Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

I had such a great birthday week. Yes, week. Im a firm believer in the extended birthday celebration. It pretty much revolved around food and people, but mostly food. On the day of my birthday, Dave and Robert (our soux-chef/friend/comic relief) cooked up some red muscles and duck spring rolls. Tasty! On Friday, I had dinner out at London Grille (where Roberto is a chef) and we ate well there too: grilled octopus, specialty cheeses, ribs that weren't really ribs, but I forget the name. After the MPJ show (on tour with Ingrid Michealson, btw), we went to the Belgium Cafe and had fries and beer. On Saturday, Dave's folks grilled steaks, asparagus and mashed potatoes. So much for the Biggest Loser Competition. I think I have gained weight since we started. Oh well, its my birthday month. 

Glow in the Dark Knives

That's my dodgeball team name. We are awesome, but were bitterly defeated in our last tourney. Even Team Bradford, composed of 5 children and one balding dad that throws like a girl, got further up the bracket. DANGIT! There's always next year. STAB WOUND!

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Simple Life

I just finished reading God and Country, an essay by Wendell Berry, about organized religion and the fractured idea of stewardiship. Because organized religion is so dependent upon the economy of our nation, it feels, if you are a member of a church, imperative to give to the building fund instead of funding research to stop, for instance, global warming. Is the American church really about truth, beauty, righteousness and the desire to serve? Or are we more concerned with the maintenance of our building? Coffee breaks during the worship service? God in Genesis commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, replenish the earth and subdue it. Many Christians use this as their justifier for being meat-eaters as well as destroyers of the environment. Berry quotes God's clarifying instructions on how to treat the earth (in case you were confused) from Revelations: "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die." 

I have been very confused lately about what exactly I am 'called' to as a believer. Is it evangelism? Is it simple workmanship...being faithful in the menial tasks of the everyday? Is it social justice? Is it parenting? Community? Family? The Church? As Dave and I leave the full-time 'ministry' of being on staff at a church, its difficult wrestling with these questions. I am driven to be closer to home, the one with my extended family and well as my life-long tribe of friends. Is that being faithful to God and his call on our lives? 

Though, I am always drawn back to the simple wisdom of Papa Joe, "Its not about right or wrong; Its about life," I still wrestle with what it looks like to be Kingdom-minded. I don't want to live for my own little kingdom. But, there is a sense that God has made things like family, community, work, traditions, stories and art and they are all good. Do I over-spiritualize 'kingdom-living' to be about living in the most oppressed, most needy place on earth and church planting? Though, again, the command in revelations is to be about those things that are dying. I suppose you can do that anywhere. Strengthen the things that remain that are ready to die...the black family, the Sudan, the environment, hope, community, the Church, my libido. :) 

The simple life is so appealing except that I don't really like doing laundry or the dishes. There is very little peace in my home (but, glory of glories, I cleaned all day today and Atticus occupied himself with legos and his scooter for most of the day! Dave made chicken nachos while Ellie did her homework. I was savoring this rare peace. Was it because I vacuumed, I wonder? ) 

Whatever the answer, I will be encouraged today to live as Wendell Berry is calling me to: Ally yourself with what is worthy. On that note, I think I'll go watch the latest episode of Lost.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


We hosted a Mexican potluck and everyone came with the best Mexican appetizers ever. As many of you already know, dips are a weakness of mine. Or, rather, a strength if you see the world as I do. I got this recipe from Philly.com and did a search for the queso pablano dip. Its basically just a monterey jack cheese mixture topped with goat cheese, broiled in an iron skillet with  a roasted pablano vinagrette drizzled on top. To die for! We ate every last bite. And guess who licked the skillet?

Cross-Dressing: An Original Sin?

Here is documentation of the sins of the mother passed down to the daughter. Ellie, like her mother 30 years before her, dresses her siblings in drag. Actually, I think Ellie and Aunt Dede (Sharon at age 2) make handsome boys. But, why all the band-aids on Dave? A bad botox job? Were boo-boos a gender specific detail when it comes to cross-dressing? I'm guessing the band-aids were Stacey's idea...not the brightest bulb in the tanning bed, that one. Atticus and his Uncle Beef make for lovely females as well as innocent victims of older sisters. Dave, I am sorry and if you need therapy for gender confusion, I will happily chip in for therapy. Atticus, you are going to have to take your issues up with Ellie! (Sorry for the sideways shot on Ellie and Atticus, I'll get my IT guy right on that.) Be sure to click on each photo for an up-close shot! From left to right, Stacey (5), Sharon (2 1/2), Dave (3), Sarah (5).