Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Most people know this, but there's someone new in our family. For being so small (almost 3 inches!) they sure are having a big effect already. He or she has made me feel a little strange (maybe Nate too!), made four people into happy grandparents, made us start searching for a new house, and mostly made us very excited.
Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment and Nate came along to hear the heartbeat (I had heard it at my last appointment). Everything looks good so far and we are looking forward to our baby being born somewhere in the vicinity of June 26. We hear that many, many changes are in store for us; that's a good thing, I think. Keep us in your prayers please!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mt. Baker in the Fall

We visited Mt. Baker today with Tom, Karlene, Ali, and Grant. We had planned to go to Artist Point but that road was closed. We walked around this pond, spent time taking pictures of people and scenery, and then had a picnic lunch. It was nippy but sunny and the fall colors were beautiful.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sourdough Bread: Scored top

I've been having problems with the tops and sides of my bread exploding open during the baking process, and since this bread is destined for church council snacks tomorrow night, I wanted it to be a little better aesthetically. I tried scoring the top before baking with a finely serrated knife. I think they turned out gorgeously if I do say so myself. Good thing the smell is not included in the photo or I bet you would be drooling on your computer. OK, I will stop bragging about it now. Come and visit me if you want to sample some of the next batch!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mt. St. Helens

This past weekend Nate got to hike a real live volcano with a group from school! Only 100 people are allowed per day so we had to buy passes in February for our spots. We camped overnight at the trailhead and started hiking about 5:15 a.m. We got to watch the sun rise as we hiked through the forest section of the hike, and as we got out of the trees we could see Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Rainier. After the forest was a section of boulders, and then a gravel/ash mixture towards the top, which was slippery. There was snow yet through the shaded forest and higher on the mountain where there were shady spots between the ridges. The view from the top was amazing; I did not expect the crater to be so big. When you hear that the north side of the mountain was blown away, it is really true! I had heard the statistics about how much power and how many tons of mud, but it really made an impression to see it. We could see Spirit Lake with all the logs floating in it to the north and steam rising from the center of the crater (made me think of this verse about God's power and glory). I was not the fastest hiker; it took me 5 hrs. to get to the top, and 3 hrs. to get down. My shoes did not treat my feet very nicely but some "2nd skin" treatment partway up prevented it from being worse than it was.
It was a fun trip to end the summer with- worth every blister! (But I really need better shoes!)

This is a view (photo by Nate) of the east side of the horseshoe-shaped rim, the crater, and Spirit Lake past the mountain.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight

We spent a few days in Olympic National Park (click link for DougVW pictures) at the under-lifegaurded Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort with Nate's family. We ate delicious chocolate cherry cake baked in the Dutch oven and hiked up Storm King Mountain for a beautiful view of Crescent Lake.
Then we headed into Seattle for Lucas and Rachel's wedding. The wedding and catching up with family were both great. If the trip wasn't already exciting enough, we pulled up for the wedding and saw a junker car catch on fire and burn itself and the really nice truck parked in front of it. 

Monday, July 07, 2008

Crabby at the Beach

Nate dug this up at the beach with Tom and Karlene and their kids.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Yesterday evening Nate and I arrived safely home from a week in Camas County, Idaho with my family. It was great to see them and catch up on talking, teasing, and traditions (like haircuts and Ice Age II).
To get to the cabin we drove about an hour through the mountains from the nearest town (Fairfield). The cabin was (way) off the grid and had propane-powered lights (with mantles like camping lanterns) and stove, and solar-power for other things.
We did a lot of hiking, and never saw any other humans while doing so. The best hike was to the Skillern Hot Springs, where we soaked in the hot water and then dipped in the freezing stream. There were a lot of pretty views on the way there, too.
After that day my feet and legs were very sore due to old junky shoes, but thankfully Dad rigged up some excellent emergency arch supports using duct tape, a sacrificed sock, and the Leatherman knife. I really need to get new shoes, though.
The worst hike...involved several miles of no trail through the steep and scratchy underbrush, not finding our destination, and mild dehydration, exhaustion, and frustration. Character and navigation skills were built...I hope.
The south fork of the Boise River ran behind the cabin. For a few days we were entertained by stirring sticks in the icy clear water, but eventually we (and by we, I mean Holly, Dad, and I) progressed to fording it barefoot. On the other side, we panned for "gold" with a Cool Whip bowl and sent things downstream.
We had an a cappella hymnsing by the river on Sunday night, with these lyrics standing out to me (genius point to whoever identifies the song first):
And everywhere that we can be, You God are present there.

Here is a link to pictures of our first snowy evening at the cabin and exploring the hills near the cabin.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


I know a lot of my posts have to do with food. (By the way, check out this recipe to easily and quickly make your own hamburger buns. It's handy that you can change the number of servings, but I found that although I set the recipe for 15, I only got 9, meaning I still had to buy some buns for last night's bonfire.)
There's been a lot in the news about the causes and effects rising food prices. I've noticed the prices rising here and have cut back on some things (like hamburger buns!), but we still have plenty of healthy food to eat and groceries make up a fairly small portion of our budget. 
This past week the contrast between need and waste stood out to me. I took a bruised banana home from school (a student was going to throw it away) for my destined-for-banana-bread bag in the freezer. I was too late to save a stack of sandwich cookies from getting chucked on Friday's field trip. After school I looked down into my classroom trash and just from the top I saw a Dorito's bag with a serving left in it, a 3/4 full yogurt container with a spoon in it, and an Oreo package with several partial cookies left. I've watched kids use grapes as ammo and dump the better part of a carton of milk on the ground. And it's not just kids (who don't have to buy and cook their own food). Personally, I threw away the last bit of hummus which smelled funny, a small avacado that we cut open but was much too hard to use, and I should throw away a partial and hardened PB&J, and some seeds from a long-since-eaten squash.
I know we can't send any of these things to the people in Haiti eating dirt to fill their stomachs but to me it seems like a sign that we don't care very much. Maybe some fasting and prayer is in order.

Friday, April 04, 2008

April Eggs

"What if someone added a non-boiled egg to the boiled eggs?" a bystander asked with an innocent voice and wide eyes as I peeled the first egg destined for egg-salad sandwich spread.
I counted the eggs- seven- and mentally retraced my steps; I had placed four in the boiling water and then, taking a second glance at the large five-dozen box (I can't resist a sale!), thrown in a few more. Had I gone for an even half dozen, and the seventh egg been thrown in by a sinister sneakster?
I growled at the bystander and obvious culprit. He grinned and after some indignant prodding, and threats that he would not get any of the egg salad, neither gave me any information nor went back to his work.
I carefully tapped the second egg on the edge of an extra bowl. Boiled. Anxious eyes watched me peel it. Third egg: boiled also. Fourth and fifth eggs: neither was the one.
I came to the 6th egg. "Fifty-fifty chance," I said, raising my eyebrows. It was boiled.
"Well, what's the chances of that, that I have to hold my breath for 5 eggs worth!"
"Kind of takes the suspense out," said my sidekick, disappointed and turning to leave. He had as good as confessed.
I cracked the final egg over the bowl, fully expecting the runny egg to plop out.

Nothing. I'd been had. I whacked him. I guess I'm gullible.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Grandma VW!

Happy birthday to an amazing, fun, blogging, Grandma. She always posts in honor of family birthdays, so we (family members) decided to do the same for her. Thank you, Grandma, for always making me feel like part of the family! We love you!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Spring Forward

I took this picture of daffodils beside our driveway.  The weather here is beautiful and we just finished enjoying soy-peach-grape-vanilla ice cream while sitting in the sunshine. 
Thank you to Grandma Vander Wilt for reminding us about the time change tonight. Don't forget to skip an hour of sleep, everyone!

Saturday, February 16, 2008


It seems like spring here, but I've really been getting a lot of knitting done lately since my double-pointed needles came!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Open Street Maps

Nate, in his mapping mania, has got me into It is an open source wiki (meaning anyone can edit it) map of the world. If you zoom in to any place I've lived you will* see some of my "work". (I added the Sandy Hollow campground and bike trail.) 
The site is European-based, which is reflected in some of the tagging options. I was tempted to tag Covenant Hall as "amenity: biergarten" just for fun but I resisted.

*the servers aren't uploaded immediately so you cannot yet see all my work

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Gelukkig Nieuwjaar

Heather was in charge of making the traditional New Year's oliebollen (Dutch deep-fried donut balls with apples and raisins in them) at Crown Pointe. Holly and I came in to help with the frying. None of us had ever done it before, but with some advice from the residents we managed to pull it off. At the end of the afternoon, the triple batch was eaten, we smelled like oil, and the room was very sugary. Mmmm, fat balls!