Saturday, March 29, 2008

Senior pictures

We got Christina's senior pictures back.

Here are some samples. Our photographer, Sarah, got some great shots and really captured her personality.

I saw my first robins in the neighborhood. The snow is mostly gone around here--except in areas where it was mounded up. Maybe spring is finally on the way! Sn*w is forecast for Monday, but temps are starting to climb up near the 50 degree mark.

It will be good to open windows and get the germs out of the indoors. Too much sickness going on here this winter!

Till next time,



Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tonight is quiet

I can hear the tick of the clock in the room. Raven sits quietly and basks (note, not barks) in the lengthening shadows of evening.

Tim, who has been very sick this week, is at his mom's doing tax work after doing drywall all day. Luke is on his way to a second interview with UPS. Christina is at work.

All week long, I've longed for time like this. But now it seems almost too quiet.

I haven't picked up a new book for book club yet.

I don't have people calling me to take them places or bring them things like the last two evenings.

The Office isn't on tonight. Corner Gas episodes are on hiatus till next week.

So, there's time to blog.

Cool, huh?

Till next time,



Tuesday, March 25, 2008

It's been a hard week's night

The past few days have been hard.

Parenting is hard.

But through God's grace, things are looking up.

Things looked bleak on Good Friday. Easter held its promise. Now we live in post-resurrection times.

It's time to celebrate life. Time to be glad for hardship, for out of hardship springs strength, character, grace, and deeper love.

I'm thankful God is a strong pillar when the ground around me seems to be shaking.

Resurrection times are good ones.

Till next time,



Thursday, March 20, 2008

My husband is famous

Tim is in this promotional piece for Cornerstone. Can you find him? Hint, he is seated on the ground, near the center.

Shane Claiborne is the speaker. I met him this past week at Bethel. We was wearing the same pants as in this photo, I believe--he makes all his own clothes and lives very simply.

Till next time,



Monday, March 17, 2008


Today I celebrated non-St. Patrick's day by listening to the Irish songwriting of the movie soundtrack "Once." I did not wear green, but I was still green in my heart. Green with envy of these talented musicians.

This day will only come once in my lifetime, the day that is St. Patrick's day but not St. Patrick's day because it is the Monday of Holy Week.

I also celebrated by viewing a picture of a black Jesus as an older man knocking at a door, wearing graying dredlocks. It was done by some Muslim artists--who don't believe Jesus died as a young man, but as an older prophet.

Even though I don't believe this is true (that Jesus lived a long life on earth), I think it's cool to see how others depict Jesus. Perhaps their artist's view can bring them to look into Jesus and see that he alone has the answer (as Larry Norman would say in his popular/unpopular song "Why Don't you Look into Jesus?" Check out the lyrics sometime.

Plus, seeing Jesus in dreds helps me feel better about my long-haired son and many-times-pierced daughter. Hmmm, a dredlocked Jesus with piercings. Reminds me of the t-shirt at Cornerstone--"Body Piercing Saved My Life."

Something to think about on this non-St. Patrick's day. More than once.

Till next time,



Saturday, March 15, 2008

St. Patrick is upstaging Julius Caesar

Beware the Ides of March? Not this year, I guess. St. Patrick's day is moved to today, apparently to avoid conflict with Monday, the second day of Holy Week.

I don't think Jesus would mind sharing Holy Week with St. Patrick, who evangelized most of Ireland after living as a slave there and returning as a missionary.

But never mind. This hasn't happened since 1940, and won't happen again until 2160. I don't expect I was or will be around for either of those dates.

But darn, I wish I had known! It's now the middle of the day and I'm not wearing a stitch of green! I suppose I could always go and change my clothes, but I like flaunting the green on work days.

Metro transit in the Twin Cities always provides (well, Miller Brewing Co. foots the bill, I think) free transit rides for those who celebrate on March 17. There's a rumor that the Irish Catholic town of St. Paul is providing free rides today. I know St. Paul is having a parade today, while I believe Minneapolis is celebrating on Monday.

Well, the green I'm really hoping to celebrate soon is the green grass and leaves that I hope will be popping out. (Green cash is nice, too...)

I think I'll celebrate both days. After all, I live in a Minneapolis suburb but work in a St. Paul suburb. Today at home I'll dance an Irish jig and on Monday I'll eat key lime yogurt.

How does that sound?

Till next time,


PS BTW, in case you're not a historian or a Shakespeare fan, the Ides of March is a reference to the day Julius Caesar was warned about--the day his enemies assassinated him. A soothsayer warned him of that day, and his dying words were "et tu Brute"--even you, Brutus--as his closest friend betrayed him and joined in the group who planned Caesar's death. I guess it will be more fun to celebrate St. Patrick's life than Caesar's death anyway. Here's to wearin' of the green!


Friday, March 14, 2008

A new mantra

Yesterday morning, I received several frantic text messages from my daughter--"I'm sick" "Please pick me up" I have a terrible headache" "People are telling me I look pale..."

She has missed a lot of school this year, yet I felt she could make it through this day. I tried to be firm, but supportive. Finally I texted "I'm at work now." The texts ceased.

Turns out she had a great day at school after she had some Advil. She scored very well on a test of a class she's struggled in, and she was genuinely happy when she got home from work.

When I arrived at work that morning, I was little down after all the texting, not knowing how the day would end up. My friend Shelly gave me some advice: what you need are some endorphines. Exercise is better than drugs, and it will make you feel better.

So, I walked Raven that night. And I walked him again tonight. In addition to our morning walks.

Last night, Christina came into our room to talk to me.

"Mom, I'm sorry about this last week. Can we forget it and just start over?"

These words were like salve to my soul. "Sure honey. Thanks so much for saying that."

My new mantra is: "Live in the moment, plan for the future, forgive the past." I don't know how long I can keep it up or how long Christina and I will be at peace with one another, but I hope to remember that moment when she sat on my bed and told me about her wonderful day. That conversation was a gift, and I received it gratefully.

Shelly told me having a dog was a great thing--and that besides walking him, playing with him was good too. Then I told her I don't have a playful dog. Even though he is a German shepherd mix. You throw a ball, he looks at you like, what'r you trying to do? Shelly and I thought maybe if I throw food, or cover a ball in peanut butter, then Raven would be more likely to play. He loves food, thrown or otherwise.

But right now I'll enjoy the bone my daughter has thrown me. A meaty one, a peace bone, a happy moment.

I'm sure dark times will come again. I'll try to go for a walk, throw a peanut butter covered ball, or look for the peaceful meaty bones in my life.

Weird metaphors, but they work for me.

Till next time,



Thursday, March 13, 2008

No room for two mopers at once

Lately I have been dealing with midlife issues. Wondering what to do when I grow up, blahs, struggles with teenager(s), etc. etc.

My husband is usually trying to encourage me and pick up the pieces. Today when I got home from work, I was feeling pretty good, and he was low. A perfectionist by his own admission, he was complaining about how he can never get construction jobs finished quite the way he wants them--even when the homeowner is happy with a job.

Plus cash flow is not the best now.

He's overwhelmed with regular (drywall work) and working at his mom's too. He's tired today, because he was working at his mom's last evening and fell asleep there, had some caffeine to jolt him awake again, and ended up coming home and being up till midnight. I was restless last night--I sleep lots better when he's with me--and I was kinda cranky.

Today he's tired and I'm pretty well rested. I tried to say some encouraging things to him but don't know if it helped.

I hope we both don't hit bottom on the same day.

I guess I'll try to keep up with letting him beat me at Scrabulous on Facebook--that always seems to perk him up.

The longer days seem to help--although now the bare brown ground is starting to show and there are tons of potholes all around and muddy wet spots everywhere.

I suppose we can always find something to whine about, right?

Today I'll rejoice that I'm feeling pretty okay and hope that Tim will be feeling better tomorrow. And our hormonal daughter? Well, my prayer is that we can survive another day together.

One foot in front of the other....

Till next time,



Sunday, March 09, 2008

That's the Way it Goes...

After Larry Norman died, my friend Curtiss and I have been doing some reminiscing about early days of Christian rock and roll. He's letting me borrow Randy Stonehill's (one of Larry's best friends, especially in the "early days") CDs "Edge of the World." Turns out Tim's got a copy, too. Anyway, here are the lyrics of one of the songs, one that really captured my mood of late:



When you’re in the valley of despair,

Feels as though you always will be there

Let your heart be strong, though the road is long, there’s a way to go

Soon enough the path will start to rise ,

To mountains high and clear and sunny skies.

The way will take you high, the way will take you low,

That’s the way it goes

That’s the way it goes sometimes, things are going to work out fine.

Rain will fall and then sun will shine again, that’s the way it goes

When the raging waters rush your way,

You feel like you won’t last another day.

Let your heart be brave, the calming of the waves is nearer than you know

Stormy days will be a distant dream floating in a still and quiet stream

The river will run fast, the river will run slow, that’s the way it goes


Life’s a mystery and we don’t always see God’s hand

He’s the Lord of love and wonder, one day we will understand

Chorus twice

Back to the blog now: If life is hard right now, cling to God and know that this too will pass. If hormones in your family are bouncing all around, know that God is steady. If you feel like you're falling off a cliff, know God is there to hold you, to catch you, to stabilize you.

Till next time,



Saturday, March 01, 2008

A "New" Meme

Wow, I haven't been tagged to do any memes in a while, then my sister tagged me and now Dave King has tagged me. Dave King's tag is similar to my sister's, in that he requests I share six non-important things/habits/quirks about myself:

1. I will repeat my fifth point in my tag from my sister on Feb. 10: Since yesterday was my son Mark's birthday (see below), I will say that I gave birth to my second born on Leap Day, Feb. 29, 1988.

2. Our family (husband, kids and me) has been to Cornerstone Music Festival for 12 years in a row.

3. We recently ended our Tivo kick on Everybody Loves Raymond that lasted at least four years. Now we are Tivoing a great Canadian sitcom, "Corner Gas."

4. I hate squash. I was served it in the hospital the night before I had my tonsils out at age 10, and ever since I cannot stomach it or any gorded vegetable. Even sweet potatoes cause me to turn my head.

5. My thumbs go straight up. I mean, they don't curve at the top joint (where the nail is) like normal people's.

6. I have three jobs in one institution--Bethel University. I work in three different schools: CAS (college of arts and sciences), seminary, and CAPS/GS (College of adult and professional studies/graduate school.)

The invitation is still open for others to blog about their random facts. Comment on my blog please if you'd like to participate in the meme.

Till next time,



Mark's birthday!

Happy birthday Mark! I am one day late, and how can I be, since his Leap Year day only comes once every four years.

Perhaps it is because I didn't see him at all yesterday--the first leap birthday I've missed with him. We've always made a big deal of his leap b-days in the past--a carnival at church that coincided with his 4th birthday, a trip to Discovery Zone on his 8th birthday, bashes with friends on his 12th and 16th birthday.

This year, we're having a family party today. He had some friends over to his home last night to celebrate. I heard Papa John's was giving away free pizza to people with Leap birthdays. Don't know if Mark took advantage of this or not.

So, I have all the food here, I just have to cook/prepare it and clean. Luckily my friend Beckie was here last week before Cheri came so the house hasn't gotten too bad in one week.

So, enough blogging, it's time to prepare to party!

Happy happy Birthday Mark!!! We love you!

Till next time,


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