Archive | November 2013

Adult Life: Cooking

At Big Sky High School I took Culinary Arts many times: Culinary One, twice; and Culinary Two, once. It was really fun because I was hanging out with friends making things like monkey bread, biscuits, spaghetti, pancakes and cookies.

Now I am starting out my Adult Life and I spend a lot more time in the kitchen at home. I like to help AND I like to take pictures!

Last Friday I made stuffed peppers for dinner. Last year when I was in Ag Ed, I had an assignment to cook something with meat. I made stuffed peppers. I put a little bit into a plastic bag and took it into school for a grade. Hah! This time I was not cooking for a grade but for friends. We invited two young adult friends from church over for dinner. I was very excited.

I mixed the rice and meat together. Then I added the tomatoes and the sauce. Last year my mom had to help me open the cans of tomato sauce. I could not squeeze the can opener onto the can. I put my hands on my mom’s hands and we opened the cans together. This time I knew how to do it all by myself because I have been practicing for a year.

In Culinary Arts we used measuring spoons and we have them at home too. I still need a little help choosing the right spoon according to the recipe: 1/2 teaspoon, 1/4 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon all look the same to me. Anyway, my mom helped me measure the spice then I mixed it all together.

I watched my mom cut the tops off the peppers. `Next time you can do this part, Mathalia.’

Then I cleaned the seeds out of each pepper. I did not like this job very much because my hands got `peppery.’  But I had a towel close by to wipe them off after touching each pepper.

Stuffing the peppers is my favorite part! My mom always lets me do this part even when we don’t have enough time for me to make the whole meal.

My hands got goopy with tomato sauce and hamburger but it was lots of fun. And I used my towel when my hands got goopy. I wanted to sprinkle goat cheese on right away but we waited until just before baking. I forgot to take a photo! I was so disappointed but it was rush, rush and be quick, be quick from visiting the chickens to having friends for dinner. Crazy fun day!

I am very excited about my very first Adult Thanksgiving Day!! I want to get up early to help my mom stuff the turkey and I want to help chop apples for our gluten-free, dairy-free apple crisp.

Adult Life: Thunderstorm

My mom loves to tell this story and connect it to Psalm 46: God is our refuge and strength; a refuge in distress is found greatly which is her translation–she likes the passive; or another, more famous:  A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing.  Anyway, this happened in July.

I was working at Prudential Missoula Properties on South Avenue. My mom is my job coach. I was having a good day—I had done everything correctly except I had forgotten to sign out.


Paying bills at Prudential.

We had already said goodbye to Gina who had locked up. I could not get back inside.

`I’m sorry, Mathalia. Remember the time and write it down next week.’

Just then Clint came out the door! Yeah! This would save my mom from hearing about my forgetfulness all weekend and it would save me my frustration. I was so happy. After I signed out, my mom helped me cross South Avenue. The cars whiz on by me so someone always helps me cross South Avenue, usually it is Gina but on this day it was my mom.  Then she encouraged me one more time to `hurry up’ before she left me to ride home on her bike.

I was not quick. Bus #1 drove right past me. I had to wait 15 minutes for the next bus. While I waited it started to rain. It really rained really really hard!

And then . . .

My mom was `freaking out’ because I came home DRY.

`Mathalia! Why aren’t you wet? I got soaking wet on my bike from the thunderstorm. I had to change my clothes and put on a sweater to get warm. How can you be so dry?’

Well, I didn’t say anything; I thought my mom should `chill’ because everything was fine.

`Did someone give you a ride home? Or did you take the bus?’


`How can you be dry? It was pouring rain when I left you and you had to wait 15 minutes for the Bus.”

I just unpacked my Prudential stuff and let her figure it out: in the closet with our other umbrellas.

She `freaked out’ again! `Mathalia who gave you this umbrella?’

Just chill, mom, please.

`Mathalia! Tell me what happened? You missed the first bus! You were waiting. There was a thunderstorm. Please tell me! Use your words!’

`I forgot timesheet.’

`AGH! Mathalia! Timesheet is not important! HOW did you get this umbrella?!’

By this time she was blubbering and giving thanks and saying all sorts of silly things: an umbrella in thunderstorm is found greatly: don’t know who gave it or what happened but it is found—passive voice–which shows what kind of city we live in and what kind of care God has for His people.


Outside again for the photo.

The next day she made me stand at the same bus stop, holding the big beautiful umbrella open even though it was not raining. Silly mom.


Next day photo at THE BUS STOP.

Update on Chickens and the Coop

My chickens are still living at the Ag. Center. My friends take care of them during the school day and I take care of them on Sundays after church. Usually we change into our work clothes at church before we go out to the coop. My job is to feed them and collect the eggs. My mom changes their water. Sometimes she helps me and sometimes she is no help at all!

Like the time when the chickens were really hungry. I had filled their food dish; then she opened the door and they all came running toward me and some of them flew up onto the bowl!  I was so startled that I dropped the feed dish right in the middle of the doorway! My mom was laughing and taking pictures. I just stood there completely frozen. The chickens didn’t care none of them got out of the coop because they wanted to stay close to the food.

The Sunday of our CRAZY week my mom wanted to `be quick’ so we went out to the coop in our church clothes. My muck boots match my church dress! No eggs this time. I took a picture of the hen in the nesting box but I did not disturb her to check for eggs.

Later at home while my mom took her power-nap, I put on my `Dutch girl’ costume. The recital was very fun! My teacher played the movie-theme-guessing game on her violin: I recognized Star Wars, Song of Music and Fiddler on the Roof. I played `Song of the Wind’ with the piano accompaniment and `Amazing Grace’ with violin accompaniment. I love recitals especially Halloween Recital.  And now I am excited about our Christmas Recital at the Mall.

My Grandpa worked hard on the chicken coop this past week. On Tuesday he came over and worked. He had one little job for me to do: bring the chicken ladder from the truck to the chicken coop. I was being silly and mischievous because I wanted to finish my paperwork before I helped him. This was okay. The ladder wasn’t going anywhere. It waited for me until I was ready. Then I brought it out and I took some pictures before we had to go to the doctor.

On Wednesday Grandpa didn’t have any work for me but he needed my mom to help with electricity. So I finished making my pot holders and then I came out to see what how things were coming along. My mom tried to find work for me but I was too cold. November weather is not like October weather. In October I could sit outside, watch them work and make pot holders at the same time. Anyway, I took some pictures before I did for my exercise routine: walk around the block 10 times. I use a little bead counter to help me keep track of my laps.

Adult Life: Make a Joyful Noise

On Friday we dumped Billings trip stuff on our living room floor and packed car with Art Fair stuff. My dad helped unload everything at church and then we got to relax at my favorite restaurant, The Noodle Express. Saturday morning it was rush rush rush and `hurry up Mathalia’s’ as we hurried to the Art Fair.

`Are you going to make pot holders during the Art Fair?’ my mom asked me.

`Yes, of course; I always make pot holders during Art Fairs. But in the end I only made half a pot holder because I was having so much fun! I love seeing old friends and talking to people. Face-painting and chili for lunch made this Art Far especially fun!

I did not talk to my mom much all day because she was busy walking around, talking to people and buying two necklaces. The jeweler next to us was a former student of hers. Can you believe that?  Wow! Germaine remembered my mom as very demanding, lots of fun energetic, and very inspiring in the classroom. I totally get the `demanding’ part. 🙂

Anyway, at the end of the day she was `demanding’ me to `hurry up’ and `be quick’ so that we could take power-naps before the Symphony. But I got her! I helped her slow down when I pointed to the wall and showed her the poster of Psalm 100: Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord.

`Mathalia! You have been sitting here all day enjoying the Art Fair, seeing all your friends AND giving thanks at the same time!  And I have been rushing around, watching the clock, grasping after the wind (think power nap). You can imagine what she was like in the car on the way home!

`Let’s work on our memory:

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!

Serve the Lord with gladness;

Come before His presence with singing.

Know that the Lord He is God. It is He who made us, and we are His.

We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise!   . . . ‘

We don’t quite have the whole Psalm memorized yet. She just went off on her own:

Oh! So much for which to give thanks: old friends, new friends, Grandma’s pot holder trimming, Dottie’s face painting, Germaine’s encouragement, Sierra’s delicious chili, the Lord’s strength for this CRAZY Transition Conference-Art Fair-Symphony-Halloween Recital WEEK.’

My crazy silly mom! The poster was there all day and she never saw it. She got her power nap before the Symphony. And I chose to keep my pretty flower on my face.  I used to say `no thank you’ to face painting. But now I like it very much. I am very careful not to smudge it. So I would say there is still hope for my mom, too. 🙂

Adult Life: Transition Conference

Last week I went to Billings with my friends on the Consumer Advisory Council. It was lots of fun and very exhausting! Tuesday morning was crazy! My mom made me try on my presentation clothes AGAIN! She was not happy. She didn’t think I looked professional so I had to try on more outfits until she was pleased. I love trying on clothes but this was too rushed because she couldn’t make up her mind and then I had to pack my bag.

`Do you want to make pot holders in the car, driving to Billings?’ Yes, of course, I wanted to make pot holders in the car.  But . . . I was distracted because I had three friends in the car. I am used to traveling with my mom and making lots of pot holders. But this was completely different and so fun! My friend Kim had lots of mischievous dog stories and she had a `running-out-of-gas-in-the-middle-of-winter’ story.  There was NO WAY I was going to be able to listen to interesting stories AND make pot holders.

At the hotel restaurant I ate burger, salad, french fries and ketchup. Actually, I did not eat the french fries because I was too tired. I put my them in a box for later.  I saw my friend Maclaen having fun on the water slide but I was too tired. I wanted to go to bed.

Before the big meeting Wednesday morning, my mom asked me if I wanted to make pot holders during the meeting.  `Yes!’ But the meeting was so interesting that I did not make a single pot holder. `Mischievous Mathalia,’ my mom said because she ended up carrying my pot holder bag around the whole day.  We ate lunch with friends and then rush rush to the Montana Youth In Transition Conference.

I presented in a workshop called `Let’s Talk About Money.’ It was really fun. We used `funny money’ to talk about paying bills and sticking to a budget. It was my job to collect the money while my friends were talking:  `Rent is due’ `Pay your taxes’  `Do you have a car?  pay insurance and gas’ `Do you have a pet? pay for food and shots!’ At first my mom had to direct me to the audience members. But at the end of the workshop, I did my own talking and collecting!

I presented my powerpoint about filling out deposit slips and going to the bank. My mom worked on it while while I was handing out candy on Halloween night.  In the morning, On November 1st, my mom made me catch up on my bank statements: July, August, September and October before I could eat lunch! In the picture we look rather grouchy; we had a good laugh and then went back to work and finished the job.

At the conference I hung out with friends, passed out papers and talked about Emerging Leaders on the Montana map that I had made with Ellen. I had to read the stories of all the Emerging Leaders, find out where they are from and then find their hometown on the Montana map. I placed a pin in their city. I cut out their picture and laminated it for the display board for the conference.  You can read about the Emgerging Leaders in Montana.


Emerging Leaders

I went to my friend Sierra’s presentations. On Wednesday she talked about being sad and how she started to feel better. On Friday she talked about buying her house! I finished the pot holder that I started in the van and I gave it to Sierra for her new house:  Congratulations, Sierra.

I listened to many ideas about Adult Life Choices. And I talked loudly and clearly when I presented and when I talked to new friends and old friends.  I had lots of fun! And I was exhausted. Every night after I finished supper, I was so tired that all I wanted to do was to go to sleep. And so I missed all the fun on the water slide!

Adult Life: Halloween!

I love to celebrate Halloween because I love to dress up. My Grandma wanted to make me a very special costume for my first Halloween as an adult. She started working on it a couple of weeks ago. First my mom had to rummage around to find our Dutch costumes from many years ago. After that there were lots of fittings and measuring times. I did not mind at all! I love to dress up whether it is for real or just for trying on!

Halloween started off with talking to Morielle in China! I told her about my costume and about my trip to Billings next week. She told me about her new little kitten. Then I had to hurry up and get ready for Adult Coached Swimming. After swimming I walked home quickly and and ate lunch. My mom helped me put on my costume and made sure everything looked just right. She offered to carry my klompen in her backpack so that I could wear regular shoes walking to The Writing Center. I think she was afraid that I might walk even more slowly if I wore funny wooden shoes.

On a bench in the L.A. building I put on my klompen. I was official! All my friends at the Writing Center said that I looked very cute: a little Dutch Girl. I was a little frustrated with the computer because it was not working the way it was supposed to work. My friend Gretchen came in and she helped get me get on so that I could type in the log-in slips. Sometimes a friend interrupted me to tell me how cute I looked. And each one checked under the desk at my feet to see if my outfit was complete.

At home I ate supper very carefully so that I would not spill on my outfit. At first it was my mom who took a break from her supper to hand out the candy. Later after I saw her doing it, I started doing it!  I would stand up, take off my napkin, pick up the candy bowl and head to the door. My mom thought this was a very adult thing to do:

`Just let your food wait for a minute because you will be right back. ‘

After supper my mom set a chair for me and a chair for the candy bowl and I just waited for the next group to come. This year I handed out candy all by myself.  My mom said that trick-or-treating is for children and adults hand out the candy. Well, I was used to doing both: I went trick-or-treating around our block to our neighbors and then I handed out the candy with my mom’s help. This year I was completely in charge of the candy because `I am an adult.’ When I was a child, my mom had to help me remember to give a piece of candy to each trick-or-treater in the group. But this year as an adult, I did not need any help or any prompting. `I got this, mom!’

Passing out candy was fun!  I saw a clown, batman, the frog prince. I saw lots of cute little kids in their costumes and lots of big kids in scary costumes. `I was frightened because the vampire!’ And then it was all done. We turned out the lights, I took off my costume. I will wear it again for my Halloween violin recital but the candy part of Halloween was all done: ‘Okay, Goodnight, kids. Halloween is all done.’ `How about Thanksgiving?’