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31 December 2008

2008 in review

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20

"Exceedingly abundantly" is how I would sum up 2008.
Here are my favorite shots from the year.

Book List

The final edition of the 2008 booklist.

It started stronger than it finished. But in general, I'm not disappointed.
And, this morning, I finished the Bible in a year, beginning to end, though I confess, I doubled the readings this last week to be able to finish. I'm convicted this reading, with a purposeful plan, is a daily must for me- so I'm starting again tomorrow.

For 2009, I'm considering participating in this challenge, and reading a big book, a thick ol' classic, with a friend. Stay tuned.

To keep track of what I've read (including reading through the Bible) in 2008, a list, updated monthly:

CultureShock! China by Angela Eagan and Rebecca Weiner
Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon
If by Amy Carmichael
A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot

Devotional Classics edited by Richard J. Foster and James Bryan Smith
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
These Strange Ashes by Elisabeth Elliot
The Practice of the Presence Of God by Brother Lawrence
End of the Spear by Steve Saint

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
The Pursuit of God by AW Tozer
Grow in Grace by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Sold by Patricia McCormick
1 & 2 Samuel
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
A Walk with Jane Austen by Lori Smith
Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen
Transforming Grace by Jerry Bridges

1 & 2 Kings
The Mitford Bedside Companion by Jan Karon
Suffering and the Sovereignty of God edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor
1 & 2 Chronicles
Four-tenths of an Acre by Laurie Lisle
Crooked Little Heart by Anne Lamott

A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Chosen by Chaim Potok
Good-Bye Mr. Chips by James Hilton
When You Rise Up by R.C. Sproul, Jr.
Village School by Miss Read

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life by John Calvin
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
Instructing a Child's Heart by Tedd and Margy Tripp

Song of Solomon
Love Has A Price Tag by Elisabeth Elliot

The Believer's School of Prayer by Andrew Murray
Spiritual Mothering by Susan Hunt
By Design by Susan Hunt

1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

1&2 Thessalonians
1&2 Timothy
1&2 Peter
1, 2, & 3 John
Home by Marilynne Robinson

29 December 2008

Slumdog Millionaire

We ventured down to the Film Streams theaters last night to see the highly acclaimed Slumdog Millionaire. (click there for a trailer clip!)

If, like us, you haven't seen any other Academy Award contender this year, go see Slumdog. The film tells the tale of Jamal Malik, a kid growing up on the streets of Mumbai, India, who finds himself in the hot seat of the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and inexplicably winning beyond reason. When accused of cheating, the movie weaves the story of how Jamal's life experiences have provided the answers to the Millionaire questions.

This is a tough movie- the scenes of the reality of street life are difficult to watch. But the script is rich and the actors, especially the kids, are terrific. The ending- will he win or not?- is a delight. And, there's a fun Bollywood dance scene that runs during the credits, besides.

Hands down, the best movie we saw this year.

there are worse things...

I finished Home by Marilynne Robinson yesterday. It's the follow novel to Gilead, not a sequel, exactly, but with a familiar overlap in characters and setting. Oh Robinson's writing flows smooth, delighting the eyes and teasing the imagination. A passage that caused me to grin...

He laughed. "Good girl. We might even be able to work up a disagreement, one of those ideological differences I read about in the news from time to time. Shouting and arm waving. In the heat of it all I might come up with a conviction or two."

"That sounds wonderful," she said, "except we'd better forget the shouting, for Papa's sake. But we could still do the arm waving."

He shook his head. "That would be so-- Presbyterian, somehow."

"There are worse things."

28 December 2008


"Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created."
Revelation 4:11

"All true believers wholly ascribe their redemption and conversion, their present privileges and future hopes, to the eternal and most holy God. Thus rise the forever harmonious, thankful songs of the redeemed in heaven.
Would we on earth do like them, let our praises be constant, not interrupted;
united, not divided;
thankful, not cold and formal;
humble, not self-confident."
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible

(art credit to Makoto Fujimura, Golden Fire)

awfully familiar...

life with a teenage boy...

(if this is too small to see, go here...)

27 December 2008

diego rivera

We ventured over to the Joslyn today to see the Diego Rivera exhibit before it leaves town.

I so enjoy the work of Diego Rivera.
His love life and his politics- messy.
His art- fascinating.

Segadores is one of 36 works shown in the Rivera exhibition at the Joslyn. All 36, collectively known as "the Diegos," are on loan from the Museum of Art of the State of Veracruz. This is not my favorite piece from the exhibition, but it's my favorite of the ones I can find to put here in the blog...

Once again, kudos to the Joslyn for a great show of art.

(art credit: Diego Rivera (Mexican, 1886–1957), Segadores (Harvesters) (detail), 1956, dibujo al carb√≥n y acuarela (charcoal and watercolor), Collection of The Governor of the State of Veracruz, the Veracruz Institute of Culture, and the Museum of Art of the State of Veracruz)

26 December 2008

Mosaic Meme

Way back in the summer, Megan did this Mosaic MeMe. I tried it, and after working on it for a good while, lost it, and gave up.

But now we're watching a movie (which I adore, but have seen multiple times, so I can do both of these things at once...), and I'm trying again.

And I still did it wrong, because I didn't save the html links, so I didn't give good credit to the photographers. Forgive me! I just added my answers next to the questions...

Here’s how it works:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker. Choose 3 columns with 4 rows.

The Questions:
1. What is your first name? Kristy
2. What is your favorite food? Tamales
3. What high school did you go to? (or, What year did you graduate high school?) Eldorado
4. What is your favorite color? Cobalt
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Wall-E
6. Favorite drink? Limeade
7. Dream vacation? Mexican beach
8. Favorite dessert? hot fudge sundae
9. What you want to be when you grow up? wise
10. What do you love most in life? family
11. One Word to describe you. content
12. Your flickr name. (kid version: favorite animal?) lion (my flickr name had nothing!)

Try it! It's fun, even if it does take a while...
(but hopefully not 6 months for you...)

25 December 2008

With great joy


and here-

After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:9-11

We rejoice exceedingly with great joy, as well.

24 December 2008

Job History

Thanks to Anne at PalmTreePundit for some blogging inspiration, a Job History MeMe:

“It’s simple. Just list all the jobs you’ve had in your life, in order. Don’t bust your brain: no durations or details are necessary, and feel free to omit anything that you feel might tend to incriminate you. I’m just curious. And when you’re done, tag another five bloggers you’re curious about.”

Baskin Robbins ice cream scooper
Oral surgery assistant and front desk helper
Book store customer service
Book store accounting
Substitute teacher
Ski shop sales
Volunteer coordinator, American Red Cross
Court advocate for those filing spousal abuse charges

how 'bout you?
Tag yourself, but let me know!

Wordful Wednesday- Christmas Past

It's Wednesday, and a Christmas eve Wednesday at that, so for this week's Wordful Wednesday, we're going back in the archives...

Last year, my sister gave me a great gift- scanned images of the slides my grandparents collected over the years...

I'm guessing this photo dates to, oh, 1970, 1971?
The boots are a great clue. :-)

I know that this photo was taken at my grandparents' house in Albuquerque. I recognize the blue carpet, and the table in the background. When cleared off, that table was great for sitting and spinning on.

I recognize our stockings hanging in the background- for my sister and me. My mom made those stockings herself, and I still have mine. Mine is red felt, with my name and little ornaments in sequins. That was a faithful stocking for many many years.

But the funniest thing about this picture is the outfit, because even if you are only a little bit acquainted with me, you will know there is nothing about this outfit that I would wear today. Not a short plaid skirt. Not shiny white boots. I don't even care for turtlenecks all that much. Certainly not a bow in my hair.

But I bet it was working for me in 1970...

Visit SevenClownCircus for more WordfulWednesday posts!

22 December 2008

Local conditions...

at 6am.
top number, outside.
bottom number, inside.
(but it's probably not quite that cold inside- the thermometer is right next to our 1920's window...)



21 December 2008

Thou Who Was Rich...

We sang Thou Who Was Rich Beyond All Splendor as part of worship today. I found one commentary complaining of Christmas carol lyrics that make Jesus that whom He was not. (note: a couple of my family members didn't appreciate the commentary, because they happen to be partial to the hymn the author is criticizing. You decide for yourself.) In celebrating Christmas, it is crucial to remember that little baby of the carols was a real, living, breathing, crying, all-human baby; the Son became man. In that commentary Gordon Cheng wrote, "The reality is that the Lord Jesus, though he was as rich as the Lord of the Universe can be, for our sake, became poor—and his poverty came in that he entered the world as a real, live human being who came to die on the cross for our sins."

And that is what this hymn so richly describes.

Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour,
All for love's sake becamest poor;
Thrones for a manger didst surrender,
Sapphire-paved courts for stable floor.
Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour,
All for love's sake becamest poor.

Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love's sake becamest man;
Stooping so low, but sinners raising
Heavenwards by thine eternal plan.
Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love's sake becamest man.

Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Saviour and King, we worship thee.
Emmanuel, within us dwelling,
Make us what thou wouldst have us be.
Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Saviour and King, we worship thee.

(Frank Houghton, 1894-1972)
(art credit to Gail)

17 December 2008

Justice without mercy

"Mercy without justice is unthinkable. But justice without mercy is unbearable."

Zoe Sandvig, The Point, 15 December 2008

Sometimes doesn't it seem as certain words and ideas show up, in your reading and disussion and thoughts, more frequently than others? "Justice" and "mercy" have been two of those words for me, recently. I taught on Philippians 4:8 last week, and later, was challenged by a friend by some thoughts, and then came across this blog post.

I'm still learning.
And I'm grateful that both justice and mercy are perfected in the work of Christ.

16 December 2008

View from the front door

Free shipping today...

I just received email that this is on sale, 40% off, and is "eligible for FREE shipping today," besides.
I did refrain from hitting the "add to cart" button.

It's just a little bit over the independent purchase limit T and I agreed to...


22 Word Challenge

I am constantly amazed by Abraham Piper, who writes, day after day, good stuff, in 22 word bursts.
He's challenging his readers in this contest- and let me tell you, writing 22 sensical words is harder than it looks!

My attempt:

After noticing that her sister had put too many pants on one wire hanger, my daughter told me, “Yep, it went vertical.”

15 December 2008

Christmas Tree Day

Saturday was Christmas Tree Day. My kids and our "adopted" Saturday kids, journeyed out west to the family-owned tree farm we always go to ("always," except when it's late in the day and dark and cold, and we don't plan ahead, and I really don't want to put the ritual off one more day, like happened last year- and the children would not allow me to forget that breach in tradition for the entire year! Everytime we passed Lowe's, I promise, one child or another would say, "we're not going there again for a Christmas tree THIS year, right?" "Right," I would promise...)

We tromped down to the field and began the search. My goal- not too big. We have a smallish living room. One year when we went on the search for the tree, it was freezing cold and it was raining sleet and we were desperate and we picked the first tree that seemed reasonably acceptable. You know, the trees look much smaller out in the field than in the smallish living room! We laughed about that tree all season, except when I was worrying that it's branches were much too close to the fireplace.

We debated height and fullness and bare spots and brown needles. Everyone saw a new favorite. One daughter was particularly adamant in her affinity for pine, not fir. She acquiesed in the end. We found a tree that would be just fine. The chainsaw guy came around and snapped our photo and buzzed that tree down. They shook the bejeebers out of it (and needles still manage to fall off in the car, and in the living room...), and netted it up. We stuffed it into the car, drove it home, dragged it to the porch, trimmed the bottom branches, lifted it into the stand, strung the lights (miracle on miracle- they worked the first time, and continue to work!), and turned it to the best angle.

And we decorated. For the first time, the children did nearly all the hanging of the ornaments. I sat back and watched. No squabbles over who was hanging what. No broken ornaments. No branches weighed down with 30 ornaments in a 4 inch row. A beautifully adorned tree with a pretty and shiny star on top. It took 15 years to get to this moment in time.

Now that we're here... I'm just a little bit sentimental and nostalgic. Time moves on. We're moving past the chaos of babies and toddlers and young kids, at least until the grands arrive. But I'm grateful, because now more than ever, we understand grace and peace, and His grace and perfect Peace and love beyond understanding that came when God sent His only Son into the world for us. And these children, too, are growing in knowledge and love and understanding of what the birth of this Christ child meant, and means, even today, even in their own life.

And those are just some of the many reasons I am thankful for this season!

"Your Delieverance Draws Nigh!"

"Advent is a time of anticipation not for the harmless baby surrounded by lights and presents, but for the dynamic savior who is born into our midst in a way that must forever change us. "Do you want to be delivered?" asked Dietrich Bonhoeffer in an Advent sermon more than 70 years ago. "That is the only really important and decisive question which Advent poses for us. Does there burn within us some lingering longing to know what deliverance really means? If not, what would Advent then mean to us? A bit of sentimentality. A little lifting of the spirit within us? A little kinder mood? But if there is something in this word Advent which we have not yet known, that strangely warms our heart; if we suspect that it could, once more, once more, mean a turning point in our life, a turning to God, to Christ--why then are we not simply obedient, listening and hearing in our ears the clear call: Your deliverance draws nigh!"(2)

In this season of Advent we remember a strange and drastic story. We anticipate nothing less than the Lion of Judah wrapped in swaddling cloths. We anticipate the coming of a Savior unhindered. Indeed, our deliverance draws nigh."

by Jill Carattini, managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(2) Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Christmas Sermons Edwin Robertson Ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), 93.

Thanks to the ladies at WhoCares for this great piece!

13 December 2008

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree...

... how lovely are your branches.

09 December 2008

7 Random Things

I'm thankful for my friend, Michelle, One Crafty Mama. She is an ever-flowing, never-ceasing fountain of bloggy ideas for me. Go visit her and leave her a comment and tell her hi! She loves comments!!

Today she has inspired me with the Seven Random Things tag.
7 random things about me, that is...

1. My dad made me learn how to drive stick shift and display proficiency in parallel parking and starting and stopping on hills before I could get my driver's license. At the time, it was terribly painful. Now, I am beyond grateful. I can even parallel park the monster van with confidence!

2. Speaking of that van, it recently got me a free meal at Arby's for being the "bus driver" of K and the 8 girls on her volleyball team!

3. Every time I took a vocational aptitude test in high school, it said I should be a physical therapist. Every time! I'm not.

4. I have visited 48 states. I'm only missing Maine and Kentucky. Go figure.

5. The first biography I ever read was about Henry Ford. I then read every biography of Henry Ford in the school library. Honest.

6. I've never read Gone with the Wind. I don't feel too bad about that.

7. When I was in college I worked on Capitol Hill one year and I ran into Senator Ted Kennedy. Literally. Smacked right into him. I quickly apologized, and then noted that he didn't look so good. That was in 1987.
(my daughter just commented that NO ONE looked good in 1987. Snort. good one.)

And if those aren't random, I don't know what is!

To follow Him beyond the limits...

Q: How do we become brave?
First we have to recognize fear as the problem. Fear is embarrassing, so we tend to want to believe that something else is holding us back. Then, once we're able to recognize our fears for what they are, we have to choose not to be safe. We need to bring our gifts, passions, and strengths beyond places of safety and control, and into a sphere where we actually need God. God dignifies our existence with choices—and one of those is whether we will choose to follow Him beyond the limits of our own small fears and interests. And when we make this choice, we see God show up. This then builds our confidence in Him, and we find the true basis for being brave.

From an interview with Gary A. Haugen, President/CEO of International Justice Mission, World Magazine, December 13/20, 2008

08 December 2008

O Come O Come

I so appreciate the many prophetic Old Testament references in O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

The title from Isaiah 7:14. The "rod of Jesse" from Isaiah 11:1. The "key of David" from Isaiah 22:22. The "wisdom from on high" from Isaiah 11:2. The "Day spring" from Zacharias' prophecy at the end of Luke.

In the pulpit teaching yesterday, we were reminded that "in the fullness of time, God sent forth His son..." (Galatians 4:4, but look at 1-7), and that "God does not look upon us because of what we do; God looks upon us because of what Christ has done." I am exceedingly grateful for that this advent week.

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.


O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.


O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.


O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.


O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.


O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.


O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.


06 December 2008

Friday Five- Dear Santa...

Dear Santa...
I know this list is a day late. I know it's titled "Friday Five" and now it's actually Satuday. Sorry 'bout that.
I've tried to be good this year, really, I have.
Love keeps no record of wrongs, right?
Here's five things that I really enjoy!

This photo shows two of my all-time favorites- raspberries and blue, Raspberries on Blue Table.

I love how clean this Do You See What I See? ceramic ornament is, and it has a line from one of my favorite Christmas songs. I did not know that it was written in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Go figure!

There is perhaps no poster more appropriate for my home than Keep Calm and Carry On ...

This Faith and Culture Devotional received a terrific review on The Point.

If you consider the sweaters that I've looked at and NOT bought this fall, the price tag on the Luxe Cardigan isn't SOOOO bad, right... :-)

Say hi to the Mrs. and the elves.

01 December 2008

FavoRite R's

My friend Michelle over at OneCraftyMama is playing a fun game, and I'm joining in!

The instructions are easy. Make a list of ten of your favorite things. But there is a little catch. Everything on the list has to start with a specific letter of the alphabet. That letter is randomly assigned by the blogger who you are playing with!

I was given "R".

1. Raspberries- my favorite fruit. When we lived in Washington, I planted a bunch of raspberry plants, and then we moved the year that they were sure to really bear fruit. alas.

2. Road trips- I took my first road trip when I was in high school- drove from Albuquerque to Phoenix with my buddy Leigh to visit her grandma. Oh we laughed! Thelma and Louise with a much better ending!! That was just the beginning. How can someone who has moved across the country 4 times, and doesn't live within 600 miles of any family members NOT like road trips?

3 Reading- I'll read anything. I read the newspaper with breakfast. I read magazines while I dry my hair. My favorite is non-fiction. I'm always reading something.

4. Ruby- my not yet 3 year old buddy. She's my Rubita. I'm her "Hollalay".

5. Rest- Especially on Sunday.

6. "Run with endurance the race set out before us."- Hebrews 12:1

7. Rellenos- Stuffed chiles. mmmmmm.

8. Rodgers and Hammerstein- Who wouldn't count My Favorite Things as one of their favorite things?

9. Red velvet cake- red velvety goodness.

10. Ramona Quimby- She lives on Klickitat Street. She's Beezus' little sister. She annoys Henry Huggins and Ribsy. She's one of the all-time spunkiest characters in children's lit history.

Favorite R's.
That was really fun!
Thanks Michelle!


We worshipped away from home yesterday, at Christ Church, PCA and celebrated the first Sunday of Advent.
The promise of Advent, literally, the coming, the arrival of something important or awaited.

The first hymn we sang communicates just that anticipation.
We rejoice.

Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne.

written by Charles Wesley (1744)