Thursday, April 30, 2009

Yesterday I used purple cabbage for a science experiment, but, as always, I only needed a couple leaves. I hate to waste food like that, so I searched online for a recipe. I found one! Green leaf lettuce, purple cabbage, blueberries, mango, pecans, and a homemade raspberry vinaigrette.

Some flowers are starting to bloom! This is a white and purple iris.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


machinate- engage in plots and intrigues; scheme

pouncet box- a small box with a perforated lid used for holding perfume

laager- an encampment formed by a circle of wagons

guerdon- a reward or recompense

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

tea for four

1 pot of unsweetened vanilla rooibos tea
3 tea cups and saucers
1 coffee mug
4 cream scones

Sunday, April 26, 2009

answering the whys and wherefores

A very dear and sweet friend of mine ;) asked if I would share my inspiration for the "marginalia" posts. In acquiescence:

My desire to learn new and especially long or interesting sounding words started one summer as I read a novel. I don't know what about that particular book sparked my hunger for black and white morsels, but my enthusiasm has only grown stronger over the months. I started jotting down vocabulary I wasn't familiar with on a piece of scrap paper. Later I looked the words up in a dictionary and wrote out the definitions.

This last fall I started a new humanities program called Gileskirk. It suggests that the student write in a journal several times a week. The entries should contain quotes, vocab, thoughts, and ideas about what is read. But, as you can imagine, I was having a hard time making the entries. So, I decided to expand the scope of them and try to incorporate them into what I already do for school. Curtis was telling me about his "common place" book. It is a notebook that he writes quotes in as he is doing his assigned reading. I still keep a written record of most of what I type in my posts, but I do like to share some of them with y'all.

"Marginalia" is simply "marginal notes." As I have learned to love learing and enjoy reading books with depth, I have begun to mark, make notes in, and underline in my books. Now, most of my books have lines, arrows, squiggles, colors, stickers, bookmarkS, or comments on the side. =D I have heard that "How to Read a Book," and "How to Read Slowly" deal with the same ideas. Needless to say they are on my list of books to read this year. Well, much of what I post about I have underlined or otherwise made note of in my books (unless of course they are Mom's school books, and then I have to limit myself to just copying out the selections). I basically just post snippets of what I am learning, what impressed me as I was reading, and the newest neat words that I come across (I still have a word-philia and can't imagine the day I will cease).

So that's why I post "marginalia" and what gave me the idea.

ice cream sunday

Today we celebrated our two year anniversary of adopting Mark Edward, Scott Daniel, and Russell Jeremiah. We ate a late lunch after coming home from church, so for a lighter dinner we decided on ice cream. Each topping we enjoyed were for someone (or two =p) special:

caramel syrup (Rissie and Scott)
chocolate syrup (Mom and Russell)
peanuts (me and Dad)
M&Ms (Rissie and Russell)
coconut (Curtis and Mom)
whipped cream (Mark and me)
maraschino cherries (Curtis and Scott)

We love you boys!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

This and That

Well, this is kinda a mix and match post.... lots of "random" happenings around the Spencer house. 

I guess I'll start with my favorite pics of my rapidly growing puppy! I can't believe she is 10 1/2 weeks old! 

Alrighty we got that behind about graduation...naw...Caity'll probably want to do her own post...huh Caity??? *hint hint*

Well then, the other day....yesterday in fact, I decided to give Taco Bell a run for their money. I made my own Crunch Wraps for our family. I think they turned out really well. =) They sure look purty. 

While we're on the topic of food...tonight our dear sweet Momma, selflessly boiled sweet corn and crawfish for our little southerners. =) Every one else at the table bore with the smells, sounds, and sights of these bottom dwellers so the boys could enjoy their treat. I wasn't too eager to pull the creatures apart lim by lim, nor did I desire to eat the innards, but I had Mark peal the shell off the tail of one and I ate it! It was pretty good. That's about the only part of a crawfish I would ever want to eat but it was good. =) I am posting pictures, so if you prefer not to see crawfish being eaten then view no further....(you probably wouldn't want to see the pictures of my frog dissection either).

Ok, and finally, I am posting pictures of my frog dissection. It was a really neat dissection! I throughly enjoyed it. Inside all the parts were different colors, but that may have something to do with the preservation process.  Russell (who was my faithful on-looker) and I explored ever inch of the frog and when we were done he was just a pile of skin and parts. =)

Honestly, I hope I did not gross anyone out...I find our life around here quite interesting and love to take pictures of it all, and I understand that some of you may not appreciate it.... let me know and I won't post such pictures again. =)

Florida- day 2

Alright so, I am finally getting around to posting about my trip to Florida. 

Sunday morning, Aunt Jan, her parents (Mr. and Mrs. Glass), Meghan, and I attended United Methodists Church. It was very different from our little Trinity Reformed Church. The vast majority of attendants were elderly where as our church is predominantly young 'uns. Also they had a choir (not a bad thing in my opinion), women ushers, and women leading prayer. *shudders ;) The sermon, however, was not bad. The pastor preached talked about the week leading up to the Last Supper, Crucifixion, and Resurrection.
I got to meet three of the Skeens relatives at Church. Mr. Glass' sister Mary Ester (Aunt Meme), Aunt Jan's cousin Cheri and her husband Bill. After Church, the Glass', Aunt Meme, and the New Mexicans went to a restaurant called Bob Evans. They have food similar to a Cracker Barrel. It was very yummy. 
Later that afternoon, Meghan and I made some little sandwiches to take over to the neighbors who were hosting a "get-together." The hostess was a very sweet, Christian lady who just loved talking Aunt Jan, Meghan, and I. After a while Meghan and I left to go swimming at the pool in the community. That night Meghan and I stayed up late (which we actually did every night) and watched some re-runs of the I Love Lucy Show. 

A beautiful lake as you drive in the subdivision 
Meghan on Sunday 


Each house had a screened-in porch. 

Aunt Jan and her mom, Dee

After swimming

my latest project

a skirt for Rissie:

and a puppy update:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

for those of you who sew...

or understand those who do =)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


This past week's assignment was to write two sketches of anything from a picture to a figment of our imagination. I was very pleased with how the sketches turned out. I thought I would post them for ya'll to read too. And for all of you still waiting to hear about my trip, I am still planning to post more about it soon. 

Unscrupulous Countenance


Across the vulnerable and shaky table, deep-set, deceptive, penetrating, chestnut eyes stare into the dark recesses of the room. Furrowed brows wrinkled in thought reflect the devious mind within the confines of his steal trap. Cracked, dry lips rest parched below a hard, hooked nose. Shoulder-length hair, once rich as chocolate, now gray and unkempt, scarcely covers the top of his balding head. Hair and beard flow together. No fire burns on this cold, gloomy night, and only moonlight provides illumination in the naked quarters of the lifeless dwelling. Carelessly coffee-stained, a white collared shirt peeks out from below a worn, plaid, flannel shirt. Gloves with missing fingers and frayed finger holes cover hands calloused from a life of deceit and thievery. Dirt embedded in the overgrown cuticles of his fingers reflects a blatant lack of self-respect. His lanky yet muscular frame sits perched on a three-legged stool. Broad shoulders hunched, one elbow situated on the table, his pointy chin rests in his cupped hand as he meditates his next move.


Pressed but not Crushed


Sweet, innocent eyes stare at the floor as though accepting blame for a crime he did not commit. Dirty-blonde curls tousled in every direction, fall just below his ears, begging for a trim. Such an honest face he wears. Such a longing expression he holds. His sad countenance expresses longing for the love he has never known. Childish, soft skin glows with the light of the rising sun streaming through the cracked window. Tattered, half-buttoned, and stretched around the neckline, his drab, muslin shirt shows signs of wear and abuse. This child works a job far beyond that fit for a lad, as seen by his bandaged hands, bruised cheek, and the trickle of blood on his temple. Bare feet reflect either the poverty or the hatefulness of his master. Shivering, he stands prepared for the approaching, undeserved punishment. 

dogs and s'mores

Last night we enjoyed the beautiful weather outside while we roasted hot dogs in the fire place on the patio. Everyone else was comfortable in a sweater, slippers, and a hat, so I accommodated with short sleeves and flip flops. =)

For dessert we made s'mores

Monday, April 20, 2009


exacerbate- make a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling worse

ameliorate- make something bad or unsatisfactory better

"He does much who loves much. He does much who does a thing well. He well who serves the common good rather than his own interests."
"If , after being admonished once of twice, a person does not amend, do not argue with him, but commit the whole matter to God, that His will and honor may be furthered in all His servants, for God knows well how to turn evil to good. Try to bear patiently with the defects and infirmities of others, whatever they may be, because you also have many a fault which others must endure." -Thomas a' Kempis

Friday, April 10, 2009


Here are some pictures of what I've been working on this week (it is my spring break):

a turquoise shirt

the boys asked me to make them some mountain-man gear, so my first project was a pouch to hold rocks, "bullets," sticks, and whatever else they can think of.

in full regalia

a gray shirt

Of course, while I'm sewing there needs to be a place for Mandy nearby too:

still on my list to get done before Monday:
a gored skirt
3 knit shirts
The Black Arrow

...and Rissie gets home tonight! YAY

Monday, April 6, 2009

growing by leaps and bounds

...quite literally. She's only 8 1/2 weeks old, but already so much bigger and energetic!!

Mandy went on two runs with me today. At first she wasn't so sure, but she sure seemed to enjoy it once we started. Both times we went to the first stop sign and back with stops only to tie my shoes =)

she's always playing and keeping us all on our toes

but she's resting some too, for which we are all grateful =)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Florida-day 1

Update from- Venice, Florida! 
I guess I have to start from the beginning. =) Yesterday afternoon, Aunt Jan and Meghan Skeen drove down to Albuquerque. They stayed the night and we left around 7 am for the airport. Our first flight left right on time at 8:45 and landed a little before noon in St. Louis, Missouri. We had a 3 hour lay over and had lunch, read, walked around, talked, and rested till our second and last flight from St. Louis to Tampa Bay, Florida. I enjoyed a window seat on this flight, and just watched the scenery pass. There were so many streams and rivers and irrigated fields that flying over it, the sun would reflect on the water. It looked like sparkling water running all over the ground. It was fascinating to watch! =)
 On our second flight we had another smooth, uneventful flight. A humorous steward livened up the trip, and we also took advantage of the 2 hour flight by resting for a while. When we woke up, we were flying over the ocean just minutes from our destination. As we neared the land green grass, trees, bodies of water, and lots of houses and buildings immediately met our eyes. I pointed out to Meghan the first Palm Trees I saw. =) 
After we landed we met Aunt Jan's dad and picked up out luggage. We then started the hour drive to Venice. We got dinner, went to see Aunt Jan's mom, got some groceries, and came to their house. That is where I am currently. 
I will hopefully get to more of our adventures and maybe some pictures of the coming week. Till later. 
~Marissa =)

Friday, April 3, 2009

a moment in time

here are a couple snapshots of what we're doing today...

the best shot this side of South Mountain

finishing up the last few minutes of school

reading has a very interesting definition in our house:

she has 4 chapters left to finish before she can see her aunt and cousin, in 45 minutes!!!

and Mark doing his free reading time

then there's the ninjatographer =)