Friday, November 21, 2008


Dear Annie,

So, yeah... I got home from work tonight and I hadn't the energy to get out of my car. I just sat there for ten minutes or so, thinking "finally... it's over! Time for vacation!"

I'm sitting in my parents' home right now. It is late and I should go to sleep soon. We are getting up early to leave for Death Valley.

TEN WHOLE DAYS away from everyone and everything... and hopefully out of cell phone range! Maybe I just won't take my phone with me!

I am not so sure why you dislike camping. Have you ever been? Some people like to rough it, but my family takes the motorhome. This way, you have the best of both worlds. Campfire, millions of stars, far from civilization, yet, running water and electricity!

Few things are so relaxing as sitting around a campfire and looking up at the stars. Campfires inspire good conversation. Maybe it is the dimly lit faces, familiar, yet somehow strange in the flickering light of the fire. Maybe it's the the warm glow or the marshmallows (I never cared for marshmallows...).

People keep asking me what's there to do in Death Valley? There are canyons, dirt roads, sand dunes, lava rocks, abandoned mine shafts... The best Gilbert Christmas card ever is a picture of Laurie and I standing in front of a mine shaft with flashlights. There is a big DANGER sign above the entrance. And yes, we really do go exploring in the mines.

The coolest phenomenon in Death Valley is called the racetrack. Here is a picture of it (as well as others of Death Valley).


Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Dear Annie,

It has been a while but I finally feel like blogging again...

Let's see... what am I thankful for. I'm thankful for variety.

A while back at a Foundation meeting (about a year ago), Kurt gave a sermon on consumerism in our modern day society. He gave, as an example, the fact that there were ~200 different varieties of breakfast cereal. How shameful of us humans!

I like that I have a choice between Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios... Personally, I like buying the plain ones and putting my own honey on them.

God is the ultimate creator of variety. Just think of all the different fruits there are! And look at all the animals. There are animals on this planet that you have never even heard of and never even could possibly dream exist. Here are a few of my favorites.

Highland Cow

Tibetan Fox


Boto (Amazon River Dolphin)

These are far from the strangest animals on our planet, but like I said, just a few of my favorites! I love the last part of Job where God addresses Job by referring to His creation and all the different animals in it. It is so beautiful.

I think God rejoices that we have invented so many different cereals. Of course we should not let our lives be governed by the latest trends and consumerism.

The real danger for us is not variety, but sameness. In a world of so much variety it is sad that we all try to be the same, if anything. What if there was only one type of cheese available? One type of cereal? I'm thankful to live in a society where we do have the choice to buy Goldfish or your children's favorite: Annie's Cheddar Bunnies.

*Crunch Crunch*

I love Galatians 3:28:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

It is this concept that allows for the ultimate variety: the true bond between brothers and sisters in Christ. I love that when I am out with a group of Foundry-ites, that almost everyone in the group is from a different nationality or culture. Strangers stare in awe, actually. It is great.

It is late and this is not the most formulated thought of mine at the moment, however, I'll type it anyway. This is another paradox of Christianity... the idea that, we are dead to this world and alive in Christ. It is only this separation from the world that allows us to turn right around and enjoy it for what it truly is. The awesome creation of our Lord. I can't stare at even a gum spot on the sidewalk without thinking of God, sin, and salvation. That being said, spending time out in pristine nature is overwhelming.

On another note, my parents bought a brand new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon today (they are gleefully whittling away at my would-be inheritance...). We are going to Death Valley for Thanksgiving and I can't wait! I wonder if my mother will at least let me drive it recklessly across the desert.


Heh. Heh.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Zen in the art of... Peanut Butter & Jelly

Dear Annie,

Recently I have had a craving for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I hated them growing up... you know... the soggy saran-wrapped lump of brownish goo you'd find in your lunch box as a kid...

There are a plethora of ways to destroy this simple dish:

~ Artisan bread (way too fancy)
~ Organic, natural nut butter (bleh)
~ And who ever decided you could package peanut butter and jelly in the same jar!?


It wasn't until I reached adulthood that I learned the art of creating a perfect PB&J sandwich:

~ Roman Meal 100% whole wheat bread (yes, the cheap, pre-sliced stuff)
~ Skippy Peanut Butter (creamy, not chunky)
~ Knott's Boysenberry Jam (refrigerated)

Put it all together and consume immediately! Ah the cool smooth taste of perfection...

You are probably gagging right now. Heh.

This blog is so pointless. I could cry right now.