Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Pippen unexpectedly passed away sometime during the day yesterday. There was no warning: he was his happy, squeaky self on Tuesday. He was a few months shy of his fourth birthday and has been with us since right after Bill and I were married. Pippen will always be remembered as my sweet little piggy, who loved treats and to snuggle with me on the couch. His passing leaves me with an emptiness and a sadness that will not quickly fade.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
I had lost hope that Buttercup and Pippen were going to have a fruitful marriage and produce little piggy babies. They have been together since October, and I thought we would be expecting babies next week. But Buttercup has not been very friendly with Pippen, nor has she been showing signs of being pregnant.
Until now! Perhaps there is hope....
This weekend I let them out for a romp, and was playing with them and noticed that Buttercup was getting slightly plumper. Is she just getting fat, or might there be some babies on the way? Also, I held her for a good fifteen minutes, which is unusual for her. She is very squirmy and ticklish and can last about five minutes at the max. Maybe motherhood is making her more docile? Well, it is too soon to tell. It could be that she is getting fatter just because she is getting older, or maybe little guinea babies are on their way. I will keep a close watch, that is for sure. Maybe we will have a Valentine's Day present instead of a Christmas Day one..
Monday, December 19, 2005
This weekend we finished our Christmas shopping and finally bit the bullet and got new tires for the car. Who knew that some pieces of rubber would be so expensive! I enjoyed wrapping all the presents on Saturday afternoon as Bill was writing a paper. I went through two and a half CD's worth of Christmas music to get them finished. Church was very festive on Sunday, it is all decorated, with not one but two trees in the lobby, candles and poinsettias around the sanctuary, and stars hanging behind the pulpit. We sang Christmas carol after Christmas carol and then Lon's sermon was on the gift of Christ. It was a sermon that was definitely aimed at the visitors and the unsaved, but it is a very good reminder to everyone else about what is important to focus on especially this busy time of year.
One thing I feel guilty about is that I didn't do any Christmas cards this year! It was one thing that just fell through the cracks with all that is going on in our lives. At least I was still able to do cookies and presents and decorating.
Now we are just counting the days until we can travel to Connecticut for Christmas in New England. Three more days of work (that's it for the year!). Pray the weather cooperates for the drive up there and back!
Monday, December 05, 2005
Bill and I had the priviledge to attend an advanced screening of the Chronicles of Narnia movie that is opening this Friday. Now I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but I am posting about it because you have to go see it! They were faithful to the story, and visually this movie is stunning. All the characters are very much as you would envision them from reading the books. Now make sure you all go out to see it and help them have a great opening weekend!
My favorite characters from the book always were Mr. Tumnus and Lucy. The two actors who played them in the movie version did such a great job!
The movie version of the White Witch actually improved on my idea of her from the book. She is so evil: beautiful and terrible.
Okay, I am now ready to go see the movie again.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Ahh, the holidays are now in full swing. Stress is in the air! You can even sense it in the way people drive around here, even ruder than normal. I wish that I had more time to slow down and savor all the sounds, sights, and smells of the season. We are half done with Christmas shopping, and we start the rounds of Christmas parties this weekend.
The wonder of the season has been added to by an exciting announcement--my dear friend Laura is engaged!
She has asked me to serve as her matron of honor--I am so thrilled to be a part of this happy event in her life. I love all the details of weddings; when mine was over, I missed all the planning, and now I get to experience it from another perspective. Time to study up on all my jobs as MOH--and think of themes for a bridal shower!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
A new little puppy joins the family. While I do think Mom and Dad are crazy for wanting to have three dogs, she does look awfully cute and cuddly. I wish that we could meet her before Christmas--I hope she doesn't grow too much before then!
Having always had dogs around while growing up, it has been a lonely adjustment not having one these past few years since moving to the DC area. Someday we'll have a yard, and I won't have to be away at work 12 hours a day. The first thing I plan to do to celebrate is go adopt a puppy!
"The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too."- Samuel Butler
Friday, November 18, 2005
Never underestimate the power of friends. Yesterday was a hard day: no seat on the metro, overload of stress at work, froze in the wind and cold waiting for Bill to pick me up, I forgot to thaw chicken for dinner, and I had to cook and clean for our Bible study coming over. Practically in tears, I had only fifty minutes to get everything done. I did, but I had to cheat with the food by making Pilsbury Doughboy cookies instead of from scratch.
Anyway, we had a great Bible study meeting! The six of us got into a deep discussion about heaven and hell (based on our reading of chapter six of The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel). I really love the way that we can wrestle with issues and not have a pat answer for everything. It challenges us to dig deeper into the Bible for answers and not to just take everything we read as the final word.
In addition to good study, we enjoyed good fellowship. I am so blessed to be a part of a group that can laugh and joke together as well as open up and share our thoughts. God took care of my needs through my friends, and at the end of the evening, I was refreshed and re-motivated.
Thanks to all in the Centreville Young Couples Bible Study (hey, we need to name ourselves something) for being great friends!
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Fall is coming to a close: it is dropping from the 70s during the day today to the 30s tonight. Fifty mile-per-hour wind gusts are finishing off any leaves that are still on the trees. Time to do my final fall pruning in my garden, and prepare the plants for the cold.
One more week until Thanksgiving, which we are spending in Pennsylvania this year. Time to plan what to bring to the huge dinner Bill's mom hosts every year. Apple pie for sure, it was a big hit last time. I am excited to see all the nieces and nephews; Erika's one year birthday party is that weekend so we will be able to attend.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Monday, November 07, 2005
Mom, are you knitting presents for people this Christmas? because I love this scarf! Here is the description from the website (jcrew.com of course!): "Extremely soft and luxurious mercerized wool yarn. Handknit in a traditional Aran cable pattern. Decorative fringe detail at ends. Import. Dry clean. 67"L x 7"W." I know you were saying yarn was really expensive, would it cost more to make it than the $50 they are charging for it online?
P.S. There are really cute matching gloves too.
We have had the most perfect fall weather this past week and weekend. The air is fresh, breathe deeply and you smell fall. The leaves are finally at peak now--mottled red, yellow, orange, and rust mixed with the green. They are set against a most brilliant blue sky. The forest floor is carpeted with a fresh layer of leaves. They are still bright, not yet faded or trampled into the ground. I went for a long walk with Hayley yesterday in Eleanor Lawrence park, we walked and talked for about two hours. The trails were covered in leaves, the breeze lifted them in a dance, and the sun shone through the trees making them glow. Fall, the most fleeting of seasons, also visits us as the most breathtaking.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
The days are shorter, nights are colder, and the air is crisper. We are having really beautiful weather that makes me wish I could spend more time outside, especially since it is dark when I get home from work now.
One of my very favorite things about the cooler weather is the food. I have been on a fall baking binge. Chicken pot pie, chili and cornbread, apple crisp, ginger bread--to name a few of my old favorites.
Two new recipies I discovered this season: Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting and Spiced Pumpkin Waffles. The waffles were really simple to make, and very tasty with lots of maple syrup drizzled on them. They also made the whole house smell very good because of all the spices in them. The cupcakes were more complicated, but well worth the effort!
Monday, October 31, 2005
President Bush has nominated Judge Samuel Alito to be the next associate justice of the Supreme Court. Conservatives nationwide are applauding this pick, here are a few highlights of Alito's career from US News:
In 1997, Alito authored the majority opinion upholding a city's right to stage a holiday display that included a Nativity scene and a menorah because the city also included secular symbols and a banner emphasizing the importance of diversity. In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Alito was the sole dissenter on the Third Circuit, which struck a Pennsylvania law that required women seeking abortions to consult their husbands.
Also, he struck down a Pennsylvania school board "anti-harrassment" policy, saying There is no categorical 'harassment exception' to the First Amendment's free speech clause."
His Judicial Philosophy
As Senator Jim DeMint said “Judge Alito is one of the most respected judges in America. His constitutional credentials are unquestionable and his judicial philosophy is verifiable."
A quote from Alito himself "Most of the labels people use to talk about judges, and the way judges decide (cases) aren't too descriptive. ... Judges should be judges. They shouldn't be legislators, they shouldn't be administrators." (The Newark Star-Ledger May 2005)
He is a member in good standing of the Federalist Society, the influential group of conservative lawyers who advocate an originalist reading of the Constitution that sticks closely to text and the history of the writing of the Constitution. (msnbc.com)
The left is not happy. Here are a few choice quotes found on MSNBC.
"It is sad that the president felt he had to pick a nominee likely to divide America, instead of choosing a nominee in the mold of Sandra Day O'Connor," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. He said Alito "would make the court less diverse and far more conservative."
“The far right has now forced the president to choose a nominee that they think has views as extreme as their own,” Kennedy said. “There are many serious questions about whether Judge Alito is a mainstream nominee fit to fill the seat of Justice O'Connor."
Now the question remains, what will happen to him in the Senate? There are serious doubts he will be confirmed before they adjourn around Thanksgiving.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Why do we celebrate holidays? I have been thinking about this recently because Halloween is on Monday. Halloween has always been the one holiday that I feel uncomfortable about celebrating. Normally I am overflowing with "holiday spirit," and drive everyone around me crazy. But what exactly is it that bothers me about Halloween? Is it the pagan roots? Many of the other holidays we celebrate have incorporated pagan traditions.
It isn't the traditions or the actual rituals we go through on the holiday that are important, it is the foundation of the day, the origins. Why do we mark these days? We celebrate a holiday to honor someone or some event, and we set the day aside as a holy day. Christmas is to honor Christ's birth, Thanksgiving to honor God's safe deliverance of the Pilgrims to the New World, Easter is to celebrate Christ's rising from the dead. On all of these holidays I embrace the "true meaning" of the day, rather than the modern day celebration that it has become. I want someday to tell my children that Christmas is not about Santa and presents, but about Jesus Christ. So wouldn't it be a double standard to celebrate Halloween for what it is today and not for its "true meaning?" I shouldn't be setting aside as special a day that grew from ancient Celtic traditions involving spirits of the dead and pagan rituals. I love the holidays that point to the hope and salvation that Christ brings, not the day that points back to the bondage of fear and evil that held these ancient pagan people.
Friday, October 28, 2005
If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. ~ C.S. Lewis