Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It's the hat I just finished knitting! I'm excited cuz I knit one last winter but it turned out too short. :)

Monday, December 25, 2006

A traditional (haha, yeah right) Kurtz Family Christmas

If you were to attend a Christmas at our house (starting a few days in advance), you would find Joel and Dad hastily buying last minute gifts off the internet hoping that they will arrive in time. You will find Christy dragging her father off to the mall to supervise her gift buying while Mom goes about her normal daily activities, having bought her presents months in advance.

On Christmas eve, Mom (and Joel and Christy intermittently) bake festive breads to pass out to the neighbors. (Apricot Walnut Bread to be exact) No matter that there is no flour left, or sugar, or many other necessary ingredients. (Note: these missing items not all happened on Christmas eve. Some of them occurred on Christmas day) Then Joel and Christy practice their "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" singing techniques while Mom and Dad put on their jackets. Much to the chagrin of the parents, Joel and Christy proceeded to serenade them with an angelic boys choir version, a 'Grinch that stole christmas' version, an ear shattering, discordant, and headache-causing version, and various other new twists to the classic Christmas carol. After several minutes of this chaos, the Kurtz family tramps off into their winter wonderland, well, their wishful winter wonderland. Instead of snow this Christmas, we received many moosen fulls of rain. (not sure what that is but it sounded festive. actually, I do know what it is, but I deliberately used it incorrectly because I liked the way it sounded.) Our trip up and down our little street was uneventful except for the huge and ferocious dog that we encountered. Then we realized it was chained up so Joel and Mother (while Father and I looked on in innocence) proceeded to antagonize it with barks and cat "meows". Thankfully, the people at that house weren't home.

Now, in order to understand an important part of the Kurtz family Christmas, you need to know a little history. I don't remember a single Christmas when my Father had his Christmas presents wrapped before Christmas morning at, say, about 9:00 am. He, much to Joel's and my dismay, always waits until the last minute, and then proceeds to start wrapping his presents. And since he is so methodical about everything, it takes another good two hours until he is finished. This has caused a myriad of struggles over the years. Joel and I used to offer to help him wrap presents but we soon learned that that did tend to spoil a bit of the fun. But it all was good for our intertemporal discounting skills and we soon learned just to take it in stride. We even planned our Christmas's around the fact that Dad would need a few hours in the morning to prepare by also waiting until Christmas morning to wrap our presents. This way we had something to do instead of just running anxiously around the house. Now that you know this tidbit of history, we can move on with our Christmas story.

Joel however, decided that his year was going to be different, and so he began to nag, (yes, nag) at Christy to NOT wait until Christmas morning to wrap her presents. Well, if she was going to do it early, than Dad had to as well so she wheedled out of him a promise that he would wrap his presents on Sunday. So mother and Christy happily wrapped their presents so that Dad and Joel would have plenty of time to wrap theirs later on. Well, it was nearing 11 pm, and Mom was fast asleep. Joel and Christy were in the basement talking and Dad was upstairs reading. Christy had made CERTAIN that Dad knew where the wrapping paper, tape, and scissors were. At about 11:30 pm the kids hear rustling paper and happily assume that Dad is wrapping his presents. He comes down to retrieve a large and ominous looking box at about 11:45 pm. Joel and Christy talk for a while longer and around 12:30 am Christmas morning, Christy heads up the stairs for bed. Joel follows to get a drink of water. And what do they see? Dad, dutiffully wrapping the same big box that he had taken up 45 minutes before. Christy wryly comments to her brother that Dad must have started reading the newspaper that he was wrapping the present in and had gotten distracted and at Dad's guilty grin, they knew they had figured him out.

Now, about 20 minutes later, Dad is in bed, Joel is downstairs, and Christy is reading a chapter in her book. Suddenly Christy is startled by her boxer clad brother, looking slightly befuddled, inquiring after the whereabouts of his blanket. Christy is highly amused but calmly tells him to look on the couch in the basement. He walks away and Christy later finds out that the blanket was right where she said. And he had been searching the whole house in the dark. Then Christy remembers that Ande, the little elf that visits their house on Christmas eve, has not made an appearance, and she runs downstairs to ask her brother where Ande is. He pulls out the bag of Andes candies and Joel and Christy fill in for Ande the elf and hide little treats for the parents to find in the near, and not-so-near, future. That task completed, Christy goes back to finish her chapter and Joel, comfortingly assured of the safety of his blanket, goes contentedly to bed.

7:55 am? What is Christy doing up? She was awakened by the roaring of the blender in the kitchen. Joel and mother are starting to make the Sour Cream Gluten! (Sour Cream Gluten is a MUST HAVE Kurtz tradition. Any holiday is not complete without it. ) Christy sleepily resigns herself to the fact that she will get no more sleep on this morning, and starts to help with the food. Joel and Dad soon drive off to take some loaves of the holiday bread to the homeless, and Christy stays back to help Mom. A few hours later, Joel and Dad traipse back in and it's time for presents! Yay!!!!! oh wait.... WHAT! Joel hasn't wrapped his presents! That silly boy. He got everyone else to wrap their presents early, even Dad, and he has yet to wrap his! With a stern reproof and a lot of prodding, Christy shoves him encouragingly towards his room. A half hour later, he's done. And it's time for presents! Yay!!!!!! oh wait! ....Mom forgot a present! 5 minutes later: It's time for presents! Yay!!!!!! oh wait.... Mom just remembered another present. But she can't find it! Where can it be? Christy offers to help but mother firmly escorts her out of the bedroom. "I know I had it in here somewhere!" Mother exclaims. Oh here it is!!! 15 minutes later: Yay! Present time! Finally! oh wait! we can't forget the Silk nog. 4 minutes later: Presents! and this time it was for real. Christy got to be Santa's little helper and wear the fun hat. Present time is always a fun occurrence in the Kurtz house. Dad always waits until last and then when he does proceed to open his gift, he takes as long as he can, carefully peeling off the tape so he can save the paper. Christy or Joel finally gets too impatient and helps him rip the paper off. He looks forlornly at the wasted paper and tries to avoid opening the lid of the box. Joel is just as bad. As soon as he receives a gift that is in the form of any type of book he forgets all else. He's too busy reading his new material and he tries to hide any new presents that Christy hands him under the wrapping paper so that he can go back to reading his book.

After that, I suppose our Christmas was probably pretty normal. We ate our YUMMY YUMMY meal, then went and opened our Christmas stockings. Christy was sneaky and put her biggest gifts in the stockings. Daddy rediscovered his favorite childhood treat: Halvah, and Joel got to taste some Chili Lime dried mango's. And Daddy got the pink toad! That's another Kurtz family tradition but I suppose this blog is long enough. That's another story for another time.

I hope that your Christmas was filled with as many laughs and fun times as ours was. Always remember that you are welcome at our house any time. If you want the infamous Sour Cream Gluten, try to visit around a holiday. Oh, and you don't want to miss out on my Mom's Tofu Cheesecake. It's tastes almost exactly like the real stuff.

Love Always,
Santa's Little Elf,
and Elf Ande's little helper,

Christy Kurtz

p.s. I woke up this morning and lo and behold my mom had found another Christmas present. I do believe that she's just a bit too good at hiding them. :D

Friday, December 22, 2006

"... but you can love completely without complete understanding."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My New Shoes!

Yay for my new shoes! I accidentally (yes, accidentally) left my other "everyday" shoes at school. They've been worn out for a long time but we just haven't had time to get new ones. Well, since I forgot them, this provided the perfect opportunity to get new shoes! yay!

I do feel rather silly posting a blog about my new shoes but hey, I guess hard as I try I cannot forever disguise the fact that I am a girl. haha, those of you that know me will laugh at that last statement. And those of you who don't, you can just go ahead and think I'm weird. lol.

toilet paper vs. lotioned tissues

When one is sick, careful measures must be taken to make them feel cared for. I have already expounded upon (in a comment on Johonn's page) about the advantages of using straws to sip beverages while under the weather. Now, I would like to admonish upon you good people the superiority of lotioned tissues. Yes, toilet paper is much cheaper, and therefore might make you feel better just by thinking about how much money you are saving by ravaging your poor nose with it's rough and tough surfaces. However, I would much prefer to have the soft and downy feeling of a lotioned tissue. When a person is sick, they need something to make them feel loved and cared for, something that toilet paper doesn't seem to accomplish. So here's too going out and spending a few extra cents on a nice box of soft kleenex. You won't regret it next time you're down with the sniffles.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Today, with God

I find it highly amusing just to observe people. God was so creative when He designed us, and there is a surprise to find in each and every person. I think all too often we get distracted by the differences that we have with other people, and how we really don't care to know them because they seem so different from us. But we must not forget the greatest thing that we have in common with all man: our Creator. And if we were all created by the same loving God, than there is nothing that we can judge others on. Because their Creator, who is our Creator too, has infinite love for them. Just as He has for us. It's easy to account ourselves as superior, without really taking the time to think about what we are assuming. If we do this than we are inadvertently saying that God didn't do such a hot job when He created that person. And when it is put that way, it is obvious to see the error. We are altogether too hasty to observe the speck in our neighbor's eye and ignore the plank in our own. (Matt. 7:5)

Thankfully, we have a God who sees us where we are at, forgives us, and then wants to take us to a higher level of understanding. I am so thankful that He doesn't hold a grudge or remember our past sins. Because I know that I have a lot of them. It is so nice to know that, each and every day, we can start anew, cleansed of our past life.
I heard a quote once that I really like: "It is never too late to start being the person you always wanted to be."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

stark honesty

A friend and I were discussing the other night what would happen if we were to know EXACTLY what other people thought and what their true motives and feelings were. Instead of trying to cover things up, we could just tell people the truth, pure and unadulterated. I'm not talking about telling those that you may not have the highest regard for what your true opinion is, but just not trying to hide your true feelings. I'm not sure how much sense I am making, but it all is perfectly clear in my own head, not that that helps you any.

What if a book was published, with some one's pure, unedited thoughts. Would it be a best seller? Or would such brutal honesty be too much for people to take?

When I posed this thought to my brother, he was horrified. He decided that it would be like reading one of those cheap dime novels that are filled to the very last page with sin. He said that even when we strive to follow Christ and be like Him, our minds are still filled with such filth.
I slightly disagreed. Yes, our thoughts are sinful and unholy, but I'm not sure if it would be just like one of those trashy novels, because it's not like it would have a ficticous plotline. Would such honesty be refreshing?

What are your thoughts? I would like to hear what you, who I hold in highest regard, have to say on the matter.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

a waste of money?

I like my microbiology teacher. She is a really nice lady and she has some good insights. Today, in an offhand comment to me as we were joking about not getting out of class early, she made an interesting observation. "You know, education is the one thing that people don't want to get their money's worth out of." Now isn't that interesting. It goes along with what I've been thinking about lately. Why is it that we don't utilize the possibilities that education provides to their fullest capacity? We do the least amount of work to just scrape through school by our boot straps (what are those anyway?). What if we had been brought up so that our way of life was to not get by with the least effort but come out with your time well spent. And I think some people were brought up that way, to some extent. But even those who have had this concept placed before them in their lives seem to still slip back into the 'normal' way of things. They may be considered 'overachievers' by their peers or 'smart', but they aren't even really doing all they could be. Far from it. Now, I'm not claiming to be in this last group. I wish I was. Anyway, some interesting thoughts. Feel free to muse away and activate those dendrites of yours....

Sunday, November 19, 2006

yay for graham cracker houses!

Ok, so we had a lot of fun :) It was quite the adventure, especially when we realized that it was going to be very difficult to make the roof to fit the way we had built the walls. But we prevailed!

That would be me sliding down the roof and Kristin is in the igloo.

And this is of us with it. lol :) Isn't it cute?
And this has been a picture tour of the graham cracker house adventure. It involved extremely soupy icing/glue and a few near death (of the house that is) mishaps, a snow avalanche off our base, throwing candies against the wall, and lots of other fun stuff :)

A glance at my life on a desk....

The hectic pace of life is demonstrated by my desk. You see sticky notes to remind myself of things that need doing and, contradictingly enough, reminders to slow down a bit. You see a R.W. Knudsen Spritzer can of Mandarin Lime soda, with a few sips left in the bottom. This is my attempt at adding some spice to my life. (Just so you know, a really good drink is the mango soda made by this company with about a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. It is a really really good spicy variation!) You see my Bible there, waiting for me to take the time to prioritize. My computer, which is my life (sadly), my nutrition book which is taking up far too much of my time today. Way in the back you see a mug which i use for hot chocolate and other time taking drinks that I drink when I need to slow down. You see my micro book (under my computer) which is what I really need to be studying but I'm not. In the back is where i tack all kinds of notes and papers that i need to not loose track of. I think it works only in theory thought because I put so much stuff up there that it gets lost anyway. And i think i'll stop there because there's way too much else on there that I could comment on.

just for comparisons sake, a look at my roommate's desk:

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

come unto Me, all ye who are weary and heavy ladened, and I will give you rest.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Brain Hopscotch

That would be what my brain is doing right now. It can't decide what is black and what is white. And if there is a pretty gray. Gray's can be pretty you know. But my brain isn't finding one right now. I wish it would. It would be so much easier. And a lot less hurtful. I don't want to hurt. But it's too late for that.

I know we have the Holy Spirit with us now, and Christ Himself said that it would be better than if He Himself was there. But sometimes, I just want Jesus to walk in the room and tell me what to do. Even if it was in the form of a parable. Or a rebuke. I wish I was close enough to my Savior to not need an audible voice. But I think I'm still in that immature stage.

I need to see the sun right now, because all I see are clouds. And they are showing no signs of leaving anytime soon.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Storm

Sometimes it takes a storm
To really know the light
The scent of rain
The weight of clouds
Pulling down the sky
Sometimes it takes a storm
To know how you feel
To understand indigo
And the varnished sun
Lighting up the fields

It takes the rain between the lines to know what sorrow finds
The way a cloud divides sometimes
The clearing and the blue
I love you
I was just passing through
And taken by surprise
Between the black sky
And the blue
Between the black sky and the blue
I love you
I love you

-Fernando Ortega