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31 December 2007

More than certainty...


Thanks to Andree Seu for reminding me of the subtle difference once again.

(and, while you are there, you can't go wrong checking out the rest of the December 29, 2007 issue of World. Good stuff!)

27 December 2007

A Movie Review

Willing suspension of disbelief:
a literary term, referring to the "willingness of a person to accept as true the premises of a work of fiction, even if they are fantastic or impossible. It also refers to the willingness of the audience to overlook the limitations of a medium, so that these do not interfere with the acceptance of those premises."

Take a heaping helping of willing suspension of disbelief when you go to see National Treasure 2, Book of Secrets. But don't let that stop you from you from going to see it.

The H. family enjoyed National Treasure 1 (not to mention, the draw of Mount Rushmore in the previews, my all-time favorite national landmark, was too much to resist!) and so with a kind gift for the kids (thanks Aunt Lu!), we pooled our resources and queued up for a rare first-run movie viewing with the entire family. NT2 finds the characters searching for treasure, this time in order to save the Gates' family name and honor. A crazy succession of events and scenarios follows (and plenty of gasps of THAT couldn't happen! from me), but it was fun and family friendly and good entertainment on a winter day, and what more can you ask for in a film? We especially enjoyed the goofy character of Riley, the idea of the President hitchhiking on the side of the road, and pondering the thought of how all that gold got there, anyway?

14 H thumbs up for NT2!

Feasts and Scrabble

We enjoyed, devoured, reveled, in a Christmas feast with most dear friends this year. It's not any ol' couple that will invite our crew to dinner! And what a dinner! Complete with Christmas crackers. We're grateful, for full stomachs, and even more, sweet fellowship.

Then, in an effort to avoid the post-dinner nap (all those familiar with H's patterns are smiling now...), we pulled out the Scrabble board. Not just any Scrabble board. This is Super Scrabble, complete with quadruple letter and quadruple word scores and lots more letters. The boys took on two teams of girls, and despite our best efforts, the boys won. (if I could figure out how, I would have written that last part in very tiny print...) Good show, men!

25 December 2007

Christmas past

What a cool gift! My sister scanned a bunch of old photos and sent them to me via email!

So, a flash from the past...
Christmas, oh, 1969 or '70....


Merry Christmas!

24 December 2007

That's what Christmas is all about

This is my FAVORITE (with capital letters!) of holiday clips. As my kids will be quick to tell anyone, I have it memorized and blurt it out at least daily between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But perhaps Linus recites these ancient words, this glorious promise, the best...

23 December 2007

a stone's throw from...

Who knew?
My neck of the woods has been the scene of all sorts of celebrity sightings in the last week.

First, Bono ate just down the road. Twice.
Then, I discovered scenes from a major motion picture (isn't that what you always hear, "major motion picture"?) were being filmed at a house just four blocks west of my house.

Go figure... :-)

22 December 2007

Holliday elves

This little clip is very amusing. (it's even more amusing with the boys, including the dogs, dancing, but, alas, we lost that one...)

Get ready to giggle.

Christmas tea party and cookie exchange


when it's snowy and cold...

where do we go?

To the desert.
To the jungle.
To the beach.

ok. Really, we just go to the zoo.

And for a short time, we are transported.
The Desert Dome actually seemed sunny on Wednesday.

It was feeding time in the aquarium, so we were able to watch sharks and rays and turtles gobble lunch.

The jungle steamed up my glasses.
The kids swung from vines like monkeys. Really!
It was a good get-away, with good friends.
And it warmed us, in and out.

It's a Risk...

We're on Christmas holiday and it's game-o-rama around here. Recent family faves are Blokus, Risk, Life and Scrabble. That might change after Christmas... :-) (oh what a tease for young family blog readers...)

16 December 2007

Holliday concerts...

'Tis the season for lots of holiday music. Last week was a two-gig (stealing Auntie's lingo there...) week- the first with Veritas, the home school choir all five H kids sing with. Great concert. Lousy photos- low light in the church. But, take my word for it- everyone looked and sounded great... :-)

The next day, three of our piano students played in the "Holiday Under the Glass" lunchtime concert series at the Joslyn Museum. Now that's a setting with better lighting! So, I'm trying a "Prone to Wander" first- home video. (forgive the marginal audio- it's just a camera you know, and I'm not claiming to be a professional...) There's a bobble in the middle of the piece (which shows on the players faces...), but overall, it was a good show.

Here's a photo of the "glass"- one of my favorites from WA artist Dale Chihuly. And, a photo with another duet group. L. also played a piece with a boy from the studio, and they played well, even with only one rehearsal. It's fun to see fruit from the labors at home and in lessons...


C.S. Lewis wrote, "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You, too? Thought I was the only one."

I have a group of friends that was "born" at exactly that moment, when we each discovered we were not the only ones. This group of friends came together WAY back in 1995- when we all discovered each other on that new-fangled internet, in a chat room titled "Summerbaby '95". We all had babies that were born in the summer of 1995. So we chatted. We chatted about babies, and all that, and then, lo, time went by and we chatted about everything under the sun, and imagine!, 12 years later, and we're still chatting, only it's never about babies, and truthfully, it's only sometimes about kids. :-)

These friends are a group of women that live across the country, from sea to shining sea, from California and the Pacific Northwest all the way over to Massachusettes and down to Florida, and all kinds of places in between. They are professionals of all kinds of occupations, from all sorts of faith backgrounds and education and polititical leanings and experiences. We can be an opinionated bunch, but are mindful of being respectful, and grateful for the opportunity to hear from "the other side" in a safe place.

And every year for about the last 10 years, we have a gift exchange around Christmas time. We trade names and send each other ornaments. And then we get online with Instant Messenger (much to my AOL hating husband's chagrin...) and open up our gifts in a flurry of typing. So, look at what I received THIS year! (that's the photo at the top!) A very cool and artsy punched out tin angel. It is perfect for me. Thanks my friend, Michelle. You, and everyone else in our Summermoms, are precious gems.

Hey! Unto you a child is born!

Our family just finished reading this treasure of a little book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever...

H. Family Recommendation: put this one on your list of "Best Christmas Reads for the Whole Family." Two thumbs up, especially for this having-a-hard-time-getting-into-what-should-be-the-"ChristmasSpirit"-mom.

A piece from towards the end of the story...
"When Imogene had asked me what the pageant was about, I told her it was about Jesus, but that was just part of it. It was about a new baby, and his mother and father who were in a lot of trouble- no money, no place to go, no doctor, nobody they knew. And then, arriving from the East (like my uncle from New Jersey) some rich friends.
But Imogene, I guess, didn't see it that way. Christmas just came over her all at once, like a case of chills and fever. And so she was crying, and walking into furniture."

I'm all for a little more crying, and even running into furniture if I have to, to see Christmas, the wonder of that baby born, God incarnate (how can we really fathom?!), again this year. Thanks, Imogene Herdman.

01 December 2007 sets my heart astir!

Thanks to XM Online (love that!), I discovered a new-to-me hymn yesterday- beautiful! I know the music is familiar (this links to an audio clip I found, scroll down...), and one of more more musically savvy friends will probably come up with why I know it- a hymn by another name? But, besides that- look at the words. This is what Winter Wonderland is REALLY about!

I haven't bought a disc for one song in a while, but this might be reason... :-)

What Is This Lovely Fragrance Stealing?
[French traditional]

What is this lovely Fragrance stealing,
Shepherds, that fills the winter air?
Never was sweetness so appealing
Never were flowers of spring so fair
What is this lovely Fragrance stealing,
Shepherds, that fills the winter air?

What is this Light so fair, so tender
Breaking upon our wond'ring eyes
Never the Morning Star so radiant
Followed his course o'er eastern skies
What is this Light so fair, so tender
Breaking upon our wond'ring eyes

What is this Wonder all around us
Filling the air with Music light?
Shepherds! Some magic here hath found us!
Never mine ears knew such delight!
What is this Wonder all around us
Filling the air with Music light!

What is this lovely Fragrance stealing?
Shepherds! It sets my heart astir!
Never was sweetness so appealing
Never were flowers of spring so fair
What is this lovely Fragrance stealing?
Shepherds! it sets my heart astir!


"The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around;
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound!"
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

This picture only adequately shows the ice that hangs around this morning. One branch almost touches the ground, heavy with ice. But, now at mid-morning, the temperatures are beginning to rise over freezing, so hopefully, recovery will be swift.

And, what is a swound? :-)

30 November 2007

Simple love

Thought provoking study on looking at marriage and being a wife this week, from The Legacy of Biblical Womanhood. On the kingdom purposes in marriage. On opportunities to "grow in holiness." On the idea of "oneness," with unity and diversity.

Author Susan Hunt writes, "Submission and respect nourish oneness. These attitudes and actions do not oppress a woman but are restorative. They help to restore the intimacy and harmonious complementarity of the pre-Fall marriage relationship. Submission and respect are life-giving. They breathe hesed (Hebrew: goodness) into a marriage relationship."

Of course, Hunt reminds us that "we must go to the depths of the gospel before we can joyfully embrace the concept of submission. ...The fact that the Son sumbits to the Father 'does not mean that the Son is inferior in dignity and being. Rather, in His messianic work the Son subjects Himself to the will of the Father... The climax of Christ's submissive, messianic work is this total conquest over His enemies, that God may be all in all, when His absolute rule is universally acknowledged."

And then, doesn't it come down to a practical application of loving selflessly, that act that is so unnatural and yet, so good? I think of the sweet chorus of a favorite Allison Krauss song:
I want a simple love like that
Always giving, never askin' back
For when I'm in my final hour lookin' back
I hope I had a simple love like that

So do I.

25 November 2007

He who dwells... (Ps. 91:1)

Over the last week, at every moment I could get away with it, I've been soaking up this memoir of Jim Elliot. Soaking up like a sponge! This book challenges and exhorts and encourages and comfirms. Its words inspire and cause one to question himself, especially in light of the Lord. There was very little wasted in Elliot's life, not time, not energy, not things- his was a life lived with deliberate and prayerful purpose.

I started Shadow by borrowing a friend's copy, and quickly realized that I needed my own, to mark and go back and reference.

Here's just one thought from Elliot, of many, that impresses me. Wife Elisabeth writes:

"Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." God had given us that desire, and perhaps in the sense in which Jim had interpreted it in a letter to me written in 1949:

"It does not say He will give you what you want. It does say He will give you the want. Delight in Christ brings desire for Christ. He gives the heart its desires- that is, He works in us the willing (Philippians 2:13). This is why He can say in John 15:7 'Ye shall ask what ye will... if ye abide.' The branch takes its sap from the vine, the same surges the vine feels then become the surges of the branch. My will becomes His, and I can ask what I will, if I delight myself in Him. Only then can my desire be attained, when it is His desire."

24 November 2007

Make a Joyful Noise!

The Psalms are full of references to "make a joyful noise unto the Lord."

Psalm 95:1- Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Psalm 95:2- Make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Psalm 98:1- Make a joyful noise to the LORD.
Psalm 98:4- Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth...
Psalm 98:6- ...make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!
Psalm 100:1- Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!

And until now, my praise has been joyful, but perhaps in comparison to my more melodious friends and family, a bit of noise.


I have joined, if just for a short season, the ranks of musicians!
I am in the bell choir!

What fun!
Harder than it looks, I'll tell you.
I'm E6 and F6. I often have notes in succession. I even almost have a solo. :-)

To edit Psalm 71:23 just a little bit...
My lips will shout for joy when I ring praises to You!

Since I've been gone...

How nice! My three regular readers missed me. :-)

Here's some of the goings-on in the last week or so-
Family came to visit. Here's Su and cousin Sh from MI.

And Mom and Dad H. (Notice the middle guy. As friend Kenny says, "one word. Headbladedotcom.")

A trip to the zoo. Someone should market jellyfish tanks as a relaxation device...

A Curious George sighting at the Durham Western Heritage Museum. We were there for the Christmas tree lighting. Beautiful huge and full tree in a stately setting.
And lots of cards and games, lots of shopping, lots of eating, and a couple of great worship services besides.
We are blessed.
And thankful.

14 November 2007

Harder and Easier

Excerpt from Mere Christianity by CS Lewis

The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says, “Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked– the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.”

Both harder and easier than what we are all trying to do. You have noticed, I expect, that Christ Himself sometimes describes the Christian way as very hard, sometimes as very easy. He says, “Take up your Cross”- in other words, it is like going to be beaten to death in a concentration camp. Next minute he says, “My yoke is easy and my burden light.” He means both. And one can just see why both are true.

Matthew 10:38
Matthew 16:24
Mark 8:34

Luke 9:23
Matthew 11:30

(photo from National a Malay woman with rice seedlings. I think Christ's yoke is easier...)

10 November 2007

Crunch and Rustle

A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made. The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air.- Eric Sloane

It was Yard Help Day at our place, but not all work and no play. After all, who can resist a pile of leaves?

08 November 2007

"The Freest of All God's Acts"

But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. Romans 11:6

"Grace would not be grace if it were a response to resources in us. Grace is grace because it highlights God's own overflowing resources of kindness. Grace is eternal because it will take that long for God to expend inexhaustible stores of goodness on us. Grace is free because God would not be the infinite, self-sufficient God he is if he were constrained by anything outside himself."
John Piper, Future Grace

Thoughts to ponder on for a while, with utter gratitude and wonder...

06 November 2007

Bizarre Foods

Our normal Monday date night plans were altered last night when our regular show wasn't on. So, in search of adventure, we turned to the Travel Channel and found Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. WHOA! And let me say again... WHOA! This guy eats some nasty stuff! Last night he was in Ecuador where local cuisine includes such delicacies as roasted cuye (can I just say, an animal that we have kept as a pet...), a choice of soups (do you prefer the inside or outside of the stomach?), coconut grubs (fat little guys!), and a vitamin-filled aloe vera drink that seemed to have a consistency similar to, well, snot? I know that my faithful readers are intrigued!

But, we have to admit, Mr. Iron Stomach Zimmern made us laugh out loud, and fresh empanadas don't seem all that bad! You can check out his entire trip here.

Next week, we do hope to be travelling again with our Trekker friends, but Bizarre Foods was an amusing diversion for a week, anyway...
Happy eating!

05 November 2007

One Semester of Spanish - Love Song

This might be the silliest of "Silliness" posts (or maybe that should be Tonteria con accento sobre el "i"...). Gracias a Escott for a blip that caused our entire familiy to laugh out loud!

02 November 2007

Bump, Set, Spike!

This weekend, you'll find us at the National Home School Volleyball Tournament. 40 teams of volleyball playing young ladies, and some very competitive volleyball going on!

Go Warriors!

::: UPDATE ::: Here's a link to a story on the Tournament that appeared on the local news last night (November 1). Check out the video, too. Thanks WOWT!

31 October 2007

"Ketchup? Puh-leeeese!"...

...says the salsa package.

A big THANKS to Taco Bell, who provided us with 6 tasty and free tacos yesterday. We appreciate that! And, it reedems the Boston Red Sox just a little bit, too...

Faith in what?

I've recently been challenged by the idea of "faith." We so often hear of faith spoken of, as if "faith" were the religion or the god, itself. Faith in what, I ask? I remember pop singer George Michael in the 80's crooning, "I've just gotta have faith..." Catchy song. Questionable faith. (and no comments on lifestyle choices of Mr. Michael, please. This is a family blog... :-) )

For the Christian believer, faith must be in God, the one true God, and in Christ's saving work on the cross. But, do we trust in that faith, in that God, enough?
Oswald Chambers addresses just that issue, faith, in the Utmost reading for today...

Faith by its very nature must be tried, and the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God's character has to be cleared in our own minds. Faith in its actual working out has to go through spells of unsyllabled isolation. Never confound the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life, much that we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive. Faith in the Bible is faith in God against everything that contradicts Him- I will remain true to God's character whatever He may do. "Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him"- this is the most sublime utterance of faith in the whole of the Bible.

30 October 2007


New house rule:
If mom can hear the music in the dining room, it is too loud...

(ps: bedrooms are above and below...)
(pps: only 12 more teenager years to go... :-) )

29 October 2007

Art jag

Nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small it takes time - we haven't time - and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. Georgia O'Keefe

This is one of my favorite Georgia O'Keefe paintings. (can you use "favorite" if there is more than one?)

I don't remember when I was exposed to O'Keefe first, but I remember exactly when I became enamored by her work. When living in Maryland in the fall of 1987, there was an O'Keefe exhibition at the National Gallery in DC and I wandered around by myself for hours. The enormity of some of her work simply awed me. I took a poster of this poppy home, and it has hung in various homes and rooms ever since.

After I left New Mexico, the O'Keefe Museum opened in Santa Fe. I've never visited, but I hope to next summer, because I see they will be doing an exhibition with O'Keefe and another one of my favorites, Ansel Adams.

I'm not an art scholar. But I know what I like... :-)

23 October 2007

Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa?

I heard this story the other day, and was fascinated. What amazing technology, that can figure out what was, but is no longer. And, admitedly, I was amused. Because some poor cleaning chap, probably with the most honorable of intentions, might just have erased Miss Lisa's eyebrows. OOPS!

Don't worry- you won't find any kind of destructive cleaning like that around here...

22 October 2007

Fall Classic

He's our favorite reason that this household will rooting for the Colorado Rockies in this year's World Series. No relation, that we yet know of... Well, and of course, that they are COLORADO. What sense would it make for this family to cheer for Boston? (though we did live in nearby Connecticut twice...)

Actually, I was hoping that Cleveland would beat Boston, and THEN fall apart against the Rockies. Alas... But, reminder..., the Rockies did outscore the Red Sox 20-5 in three games of interleague play at Boston back in June. Goliath who, we say?

Go Rockies!

17 October 2007

Felony Flyers

These are my favorite shoes, well, right now, and I'm not just saying that because they don't hurt my infected toe and they only cost $5 on clearance. A friend, who has experience with such things, calls them my Felony Flyers because, apparently, they are jail issue shoes. Who knew I was so edgy? HA!

When I wear these shoes, I have a sense of being READY. Ready to go, on a moments notice. It's that same feeling of wanting to make "vroom-vroom" noises when I ride my mountain bike and hop the curb. Probably the Proverbs 31 woman did not wear Converse sneakers (only because rubber had not yet been invented, maybe, though I have to concede, that purple and fine linen probably don't go so well with sneakers...), though these shoes give me just a little extra bit of strength, and I smile when I wear them. (Prov. 31:25) These shoes aren't the Gospel of peace, but I am ready to go and speak it, live it, when I wear them. (Eph 6:15)
Watch out world!

Just wanted to share... :-)

"Go Simply Means to Live"

from Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest:

"Go ye therefore..." Go simply means to live. Acts i. 8 is the description of how to go. Jesus did not say- Go into Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, but, "Ye shall be witnesses unto Me" in all these places. He undertakes to establish the goings.

"If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you..."- that is the way to keep going in our personal lives. Where we are placed is a matter of indifference; God engineers the goings."

13 October 2007

Fall Break

A day off! Fall Break! The Academy set off south yesterday, bikes in tow, to Indian Cave State Park. Indian Cave is located next to the Missouri River and offers some spectacular views of the Missouri River valley. There really is a cave, with Indian petroglyphs of buffalo and deer, and some more modern work, like "Jordan 1977." We resisted adding to the collection.

We did, however, climb trees. (well, some of us..., not the official photographer, of course...)

We rode our bikes along the Missouri Watershed trail.

Here's a self-portrait, a peek into a one-room schoolroom that's on the property. If you look past the glare, you can see the classroom...

We saw more fields being harvested than we could count.

We stopped at a family farm pumpkin patch in Nebraska City on the way home, and left with our arms full of pumpkins and gourds. I think the lady liked us... :-)

At any rate, I'm sure glad that my kids enjoy road trips! I guess they can hardly help it, as I've been toting them around the countryside, indeed, around the country, since before they can remember. Wonder where the road will take us next...?


...When King Jehosphaphat faced an insurmountable problem, he made no pretense to know the solution. A vast army marched against him, and "he was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD..." He assembled the people together, and he prayed,

O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might... For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. (2 Chronicles 20:6, 12)

Like Jehosphat, we can unapologetically say to a woman facing a vast army, "Our God rules heaven and earth. I don't know the answer to your problem, but I will help you fix your eyes on Him. I will remind you of His sovereign love and power. I will pray for you, and I will encourage you to search out His word to know Him more intimately."

from The Legacy of Biblical Womanhood by Susan Hunt and Barbara Thompson

08 October 2007

When pigs fly...

Couldn't get past this week without a special post on one of the all-time greatest fall events, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, now in its 32nd year, I think. Now, the Balloon Fiesta has it's own park, with grass, which seems completely unbelievable to this New Mexican. (We didn't even have grass on the school playgrounds! We barely had grass in our yard, but I digress...) I think I remember going to the earliest balloon fiestas in the parking lot of the mall, but maybe I only remember that because I read it. My mom would know, and certainly, that would have been something that she would have taken us to.

At any rate, I KNOW I've been counting balloons since I have known how to count. For a full week in October, on each clear and crisp New Mexico morning, as the sun peaks over the mountains, one by one, those colorful globes fill the sky. FILL the sky. They drift, almost silently, to the west and to the south, or wherever the currents take them.

Going to the balloon fiesta means waking up early, before the break of dawn, and dressing in lots of layers, and walking a far way from the parking lot, sometimes over and through arroyos. It means hearing the hum of big fans and the whoosh of gas blowing up. ("blowing up" as in upward into the balloon, NOT "blowing up" as in BOOM!) It means Indian fry bread, and trading pins, and chasing ballons through town.

I grew up across the street from one of the first balloonists to cross the Atlantic Ocean. I was in his kitchen, playing with his daughter, when we were hearing news that they had made it to France. I once watched a balloon attempt to cross the Sandia mountains, and not make it. It went down in an ominous flame, a terrible free-falling plunge, seemingly just over the hill, but really, so much farther than we could possibly get to for help. T & I were married on a fall morning during the balloon fiesta, and I counted balloons on the way to church. I remember a lot about balloons. At any Albuquerque event, it seems there is always a balloon.

And yet, I've never actually ridden in a balloon, well, except for just a few feet off the ground, in one that was firmly tethered to earth. But, I suppose (now, look at the picture really close... see the snout? the pig ears? heehee!) that if pigs fly, someday I might, too...

06 October 2007

You Can Learn A Lot...

We rented The Muppet Show, Season 1, for Friday night, and a couple of girls were especially amused by song, led by Kermit and one very special pig...

04 October 2007

In Whom or In What?

This week I began a distance learning class, via the Internet, through the Chalmers Center for Economic Development at Covenant College. Foundations and Principles of Holistic Ministry primarily looks at issues surrounding poverty, and what the appropriate response and action of the church should be. The reading is both thought provoking and engaging. What are my thoughts and, yes, biases, on poverty, and the poor, and what is my own response? Does that line up with biblical mandate? So, over the next month, there just might be a bloggy emphasis on such topics...

Consider this bit from the introduction of Walking With the Poor (Myers):

...There is no such thing as not witnessing. Christian development promoters are witnessing all the time. The only question is to whom or to what? Their deeds, both what they do and how they do it, declare in whom or in what they place their faith and also demonstrate the moral content of that faith. The way they live their lives declares whom they love and on whom they depend. And, if they are truly living lives that demonstrate their love of God and their neighbor, then questions will come to which the gospel is the answer and they will witness with the words that provide this answer.

Isn't that truth for all of us, in whatever scope of life we interact? Over and again, it goes back to relationships, living as salt and light such that we are noticed as different.

02 October 2007

A glimpse of life with four daughters...

(I hope this comes out big enough to read, although I know the script by heart already... If you need to see it bigger, click on the comic, I think.)

Thanks to Mark Tatulli and Heart... :-)

01 October 2007

A click to save

Here's an easy way to do a good thing. Matthew Smith, from Indelible Grace music, is giving away the title track to his latest hymn CD, All I Owe. For every person that downloads "All I Owe", Matthew will donate to Blood:Water Mission to provide clean water for one person in Africa for one week. Water, something that we take for granted. So, go here, get a good old hymn in a good new style, and help to offer a bit of God's mercy in a place where it is much needed.

30 September 2007


No moss gathers on our family feet during fall Saturdays. (they might have some dust though- it was a windy day in the Midwest!) Some of what we were doing:

J. took a master's class from pianist Krassimira Jordan. She was in town to perform and teach at OCM. Her students are usually in the college setting, but she was very good with the younger students. I think James enjoyed the experience, and maybe The Little Shepherd will take on new lightness.

Deakin and Dillon were banished to the outdoors while Su, L & S excavated, oops- I meant to say cleaned, their room. Yes, under the bed. Yes, in the closet. Yes, behind the door. Thanks to their dad for supervising this monumental event. They are very happy about it today. They have friends over right now and were just overheard asking them to look under the bed. :-)
J. took the outside duties and mowed. T. says J. did a better job than he would have done himself. There's a compliment!

Team Dynamite took the field again, and finished with a win. YAY! Both girls played goalie and allowed no goals past. L. scored a couple for the good guys. Only downside, one player twisted her ankle. First injury to a Dynamite player in 4 years! (well, besides normal scrapes, bumps and bruises, of course...) Team H. helps out as K. is the team photographer and J. runs the flag on the sideline.
Here's S. on a throw in,

and L., heading towards the goal.

K. and the Warriors took the court for volleyball. No win for the Warriors this day, but count it all as training, right? Man, it's tough to take volleyball photos! The gym lights and the camera just do not like each other. We did get a great shot of K. lunging with her tongue out, though kind of fuzzy and dark. Here's the Warriors setting it up for K. to tip over...

We finished off the day at the Creighton Men's Soccer game. They took on Washington, and won in sudden death overtime. Good game! Very physical. TWO yellow cards which really impressed my young futbol players. There is no bad seat at the Creighton soccer stadium. And besides, you can take your picture with the Jay, roll down the grass hill, play the Big Screen Shell Game, and watch the Human Hamster Race at halftime. (I have a photo if you must see...) We resisted the call of the Mystery Mansion. (Just kidding! I wouldn't go in if they paid me, and the bats circling overhead seal THAT deal!)
On to Sunday. Ahh... the Sabbath. Worship and rest.

28 September 2007

Mom's overture

Thanks to my friend Janet in NC for sending along this very clever ditty. It sounds Oh-So-Familiar, and made my entire family laugh, besides. Enjoy!

27 September 2007

Some days...

Some days not even this or this is enough. Some days holding on to this is best of all...

Press on.

26 September 2007

As long as I'm not chasing rabbit trails...

Found another silly internet quiz. I love these things. Good entertainment while making copies of the circulatory system...
What book are you? :-)

You're Watership Down!

by Richard Adams

Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're
actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their
assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they
build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd
be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

23 September 2007


Hooray! The first day of Fall! My favorite season, even though it makes me sneeze. Thinking about fall, I think about growing up in New Mexico. Fall in Albuquerque is one event after another.

Starts with the State Fair in September. My sister and I would go to the State Fair every year, on School Day, with my grandma. We'd do every inch of the fair, the livestock barns, the exhibits and blue ribbons, and the Fine Arts Gallery. Through the Exhibition Halls to watch the knife demonstrations and get all the free stuff we could carry in our plastic sack. Through Villa Hispana, the mariachis playing, sombreros and leather and blown glass shops. Through the Indian Village, drums beating, with Fry Bread, turquoise and coral and silver jewelry, and beaded and feathered dancers. Through the midway and the fun house and the Tilt-a-Whirl. Later, as I got older, I went with friends- one year biked over which was good because no one likes to park at the fair. I went with T and rode the Zipper for the first, and last, time.

The Ballon Fiesta (hmmm... that should be a post by itself, later in the month, I think). The Greek Festival. Soccer. Aspen trees. Green chile roasting. Fall.

Yay for Fall, that all too quick season before winter descends.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1

19 September 2007


"Let your father and your mother be glad,
And let her rejoice who gave birth to you.
Give me your heart, my son,
And let your eyes delight in my ways."
Proverbs 23:25-26

One of my favorite columnists is Andree Seu, a regular contributor to World magazine. I hate to admit it, but the back of the magazine, where her page always lies, is the first I turn to when I get my new issue. I wish I could say I read the issue cover to cover and wait for her. I do read it cover to cover, every issue, but I always look to see if there's a new Seu column first.

This week's writing is another gem, another "oh- I need that reminder." Here's just a little bit, and I hope you delight in it as I have. (click here for the full column)

Delight is the most useless of things. It doesn't get the house clean or the bills paid. Useless—like flowers. Like rainbows. Like Beethoven's Ninth.

Delight covers a multitude of parenting shortcomings. You may be too strict or too lenient and still come out all right, if you delight in your children. They will know it, for delight cannot be hidden. It finds excuse to ooze all over the place. It seeks a getaway vacation with the beloved when it's not convenient. It asks different questions than duty. Duty says, "I should." Delight says, "I want to." Duty is efficient. Delight tends to anything but.

What is less efficient than the story of mankind? If it were about efficiency, God would have wiped the plate clean and commenced with more promising subjects. The Bible in entirety is a love story, a tale of unquenchable delight—His for us, finally ours for Him. No sound rule of parenting is modeled in the sprint of an old man down the road to meet his prodigal. Only delight. No royal protocol is modeled in the dance of a half-naked king before his subjects and the Lord with all his might. Only delight. What is more useless than hymns?

"Let the mind for an instant consider the history of the Redeemer's love, and a thousand enchanting acts of affection will suggest themselves. . . . Our souls may well faint for joy . . . for our loving benefactor Jesus Christ our Lord, whose love is wonderful, passing the love of women" (C.H. Spurgeon).

14 September 2007

"Field" Trip

This afternoon we made our annual pilgrimage to the meat locker in Hancock, Iowa, to pick up our 1/4 share of a cow. 1/4 cow in beef, that is- all kinds of cuts, burger to steak. Family farm-raised, corn-fed beef. Tasty meat that will last us the year.

Hancock is a nice little town- with what has become one of our favorite parks. This year, we were given a tip to look for buffalo. We snuck over to a fence and spied elk and buffalo in the distance, though we weren't too stealthy, as the butcher we had just picked up the beef from drove by and asked us if we were looking for more meat. HA! Butcher humor! :-). And, my J son was correct in guessing, it was actually bison. Who would think, that right there in Hancock, IA, population 201, we would find Botna Bend Park, a local wildlife refuge of sorts.
The fields are beautiful at this time of year. So many shades of gold and green, as the corn and soy near harvest. We saw some farms with equipment already out. Lots of birds, and plenty of cows, pigs, and horses along the way, as well.

We made a stop to surprise a friend along the way, but she wasn't home- that's what we get for not calling ahead, but I bet she was surprised to see our note! And, I was able to maintain control of the music selections while driving, despite occassional grumbles from the crowd. A good afternoon outing, all in all.
Have to include a few shots of the playground:

Spinning on the merry-go-round, a mighty success with no scraped knees!

HA! Look at K, so tall now that she does a handstand rather than hang off the monkey bars! :-)

A group pic on the teeter-totters. Big victory! L conquers her fear of UP on the teeter-totter! But, she'll still only ride with her trust-worthy twin...

A good day and a good outing in the Heartland. :-)