Monday, October 29, 2012

Dinner with the Scotts

For my masters course we had to write a multi-genre portfolio about an overarching topic. My topic was family support...thought I would share one of my pieces.

Grammy and Matthew carrying on the tradition this summer (although I think he's more of a help than I ever was!)

Mom, often confused with Martha Stewart, always had a home cooked dinner on the table as my dad arrived home from a long day’s work. All of us kids would make the journey to the dinner table from our respective places around  our house. Every night, five kids and their parents, would enjoy dinner together.  Sitting down and sharing about our days together instilled in me the importance of a supportive family.  It’s a value I hold close to my heart as a newly married woman, hoping to instill the value in my future children as well. 

The rectangular table surrounded by a bench on one of the longer sides and chairs on the remaining three sides.  Dad’s spot at the head of the table with mom to his left, which allowed her easy access to the kitchen. Since us kids didn’t have assigned seats we changed positions as often as a teenager update their Facebook status. The rustic brown bench with with mom’s beautiful handwritten alphabet scribbled along the back support was my favorite place to sit.  It was on that bench I received encouragement to go after my dreams and face my fears, lectures on having good character even when it’s the tough thing to do, and confidence when I didn’t believe in myself.  Our family was a unit and we had each other’s back, no matter what.  

My family is very competitive, and dinner was not an exception.  A clay pig isn’t much to fight over for many people, but for my family it was the cause of tears and battles.  Each dinner my mom would place the pig in front of the diner with the worst table manners.  Throughout dinner the pig’s spot would move like a queen in an intense chess game, depending on who made a foul move. At the end of dinner if you ended up with the pig you were on dish duty.  Of course, me being the youngest of five, I inevitably would end up with the stupid pig.  My siblings would laugh at me and quickly leave the table to go back to whatever they were doing and I was left staring down the dinner swine.  After lots of tears, complaining, and pleading my mom would save me from dishes duty and help me complete the daunting task of cleaning the dishes of seven people.  

Looking back, I can’t recall a time when we didn’t pray before our dinner. Mom and dad have a strong faith, one of the few that are actually lived out.  They taught my siblings and I how to put our relationship with God first in our lives, in good times and in bad. Holding hands with the people you love most in the world and giving gratitude to God before sharing a meal strikes me to my core.  It put things into perspective after a bad day and humbles you after a great day.  

While I don’t remember all the dishes mom cooked, one thing I do remember is dinner always ended with dessert, sometimes even second desserts.  Mom has a mind blowing baking ability  and she never disappointed with her ooey gooey chocolate cake, apple pie, strawberry pretzel brownies, or homemade ice cream--just to name a few. You only got dessert if you finished your whole meal, which caused a few problems in my mind.  I learned quickly that if I wanted something bad enough going through a little struggle, in this case eating the green heap of vegetables on my plate, was worth it.  Many a dinners ended in tears and yammers of the world’s injustice because I couldn’t get dessert.  Through it all mom and dad never gave in.  They stood strong as a team and supported each other, even when I was being a bit of a brat. While I didn’t realize it at the time they were modeling what it meant to be a team and how to stand their ground.  I thought they were being stubborn and mean, but they were being parents in guiding me and protecting me from stomachaches (and bigger things further down the road). Even though I hated them because they stood in the way of the last piece of goodness I never doubted their infinite love for me and my best interests. 

A fly on the wall of the Scott household probably thought our family dinner rituals were pure chaos, but they weren’t.  They were a holy mess of love and family. The sum of all the dinners taught me the values of communication, faith, support, and fun within a family.  

Jess and I cooked dinner for my parents before we left for Brasil

Love my parents and the hunk on the right

Friday, October 12, 2012

Weekend Thing

It's become a weekend thing to go the market and I wouldn't have it any other way. We missed it last weekend and I was sad. I love the 5 block trip on Saturday morning.  The people.  The colors.  The fresh fruit and veggies.  The pastels...oh my goodness the pastels. 
Fresh produce
Now that we are there every Saturday all the vendors know Jess us. He is such a social person, everyone loves him and he already speaks Portuguese fluently. Jerk I'm so proud! 

Julio and Claudio are the outside guys that we buy our meat and eggs from and the middle group of guys saw I had my camera and wanted their picture taken
Apparently we are some of the few that go to the market to actually buy produce and meat.  Most people just go for heaven in your mouth aka pastels.  They are fried fresh and you get a little coke bottle with one.  I look forward to Saturday mornings for these babies...and my alarm not going off.
Waiting in line for pastels
 One treat the Scott girls would love doce de...insert flavor.  It's like pure sugar and I'm pretty sure it gives you diabetes with one bite.  But oh so good.
Flowers, jars of doce de sugar, and lost of lentils.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ping Pong

On Saturday a group of us decided to head out to Sao Paulo for a night of fun.  We ate at Ping Pong, a Chinese I just can't get away from China!  The food was good, but the company was better.

 The girls--Kristin, me, and Kate
 I heart us
The guys at a Jazz Bar
I love Sao Paulo graffiti Street Art...can't get enough

Monday, October 1, 2012

What It's All About

Friday night we had a home game to end the long week.  On Thursday afternoon Jess and I gave a presentation on a writing activity to differentiate across the subjects.  We spent a lot of time preparing and getting everything ready for the hour long presentation.  It became very apparent that we work in different styles, after some debating over what to include, the order, etc we finally agreed.  The presentation went well and we got feedback from the teachers that came so we can improve it even more for our AASSA pressentation this week.

Okay let me get off that tangent and back on topic...the game on Friday.  We were playing a team that we beat by a lot last time so we were hopeful everyone would get to play.  The boys work really hard and it's always nice when they get rewarded with seeing the court.  We have a young man on the team that is mentally challenged.  He has a great attitude and EVERYONE at school knows him because of his outgoing personality and knock-knock jokes.  He rarely gets in the games as we are tied for first place in the league and it is a competitive team. 

Well Friday night we were up and he got in the game!  I helped prepare him by giving him signals and positions to stay in (on defense stand on the right elbow and on offense stand right in front the the basket) so he wouldn't get confused.  He is a great listener and always goes to the correct spot.  He was so excited before going in, he kept telling me he was going to make his parents proud and use his power.  We had him go stretch, so some of the older guys went with him to the end of the bench and got him ready. 

The boys on this team are amazing.  I'm talking world class kids.  They are supportive and encouraging of him and I have never heard/seen anyone say a nasty comment about him. I actually think they are his biggest fans and want him to get in every game. 

So fast forward and he gets in the game.  The whole crowd is cheering him on as he runs up and down the court. His legs are moving as fast as they can and he goes to the exact spot I told him.  We told him to put his hand up and stay there...that's what he did.  If his hands could've gone out of the roof they would have.  Then comes offense...after two tries of shooting he MAKES a basket.  He jumped up and down forgetting to play defense. 

I immediately tear up and get goosebumps.  I mean isn't this what sports are all about? well that and winning (come on I am a Scott!).  The kid next to me on the bench looked at me shocked and confused, "Are you crying?".  Yes, yes I did.  I was so proud of him.  I even cried the next day telling a friend. 

His favorite saying is "Sun's out guns out" (don't ask me).  He is on the left with some of the other guys.  Love these boys.