Monday, November 28, 2016

Advent Begins

“Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts. Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time.”
— Fr. Edward Hayes
On Saturday, Julie and Tyler went to Queen of All Saints for an Advent wreath crafting.  The result is beautiful.  We lit the first candle this evening.  In the background is a 2016 Valrhona chocolate Advent calendar that we bought at Trader Joe's.  Tyler is very much looking forward to December 1st, when he can open the first flap.

"Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel 
Shall come to thee, O Israel."

Friday, November 25, 2016

I Am Finally Back

The past two and a half months have been very busy, plus I am dealing with health and motivation issues (more on this in a future blog post).  I am hoping to have a new post up by Monday!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Robert's Grand Adventure (Sad Goodbyes/Vegan Restaurants)

Last week we brought Robert to Portland, Oregon to begin the next phase of his education. Although he has a Bachelor's degree, and has been working in his field (Live Sound), he wants to further his education by attending a fast-track Engineering program in Portland, where he can have a second Bachelor's degree and a Master's in Engineering in three years. (Note: he had gotten some of the prerequisites out of the way earlier this year, making this program a possibility.)

We flew top Portland with him, and helped set up the apartment (Loads of IKEA - "some assembly required!" - ugh.  But it looks really nice, and is an economical way to start up an apartment from scratch).  The apartment is cozy and clean, very nice.  While there, we were so busy that the only amusement we really had was our fantastic dining out experiences, and fun beer and cider drinking.  Plus a visit to the famous Powell's Books - a city block building with multiple levels, and books, books, books...

The dining in Portland is amazing.  Robert and Sierra are strict vegans, and Portland is extremely vegan-friendly.  Every meal we had was wonderful; in particular, the lovely Italian meal we had at Portobello Vegan Trattoria.  Here's their dinner menu.


IKEA dining table and chairs, with cat

Robert and Sierra on the (you guessed it!) IKEA couch, 
cat in foreground

Loki, he loves carpet.  Freya was too shy to come out.

And then Robert, who has had long hair forever, surprised us by sending this photo.  
I had finally gotten used to the long hair.
Apparently after we left he went and got a haircut (they took off 12 inches).  
However, I think he looks exceedingly handsome!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Vacation Photos - Wrapping Up

And so our vacation came to a close.  I do hope we can return here someday.  It was a marvelous place to go.  Although I am not usually that big on travel, the rest of the family is, and I want to be able to make more memories like these.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Vacation Photos (Captiva Cruises)

We went on two cruises while we were in Captiva, on a boat called the Lady Chadwick.  We saw dolphins and other wildlife, and Tyler got to drive the boat.

Lady Chadwick

Flying Dolphin. 
Kristin captured dozens of dolphin photos for us.  
This one was the best.

The captain, teaching Ty the ropes.

All by himself -

Sierra and Robert - I love Sierra's impish smile in this one.

Julie and Ty

Paul, Ty, and me

Night falls on the water.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Vacation Photos (Julie on the Beach at Night)

This is an awesome photo of Julie, taken in the dark of night on the beach.  Jordan was able to adjust the camera to get this interesting shot in spite of the dark.

Julie dancing on the beach at night

Vacation Photos (The Beach)

We loved the beach.  Two of the days had enormous waves during the afternoon, which we jumped in for hours it seemed.  I had forgotten how much I loved that.  And Ty was so brave, jumping over and into the waves just like the rest of us.  These photos were taken on a day where we weren't chasing big waves, so we looked for shells and waded.

Beautiful beach

Paul and me

Ty Boy

A long-haired photo

Last bit of fun before sunset