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show cancelled: the real prima donnas of pittsburgh

so, i haven't written about football for a long time.  i used to write about the best team in the national football league (the pittsburgh steelers, duh) all the time, but in recent years, it's been somewhat harder for me to be an 'all-in' football fan (at least publically).  there are a number of reasons for this, paramount among them, i think, is my own maturing, and recognizing the terrible weight of things beyond this silly game.  on a somewhat related note, there was all the news about the terrible brain damage inflicted on players who play this game.  additionally, i have been as busy in these last few years as i have ever been in my life, and while i still have plenty of time to follow this team, it has been in a more limited, somewhat less intense way.  and then there is one more thing:

the team i love, the steelers, have had more drama than an episode of the real housewives of wherever.  i've actually never seen those shows, but i can only imagine.  in th…
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end of summer, 2019

what a summer!

i wrote in june about our annual tradition of making a summer bucket list of things we'd like to accomplish in the fleeting months of summer each year, and i must say that we did pretty good this year! 

we had ice cream for dinner. 
we played frisbee golf.
we went to vbs and music camp.
we celebrated quin's birthday with an epic harry potter party.
we went to ocean city (twice!).
we went to wesley forest for summer camp (well, three of us did).
we made a sand sculpture (several, actually).
we made orange julius-es. 
we did cousin week (again, some of us did...the rest of us were preparing for the aforementioned epic party)
we picked fruit (blueberries).
we ate at hofbrau pizza.
we made a movie.
we made donuts.
we built a fort.
we made a summer cd.
we went to seven springs (champion, pa, actually)
we hiked the alan seeger trail (along with many other trails!)
we watched avengers: infinity war.
we went to the flight 93 memorial national park.
we went to the fred r…

back to school, 2019

tempus fugit.  time flies.  it is said that time flies especially when you are having fun.  well, i must be having more fun than i can handle, because time for me is soaring at breakneck speed. 

it's been two months since i last posted here.  i was excited about the summer, and now here i am, what feels like two weeks later, posting about the fact that summer is now over, and my kids are back in school. 

time flies. 

but it gets worse.  it's not just that the summer whizzed by, but that the years themselves are zooming past at an accelerated clip.  our oldest son starts high school today.  HIGH SCHOOL.  tempus freaking fugit.  



seriously, though, the pace is breathtaking.  it feels like only a few short years ago that i was writing about his first day of kindergarten, and now he's going to be a freshman in high school!?!   back then, i was worried about what i couldn't control.  and, to be honest, i still am.  none of them are wearing a batman backpack anymore.  now th…

summer bucket list 2019

it's summertime, baby!  the sun is out (nope), the kids are home from school (yay.), and it's time to relax a little bit (yeah, right.).  just kidding!  rain or shine, it's time to have some fun with the kids at home, with the extra sunlight, and with the opportunity to make some more memories before these days are gone.  so, once again, Shannon (dang, she is talented!) has designed our family's annual "summer bucket list," complete with all sorts of things we'd like to accomplish in the next couple of months.  we have some of our annual stand-by's, like playing in the rain, having ice cream for dinner, vbs, summer camp, etc.  But we also have some things that will be unique to this summer, like making donuts, playing disc golf, and celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, just to name a few.  we've got high expectations for the summer, and we know the only way to do it is to say "yes" to life, and to make it happen, so here we go!

and…

summer cd 2019

i know i'm old.  i mean, there's a growing list of entries in that exhibit file, many of which are obvious to everyone else but me, but i'm at least self-aware enough to realize this one: i still make mix cd's.  as if it were still 2002, i rip and arrange and burn and buy jewel cases and the whole deal.  it's almost like a i can't NOT do it.  i just love it; it's in my bones.  every time we take a family trip somewhere, i make a mix cd focused on  that location, and each summer i make a cd to serve as the soundtrack of our summer, and i make several copies and share them with others as well.  they probably get it in the mail and laugh at me, but i don't really care.  i simply love doing it.

this is my fifth summer cd in a row, and you can see the artwork for it above.  the theme is the word "world," as you can see from the songs i chose (also, please remember that my target audience here is the family demographic).   here are the "liner …

from there

in deuteronomy 4, moses is telling the people about life in the promised land, even though he knows he won't be entering with them, and he's describing what life will be like.  he warns them to be careful not to become like the surrounding people, not to become corrupt, and not to worship idols.  he talks about how miserable life can become for them if they give into to these temptations, but then he says this,

     "but if from there you seek YHWH, your God, you will find what you seek, if
     you seek with all your heart and all your soul." (Deut. 4:29).

from there.

i love those words.  especially in this season.  from there.

from where?  from the 'promised land' where the only promises you can see are broken to bits and lying in pieces, littering the ground.  from there.

from the place where you have gotten yourself when you have made idols or gotten sidetracked, or lost the plot, or grown selfish or lazy or apathetic or exhausted or paralyzed by grief or…

happy mothers day, 2019

this year for mothers day, our boys and i are celebrating Shannon, and how she makes the world such a wonderful place for us, in so many ways.  she loves to travel, she loves to discover the foods and cultures of people around this globe, and she loves to discover more of the wonder of the world.  that wonder is contagious, and i certainly see it taking root and growing in our children, so that when they look around at this beautifully broken world of ours, they see the fingerprints of God, and the hope of redemption. truly it is a wonderful world, and our family is so thankful for the ways that our wife and mother shows us and points us to this truth every day.

so without further ado, here is our 11th annual mother's day video:





and if you want to see the previous ten, just click this link.