Saturday, December 20, 2008

I am an exhausted Par-tay Animal

My niece Kathy tagged me for a little game. It came at a great time because I wanted to post this morning before we leave for Santa Rosa, but I am absolutely DRAGGING after not enough sleep. So the bulk of this post will be the Picture Tag game.

But first, gotta tell you, these Argentines are serious par-tay-ers! In true Argentine fashion we didn't begin to eat until after 11 p.m. I was not crawling into my bed until 2 a.m.

We had a blast! The girls (one pretteen and six teens) enjoyed the paper crafts I'd set out. Everyone also took turns on the computer checking their facebook accounts :-) I showed a few people the absolutely adorable video the son took of his two dogs playing tug of war. [You have to understand, Leo is a Black Lab/German Shepherd mix and weighs over 80 lbs. Bailey is a four month old puggle puppy (part Pug, part Beagle) and is about 1/16 the size of Leo. It's like Leo is trying to teach Bailey the art of tug of war. Just too cute!]

The men, as is the custom, remained outside huddled around the asador and quarter-backing whoever was manning the grill. It was truly a collaborative effort and hugely successful! We enjoyed chorizos, costillas, morsilla and chicken. Yummy! We also had potato salad, a green salad, fresh bread, pizza, and pan dulce. And I made popcorn balls for everyone to take home (recipe at end of post).

There were fifteen of us gathered around the table. We were missing some and I'm guessing they had other parties to go to. They like to par-tay here just like we do in the U.S. :-) We had a wonderful time laughing and sharing what we are grateful for, because of the work of God in our lives and His provision over the past year.

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Now for the game. The rules of the Picture Tag game:

1. Go to the 4th folder in your computer where you store your pictures.
2. Pick the 4th picture in that folder.
3. Explain the picture.
4. Tag 4 people to do the same.

This is the parsonage, where we lived for ten years. Lots of memories associated with this picture! We moved in on a hot day in July of 1998, a month after the son's auto accident so he was still in a wheelchair. Our church family turned out en mass to help which was SUCH A BLESSING. They moved our stuff, they helped clean and unpack, they finished some plumbing that needed to be done...They made a tough job a lot easier!

Over the years we hosted a many youth group activities in this house, and later small group gatherings, various parties (remember I am a par-tay animal!), and a lot of teenage angst and drama as our kids grew up. I painted the walls (numerous times in some cases) and rearranged the furniture probably too often, I walked up and down those stairs to the basement to wash untold loads of laundry, and spent many hours looking out that small kitchen window near the front door as I cooked and did dishes.

It is the house I felt most at home in during our 29 years of marriage.

Maybe because we invested so much of ourselves into it. The year before we moved in we worked hard to get it ready. We painted from the ceilings to the baseboard, all the window and door facings, replaced floors or refinished them, painted all the kitchen cabinets...Hours and hours of labor. So when we moved in, it felt like "ours". I unpacked everything (many places we never did unpack it all) and really settled in.

It was a great house and we had some amazing years there. I still miss it; mainly the memories of our family together there. I miss the past few years when we were able to sit around late at night with Rob, the other associate pastor who lived with us, and just catch up on the day. I rarely made it too late but the guys would stay up into the wee hours of the morning, talking theology and ministry.

I miss Christmas there with the big, freshly cut pine tree crowding the living room. I'd turn the overhead lights off and just sit in the semi-darkness enjoying the twinkle of the string lights on the tree, around the window...sipping hot cocoa and munching a cookie the daughter had baked. *sigh*

Okay, I'm going to tag my son and daughter in an effort to get them to blog (laying on a little guilt goes a long way in getting your kids to do what you want), my fellow missionary friend Sarah who's on the other side of the world (Hi, Jungle Wife!), and I'm going to leave the 4th slot open for anyone else who might like to participate. Let me know if you do, 'kay?

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3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup margarine
2 teaspoons cold water
2 5/8 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup marshmallows
5 quarts plain popped popcorn

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the corn syrup, margarine, cold water, confectioners' sugar and marshmallows. Heat and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Carefully combine the hot mixture with the popcorn, coating each kernel.
2. Grease hands with vegetable shortening and quickly shape the coated popcorn into balls before it cools. Wrap with cellophane or plastic wrap and store at room temperature.


Debbie said...

I would think the love of a good par-tay would be universal. One of those things that unite us all.

rita said...

¡Muy interesante--todo, lo actual y los recuerdos de antes!
You did not even mention any language communication issues, so were you super delighted at your progress?
Everything sounded wonderful. You are so perfect for that missionary wife role!
I remember the family Christmas in that house. Good memories when I look back on the photos, but mixed with some sad reflections as well. Jeff was there...much difficult family history since then.

junglewife said...

I've never been tagged before! I'll post mine right now :-)

junglewife said...

I just noticed you have Crazy Mom Quilts on your blogroll. I just discovered her blog and LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! I haven't sewed in a while and I don't really have any way to get fabric here but I am really getting bitten by the bug and wanting to bring back tons of cute fabric with me so I can start sewing again!!!