Friday, July 29, 2005

Which LOTR character am I ?

Curiosity got the better of me......
You scored as Samwise. You're Samwise Gamgee! Samwise the brave is the most loyal friend that you could ever ask for. He'll be there for you through thick and thin, and be willing to do anything for you.
"There is some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for."



















Which LOTR character are you?
created with

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Wicked good fun!

Last night we went to see WICKED at the Oriental Theater in Chicago. It was absolutely awesome. So, you think you know all there is to know about OZ? And the witches? Hmmmm...maybe not! Ana Gasteyer (Saturday Night Live) played Elphaba (aka the Wicked Witch of the West) most believably. Kate Reinders was perfect as ditzy, blond, popular Glinda. The back story of the relationship between the two very different women, and why each became what they were (or did they just seem to be what they were?) was creative, intelligent and a lot of fun. It fills in a lot of the blanks - who was the tinman? Why was the lion cowardly? How did the scarecrow come to be? And what part did the Wizard play in all of this? Where did those sparkly slippers come from? Who is Nessarose anyway? Sweet, funny, entertaining, it holds your interest all the way to the end. And the music was good too!

Wicked Trailer can be found here

Monday, July 25, 2005

I really don't hate Vermont.....aka states I've been to!

create your own personalized map of the USA

I've been all around it, but never even managed to step one foot inside Vermont's borders. So close, yet sooooooooo far. I'll probably get to Hawaii before I get there....;) I've been to Canada, Mexico, even Jamaica, the Bahama's and the Virgin Islands.....just not Vermont!


I actually pulled off a surprise party for my daughter last week. And that is not an easy feat, let me tell you! We had a good time even though a couple girls had to leave not long after it started. (and before the picture...) Anyway, remind me what a pain this was the next time I even consider another surprise party! But this one was special - we had to have a party - cuz it was Carissa's "Sweet 16"! :) Oh, and of course we had to celebrate successfully obtaining her Driver's License!!!! Happy "Sweet 16" Carissa! :)

23 and counting.....

Yesterday was our 23rd wedding anniversary. That's pretty amazing! I remember just before we got married, talking to my brother-in-law. He had been married 7 years at that time. That seemed like an eternity to me then. Of course that could be because that was equal to a third of my life. Now Kim and I are at 23 - I've actually been married half of my life...
We didn't do much 'cause my dad and sister were here visiting, but we did go out to dinner :) That'll do. I'm holding out for a great 25th - maybe a trip?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

What kind of traveler are you?

Hey ~ this is actually pretty accurate!

Your travel type: Culture Buff

The culture buff needs to see a museum, an art gallery, a 16-th century church every day during his holiday. When he travels he is always well prepared. He has read history books, speaks a few words of the lingo, knows about the strange habits the locals have.

top destinations:

New York
Las Vegas

stay away from:

North Korea
Ciudad Perdida
Darien Gap
get your own travel profile

Sunday, July 17, 2005

sermon observations....

"There is no absolute truth...truth is what we perceive it to be...that's post-modernism." And with that my 15 year old started writing furiously next to me " I don't think that that particular thing defines p.mod, and I don't like it when people try to condemn something they don't really understand." Sure, now in the middle of the Sunday morning service I have a daughter that is ready to fight... Why the pastor ever got on this little tangent was not entirely clear, since he was talking about elders, and how they were be humble, and submissive and whatever. Somehow post-modernism was tossed in alongside Mysticism (of the Hindu as well as New Age varieties), both equal examples of dangerous, insidious false doctrines and off we were on a sidetrack. Interpretation of the Bible came next, I won't even go there. My furious scribe shot this off next "and is he saying that we need to take the Bible literally? Because you have to put it into context... and not only that, it has different genres...."
The point of this isn't the specifics, but that people believe what they want to believe about post-modernism based on perceptions, and what other people tell them it is, and why it is so dangerous and wrong. The funny thing is, in many ways our pastor has a post-modern mindset. Apparently he doesn't know it.
And I was encouraged that my teen not only was listening, but was thinking about what she was hearing, and processing it, weighing it and finding it lacking, not just blindly accepting what was being preached as truth. Many adults don't do that, though it is really our responsibility to do so. Though I wonder, if after that, she was too busy seething to hear any of the rest of the sermon that did indeed contain good points!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Breathing is involuntary....

Seems like my life is just full of revelations this week. This one is pretty funny tho at first glance, then it's pretty cool. I realized that everytime I walk into the bathroom I start praying. And that made me laugh. And I started thinking about it, and realized that it's because it's the one place in the house I am truly alone, and I have used it as a refuge at times. Last fall I had a lot going on and I would go get a bath, and just sit and try to relax, and it was the perfect time to just open my heart to God. Now it's such a habit I do it whenever I just walk through the bathroom door.....
And then I realized I do the same thing in the car....hmmmmm. I used to drop my daughter off at youth group, and because of all those same things going on I would use the 10 - 15 minute drive home to pray. Well, more accurately to yell, rant, complain, argue, have a temper tantrum - all out loud - the way I couldn't anywhere else. So, I noticed the other day whenever I get in the car alone I'm praying....way cool! And I thought some more and I realized I do it everytime I go into my bedroom - I caught myself doing it the other day... Whoa. And I do it everytime I head out on the Prairie Path to walk, and I'm astounded! It has become such a habit that I do it as easily as breathing. That's the cool part. And not only do I talk, I find myself listening. And that is even cooler.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


I just made an incredible discovery. Just now. I was thinking through what has happened this past week, and just letting my mind wander, and let different scenarios play out in my mind. And I realized that I AM ready to defend my faith. Where I am in my life right now. Changes, values beliefs - from where I was to where I am and why. Even to my pastor... whoa! That shocked me. Now, granted I probably won't do it unless I'm asked, but I just realized I'm not afraid anymore! And I think I could do a pretty decent job.
And I realized that some of the issues I have been dealing with in the past several months have started to come together in my mind, and I feel more confident in where I am finding myself settling - without apology. Whoa!
I realized I am ready to re-engage with the learning process, and I'm ready to stretch my mind again. I am weary, tired (physically, with the new puppy and all) even emotionally drained due the events of this last week, yet the feeling of despair and being overwhelmed is gone. Now I just have to figure out where to start....
And I need to remember to go slow - I tend to be impatient and intense, and want to "know" everything right now. Slow is good.
But it is so good to feel connected again. To no longer feel like my prayers are just hitting the ceiling and bouncing back in a mocking, frustrating way. Does it mean I'm all good? No, I still have a lot on my plate, especially regarding this last week, but I feel more able to deal with it, and see it for what it is, and use it in a constructive way. Now if I can just remember that....I fear there is more fall out to come. And I still have issues with some other church related stuff, but I think I can try to be more objective in how I deal with it.
It is interesting, I got 3 different opinions in how to deal with a situation at church - 1. Leave - find a better fit. 2. You are right, fight for what you believe, (with grace and kindness of course..) and 3. You may be right, but even if you are, respect the person, understand him, help him, love him, and lead by example. Being right is not what's important. Hmmmm.. Interesting, and they all speak to just how many differences there are in the body of Christ, and why unity is so difficult to achieve.....

And my response is......

So, it's been a really tough week around here. I wish I could say it has been a great learning experience, but I can't. At least not right now. It's basically just been painful. It amazes me how little bitty, seemingly innocent things have a way of blowing up into gigantic issues. And as I have observed this personally this week it has been interesting to observe the various responses people have to the problem. Being Christ-like goes out the window as everybody scrambles for secure footing on the rocky precipice of "I am Justified" mountain. Or maybe its twin, "I am Right" peak. And nobody reaches out a hand to pull the impulsive, inexperienced man, impatient to make it to the top, who has found himself in an impossible spot of having nowhere to go, to safety. No one sets aside thoughts of their own position to help rescue or secure a brother on the stable ground of understanding. Now is not the time for blame and criticism. It is time to gently encourage and, wrap arms of compassion around the one who is in trouble, to help him find his way out of the precariousness of his current position before irreversible damage is done.

It doesn't matter if the one on dangerous ground is the one who led us into this mess. It doesn't matter if the one in danger of going over the edge followed the leader up the mountain challenging his lead, all the while yelling at him that he is wrong. It doesn't matter who's right. What matters is that another can keep his head and come along side those in trouble, putting themselves in the middle of the danger also to help guide those in trouble to a safe path, a path that leads to a respite of compassion, understanding, and healing.

And perhaps next time, before we start the journey, a bit of experience would help. A guide to gently instruct those who are learning to lead. Before we head out into the unknown, we who embark on the journey must also be willing to listen, encourage and support each other. And if we get in trouble, we must not hesitate to ask for help before we find ourselves in harms way.

But for right now, we need to bind up the wounded, to love the hurting. Nurture each other back to good health so our corporate body can once again be healthy and whole. Affirm and support one another. Offer assistance to those who desire it, and pray for those who can't begin to figure out how they ended up in this mess. And above all, strive to humbly be like Jesus in what we say and do.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Why is it that...

the darn puppy wakes me up hourly all night, but now that it is morning he will sleep for hours.......?

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Well apparently flickr and my blog have conspired against me and chosen to take a vacation. Hence the missing photos.....hopefully all will be well later......

EDIT: Looks like my pictures are back from where ever they went. :D Woo Hoo!

AND if you didn't notice I actually put some links to other people's blogs up today. The wonder of it all is, they actually work!!

Monday, July 04, 2005

What I'm learning, What I'm reading......

I discovered something about myself this past week. I have changed a lot in these past few months. I knew I had changed some, I knew I had some different ways of looking at things, but I didn't realize until I was sitting in a small group meeting listening to people's thoughts and beliefs just how far I had moved. That's scary. And disorienting. And it makes me a little lonely, a little sad, and wondering where I go from here. I don't like to be different. I don't like to be alone. I have spent my whole life trying to be who people want me to be so I will be accepted. I have worked really hard to change that. And now I'm afraid if they only knew what I was thinking I would be alone again......

On another track. I'm reading again, just trying to be more balanced in my selections. I read Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood (Sisterhood of Traveling Pants), DaVinci Code and Girl Meets God (by Lauren Winner.) I'm currently reading God's Politics by Wallis and I just got The Gospel in a Pluralist Society by Newbigin as well as The Shaping of a Life : A Spiritual Landscape by Tickle, Confessions of a Beginning Theologian by Elouise Renich Fraser and Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner. Well, it was balanced in what I read, but not in my list of things to read I guess. I need to find another good fiction book to read as well I guess. Any suggestions?

Friday, July 01, 2005


Well, we got a new dog today. Actually it is Carissa's dog, but um that means it's pretty much me that does the work, and Carissa that does the bonding and fun stuff.....
Anyway, Cairo is an Australian Shepherd, and he is 13 weeks old. He is what is called a Red Merle - that means he is coppery brown and white. He has green eyes! :) He is a real cuddley, sweet puppy. Playful and fun. Hopefully he won't drive Cody (our cocker) crazy. Everyone really loves him already, even Chris was cuddling and playing with him. Welcome to our home Cairo!

still traveling...

After we left Niagara Falls we headed for Quebec City. We had been there years ago and not been able to visit the fort at that time, so we wanted to try again. Hmmm, when we arrive in Quebec it was 90 degrees, by the next day it was 50 degrees. And rainy. And windy.
We did get to the fort, and saw some neat churches, and managed to fit in a little shopping before we froze and returned to our cabin.
Our next stop, Maine - Bar Harbor,
P6160120Acadia, :)P6150100 and lobster
Oh, and of course, lighthouses! P6160132
Probably our favorite spot on the trip though was Rockport, Massachusettes. Out on Cape Ann, just beyond Gloucester. Artsy, cool, scenic - lotsa fun. We stayed in the same Inn (The Inn on Cove Hill) there in Rockport where we stayed on our honeymoon. After they got over the ick factor, the kids really liked it! We ate tons of seafood and chowder - YUM! Bearskin Neck in Rockport is one of the most photographed spots in the country. This is one reason why....P6180170
We did spend a day (still cold) in Boston doing the Freedom Trail with the girls,
(Old North Church)
then took a detour to Concord before heading down to Cape Cod. P6200107 One morning we spent at Plimoth Plantation enjoying the history of my ancestors and the accurate recreation of the town as well as the in-costume, in-character actors. P6200098
From the Cape, we were off once again, this time to NYC. We didn't have too much time, so we only got to do The Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, and my favorite, Ellis Island. P6220127 P6220114
Well, there you have the highlites of the trip. 2 weeks, 3600 miles, 2 countries, lots of seafood, history, and nature. But we are all glad to be back home!