Thursday, May 31, 2012


My Dad had glasses, my big brother, sister, and cousin who lived with us all had glasses.  I wanted glasses!  I was six years old and in the first grade.  Our school nurse performed a vision test on each student and I passed.  I was confused.  "But one of the letters was blurryyyy..." I insisted.

"You don't need glasses.  Your vision is fine." the nurse insisted.

Not to be discouraged, I lay on the top bunk of my bunk bed when I got home, staring at the ceiling light.  "Mom! I think I need glasses.  I see spots everywhere!"  

Somehow, my very practical, under-cautious mother believed me and took me in for a second opinion at an optometrist's office and I got my glasses!

The next day at school, I found that nurse and gloated, "I got glasses!"

She was so mad!  "I told you, you don't need glasses!"  

That stung a little, but obviously somebody knew I needed glasses.  Her disapproval dampened my excitement, but only for a moment.

"You look funny..." my classmates commented as I waited in line to sharpen my pencil, proudly sporting my brand-new clear marble-pink plastic 80's/90's large frame glasses (which are back in style now by the way... WHY????).

"Children!" my teacher scolded, "that isn't polite."  

I didn't mind at all.  I had my glasses!

But, it didn't last long.  Maybe only one or two years until a follow up eye exam happened when I moved from Kansas to California and my family had to find a new optometrist. "Why does she have glasses??" they asked.  "Her vision is fine!"

I guess that school nurse was right all along...

Friday, May 25, 2012

The One with the Kite

What is it about kites that is so dang fun?  I'll tell you: nothing!  Flying kites is not fun.  Not really.  I think the funnest part about flying a kite is wondering whether you will actually get it to fly or not, throwing it up as hard as you can into the air, and just hoping.  But after that, once its up...  There is absolutely nothing fun about standing there holding onto that string.  At least not for me.  Feel free to chime in here and educate me.  What am I missing?

At least the kids think its fun, though, and thats enough for me.  Just not enough to make me want to ever ask them if they would like to go fly kites.  Boring!

These kite pictures were made possible by a kind soul who brought a kite along on our walk today so Caiden could fly it.  She's much less cynical than me...

"My Kite Is An Amazing Sight"
A kite glides and slides
Through the air,
That's why I have a kite,
It is an amazing sight.
Elliott Escalante

And apparently Elliott thinks that kites are amazing, too.  We recently took a field trip to see some tide pools and fly kites.  I have to admit it was pretty cute to see Elliott and all his classmates lined up by the edge of the water, running desperately up and down the beach trying to keep their kites in the air...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Verse of the Week

Jeremiah 17:5-8
Thus says the Lord:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord.
For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear[b] when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

This passage has been constantly on my mind for the last few weeks.  Its changing the way I think about everything.  

I love how the first two verses are such a stark contrast to the last two verses.  And verse seven is the one I cling to.  I've started to view everything through this lens of God being my hope and not letting anything else be: Not the end of the school week, or 8 o'clock when the kids are in bed, or trouble free days.  Not date night, that piece of chocolate in the cabinet, buying a new pair of shoes, or seeing how many people "liked" my instagram photo.  Those things can all be good, but they cannot be my hope, because they will not give me lasting satisfaction.  Only He can do that.  Which is different than putting my hope or trust IN God.  Additionally to trusting and hoping IN Him, He Himself needs to be my prize, my hope.  He Himself satisfies me.  My prayer is that I acknowledge that consistently.  That I seek Him and not put other things in that place.

I finally get why the Psalmist says in Psalm 27: "I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."  I love that we have the hope of seeing God, seeing His goodness, having relationship with him RIGHT NOW and seeing Him unfold His character and show us more of who He is.  And that right there is where my hope is. He is my hope.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Twin Day

Being with my family seems to be my biggest inspiration to blog.  Remember "Monday Funday"?  Well, this week we got lucky and Elliott had Monday off from school, so we were all able to spend the whole day together.  I love that!

A lot of people ask me if Elliott and Caiden get along well together.  My answer is usually a really long version of "Yes, but they still fight sometimes." Lately, though, they seem to be having a hard time finding their groove.  Its like they don't know that they're on the same team.  Each one seems to be thinking that the other's intentions are always negative and so it becomes a vicious cycle of frustration and betrayal for them both.

Today was beautiful though: Dave and I were discussing how it seemed like they woke up today and decided to be on the same team.  They got their own breakfast and helped each other with it and then headed to their room where lots of giggling and pleasant conversation could be heard (music to my ears!). They emerged from their room, tangled up and falling all over each other and giggling.  "We're twins!" they announced.  "Because we're spies..." (Kids after my own exact heart!)  And so they were.

That kicked off a pretty fun Monday.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

30 Meals

I'm a very secretive cook.  For some reason, I seem to have an aversion to talking about what I'm making for dinner; and I am someone who likes to talk about everything.  Really, I tend to err on the side of over-sharing, but not when it comes to dinner preparation.  I am very self conscious about my meals.  Its weird and I don't have a very good explanation for it.  If my kids ask me, "What's for dinner?" I freeze.  Is it because I'm afraid they will complain about what it is?  Maybe.

When my husband asks me, "Whatcha making?" I take this as a great offense.  Do I think he doesn't trust me?  I don't know.  Whatever my hang up is, its weird.  I like baking better. If you put butter and sugar in it, you know you're gonna make people happy.  Maybe that's my problem... I'm a people pleaser, and dessert just makes people happier than regular food.  I'm always afraid my regular food won't measure up.

With all that said, I recently sat down and tortured myself by racking my brain to come up with 30 meals--enough for one month of meals, because I get discouraged about dinner and tired of making the same thing all the time--chicken to be specific. My 30 meal list has been helpful in that I don't have to make the same thing twice in one month.  So now, I just look at my list and decide which meals I will make for that week and cross off the meals as I go.  I have the monthly list on my computer and I write out my weekly meal schedule and tack it to the fridge for easy reference.  I find that I'm not as discouraged from making dinner anymore and less likely to give up and go out to eat. And you know I like lists!

This scares me, but... I'm gonna give you my list.  I'm closing my eyes and hitting send.  This goes against everything the secretive cook inside of me stands for, but I'm hoping maybe it will help you.  I know I would love an honest peak into someone else's dinner routine.  So here goes nothin'.

Cryn's 30 Meal List

1) Enchiladas + Beans
2) Chili + Cornbread
4) Chicken Carbonara Pasta + Broccoli
5) Spaghetti + Broccoli
6) Chicken, Red Potatoes, Veggies
7) Bake Potatoes + Baked Beans + Broccoli
8) Breakfast For Dinner
9) Chicken Tacos
10) Bean + Cheese Burritos
11) Salmon + Cous Cous + Veg
12) Fish Tacos
14) Pesto Pasta + Broccoli
17) Hot Dogs, Mac+Cheese, + Veg
18) Chicken, Roasted Cauliflower, Potatoes
19) BBQ Chicken Salad
20) Pizza +Salad
21) Teriyaki Chicken + Rice Bowls with Grilled Veggies
22) Burgers, Bake Fries or Home Fries, + Veg or Salad
23) Lasagna + Broccoli
24) Quiche + Salad
25) Roasted Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Corn + Broccoli or Green Beans
26) Pork Chops + Brown Rice Medley (from T.J.'s) + Veggies
27) Grilled Cheese + Canned Soup + Chopped Veggies (Carrots, Cucumbers, Pickles)
28) B.L.T.A.'s + Salad
29) Corn Chowder + French Bread
30) I lied. There is no 30th meal! I guess I ran out of ideas.