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30 June 2012

Summer Olympic countdown

We are Olympic geeks here at the Holliday house. So much so that today, we watched the Trials in men's gymnastics and swimming (hello Omaha!), and track and field finished the evening. Best Job is my favorite of the Olympic commercials so far this year- makes me tear up every single time, much to my kids' amusement...

26 days and counting.
Go Team USA!


That perfect tranquillity of life, which is nowhere to be found but in retreat, a faithful friend and a good library.

- Aphra Behn

28 June 2012


If you are going to play summer soccer, starting after 8pm is a really good idea.


The room was so hot and the air conditioners ran very loud but not at all cool.
I considered that I might be melting.
Thankfully we are saved by grace, not by finishing every point in the study.


New shelves and boxes on new shelves.

25 June 2012


an afternoon at the beach was just the right place to be.


Peach season.
Peach pie.

24 June 2012


I received this in my inbox last week, sent by one of my girls. I never answered it because I was in Mexico and only had my Touch and my fingers are too big and I am too slow to write more than a few words on that little screen. I sent my daughter a note to tell her I'd do it later.
She wrote back,
Hi Mom!
You don't really have to do this, but you were in my mailing list.
Hehehehe. You will get faster someday!

Hehehehe! :-)
I probably won't get faster, but I love that my girls send me mail...

Here are my answers:


1. Favorite Music Artist : all-time, Paul Simon. lately, Josh Garrels.
2. Girls name: Sarah

3. Boys name: Harper
4. Job: Mom :-)

5. Color: Cobalt blue
6. Something found in the bathroom: toilet

7 A place: the border
8. A reason for being late: alarm didn't go off
9. Something you shout: din-NER!!
10. A smell: new tires
11. Movie: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (playing downstairs as I type)
12. A song: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (playing downstairs as I type)

Ciudad Juarez

Last week I had the privilege of being the guest of Iglesia Promesa de Vida in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. I was delighted to have the opportunity to spend time at Promesa de Vida- the last time I was there in 2006, I was helped to build the church building as part of a short term missions team. On Saturday evening, I walked across the doorway where I lay cement six years ago, and entered a thriving church that is seeking to plant another. I praise the Lord for that!

I served alongside a team from First Presbyterian Church, Prattville, Alabama. This team had the dubious honor of being one of the first short term teams to use the English as a Second Language (ESL) curriculum that a friend and I wrote. I joined the team to answer questions and provide assistance and see how it all might work once put to use.

The team took the curriculum to a park in a neighborhood where Promesa de Vida hopes to begin planting a new church, and hosted English camp every afternoon. This event drew a bunch of kids- 25 the first day and 40 the next, their moms- 9 the first day and 11 the next, and others from the community. One gentleman was walking through the park on his way to work the first day, read the signs, saw the people, heard the English, and came early the next day. 

It was terrific to walk around and see this team thriving as teachers, and the students learning English and having such a good time doing so. But even more, it was true delight to hear the joy of the Gospel being presented, Scripture verses being taught, and people asking questions about Christ and the church. It was wonderful to see the Mexicans from Promesa de Vida and the Americans from First Presbyterian, Prattville working together and loving the community well.

We'll continue to work to fine-tune the ESL curriculum for short term teams, and it should be available on the MNA ESL website pretty soon.

To see more pictures from my time in Ciudad Juarez, the activities at Promesa de Vida and scenes from English Camp, go to the Picasa Web Album Juarez 2012.


Street tacos and an ice cold soda in Nuevo Progresso with an excellent shopping companion.
So very worth the heat and crowds!




God's glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.

Madame Day holds classes every morning,
Professor Night lectures each evening.

Their words aren't heard,
their voices aren't recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
Psalm 19:1-4 (The Message)


I hate travelling backwards to go forward. But I loved finding a Paradise Cafe with ice tea and a chocolate chip cookie and free wifi in the Phoenix airport.


Muchisimas gracias a Iglesia Promesa de Vida y el equipo corto plazo de First Presbyterian, Prattville, Alabama por un tiempo extraordinario!


I did not expect that it would so very exciting to see our work being put to use! I walked around and heard the voices and laughs and thought, "Am I blessed or what?!" I hope that they were, too.


Sunday after worship in the park was hot and dusty and water balloons were just the answer. Turns out that I'm perfectly fine with just watching water balloons explode- really, I don't need to be part of the action!!


I made it to El Paso, but my luggage didn't, at least, it didn't catch up to me until the next day. But that was ok- I remembered to carry my toothbrush with me, and what else do you really need for one night?

15 June 2012


The girls call them "Toy Story clouds." The day looks absolutely beautiful, but stepping outside into the windy heat this afternoon felt something like walking through a furnace.


They're fake.
But when I found them, I smiled.

14 June 2012


During the 3 hours and 15 minutes that it took to sink watch The Titanic 3D at the cheap theater , my son could run into a post while playing soccer, break a tooth, travel back across the border, and get to the dentist.

That's a long movie.

(and the boy is fine)


(from the archives- taken one year ago, at the site of a burned out house being demolished and then reconstructed)

Of course, the fall has distorted the inherent goodness of the creation design, damaging the assets As a result, communities do have pressing and urgent needs: individual lives are broken; organizations, associations, businesses, churches, and governments often pursue power more that the public interest; and even local customs or cultures often glorify the profane. But all is not lost. Colossians 1:16-17 teaches that Christ is holding all things together. He does not allow the effects of sin to completely destroy the inherent goodness of the assets that He created. In the midst of the decay, the assets persist.- albeit in distorted fashion- because the Creator of the universe makes them persist. We do not need to despair. There is plenty of goodness to discover and to celebrate... even in a fallen world!
- from When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert, chapter 5, page 129

12 June 2012


afternoon iced mocha.
ICED mocha!

10 June 2012


Sunday evening whiffleball at the park.
A good way to end a good day.


First load in two and a half years.
But, you know, I think I'll miss the work of my other five dishwashers...

08 June 2012


Look among the nations! Observe!
Be astonished! Wonder!
Because I am doing something in your days—

You would not believe if you were told.
Habakkuk 1:5

What kind of people does it take to go into the world, to take the Gospel of Christ to hostile places?
"Ordinary people compelled to an extraordinary task"
- David Sitton, To Every Tribe Ministries.

Thanks Will- that was exactly where I needed to be tonight.

07 June 2012


I'm determined that this will be the last of the moving photos...
oh how I hope that this is the last of the moving photos...


note to self: next move, think about winter...


the sunset was so much more photogenic than the state of my house, but I didn't have my camera in hand then...


poco a poco


oh did it feel good to take a day without one single box or brush!


 only the 2nd time this year I missed a photo of the day.
thanks Liddy, for stepping in as Guest Photographer of the Day!!

01 June 2012


New paint- it's just so clean!
I wanted to paint nearly every room immediately. Maybe it was all those years of Navy housing and rentals and getting used to white. Or maybe it was just not my style at all.


He did a lot of wandering around, and finally settled on the tile under the fan. Maybe he's a little bit smarter than I give him credit.


my personal strategy- capture Australia and never give it up.