Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What's Wrong with this Picture?



Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I love my brothers and sisters in Christ, but one of my peeves is how Christians can sometimes get carried away with things. One popular perspective is that Christian's shouldn't celebrate Halloween. I don't get it. How three children dressed as a police officer, Dorothy, and a duck (and one dog dressed as a pirate) can be perceived as "anti-Christian" is beyond my scope of understanding. Granted, we wouldn't allow our kids to "glorify the enemy" by dressing up as devils and witches, just as we wouldn't want them to dress up as Hitler....it's just not in line with our family values.

Anyway, when I first became a Christian, I researched Halloween because I wanted to preserve this fun tradition in our family, but I didn't want to do so if it was not right in the sight of God. I ran across the book "Redeeming Halloween" by Kim Weir & Pam McCune (published by Focus on the Family). This book "set me free" from the shame of celebrating Halloween and made me appreciate the holiday's true Christian roots and how it's a beautiful rememberance of those martyred for the cause of Christ.

According to Weir and McCune (2004), "..the Christian church reserved the day before the religious festival as a sacred time. October 31 was then set aside as an evening of preparation called "All Hallow'een", or "the eve of the holy ones". Together, they created a meaningful time for the church to remember the early martyrs." (p.15)

My perspective is that I don't want our kids to feel like their faith is against "having fun" (which is what dressing up and getting candy is perceived as by children), I want them to experience the freedom and joy of living a life in Christ!

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Little Ms. Know-it-all

I've mentioned before that Amelle is a "complex" child. One of her peculiarities is that she really doesn’t like to be wrong. (I know, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.) Anyway, while her Grandmom (Sylvia) was visiting this weekend, Amelle read her a story before bed. Here is the conversation that ensued:

Grandmom: “That says Daniel, not David”
Amelle: “No, it doesn’t.”
Grandmom: “Yes, it says Daniel, I'm sure.”
Amelle: “No, that’s a mistake.”
Grandmom: “The book is a mistake?”
Amelle: “Yes, my friend’s father who died, wrote the book and before he died, he told her that it was suppose to be David, not Daniel”.
Grandmom (laughing hysterically): “You are such a good story-teller Amelle!”

Sunday, October 28, 2007

You can't eat your cake before your birthday...

One of the fun things about sharing a computer with your spouse is that you get to read whatever they've been reading when you sit down and look up at the screen. Nine times out of ten, this means that I'm going see something sports-related(Tiger Wood's score on a Sunday, a Bill Simmons article, a tide-chart, etc). Just now, I happened upon this paragraph from espn.com, which I found mildly amusing:

Yeah, they need just one more win to finish this Series off. But there was closer Jonathan Papelbon standing at his locker, reaching for a quote from one of the great Dominican philosophers of our time to help explain what it means to be in this spot. "I think I heard Manny [Ramirez] say it best," Papelbon said. "You can't eat your cake before your birthday. Or whatever it was he said."

One more...Go Sox!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Welcome to the Projects

Last week Avery had to hand in his first real school project. He had to build a community, either rural, suburban, or urban. He chose a rural community and I sacraficed my barn and church figurine (I know - when did I start collecting figurines?) for the greater good of his community.
Welcome to "Mooresville"

Notice the John Deere tractor - no rural community is complete without one.

And heres the finished product, Jermaine's masterpiece. (Oh, did I say Jermaine, I meant Avery's masterpiece, yeah - Avery did it all by himself). Okay, I'm kidding, but I do think that Jermaine did let Avery paint some of the mountain.
Hee hee.
The best part was me calling Jermaine the next morning to find out how ours stacked up against the others in the class! (Me: Was ours the best?) I'm a mess. Sometimes I think our kids have zero chance at being normal.
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Sunday, October 21, 2007

See Ya Later Nan

On Friday we said goodbye to Nan, who passed away last Monday morning after suffering a major stroke in her sleep on Saturday night. Nan was an amazing woman, she raised her 5 kids and then many of their children, and was active up until her last day on this earth.
I think I might love black funerals, especially when the person who passed loved the Lord. It is a joyous event. Bittersweet, but still sweet. What a great time. In recent years I've been to a lot of funerals, but none that I have enjoyed as much as that one. I haven't stopped thinking about it yet - every day I relive another aspect of it. The pastor said something that struck both Dirt and I, "When Carolyn's eyes closed on this earth, they opened on the other side". What an awesome thought that is!
The whole weekend actually felt like blessing after blessing after blessing. On Sunday we went to see Joe Focht at Calvary Chapel before we hit the road. That was kind of neat - putting a face with a voice that we are SOOOO familiar with. We went up to say hello to him after the sermon - just to let him know how meaningful his ministry is to us. When Dirt introduced himself, he said "Hi Joe, I got saved here 5 1/2 years ago" then Joe cut in: "And it took you this long to come back?!" We got a kick out of that - we had a quick chat and then he gave us hugs and we ventured out with smiles on our faces.
So many blessings in such a short period of time. And as for Nan, we look forward to seeing her again - what a hope we have in Jesus!
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

As Corny as it Sounds

On Saturday we did the annual corn maze in York. Here's the group of us (minus Deb, who was kind enough to take the picture).
We zipped through the maze in about an hour and a half. So much fun!!
The highlight of the evening was spotting the Maine Sasquatch. This fellow appeared out of nowhere and as soon as we saw him, he dipped back in the cornstalks. Luckily, I was quick with my camera and able to catch this shot of the mysterious beast:

I thought this was a cool shot. I thought that it was steam rising off of the hay, but Wendy said it was the kids' breath.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Babytalk

Kids say the funniest things sometimes. Last weekend I just so happen to be sitting within earshot of this beautiful dialogue between Amelle and Mina:
Amelle: “Are you having a baby from your belly or your wiener?”
Mina: “wiener”
Amelle: “Oh”
Mina: “Well, you just never know. I might adopt”
Amelle: “Me too”

Through Audra's Lens

Audra is so beautiful and talented! She took some shots of the kids last night - it was funny for me to be the bystander while someone else took the pictures. Although I'm using the term "bystander" loosely - I did help chase 3 kids around the beach for an hour and carefully implemented a performance management strategy mixed with equal parts of threats and bribes to achieve some salvagable shots.


Yikes, Amaya was past her time limit (which was only about 10 minutes)



My job became occupying Amaya while Audra shot the older two.



As long as her picture was being taken, Amaya felt included, so I took some random shots of her using my less superior camera (Audra's camera is definitely a two-hander, mine slips into the pocket of my jeans)



Just boatin' around. Anything to keep her happy!


Audra said that she'd have a couple posted within the next couple days, you can check her blog...

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Apple Picking...and then some...

As the title implies, today we went apple picking. Some pictures from the day:
Avery "hanging" around in an apple tree.

Amelle - double-fisted apple eater! Yum!!

Amaya makes her own apple juice.

...and another kind of picking..
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Friday, October 05, 2007

God Don't Make Mistakes

The past few weeks have been an interesting time for our family. The positive AFP test that Wendy received had certainly given us a lot to think about, obsess over, worry about, and question. I was talking to one of our friends (who is also a pastor) about the stress of the situation and we couldn't help but wonder how those who don't know the Lord get through times like this. He had lost one of his younger brothers to childhood cancer and shared that knowing that the Lord was in complete control and that He always has our best in mind got him through that. He admitted that walking through a children's hospital with bed after bed of sick and dying children, he could only wonder how those who don't know what we know cope with tragedy.

So throughout this ordeal I kept reminding myself that God doesn't make mistakes. He's perfect in every way. He's all knowing, all loving, and all powerful. I know from His Word that He answers our prayers. I know that He has answered my prayers and I am overwhelmed with gratitude by that. The Creator of the Universe has tuned into my little voice and has answered my prayer - isn't that an amazing thought?!

So without any further ado, my little baby nephew is healthy and Wendy's pregnancy is progressing normally! 21 weeks gestation, which is the age of this baby, who reached out to thank the doctor that saved him when he was still in his mother's womb.

Our God is so Awesome!