Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday Shopping

OK. I seriously spit my soup out all over my computer while watching this.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Finished: Singing in the Fire

Beautifully written brief biographies about those who persevered under suffering. I was able to read one a night before bed.

Singing in the Fire, Faith Cook

Finished: The Sound of Trumpets

Beautifully written brief biographys about believers who made a difference in their lives until the Lord called them home.

The Sound of Trumpets, Faith Cook

Finished: Growing Up Amish

Growing Up Amish relates in a very real and readable way the author's wrestling with direction and future in his life, his struggles with the Amish church, and his eventual decision to leave the church and cling to Christ. Perhaps it is because I know Ira on the other side of Amish-ness that drew me to the book to begin with...but he writes with such eloquence and candor that it was almost as though it was not the Ira I knew. But then again, much of what he wrote was about the old Ira - not the new creation.

"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation." 2 Corinthians 5:17

Growing Up Amish, Ira Wagler, 2011

Finished: Miriam

Definitely a book for girls - probably seventh or eighth grade due to the girlfriend/boyfriend references of two 16 year olds. Not heavy on the romance, the story is more about the friendship of two girls, one of whom is a Jew, and is forced to leave her home as the Gestapo sweeps through Norway during World War II. The book relates, in a simple yet impacting way, some of the sufferings that Jews - and their friends - endured, without being frightening. It is a good book to begin to open our children's eyes to some of the atrocities, without terrifying them.

Originally published in Norway and translated by Pat Shaw Iversen.

Miriam, Aimee Sommerfelt, 1960

Finished: The Small War of Sergeant Donkey

This book is a heroic reminder of those that did small works to defeat the enemy in 1945...even young boys and their donkeys. Wholeheartedly recommended to 5th grade boys and girls alike, with some clarification being provided on some of the Catholic references contained within.

The Small War of Sergeant Donkey, Maureen Daly, 1966

Finished: Blue Willow

A real treasure written in 1940, this book is on par with the themes of Lois Lenski's Strawberry Girl, and the like.

Janey is a young girl, having to travel from place to place as her father finds work to support her and her mother. He is altogether hard-working and provides well for his family, under the circumstances, but Janey yearns for a place to call home.

I'd recommend it primarily to fifth grade girls, although boys would do well to understand the hardships of this era, and the ways fathers provided for their families through hard work.

Blue Willow, Doris Gates, 1940

Finished: The Secret of the Disappearing Sultan

A fun book, wherein a normal girl is taken along as an attempt to abduct a young sultan transpires. The plot is altogether unlikely, which is what makes the book fun to read. Like that could ever happen.

I'd say say a 6th grade reading level for content. Most likely will interest a female rather than a male, as the girl is more the heroine of the book, and it is told from her viewpoint. It is in no way girly, however.

The Secret of the Disappearing Sultan, Margery Warner, 1975

Sunday, October 23, 2011


There was a ceremony yesterday, where hundreds of Indian girls named Nakusa or Nakushi (meaning "unwanted" in Hindi) got to choose new names for themselves, according to an article in Fox News.

And yet the real hope...the Hope that is carried beyond this world's names still lies out of reach for many of these young women.

from Isaiah 62 -

1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet,
until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
and her salvation as a burning torch.

2 The nations shall see your righteousness,
and all the kings your glory,
and you shall be called by a new name
that the mouth of the LORD will give.

3You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

4 You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
and your land Married;
for the LORD delights in you,
and your land shall be married.

5For as a young man marries a young woman,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Finished: The Seventeenth Swap

Eric Greene is a terrific character who, through his unexpected interactions with people, grows into thinking outside of the box. His motivation is the desire to see a disabled friend obtain what he cannot have. Well written and delightful.

I'd give it a 5th grade reading level for the internal struggles Eric endures. Would appeal to male or female.

The Seventeenth Swap, Eloise McGraw, 1986

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Excerpts: Bloomability

"At about four o'clock in the morning, this is what I decided: I hadn't had to struggle for those skis. Someone had given them to me out of their own generosity, without my having struggled for them, without my having earned them.

I thought maybe I should give them back and tell Aunt Sandy and Uncle Max that first I'd better earn the money for them. I'd wash floors and windows and chop wood and do all the laundry and all the cooking. What a struggle!

But in the end, I decided that it was Christmas and people liked to be generous at Christmas, and maybe I ought to just accept this struggle-free gift. It might be hard to do -- wait! That would be my struggle. I would struggle to accept their generosity. Yes I would."

So I consider how free the gift of grace is, and how I keep going back to trying to earn it now that it's been given to me.

Bloomability, Sharon Creech, chapter 19

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Musings on Medical Ethics

I had a random thought this morning. (What a surprise!)

If one changes their body medically for convenience or pleasure, is that ethical? Is there a difference between a non-medically necessary nose job and a changing of gender surgery?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Beautiful Feet

My sister-in-law forwarded some thoughts on how to make yourself beautiful through your actions. (for attractive lips, speak words of kindness, and the like)

This got me to thinking about Romans 10:15 "...how beautiful are the feet of him who brings good news." I've done a Bible study on this passage twice, and never before have I understood what this would have meant for the immediate hearers.

Beautiful feet was an oxymoron in Biblical times. Feet were dirty, grimy, smelly and certainly never beautiful. You'll recall this was the coup de grace for the disciples - that Jesus, the Christ, would wash their feet.

How beautiful are the feet of him who brings good news. Read Isaiah 52. It only gets more beautiful.

A Freudian Link

Some great thoughts on mothering from a blog that linked to a blog. (Thanks, Megan.)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Et Ampersand

Because I find it fascinating, here is a link to the history of the ampersand, as well as instructions on how to correctly configure and use it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Eat Mor Chiken.

There have been Sundays that we don't have an evening service, where we've been out and about and think "let's go to Chick-fil-a for dinner". And then we remember. It's Sunday.

Smells Like...

Sometimes scrambled eggs smell like wet dog.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Finished: A Wrinkle In Time

I am reminded of the public testimony of a delightful young woman (SD) at church. When she related how God changed her life, I was moved to tears in thinking what inexpressible joy her parents must have to know she was adopted in to the family of God. This passage stirred those feelings again in me. I always have a desire for the conversion of my children, but this passage renewed the urgent desire for the conversion of my children.

At last she turned to her father. "I'm -- I'm sorry, Father."

He took both her hands in his, bent down to her with his short-sighted
eyes. "Sorry for what, Megatron?"

Tears almost came to her eyes at the gentle use of the old nickname.
"I wanted you to do it all for me. I wanted everything to be all easy and
simple.... So I tried to pretend that it was all your fault ... because I
was scared, and I didn't want to have to do anything myself --"

"But I wanted to do it for you," Mr. Murry said. "That's what every
parent wants."

A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle p180

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Free Sunday Brunch

When I peeked in my breakfast drive-thru Chick-fil-a bag, I saw a card that read, "Free Sunday Brunch". My first thought:

Oh no. Chick-fil-a has gone the way of the world.

Then I saw that it was a pamphlet from a local church. My next thought:

If we had all the money and people that they did, we could do that, too.

My third thought:

Oh no. I've gone the way of the world.

As I flipped through the pamphlet, which detailed the fall events at the church, my conscience rebuked me again and again. Yes, it was a shiny, attractive listing of all of the "free" things that the church offered. I wavered between indignation and humility. Humility won, praise the Lord.

Together, we are the body of Christ. Large or small, God is at work in us and through us.

God has called us to be where we are, serving one another, loving one another, serving Him and loving Him.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Finished: A Year Down Yonder

Loved it. Not as much as the first one, but enjoyable nonetheless.

A Year Down Yonder, Richard Peck

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Finished: A Long Way From Chicago

Loved it. Read it again.

A Long Way From Chicago, Richard Peck

Friday, July 15, 2011

Finished: Danny the Champion of the World

This is the first book by Roald Dahl that I have actually enjoyed. In fact, I like it so much, I'm reading it to the kids.

Danny the Champion of the World, Roald Dahl

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Finished: Babette's Feast

A collection of short stories (anecdotes of destiny) by Isak Dinesen. Enjoyable first read. No need to reread, except for the first, and most famous.

Babette's Feast, Isak Dinesen

Monday, July 11, 2011

Finished: A Day No Pigs Would Die

Another goodie. For the kids to read later (high school).

A Day No Pigs Would Die, Robert Newton Peck

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Finished: The Cay

Excellent. Definitely a re-read by the kiddos when they are "of age".

The Cay, Theodore Taylor

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Finished: Dead or Alive

Tom Clancy - you should write your own books. They're much better that way. Once they were timeless. Now you're adding current pop culture references like Starbucks and Angelina Jolie, and it's just not nearly as much fun. But I'll read them anyway. Because I still like them.

Dead or Alive, Tom Clancy

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Experiment

Here's an experiment I retroactively am trying to see if it speeds up the "home improvement project time".

Step 1: Put foot in freestanding sink that is not securely attached to the wall.
Step 2: Turn on water and begin to use pumice stone to slough off dead, dry skin on heels that has accumulated because you walk around all the time, inside and out, in your bare feet.
Step 3: (And this is really important...) Lean into sink with too much pressure, as though you're trying to stand in it.

Result: Sink totally comes off the wall. Make sure you catch the sink and turn the water off. Then call for help. (Realize that whomever you may be calling to might be using headphones to watch Inception for the 45th time on the computer, so you may want to stomp on the floor some to get his attention, being sure to not awaken the children, because, after all, it is 10:30 at night.

Hypothesis to be tested: Causing sink to come off of the wall will result in a new sink being attached correctly to the wall in a faster amount of time than fixing the original problem. (We've know about the problem for 6 months. Therefore, if a new sink is installed in less than 6 months, this experiment will be a success, and I will recommend it to all my friends.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


"the Universe in its abundant grace will provide for you and carry you and your family through this challenging path. All the love, peace, and joy that exists are yours and exist inside you... just be in the moments and try not to judge them."

I read this attempt at encouragement today from one person to another. I'm still processing its implications. I had begun to write my thoughts about it, but they were just going all over the place. I'm just going to let stand on it's own for now.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Came and Went

This is a quote from a Fox News article regarding the recent Camping "came and went".

"The globe will be completely destroyed in five months, he (Camping) said, when the apocalypse comes. But because God's judgment and salvation were completed on Saturday, there's no point in continuing to warn people about it, so his network will now just play Christian music and programs until the final end on Oct. 21."

May we never stop preaching the Good News of Christ!

And Speaking of Police

I thought this was really funny.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Police Action

I'm thinking that when I drive by a police officer my instinctive thought should not be relief that I wasn't caught, but shame that I was not abiding by the law to begin with.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Every Sunday

I ran across this thought this morning, and it rings true: Every Sunday is a weekly Easter.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Baked Whiskers

I ran across this term today, and that's all I have to say about it. Do you know what it is, without looking it up?

True Humility

Tim Challies hsd a book review on his website today. In talking about battling envy, he paraphrased the author's assessment of Charles Wesley, "To delight in the superiority of another. There is humility." It occurred to me that while this works horizontally, with our relationships with others, this should describe our relationship with God. We should delight in His superiority, not trying to master or control our situations, but rely on him alone. This is, indeed, humility.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Green Desktop

So when did the trash can on the desktop become the recycle bin?

No Record of Wrongs

Love keeps no record of wrongs.

I would advocate keeping this to the forefront of your mind when reading your e-mail. It may just be the right thing to do to hit the delete button. No need to read it later. Or forward it for discussion.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Calling All Banana Lovers...

Just so I can be sure to be fair and balanced, here is a health report on that most malodorous of fruits, the banana.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

With All Due Respect

Doesn't the very phrase "with all due respect" imply that there is no respect due?