Mother’s Day Monday

Yesterday, as per our tradition, my family took me out to a nice lunch at Macaroni Grill.  We brought a single friend along since we like to adopt “orphan” children on Mother’s Day.  She was excellent help as the waitstaff and kitchen were slow, my food was cold, the bill was wrong, and on and on.

It was a great perspective adjustment for me because just a few years ago, we probably would have had to throw in the towel and leave the restaurant for fear of multiple children melting down.  This time we just asked for more bread and more Dr. Pepper, and the kids hung in there for a good long time.

Granted, by the end of the meal, Maddie was rocking back in her chair, saying to herself, “I want to go HOME.  I want to go HOME.”  But she is the littlest ( just “fwee”) and she still made it.

So my Mother’s Day gift to all of you struggling through the little years is to tell you that it gets much easier to do this sort of thing with lots of kids.  You will make it.

The trouble is, by the time they are old enough to peacefully sit through a meal, they’re eating a lot more and you have to pay for it!  😀

Holy Week: Friday

Today you’re in for a stylistic change.  The kids and I have been listening to Shai Linne’s album The Atonement for over a year.  It’s a rap album.  Before today’s song selection, a sermon snippet appears on the album, which I have included below:

And here’s the song I’m introducing you to today: “The Cross (3 Hours)” I picked a video with the lyrics included so you can keep up.
And the bonus track today is one that I use as a catechism of sorts; it’s a Q&A.

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts.
Luke 23:44-48

Holy Week: Thursday

This is an oldie but goodie. If you don’t know Michael Card’s music, you should check it out.

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

(John 13:1-20 ESV)

Holy Week: Tuesday

There is no crucifixion, burial, and resurrection without the incarnation.

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

(Philippians 2:8 ESV)

She’ll know I am coming before I am here 
When she hangs her head she’ll see me there 
And then when I come she won’t turn away 
All the beauty and joy will return to her face 
And what of the loneliness? 
Now it is gone 
Lost in the bond of the mother and son 
Every sin that she suffered at the hands of men 
Every single disgrace will be washed clean again 
I will love her completely and when I am grown 
I will carry her out of that tenement room 
I am doing a new thing and soon you will see 
I am coming among you and my name shall be 
Emmanuel, Emmanuel

a conversation about this song

Groundhog Day!

I know it’s odd, but today is a minor holiday in our home. These are the traditions we observe:
  • Mom running to the TV, only to find that she has once again missed the televised coverage of Gobbler’s Knob.  (it won’t happen today.  It won’t.  It won’t.)
  • Making Groundhog cupcakes. Find the recipe here.  Unfortunately, our move is interfering with my ability to make these this year.
  • Watching the movie “Groundhog Day.”
Here are some favorite quotes from the movie:
“This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather.”
“People like blood sausage too, people are morons.”
[to the groundhog who he’s holding behind the wheel of the truck he’s driving] “Don’t drive angry. Do not drive angry.”
 And of course there’s Needlenosed Ned, Ned the Head, Ned Ryerson.  Bing!

For those of you who have not seen it, “Groundhog Day” is the story of Phil Conners, a weatherman from Pittsburgh who ends up reliving Groundhog Day over and over in Punxatawny, PA. It stars Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.
I may be overthinking it, but this movie reminds me of “A Christmas Carol” a little bit. Remember Ebenezer Scrooge, resolute but terrified, insisting to the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, “a life can be made right!!”? Phil must learn a similar lesson in Punxatawny.

An old story from National Review about Groundhog Day

This was originally posted on 2/2/07.


Today our oldest son turns eleven years old.  Over the last year he has demonstrated a tremendous amount of personal growth.  He argues less, submits to Mom and Dad more, and is learning that rewards come with responsibility.

It’s a bit of a challenge sometimes for our kids, as it is for any kids, to grasp the way that Mom and Dad spend their money.  As the world gets faster and more people have more gadgets, living simply becomes more and more of an oddity.  We are struggling to raise the kids simply, and we fall into materialism just like the rest of the American church.

It’s not that I feel bad that, due to our lifestyle, Cameron doesn’t feel wealthy.  It’s that I want him to grasp how wealthy he already is.  How many kids around the world would do anything to have his life.  And a good bit of our money each year goes to help those kids out.

Since he turned seven, Cameron has maintained a penpal relationship with a little boy in Kenya who shares his birthday.  When he turns twelve, he will be old enough to travel to meet this boy.  We would like to see that happen.  One of the gifts we want to give our kids is an understanding of the fact that the rest of the world isn’t like the U.S.

So that’s why I started running ads on my blog this year.  I’m trying to put some money together for Cameron (and either his dad or me) to go to Kenya in the next year or two.  After that, it will be Ben’s turn, and then the rest.  We pray that this will be a rite of passage for our kids, to help them navigate the materialism that so often besets childhood in the U.S.

If you’d like to help fund his trip, you can click on the “donate” button in the right sidebar, and give securely through PayPal.  Thank you!

“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’

(Isaiah 58:6-9a ESV)

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Over the Holidays…

We puzzled…

The advanced group (David and his parents) in the back, intermediate up front
and grinned.
My pretty sister-in-law and newest nephew, Xavier
We trimmed…
I love Maddie in this picture

Maddie admiring her ornament from Gramma

one of my favorites
 and decorated.
My mom helps the kids make gingerbread houses every Christmas.

We wrapped….
This is what happens when you hand wrapping paper, scissors, and tape to a six year old and tell him to wrap something.  In case you were wondering.
 and kept secrets.
We baked…
Jonathan mixing up the puppy chow.
and ate. 
We smiled our best…

 and then didn’t.
 And everyone got something they wanted.

Thank you Grandma K for my polar bear, who is now named Jaime.
We shocked Ben by getting an Xbox, which he has been requesting for over a year.

How were your holidays?