Friday, December 17, 2010

Food Log

I never feel as if I've got a true mental picture of a someone's trip, whether to a restaurant or to a foreign country, unless I've heard what they ate. Here is a culinary image:

Fish Stock:
1. catch some fish (or have friends catch fish) and fillet it.
2. Save all of the viscera, bones, scales, entire head (including eyeballs!)
3. Toss the above parts into a pressure cooker and fill with water even with the top of the mess.
4. Optional: add a bay leaf
5. Bring the pot to pressure and cook for 20 or so minutes.
6. when pot is ready to open, do so and pour the entire brew through a very fine strainer.
7. Keep the juice and use as the base for soups and chowders.
8. Toss the particles overboard after picking through the head for choice scraps of very tasty meat.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Life in New Zealand

View on a hike from Lagoon Bay. We took a short dinghy ride from Scott's Landing to this bay.

This is Eloise trying out her high chair and wearing the excellent sun hat she wears almost every day.

John Carr frying freshly caught snapper aboard Nomad on Thanksgiving weekend

Newsflash: Eloise banished to mucky stable

I’ve been thinking about Christmas from a different perspective lately. Though she’s only been in our lives for five quick months, Eloise’s presence has been life-changing.

Verses I’ve heard all of my life mean so much more. The idea of God as a Father has become three-dimensional. I wonder about the deep well of emotions that I have for Eloise. If I feel like this about her, does that really mean God feels that way about insignificant me? The delight I have when Eloise acquires a milestone as little as pushing herself up with her arms must equally translate to the God levelIf that’s the case, then he must feel that same immense delight when he sees EACH ONE of his millions of children developing as he planned. On the flip side, when the day comes for Eloise to first be cruel or hateful, I will be sad because I see her as a beautiful, perfect creature. I think about God carrying the weight of that type of sadness for all of us unique and individually created people when we choose to be hateful or choose our own path away from him.

Then images from Bethlehem pop into my head. The Son of God transmogrified from the celestial dimension into a grubby, murderous land. That would be far worse than if I decided to drop Eloise off in the home of known child abusers. How could God have been willing to rip himself apart like that? The only possible answer is that he so longed for the hearts of those murderous grubby people that he was willing to carry the sorrow of Jesus’ absence. And so God dropped his beloved Son off at a stable in a cold, tiny town in the middle of the night.

But the loving daddy in him couldn’t just leave it like that. He had to tell people about it. As any devoted father would do, God hired a choir and sent birth announcements to whomever in the area might listen. As it turns out, it was some shepherds and some “heathen” stargazers. They left their sheep and their telescopes and headed to visit the baby, bringing gifts. Reminds me a lot of the friends and family members who heard of Eloise’s birth and took off work and traveled to come ooh and aaah and take pictures.

So this Christmas I plan to make the effort to oooh and aaah over Jesus, take pictures. But that’s just the beginning. Many of those same people who came to ooh and aah over Eloise follow her life closely. They want updates. They want cuddles. They want to know every drooling detail. But really they want her to come home, because they love her.

There’s more to Christmas than the snapshot of a mucky stable. It’s really the on-going story of a daddy aching for each one of his kids to come home.

Monday, December 6, 2010

family life

In the month since we arrived in New Zealand, Eloise has practiced sitting up, growing hair and getting to know new people who love her and treat her like she's just the cleverest girl ever. Brian and I have practiced cleaning out the boat's nooks and corners and sailing (did some zig-zagging across the Mahurangi harbour this past weekend), and we bought a station wagon, complete with a "baby on board" sign suction-cupped to the side window. Unbeknownst to us, the words "Subaru Legacy" are code for "break into me and steal me". A week after purchasing this 1994 wagon, it was taken for a joy ride and relieved of our belongings (they didn't take the car seat!). Thanks to friends and strangers, it's back on the road and we're being careful to remove all objects of value before parking it anywhere.

My favorite times of the day are still the moments when I peel back the blanket over Eloise's bed. Her face lights up and her whole body wriggles with joy. After the initial reaction, she sometimes pulls her crocheted snuggle blanket over her face and then peers out again with that same enormous gummy smile.

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