Monday, August 31, 2009
Life is Beautiful…
Life is Sacred…
Life is Precious...
Life is Fragile.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Phil & Steph had their baby girl on Wednesday night. She weighed 6lbs. 10oz. (now at 6lbs. 4oz.) and is 20 inches long. Isn't she beautiful? I love her long dark hair!
Phil & Steph were supposed to move to the Chicago area this summer, but circumstances changed and I'm so glad they are still in Marion so I can know Raya during her early days of life! Her parents are very good friends of mine, and I already love Raya very much. It will be sad to see them move in a few months. =(
More pictures to come very soon!
2) Brown County, Indiana!
Again, I just returned from family vacation. This week, my sister Joni, bro-in-law Jeff, and niece Leah joined us. We rented this cabin in the hills of Brown County for Tuesday and Wednesday night. We enjoyed spending lots of time in the cabin, playing games at the table. We played Dominoes, In A Pickle, Nirtz, and Phase 10. We also enjoyed eating 2 meals out, grilling in, visiting a few "old country" shops, driving through Brown County State Park, and snacking on salt water taffy and a variety of fudge.
3) Nertz! This is a game my sister learned in the Philippines, and my family has played hours & hours of Nertz this summer. It is a game that requires skill in quick reaction, awareness of cards being played simultaneously, and counting. My brother and I reign undefeated!
4) Aunt Sue's Tea Room
I love this "ladies" restaraunt at 225 W. Spencer Ave (Marion), set in a charmingly restored vintage house by the river. The food, tea, service, and atmosphere is wonderful! I have been there 3 or 4 times, and I always order "The Queen's Tea" ($10.95): Choice of 1 of 35 tea options, scones (with devonshire cream and lemon curd), fresh fruit, assorted finger sandwiches, desserts, soup, and/or salad. It's wonderful, I love going! Check it out at: http://www.auntsuestearoom.com/
5) I like that today is Friday! Returning to work (& the gym) after having been on vacation for 3 days really makes it feel like a Monday and I'm so glad it isn't! I enjoyed a special lunch with my sister and a friend, and her 4-yr-old daughter at Aunt Sue's this afternoon, and tonight I will enjoy scrapbooking with a few ladies at church, and a Starbucks run halfway through! My sister and I have plans to visit good friends tomorrow night (haven't visited with them in a few weeks), and I really need to tackle packing for college since I move in on Monday!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday morning after the classic continental breakfast, we met my uncle Andy, aunt Nancy and cousin Laura in the church parking lot before going inside together. Inside we met my Grandmom's brother and sister-in-law (Uncle Joe & Aunt Jane). The service was definitely different than what we were used to. It was very informal, and I was pretty embarrassed when the pastor called out a few different people during his sermon. I really love my church, and I'm ready to change the subject.
And here is Abigail telling us about living and teaching in China. Next to Abigail is Mom's cousin (Uncle Dan), who has 11 children. Eleven; 6 biological and 5 adopted. On either side of his son David is Patrick and Betsy, adopted as young babies from Haiti. I remember when they were itsy-bitsy and were afraid of walking on grass because they had never seen it before!
This couple in the distance is Uncle Andy and Aunt Nancy, my mom's brother and wife. I was glad they brought a cousin, because we are Grandmom's only grandchildren and the other 20 in our generation are Joe & Jane's grandchildren, and unfamiliar with our side of the family.
Here's my sista Jessie, next to Aunt Jane and Uncle Joe:
And last: My dear Grandmom [w/ Mexican blanket] and her younger sister Wilma.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
If you have been a faithful (or maybe even semi-regular) follower of my blog, you know that in May/June, I took my 2nd trip to Cambodia. I have many friends there, and a few in particular that I care very much about. Skype allows me to call Chamnol, Vandy, Tess, Greg, and others quite cheaply. On Monday, I was able to talk to my friend Leak in Cambodia, so Skype is definitely one of my favorite things this week!
2) The Rec & Wellness Center
3) Quaker Mini Delights - Caramel Streusel
Thursday, August 20, 2009
It's a way to put a person in a picture, show a beautiful landscape/background, and not be boring!
Pride in the beautiful wall my sister & I just painted!
With my girls on a road in Cambodia
With those same girls I love at Angkor Wat in Cambodia
Andrew jumping in; makes me laugh!
Continue following my blog and I'm sure you will see more (esp. as I travel)!!!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Delicious salad sprinkled with walnuts, pecans, and almonds! (I love nuts!)
After all the excitement of dinner and the carriage tour, it was time to relax!
After this we went outside, and enjoyed the scenery and beautiful weather.
We played bocce ball
and croquet!Then perused the flower gardens!
Despite my angry feelings at the start of the cold and bitter morning, it was a fabulous day!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
If you're interested in supporting my ministry in Cambodia, I will gladly accept any new or gently worn books. =)
Make that: 15 books in 6 days, and making: $534,03!
I'm finally in the profit margin!!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Cambodian weddings are long and intricate affairs that consist of multiple ceremonies. It is a grand affair, full of color and festivity, as well as steeped in tradition. Musicians play throughout the day on traditional instruments, and the couple is dressed like royalty. The bridal party may change their outfits and hair several times in one day; and if the wedding were a weeklong affair, a color of dress would be established each day and the guests would be expected to dress only in that color. It can last from as short as one morning to as long as three days and nights, depending on the financial situation and social status of the bride and groom’s families. The wedding I attended was only a one-day affair, but it was an entire day as we were fed 3 meals.
Nary and Srey Leak were so kind to help me try on traditional khmer dresses. Every woman will wear a similar dress to Khmer weddings. Also, woman always change between morning and evening ceremonies [to fancy things up,] but I found only 1 dress, so I remained in this lavender dress.
Here you see Tess and I participating in the traditional hair cutting ceremony. To prepare the bride and groom for their life as a married couple, their hair is symbolically cut, representing a fresh start to their new relationship together as husband and wife. The parents, relatives, and friends take turns to symbolically cut the bride and groom's hair and give blessings and well-wishes.
Now Tess and I have had our hair and makeup professionally done at the neighbors house! I wish I had gotten pictures of this process! The bride's family hired an entire beauty salon to set up shop in the neighbor's home, and every [female] guest is traditionally expected to be professionally done up quite extravagently. I got a lot of attention for being the only "whitey" at the wedding, especially while getting my make-up done.
Srey Mum and I on our way to the hotel to change clothes after being "done up." Isn't she gorgeous??
Resie, Tess, and I during dinner. [[Resie was my host a missionary at the Bible College, and I also lived for 2 weeks with Tess in Kratie.]] Dinner was rather extravagent with 9 courses. I had much fun at the table with 7 of my favorite Cambodian people, all complimenting me on looking "Srey Khmer" (Cambodian woman) and trying to teach me how to eat the many different foods.
Chita, Tess, Srey Roath, and myself at the end of the night. I had met Srey Roath a week before, but she was completely different between the church/classroom atmosphere, and the wedding celebration! She convinced me to join her in just 1 traditional dance, but I had so much fun that we all danced for 3 more hours!
One of my favorite things at this wedding was the bride's mother's "num kom s'det khieu" [or sticky rice cake with mung bean.] It really looks terrible, [some might say snot, but I prefer a thicky, cloudy, white jello] and is usually wrapped in moist banana leaves. I don't know how else to explain it, but here are a few pictures::