God is always working to make His children aware of a dream
that remains alive beneath the rubble of every shattered dream,

a new dream that
when realized will release a new song, sung with tears,

till God wipes them away
and we sing with nothing but joy in our hearts

--Larry Crabb

Friday, February 21, 2014

Pickled Videos

So let me just say that I am not a fan of kidney beans because they just aren't that good. I am less a fan of salt because too much of it (which really isn't that much to the ordinary Joe Schmoo) makes me sick. This week I opened up my Nieuwsma Family Cookbook. I figured I better brush up on some family favorites because we're having company in April and, well, they're Nieuwsmas. I thought that my great grandma's homemade bread might be a hit but wanted to practice. As I was waiting for the bread to rise and denying the fact that my son was littering our apartment with toys I didn't even know we had I started looking at some of the other recipes. One thing that jumped out at me was my grandma's three bean salad. Now, let me tell you that I am not a fan of just any three bean salad. At all. It is salty and not pretty, but that is three bean salad from a can. I had always heard that my grandma made the BEST three bean salad of anyone. Plus my aunt brought some to my mom's once for a potluck and I tasted it and it WAS pretty yummy. So I made a batch. And I ate the whole thing in less than 24 hours. With a fork right out of the container. By myself. Ironically, the best part was the kidney beans (and I found a no added salt variety at the grocery store. GO ME!) I dumped the remaining juice down the sink and since both littles were taking a rare synchronized nap I started cleaning the kitchen. Most kitchen counters accumulate a variety of things. Ours is no exception. Somehow our video camera had landed there so I tucked it into my arm along with a random sock, some water paint, and a Minnie Mouse light up microphone that plays the most annoying music ever. I take that back. We have a Caillou video where Caillou is singing about being a boat captain. That is more annoying. Anyway, somehow the camera slipped out of my arm and slid into the sink, but it didn't stop there. Oh no...it went straight down into the garbage disposal because some idiot (ok, it was me) removed the rubber seal in the sink drain because it was too stiff to let water through. For some reason the pickling juice from the beans hadn't drained, either and the cute little compact video camera that we bought just before Carson was born had taken a little swim in it. How exactly do you tell your husband that you pickled your newish video camera? Why does stuff like this happen to me? Urgh. As it turns out, my husband is awesome and just shook his head. P.S. I realize that this all looks like one big giant paragraph and I can't figure out what I can do to make that not happen. Blogger and iPad are having some little conflicts that they need to work out. People tell me I need to blog more, so I am and this is what you get. I did, however, get a keyboard for my iPad so one teeny tiny post is no longer an all night ordeal.

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Shoe Story

I do not really like to spend money. I agonize a lot at the stores because I see things I like but then don't want to spend the cash on them. Matter of fact, I still have some Christmas money from several years ago. I want each purchase to be something profound and useful. I am Dutch...thriftiness is in my bones. With that being said, a few months ago I bought Carson a new pair of shoes. The were cute--all brown leather with little blue airplanes on them. Before purchasing them I stared at them for a long time. Yes, they were only $15 and he is absolutely worth much more than that, but the fact is that a 6 month old really doesn't need shoes; they would only be for decoration. Yet I sighed and threw them in the cart. I even had a gift card and it was still a hard choice for me. Later that day we took a family trip to the mall, which is only about 3 blocks from our apartment. Craig wanted to spend some time looking at the iPad mini (which he ended up buying after thinking about it for a couple more weeks--he and I are alike that way--anyway, that is irrelevent to my very exciting story). I could no longer keep my girl entertained in that store, so we decided to head up one level to ride the mini carousel. I do mean MINI by the way. There are only three horses on the thing. On the way there we walked by Children's Place and they seemed to be having good sales so we jetted through there for a bit then Lauren led the way to the carousel. I decided to let Carson ride as well, but found when I sat him on the horse he was missing a shoe. We paused, checked the stroller, the hallway, everywhere, but the shoe was elusive. We went back to CP, back to Apple, still no shoe. I seriously felt anxiety. It HAD to be there. I could feel it in my gut. I want you to know that I have a crazy gut instinct. As a nurse, I could always just feel if a patient was in trouble. Many times I was able to identify a situation early on and take care of small issues before they became big problems. I could feel in my bones that sometihng wasn't right in my pregnancy with CJ. I knew Lauren was a girl and Carson was a boy long before any ultrasound confirmed. I knew that shoe was in that mall. I also knew how silly it was to dwell on such a trivial thing, but couldn't help it. Every time we went to the mall I made Craig check with Lost and Found, the Apple Store, and CP to see if it had turned up. It wasn't until the night when we went with him to purchase his iPad and the guy at the Apple store said "hey...aren't you the one that was looking for the baby shoe? Did you ever find it?" that I called off the search. Um, embarrassing! Just the other day I was cleaning and came across the lone shoe. I thought about throwing it away, but instead tossed it in the dresser with the intent of disposing of it when we move back home. Then tonight we went to the mall. We decided to take the kids on the carousel. Out of habit I glanced at all the nook and cranny crevices along the way. Craig busted me and we laughed. As we neared the carousel I noticed that the base of it waved in the breeze a bit as lightweight fabric does. "Hey Craig, wouldn't it be crazy if Carson's shoe was under that thing." "Enough about the shoe--it is gone. Forget it!" Whatever, I plopped down on my hands and knees and pulled the fabric back. I wish I would have had a camera when I pulled the long lost shoe out and showed it to Craig. Lauren, too, was as excited as she gets "That's Brother's lost shoe! Look Carson!" Three months had passed since we lost it and it was found in a mall that has literally thousands, if not millions of people walking past Carson's shoe each week. The other odd part is that Lauren had also asked multiple times to go back to the horses to get it. She was adamant and upset and would not forget about it. (Let me insert here that there is absolutely no denying that this is my daughter. We share issues.) When we got home I went to the drawer, pulled out the other shoe, placed them on his feet, and put him down to crawl. He looked at me, shood his head, cried "No no no no no" and took them off. Oh yeah...I forgot that he hates them. Sigh.