Monday, January 28, 2008


Today was a good day--emotional, but good.

It was sad to say good-bye to our young friend Keri, but good to grieve her loss with her family and friends.

We saw people we haven't seen in years, with the promise of reconnection. One young girl used to come to our church with Tim's parents. We had brought a photo to the funeral home with Keri, our daughter and a friend of our daughter's, but we couldn't place the girl. Turns out it was Megan, who had come to church with Jim and Gladys.

We met Holly's (Keri's sister) school teacher and talked to Scott (Keri's brother) about boot camp. He looked amazing in his Marine uniform. Not exactly the junior high boy I remembered with the dyed blue hair (well, I think that was only on Halloween).

Greg gave a moving sermon of comfort, God's grace, and the message of salvation with the promise of heaven. Tim wrote a little piece remembering taking kids around town (mostly to church) in our big van and playing Stephen Curtis Chapman songs on the CD player. Tim talked about his song "Fingerprints of God" and Greg played "Hope" from the SCC CD.

For we grieve, but not as those who have no hope. One day we will be reunited with loved ones who have gone before, as we gather with our Lord and Savior in the home he prepares for us.

Without the hope of heaven, the sting of death is too painful to bear. Knowing we will one day see Jesus and those who love him, help us through the tragic times.

Till next time,



Sunday, January 27, 2008

Another photo

Here's another photo of Keri (left) with friends Kate, Melissa and Kendra. These girls dressed up in crazy clothes, and this picture was in our front yard/driveway.

Till next time,



Service tomorrow

We had dinner with old friends last night--an annual event to celebrate our friend Greg's birthday. After dinner we went to Greg and Cindy's house for cake/pie and raspberries/whipped cream. Yum! This was after an Italian dinner (I brought most of my meal home!)

Anyway, it was good to catch up. We spent a good deal of time talking about the young lady, Keri who passed away last week in the car accident I blogged about earlier. Tomorrow is her funeral service, and Greg is doing the service (he's a hospital chaplain/pastor). We've been looking at some photos we hope to bring and possibly upload to her guestbook at the StarTribune.com. It's such a lovely way to read about how individuals who have passed on have touched others' lives.

Please pray for us and especially for her family. They are dealing with a lot right now, as you can imagine. We hope we can minister to them in some way by our presence and prayers.

The photo above is Keri (left, standing), Holly and Christina (center). This is a happy memory--seems a long time ago!

Till next time,



Monday, January 21, 2008

A teensy bit warmer

Last night there was a halo around the moon. We thought maybe that meant it was really cold, but I think it meant precipitation is possible.

It seems like there is such a thing as "it's too cold to snow." Anyway, this morning the temperature is above zero, so Raven and I extended our walk a little bit. I was actually going to head home earlier, but he wouldn't budge, so we plodded on our regular route, taking an early turn home a few minutes later.

It's flurrying out this morning. Extreme southern Minnesota might see 3-6 inches, they were saying last night. I am happy to be home today, for the Martin Luther King holiday.

I work in the department that houses the only Reconciliation Studies major in the country, that I know of. Professor DeYoung, who heads this up, teaches a class on Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and our multicultural world.

Reconciliation on a broad scale sometimes comes easier to me than reconciliation at home. But it is good practice to be in harmony with spouses and children in order to be a kingdom reconciler, pointing to the Greatest Reconciler of all.

Martin Luther King wasn't perfect. But his dream is something we can work to fulfill. And we can aim for that goal with the help of the King of Kings and Ultimate Peacemaker.

Peace to you all on this day to celebrate diversity and achieve unity.

Till next time,



Saturday, January 19, 2008

How cold is it?

I read the thermometer this morning before venturing out with Raven. Ten below zero. As I put on layer upon layer and buttoned up my long down coat, I looked at Raven. No coat for him, other than his natural one. Yet he seemed eager to go out into the cold.

We just went down to the woods and back--long enough for Raven to do his business and get home. My glasses were fogging up and giving my face that feeling you get when you eat ice cream too fast--brain freeze, I think it's called.

I stood in the doorway and watched Tim sitting at the kitchen table with his laptop. He looked warm and happy, after his coffee and bowl of oatmeal.

He's not working today--outside of his office, that is. He's perfectly happy to be inside and perfectly happy about the subzero weather.

That is, till he checked his email. His CDs he reserved at the library need to be picked up today. Guess he'll have to venture out in the cold after all.

Maybe I can convince him to do a little grocery shopping while he's out and about?

Or maybe I'll have to shrug into that long down coat again...

Till next time,


PS Thanks for thoughts and prayers for those involved in the accident this week--and their relatives (see yesterday's blog).


Friday, January 18, 2008

A sad good-bye

Our house has been pretty quiet the last couple of years--boys have moved out (one is back in), Christina is gone a lot of the time (school, work or friends).

There was a day when I thought I'd never have a minute to myself.

Especially Wednesday nights.

The house would start filling up after school. Holly, Christina's best friend, and her siblings Scott and Keri would come over. Mark's friends Aaron and John would often join them. Sometimes Melissa and Kendra would be here too.

And I'd feed them (usually crock pot ham--Keri loved it!) and then cram them into our conversion full-size van and we'd go off to church: Awana, youth group/confirmation. Tim was a confirmation leader, Luke was in the youth band. Christina was in elementary school and Mark was in middle school, Luke in high school. We probably had an exchange student too--Carla or Marcelo or Mai at the time.

Holly, Scott and Keri lived just a few blocks away. We'd see them often--not just on Wednesday nigihts. Holly was Christina's age, Scott was Mark's age (just one day apart for birthdays!) and Keri was close in age to Luke.

Yesterday there was a traffic accident in Crystal, the suburb next to us. It was a fatal one--two young parents were killed. They had a one-year-old child and a newborn who was born early and is still in the hospital.

The young mom was Keri. We are all in shock, trying to imagine how one so young could be gone so quickly and tragically.

We haven't been in touch with the family in a while--Keri had moved away but I guess was back in town for a year or so. Holly and Scott sometimes call Christina or Mark and swing by. I feel like a second mom to all these "Wednesday night plus" kids.

Two young men were in the back seat of the car and are in the hospital in critical condition. One of them had worked with all three of our kids at Papa John's.

Luke's been on his cell phone most of the day connecting with friends who knew the victims. It's so sad.

Please pray for all the families--for these little children who are now without parents, for grieving parents who didn't expect to outlive their children.

We hope some good may come out of this tragedy--God seems to work that way. Our hope in Him is what sustains us and others touched by hardship.

I hope Keri saw the love of God in our home and church family and somehow carried that with her through the end of her young life.

Thank you for your prayers.

Here is a link to a news story about the accident.

Till next time,



Thursday, January 17, 2008

Here's for Suzanne

Okay, here's what happened when I typed in Suzanne for the name game:

What Suzanne Means
"You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.
You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.
You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You are a very lucky person. Things just always seem to go your way.
And because you're so lucky, you don't really have a lot of worries. You just hope for the best in life.
You're sometimes a little guilty of being greedy. Spread your luck around a little to people who need it.

You are incredibly wise and perceptive. You have a lot of life experience.
You are a natural peacemaker, and you are especially good at helping others get along.
But keeping the peace in your own life is not easy. You see things very differently, and it's hard to get you to budge.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together."

Pretty much the same as below. At least the first part. I am NOT Type A though. My husband is the perfectionist in our family. I can be paranoid or jealous, I guess, when playing Scrabulous with my husband (online Scrabble on Facebook). I'm jealous of his high scores and paranoid he'll steal my good moves if he watches me play (which he usually doesn't, but there's always that possibility...)

This is it for my name game I think. I'm not going to try Susan. Or Sue, Susie, Susi, Susy, Suzie, Suzy, Suse, Suze, Suzey, Susey, Suzette, Su or Zi. Or Anne. or Zanne. Or Zany.

So there.

Till next time,



Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What's in a name?

Today I played the "What's In a Name?" quiz from a link on my sister's blog.

What Suzi Means
You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.
You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.
You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You are a very lucky person. Things just always seem to go your way.
And because you're so lucky, you don't really have a lot of worries. You just hope for the best in life.
You're sometimes a little guilty of being greedy. Spread your luck around a little to people who need it.

You are incredibly wise and perceptive. You have a lot of life experience.
You are a natural peacemaker, and you are especially good at helping others get along.
But keeping the peace in your own life is not easy. You see things very differently, and it's hard to get you to budge.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

Here's the link.

What do you think? My sister got at least six comments on her blog. I'll wonder if I'll get any. Sigh.

Till next time,



Saturday, January 12, 2008

Weekend plans

"Got any big plans for the weekend?" the sociocultural studies TA (teaching assistant) asked me.

I had to stop and think. This is sort of like the trick question I often get on Mondays at work, which is "So, how was your weekend? Do anything special?"

"Not really," is usually my response. But that doesn't mean my life is boring.

For example, Friday night is Date Night. Well, I got a call from my daughter who was at her job before I left my job (around 4:30). "Hey mom, do you want to pick up some dinner to bring to me to work?" I gave my standard answer, "Why don't you call your dad?" This really made more sense, because Tim was working closer to her end of town anyway.

I guess she and Tim tried calling me a bit later, but I didn't hear my phone for some reason. Anyway, Tim stopped by her work, and ended up ordering some take out at a restaurant a few doors down from the tanning shop where she works.

That's when they tried to call, but I didn't answer.

So, they ordered for me anyway.

So much for date night.

It didn't turn out so badly, however. They got me a BLT & turkey club with those funky colored chips. Yum yum.

However, our date night at home did not evolve as well as I had hoped.

Tim didn't want to go out to see the latest Veggie Tales movie "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything," so we resorted to our latest pastime--Scrabulous and Scramble on Facebook. He's been beating me at both these games.

I suppose I should have been happy that I was finally beating him at Scramble (like Boggle). It may have been because his battery was low on his laptop and so his mouse was sluggish. I was pretty happy, too, because I had come from behind on the two Scrabulous games we were playing, hitting triple word scores with high scoring letters like "z" and "y."

Just as I was getting confident and even cocky, he snuck up on me. And played his last tile. And beat me by less than ten points in each game.

Enough of this, I thought. I went to bed to watch a Tivoed episode of "Corner Gas."

Then, this morning, I noticed he had started a new Scrabulous game. I was planning to swear off Scrabulous, at least with him as a contender. But I bit. My score wasn't as high as his, so I started another game of Scrabulous. Still not beating him. Now I've started a game of Scramble, and did fairly decent in the first round.

Tim also added a new application to his Facebook, and I joined at his invitation. It is the Traveler IQ Challenge. I had fun clicking on cities on a map of the US. It's a little tough to get really close on a small online map, though, especially when you're trying to click on Boston and can't see if you've got Massachusetts or Connecticut. I supposed enlarging the screen to full size would help.

I did have some productive non-computer time today. Raven and I walked in the fresh fallen (only about 1/2 inch) snow, and I finished shoveling the driveway. I'm hoping to make a dent in my mystery book for book club, and Tim has asked me to send out his tax booklets today too.

Wow, when Monday comes, I'll have a whole host of things to tell my eager co-workers. Or, I could just direct them to this blog.

Which, by the way, I have a link to from Facebook.

Till next time,



Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Random thoughts

My sister did not blog today, so I better do so.

She is not feeling well, at least that's what she said yesterday.

And today, no blog.

Get well Cheri!

Anyway, it's been a busy couple of days at work--interim has started on the college side of things and winter quarter has begun at the seminary. At CAPS/GS (College of Arts & Professional Studies/Graduate School), I've been busy making sure grades are in from the last co-hort session.

All in a day's work at my job(s) at Bethel University--in Anthropology and Sociology (College), seminary and CAPS/GS registrar. Checking like mad to make sure all my students are registered and that any holds they may have on their accounts are lifted.

Meanwhile, at home I relax by reading my mystery for book club (not going too well--having trouble getting into characters and the British/copy lingo), playing Scrabulous and Scramble on Facebook, and watching Tivoed episodes of The Office, Corner Gas and Everybody Loves Raymond. I should be watching my new DVDs of The Office (thanks Lori!) more often.

Tim and I bought The Matrix and watched it for the first time the other day. Wow, the cell phones were big 10 years ago. It was interesting to see the movie people have been raving about for years. A bit more science fiction than I'd like (scorpions crawling into people through their belly buttons?) But an interesting message that can be interpreted as salvation, freedom, sacrifice and even love (definitely not a romantic film, however).

Hope Cheri is back to blogging tomorrow so you can have something interesting to read.

Till next time,



Saturday, January 05, 2008

After the holiday...

The tree is down. :( I guess Christmas is over.

But the days are getting longer...spring is coming! Today the snow is melting a bit, but then refreezing comes with slipperiness.

There's always something to beware of, look forward to, complain about, rejoice in...

Life is an adventure.

Till next time,



Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New year, new hair

For 2008, I decided to get a new haircut.

Till next time,



Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

It's 2008! A year to be great!

2007 wasn't quite heaven...

2009's sure to be fine!

Okay, enough rhyming--

hope you all have a great new year! We spent new year's eve catching up with some old friends we haven't' seen in awhile. We tried to introduce them to Facebook, but not sure they'll bite. It's a great way to be in touch. Kinda like blogging!

Today I'm planning to make lasagna to continue celebrating the season, and it's Christina's favorite meal. I've texted all the kids to see if they can make it (they all spent the night elsewhere) and so far I've got a thumb's up.

Can't wait for 2008 to unfold before it gets old!

All, right, I'm signing off now...

Till next time,

Suzi (a bit sleep deprived!)

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