Is This Going to Work?

April 26, 2017

Rachel and I are flying to Portland for Emma’s 4th birthday very early Saturday morning. We are hoping to get there in time to assemble the cake for her party, a rainbow unicorn theme. We’ve¬†baked 6 layers of cake, wrapped them in plastic wrap, and found containers that we hope will suffice to get them to Portland. They are not frosted, so they shouldn’t be confiscated at the security checkpoint on account of “liquid.” They will stay in the freezer until we head for the airport.

The fondant decorations are already packed up to go into our suitcases, too. Good thing we’re only there 3 days, 2 nights and won’t have to take a lot of clothes, since there won’t be much room in our suitcases. ūüôā

Front Page News

April 25, 2017


Well, front page of a website, that is. David’s glaucoma research and invention is featured on the front page of Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute’s blog, which is the department of Oregon Health and Science University where David got the funding to do this research. Click here to see for yourself (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

Speaking of David and Sarah, Rachel and I are getting very excited about our upcoming trip out there for Emma’s 4th birthday. ¬†It will be a very short trip, just three days, but we are getting excited about seeing them. ¬†I’m attempting to take parts of a cake with us on the plane, and them assemble them in the few short hours after we arrive and before her party starts. ¬†More about that later. ¬†Not only her cake, but ¬†we’re doing a large cake/cupcake/cookie order due a few hours before we depart. ¬†So we’re up to our elbows in icing this week! ¬†Too bad Gary isn’t here to lick the bowl.

Gary seems to be doing OK at his location near London. ¬†He has limited internet and even more limited access to power. ¬†I guess the buildings are centuries old and when they retrofitted with electricity they weren’t very generous with power outlets. ¬†Amazingly, he has been raving about the food. ¬†Hard to believe since the British aren’t really known for their cuisine.

Happy Earth Day 2017

April 22, 2017

Or, as some in my circles call it, “Happy Creation Care Day.” I believe that both Christians and heathens have a reason to take care of this place where we live.

But that’s not what I’m posting about today–I wanted to show off the cake I made for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the aquaponics system that has been built at the International Linguistics Center. Earth Day was a good day for this event. John Cheng, the brains behind the system, is calling it “Gospelponics.” (But some of us linguists thought it should be “Gospelphonics.” due to its location!)

Anyway, Rachel and I made two giant cakes for the event, one chocolate and one white, but only the white one got decorated. I was able to recreate their logo with buttercream, in a process called frozen buttercream reverse transfer. And since the plants in the aquaponics system grow on fish doo-doo, I incorporated fish and plants into the cake’s border design (but I omitted the doo-doo!).

There were over 150 people at the event and folks got to tour the facility. I’ve seen it before, and the little tomatoes from three weeks ago are large and ripening today. I also went nose to nose with the tilapia in the tanks, and was tempted to steal some fresh lettuce for tonight’s salad.

In other news, Gary left on Thursday and I haven’t heard a word, so either he got lost in London, or he hasn’t figured out how to work the hotel’s internet.

Easter Sunday

April 16, 2017

It was a good day. Here are some reasons why:

  • We woke up in time for the sunrise service
  • My Sunday School kids were able to identify the three languages in which the sign on the cross was written, and they found two of the three in the Greek and Latin NTs I brought for show and tell.
  • The Easter drama during church was a good reminder of all the times Jesus interacted with people after his resurrection
  • My potato casserole got done in time to drive to Arlington for Easter dinner with friends, and tasted pretty good too (a remake of scalloped potatoes)
  • We enjoyed great food and conversation with friends over dinner
  • We got to video chat with David, Sarah, Micah, Emma
  • Micah yelled “He is risen” to me over video chat



Holy or Black Saturday

April 15, 2017

I spent the day cooking, baking, cleaning, painting, practicing choir music and cleaning some more. Why is my house always in need of tidying up?

David and Sarah, please let Mali know that, finally, her sins have been covered. I don’t know if she will remember scratching at the door to get out.


OK, time to go to bed.  Easter sunrise service will be here soon!

Good Friday

April 14, 2017

We slept in a bit then went to the early showing of The Case for Christ movie in Grand Prairie. I had never read Lee Strobel’s book, but it is quite well known. ¬†The movie tells of Stobel’s journey from atheism while an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune to eventually coming to accept the claims of Christianity as true. ¬†I liked the movie, not cheesy at all.

In the afternoon Rachel and I worked on the room painting job, but we still didn’t finish. ¬†Maybe 1 or 2 more hours of work to finish it off.

Gary sang in a men’s quintet at church tonight, a barbershop version of Were You There. ¬†It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t bad either! As part of the service this cross was erected in the church yard. ¬†I shall have to take my Sunday School kids to look at it on Sunday morning to review our lesson about the languages of the Bible along with the usual Easter story.


Maundy Thursday

April 13, 2017

This is a busy week for church people. At least church people from liturgical churches. Our church isn’t very “high,” but we do have services during Holy Week. Two high school drama teachers attend our church, so that means we are having an Easter drama complete with a pretty cool looking tomb coming up. More on that later. We’ve got lots of choir singing going on, though this year is not as much as other years. ¬†“Maundy” comes from the word for “commandment” and it specifically refers to the Love One Another commandment.

In other news, Andrew took Bella to a game at Yankees stadium earlier this week, her 2nd spring break week.


April 9, 2017

We had just gotten to sleep on Friday night when we were awakened by the sound of the tornado siren. Weird, since an hour earlier the weather was still and clear. Five minutes later it stopped. Ten minutes later it started again. What?? I almost called 911, like the 4,400 other Dallas city residents who did. The sirens continued to go on and off for the next hour fifteen minutes. Yeah, hard to go back to sleep. ¬†Now we’re hearing it was a hacker.

Rachel got sick on Friday with a cold.  She canceled Friday night and Saturday morning events but did make it to an outdoor wedding Saturday night where her job was to keep the kids from running off into the forest during the reception.  She is still clogged up, but already doing better.

Today was Palm Sunday.  In my Sunday School class we finished off the story of Joseph (that is quite a story) and did a quick review of John 12 before helping the younger classes with their palm branches:

I’m making some cookies this afternoon while Rachel and Gary are watching golf. ¬†A rather boring game, in my opinion, but at least it is easier to follow than football. ¬†And safer, too! ¬†Somebody got a hole-in-one today, so that was exciting.

Gary risked his life to trim the flourishing mulberry trees on Saturday. ¬†Thankfully, no mishaps. ¬†And now the trees will stay away from the neighbor’s house at least 2 years.

We’ve drafted a newsletter and I’ll be getting that emailed out soon.

Birding this Morning

April 7, 2017

I confess: we played hooky this morning from work so we could go birding. Well, really, I’m calling it a comp time for Gary, since he has been away and working too much. ¬†The weather was absolutely perfect and it felt good to be outside. ¬†We ID’ed 38 birds. ¬†If you want to see the whole list, click here to go to ebird.

At one point we got all confused because we saw this bird:

It was not in our book and when we came home and looked in other books, not there either. ¬†However, a quick email sent to my local eBird policeman told us that it was a Ladder-backed Woodpecker–actually listed as rare in this location–but it usually has red, not yellow, markings on its head. ¬†He said that sometimes this happens with woodpeckers, but had no other explanation.

Here are some others we saw:

Faucet Replacement–Again.

April 6, 2017

The kitchen faucet we installed just over two years ago had to be replaced again. Ugh! This time we bought the more expensive one in hopes it lasts longer!

This photo shows that when you get to be my age, plumbing requires a couch cushion and throw pillow as well as a headlamp ($1 at Walmart). This faucet went in easier than the last one, but it still is an awkward job for someone of my size and shape (shoulders too wide and arms too short!) Anyway, nice to be able to turn the faucet off and hey–it actually turns off.