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Showing posts from January, 2014


this is my journal for today. I am finding that my soul, as well as my body is really desperate for warmer weather this year. here's hoping that tomorrow's 38 degree "heat wave" lifts the spirits a bit.  until then, i feel like some alpine animal bracing against the icy knify slices of the january wind. 

a very mustardy birthday

when shannon asked jackson about what kind of birthday cake he wanted this year, he said he wanted a mustard cake.   seriously.   the kid just loves mustard.  he eats it plain.  he eats it on hot dogs, burgers, and even on his pizza.  heck, he even ate it on his breakfast waffles the other morning.   so, never one to disappoint, shannon found a way to make him a birthday cake that matched his current love affair with that crazy yellow condiment, and i think she did an amazing job:   a mustard birthday cake.  put that on pinterest.   now, just to be clear, the cake itself did not taste anything like mustard.  it was a delicious vanilla/chocolate marble, but it was a bit odd to be cutting into a giant mustard bottle.  one wonders what cake she will have to make next year! jack had a great birthday celebration.  we celebrated out in western pa at my parents house, where we got to meet our new niece/cousin, who is adorable and cuddly and beautiful and perfec

things i love: warmth, class, and certain kinds of paper

the kids have a 2-hour delay this morning because of the cold temps, so i took a picture from our front window of the front lawn this morning.. a little creepy that he's smiling and waving, but i guess that's just him mocking us, saying, "it feels like 14 below zero out here, wanna come outside for a snow cone?" brrrrrrrr. also this:  i'm ready for spring.  i feel like i usually am able to delay this feeling until mid-february, but not this year.  i want spring and i want it now.  i have had quite enough of mr. winter, thank you very much, what with his gray-black snow and tracking salt from your shoes into the house and your vehicles looking like you dipped them in gray paint.  enough! .... i watched some of the grammys on sunday night.  it started at 8pm with beyonce girating around half-naked as if she was at one of the establishments that operate near truck stops.  i was glad my children weren't watching, but i was wondering how many were,  an

happy birthday, jackson

tomorrow is jackson's birthday, and we will be celebrating with family as we (finally) get to meet our new cousin/niece.  we're all very excited!  our crazy son LOVES mustard, and it has sort of become his "thing," so he asked for a mustard cake this year, by which he meant a mustard-flavored cake.  thinking that this was impractical and absolutely disgusting, we comprised by agreeing that he could have a regular cake shaped  like a mustard bottle. pictures forthcoming. we are proud of the little guy, who is not so little anymore.  we are regularly amazed at how big he's getting, and how much he is growing up.  we can't help but celebrate our heads off that he was born, and continues to grow into a fine young man.  we are blessed.  i particularly love when i see him do things for others, like the other night when he took it upon himself to do the bedtime reading for his youngest brother, reading several books to him in a sing-song voice, trying his best

fun at the crayola experience

we had the opportunity last weekend to visit some friends in new jersey for a brief stay (about 24 hours, really), and part of that visit involved a more-fun-than-expected trip to the crayola experience in easton, pa.  we had been there before, but they have since redone the whole thing, and we were pleasantly surprised with the upgrades and changes.  it was a great trip with plenty to do and see, lots of activities for the kiddos, and even fun for the adults, too (i made a steelers hat, which you can see in all its glory below).  the kids made spiral art with melted crayons, made their own markers and crayon wrappers, made wax molds out of melted crayons, had a coloring page made of their faces, and more.  there was lots of color, and the delightful smell of a freshly-opened box of crayons, complete with all the un-dulled edges.  it reminded me that i want to lead a colorful life, with wide-eyed wonder and beauty, without worrying too much about accuracy or coloring inside the li

saturday song: switchfoot - the world you want

yesterday i wrote about switchfoot's new album "fading west," so i thought i would give you a saturday song featuring one of the tracks from the album.  this song, "the world you want," features a kind of world-music vibe, what with the african children's choir joining in and all.  but i love it most of all for its lyrics, a challenge to impact the world positively, and especially that bridge that leaves no room for confusion: your religion is the way you live.  what is your religion?  is this the world you want? enjoy. "The World You Want" I'm kickin up the pieces I'm trying out adhesives I'm trying to fix a place that feels broken All my words they fail me My voices don't avail me I'm trying to say the hope that's unspoken Is this the world you want? Is this the world you want? You're making it Every day you're alive Is this the world you want? Is this the world you want? You're making it The world fee

new album: switchfoot, fading west

well, the tireless boys in switchfoot have released another album, and this time not only an album, but a documentary to go along!  the documentary, which has already been released, features the story of switchoot, from their simple beginnings to their globe-trotting touring today.  it also highlights their love of surfing (from which they get their name!), and attempts, like all of their art, really, to tell the stories that they've been trying to tell over these last 17 years. their new album, fading west (the same name as the film), serves as the soundtrack to this journey, and to the film.  and as such, it is very well done.  at least, you can count this switchfoot fan as one who is delighted. of course, i could listen to jon foreman sing his way through calvin's "institutes," and i would still listen to it on repeat ad nauseum .  it's just that voice...that passion. and the voice remains just as passionate this time around on "fading west,"

steelers 2013 wrap-up

the steelers won at the end of december, and i never blogged about, being, as i was, on a bit of a vacation from the blog.  however, that steelers itch was burnin' inside me ever since, to go ahead and make some photos of that final victory of the season over the lifeless browns, so here they are.  it was a 20-7 beating, but what stands out more than the victory, was the way everything seemed to be falling perfectly into line for the steelers to somehow, after a season of ineptitude, make the playoffs in an unlikely fashion. everything except the chiefs, who did everything but officially forfeit their game to try and lose it to the chargers. so, more than anything, i remember ryan succop's missed field goal in kansas city, rather than what could be the final game for brett kiesel as a steelers lineman, or what was another strong performance by cotchery.  it was great to see the steelers playing well: to see the offense clicking, to see bell running strong, to see young d

a few loose ends: sold collages

"face to face" paper collage gregory a. milinovich i was going through some papers and found that i had a few collages that i had sold, some a long time ago, that i never really posted here on the blog. some i have pictured before, but some have never seen their pixels travel through the interwebs, so here they are. i have been really absent from my collage area recently, in part because it is so far separated from the rest of the family, and i am away from them enough with work-related things, that i feel pretty guilty about going down there to "play" and create instead of spending valuable time with them.  the only time i feel i have available is after the kids are in bed, and that is some of the only time i have with Shannon (sans kids), so the same principle applies.  i look at it this way: i will have more time to glue things together when my children are older.  until then, i want to be as present as possible to them! still, looking at some o

some new music

i got mad itunes/amazon credits for christmas, and i thought i would update you on what i've been listening to, since i know that is what you are all dying to know. mostly, i've been going old school alt-country, or to the roots of the alt-country movement.  i went through a big alt-country phase 10 or 15 years ago (wilco, son volt, uncle tupelo, whiskeytown, etc.), but i had never explored the roots of that movement too much.  re-falling in love with emmylou this fall had reawakened me to gram parsons, and his MAJOR influence on merging country and rock in the late 60s and into the 70s.  his influence is hard to overestimate.  so i thought i would explore it.  i've been spinning these discs as a result: the byrds' "sweetheart of the rodeo" is an awesome collection of 60's era dylan-esque rock with steel guitar and other country elements merged for what was then a completely unique sound. gram parsons, who was wi

new sermon series: home improvement

these last two weeks we have begun a new series at church entitled "home improvement," in which we are taking a look at the state of our homes.  it has nothing to do with furnace repair or roof maintenance, but about the state of our relationships. we began last week by considering the words of joshua, when he had seen the people wander away from God, choosing to worship false idols instead, and he gathered the people to him and said, "choose this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  now, i realize that most of us aren't bowing down to a golden calf, nor are we keeping a bust of our favorite pop star in a shrine in our living room, which we pray and make sacrifices to on a regular basis.  however, that's not to say that we don't have idols.  and when it comes to our families, i think this is particularly true. let's face it: family life is tough!  things don't always go smoothly.  there is disappoi

i'm b...b....back...brrrrrrr

oh my.  here i go with the absolutely cliche blog post: sorry i haven't written.  blah blah busy blah blah. whatever. truth is, i just haven't felt like writing.  i haven't felt like doing much of anything, really.  not that i'm exactly depressed, but just having a little trouble re-entering the routine following the holidays.  i haven't been to the gym since before christmas.  it's just been a struggle to readjust, but today i finally feel ready to fully cross the threshold back into the routine.  i know, it's about time. oh, its also been colder than mr. snow miser's toilet seat around here.  it's been hard to want to do much of anything other than sit in front of the fire under a pile of blankets. but today i'm up and at 'em.  heading to the gym.  bracing the cold.  blogging.  re-entering routine (fully). i hear your sarcastic applause. thank you, thank you very much.  (bowing appreciatively, exits to gym). oh, and if you t

back to the castle

what is making this guy super excited about tonight?  this.