulips for Mom.
Inside there was a orchard exhibit.
 This one’s named for Princess Diana
 Love the purple.
 And wow!
Next I went to the National American Indian Museum.
 The building was beautiful.
 They do the coolest things with beads.
 It took a family 9000 cover this VW Bug with beads.
The horse exhibit upstairs was my favorite.
 A chief.
Horse dancing sticks. 
 A horse mask..
And on another floor this amazing sculpture.
It was made to celebrate the friendship between 
the Oneida people and George Washington (the United States).

D.C. Birthday Trip: Natural History Museum and Library of Congress

On Monday, my good friend, Lee Ann and her family met me at the 
Natural Museum of History. 🙂  While Chuck took their precious girl to see 
the butterflies, Lee Ann and I went up to see the precious stones. 
I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.  Their collection was 
impressive and I wished that Josh could have been there.  
You could probably spend half a day just looking at their rocks.
The Hope Diamond was the star of the show.
It’s blue color surprised me. 
 A sapphire and diamond necklace by Harry Winston – wow!
 A diamond tiara and necklace
 that Napoleon had made for Marie Louise.
In this room, the stones were divided up by mineral; some left embedded 
in the rock they were found in and some made into jewelry.. 
They showed how different impurities give the stones their color.
Did you know that rubies and sapphires are made up of the 
same mineral they just have different impurities in them?
And if they didn’t have any impurities they’d be clear?
All these museums have web sites where 
you can see much of their collections.
After lunch, we walked back up Capital Hill to the Library of Congress.
I thought I’d get to roam among the books.. but discovered
that only professional researchers are allowed in that part
of the library..  The part we did see was so beautiful that it was 
well worth the trip.  The hall is a work of art itself.

They have Thomas Jefferson’s Library on display.

Thomas Jefferson sold his collection of over 6,000 books 
to congress after the British burned their first collection.
Most of his collection also burned in a second fire.. 
but his detailed log of books didn’t.  So the library is 
working on collecting copies of his original books.

D.C. Birthday Trip: Sunday Afternoon

After visiting the NGA, we walked up to see
if the Library of Congress was open.
 When they say “up” on Capital Hill they mean up.
It’s quite a hill.  Cherry blossoms everywhere.
A red bud tree and through the trees you can 
just make out the Capital building.
 We joined a group that was praying in 
front of the Supreme Court for the nation.
Quiet a different group from the day before.
The following day was the beginning of
the Supreme Court’s review of Obamacare.
In the few minutes we were there, they prayed for Congress.
The Library is next door to the Supreme Court.  It was closed.
We had a little time left, so we went back to the American History Museum.. 
the President’s exhibit had been so crowed the day before we missed it.
Martha Washington’s dress.
We learned that not every First Lady was married to the President.
Some Presidents weren’t married or their wife
didn’t want to be the First Lady.. so they asked someone
else in their family to play host in the White House.
A couple were as young as 21 years old.
We found some of Mike’s work in this display case;
President Clinton’s Budget.  đź™‚

D.C. Birthday Trip: National Gallery of Art

My favorite place to visit in D.C. is the National Gallery of Art.  It amazes me that they have all that amazing art on display free for anyone to come see. 
I actually got to go twice this trip.  Mike and I went together on Sunday  
when it was pretty busy with all the Cherry Blossoms visitors.  
Then first thing Tuesday morning, I went again by myself when it was quiet.  
I actually had a few of the rooms all to myself for a couple of minutes.  
It was so quite that I could hear my own foot steps on the wood floors and 
thought how cool it’d be to have my own house full of beautiful art like that.
There were a couple of monks with a tour group there.
 The younger of the two was walking around with the widest of eyes.
At first I thought that he must have been amazed at the beauty of the art.
But later, in a different room, I realized why his eyes were so wide 
when after the older monk moved into the next room he took 
a quick picture of a large painting of a naked lady.
He didn’t even glance at the smaller painting of 
the nativity next to it that I was walking over to see. 🙂
I think he was amazed that men and women could look at 
large paintings of naked women together in public and call it art.
Although my eyes weren’t as wide as his, 
I am not sure it should be called art either.
I try to look past those paintings.
The monks wore a gray robes which made me curious 
about what kind of monks they could be since
  all of the monks I’ve seen wear bright orange robes 
like the Buddhist monks we saw in Thailand.
I googled them and found an article about them 
(the exact two monks from the Museum).
They are Korean monks who are visiting the U.S. as part of their 
English Language and Buddhism in the Western World studies 
at a South Korean university.
The younger one, “Great Wisdom,” is 21.
The older one, “Blue River”, is my age.
I hope they find Jesus in their quest for wisdom and peace.
The Smithsonian Castle.
Some of my favorite paintings from the NGA:
Two by Winslow Homer

 The Dinner Horn
Sparrow Hall 
 Still Life of Flowers by Dietrich
 The Cottage Dooryard by Adriaen Van Ostade
 Workmen before an Inn by Isaac Van Ostade (brother of above)
 A terrible “I was here” picture… 
A Lady Writing by Vermeer.
And two by Rembrandt – amazing
 Man in Oriental Costume
 The Apostle Paul
 The Adoration of the Shepherds by Giorgione
(the painting next to the one “Great Wisdom” liked)
A statue of David as a boy.
 Ginevra de’ Benci 
by Leonardo da Vinci
Did you know he left his finger print in the center of the painting?
He lived from 1452-1519
Can you imagine seeing art that old and older??
 The Alba Madonna by Raphael
And the last two by Murillo – 
 Return of the Prodigal Son
Two Women at a Window
More art galleries to come..

D.C. Birthday Trip: Cherry Trees

 After walking through the mall, we walked by the Washington Monument.
Joel asked if we saw the crack in it from the earth quake.
We forgot to look. :-/
 We tried this shot several times.. ha. 
Its fun taking “We were here.” photos even when you blink.
We were just a couple of days late for the height of the cherry blossoms.  

The rain and the cool breeze made it snow blossoms down on us.  

 It felt surreal to walk through so many pink blossoms; and baffled me how 
the atheists could have their rally at a time when God was so showing off. 
I got a new pin for my favorite Mickey Mouse back pack.
 I am not sure why they chose a beaver to hold the 
“Please, don’t pick the blossoms” sign.
 A nice guy offered to take our picture.
I think he was there just hanging out offering to take anyone’s picture.
Doesn’t that sound like a fun way to spend an afternoon?
At the end of our cherry tree walk we stumbled across the.. 
They had numbered signs for each tulip patch that matched up with a guide. 
We didn’t find where they kept the guides.
I think it would be easier and save trees if they just 
put the names on the signs instead of numbers. 
The tulips were beautiful even without their names.

D.C. Birthday Trip: Crystal City and The American History Museum

For Mike’s Birthday, I got to go with him on a week long trip to DC.  We had a wonderful time.  I love visiting there.  There is so much to see and do.  I think I walked 100 miles.  Loved the freedom of riding the metro around to wherever I wanted to go while Mike was in conference three of the days.  And the icing on the cake: I got to see my good friend, Lee Ann, and her family. 
We stayed in Crystal City in one of several hotels just a couple of blocks from the metro.  The metro is key.  Also near the Crystal City metro…
This gorgeous water park.
 And a jogging trail that goes all the way to the Reagan Nation Airport. 
 Beautiful spring flowers.
And one of Mike’s favorite places to eat.  Yum!
After lunch, we hopped on the metro and road into DC.  
It was raining so we made a beeline for the American History Museum.
 As did a bunch of other people.. we had to wait in line in the rain to get in.
 One of the coolest things we saw there was a piece of the Berlin wall.
Abe’s Hat  
 The Gunboat Philadelphia from the Revolutionary War. 
See the hole at the bottom left?
The ship was under water for 159 years.
It’s hard to describe how incredible it was to stand next to it.
It was almost like if you stepped into it you’d be stepping in to history.
And for the grand finale we got to see the original Star Spangled Banner.
The actual flag from the song.  We weren’t allowed to photograph it.. 
but it looked pretty much like the photo above.. just much larger.
Just out side the museum there was this rally going on in the Mall.
We saw some Jesus Saves signs and thought we’d go check it out. 
 It was pretty intense.  This small group of less than 100 people 
were arguing that there is a God..and His name is Jesus 
at the first national atheist rally called “The Reason Rally.”
I am sure it’s name “The Reason” was purposly stolen from Christians’
attempt to protect Christmas: “Jesus is the reason for the season.”
They used it in contrast to stand for: 
“There is no Jesus; trust in science and reason.”
What’s really sad is that the science and reason they are 
choosing to believe in is false.. and wide spread by our government.. 
in our schools.. and true science and reason are on their Creator’s side.
In reality, they are asking for the separation of “Truth and State.”
As we walked through the crowd of about 10,000 to the other side of the mall,
we mostly felt compassion for them.  Most were really hurting.  The reason
they decided not to believe in God was because they felt like 
He or the Church had failed them.  
A few that we walked by were not atheist.. 
one girl stood out.. she didn’t know what to believe.  
She was there with a very angry boy friend.  
Most were very young like they were.
Others were obviously under Satin’s rule.  I wondered if they 
could see I was a Christian as plainly as I could see who they were. 
Judi said, “It must have been scary.”  And it was a little..
On the other side Mike told me that he’d been praying in the Spirit 
all the way through.  I laughed a little.. because so had I, 
but only a little because I was so thankful that we had that gift..
of knowing and experiencing the One True God.
I wished I could reach out and touch each one and have the 
power of God touch them the way He has touched me 
so they’d know He is real and loves them intensely. 
 We heard the main speaker speak as we were walking through.
He was sharing his testimony; telling how after he had children he decided 
to try the church of the “kinder God of the evangelicals.”  The crowd laughed.
“I asked Jesus in my heart many times,” he said.  But that he had 
many questions.. that he asked his Christian friends and pastor.
He felt like he lived as a Christian by day and a sceptic by night. 
Then when the twin towers fell, he decided that there couldn’t be a God.
Their laughter, cheers, sadness and anger all tell me that 
the church in America as a whole is not the bride God created us to be.  
We are meant to really know God, to walk in His fullness, 
in His wisdom, in His love, in His power, with signs following, 
 to share the Gospel of Grace of Love of Forgiveness of Healing
with the broken, hurting world around us.
My prayer lately has been “Lord show me your glory, so that I may 
behold it and be transformed by your Holy Spirit into your likeness.”

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”  2 Corintians 3:18


P.S. After finishing this post, I went to run errands. Halfway to the store, 
I realized that I hadn’t grieved for the mass of people there. 
I almost pulled over to weep. 
Walking through that crowd had a profound effect on me. 

God has been doing a great work in how I see others. 
Showing me how inherently flawed and broken I am. 
We are all in need of the Savior – daily.

All His judgement was poured out on Jesus at the cross.
When we receive the gift of His sacrifice, we are set free.

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