Friday, April 27, 2007

Prom 2007

Billy and Carissa

Carissa and her dream dress

gorgeous back (the dress that is)

Billy and Carissa

Billy and Carissa

Billyand Carissa, Stacey and Merrick
Brad and Jess, Paige and Mike

Fun Times!

Carissa and Rachelle

Brad, Jess, Stacey, Merrick, Billy, Carissa, Paige, Mike

Billy and Carissa
Brad and Jess


Shoe Mishap

The Shoes

MOM! Enough already!!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

It only takes a spark

Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.

Albert Schweitzer

I owe a big thank you to several of you guys. I think you know who you are. Never underestimate the power of encouragement, friendship, or simple conversation. You never know when a random act of kindness, or a conversation in passing will reignite that flame. To say nothing of mentoring, guiding, and just taking the time to invest in the life of another. I hope I can be as encouraging and used to renew and nurture that flickering flame in the lives of others.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Whichever way you wanna say it.....

All three are different translations of a section from St. Patrick's Breastplate. I appreciate each one. And today, this is my affirmation and petition.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.


I bind to myself today
God's Power to guide me,
God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to teach me,
God's Eye to watch over me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's Hand to guide me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.


I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.

St Patrick

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Love is.....

A couple weeks ago I read Rob Bell's new book Sex God. Since then I have found myself ruminating on this passage....

Love is...

"Love is handing your heart to someone and taking the risk that they will hand it back because they don't want it. That's why it's such a crushing ache on the inside. We gave away a part of ourselves and it wasn't wanted.

Love is giving away of power. When we love, we give the other person the power in the relationship. They can do what they choose. They can do what they like with our love. They can reject it, they can accept it, they can step toward us in gratitude and appreciation.

Love is a giving away. When we love, we put ourselves out there, we expose ourselves, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

Love is giving up control. It's surrendering the desire to control the other person. The two - love and controlling power over the other person - are mutually exclusive. If we are serious about loving someone, we have to surrender all of the desires within us to manipulate the relationship."

I have no comment, nothing wise to say; nothing to add to this. Just that I am still thinking about this.... not only as it applies to how I relate to others, but how God relates to me and I to him. Food for thought.....

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The sun is gone and it begins to rain....

People are people, right? And God loves them ALL the same. Right? So where is the outrage in the media about the tens of thousands and more being killed in this war? Not just soldiers, but civilians, women, children, students, educators, professionals, aide workers, doctors, the list goes on and on. I'm just so frustrated. And, just what is it that makes our dead any more important than the dead in other countries? The killings at VT were an outrage. A tragedy. Heartbreaking. So is that. Dead is dead. Murder is murder. Wrong is wrong, wrong thinking is wrong thinking, rationalization is rationalization.. All over the world these atrocities are taking place, whether from natural disaster or moral breakdown. Greed. Passion. In the name of God and country. And we don't care unless it's our own?
I don't know where I'm going with this. I just had to get it off my chest. It's a crushing weight when you think about it. We are all God's beloved. No one is valued above any other. I think God's heart is breaking......

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Diet Coke is now healthy........

Diet Coke + vitamins = healthy beverage!

Posted by Tom Philpott at 4:36 PM on 07 Mar 2007

drink to your health?

News flash: Coca-Cola has responded to consumer demand and is now producing "healthy" beverages.

"Diet and light brands are actually health and wellness brands," Coke's CEO E. Neville Isdell told The New York Times.

He was referring to a new product called Diet Coke Plus, which is Diet Coke plus a few vitamins.

Where do I start?

Read the Rest Here....
and more here.....
Being listened to is so close to being loved
that most people cannot tell the difference.
-David Oxberg
One friend, one person who is truly understanding,who takes the trouble to listen to us as we consider our problem, can change our whole outlook on the world.
- Dr. Elton Mayo

Monday, April 16, 2007

i thank you god

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

e. e. cummings

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tick Tock Tick Tock

I so wish it was tomorrow night already. Cuz then, instead of all this "thinking" I'd be lying in bed pleasantly zoned out on drugs......

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Big Daddy Weave

To all who are weary and those who are heavy laden
Lay at the feet of the one who loves you best
Bring all of your trials and all of your tribulation
Come unto me and I will give you rest

I will give you rest

Take my yoke upon you
Come and learn from me
For I am humble in spirit and so you must also be
Lo I will be with you in the midst of every test
If you run unto me, I will give you rest

I will give you rest

A different kind of silence.....

ALL I want is some music. Is that asking too much? My heart is dry as a bone. My soul is parched. I WANT to hear some good music. This sucks. All the internet streaming stations either A) don't work B) Need a player downloaded or C) are doing PLEDGE DRIVES. Don't get me wrong - pledge drives are important. But I NEED MUSIC. Now!! I'm getting crabby and cross and, well, yeah. Ya know. Not a single CD in the drawer (there aren't many there) is what I wanna listen to. Not one. I need a dark room, a comfy chair and my IPOD. At very least I need someone to go to my house and bring me my CD's.......

Monday, April 09, 2007

Watching the Easter Parade pass by.....

I want to say something about Easter, but I don't know what. It was a strange Easter this year. It didn't seem like Easter. It was cold. And cloudy. I attended two different services, neither of which was typical. It's interesting how much traditions color our world.
It's not that these services were "bad;" to the contrary. I really appreciated our VC service. But it's the break from traditions that is unsettling. No choir. No stained glass window with sunshine pouring through. No traditional Easter message. No new Easter clothes, no "dressed to the nines" congregants. No organ music swelling with emotion. No hymns. No Easter Lilies.
I must say I didn't expect to feel cheated. Why would I? This year's VC service was incredibly meaningful and thought provoking. Quiet. Solemn. Contemplative. Breaking into joyful celebration at the end.
Why does tradition somehow seem to "make" the holiday? And when we don't have Easter egg hunts, or family pictures taken, when we don't have a big Easter dinner with ham and whatnot, when family is far away - why does it not seem like Easter? In reality, that is NOT Easter. We have just made that Easter.
I dunno. I feel a bit disconcerted and disconnected this morning. Like something is not quite right. Could be I'm just tired. Could be my upcoming surgery. Could be a lot of things. Because I learned something, and was ministered to in a very real way at both services I attended. And again it was driven home to me the power of incredible love, and the need for that in my life. Just to begin to increase the capacity for loving others, for acceptance of others, for showing more mercy, more grace. To renew myself in this way this Easter.
Easter was good. Just not what I expected......

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Um, what?

Direct quote from Conservapedia:


From Conservapedia

A falafel is a Mediterranean dish made with spiced Garbanzo Beans. It should not be confused with a loofah which is a bath sponge.

Music Meme

Well, Christine tagged me again. Now I have to come up with music for this meme.The theme of the meme = you list seven songs/CDs that you've listened to recently and then tag seven people. (Geeesh! Seven people!)

Ok here goes:

1. Come On Come On - Mary Chapin Carpenter

2. Grey's Anatomy Vol. 2 Soundtrack

3. Eye to the Telescope - KT Tunstall

4. Reflection of Something - Todd Agnew

5. Fields of Grace - Big Daddy Weave

6. How to Save a Life - The Fray

7. The Best of James Taylor

You have been tagged -

Music teaches us that conflicts are part of harmony.

Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

"What do you mean he don't eat no meat?"

"Dolmades are delicate parcels made from grape leaves (also known as vine leaves) stuffed with long-grain rice, toasted pine nuts, fresh herbs and seasonings. Dolmades can be served as part of a meze platter or salad plate, eaten as finger food or simply enjoyed as a tasty snack."

Yum, Yum, Yum. I love Dolmades. And I got to have them last week while we were in Florida. Every time we go to Tampa we drive to Tarpon Springs to eat at Mr. Souvlaki's. It wouldn't be a vacation without it. They have the most heavenly and authentic Greek food on the planet. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration, but it's soooooooooo good.

We can never decide on just one thing. No, we order way too much and cart it all home with us in doggy bags to enjoy later. Their Feta plate is a given. We always get it. Always. (2 huge slices/hunks of Feta smothered under Kalamata Olives, chick peas, Peppers, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Beats and Anchovies.) We often order their Calamari. We always order a separate side of Tzatziki.
YUM! What to choose, what to choose - Gyros, souvlaki, greek meat loaf, pastitsio? Flaming cheese? Greek chowmein? Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)? I finally just got the souvlaki. Instead of my usual Gyros. In addition to the feta plate and the dolmades of course. The chicken was so tender and juicy....

Ya know, my stomach is growling just thinking about all that food. Somehow today's PB&J sandwich just isn't gonna do it for me..... I'm hungry for Greek. Anybody?

Maria Portokalos: Ian, are you hungry?

Ian Miller: Uh no, I already ate.

Maria Portokalos: Okay, I make you something.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Spin Cycle

I am still spinning thoughts in my head about worship. And about hospitality. About love. Acceptance. Grace for the journey. About my beliefs and how to share them. I'm still struggling with some disillusionment, some disappointment. So many thoughts. So many big concepts that I can't get a handle on. I'm frustrated by things that centered me in the past not being available in the present. I'm frustrated by not being able to adequately and intelligently express how I feel, what I believe, and why my journey has taken me where it has.
Life isn't bad - just complicated right now. The hamster is back on the wheel. Running so fast that I can't begin to sort out the tangled mess of the many threads I need to pursue.

Break was good. Florida was warm, and sunny. Relaxing. But when you visit people, you just can't find the time you need to deal with your brain confusion.

I'm caving. Being alone. Seeing if that helps. Pulling back from activities that aren't critical. I just desperately need to find some me time. Some God time. Some down time. Time to recharge the battery of my life. So, if I seem antisocial - it's not you. And I'm not in a terrible place. Just a thinking place. A working it out place.

Now, if there was just an ocean and a beach in Illinois......

A bird does not sing because he has an answer.
He sings because he has a song.

Joan Walsh Anglund

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Books Blogthing

OK - I got this from Julie. It's a good reminder of the books I've been meaning to read. Um - yeah, with all my time.......

Edit - Mike suggested we add a book - so mine is at the end....

If you play - please leave me a comment so I can read your list!

Here's how you play. Take a look and see which ones you’ve read. Then, if you’re a blogger, post it on your blog. If you play, leave me a comment so that I can come visit!
Here’s what you do:
* Bold the ones you’ve read.
* Italicize the ones you want to read.
* Leave in normal text the ones that don’t interest you.
* Put in ALL CAPS those you haven’t heard of.
* Put a couple of asterisks by the ones you recommend.

EDIT - Erik at Julie's site suggested putting a + by those you have seen the movie of. So I am adding that too.

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)**+
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)+
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)+
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)**+
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)**+
9. OUTLANDER (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A FINE BALANCE (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)+
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone(Rowling)+
17. FALL ON YOUR KNEES (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)+
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)**+
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)+
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. THE MISTS OF AVALON (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
37. THE POWER OF ONE (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know this Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. THE ALCHEMIST (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible **
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)**
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)+
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)**+
50. She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible(Barbara Kingsolver)**
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)+
56. THE STONE ANGEL (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)+
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)+
59. THE HANDMAID'S TALE (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment(Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. FIFTH BUSINESS (Robertson Davies)
66. ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)+
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Victor Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)**
71. Bridget Jones's Diary (Helen Fielding)+
72. LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)+
75. The Secret Garden(Frances Hodgson)+
76. THE SUMMER TREE (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)+
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. THE DIVINERS (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)+
81. NOT WANTED ON THE VOYAGE (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)+
84. Wizard's First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)**
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. THE STONE DIARIES (Carol Shields)
89. BLINDNESS (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. IN THE SKIN OF A LION (Michael Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)**
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)+
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)+
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Mike's addition:
101. Till We Have Faces (C.S. Lewis)*

My Addition:
102. In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez