Monday, December 29, 2008


are a beautiful thing...

Thursday, December 25, 2008


two days. four states.  destination -family!  
ari is holding his print out of the oklahoma, missouri, illinois, michigan highway maps with our route highlighted so he can follow along.  i hope there are no detours...that yellow highlighted trail is THE WAY and to him, there is no other.

Monday, December 22, 2008

jesse tree

during advent (arrival that has been awaited -especially of something momentous) season we anticipate with a symbol called the jesse tree.  in isaiah 11 God promises "there shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots..." this branch is the Messiah.  Jesus.  the one we have longed for, for so long.  each day in december (until the big day) we hang a representation of that waiting starting with the very first contact God had with us-creation.  and each day has another story of his love for his people, their rebellion and separation from him, and always, always, his plan for a way back.  a return to Eden.  a sacrifice that will stand in our place.  a relief from this place of pain, and dying, goodbyes, and heartache.  
that is something worth waiting for.  as our tree fills, our hearts fill with anticipation for his coming.  we celebrate the coming in bethlehem and await his return to take us home.  
may you delight in him this year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

need to get out more

me: "noah, you are gonna wear such a handsome outfit today!"
noah (3):  "is it church?"
me:  "no....we're going to a party at starla's today!"
noah:  "is it a costume party?"

guess we don't dress up enough in our house.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

nativity sets

the day after sinterklaas festivities we get out our nativity set collection.  our goal is to get as many sets from other cultures as possible.  so far we have two from israel, and one african-american scene.  it is fascinating to see how other people interpret that special night. 
p.s. if you or someone you know is traveling abroad and might be willing to get us a nativity set PLEASE let me know.  i will pay for the set and whatever shipping or handling charges.  

Monday, December 15, 2008

no use crying over spilled milk

i have a new parenting philosophy.  whenever your anger starts boiling up....shut your mouth, and grab your camera.  i'm gonna make millions.

Friday, December 12, 2008

my gift from sinterklaas

look what sinterklaas wrapped up for me!?!?  isn't is pretty?  if you can imagine....the inside is even prettier than the outside!  my amazing, incredible, hard-working, thoughtful husband researched the crafting world (not his cup of tea, let's just say:) and found what every woman who's ever made a card, scrapbooked a page, or tried her hand at something creative has wanted, pined for, deeply desired a....cricut.  and he took his precious dollars from his tip jar and brought one home to ME!  this baby will cut you ANYTHING you can imagine in ANY size from .25 inches to 24 inches on almost ANY material (paper, cardstock, chipboard, fabric).  the things you can create with this machine are limitless.  and i mean it.  if you live anywhere near me or ever are in my neck of the woods you MUST come use it.  i cannot hoard something this amazing all to myself.  be prepared for many future posts of my "cricut creations".  you know these wall letters and phrases that are all the rage?  yup.  i can do them.  you know you want to come over:)  

Thursday, December 11, 2008

sinterklaas, kris kringle, st. nicholas, santa...

he's got lots of names, but did you ever wonder how he came to be?  nicholas of myra was a real person.  he was raised as a believer in Christ near the mediterranean sea in the 4th century.  he was orphaned and left his parents' fortune.  he grew up to become a priest and eventually the bishop of modern day turkey.  he was a "man of the cloth" by day and an anonymous gift giver by night.  nicholas helped poor children and dropped dowries down chimney's of penniless maidens which often landed in their shoes or "stockings" drying by the fire.  

during the ninth century - five hundred years after the events that gave birth to the legend of Nicholas of Myra - Saint Methodius of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) writes a life story of Nicholas, based on the many tales that had been passed down for centuries throughout Christendom. Nicholas' popularity grows immensely during this time and is soon canonized an official saint by The Christian Church.

as western europeans begin to immigrate to america, dutch settlers breath new life into the age-old legend, bringing their tales of Sinterklaas (Dutch for Saint Nicholas) to the New World. In the settlement of New Amsterdam, the Dutch lore attains such influence that even after the English gain control of the settlement, renaming it New York, Saint Nicholas continues to be referred to by many New Yorkers as Sinterklaas and the eventual English pronunciation, Santa Claus.

as the years went on writers, poets, and store owners began to evolve sinterklaas into less of an "old world" character and gave him more "new world" whimsy, making him jolly, fat, and once the night before christmas was written  he became known to reside at the north pole with his wife and elves.  

that may have seemed long, but i actually left a lot out.  the point is we want to celebrate the undercover generosity that st. nicholas practiced so long ago.  his feast day is december 6th so on that day we travel to the homes of family and friends and as stealthily as possible we leave gifts and favors on the doorsteps of friends and family.  we return home for an evening of exchanging presents, opening small gifts in our wooden shoes, and of course, eating lots of treats.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

sinterklaas day

at our house we celebrate st. nicholas day (sinterklaas in dutch) and open our gifts that night.  more to come on the history of sinterklaas and the incredible surprise there was for me this year:)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

good, wholesome fun

yes.  i turned my eyes for a second.  
five pounds of flour, one living room, three pieces of clothing shed and you can have a really good time!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

teachers need a raise

no-this post is not a political one.  i don't know how to "fix" the public school system (well, actually i think i do, but that's not a topic for today:) but i do know that there are many unsung heros that walk the halls each day.  the tall ones.  the teachers.  one of them is my bff heather.  she teaches 2nd grade at cape horn-skye elementary in washougal, washington. she's still keeping her blog on "private" so you all can't pop over there unless she INVITES you, but this post made my heart happy and i asked her if i could copy and paste it here for you.  here goes..

Glimpses of My Day

Or maybe I should say a look at every day...

 "Can I go to the bathroom? I need to go really bad it's an emergency!" (about 876 times)

 "She cutted!" (about 78 times)

 "When can I _______" (Fill in the blank--about 349 times).

 me: "Please come back and show me walking feet" (about 453 times)

 me: "I will be happy to take a quiet line in the hallway" (about 190 times)

 From a former student : "You know that door over by the fourth and fifth grades where music is now? Well, I was the line leader and we were walking and we discovered a locked door. Wouldn't it be funny if the GPS said BEEEEEP. LOCKED DOOR. MUST DO U-TURN AND MANDATORY RE-ROUTE." (Just once during the walk to the busses)

 A, umm, struggling student trying to read something to herself I was pretty sure was WAY to hard for her:

Me, attempting to confirm my suspicions: "Sooo, can you tell me about that story?" Her: "Frog was texting" (while putting thumbs up in a texting motion). Not. So. Much.

 me: "Nice job!" "Very good!" "Fabulous!" (those usually turn out to be my words of choice) (about 1346 times)

 "Ummmm, Teacher?????" (about 452 times)

 "Ummmm, Mrs. Robertson????" (about 1452 times)

 me: "Eyes on the page" (about 398 times)

 P.S. I have a really large Costco sized bag of M&M's in my filing cabinet drawer and I don't share. Have also discovered how oddly therapeutic it is to sharpen pencils in the electric sharpener.

 Phonetic Spelling 101

 One of the many hats I wear as a teacher is an interpreter of second grade hieroglyphics. I learned and perfected most of my advanced skills when I taught Kindy and First grade. Now at second grade, the kids usually do quite a good job of spelling those words they don't know phonetically, making them easy to figure out. I collected just a few of my favorites over the past few weeks. Enjoy!



 Cristle=Chrystal, Kristal



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

comments from the peanut gallery

i wanted to take a minute to let you all know how incredibly much i appreciate your comments.  they make me laugh, they touch my heart, they remind me of who you are and why i love you.  i rarely respond to comments in the comment section because i don't think you check back there once you comment.  please know that this does NOT mean i have not read every single one and love them all.  it astounds me that this many people take time to read what i throw out there and it blesses me every time.  
so-if you have ever read this blog, ever taken the time to comment, i thank you.

Monday, December 1, 2008

i heart pumpkin...part 2

pumpkin season is officially over:( not to worry, though....i baked, skinned, chopped, and pureed six large pumpkins to last me til next fall! my latest pumpkin obsession (besides those cookies....make them with caution! i am not responsible for inevitable weight gain) is pumpkin pancakes. oh. yum. if you still have some pumpkin or see some in your neighbors' front yard....get it and whip up a batch! today!!

2 cups flour

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 and 1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup cooked pumpkin (or canned)

1 large egg

2 tbsp vegetable oil

in large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In small bowl, combine milk, pumpkin, egg and oil. Stir liquid mixture into flour mixture until dry ingredients are moistened. Batter will be thick. For each pancake, pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle; using a spatula, spread the batter into a 4 inch circle before mixture sets. Cook until surface appears dry. Turn; cook another 2-3 minutes. Serve with syrup.