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28 December 2014


How to Recognize Grace 
by Marilyn McEntyre

It takes you by surprise

It comes in odd packages
It sometimes looks like loss
Or mistakes
It acts like rain
Or like a seed
It’s both reliable and unpredictable
It’s not what you were aiming at
Or what you thought you deserved
It supplies what you need
Not neccessarily what you want
It grows you up
And lets you be a child
It reminds you you’re not in control
And that not in control is a form of freedom


Bedtime procedure:
mediate brothers sharing a mattress.
warn about sleeping baby.
sleep sweet sleep.


the first time- wow!
the return trip- meh. no big deal.

25 December 2014


A Christmas Prayer by Robert Lewis Stevenson
Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clean hearts. May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children, and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake, Amen!
(courtesy of Challies Dot Com)

24 December 2014

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the aunts and the uncle and the grands and Christmas eve pi's and superhero poses and oh, exceedingly abundantly blessed.

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And why not have a piƱata at the birthday party for Jesus?

22 December 2014

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If you try to talk to the bison,
he never quite understands;
You can't shake hands with a mingo -
he doesn't like shaking hands.
And lions and roaring tigers
hate saying, "How do you do?" -
But I give buns to the elephant
when I go down to the Zoo!

from At the Zoo by A.A. Milne

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the relatives came and we all rejoiced!
(and the van was very full again. and the thumb was in the picture, alas.)

21 December 2014

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somehow I missed the part about "bring a dessert to share," but there was plenty and the fellowship was even more sweet than the pralines.

19 December 2014

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... (bright) paper packages tied up with string. These are a few of my favorite things.
"My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, 1959

(slightly altered from brown paper packages, though those are some of my favorite things, too.)

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So good to be with our Mexican brothers and sisters and sing praises to our Lord together.

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Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
star and angels gave the sign.
Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, Love Divine;
worship we our Jesus:
but wherewith for sacred sign?
Love shall be our token;
love be yours and love be mine;
love to God and all men,
love for plea and gift and sign.
Love Came Down at Christmas by Christina Rosetti, 1885

17 December 2014

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In the midst of December busy-ness and before trying to be an extrovert for a couple of hours, the light and stillness of the downtown storefront window spoke peace.

For it is you who light my lamp;
    the Lord my God lightens my darkness.

Psalm 18:28

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How many years has it been now, this Virtual Ornament Exchange party? 17, I think? Words flying, laughing out loud, and three beautiful angels to remind me of friends across the country who have shared the journey together.

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So many choices in that town, but we decided on ramen. Not your ordinary, rip open the plastic wrapper and add mystery powdered flavoring and boiling water, ramen. No, this was stand in line outside, waiting for 20 minutes before getting in the door, ramen. This was a bowl of steaming goodness ramen. This was fresh noodles and broth to heal what ails you ramen.

(at Ramen Tatsu-ya in Austin, TX)

13 December 2014

12 December 2014

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She wins 5 games to none in Uno Attack, and then captures Jaq & Gus AND Prince Charming to crush us in Princess Monopoly besides.

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They promised magic and we were not disappointed!

10 December 2014

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Afternoon painting pottery with the high school group- my turn comes next week...

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I love it when the playlist syncs to what I see all around me...

You are the sun shining down on everyone
Light of the world giving light to everything I see
Beauty so brilliant I can hardly take it in
And everywhere you are is warmth and light

And I am the moon with no light of my own
Still you have made me to shine
And as I glow in this cold dark night
I know I can't be a light unless I turn my face to you

- "You Are The Sun," by Sara Groves

08 December 2014

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The smile of recognition and the wave when we walked in was worth it all. Great job, violinist Phoebe! We are proud of you.

07 December 2014

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... because the rest of the day just wasn't so photogenic.
not bad, just not photo inspiring.

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I left the house before anyone was awake, and by the time I returned, they had made great progress on decorating the tree. I love my elves.

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The morning jog was all fog.

O ye beneath life's crushing load
Whose forms are bending low
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps so slow

Look now for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing
Oh, rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels, and hear them sing

kept running through my head.

(lyrics from It Came Upon a Midnight Clear- especially the version by Sara Groves)

04 December 2014

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"The Gospel isn’t only what we believe in -- because the Gospel is ultimately what we. live. out."
- Ann Voskamp, A Holy Experience, 4December2014

03 December 2014

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a bag full of candy canes to decorate the bulletin board. (some don't think that they will all stay there...)

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the breakfast taco con huevos y tocino, tostado, y frijoles y cafe.
who says a date can't be for breakfast?

01 December 2014

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These two joined me for the morning run through the 'hood.