Saturday, January 31, 2009

Savior of the World Update

I mentioned a few months ago that the entire Woody clan had auditioned for our Stake's production of "Savior of the World." Thought it might be a chuckle to see what ol' Woody looks like with a few months' worth of growth on his face:


Is this:

a) Zacharias praying in the Temple?

b) Woody reminding someone in authority that the request was NO kids with personality? Or

c) Make up your own. Be creative. Just remember that this is a family-friendly blog.

By the way, for those who know and still love us, the Stake has called a photographer to chronicle the entire production. The snap above was taken by Kathy Willis who set up a blog over at Browse around. You'll notice that I appear to have two wives. This is not an attempt to inject obscure early LDS practices into the bibical account, I assure you. We had a casting change after a couple of weeks and I am now working with another Elizabeth. Really.

Anyway, scan through and you may even see a few snaps of the Woodyettes here and there.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

You Can't Beat Mom's Recipe

One of the innumerable reasons why I married Mrs. Woody is that she reminds me a lot of my own Mom. She has many of the same wonderful qualities that Mom possesses, along with not a few of her own. This combination of qualities means that Woody is a happy man indeed.

Take, for instance, food. I'm big (har!) on comfort foods. There are certain foods that always work for me, no matter what my mood. Lasagna is one such. Mrs. Woody discovered a crock-pot version that we enjoy tremendously. Six hours on "Low" and we have a comfort food dinner.

One of my favorite holiday memories involves the seemingly gigantic pot of clam chowder that Mom would make every year. She would make it early in the day, then leave it on the stove for anyone who got a little peckish for shellfish throughout the day. No schedule; just good tasting food.

Mrs. Woody discovered this tradition during one of our early Christmases together. Mom was still living in the old house in Simi Valley and we were living just down the highway a few miles. Mrs. Woody thoroughly enjoyed the chowder and naturally asked Mom about the recipe. When she discovered just how easy it was, a new (old) comfort food was introduced at Hacienda Woody.

So Friday night (a tad late, but we've been sick) we put together Mom's Clam Chowder™. Got a couple of meals out of it, except for Jelly who is more than a little suspicious of rubbery foods. For Woody it was a chance to zoom back in time to Mom's kitchen which was always more than just a food preparation area. Mom's kitchen was the nerve center of the family. It was the Gathering Place where we could hang out and (because the statute of limitations had long since run out) tell embarrassing stories about each other so Mom could pretend to be horrified about what awful children we were.

Mrs. Woody also picked up on Mom's pumpkin pie recipe. No big secret there, I'm afraid, because it's the same recipe that comes straight off the can of pumpkin. But it holds that one secret ingredient that instantly identifies it as Mom's (or Mrs. Woody's) recipe: lots of love. It's another one of those tastes that instantly transports me to other times and places, always with terrific memories attached. A few funny ones, too, but Woody is far too galant to share them with his bloggy audience.

As Mrs. Woody said, "You can't beat Mom's recipe!" It just works.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

As I Get Older... daughters age as well. Fortunately for them, the aging is still graceful. As in, "she is aging gracefully." Whereas Woody just ages. Even Mrs. Woody ages more like a savings account: she just gets more and more valuable as the years progress. Woody, on the other hand, begins to look more like an "after" photo from a Thompson's Wood Sealer® commercial. Or maybe that's just the beard.

Anyway, we visited with our families over the holiday break and had a wonderful time. But I had to tell you one story in particular that just tickled everyone's funny bone.

We were visiting my youngest sister in their new home. They've recently moved back to California after living for a couple of years in Texas. Whatever brain disease they had suffered apparently dissapated and they left the Tornado Belt for good ol' Shake and Bake country. Their realtor who is named (really) Cookie decided to help them host a house-warming party last Saturday.

Family and friends began appearing at the appointed hour, and most of us had kids of various ages. Our young nephews have a "secret" room upstairs, and they immediately conducted their cousins and acquaintances thereunto.

After eating and schmoozing with the adult contingent, a few of us were naturally curious as to why it seemed so quiet upstairs. One of us (I believe it was my sister's step-father-in-law) made so bold as to go up and investigate and came back down chuckling. Apparently several of them, ranging in age from teenagers belonging to my other sister down to a few eight-year-olds had Nintendo DS® devices, and were busily engaged in a cluster PictoChat session. The youngster equivalent of a hot texting session for teenagers.

So I had to investigate for myself. Sure enough, my two Woodyettes were among the participants, and it was eerie to see about a half-dozen kids sitting quietly while communicating with electronic drawings.

I'm sure there's a larger lesson here dealing with loss of interpersonal communication skills, but, hey, this was family. Jelly even renewed an acquaintance with my sister's sister-in-law that's about Jelly's age. "I found a new friend!" was how she put it. So I score this one as a good thing.

Happy New Year to you all!