Would you like to read more than stories of our kids? Visit the other blog.

Friday, February 25, 2005

I am sooooo happy with this quiz!!!

Songs of Innocence, Introduction
You are 'regularly metric verse'. This can take
many forms, including heroic couplets, blank
verse, and other iambic pentameters, for
example. It has not been used much since the
nineteenth century; modern poets tend to prefer
rhyme without meter, or even poetry with
neither rhyme nor meter.

You appreciate the beautiful things in life--the
joy of music, the color of leaves falling, the
rhythm of a heartbeat. You see life itself as
a series of little poems. The result (or is it
the cause?) is that you are pensive and often
melancholy. You enjoy the company of other
people, but they find you unexcitable and
depressing. Your problem is that regularly
metric verse has been obsolete for a long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thank you John H.! This quiz made my day!!!

I don't care if they think regularly metric verse is obsolete and depressing, I'm an aspiring medievalist, and linguist, so I know the truth. There is very little in this life more enjoyable than perfectly metered poetry! Go Shakespeare, Chaucer, and the like! Woohoo I can't wait to tell Dr. Ambrisco!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Baby talk, "You should be in pictures."

I was thinking of entering Olivia in a contest to be on the cover of BabyTalk Magazine. Do you think this is a good picture to send in? It's supposed to show your baby's cuteness and their personality.

I think that her grin in this picture is irresistable. And her little pink socks in the background, how cute!

Ok blog-world what do you think, send this one, or go with another picture?

Monday, February 21, 2005

Grabbing Skills

Olivia is getting ready to do Glamour Shots by Olivia.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Baby Got Book

This is really really funny. It reminds me of the hillarious videos that people would make in our old college ministry we went to.

I thought I'd share.

Hat-tip to Bunnie.

Stay Away From Boys!

This is Olivia trying to heed her father's command, "Stay away from boys!" Connor is trying his latest pick up line, and Olivia is saying, "Mom, put down the camera and bail me out of this. Tell him I'm not old enough to date."

Connor, a boy from our play groups has the hots for Olivia. He's 13 days older than she is. On Tuesday, Connor and Olivia were laying on the carpet next to each other. Olivia was looking casually up at the ceiling, but Connor was rolling up closer to Olivia. He even wrapped his arm around her head.

I think it might be because when we went on a walk Olivia let Connor borrow her blanket. If you give those boys and inch they'll take a mile.

Olivia likes Connor as a friend, and she even thinks they have similar interests: milk, toes, pacifiers. They both enjoy cooing and smiling. But, Olivia plans to put her romantic life on the back burner while she pursues other priorities. Olivia is very motivated right now to learn to walk. She knows that it takes months of perseverance and dedication to become a true biped, and dating Connor at this time will just set her back.

I'm proud of Olivia's decision to stay single, and I support her. If she doesn't want to date until she's 25, I'm OK with that. Let's just hope that she has enough vocabulary to let Connor down easy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Money, Oh how I love thee, Let me count the ways.

Yup, like most young families, we're broke. It's actually not that bad, but we want to go on vacation, and we also have to get new tires. We can do both, but I decided that it would be fun to do a little medieval style complaining, since money's on my mind.

Complaint to His Purse
Geoffrey Chaucer

To you, my purse, and to noon other wyght
Compleyne I, for ye be my lady dere!
I am so sory, now that ye ben light;
For certes, but ye make me hevy chere,
Me were as leef be leyd upon my bere;
For whiche unto your mercy thus I crye
"Beth hevy ageyn, or elles mot I dye!"

Now voucheth sauf this day, or hit be nyght,
That I of you the blisful soun may here,
Or see yout colour lyk the sonne bright,
That of yelownesse hadde never pere.
Ye be my lyf, ye be myn hertes stere,
Quene of comfort and of good companye;
Beth hevy ageyn, or elles mot I dye!

Now purse, that be to me my lyves light
And saveour, as doun in this worlde here,
Out of this toun help me throgh your myght,
Syn that ye wole not been my tresorere;
For I am shave a nye as any frere.
But yet I pray unto your curtesye,
Beth hevy ageyn, or elles mot I dye!
There you go. A love letter to my wallet. I hope it brings a smile to your face.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Leaving the Shadowlands

Nine-year-old Adam Dunaye died today. The boy had been suffering from brain cancer for five years. He was confined to his bed when I interviewed him and his family for a story last month, and by last weekend he was barely responsive. Sometime between 2 and 3 p.m. today, his heart stopped beating.

Of course things like this get you thinking about heaven. Hell, too, because that's exactly what his parents faced every day as they watched their son waste away. Thank God for their church, their friends, their community, but in times like these is there anything that can really bring peace?

Andrew Peterson sings these words in "The Silence of God," from his album Love and Thunder:
It's enough to drive a man crazy, it'll break a man's faith
It's enough to make him wonder if he's ever been sane
When he's bleating for comfort from Thy staff and Thy rod
And the heavens' only answer is the silence of God

It'll shake a man's timbers when he loses his heart
When he has to remember what broke him apart
This yoke may be easy, but this burden is not
When the crying fields are frozen by the silence of God

And if a man has got to listen to the voices of the mob
Who are reeling in the throes of all the happiness they've got
When they tell you all their troubles have been nailed up to that cross
Then what about the times when even followers get lost?
'Cause we all get lost sometimes...

There's a statue of Jesus on a monastery knoll
In the hills of Kentucky, all quiet and cold
And He's kneeling in the garden, as silent as a Stone
All His friends are sleeping and He's weeping all alone

And the man of all sorrows, he never forgot
What sorrow is carried by the hearts that he bought
So when the questions resolve into the silence of God
The aching may remain, but the breaking does not
The aching may remain, but the breaking does not
In the holy, lonesome echo of the silence of God
Adam's parents, Mick and Michelle Dunaye, have heard God's silence much these last years.

"We are beggars. This is true," declared Martin Luther on his deathbed. There is no time we know that he was right better than when we look into that deepest darkness, that night which from our fragile perspective, seems to have no end. The modern American church can celebrate endings all it wants, but we were not designed for death -- we brought it upon ourselves with the fall.

The late Rich Mullins told us that he "weeps as a man who is longing for his home." Amen, Rich. The church, impoverished and homeless, must always weep. We are not home yet.

But oh, when we are. Neither the mind, nor the heart can comprehend that day. What will it be like to walk without fear? Where will our imaginations fly unfettered by our lusts or greed? Far away, I imagine -- what can a man who has everything dream of?

That day when we "drop these ragged bones, and step into our lives," -- as songwriter Andrew Osenga puts it -- was one Adam was waiting for. He had the faith of a child, and Christ spread wide his arms and said "Let the little child come to me."

As much as we may fear the journey, we'll also be home soon. Andrew Peterson follows "Silence of God" with another, "After the Last Tear Falls." The chorus:
And in the end, the end is oceans and oceans
Of love and love again
We'll see how the tears that have fallen
Were caught in the palms
Of the Giver of love and the Lover of all
And we'll look back on these tears as old tales
"No more faith, no more hope. Only love remains." C.S. Lewis probably said it best in The Last Battle:
Then Aslan turned to them and said:
"You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be."
Lucy said, "We're so afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often."
"No fear of that," said Aslan. "Have you not guessed?"
Their hearts leaped and a wild hope rose within them.
"There was a real railway accident," said Aslan softly. "Your father and mother and all of you are--as you used to call it in the Shadowlands-- dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning."
And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
That's all I have. I'm going to go spend some time with my daughter.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Church: Place or people?

A classified ad ran in a local newspaper this past week: "Church for rent. Pastor and congregation needed." Whoever placed the ad thinks of church in a way that so many of us do -- as a building, a structure, a fixture -- but a way that seems foreign to Christ and the apostles.

A quick search of Bible Gateway illustrates that not one passage on the church could be written about a building. Paul writes about the church in a human way. The church hears news, earnestly prays, gathers together, welcomes others, and the list continues.

God declared "I will be your God, and you will be my people," and he meant the church. We are not merely a denomination or a building or a bunch of like-minded friends, but a people that make up the body of Christ. Word and Sacrament are the means that make this people the church, because they are the means which Christ delivers Himself to us.

In many churches that I've attended, the sacraments have assumed such a low position and priority they rank far below singing and praying in importance. Even personal study time is often considered more valuable than the Lord's Supper and Holy Baptism. How long can a group of regularly gathered Christians consider themselves a church if they continue to marginalize Word and Sacrament?

The devaluation of the sacraments will always push the church away from being a people, and toward being only a place.

Every Grain of Sand

I've loved this song since Emmylou Harris first broke my heart with it on her album Wrecking Ball. I just felt like sharing.

Every Grain of Sand
By: Bob Dylan

In the time of my confession, in the hour of my deepest need
When the pool of tears beneath my feet flood every newborn seed
There's a dyin' voice within me reaching out somewhere,
Toiling in the danger and in the morals of despair.

Don't have the inclination to look back on any mistake,
Like Cain, I now behold this chain of events that I must break.
In the fury of the moment I can see the Master's hand
In every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand.

Oh, the flowers of indulgence and the weeds of yesteryear,
Like criminals, they have choked the breath of conscience and good cheer.
The sun beat down upon the steps of time to light the way
To ease the pain of idleness and the memory of decay.

I gaze into the doorway of temptation's angry flame
And every time I pass that way I always hear my name.
Then onward in my journey I come to understand
That every hair is numbered like every grain of sand.

I have gone from rags to riches in the sorrow of the night
In the violence of a summer's dream, in the chill of a wintry light,
In the bitter dance of loneliness fading into space,
In the broken mirror of innocence on each forgotten face.

I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea
Sometimes I turn, there's someone there, other times it's only me.
I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man
Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand.

Evangelicals and brand dilution

John H. details the problems posed by the word evangelical's loss of meaning. He makes an excellent point, calling for a recovery of the term's proper definition.

Perhaps an ad campaign is also in order.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

We know our blog is broken

For some reason, blogger won't let us edit or delete previous posts, and it published Rob's last entry a bunch of times.

We'll be fixing this shortly, we hope.

Darned blogger.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Sinner? Try church.

Tim Stafford, a senior writer at Christianity Today, writes that "There is no healthy relationship with Jesus without a relationship to the church" in this excellent article. A sharp response written by John O'Keefe, blogger at Ginkworld and emerging church hub The Ooze, voices the postmodern Christian's incredulity with organized church:
... how can [the church] be "the biblical body of church" the "bride of Christ" and then "a human institution?" How can we ignore the call to li[v]e a life not based in human tradition, but in a life transformed by the spirit? If we say, it is a "both/and" thing - th[en] it can. And, if we can have a "both/and" then not going to church is a valid movement of God in his people.
O'Keefe goes on to list all the great things the non-church going Christian misses out on:
... gossip and backstabbing, ignoring needs, closed minds, malice, unrighteous spirits and the non-teaching of the love, grace and forgiveness of Christ.
O'Keefe's generation -- my generation -- thinks it has plenty of reasons to reject church as a "human institution." The message "Good Christians never sin" thunders each week from our pulpits, yet we Christians consistently excel at sinning.

We're as good at sinning as the ancient nation of Israel ever was, and we stomped the Pharisee's record long ago. We may have even racked up a higher sin score than the Roman Catholic church in its darkest days. When it comes to sinners the church has no shortage of backstabbers, philanderers, liars, murderers, and whores.

I guess you could say it's in our blood. After all, charter church member Apostle Paul claims to be unmatched as a sinner:
15Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners?of whom I am the worst. 16But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
- 1 Timothy, Chapter One
Frankly, I'd bet my copy of Forty Days of Purpose that I could give Paul a run for his money in the sin department.

O'Keefe's solution is to get out of church. Any place packed with that much nastiness has got to be bad for the soul. In order to remain Christians, we'd better hit the road. But to whom shall we go?

Stafford isn't making it up when he writes:
The church is the body of Christ, the tangible representation of Jesus' life on earth. As the apostle Paul wrote to the quarreling Corinthians (1 Cor. 12:21), "The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I don't need you!'" You could sum up his message this way: "If you miss connecting to the body of Christ, you miss Christ."
O'Keefe's misunderstanding begins with his definition of sin, and leads to a missing the point about church. He writes:
We are called by the very Scripture [Stafford] seems to be ignoring to live above human desires, to live in the light of Christ and express the love we MUST have for each other. But Stafford, like many in the Evangelical community, us[es] the "fall of man," as a copout to treat people poorly and to abuse others and get away with it.
Saying "the fall of man is a copout" for sinning is like saying "being short is a copout for not reaching the top shelf," or "being dead is a copout for not breathing."

O'Keefe lists numerous scriptural admonitions to turn from sin. The thing he forgets is that all of them are being delivered to Christians -- people who keep sinning no matter how many times they're told not to.

Follow O'Keefe's line of thinking, and the church becomes only a place for good people to get together and do good stuff. An admirable goal, but the church Jesus talks about is a little more than a Kiwanis club:
18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.?
The church Jesus left behind -- and no, I don't mean the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod or any other specific denomination -- holds the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and those keys are the turned in the Gospel of Christ preached to repentant sinners, the bread and wine offered to those who need it most.

Stafford's article isn't about getting people into a specific denomination. He doesn't claim to have found the "perfect church." He only reminds us that Christ gave the Word and sacraments to the church, and the church is wherever Christ is preached and sacraments administered.

We all know the church has made mistakes. The Bible lists them from beginning to end. But there is no other context for receiving the gospel than in community with other believers. Who has heard unless someone has preached to them?

Even O'Keefe's faith was planted by the Word of Christ, preached to him by Christ's church.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

This is depressing

You Are 29 Years Old


Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

What Age Do You Act?

Well, my 23rd birthday is coming up on the 23rd. I was all excited that this was going to be my "golden birthday," meaning I turn 23 on the 23rd (get it?). But according to this quiz, I've already missed it.

Thanks alot, Confessing Evangelical for bumming me out.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Imagine that this is happening to you

Today you tried to eat spaghetti. It's pretty normal, you do it all the time. Today though, you decide to use a fork and feed yourself, unlike normal when the spaghetti just shows up on its own when you want it to.

The problem is that for some reason you can't get the spaghetti to come off the fork. You've decided the fork is the most efficient tool for getting the spaghetti your lips because when you use the fork the spaghetti does get there. You can taste it in all it's gooey glory. But when the fork leaves your lips there goes the spaghetti, leaving nothing but a saucy mess.

You've tried repeatedly to get the spaghetti to stay. You've tried different methods of removing the fork, all to no avail. For example you leave the fork in your mouth for a minute or so, thinking that maybe the coveted spaghetti will melt off. No dice. You try pulling the fork away quickly hoping that the spaghetti won't realize the fork is gone until it's too late. That does nothing more than leave you covered in tomato-flavored saliva.

Finally you give up and let the spaghetti show up on its own again. Forget that fork and all its frustration.

Ok, so that probably made no sense to you, but you just lived a moment in Olivia's shoes. Today she learned how to put her pacifier in her mouth by herself, but she couldn't figure out how to get her tiny fingers to let it go. The result of this contradiction? A slobbery mess, and a frustrated baby. She gave up and I swooped in to magically produce the pacifier without her need to do anything on her own.

When the world is explored from the perspective of a baby, you can't help but recognize the amount of patience these poor little people need to make it from nap to nap. We can type, eat, play guitar, write, scratch, and pick our noses (if we want to) without a second thought, but any of those actions will take hours of practice for little Olivia to master. Even picking her nose.

My Father-in-law always says, "Did you scratch her back?" because he takes into account that babies can't scratch themselves or tell us that they itch. Our backs itch, so why wouldn't theirs? We can do something about it. They can't.

It's weird to get down on the floor and watch the world from the ground. I'm completely unable to experience this world from her perspective because I've already learned too much. But if I try to remember that Olivia hasn't figured it out, maybe I'll have more patience with her when she does finally give up. She's been working hard all day trying to figure out where her pacifier is and how to let it go once she's finally found it.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

My new Do.

My hair before my hair cut. Bad.

My hair after my hair cut. Good. Thanks Mom!!

This is sad.

This image is the product of 18 months of research done at "Jefferson High School" by Ohio State University. Here's the study.

I honestly wonder if just showing high school kids this information would decrease promiscuity?

Pray for our schools.

This was fun.

Thanks Twylah, I thought this quiz was more creative than most.

I must say I'm a bit ashamed of my results. I guess, once a "non-conformist-argumentative-anti-authority- teenager," always a "non-conformist-argumentative-anti-authority- teenager." Oh well, my massotherapist best friend from high school will be proud.


and go to mewing.net. because law school made laura do this.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Liv is aw3xome LoL!!!11!!!!

Today Liv rolled over!!!!!! That's the best news ever.

I'm gonna try to catch it on camera, and when I do I'll let you all see it.


I'm such a proud mommy today.