Repurposed Frame


Our RV came with this picture frame. Instead of using it for loved ones in our immediate family, we’re going to use it for people that God sends our way in Seattle. We’re repurposing it to remind us why we’re here: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31

Hannah asked, “What happens when we run out of spaces in the frame?” Get a bigger frame? Tape pictures right to the wall?

Jesus made a radical statement about family. When he was preaching to a massive crowd, his mother and brothers showed up to see him. No VIP passes, they couldn’t get through. No one gave way, not even for Mary.

When word got to Jesus that his mother was waiting, he turned the concept of family upside down. He said, “’Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ And pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.’”

Was Jesus snubbing his mother? No. Was he rejecting his half-brothers? No. Was he teaching that family takes a backseat to ministry? No. Was he just trying to recruit followers with the promise of a rich co-inheritance in the Kingdom of Heaven? No. Then what?

Pointing to his disciples, Jesus invites us to be God’s love to others. Jesus invites us to be agents of his hope: “A church that is a mother and shepherdess… who washes, cleans, and raises up his neighbor. This is pure Gospel.”- Pope Francis

Please pray that we run out of wall space.


NRSV Scripture References

“While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers were standing outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, ‘Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.’ But to the one who had told him this, Jesus replied, ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ And pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.’” Matthew 12:46-50

Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’ Mark 12.30-44

Pope Francis quote found here:

Reflections on Lunch with a Homeless Son

Painting Study

Tinsley Anne’s Boy, Painting Study, ©2013 Ann M. Snowberger, All Rights Reserved

Reflections on Lunch with A Homeless Son

Tinsley Anne,
I met your son today.
Maybe you were watching
Us walk along the road.
Did you hear his voice break; choke softly as he remembered his love for you?

He’s weak now.
His life has been “a wreck.”
Maybe you were praying.
He spoke about his poem-
The one he wrote and read for you in the last clear moment you had left.

He’s lonely.
He feels it in his bones,
In his tent in the woods,
Rain dripping through leaks.
Air heavy and cold, he hugs his red dog, and weeps; in the warmth he weeps.

Tinsley Anne,
I broke bread with your boy.
Maybe you were hoping.
Hot tea, some rice, chicken.
Did you hear my heart break; choke on silence at his hungry mouth eating?


Peace Be With You
Tinsley Anne

©2013 Ann M. Snowberger, All Rights Reserved

Arms Reach

Our family is pretty normal. We fight, we make up, we stomp around mad Amos chewed the trim on the door (and yes, when he does that he’s “Your (my) dog!”. We ride bicycles, eat out, and talk.

One of the messages that is continuous in our home is that we don’t need to reach very far to find people we can partner with to make all our lives better. We aren’t lifting people out of despair into some shiny new reality, we don’t know how to fix problems in the world, we don’t have all the answers, but:

We will stand with you through your trials and do everything we can to help.

We aren’t perfect, we have our own trials. One of mine was working with a church we attended back in Montana that wanted to minister to the poor in Africa. This is something dear to my heart — I don’t know why. I can’t explain it. We were tasked with doing some “Business Analysis” (my words) of the various options we proposed.

I proposed putting feet on the ground in Africa, pouring resources into the region and establishing a network of self-sustaining group homes. Places where “families” — a set of local adults and a large set of local children — could live, with clean water, growing food, have some goats, try to be energy independent (solar, etc) and become a “center” for the community it was embedded in.

The proposal that was acted upon was to create an adoption pipeline, where people in the church could adopt African children into their homes. Fast forward five years: today’s New York Times.

I still want to create communities in Africa where people can live, learn, and build community. I don’t know what that looks like yet. In the mean time, since I can’t be within arms reach of the people on my heart, I give via Kiva so that my money does enable people in that community to build a better tomorrow.

Space Saving Tip #1-Collapsible Dish Drainer

Space is king. This Progressive brand over-the-sink dish drainer keeps precious counter space free AND collapses for easy storage. We bought ours for about $20.00. Locate your nearest dealer or shop for it online! Progressive also makes collapsible colanders, funnels, cups, and food storage containers. 5 STARS to Progressive!

Bigger on the inside, our very own TARDIS!

Groovy RV123

Here’s our kitchen, living room, dining room, library, office, family room, storage room, guest room, pantry, and foyer! 1. Watch for how we repurpose this picture frame! 2. We love this chicken wire basket- sure miss our yard birds. 3. Amos’ man-cave! Despite his new deluxe bedding, Amos would rather sleep in mud outside the sheep pasture. (insert dog frown here)

Barn Dance Blues

Quiet Barn

September came and went without our annual barn dance and potluck. This year, no Christmas lights twinkled in the hayloft. No fiddle music filled the rafters. No couples held hands in the moonlight. No kids chased each other over fences. Only barn cats, darting through shadow, disturbed straw and dust on the dance floor. Ivan and I mourned what would have been our 9th annual barn dance. People matter; we have but one life to cherish friends and neighbors.

Then this incredible thing happened. Chuck, from a few trailers down, invited us to his annual Salmon BBQ and potluck. We gladly joined the rest of the park at his RV, eating good food, laughing, and watching our kids chase each other around on bikes. With tears in his eyes, Chuck thanked everyone for coming to his 9th annual Salmon BBQ. I was stunned.

The turned table was not lost on me. Community lost, community gained, God has amazing ways to ease our grieving.

Crepes, Cast Iron, Family

One of the things I did regularly in Montana was make crepes for breakfast (and lunch, and dinner). It’s become sort of a family thing, Isaiah will ask for them if it has been too long since I have made them. He has been asking recently for me to make some, so this week I mixed up some batter (by hand since our blender, mixer, and almost all the other electric kitchen devices have abandoned in favor of space.


Making crepes for the first time in the 5th wheel. Using a Lodge cast iron pan.

I follow a ratio I found in the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook that’s done well for my tastes, works reliably and isn’t too thin or thick. It’s something like this:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 tbsp of butter

Then the process I follow is to melt the 2 tbsp of butter in a small dish and set aside to cool. Mix the cold wet ingredients (eggs and milk), then mix in the flour whisk, beat or, blend, until it’s smooth. Lastly, mix in the melted butter as quickly as possible so that as it chills and hardens it makes microscopic lumps (not even noticable to the naked eye).

Then I let the batter rest until the pan is ready. I use an electric skillet on the ranch, I’m used to it and we’ve become friends. We understand each other.  Unfortunately that gargantuan (11×17?) pan is too big for the 5th wheel — it’s also mono-purpose and poses a large mess factor (no edge to contain spatter).

Last night I went in search of a pan to make crepes with the batter I made earlier in the week; I found a reasonable cast iron pan that’s shaped the way I like (for crepes) and can be used in many different ways. It was also reasonably priced (although I just found it on the Lodge website for $4 less than the store!).

The first few were touch and go, would we be enjoying crepes in the 5th wheel or should we give that up and create a new tradition? By the 6th or 7th crepe, it was decided. The pan performed, the batter worked, and the crepes were gone! We’ll be doing this again soon.

Something is wrong here…


I know. I’m crazy. Most people wouldn’t care or notice, but me, well I’m the guy who moved the red frying pans back to the red section when someone mistakenly put them in the black section. No harm, no foul, but they just didn’t belong there. (Ann knows of this ‘condition’, it’s one of the reasons she married me – I think).

Continuing in the “Red and Black are obviously different, let’s be clear about that” theme I stumbled into the candy aisle while killing time. I browse the Twizzlers and red vines because they remind me of my friend  Mark Hereld who used to eat them constantly when we worked together a few years ago.

Back to the grocery store and the present, I saw the red vines in the picture above and was horrified. Do you see it? It makes no sense?

They have red vines in the red vines package, purple vines in the grape vines package, and black vines in the red vines package!?

Black is to White as Day is to ?

Red == Red Vines

I get this. It makes sense. There is no fruit, no flavor, just a color.

Purple != Grape Vines (but at least in the right family!?)

This is acceptable, uncomfortable for me, but acceptable. Purple could be eggplant, black raspberries, plums, or grapes. They chose grapes. For “Red Vines” Purple is Grape.

Black != Red Vines

This is wrong. Wrong. My head hurts wrong. And what’s worse, I can’t fix it! I can’t repackage them all in the “Black Vines” or even “Licorice Vines” package. It’s killing me. I’m going to have to go buy all the “Black Vines” and hide them somewhere.

HELP RED VINES! What’s a (semi-normal, slightly pedantic) guy to do!?

Seattle has opened my eyes to the “chaos” — I’m sure our Red Vines in Montana weren’t so confused.


No really. Yesterday was my first sick day of high school. Achievment Unlocked: HOMEWORK. yaaay. Being in all honors classes, the coursework is a lot more challenging, and there’s a bit more homework. You know, just a bit. And a PE class? You better be ready to run. Yeah, thats right, run. For missing one PE class, I have to go in on my own time and run five laps, or 1.25 miles. Add to that 6+ hours of homework and, well… weekend? What weekend? Huh? What’s free time? I will never be sick again.

RV Living

If we make it through the first 9 months, I predict we could do this forever.Image

After about a month in our new 5th wheel I can (still) say we made a great choice. Living in 400 square feet isn’t easy. We left a ranch with a log home, two barns (aka shops), lots of outdoor space. Our nearest neighbor was a mile away.

We’re now in 400 square feet with our nearest neighbors inches away.

This isn’t bad; but it takes adjusting. Adjusting takes time. We’re only one month in — what I call the delusional zone — where we feel so much better than a month ago, we forget how much better it’ll bee when we’re done adjusting. It’s like having kids, when they’re 18-24 months old and they start sleeping you forget how much sleep you lost because they are so cute. It’s a trick. It’s designed to get you to have another one. Stay calm and enjoy the one you have.

Same principle applies here. Stay calm and enjoy the progress we’ve made in the last month. Let’s not go crazy trying to get engaged in too many activities. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas will bring enough stress to test our adjustments to this lifestyle.