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31 May 2013


A sweet primaria student schooled me in Dinamica.
I couldn't remember all the words to Padre Nuestro.
It took me a few sentences to figure out exactly who is pregnant. And I'm still not sure if she had the baby or if she is still pregnant.
But, I am sure I know this:
Porque por gracia sois salvos por medio de la fe; y esto no de vosotros, pues es don de Dios; no por obras, para que nadie se glorie.
(Efesios 2:8-9)


things I enjoy in the Valley:
breakfast tacos with potatoes and eggs and tomatillo salsa,
unsweet ice tea with fresh squeezed lime,
brilliant blue skies and skyscraper clouds,
crossing the bridge in rattle-y car and getting the green light.


how is it that the plant I thought to be most at risk for "failure to thrive" bloomed first?

27 May 2013


“When I asked him, fifty-three years after the event, "Mr. Lucas, why did you jump on those grenades?" he did not hesitate with his answer: "To save my buddies.” 
― James BradleyFlags of Our Fathers

(photo taken at the Iwo Jima Memorial at the Marine Military Academy, Harlingen, TX- the original cast of the Iwo Jima Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C.)

26 May 2013


“Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas."
- Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

blessings after two full days of social events:
finding kindred spirits in the room,
watching the extrovert thrive,
morning worship,
sympathetic text,
home in a chair in the corner.


Another graduate! We're halfway there.
As homeschoolers, we graduate our own kids, but we have had the privilege of participating in a traditional graduation ceremony with our homeschool group, H.O.P.E. for Hidalgo County, for the last two years. In the ceremony, both the graduates and their parents have the opportunity to speak. I shared the following thoughts yesterday.

God has blessed our family with 5 girls and 1 boy, James.
When my kids were younger and we were out, we were sure to hear the same two questions, almost every time.
The first: Are they all yours?
The second would be directed right at James: Are you the only boy?
He almost always answered the same- No, there is also my dad and my dog.

Obviously, James got a lot of sympathy for being the one son in a family with a female majority. But, please don’t think that he suffered all too much. James has always been quick to pretend- and he joined the girls’ make-believe stories with gusto.
He was Peter Pan with Wendy and Tinkerbell, using his calla lily sword to force Captain Hook to walk the plank.
He was Prince Charming to the princesses.
He was the tax collector in the neighborhood of cardboard homes filled with Beanie Baby residents, posting eviction notices for past due bills, much to the girls’ annoyance.
And sometimes, he would settle in and appease the girls, and be the dad for their pretend families, coming through the door and calling out “Hi girls! I’m home!”

In our Christian circles these days, we hear challenges go out to our young people,
to ourselves too,
to be radical- to take part in big and bold actions for Christ.
In his book Radical author David Platt writes:
“Radical obedience to Christ is not easy... It's not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us.”

I have long prayed that my kids will find all their joy and satisfaction and worth in Christ, because He is more than enough for us.
I pray that my kids would be obedient to His call-
that they would take the challenge of Matthew 28 to go to the ends of the earth to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples,
that they would live the challenge of Micah 6 to act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with their God,
and that they walk the challenge of 1 Corinthians 10, that whatever they do, do all for the glory of God.

In his letter to the Colossians, Paul opens with a prayer, saying,
We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
And that is what I pray for James, also.

So James, being radical might mean travel to far away places and fighting the bad guys and rescuing the oppressed. And when God calls you to that, you can be sure I will be your prayer warrior. But in a world that seems increasingly dark and confused, radical might also mean standing firm on the rock solid foundation of the Word, and doing an excellent job in the smallest of details that no one might ever notice, and it might mean coming through the door at the end of the day and shouting, “Hi girls! I’m home!” and loving your wife and your family and your neighbors and your church and your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.
And in that radical act, we will cheer and pray for you as well. 


if you need a steak place in Brownsville, Texas,
this is the place to go.


At the car washWhoa, whoa, whoa, whoaTalkin' about the car wash, girlCome on ya'll and sing it for me(Car wash)Ooh, ooh, ooh(Car wash, girl)
(Work and work)Well, those cars never seem to stop coming(Work and work)Keep those rags and machines humming
- lyrics from "Car Wash," by Rose Royce

I sing it, 
sometimes out loud, 
sometimes in my head,


“As the cheering continued, Rhyme leaned forward and touched Milo gently on the shoulder. 
"They're cheering for you," she said with a smile. 
"But I could never have done it," he objected, "without everyone else's help." 
"That may be true," said Reason gravely, "but you had the courage to try; and what you can do is often simply a matter of what you *will* do." 
"That's why," said Azaz, "there was one very important thing about your quest that we couldn't discuss until you returned. 
"I remember," said Milo eagerly. "Tell me now." 
"It was impossible," said the king, looking at the Mathemagician. 
"Completely impossible," said the Mathemagician, looking at the king. 
"Do you mean----" said the bug, who suddenly felt a bit faint. 
"Yes, indeed," they repeated together; "but if we'd told you then, you might not have gone---and, as you've discovered, so many things are possible just as long as you don't know they're impossible." 
And for the remainder of the ride Milo didn't utter a sound.” 
― Norton JusterThe Phantom Tollbooth

21 May 2013


It took me two days of sniffing to figure out where that scent was coming from. Each time I walk out the front door, I think about Hawaii.
And that's just fine.


The day moved along, just as I expected it would,
but by late afternoon, we started to hear news from Moore.
It is hard to comprehend just how much the difference of 700 miles can be.


The last poem in the book we've read from all year long-

Full Moon Rhyme
There's a hare in the moon tonight,
crouching alone in the bright
buttercup field of the moon;
and all the dogs in the world
howl at the hare in the moon.

"I chased that hare to the sky,"
the hungry dogs all cry.
"The hare jumped into the moon
and left me here in the cold.
I chased that hare to the moon."

"Come down again, wild hare.
We can see you there,"
the dogs all howl to the moon.
"Come down again to the world,
you mad black hare in the moon,

"or we will grow wings and fly
up to the star-grassed sky
to hunt you out of the moon,"
the hungry dogs of the world
howl at the hare in the moon.
- by Judith Wright (1915-2000)


He chose to sit right under the seat
where the baby was crying
BECAUSE he was sitting right under her seat.

But he's a dog-
so clueless is ALMOST acceptable...

18 May 2013


the reflection, as seen in the reflection.


He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

-Micah 6:8 (ESV)

15 May 2013


acoustic guitar,
electric guitar,
mini bongo,
slide guitar,
Chinese flute,

and now,

and wait- did he just say, "Steel drums would be cool..."?


Tuesday night dinner clean up soundtrack-

All right everyone, time to tidy things up

Come my little friends 
As we all sing a happy little working song
Merry little voices clear and strong
Come and roll your sleeves up 
So that we can pitch in
Cleaning crud up in the kitchen 
As we sing along

- "Happy Working Song" from the Enchanted soundtrack


I think that it is good to get the spilt milk over with early in the day.

12 May 2013


Thankful for the moms in my family, and for the moms that have taught me how to walk this road in faith, and for the kids that call me mom, and for homemade cards and paintings, and for sweet notes, and for lunch and good conversation, and an iTunes gift card besides.

But also, I think of the women I know who aren't called "mom" and mourn that, but who are such encouragement to me and so many others. I think of the many days of mothering that are near failures, the ugly days when I have to crawl back and beg forgiveness for doing such a lousy job in this honorable call. And then I read this, and think, yeah, that's what I want to say...

"The deal is — Motherhood isn’t sainthood and we’re all a bunch of sinners here and don’t let anyone tell you any different — pushing something out of your womb doesn’t make you a better woman. Real Womanhood isn’t a function of becoming a great mother, but of being loved by your Great Father. Someone write that on a card with a bouquet of flowers. We all need that." 
- Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience, "Why Mother's Day is for the Birds," May 10, 2013

11 May 2013


If you and I are to know one another in deep way, we must not only share our hurts, anger, and disappointments with each other (which we often do), we must also lament them together before the God who hears and is moved by our tears. Only then does our sharing become truly redemptive in character...
- Michael Card in A Sacred Sorrow


"what about socialization?"



afternoon tea time.

09 May 2013

08 May 2013


The mark of Friendship is not that help will be given when the pinch comes (of course it will) but that, having been given, it makes no difference at all.
- C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

06 May 2013


Dear Starbucks,
Thank you for Frappuccino Happy Hour.
That half-price drinks idea?
It's a winner.

perhaps one of your cheapest customers


They played really hard when it really counted. Winning isn't the only thing, but it sure is a lot more fun than losing.


free internet
cable tv shows I can't watch at home
Jamba Juice Pomegranate Passion
strolling through World Market and HalfPrice Books
Texas waffles in the morning
two of my favorite travel buddies

funky hotel smells
shower heads for little people
sinks that don't drain
clock radio alarms that go off in the middle of the night
stinky soccer shoes

03 May 2013


I sewed just enough to tease myself into thinking I like it.


Once upon a time in a land far far away,
I could walk into the neighborhood Panera and the folks at the counter would ring up my order without asking- a large ice tea.
That was great, except when I happened to walk in with my husband and they asked me, "the usual?"
"The usual?" he asked me, eyebrows raised.

The next best thing in the Valley- Corner Bakery Cafe.
Probably a good thing I don't live close enough to stop that often...


some days are
forget stuff you are supposed to remember,
get stopped for stopping past where you are supposed to stop,
drive back and forth and back and forth,
checks that go through the wash,
mosquitoes that bite through shirts,
stay up to get clothes in the dryer,
no sheets on the bed,
crawl under the comforter anyway.

thankfully those days are few.