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Showing posts from May, 2012

2nd grade and counting...

today is jack's last day of 1st grade.  it is so cliche to say "where did the year go?" but, well, where the jinkies did the year go?  holy time warp, batman!  i've got a second grader on my hands, here!  congratulations to jackson on a great year of 1st grade, and continuing to grow up into a great boy who is fun to be around, who loves learning new things, and who is a joy beyond description to your mom and i.  here's to a great summer!

beauty, reiterated.

i have written about them before, but i feel the need today to reiterate. 

**********spoiler alert************** i am about to give away what heaven sounds like, so if you don't want to find out, or you'd rather continue listening to the lard being pumped out of radio stations going by names like LMFAO, justin bieber and maroon 5, you go right ahead. 

if you are still reading, prepare to have the veil lifted a bit.  it's like opening your eyes for the first time.  or finally feeling hope.  it's like being born when you thought you were already alive, but you are slowly realizing that you've only begun to taste a drop of life on the tip of your tongue.  i'm pretty sure it is what God had on the ipod when God was artfully creating everything that is good and beautiful. 

what i am going on about?  sigur ros.  specifically their new album, valtari, which came out yesterday. 

it is amazing.  go buy it.  quickly.  put on some headphones.  sit in a dark place.  or…

our memorial day weekend 2012

-wow, what a weekend.  it really all started on thursday night with cade's graduation from preschool.  he was adorable, in my opinion, and was very serious about it. 


-then, on friday, since we had the day off, we went down to harrisburg for a trip to the state museum, which we had heard good things about.  it was well worth it.  for $5 ($4 for kids) each you get entrance to the whole museum, which features several different exhibits from geology to biology to art and history, all with a particular focus on pennsylvania.  and it is all so clean and well-kept, not to mention designed in a very circular and interesting way. 



-friday night we met some friends from new jersey for dinner, and had a great time, and then followed that up on saturday morning by having breakfast with more dear friends, who have since moved to michigan.  it was a delight to catch up with their lives and be blessed by that ongoing relationship.  then the weekend took a different turn as jackson was interes…

saturday song: real love

well, i thought i would try my hand at another little animated gif, and here is the result.  it's my favorite part of my son's ds, the included software that lets you make these things. 

oh, and go yankees! 

for your saturday song, how about regina spektor's beautiful cover of john lennon's "real love?"  enjoy. 


batmobiles and limestone: a random friday

-hey hey heeeeeeyyyyyyyy!  it's friday!  woot woot!

-no school today, so we are headed to the state museum of pennsylvania in harrisburg for what should be a fun family day. 



-i haven't been as 'present' here at the old blog this week as i usually am.  not sure why.  busyness?  lack of discipline?  well run dry?  who knows?  i'll just keep writing and see what happens.

-but today, it's all about being random. 

-went to a yard sale last weekend and bought this lego batmobile.  i just saw it lying there on the gravel in a busted up box, and pounced on it like a cat of prey.  only one it was in my grasp did i ask what it cost.  two dollars.  heck, for two dollars, even if half the pieces were missing, it would be worth it just for the bricks.  so i bought it before someone could rip it out of my hands.  then we went home and built it.  it was missing three pieces.  two that we already had in our inventory, and one that was specifically batman-related that we co…

our 2-D family

if our family was two-dimensional, made out of chalk, and very poorly drawn, then this would be us.  this is as we were featured in our own driveway this weekend, until last night's rain obliterated us.  it's probably for the best.  there were several questions about jack's tight shorts, shannon's skirt, the placement of jack's hand, and why shannon is stomping on my foot with her heels.  also, quin looks like jobba the hut, which isn't always too far from reality, but still. 

hey, as i have said many times (in my head) over the last couple of minutes: when life gives you a driveway, turn it into a canvas for oversized and ridiculous looking chalk drawings!  they might wash away but the memories won't.

blessed to be a witness

blessed to be a witness.  it's not only a good ben harper song, it's also been my mantra recently.  the more i experience of life's tugs and pushes, momentary graces and momentous pleasures, i am more aware of just how blessed i am to see what i see, to feel what i feel, and to inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.  each moment, even the ones marked by angst and anxiety, seem somehow full of bulging grace, and aching, abundant life.  mundane or not, life is miraculous, and i am blessed to be a witness to it. 

i felt this so poignantly yesterday.  it was my great privilege to preside over a beautiful baptism in our worship service yesterday at catawissa avenue umc in sunbury, pa, and then then to confirm 7 young people in the christian faith. 



it was an awesome experience.  to be able to hold that little evelyn in my arms, so young and precious....to be able to bear witness to an incredible step in the faith journey of those young people as they remembered their own baptisms an…

saturday song - don't stop relievin'

for this week's saturday song, i share with you a parody of a journey song.  in case you have no idea what this is about, mariano rivera, who is arguably the greatest closer of all time, and has been the yankees regular closer since 1997, is the subject of this song/video.  this year he very unfortunately hurt his knee before a game while shagging fly balls during batting practice.  he had previously hinted that this seaason would be his last, but now that he is out for this year, he has said he will make a comeback. 

mo, as he is called, has always been a fan favorite, and this video reflects the desire among yankee fans that he come back and keep pitching.  it is done with a smile, with good humor, and with more quality than you might expect.  it's an enjoyable watch, and i imagine that mariano himself got to see it and got a good chuckle out of it.  enjoy!

in defense of the new (old) uniforms

this is old news by now, having come out several weeks ago, and has alraedy been debated to death on the steelers boards, but for my many "casual" steeler fan readers, i thought i'd show you the throwback jerseys the steelers will wear for two home games this year in what is their 80th season as a franchise. 

now i understand that you may think they look like bumble bees or colorful jailbirds or even a stryper tribute band who decided to run a marathon, but in this steelers fan's opinion you should just get over it.  here are a few reasons why:

1.  because they are going to wear them whether you like them or not.  twice this year you will tune in to see your beloved steelers play, and they will be wearing these uniforms.  you can either complain for the entire game, or you can cheer on the black and gold.  it's not about the uniform, its about the team. 

2.  because it is an honorable tribute to the beginnings of the team.  according to ed bouchette, a beat w…

sold!

most of my collages have been sold to friends who i'm convinced took pity on me, and, don't get me wrong, i'm very grateful for that.  but it is particularly worthwhile when someone you've never met shows some interest in something you've made, as happened to me a couple of weeks ago.  the above collage, called "Schwitters/Rubens," is an homage to the great merz artist kurt schwitters, and now has a new home in london, england, thanks to etsy.  someone found it on their, expressed interest, purchased it, and now is the owner of it.  so that's cool and somewhat affirming, that someone on the other side of the world would appreciate something i glued together.  very cool. 

and so as a reminder, i have 30 or so of my collages for sale here, if you are ever interested in checking them out.

irresistible

quinton, 9 months

he calls us friends

friend. 

what do you think of when you hear that word?  do you think of your facebook page?  do you think of that classic 80's michael w. smith song sung by youth groups everywhere?  do you picture jennifer aniston and matt leblanc? 

chances are you probably don't think of Jesus.  maybe you think of your high school days, when you were "rollin' with your homies" so to speak.  maybe you think of that summer in college when you had the best group of friends.  or maybe you think of someone special, someone you love to catch up with over a cup of coffee, or on a long phone conversation.  there's any number of images or people that come to mind.  but probably none of those images are pictures of Jesus.

and yet. 

he calls us friends. 



hold on a second. 

did you catch that?  i mean, did you really catch it?  let's make sure we're all getting this:  the son of God, the One who was there at the creation of music and zebras and colors; the One who loved t…

happy mothers' day 2012

happy mothers' day to all the moms of the world, and let us raise our collective glasses to everything we received from our mothers, so much more.  more, perhaps, than we can even begin to show gratitude for. 

still, i am grateful nonetheless.  thank you, mom, for all you've taught and given to me.  and thank you, Shannon, for being the kind of mom to our children who inspires us each and every day to be the best possible version of ourselves and our family.  in what has now become a tradition, i give you this year's mother's day video.  enjoy. 



and then, in case you wanted to compare, here are the last few years' versions as well...

buccos blessings

i was very blessed to be given some tickets to see a pirates game at pnc park in pittsburgh last night, and we were doubly blessed (shannon and i) to have a beautiful night in the city to enjoy a baseball game at a first class ball park.  not only that, but once we got to our seats, we were surprised to find out that none other than hines ward (my favorite football player of all time) was throwing out the first pitch! are you kidding me?  of all the games for me to go, i get to see hines ward?  it was awesome.  here are a few pics from our seats above and behind home plate. 




here is the view of PNC park from the roberto clemente bridge.  such a beautiful ballpark. 

and here is the view of the city from our seats in the park.  so gorgeous. 

we got to see a good game. the buccos were going for the sweep against the nationals, and they played well, but fell behind late in the game and weren't able to overcome. 

it was great to have the opportunity to see steven strasburg pitch. …

i'll trade you a mantle for a milinovich

well baseball season is here.  we've had one t-ball game and about 7 rainouts so far, so it's been an anti-climactic beginning.  nonetheless, the boys look great in their uniforms, and daddy has his coaching hat on, so we are ready to roll.  thought you'd enjoy seeing these new baseball cards hot off the press from that awesome baseball card company, aor.  (sorry, i can't send a piece of stale pink gum across the internets, but i would if i could!). 



speaking of baseball, shannon and i get to catch a real pirates game in pnc park tonight against the washington nationals with steven strasburg on the mound, so it should be a fun night in beautiful downtown pittsburgh.  can't wait. 

here, you can at least pretend.  have a great thursday!

a storm that wasn't

how do you like the look of those clouds?  that was the view from our front porch the other night as a very angry storm made its way across the valley of the susquehanna.  the sky squirmed and shook in anticipation, furrowing its brow and clenching its muscles, waiting for the worst.  but it was all bark and very little bite.  at least for us.  we heard the echoing rage from somewhere in the distance, as the sounds bounced around the hills, but ours was mostly a visual display.  from the blue of the peaceful day, to an ominous yellow, as if to warn everything that something crazy was about to happen, to this wrestling tangle of clouds, the vista was at once terrifying and intensely beautiful. 



it rained, of course, and hard, but without much further ado, it moved off to flex its muscles in some other neck of the woods, leaving us with this beautiful reminder that we are never left on our own to fend for ourselves, no matter how scary it may seem.  even after the peaceful silence is …

mondays with max: green

it isn't easy, being green. 

apparently, it isn't easy being red, either.  at least not for sox.  that was a brutal 17-inning loss last night suffered by the red pox at the hands of the orioles who handed them a three-game sweep in fenway.  yikes.  that was wicked bad. 

not that the yankees are playing that much better.  they just split a series with the royals.  that's like tying a three toed sloth in a foot race.  if not for derek jeter, who leads the league in hits and is supposedly not good enough to be a major league shortstop anymore, the yankees would be neck and neck with the red pox, which would be like tying a cadaver in a foot race.  so, at least there's that. 

as i type this, the news is vomiting its political news all over my living room.  as i can already smell the stomach-turning mess, i simply want to say that i'm not looking forward to the political stench of the next few months.  blech.

on a happier note, life is good.  don't forget it.  n…

saturday song: who's on first

for today's saturday song, i have chosen something that isn't quite a song, but is worth sharing anyway. 

in honor of my sons' first baseball games today (they both start the season with doubleheaders!), i thought i would share this abbot and costello classic.  it is so well done and their timing is perfect.  it makes me laugh everytime i watch it.  and it feels particularly appropriate because i think the confusion that they are manipulating for a laugh will be very real confusion on the baseball fields in sunbury today, as these kids just try and remember where first base is, let alone who is on it!  should be fun.  enjoy the laugh!

everyday i'm shufflin'

yesterday caedmon looked at me and said, "everyday i'm shufflin." 

so it occurred to me that a meme with a bunch of old peeps playing shuffleboard would be appropriate.  so i made this one.  hope it gives you a chuckle.

greg food

how great is this?  he even looks a bit like me!  mmmmm.....greg food (said in homer simpson voice).

thanks to my friends Roberta and Sam for sharing this with me.

cade birthday, part 2

the festivities for caedmon's fifth birthday celebration are finally over, and i thought i would share a few pictures from the second installment.  it was a continuation of the "cars" theme (how about those cookies that shannon meticulously made?), although it was certainly a lego birthday, with all kinds of lego sets from super heroes to cars to toy story.  he's been having fun building, and even more fun playing with the sets once their built.  he also got a steelers helmet and jersey, which you can see in the bottom picture.  unfortunately, the helmet doesn't fit daddy. 

the next birthday in our family will be quin's first birthday this summer!  wow!



counting our bones: a prayer for general conference

why? 

why has it come to this, O Lord? 

in your great green growing world, how is that we have come to

counting our bones?

we lament the loss of limbs,

cracking our gnashed teeth

and recalling our former flesh:

full of great glories and many members. 

have you forsaken us, o God? 

or have we too long rested on our reputation,

content with counting bare bones?

forgive us, God of abundant life,

for our powder dry mouths when your living water is

latent in us and among us.

and are we yet alive?

and can these bones live again and dance?

yes!

deliver us, Lord of broken bone and torn flesh;

deliver us, God of the downcast Spirit and the bone-weary ones. 

deliver us from our past selves, and the sometimes crushing weight of our inheritance.

deliver us from our present fear, and our crippling contentment with cutting our losses

and counting our bones. 

deliver us to our future, to your kingdom, to a wild and dancing hope

that moves us to eating richly only once we have invited all o…