Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Blessedly Normal

The day began with a bang. Jamin sent this shot from their town down the Glenn. 

The borough let us know that they would be clearing brush and trees from the utility easements in our area. From talking with them we expected to lose quite a few trees. Previous owners had planted ON THE LINE - next to the power poles - and we are supposed to give them 15 feet from the poles. Made me sad....but getting rid of the brush sounded really good. The photos don't do justice....much of the brush has died down with fall......They did this last week 


Today, I heard a noise, looked out the window and saw this......

It appears they are cutting branches and leaving the trees. Win Win. They may come back and cut down trees - but I'm hopeful.

The day was blessedly "normal." Michael worked in the garage. The kids and I did school.

Stacia and I tried to catch some falling leaves

The kids went to youth group at a local church for the first time. 

Sunset from our window

Shake and Go Balsamic Vinaigrette

We like Balsamic Vinaigrette. This one from Angela Liddon in, 'Oh She Glows Every Day," is the easiest I've made.  I discovered it is yummy on steak fries, as well as salads.

Notes: Angela suggests adding a dash of liquid smoke, paprika and thyme for a "smoky" dressing, a pinch of dried or fresh herbs (oregano and basil) for an Italian vinaigrette or dashes of cumin, coriander, and turmeric for a slight Indian flair.

1/3 to 2/3 extra virgin olive oil, to taste
1/3 C balsamic vinegar
4 1/2 tsp low sodium tamari
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp maple syrup, or to taste

DIRECTIONS: Combine all in a small mason jar, seal and shake vigorously. Store in the fridge up to a couple of weeks. Shake before each use.

Make it so-free Swap the tamari for 2 - 4 T coconut aminos, to taste.

Krista Update

Krista has the distinction of being the only Gherkin outside of Alaska. She is WAAAY outside - in Virginia.  Some have asked for an update, and since we had a nice talk today, it's a good time to update. 

Krista received our package - and gamely tried the cookies. 

She's been considering options for her future - with her goal being to go active duty as soon as she can - because airmen are her heart. 

There had been talk of finishing a 75 credit MDiv this summer,  coming here and going into the Reserves....getting her required time done while working on a doctorate online and going active duty in  a few years with the doctorate.  The big benefit here for us - is SHE WOULD BE HERE.  The benefit for her is she would be getting her reserve time in so she can go active much sooner. Her advisor had thought that was a good idea. He changed his mind.

She's had a nice, long, beneficial talk with the program advisor at her university. He has suggested she cram stuff into summer, spring, winter intensives, continue her full load of classes, and graduate with her 91 credit MDiv next December.  He feels, in the long run, it will make her a stronger chaplain and she can work on the Doctorate while active duty.

Now - the whole reason of sharing any of this is he is very supportive of Krista entering active duty.  He said he has no qualms recommending her to be an active duty chaplain and she is the type of young lady he loved to have on his chapel staff. He mapped out a whole career for her in his office.....and it will be fun to see what God says about the map as time unfolds.  Frankly, affirmation for a female in a male dominated  program is wonderfully encouraging.

For now, she will be finishing with the Big MDiv earlier than expected and is doing well adjusting to the challenges of working and full time graduate studies. She is enjoying her studies.... And us? Well, sure we were excited at the idea of having her up here this summer......but our heart is to see her chasing God...and that she is doing. How can we do anything but rejoice?

A recent fun even for Krista was the Chaplaincy conference at Liberty. She  met two chaplains who we love from our last assignment.  Holly was sweet enough to make sure I got a photo of her and Krista. 

God has chosen a challenging road for Krista. Through the ups and downs of walking it out, she is growing strong and courageous in her beliefs in God, country and even her own ability to walk it out.  It's a good thing to watch.