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Showing posts from January, 2013

a very willy wonka birthday!

many of you know that jackson celebrated his 8th birthday last week.  we don't normally have large birthday parties, but we figured it was finally time for him to invite his friends from school and to have a full-fledged celebration, and so we had close to 40 people gather at the church for a "Charlie and Chocolate Factory"-themed party.  we didn't get pictures of everything (how did i not get pictures of the fizzy lifting drinks?), but below are some pics from the festivities.    this is what you were first greeted with when you came in: a giant "jackson bar," a basket of good golden eggs, and a contract that we used like a guest book (much like the original movie).  you can see a better view of the contract below.  this was the main table, complete with boxes of candy, faux chocolate cascading down the table, a real chocolate fountain, things for dipping into the chocolate fountain, tons of candy which the kids were able to take home in the

I want to be a fool

"since the day that Jesus first appeared on the scene, we have developed vast theological systems, organized worldwide churches, filled libraries with brilliant christological scholarship, engaged in earthshaking controversies, and embarked on crusades, reforms, and renewals. yet there are still precious few of us with sufficient folly to make the mad exchange of everything for Christ; only a remnant with the confidence to risk everything on the gospel of grace; only a minority who stagger about with the delirious joy of the man who found the buried treasure." -brennan manning

saturday song: pure imagination

today is jackson's birthday party, and we are celebrating with a party of about 35 people, with a "charlie and the chocolate factory" theme.  so, for today's saturday song, i thought we could go back to gene wilder singing about pure imagination, in a room where almost anything can be eaten, just for the delight of it.  enjoy, but be careful you don't fall in the chocolate river! oh, and here's a maroon 5 cover of the same song, in case you need something more contemporary to be able to relate. 

happy 8th birthday, jackson!

  it is hard to believe that my eldest son is "halfway to 16," as my Mom so bluntly put it.  today is a day to celebrate his birth, and for me to try and get my breath back, having had it stolen away by that sober realization.  if time is a stream, then this portion has turned into a bit of a raging rapids, flowing at breakneck speeds.  still, its not so fast that i can't enjoy it, and i certainly am. of course, having a son like Jackson makes it easy to enjoy, as he is a delight (most of the time).  we are blessed with every moment of knowing and loving him, and can't wait to see what lies in each new blessed moment.  happy birthday, bud.  we love you. 

what to do with your ear wax

    OWWW!   that's the sound you make when you put a cotton swab in your ear.  at least according to this infomercial, which wins the prestigious award for most ridiculous infomercial i've seen in the last month.  i don't know about you, but i'm thinking that if the guy would just stop dipping the Q-tip in molten lava before putting in his ear, maybe it wouldn't hurt so badly.        but wait, there's more! if you order now, we won't only send you one waxvac for you to conveniently suck the ear wax from your ear, we will send you another, absolutely free! (other than an undisclosed "handling charge" not to exceed the value of the waxvac). now i need some help here. what possible use could you have for a second waxvac? are we in such a hurry that we need to go double-barrel and use two waxvacs at once? or are they admitting that the design/construction fo the waxvac is so incredibly poor that they are simply con

things i'd rather do than see the ravens win the superbowl

  ed. note:  this list is hyperbolic and not to be read literally.  mostly.     things i'd rather do than see the ravens beat the 49ers in the super bowl:   -watch leeches slowly sucking all of the blood from my body through my inner thighs   -listen to one of mozart's symphonies performed by an orchestra who play by scraping their fingernails on chalkboards   -watch any other team - any other team - win the superbowl   -eat my weight in some disgusting combination of brussel sprouts, beets, grapefruit, eggplant, and rotten fish   -iron every piece of clothing in my house.  twice.    -fight mike tyson with peanut butter spread all over my ears   -have each hair on my body pulled out individually by a blind torturer using molten-hot tweezers   -watch nascar   -be put in an enclosed room with a 150 rabid skunks   -see a meteor hit my television.  or louisiana.  the whole state.   -preach a sermon wearing only a speedo   -d

keep daring to hope

  he had a dream.  and he dared to hope that it would come true.  i honor that, and seek to my live my life with the same courage, conviction, and wild hope. 

quin's workout music

  he's getting physical.

mighty beans and puerto rico

-TWO HOUR DELAY!!!!!  yes, i'm yelling!  but if my voice is raised it is only because my pajama-clad body is still nestled warmly on my couch while my children are sleeping, at an hour when i would normally be shivering in the front seat of my van, wearing these same pajamas with nothing but socks on my feet at the bus stop.  this delay makes my coffee taste so much better.    -that said, this snow makes me feel like a trip to puerto rico, like we took some 10 years ago, staying right on the main strip off the beach in san juan.  it was magical and warm, smelled like hot sand and tasted like sangria.  that was BAK (before all these kids), when life was perhaps not as rich, but certainly more free and footloose .  puerto rico , for crying out loud.  our "getting away" these days consists of taking the baby to arby's for lunch while the older two boys are in school.  -the other night while we were reading books before bed quin got up to walk around and he sounde

i do not wear a pocket protector.

  total geek alert.    you are looking at pictures of a christmas present.  it's legos.  it's lord of the rings.  its a perfect union.  and it doesn't belong to a child.  well, at least not one of my children.  that's because it belongs to me.  a 36-year old man.  i opened it up at Christmas and rejoiced.  and it didn't take long until i had opened up and started playing with my toys.  in fact i've already put it all together twice, and had it configured in a variety of ways.    i told you i was a geek.    in other news, i do NOT wear a pocket protector.     but i am totally in touch with my inner nerd.  and that nerd tells me to hold on just a little bit longer because Gandalf is coming with the morning light.  there is always hope.      uh-oh!  orcs are breaching the wall!     oh no!  the urak hai is about to blast the wall open!     legolas takes care of business with his bow.     an overhead view shows the

finished reading: lion country by frederick buechner

  well, after finishing dan brown's '"the lost symbol" last week, i decided i wanted to keep devouring books, so i grabbed a buechner book off the shelf.  i've been meaning to read it for some time (probably like 9 years or so), but for some reason, i never got to it.  actually, it is the first in a series of 4 about a crazy character named Leo Bebb.  The first book is called "Lion Country" written in 1971, and it tells the story of Antonio Parr, a bit of a lost soul trying to make some sense of his mod-podge life.  Responding to an ad in the newspaper promising ordination as a minister of the gospel for a small fee, Antonio gets ordained through the mail by one Bebb.  Thinking that this might just be the break he needs to get his life on track, Antonio heads to Florida to meet Bebb and to expose him not only as a shyster, but maybe even something more salacious.  instead, however, Antonio finds that Bebb's religion and family are much messier a

falling into place

  the following is a poem i wrote about winter and death and spring and life.  the photos above are from our dining room window, where we taped some paper snowflakes we made as a family.    i am a snowflake a temporary crystalline arrangement a single patterned thing falling into place like a piece of some impossibly hard jigsaw puzzle.   i am a cold stone covered in a blanket of cold white an icy unmoved object not untouched but unseen, for now buried in winters numb blank grave   i am a shaft of sunlight a momentary aiming arrow warming one spot, dancing in anticipation daring to point in bright hope   i am not my own carved by many winters and stamped with divinity, a little lower than the snowflakes, perhaps, but just as hopeful as the sun i am made for being born again, falling into place like some impossibly hopeful seed.   

i've been reading

have you been wondering where i've been?  probably not.  but i'll tell you anyway.  i've been in washington dc, solving a set of cryptic riddles and puzzles made generations ago by freemasons trying to protect some ancient, secret knowledge.  okay, not really.  but i did stay in a holiday inn express last night. okay, not that, either.  but i did read a book about it.  not the holiday inn express, but the first one.  it was by dan brown, the author of the davinci code (insert the sound of christian fundamentalists shaking with a peculiar mix of fear and rage here), and the book is somewhat of a  mystery to me because it was being used as a riser under some Christmas decorations that shannon had on our piano. when we put away the decorations, there was this book.  i had never seen it, or even heard of it, before.  but there it was.  the lost symbol.  so i started it on saturday night.  and 508 pages later, i finished it this morning.  see this is my problem.  i&#

best christmas ever

we had an awesome christmas.  between being abundantly, embarrassingly blessed, and with the several inches of snow which gave the kids daily opportunities to go outside for hours at a time and burn off excess energy, we made time for playing with toys, enjoying amazing meals, watching a couple of movies, playing some games, and just having a great little break.  so much so that, quite frankly, getting back into the routine has been a difficult adjustment, at least for this daddy.  i have been thinking that i want to write about our time, with pictures to support my stories, but, to be honest, the hoards of pictures we took that need to be gone through are a bit daunting to me at the moment.  i've got emails to respond to and forms to fill out and statistical reports to complete and a sermon to write and so forth.  so you're just going to have to take my word for it.  we had an awesome Christmas.  and a great new year celebration.  here's to a life-filled twenty-thirt

compost (a new year's poem)

i've been thinking about composting. about how what we've used - and left unused - helps to make new things to use and enjoy.  i fill the ground with coffee grounds and missed bits of broccoli, and next year it will all help me experience the wonder of fresh cucumbers and carrots. it's a miracle. as i sit here at this carrefour of years, where old and new meet to diverge, i think about how all the yesterdays i can see over my shoulder are helping to grow all those tomorrows on the horizon. i fill the past with a few significant moments, but mostly mistakes and mundane moments, and somehow, it all helps me experience the wonder of new joys.  it's a miracle.  and while i wait here at the dawn of this new year, for cucumbers and consequential moments, i think of one more magnificent wonder: between all the buried fertilizing pasts and the unborn, latent futures, lies this particular moment, full of life and spirit and beating hearts and unspoken

happy new year, everybody