Tuesday, June 30, 2009


This is a free plug for Seattle Tourism...

In my opinion, Seattle is, by far, the nicest summer-time city in the country. Seattle's temperatures are cool, the air is not humid, the folks are friendly, the sun is shiny, the waterfront is spacious, and the views of Mount Ranier are incredible.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Farmer Family Reunion

Mom's siblings are all in town simultaneously for twelve hours! We took advantage and had a big turkey dinner!

Jeff, Janet, Mark, Joanne, Scott
Tom & Janet, Michael & Joanne, Scott & Kamila
(Right to Left) Sarah, Katherine, Luke, Mark, Nate, Becca, Tom, Janet, Yusif, Hannah, Michael, Joanne, Amelia, Caleb, Jeff, Kamila, Elizabeth, Jacob, Scott, Isaac
Mark, Tom & Janet, Michael & Joanne, Scott & Kamila, Jeff (We miss you, Marilyn.)

And, of course, Allie & Isaac, celebrating, in yellow, nine months!!

What is Real?

"What is REAL?" asked the rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender..."Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

- Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Yusif Loves Snow Leopards

My cousin, Yusif, absolutely loves snow leopards so Scott, Kamila, Yusif, Elizabeth and Rebecca all traveled with Nate to the city (Nate had to get a visa from the Brazilian Embassy) to visit the Central Park Zoo which is currently featuring a snow leopard exhibit! The highlight for everyone was the snow leopard exhibit, with the exception of Kamila who enjoyed the sidewalk squirrel who ate out of her hand. Tonight at dinner Kamila said, "Thank God, I have been dreaming of petting a squirrel for two years!"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesday Evening Boxscore: Yankees 8, Braves 4

Hannah and I made a date to watch baseball tonight on TV! The best part of the second Yankees vs. Braves game, or at least the part that made us laugh, was when Mariano Rivera batted a fly out to center field!

House Sitting in Bear Country

Hannah and I are house sitting all week for a neighbor friend who lives about two miles behind Bentley Farm. This is a picture our friend took in her backyard (ten feet from her porch) just last week. Wild!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another Quality Job By Angell Brothers Construction

I am so proud of my brothers, who, with a little assistance from our neighbor Lawrence, completed another very quality construction job! The boys had to do rewiring, plumbing, construction, tiling, painting, sheetrocking, taping and much more to install the two new bathrooms. The pictures below are of the new main bathroom - just completed. Maryella's refinished room and smaller bathroom are still being completed; pictures will follow later!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Yoke is Easy

We have had the unique privilege of hosting my Uncle Scott's family from Azerbaijan for the month of June. Both Kamila and Scott encourage us with their life stories and we are learning many, many marvelous things about the work of God in the region of the Caspian Sea. Here is a recent quote from Scott that I pass along for the sake of general encouragement:

God's will is not something that must be borne as though it were a burden that we must discipline ourselves to carry. No! God's will is what we would always, always, always choose with gladness if we could see the whole picture of life.

My Father: The Mustard Seed Planter

Then Jesus asked, "What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches." (Luke 13:18)

I thought of this parable from Luke today because I think it aptly describes how my dad has planted many small seeds of vision and faith that have grown, with time, into havens of rest for many sojourners. Some of these travelers have found their way to our home with swinging doors; and others, who are down and out and desperate, have been blessed to find their way to his criminal defense office. In either case, I truly believe that many people have found a unique combination of correction and restoration in the shade of a tree that my dad has planted in faith.

Cooperstown, NY: Thirty Year Anniversary Destination

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mohonk: Splendor and Square Dances

Our friends, the Walkers, are absolutely outstanding musicians and put on the most incredible square dance at the most beautiful location this evening. Their music makes the world a much happier place!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Concert in the Park (Hudson River)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

And Now...June 16, 2009

Celebrating 30 Years!
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

The site of Mom and Dad's wedding reception became the hosting ground for tonight's thirty year anniversary celebration! It was a beautiful, peaceful and fun evening on the farmhouse lawn. Twenty people were present to celebrate, including three of the original wedding guests! (Be sure to check out the "Then...June 16, 1979" pictures below.)

Then...June 16, 1979

Monday, June 15, 2009

June is Flying By!

June has seemed to go by so fast! We have sixteen people (and thankfully still a dog) under one roof for this whole month and we have two sheep in our side yard! It feels a little like camp around here. Doesn't our dinner table look almost like a camp? (Tonight's dinner count? Nineteen!)

Uncle Scott and Aunt Kamila and our cousins, Elizabeth and Yusif, are visiting for the month of June in route back to their home near the Caspian Sea - there have been many fun moments with them so far, including hikes and trips to the river, but the editor of the BFG has been finishing up one very full school year and has been slacking on her reporting duties! More to follow!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Central New York

I had the immense pleasure of visiting three couple friends this weekend, who happen to all be teachers that I know from graduate school! Whenever I get to spend time with my friends, I always leave thinking that I have the most amazing friends in the world! Each couple has a refreshingly strong and happy marriage ranging in length from 3 to 30 years - the common thread in each marriage was that the spouses constantly and continually encouraged and sincerely complimented the strengths of the other.

Corning, NY (home to the famous glass museum) with Chris and Carolyn and Glacier. Carolyn and I were in many of the same graduate education classes at Binghamton University - we knew we would be friends when one professor made us line up by our horoscope sign and Carolyn and I were the only two who had no care or clue about our sign!

Glacier is a very happy baby and even though he had a cold, he had so much energy and kept jumping up and down and smiling and smiling!

A park in Corning, NY.

Paul, Debbie, Blaise and Melody in Bainbridge. I met Debbie on one of the hardest days of my life and ever since then she has been a tremendously cheerful and encouraging friend.

Melody is four and she read me three or four little chapter books at lightning speed!

Blaise is absolutely irrestible!

Sue is the most astounding teacher ever. I was privileged to work with her when I taught elementary science. She, along with her husband, Bill (taking the picture) will always be my model educators. On top of that, they are both true saints and are some of the most thoughtful and generous people that I have ever met in my life.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Lost But Now Found

So exciting!! Bentley was found today! (A very kind gentleman was taking care of him.) We are so grateful to have him back with us!

Thanks to so many for the well wishes and concern. We felt very surrounded by a supportive and searching small town! It makes us proud residents of Stanford!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Something Special is Missing

We all spent the day being sad because our favorite dog ever, who bears the name of this humble gazette, is missing. Bentley, our dog, was last seen last evening at a little league game at the Stanford Rec Park and we already miss him so much.

When something you love is missing you tend to do irrational things; for instance, we took about fifteen independent trips to the rec park today to call for him, post signs for him and ask people if they had seen our Border Collie. I guess I am still doing irrational things, like writing this post in hopes that someone may have seen him and kindly decide to contact us.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

More Construction Photos

My brothers are pretty cool!

Up in the Sky

Up in the sky!

Ever so high! (Or not that high!)

Swinging so free in the air!

Without a worry or care!