The Phone Call: A Lost Form of Real Communication

Remember the days when you were waiting eagerly for someone to call you on your land-line phone so you could talk for hours with your friend, or that someone you like? Once they did call you could shut the door, wrap the phone cord around your finger again and again, and chat away. Unless of course your little brother or mom tried to eavesdrop which you could always hear when they picked up, at which point a “Insert name here! GET OFF THE PHONE!!!” would come out instinctively. Or were you one of the lucky ones who had your own phone line so no one could listen in. Maybe even a cordless phone. Either way TALKING on the phone was cool!

I am starting a small group with some college freshmen and sophomore girls, some of whom I have not met before, trying to be more “personal” in my attempts to get things going, I decided calling them would be the best way to do that. And so I called. I ended up getting only voice mails, and within a 48 hour period only 1 of the 6 called me back.

So I thought, okay, maybe I will try a different method. Although in my opinion not as personal, I sent a Facebook message to each of them. And to my surprise within a 12 hour period from this being sent, each girl had responded and we had a date and time set. MIRACLE!

I know that Facebook has taken over life but, seriously, I would rather have a conversation with someone I never met before. Call me old fashioned, but I also still maintain that a phone call that takes less than a minute to set up a dinner or coffee date, is way more efficient than a text conversation that can span over hours, be unclear, and cause unnecessary interruptions throughout your day. I will admit there are times when a simple text is nice, especially when I am not in the mood for talking, however there is an aspect of it that takes away the human nature of conversations that I just don’t like at all.

I love to hear people’s voices. I love to hear the tone of their voice and how they are REALLY doing, not just receive a text that says “I’m fine,” or “I’m good,” with no inclination of what that may truly mean. I love hearing the excitement, joy and laughter of a person on the other end of the phone.


*Once Face to Face time becomes more ubiquitous obviously this would be a better choice, but until then this, in my opinion, is the best solution.

*Outside of phone chats I would much rather be sitting at a coffee shop with a person, but sometimes it is just not possible, which makes the phone call all the more necessary.


Boys Will Be Boys

“Dude! This is AWESOME!”

“Look at how SWEET this is.”

“Pretty good for a pipe and some fishing line.”


These are the words that came from my living room the other night as Austin and his good friend Peter “worked” together on yet another one of their “man” projects. If you know Austin at all, you know that he loves a good man project. Most of the time he is the one thinking up the idea and then he shares it with a friend so he can rope them into working on it with him.

The most recent idea was to create a jib, it’s a crane that makes it so that you can move a video camera to see angles that you would not be able to get otherwise. It is the kind they use to film movies. Apparently these things can be quite pricey and buying one was out of the question, so they decided to try and make one. Many of Austin’s ideas tend to be pricey (i.e. renting out a hangar so they could buy the parts and assemble their very own plane,) so the fact that this one could be potentially cheap made me a huge fan!  Between the two of them they had a lot of the materials already, which was nice. They say they spent somewhere around $30 bucks on the whole thing! Pretty awesome. This was the outcome:

Making a jib

AND IT WORKED! They were super excited and I was very impressed! WAY TO GO BOYS! Keep up the creative, CHEAP ideas, that might one day generate us some extra income.


Spanish Tortilla

In case you don’t know Spanish Tortilla has NOTHING to do with what we picture when we here the word tortilla. Instead, it is more like an omelet, although, to me if made right does not taste like one at all. It is made with potatoes, eggs, an onion (optional) a bit of sea salt and olive oil. Simple ingredients yet so tasty. Here is a detailed description and history for the curious, provided by Wikipedia.

After living in Spain for a semester, Austin fell in love with this Spanish treat, and after a summer there studying myself, I too came to appreciate its simplicity and deliciousness. While in Tanzania, I decided why not try to make this dish. Well I quickly learned after a few trials that this dish although seemingly easy, was one that you are either born into a family that makes it and it is second nature to you, or if you are a foreigner you need some serious practice, help and tips to make correctly. Disappointed with all of my tries in Africa, I still wanted to find a recipe that makes this “simple,” “everyday” dish for the Spaniards one for me as well.

Just the other day I was going through my cookbooks in attempts to eat more at home, and low and behold I came across a recipe for Spanish Tortilla, in our Spanish Cookbook. Excited, and optimistic, I decided I should give it another try, and boy am I glad I did because it came out GREAT! Best Tortilla I have made yet! Hopefully, I can cut down on the time it takes now that I know it is a good recipe. Austin is SUPER PUMPED and so am I. It is like being in a Spanish Tapas bar right in our own dining room. Hooray for good recipes!

Here it is in case you are feeling experimental. Enjoy : )

My latest attempt. No, it is not perfect, but pretty dang close.

Doggy Prison

Meet Our Puppies:

King Charles the Lion Hunter a.k.a. Charlie

Osa Bear, My favoritest (not that parents have favorites.)

And for the time being Tank. (We are dog sitting him for our dear friends and happy to have him join the Baum crew.)

They enjoy:

-Their Morning Bones

-Playing at the Dog Park

-Going to Grandma and Grandpas

-Goofing off with Each Other at Home

-Nap Time on their Dog Beds

-Cuddle time with Mommy and Daddy

Although we love them very much the amount of dog hair in the house has gotten out of control. I bought Austin a Roomba for Christmas and although Roombie, as we affectionately call her, works well the hair is still out of control. After vacuuming the couches, yes, just the couches, for over and hour, I decided enough was enough! So we but up a barricade and have locked them in “doggy prison.” Although at first they seemed confused, they are all very unhappy with this situation. Charlie has been talking not stop, yes Charlie talks, kind of sounds like a dog howling at the moon but with personality that shows. Osa looks longingly at me as if to say “PLEASE GET ME OUTTA HERE MOM! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?”  Tank continues his usually whining chorus. Austin and I have felt pains of them being their too, as we love having them around and feel they do not deserve a punishment. Of course, we already gave in and they sat with us while we watched a movie, and they still sleep in our room at night on their beds. Yes, we are suckers. Wouldn’t it be nice if they were all just hairless?

YUCK! Don’t worry Puppies! I won’t do that to you!

Good Ol’ Fashion Fun

My parents invited us over for dinner with some great family friends and the two foreign exchange students living with my parents. Unlike when I was growing up with my parents, my mother has taken a liking to cooking, thanks to the Food Network channel, and she now actually really cooks. No more Ragu, frozen chicken, or pizza, no she is all about finding new tasty recipes. With the help of So Young and Daniel, the exchange students, she made Tangerine Marinated Steaks, Broccoli in Garlic Sauce, and some form or Espresso Brownies. It was all delicious! Way to go MOM!

After dinner we brought out the “Party Box” Apples to Apples, great for lots of people around one table. All 10 of us began playing. It is always fun to play Apples to Apples with a group of people you have not played with before, because knowing how each person thinks helps to win the game, so it sure does make it more interesting. We played for almost 2 hours, and laughed until we cried at points. I just love being able to be around a table with family and friends enjoying great conversation and much laughter!

Tucson: Hope in the Midst of Tragedy

Never did I think would be the day that a Tucson event would be compared to that of the Columbine shootings, Oklahoma City Bombing, or September 11th, but sadly the day has come. It is not that I thought Tucson exempt from the evil of the world, it is just not one of those things you imagine happening  in your own home town.

There is no doubt that this will forever be a scar on this town and its name, but I am also sure it will be a sign of the goodness in the community as well. As tragic as the loss has been, the hope in the reaction of the community has been so reassuring of why I love this town. Entire schools stopping to pray for the victims, their families, and for the entire community. Neighbors checking in on neighbors. Pastors going door to door offering prayer and support. Flowers, candles, prayer services all over town. Even the President came to our town to give us words of encouragement. As a Tucsonan, it sure was uplifting hearing our President and other government leaders, speak about the losses and give hope to our town. It was even more encouraging seeing that over 26,000 people come out to support what has felt like a loss to all of us in so many ways. Tucson although over 1 million in number, very much feels like a town and residents here think of as like so. It is not uncommon to run into 3-4 people you know at any grocery store, and if you really sit down and have a conversation with another Tucsonan you are bound to find someone you know in common. It was also great seeing people from all walks of faith come out to support the families of the victims who lost their lives at their funerals.

Although it is so easy to ask why and to question the Lord in times such as these, I do not. He is in control and Jeremiah 29:11 says it all”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I know and believe with all my heart that this is true about you, me, Tucson, our nation, and the whole world. Now if only we trusted Him with reckless abandonment. Join me in continuing to pray for the victims those who have died, those who are still recovering and all others affected by this unimaginable event.


(An essay written by a Tucsonan reflecting about Tucson and this event, ‘Tucson Shows What its Made Of.” )

Surprise Date Night

Austin and I were blessed with a surprise date night this week. After a very tiring week coming back from vacation, it seemed as if it had been nothing but full speed ahead since we arrived. My dad offered us tickets to the U of A Wildcats Mens Basketball game versus Cal. A bit unsure if we would have the energy to go to a “late” game (8:30pm), I decided why not? Besides it was free.

That night Austin and both had other events leading up to the game and even ate separately, but once we got on the road the game we quickly realized that it was a date night that we had not even intentionally planned. We got to the game late, which is no surprise that we were late, after coming  back from Africa, we have become even more so “those people”, the ones who are always late, however, this time around I do not mind it one bit. The game was exciting and it is always fun seeing Tucsonans, cheering loud and proud for the Wildcats. Our favorite part by far, was the half time performance done by the captain of the baton twirling team, who is a national champion. She ROCKED the house! I didn’t know people could do such fancy things with batons. Very impressive.

The baton twirling champion (far right)!

Don’t believe me, here is an article about how awesome she is.

Due to having work the next morning, and liking to go to bed at reasonable hours these days, we left the game with 10 mins left in the second half. The Cats had just come back to a tie game after being down the first part of the second half. Apparently, they won by just one basket with an awesome comeback. Go figure we would leave early. It reminds me of the time we were in Chicago, watching the Cubs game, at Wrigley Field, and decided to leave, and they got a grand slam to win the game. Biggest win of the year, and we were loading on the train hearing the crowd errupt. Honestly, we don’t really care. We like to watch sports, but we enjoy being with each other more and once  we are tired it is more than okay if we miss the “big” moment, because the biggest part to us is that we were together.