To-Do List for Today

  1. Repaint toenails.
  2. Get in car with three of my best Charlotte girlfriends and drive to Orlando, Florida for The Gospel Coalition National Women’s Conference.

OK. Ready, set, go.

You can look for sporadic updates on my weekend on my twitter feed and on facebook.

Pictures From the Week

(left) Easter green M&M.  (right) Kelly’s toenail.  Not to be confused.
Here’s the free book stack.  We got two of these because we were both registered.  We also have a large *paid* book stack.

The “Zero Dollar Bookstore” is how T4G handed out the freebies.  You went in, got a couple empty bags, and went from station to station getting one of each.

Here’s the building where we stayed.  Our place was on the 8th floor of the Henry Clay building.

Each morning we had a four block walk to our destination.  I liked the trashcans that said “Downtown Louisville.”

I love the name “Augustus Toplady.”
Here’s a shot of us outside the arena.  We had no idea that we were posed so that it looks like David’s saying “Yum!”.  That was a funny surprise later.

The Vacation Story I Told Once Before

Today at co-op I’m teaching the boys a lesson all about the life of John Owen.  I thought I’d dredge up this post about Owen just for fun.  It was originally published on 3/6/08.

Usually when we travel up to New England, we stop off in Pennsylvania as a halfway point. It makes it a more pleasant trip for everyone if the 14-hour drive is broken into an 8-hour day and a 6-hour day. So we usually bunk near my alma mater in Mechanicsburg, PA.

And on one leg of the trip or the other, we dart down the road to Carlisle to visit two little bookstore gems: Cumberland Valley Bible Book Service and the US headquarters of Banner of Truth.

Because if you know us at all, you know we are bibliophiles.

This time, we went to Cumberland Valley first, and I think escaped for under $100. They have a great collection at wonderful prices, as well as some unique selections for children.

Then we walked down the block and around the corner to the Banner of Truth office.

And there…

from out of the drab wood-paneled surroundings…

smiling from its green and white covers and dripping with theological and practical wisdom…

beckoned to my husband…

The Complete Works of John Owen.

He gasped quietly and politely asked how much it would be. Everything housed on their shelves in Carlisle is 50% off list price, but the total would still be over $200. With great self-control, he said thanks, but no thanks.

A few minutes later, a woman who had been working there emerged from behind her desk and asked, “Sir? Are you interested in the Owen set? I have a reason for asking this, by the way.”

David said, essentially, yes, but he wasn’t looking to spend that much today.

The woman then reported that a benevolent man in Florida had authorized Banner of Truth to give away six complete Owen sets each year, courtesy of him. She added that every time she saw someone go weak in the knees over the sets on their shelves, she knew that she had found the proper recipient for one of the six sets.

So about a half-hour later, we were on our way to Charlotte with a box in the back containing…

Now, I entertain a fantasy that I know who this generous man is (we got his name and have sent him a gushing thank-you note, by the way). 

On one visit to the Cumberland Valley store, I overheard a conversation happening between David and a clerk there. David was in the middle of Overcoming Sin and Temptation by Owen at the time, and he was asking for recommendations on which of Owen’s works to dive into next. The clerk was tossing around some ideas, and his coworkers were offering their own suggestions.

Also overhearing this conversation was an unimposing white-haired man with glasses, standing near the shelf laden with ESV Bibles. As the talk about Owen drifted to a close, he looked at the men, and said in a soft Scottish accent, “Just…read…Owen.” It was almost a whisper. I don’t know if they even heard him, but I did, and it felt like I’d been visited by an angel (Scottish accents can do that to me).

So maybe it was that man or maybe it wasn’t. But somewhere in Florida there is a man with a love for theology made practical through the pen of John Owen, and he demonstrates that love by passing it on to others.

An Evening at the Ball Park

One of the nights that we were in Indiana, we took in an Evansville Otters game at Bosse Field.  Bosse is one of the oldest ballparks in America — only Fenway and Wrigley are older.  It’s also where the movie A League of Their Own was shot…

…which means that the girls who work at the park wear these old-timey women’s baseball uniforms.  Cute.

I think that also means that this is the dugout where Tom Hanks did his “there’s no crying in baseball” diatribe.  (PG-13 for language)

It was quite hot so ice cream was an absolute necessity.

I played with my camera quite a bit.
David snagged a foul ball.
And we took in that favorite of minor league games, the in-between innings entertainment.  In this case, it was two kids sumo wrestling…
as well as one I hadn’t seen before, the “Prevent Colon Cancer — Pluck a Polyp” game.
I’m still having nightmares.

More info on Bosse Field is here.

What I Bought at the Store

Here’s what we bought at the grocery store in David’s hometown.  We felt the need to inject some money into the local economy.  And we wanted a snack.  So we bought some ice cream, and…

Yum.  What’s that?

It’s like a peanut butter cup but with marshmallow.  I know they have them around here but they’re not too common and I felt it met some deeply-seated need in my psyche at that particular moment in time.

We have one more picture.  I feel the need to apologize in advance for it.

This is what sometimes happens when you eat a Valomilk.

I bought one more item.

Fels-Naptha is possibly the most expensive part of my cheapo homemade laundry detergent.  It’s around three bucks a bar here in Charlotte.  In Bicknell it was one dollar.  So I bought two, which should last me through next summer.

I also thought about texting all my friends who also make the laundry soap and asking them if they wanted me to pick up a bar or two for them.  Sorry friends.  I didn’t feel like toting twenty bars home in my suitcase.

I Can Breathe in a Small Town

Today I will give you a tour of the town where my husband grew up.  If you’re interested in my hometown, you can look here, though I must warn you that true to form, most of the commentary is sarcastic.
Here is Main Street in the thriving metropolis of Bicknell, Indiana.  Ever seen Cars?  This is Radiator Springs:  the little town that time forgot.
Our first stop was the elementary school where David attended.  Only my husband could get the kids interested in the pebbles when there’s a playground beside them.  I tried to get him to pose face-down on the pavement in the schoolyard, 
reenacting the time he broke his nose, but he refused. Spoilsport.
Jonathan wasn’t falling for the whole “there might be fossils in the gravel” thing.
Here’s the little Catholic church where David’s family attended faithfully each Sunday, 
along with a lovely shot of the smashed bugs on the windshield.
And here’s his house.  I love it when we drive by, because David starts yelling things out uncontrollably.  “THEY RIPPED DOWN THE PEACH TREE!  LOOK HOW BIG THE PINE TREE IS NOW!  WE PLANTED THAT!  THE TRIM IS BLUE NOW!”  It’s all very amusing.
Here is North Knox High School, where David attained cross-country and golf glory.  He threatened to get out of the car and run the cross-country loop for our entertainment but I managed to talk him out of it.
Hello, Midwestern Water Tower.  You are so quaint in your turquoise-ness.
As we left town, we stopped at the local grocery store and picked up a few items, which I’ll show you another time.  Sure enough, we ran into two people David knew.  Small town.

One Thousand Gifts 7.11.11

I knew when I started doing these posts that there was no way I would be faithful to do them every Monday.  I know better than to expect perfection from myself!  But I do enjoy them.

Counting more blessings this week:

113.  a safe trip to the midwest to visit family
114. Rowdy card games with siblings, parents, niece, and children.  Indiana’s game is Euchre — they look placid enough here, but it got quite loud towards the end.

115. fireworks
116. health and strength
117. waterslides
118. cousins together
119. a double date with my in-laws — mexican food
120. time to read
121. kids who laugh out loud at Garrison Keillor.
122. another baby shower
123. a California friend, come to stay for a bit
124. eating in the big booth at the Diamond
125. watching the jukebox work with Andrew