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Showing posts from November, 2011

thanksgiving chain

this year, all through the month of november, our family worked on a thanksgiving chain.  each night after dinner, each of us would write one thing we are thankful for on a small slip of paper, which we would then glue and add to the chain in our dining room.  by the end of the month it was pretty long, and even included links made by different guests we had over for dinner during the month. 

it was a great exercise in gratitude, not only for the children, but also for shannon and i.  and now it is fun to take a look back and see the different things we've been thankful for over the month, like this one, which is Jackson's.  why not be thankful for batman?  he stops such awful villains as mr. freeze, the riddler, and the wildly grotesque killer croc.  i'm thankful, too!



i particularly enjoy this one, which is caedmon's.  it says "magical pencils," and is how he says "mechanical pencils," which i suppose is something he is thankful for.  hey, might…

8-3 (barely)

well, somehow, the steelers were able to do just enough to grind out a win on sunday night against the reeling chiefs led by backup quarterback shane falco (i mean tyler palko).   it was ugly in just about every sense of the word, and it was anything but electrifying, but it is still a win, and we still keep pace with the ravens in the division.  sometimes a team needs a loss to wake them up, but i'm thinking that this supremely ugly win might just do the trick for the steelers.  maybe, just maybe, barely winning against a hapless chiefs team will light a fire under their black and gold butts.  the season is just about to the end of the third quarter, so the final stretch is coming, and it's time to be great.  here we go, steelers!


happy thanksgiving!

we finally got caedmon's school pics back yesterday, so i thought i'd share his preschool pic (above) and jack's 1st grade pic (below).  then i felt bad that there wasn't a picture of quin, so i started playing with some photos, and, well, the rest are just for fun.  we hope you all have a blessed thanksgiving and that, along with us, you'll be intentional about making sure it isn't just about stuffing yourself, but giving yourself away in thanks. 






giving thanks: a poem of appreciating each moment

all these moments, falling by,
latent with unspoken treasure:
precious, precious.
gratitude gives me grace
to enjoy this life-rich river,
flowing by, abundant
and teeming with the limitless now
and joy and hope and
the very heartbeat of it all.

but busyness, or looking forward
and looking back, or
discontent, or longing,
or all that speaks lies into my life,
untruths of wanting or needing or uncompleteness -
all these ungraceful urges
breed forgetfulness. 
i am numb with pleasure,
over stimulated and under appreciating.
i am ungrateful. 
i am blessed but broken. 

yet even now
i am repenting for my relentless restlessness.
i am dipping my toes in the water. 
i am trying to lean in close,
to listen to the heartbeat of it all,
to tap in time. 
i am giving thanks,
even as the moments move by.

saturday song: the gratitude song

be thankful.

potions, breathing, and deus ex machina

well, we've put away the halloween decorations for the year, but i thought i'd show you one of my highlights from this year.  shannon found a website that had vintage looking "potion" labels featuring many of the potions and powders from the harry potter stories.  you just print them out, cut them out, and then affix them to old bottles (which i happen to have many of sitting around {can you say "hoarder?}).  we filled them with various colored liquids (mostly water and food coloring, with some oils and other secrets thrown in), and capped them off with corks and wax.  they turned out pretty cool, and were a fun contribution to our "magical" halloween decor. 



-in other randomness, it is the steelers bye week this week, so i feel like i can breathe again.  first time since september.  feels good.
-or maybe the breathing is a result of the fact that church conference is over and went well.  that is a major stressor for me each fall, and it is a huge re…

collage: debt

"debt" mixed media collage on hardcover bookboard october, 2011 gregory a. milinovich
here is a collage i made a few weeks ago, just a simple little peice about chaos and order and consumerism.  "more and more" is one way of phrasing the american dream, and i wanted to just make a visual comparison between "more and more" and chaos. 
i know for me, as i suffer from that great american disease 'affluenza,' i constantly want more and more.  as soon as i get what i want, my affluenza kicks in and tries to convince me that i need something else.  this goes on and on.  it does for all of us.  and so we get phones that can be our phonebooks and our calculators and our cameras and our music players and so forth.  we get more clothes but we also get better ways to store and organize them.  we get computers that can help organize all our documents and work.  we get tv's which will store the shows we want to watch until we're able to watch them.  …

terrible towelishness

have you seen this commercial? 



how awesome is that?  as you see at the end of the commerical, you can go the website here and see others' contributions to the global mashup of terrible towelishness.  did i go to the website and upload some of my own photo's?  you bet. 

and so, in the spirit of steeler nation, and feeling connected to my steelers kin around the world, i share the following with you: 


jerusalem, israel

tegucigalpa, honduras

at my sister's wedding in central, pa

baby quinton

a snowman i made this winter

7-3

big divisional win over the bungles yesterday.  it wasn't pretty, at least not for a full 60 minutes, but it steelers football rarely is.  it was, however, effective.  ben was efficient, and wouldn't have had that interception on his stat sheet if it wasn't for heath miller bobbling a pass that hit him in the chest (although i will say that ben threw one long pass that should've been intercepted and wasn't).  ben has been really good recently, and we are where we are in large part because of him. 


the defense looked good yesterday.  i was a little concerned with the long (7 or 8 yards) running plays the bungles were able to maintain, but i liked the play of the secondary, other than the touchdown to aj green (what was troy doing on that play?).  willie gay had a great game, breaking up a few passes, causing an interception and picking off one himself.  he is such an enigma as a player...do we love him or hate him?  who knows?  this week we love him.  nice to see …

saturday song: poison and wine

for your saturday song today i bring you something to make you think.  sometimes i give you ear candy, but today, this is like a gourmet meal: beautiful presentation and attention to detail, along with enigmatic combinations of flavors that will challenge how you see the world.   yes, it's that good.

i've been listening to the civil wars a great deal of late, and i thought i would share with you a "love song" from their album 'barton hollow."  this is the official video for the song, so it doesn't include the lyrics, but they are very easy to hear and understand, so all you really need to do is listen to the song.  and i encourage you to really listen to it.  it is a love song, for sure, but not your typical fare.  it isn't just about how much 'i love you and want to be with you forever,' as much as that is a wonderful sentiment.  we've all felt that way.  but we've also felt other ways about those we love.  sometimes we feel things l…

an early surprise

anyone in the northeast will remember that we had quite the unusual weather on october 29th of this year, involving several inches of snow.  it was a saturday, and the saturday before halloween, so we carved our jack-o-lanterns, wiped the pumpkin guts off our hands, and went out to play in the snow.  here are a couple of pictures of the strange experience, including one of our gerber daisies, who wasn't too sure about her icy hat. 



legend is that you take the day of the month of the first snowstorm, and that indicates how many more snowstorms you'll have.  so, since ours occurred on the 29th of the month, we will have 29 more snowstorms this winter.  yippee. 

actually, i love snow.  i just wish it would stay white for like 24 hours, and then instantly melt away.  it's brown slush i don't like.  actually, come to think of it, i don't like slush of any kind, unless of course it is followed by several e's.  unless mother nature starts dropping blue raspberry or…

prisoners of hope

"prisoners of hope" paper collage on hardcover book board september, 2011 gregory a. milinovich
i haven't been as prolific with my collaging recently.  i'll have to blame that on quin and the new zone defense.  still, i've had a few minutes to make a few things from time to time, and thought i'd share one of them today.  this is a new one i made called "prisoners of hope," which is a reference to zechariah 9:12, in which God tells the prisoners to return to Jerusalem, or to the city of safety, for they will be doubly blessed.  God calls them "prisoners of hope," rather than prisoners of the enemies. 
the phrase compels me:  prisoners of hope.  when we are suffering at the hands of some situation or some circumstance, we may think of ourselves as captives.  captives to stress.  to fear.  to anxiety.  captives to our financial hardships.  captives to our career situations.  prisoners of our circumstances.  surely we all suffer in some ways…

the jack-o-lantern game

a couple of weeks ago, right after dinner, we played a family game in which we had to roll dice.  depending on what number you rolled, you got to draw a part of a jack-o-lantern.  each number corresponded to an added element that you could add to yours - or someone else's - drawing, including hair, accessories, teeth, and even naming the pumpkin.  we had alot of fun with this, and i thought i'd share the final products with you.  first, cade came up with a pumpkin named "mad lady."  i think she went a little heavy on the eye makeup. 

jack decided to name his "name," and made his look like a possessed apple with hair.  that's terrifying. 


this one is mine.  i went with a vampire jack-o-lantern named virgil.  watch out, he vants to drink your pumpkin juice.


finally, shannon's was a bit fat, so in homage to the great bill cosby cartoon, she named him albert.  one of cade's roll of the dice allowed him to draw something on hers, hence the tiny li…

saturday song (sort of)

okay, i know it's supposed to be saturday song day, but, seeing as how it's ravens week and all, i couldn't resist sharing this black-n-gold photos of our little man taken about a month ago.  i've been waiting for the right time to bust these out, and with the huge divisional game on tap for tomorrow night, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.  i mean, c'mon.  how cute is he? 








and now for some steelers songs for this saturday:








i loathe them

it's hard to type with this much adrenaline coursing through your bloodstream. 

oh man.  it's ravens week again.  and this time it's HUGE (is it ever less than monumental?).  the ravens already beat the steelers in butt-o-more, in dominant fashion.  they whipped the steelers all over the field on opening day, and then celebrated during the 4th quarter like it was a homecoming game.  i guess they forgot that they had a full season in front of them, not to mention another matchup against these steelers in heinz field. 

but they shall forget nevermore, because this sunday terrell suggs -








and the rest of the ravens - will arrive at heinz field for an epic matchup between these division rivals.  nothing in all football gets me as worked up; as emotional; as willing to toss aside my usual decorum and instead embrace violent chest-thumping and generally just jumping about the house breaking things; as full of sports-induced rage, as steelers-ratbirds. 

they are the worst team …