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29 January 2008


I've tried all day to think of something else to write about, but it can't be avoided.

When I woke up this morning, it was a reasonable 36 degrees. And it fell from there. And fell. And fell. And snowed. And the wind blew. And now, it is 7 degrees. And the wind is still blowing- 25 mph.

It's warmer in other places. We'll think about that.
And have another cup of coffee...

You Have Loved Us First

A prayer from The Prayers of Kierkegaard, by Soren Kierkegaard:

Father in Heaven! You have loved us first, help us never to forget that You are love so that this sure conviction might triumph in our hearts
over the seduction of the world,
over the inquietude of the soul,
over the anxiety for the future,
over the fright of the past,
over the distress of the moment.
But grant also that this conviction might discipline our soul so that our heart might remain faithful and sincere in the love which we bear to all those whom You have commanded us to love as we love ourselves.

You have loved us first, O God, alas! We speak of it in terms of history as if You have only loved us first but a single time, rather than that without ceasing.
You have loved us first many times and every day and our whole life through.
When we wake up in the morning and turn our soul toward You- You are the first- You have loved us first;
if I rise at dawn and at the same second turn my soul toward You in prayer, You are there ahead of me, You have loved me first.
When I withdraw from the distractions of the day and turn my soul toward You, You are the first and thus forever.
And yet we always speak ungratefully as if You have loved us first only once.

25 January 2008

Children's Museum

Dilligent workers finished ahead of schedule this week, so we decided to take a mid-week visit to the Children's Museum, accompanied by two friends. Fun! The latest special exhibit is "FORE! The Planet," which was a good excuse to play some putt-putt golf. (Quote of the round- "Look! A hole in 15!" :-) )

Of course, there were all the usual favorite stops- the building, the balls, the market. Lots of art work, lots of tape, lots of glitter. A special Bubble lab show- even flaming! and floating! bubbles. They made Slime, a polymer you know..., in bright blue and green and red and pink.

To end the afternoon, and since we were already that close anyway, we had to stop at Ted & Wally's for ice cream. (who doesn't need ice cream when it's a whopping 14 degrees outside, right?) Strawberry, cinnamon, rootbeer, chocolate peanut butter cookie dough, and a chocolate shake make a sweet finish to a very sweet afternoon.

23 January 2008


Action shots from J (#55) playing basketball this week. Go Roadrunners!

22 January 2008

If by Kipling

We are in the process of memorizing Rudyard Kipling's If. A great poem, If- it examines character and decision making and practical life application. Kipling composed If in language that even 3rd grade girls can understand, though I rather doubt that was his intent, and included examples that cause one to think, "yeah, that's happened to me, too!" And, Kipling wrote If in stanza easy to commit to memory, which we particulary appreciate.

Perhaps you haven't looked at If since you were a schoolchild. Look again! :-)

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise.

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools.

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

--Rudyard Kipling

20 January 2008

Sunday Night Theater

Iron Chef America, watch out! There's competition from over the Pond!

The ladies of the household gathered together tonight, all in one very cozy bed, I might add, to watch this week's installment of PBS' Masterpiece Theater, The Complete Jane Austin. Tonight introduced us to Catherine Morland and Northanger Abbey. We especially delighted in the ending, and I believe that at least some of us will be back for Mansfield Park next week.

18 January 2008

Father Tim on love

Wisdom from Father Tim, to son Dooley, on love:

"Love each other," he said. "Whatever you decide to do with your lives, love each other.

"Loving can be hard. Sometimes we don't feel loving, but it isn't all about feeling. Very often it's about will. Practice that if you can." He thought he may have said too much, but he looked him in the eyes, and knew he had not.

17 January 2008

A request

Love through me, Love of God;
Make me like Thy clear air
Through which, unhindered, colors pass
As though it were not there.

Powers of the love of God,
Depths of the heart Divine,
O Love that faileth not, break forth,
And flood this world of Thine.

-Amy Carmichael, from If

16 January 2008

So sad...

I remember the wedding, so beautiful, the bride in black and white. (Spiderman wasn't in color in my newspaper back then...)

But, in a tragic turn of events, it looks like Spiderman and MaryJane are no longer married.

Spidey! What about the vows?

15 January 2008

Obviously the students need more work to do...

These are the photos that appeared on my camera today.

It doesn't seem fair that the most annoying member of our household is getting more blog time than anyone...

13 January 2008

Happy Mail!

Once the Christmas flurry of packages and greetings finishes, our mail tends to be the necessary and tedious things of life- income tax statements, notices for fees and licensing to the city, reminders of to-do's...

Until Saturday!
When, much to my surprise, I received a package labeled "Happy Mail!"
And it was!

My good friend Julie in Washington is perhaps the craftiest person I know. I mean that "crafty" in the nicest possible sense! :-) She recently started a new blog. And by some unexpected and unplanned turn of events, I happened to be the first to comment on her new blog, and she sent me a prize- a very cute little journal, that she created especially for me, thinking of the upcoming travel I'll be doing.

Happy mail, indeed!! I was delighted! What a perfect little gift. And she handcrafted it herself! It has lined paper for notes, tabs for photos, even a little pocket for tickets and momentos.

I am eager to put it to use, friend. You blessed me. And even more, reminded me that I should send some happy mail out. This could be a new trend... (just don't expect handmade craftiness from this address... :-) )

08 January 2008

Not the world's view...

from The Valley of Vision:

Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to posess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from the deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;

Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty,
thy glory in my valley.

"The Hairy Dog"

Here's a poem we read in school today- and we couldn't help but think of a dog WE know...

My dog's so furry, I've not seen
His face for years and years:
His eyes are buried out of sight,
I only guess his ears.

When people ask me for his breed,
I do not know or care:
He has the beauty of them all
Hidden beneath his hair.

(don't worry, Dillon; we'll get you a haircut when it warms up a bit...)

02 January 2008

"Spirituality for ordinary folk"

Let us unceasingly impress upon every soul that the invitation of this gentle, loving Savior expects nothing difficult or extraordinary of them. Indeed, God is only asking for your heart. Everyone can aspire to the same love, the same surrender, the same God and his work."

- from Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751), The Sacrament of the Present Moment