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Showing posts from August, 2012

summer bucket list: kicked

now that school has begun, we are pretty much finished with our 2012 summer bucket list.  while we didn't accomplish every one (we saved some for next year!), we did just about everything in the bucket, and had a very full summer doing it!  sometimes, my nature is to want to sit on the couch and watch old steelers games for the 47th time while the children entertain themselves, but shannon does a good job of making sure we stay busy and connected and make some memories that will not only be a part of their lives for years to come, but will also be a significant part of the foundation of who they are and who they are becoming.  from goofy golf to camping to doing an abc scavenger hunt, we tried all sorts of things.  science experiments, lego challenges, nature hikes, spelunking, and more were the hallmarks of our summer.  and some of these things, like ice cream for dinner, have become family traditions which will likely be a part of their family memories forever.  it is a high

new collage: redeemable

  "redeemable" mixed media collage on wood door found papers, acrylic paint, found objects, glue august, 2012    in general, i have no problem getting rid of things.  i am prone to throwing things out in the name of neatness, because i don't like messes.  but when it comes to art and my creative sense, i am sometimes about a half a step away from being a hoarder.  i see potential and beauty and meaning in the most basic objects.  so what you see (or don't see at all!) as a discarded gum wrapper lying beside the road, waiting for some community servant to come poke with a stick, i see as a splash of pink that might help me say just what i want to say on a canvas.  or sometimes, as in the case of this new collage, it is the canvas itself that is a rescued object.  two years, only a couple of months after we had moved to central pennsylvania, we were driving one night when we passed a wooden door by the side of the road, in front of a house.  there w


here at the milinovich house, we read almost every night before bed, and are always looking for new and engaging stories to help us explore the world, learn new things, laugh, and feel deeply.  as a parent, i want to instill in my children a love of reading that will last for them into their adulthood, while at the same time helping with their development and modeling the importance of reading.  i tend to read dramatically, so they can hear the voices of the characters and really feel that they are meeting new people when they read.  plus, i love doing it, so it works out well.    recently we had borrowed a huge book (533 pages!) from the library, and thought we'd delve into it.  it is called "the invention of hugo cabret" by brian selznick, and is probably better known to many as "hugo" which was the name of the movie adaptation by spielberg and martin scorcese.  more on the movie in a moment.  first, the book.    we loved this book.  we couldn't

guess who came back today to defend the (steelers) universe?

our jaunt to lancaster

we recently had the opportunity to spend an overnight in lancaster, pa, with our dear friends the Godshalks.  it was a quick trip, but we filled it with eating, a day at dutch wonderland, eating, swimming, eating, checking out an amish quilt shop, eating, and visiting kitchen kettle village, not to mention eating.  yes, there was plenty of good food involved, and we had a great time catching up and enjoying some time together.  here are just a few of the pics from the trip (somehow, i didn't get any pictures of us eating....will have to work on that next time). 

lego challenge: food

last week we did a family lego challenge.  we decided that our category would be "food" and then each member of the family (other than quin) had access to our full slate of legos to try and build something within that category.  let me say this: it is easy to think about different kinds of food; it's much harder to build them with rectangular squares!  i have all the respect in the world for those who make lifelike sculptures of people and other things out of legos....i can't imagine how they do it.    in any case, here are the results of our family challenge.    cade made a piece of watermelon:   i made a taco: shannon made a piece of pumpkin pie: and jackson made a wedding cake: he was determined that we should bring this cake to the family wedding we have this fall, but i finally convinced him that instead of bringing it, we could put it on facebook for nick and meg.  so i will do just that.  in the meantime, check out the cake topper.

saturday song - steel train "soldier in the army"

it's saturday song time again.  it's been awhile.  today i have no rhyme or reason, other than that i love this music.  it's by steel train, and the whole album is sort of a mix of really pop-powered indie-flavored rock and roll that is easy to sing along to and gets stuck in your cranium.  don't really know much about them, but i know i like their music, which is enough.  have a great saturday!

first day of school

i will join the chorus of parents across the nation, picking up my part in the boisterous refrain: i can't believe that summer is over and school is beginning.  but, whether i believe it or not, here it is.  in about an hour, i will drop off jackson and caedmon at the bus stop, and entrust their care to the teachers and administrators of NCS, hoping that they treat my children with care and understanding, and that my kids behave themselves and make me proud.  there is such a humbling loss of control associated with the first day of school.  when i see their little faces framed in that tiny bus window rectangle, as it pulls them off to new faces and new friends and new routines and new situations and new ideas and new words and new rules and new expectations and new pencils and new teachers, i am just about overwhelmed with a sense of helplessness.  normally, when they are faced with the unfamiliar, i am there to hold their hand, to offer instruction and correction as needed, and

book review: find a way

i recently finished reading "find a way" by merrill hoge, former nfl player and current espn employee.  while i was expecting little more than the sometimes obtuse reflections of former professional athletes, whose books are often the literary equivalent of those planet fitness commercials, "i pick things up - i put them down."  but this book pleasantly surprised me.  first of all, it chronicles hoge's battle with cancer in a personal and vulnerable way, letting the reader in on the emotions and fears of a man who once played against some of the fiercest linebackers in nfl lore.  i found the honesty about his fears and depression quite compelling.  and that's just the beginning of the book.  from there, he goes back to the beginning, telling the story of his unlikely rise to the nfl from his small-town upbringing in idaho.  he describes his distant father, who was home, but was hardly present to merrill and the family, and the impact this re

happy birthday, shannon

happy birthday to my beloved wife, shannon.  here in our house we certainly celebrate her everyday, and especially today, because we would be helplessly lost without her contagious joy, her energetic creativity, her relentless pursuit of abundant living, and her comforting grace.  there are no birthday cakes or sweet sentiments that can truly the express the depth of our blessedness that she has been given to us.  we rejoice!  happy birthday, sweetheart!  you are loved! (also celebrating birthdays today:  usain bolt, count basie, kenny rogers, and wilt chamberlain; so may your birthday be fast, swingin', full of knowing when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em, and find you scoring alot, in that order). 

the school of faith: wisdom

we started a new sermon series at Catawissa Avenue UMC yesterday, one that will continue through the next 3 weeks, and end with an exciting celebration of our newly revamped sunday school program.  the series is called "the school of faith" and is a essentially a reminder of the critical importance for continued education in our faith journeys, particularly by meeting with other Christians to study the Bible.  we started yesterday by talking about wisdom; by defining the term as separate from common sense, knowledge, or street smarts.  wisdom is not what you know.  wisdom is not the ability to function well in society. wisdom is not being able to figure out tricky riddles.  wisdom is not an old bearded wizard living on a mountain in seclusion.  wisdom is what you do with what you know.  wisdom is building a house on a firm foundation.  wisdom is the exercise of remembering what you have learned, committing to learning new things and then asking yourself that all impo

tiddly winks and black-faced hornets (i am a soccer dad)

i finally have become the very thing i swore i'd never become....a soccer dad.  many people who have known me for any length of time have been treated to my vociferous opinion about soccer, often containing many dramatic declarations such as, "i'd rather play tiddly-winks, blindfolded, against an angry swarm of black-faced hornets than play soccer."  i'd even rather play a board game than soccer.  and that's saying something. but parenting, which humbles all of us into it's obedient servitude, has demonstrated it's great power once again.  i don't get my 'tiddly winks to the death' scenario.  instead, i get to watch little kids chase a ball around for a couple of hours each saturday.  and (as much as it pains the old me to say this), i am going to love it.  i am going to help jackson put on his shin guards and panty hose (oops, they call them soccer socks, my bad), and after practice i will help him take off the same, though sign

the very hungry quinton

our little man, quin, turned 1 last month, and we had a party, even though i failed to get any pictures here on the blog to prove it (you know what they say about third children).  still, we just picked up his 1-year photos, and i thought i'd share the cuteness with you.  in the picture below he is holding "the very hungry caterpillar" because that was the theme for his first birthday party, due to the fact that he is a very hungry one-year old.  the dude likes to eat (takes after his daddy).  so, cue the cuteness.  and i promise to post some pics of the birthday party soon, too. 

deep creek lake

we just got back from vacation (again), this time with a bunch of members of my side of the family, to deep creek lake, maryland.  we had a great time of enjoying the lake (swimming, kayaking, fishing, etc.) as well as some traditionally vacation-y activities like building puzzles, getting ice cream, playing miniature golf, going on walks, etc.  deep creek lake is a beautiful area, and we had an amazing home for the week, at the top of a mountain looking down on the lake.  it was gorgeous, as was the weather all week.  while vacation with three little kids isn't exactly restful , we did have lots of fun, relaxed, and mostly avoided illness, which was a huge success compared to our last vacation.  i thought i'd share a few pictures below of some of the action, including visiting a waterfall, fishing, going to an amazing candy store (look at the boys' faces in the background - pure joy!), shannon after climbing a rock wall, and at the end, a picture of the whole gang who