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Showing posts from May, 2007

family portrait

before i skip town, i thought i'd leave you with this family portrait that was taken for the church directory. it was a free 8x10 and we received it in the mail today. i'm rather fond of it...


happy day-after-memorial day! i feel like i say that in a way that i couldn't yesterday (by that i mean the 'happy' part - of course i couldn't say 'day-after-memorial day' yesterday since it was memorial day). anyway, memorial day is a strange holiday, to me. every year, right as spring fever has really hit its full stride and lawns need mowed and flowers need tending and barbeques need fired up, we hold this day that is intended as a kind of rememberance of those who have served in battle and lost their lives. yay, death! "let's go get a hot dog...."

i think you see what i'm saying here. its hard for me to wake up on this day and roll over to my wife and say 'happy memorial day, honey.' it just doesn't feel right. it seems like we should be a bit more sad and somber. the day shouldn't just be an excuse to shop and eat, should it?

but wait, there's more. this memorial day seemed a great deal harsher on my spirit than memoria…

random sunday stuff

last night we went to a greek festival being held nearby. it is called opa! apparently, opa is a word that greeks shout out whenever they are happy. a quick word search online basically shows that it is a word that doesn't really have a meaning, other than to express happines or joy. we had jack shouting 'opa!' while we were there, and that made all the olive-skinned people there chowing down on lamb smile at us. shannon and i have always wanted to try greek food, so we went and sampled the gyros and souvlaki. we also watched some of the children do traditional greek dances in full costume. we had a good time, and jack enjoyed rocking the sunglasses. cade slept the entire time.

we are getting ready to have burgers on the grill this evening. there is nothing quite like it.

i've been quite under the weather this week. i had a cold, then i thought i had it beat the last couple of days, but it came back and bit me in the rear today.

speaking of being bitten in the booty, t…

won't you be my neighbor?

i finished reading this book this weekend, and it was a surprising gem. it was written by amy hollingsworth who used to work for cbn (the christian broadcasting network) and, on assignment from the 700 club once interviewed mr. rogers. (side note: once i found out about her connection to cbn and the 700 club, well, let's just say i almost didn't read the book. but i did. and i'm glad i did.) after interviewing him, she developed a relationship with him through letter-writing, mostly, but also over the phone. in this book she weaves stories about their letters and conversations, but it doesn't come across so much as, "look at me, i got to have this relationship with mr. rogers." instead, it is an amazing story of a man who tried to make sure that every day, every moment, every episode of his children's show, every visit to the land of make believe was used as an opportunity to preach the Gospel, and, if necessary, use words (St. Francis of Assisi).…

my space

welcome to my space. its my office, where i spend a significant amount of time. realizing that many of you have never been to clinton, nj, i thought i would give you a little 4-picture tour of the space that serves as my study, conference room, prayer closet, communications center, and sometimes (but not often enough) playroom. welcome. have a seat.

if you come in the door to my office, my desk is immediately to your left. when i'm in my office, i'm normally at my desk. often on the computer. i've got some collages and a couple pictures of shannon on the wall behind me. i've got my coffee mug there on the desk (this is possibly the most important peice of 'office equipment' that i own). on the bulletin board above my desk is a 45 lp of the dave brubeck quartet's 'take five.' there are also pictures of aragorn, derek jeter, and ben roethlisberger. all of these serve as inspiration.

here is my desk from another angle. one of my two bookshe…

something green, anyway

it was green. it was pulsing with all that baseball blood, all that crack-of-the-bat beating rhythm. it was a blast. jack was so excited. he kept telling us that he was "so happy!" i think, though, that what he was so happy about was not the green grass. not the crack of the bat. not the bottom of the 6th 6-run comeback by the home team. not the thud of the fastball in the catcher's mitt. no, he was excited about two things, mostly: food (and lots of it) and shrek.

yes, it was shrek night at the ballpark. it was the skinniest shrek i have ever seen (his ankles were the same diameter as my wrists!), but jack didn't care. he loved him. he wanted to watch him wherever he went. at least something green was attracting his attention. the other thing that held his attention was the food. hot dog. chicken strips. french fries. sprite (or 'tea' as he calls it). and cotton candy as a treat for being a good boy.

and so we had a fun night at the ballpark, even if baseball…

play ball!

its green like you've never imagined. until you've seen it. and then once you've seen it, it is often in your dreams and always in your memory. its greener than life, wider than you think, and perfectly flat like a tight canvas.

its a baseball field, and all kinds of stories are painted in colorful strokes on them. its really the only thing i remember about my first professional baseball game. i know that it was three rivers stadium, but i don't know who the pirates played, who won, or even what summer it was. what i do remember is the moment that the cold grey confines of that stadium by the rivers gave way in my little line of sight to a panarama of the greatest and greenest green i had ever seen. i'm not sure what kind of a baseball fan i was at that time, but whatever my affections before that day in the 80's, i am certain what they were after: i was in love.

as with so much childhood magic, this love affair could have easily reached irreconciable difference…


i don't know if you saw this picture online, but it is an awesome shot of lightning hitting the empire state building yesterday during the storms that passed through the greater new york area. i don't know if it was photoshopped or not, but it looks really cool. apparently, lightning strikes the lightning rod at the top of the esb around 100 times a year.

i wonder what is my lightning rod? what is my highest point, the point of contact, where heaven reaches down and touches me? am i reaching? am i expecting the flash of light, the touch of the divine, the movement of the spirit? am i ready when the magnificent touches the mundane in a moment of intense and terrible beauty and power?

i want to be.


row row row your boat

having two children in your house under the age of 2.5 means that it is hard to focus on anything. and so, in the spirit of really short attention spans today's post is more stream-of-conciousness than anything else. sorry. its where i'm at.
i got my haircut yesterday. so did jack. we stopped at a toy store first and i got him a little matchbox construction vehicle (a dig-dig-digger, as he calls it) to give him if he was a good boy for his haircut. and he was! he sat there and watched the backyardigans on tv while the (rather stern) lady cut his hair. he looks so much older when he gets his haircut. it makes me wonder, do i look older too? or just fatter?

he loved his dig-dig-digger. it was the first word he said when he woke up this morning.

after lunch, i split all of the logs that i had. we had a tree fall down at christmastime, and i had used the chainsaw to cut it into logs at that time. so yesterday, noting that i looked a little fatter after aforementioned haircut, i deci…

what's in a shirt?

awww. here is our little caedmon in a great onesie (read: t-shirt for really tiny people) that has a picture of a bulldog on it and says tough guy. it's adorable. it really is. but it's wrong.

he's not so tough. i mean, think about it. he weighs something like 8 pounds. his fingers are the size of that little spring rod that holds your watch strap to your watch (you know the one that is nearly impossible to fix when it breaks because your adult fingers, big as hot dogs, aren't able to hold it properly...). if his arm swings and strikes you, it feels, if you feel anything, like a medium-sized gnat settled on your skin. are you getting my point? he's not a tough guy.

his shirt just says he is.

here is another little dude. this is jackson a long time ago, blessed with incredible super powers. he can fly, fix things with only his vision, and bring peace to the world.

actually, his powers are quite limited to running away from you at speeds you could not imagine those lit…

happy mother's day

ahh, yes, the sunday in may when we stop for at least a moment to remember where we all came from: a mother.

i, for one, know that it was some pretty serious labor to not only bring me into this world, but to bring me up in it, too.

and so today i think of my mom, who is now a ridiculously proud grandma, and how she has, and continues to, put up with me, love me, nurture me, challenge me, and always love me
. here is what looks like an ancient picture, dug up from some archaelogical site. actually it is from circa 1992. back in those days i was thin. now i am robust and healthy. that is what i tell myself...

anyway, i like this picture because i am being inducted into the national honor society, but also because we are posed in front of books, and one thing mom certainly instilled in me was a love of books. so, even though she will probably want to kill me for this picture, she will have to be happy to know that i am thankful for the love of books she always modeled. it has paid …

flowers begotten

in an effort to distract myself from my depression over the end of the gilmore girls, i thought i would share some photos i took in our yard of the arriving spring. enjoy.
For winter's rains and ruins are over, And all the season of shows and sins; The days dividing lover and lover, The light that loses, the night that wins; And time remembered is grief forgotten, And frosts are slain and glowers begotten, And in green underwood and cover Blossom by blossom the spring begins. -Algernon Charles Swinburne

sad today

i feel like i'm about to lose a family a member. a bunch of them, actually. i just found out last night that the gilmore girls only have one week left to live. the gilmore girls, in case you don't know, is a tv series on the cw (formerly the wb) which is in its seventh, and apparently final, season. now that you've probably already jumped to judgment, but before you lose all respect for me, let me just say, unabashedly and unashamedly, that i am a huge fan. i love it. i love it like family. i've loved it for years. i've loved it since the first day i saw it, just catching the end of an episode, but seeing enough to want so see more. i've loved it for its characters. i've loved lorelei and rory and luke and logan and emily and richard and paris and sookie and michelle and christopher and lane and zack and miss patty and kirk and taylor and all of them. i've loved it for its setting - the idyllic star's hollow. it is small town, usa, complete with tow…

the moment

its tough to get a decent picture of a 12-day old human. they are usually sleeping. when they are awake there is often a breast in their mouth, and the boss is "absolutely NOT OK" (said with great irritation) with me taking that photograph. the rest of the time they are screaming. there is a 7-second window each day that you can get a passable photograph, but you darn-well better have your camera ready (and by that i mean that you better have your camera with you, not downstairs on the entertainment center. and it better already be turned on because if you wait until the opportunity arises, you will try to turn on your camera and find that your rechargable batteries, which you just charged last night, are already dead) and poised for 'the moment.'

so far, no luck with that.

but, we have had a great dozen days with the little stinker. he sleeps at night, except when he's ready to eat, which has only been a couple of times each night. he is alert during the …

remind us

o, little caedmon, tiny fresh human, there is ancient music in you; the songs of the heavens on your quivering little lips. the hope of humanity, of heaven, forever reaching towards Spirit, which is so often doused in me is ablaze within your so-soft skin. and so remind us, baby cade, of the child in us; of the wonder and the wild of even the simplest things; of how we were born and born (again) by water and the Spirit. inspire us to live the life in us.

maybe it shouldn't be so hard

"what is this thing? it moves and grunts and even cries. actually it makes me laugh when it cries. it sounds funny and makes silly faces. why is everyone making such a big deal about it?"

i imagine jackson saying these things to himself. you can see it in his face, no? i mean, this is a new thing. a very new thing. look at the wonder in his eyes. he is no casual observer. he has the focus of one who is looking at something new and amazing and curious and wonderful and wild.

i thought of that as i re-read one of the lectionary texts for this coming sunday. in john 13 Jesus says to his disciples, "...i give you a new commandment, that you love one another. just as i have loved you, you also should love one another. by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

i can almost hear the disciples. "what is this thing? its weird and doesn't make sense. we have enough commandments. what is this new thing?&qu…