Friday, February 29, 2008

About Blogging

I wouldn't blame you if you just glanced at my post yesterday and decided not to read it. Who wants to read a big long block of text with no spaces?!

Here's the thing: I did finish elementary school (college, too), where I learned how to punctuate and put spaces between paragraphs.

Maybe someone can help me figure this out: when I type my post it looks one way, but when I publish a post, it sometimes looks completely different. I lose my spaces and indentations and my bullets become flowers. I like flowers, don't get me wrong, but I've never been one to add flowers and smiley faces and hearted dots to my writing.

I can assume this is a user error, so someone please tell me where I've erred.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Public Speaking

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."
I'm currently taking a Seminary Wives Institute course called Public Speaking for Ministry Wives. We've given four speeches so far, including our personal faith story, an introduction to a keynote speaker, and a devotional message. Yesterday's assignment was a topical speech. Since I was addressing other ministry wives, people who may move many times in their lives, I presented Map Book 101: finding your way around a new city. You can see that my own trusty map book was my visual aide (A thank you to our friend Richard F. for getting me hooked on map books in the first place!) ~

Our class meets in one of the seminary's preaching practicum that we can be videotaped. Ugh! Watching myself on video is painful.
I've learned some valuable lessons from this class. Most notably, when preparing to speak at an event, START EARLY! Granted, we were only given one week to prepare each speech. But , for the past two weeks, Tuesday nights have been miserable for me (and probably my whole family), as I've tried to "cram" my preparation in at the last minute.
I've also learned some things that sound obvious, but are helpful to remember:
1. Use descriptive language. Word pictures are powerful.
2. Good illustrations are all around me if I'm looking for them.
3. Reading and personal Bible study are the best sources of speaking material.
4. Choose a theme for the speech and stick with it to the very last statement.
5. Know your audience.
6. It's okay to intensify a story, but not to exaggerate. There is a difference.
7. End with a challenge.
8. Pause.
The assigned reading is a book by Carol Kent called Speak up With Confidence. It's filled with concrete examples and step by step instructions for public speaking in Christian ministry.
I have one more week of speech class. The last class will be an extemporaneous speaking exercise where we will each be interviewed by an SWI faculty panel.
Fun, challenging, intimidating, and great experience.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Josiah Scrolls

Two nights ago, for family Bible time, we read about King Josiah. During his reign over Judah, the scriptures were found in the temple.

I don't have too many creative ideas, but as we read and talked about the story, I thought, we could make scrolls!

This is how a 1-yr-old and a 3-yr-old make scrolls:

1. Mom collects art supplies
2. Mom gives the boys a piece of paper each
3. 1-yr-old and 3-yr-old ball up the paper over and over again to make it look old
4. Mom writes scripture on the scrolls
5. Mom staples popsicle sticks to the ends of the scrolls
6. Mom rolls up the scrolls
7. Mom takes a picture of the scrolls before...
8. 1-yr-old and a 3-yr-old tear the scrolls to bits while playing

(I did preserve some of the scrolls, and we read our memory verse from them at dinner time.)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A nice surprise

Last evening I was delivering food to one of my tables, and I noticed a beautiful woman with two of the most handsome boys walk into the restaurant. I love it when Kimberly and the boys visit me at work. The whole place lights up when they show up. All of the workers scramble to visit with Kimberly and Calvin and hold Teddy Dean.

When they leave Calvin will say something to make them laugh. Last night he said, "Goodbye Mr. Angry!" (a nickname I gave to one of my co-workers that likes to make people think he is an angry man, but actually, he is a teddy bear) and "Goodbye Ryanne, work hard."

Kimberly is quite a hit, too. She will bring in treats periodically, so everyone knows and loves her. I am always asked, "Is your wife going to send cake or marble squares or quesidillas (sp?) again soon?"

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Lost Theory

This is for my Lost friends:

Why doesn't Jack Shepherd want to see Claire/Kate's son, Aaron?

Here's my theory:

Jack and Claire have the same father (This much has already been revealed. Remember when Jack's father goes to visit Claire and her mom in Australia?). While still on the island, Jack and Claire discover that they are half siblings. Jack, already disillusioned and bitter at his father, finds his bitterness resurrected. He can't get past the fact that his father was unfaithful to his mother and secretly had a family with another woman. He doesn't see Aaron as his nephew, but as his father's illegitimate offspring.

How's that for a theory? Any thoughts?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sports nuts

My boys are turning into real sports fans. Well, to be more specific, they love football. Yesterday I (Ken) bought Calvin and Teddy Dean their very first football. They love the green and gold Green Bay Packers Nerf football. They also show that they are real sports fans by their choice in headgear

Friday, February 22, 2008


My sister and her two children visited us for the week!

We were all somewhat limited in what we could do during the week. We had sick kids, conflicting nap schedules, and rough weather. Even so, we managed to have some simple fun together. We walked to Target and played in the toy aisles. Always a hit with the kids. Ty and Cal camped out by the children's book section, happily paging through books on the floor ~

I had a chance to get reacquainted with sweet little Katherine. She was less than three months old when we moved away, so it was a joy to see her walking and talking and full of personality ~

We had some fun at the mall ~

Ann directed the older boys in making Valentine cookies. That lasted until the "don't eat the cookie dough" rule was broken one too many times.

Our biggest adventure of the week was venturing out during an ice storm to get treats at Dairy Queen.

And we spent a lot of time just playing (and surviving!) at home ~

Thanks for coming Ann! It was a blessing to see you and your family!

Friday, February 15, 2008

I'm Lost About Lost

Ken and I watch Lost on Thursday nights. It's on the calendar each week; it's our show. And last night for Valentine's Day, we snuggled on the couch and watched Lost. Actually, "snuggled" might not be the right word...I clenched Ken's arm and hid my face against his knee. It was romantic.

A few thoughts about the developments on Lost:

(WARNING: Even those who faithfully watch Lost find it cryptic at best. If you don't watch Lost and you read the rest of this post, you could get, well, lost.)
  • Ben is the mastermind, or the steward perhaps, of THE LIST.
  • I was not at all surprised to see Ben in Berlin, since we had already learned he is a world traveller with many aliases. Even that, though, was no surprise.
  • What is THE LIST??
  • THE LIST was mentioned before, last season I think. One of the Others (Cyclops? Quinn? I don't remember who) told one of the Oceanic survivors that they were "not on the list" and that another survivor "was on the list." Hmmm...
  • But last night's "LIST" could be a new "LIST" altogether.
  • Ben also said something about lists right after the Oceanic flight crashed. Remember? He yelled to Ethan and Quinn, "I want lists!" (Was his name Quinn? Now I'm not sure.)
  • Ben's psychologist/counselor lady gave Michael a list of names, survivors of the crash, that Michael was to deliver to Ben in exchange for Walt.
  • Sayid is working for Ben, his handler of sorts, to eliminate all those on "THE LIST."
  • Ben is really into lists.
  • Could THE LIST be all those who are unsympathetic to the Others? People that will be likely to harm the Others and whatever it is that Ben is trying to accomplish on the island? Is it a "kill or be killed" sort of thing?
  • Ben asks Sayid, "Do you want to protect your friends or don't you?" Is Ben referring to the 5 other "Oceanic 6" or to those left on the island? Or both?
  • Why did Naomi have a picture of Desmond and Penny if Naomi's boat is "not Penny's boat"? Was it a ruse?
  • So far, it is clear that the Oceanic 6 includes Jack, Kate, Sayid, and Hurley. I'm sure the 5th person will be Sawyer. Kate will not leave without him. Live together, Die alone.
  • Desmond saw a vision of Claire and Aaron leaving on a helicopter. Could be, but will Claire actually return to civilization, or just do a stint on Naomi's boat? Regardless, Claire is a clear contender for opening number six of the Oceanic 6.

Whew. Too many questions. Not enough answers. A fun brain exercise, nonetheless.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Please pray for Dr. Mohler and his family

From the Southern Seminary Office of Communications:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, will require additional surgery after a scheduled colonoscopy on February 11 revealed a tumor in his colon. An initial biopsy indicated that the tumor is pre-cancerous and further tests are to be scheduled, along with surgical options.
Mohler, 48, underwent major abdominal surgery in late December 2006, complicated by the development of bilateral blood clots in his lungs. Doctors will take special precautions to prevent a recurrence of the blood clots with this new surgery. Specialists are consulting on the case, and a decision on the date and location for the surgery is to be made in the very near future. The procedure is likely to require an extensive period for recuperation and recovery.
Mohler expressed gratitude to God that medical personnel found the tumor this early.
“Sometimes we take it for granted that we live in an age like this one, in which God has given us the blessing of medical technology,” Mohler said. “For most of human history, a tumor such as this one would have gone unnoticed until it was too late. I am thankful for modern medicine, but I am even more thankful that we live in a world in which our God hears us when we pray, a Father who listens to his children.”
Mohler said that Southern Seminary “would not skip a beat” during his recuperation.
“I have absolute confidence in the seminary leadership team. We will move forward with momentum,” Mohler said. “God has blessed and is blessing Southern Seminary. We do not take that for granted, and we pledge to be good stewards of that blessing, even through this time.”
Mohler said that his time of recuperation would necessarily alter some of his plans as he gives first priority to his health and his family.
“Some have asked how this new development affects my nomination to be president of the Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis this June,” Mohler said. “I have decided to give my greatest attention right now to addressing this new challenge and to ministering to my wife and children. This is clearly not the right time for me to accept this nomination. I have asked my good friend Robert Jeffress not to proceed with nominating me for president of our Southern Baptist Convention this year.
“Frankly that decision is made much easier by my knowledge that there is at least one strongly conservative, committed pastor who intends to be nominated in Indianapolis,” Mohler said.
Southern Seminary will release additional information as it becomes available. The Mohler family has expressed appreciation for all concern, prayer and encouragement.

Little Artists

The boys and I went out this morning to visit the JB Speed Museum of Art on the University of Louisville campus. The museum has an interactive art gallery for children called ArtSparks. It is fabulous! I would usually rather stay in my own neighborhood than navigate downtown one-way streets, university campuses and parking ramps, but this was well worth the trip. We met some friends there, and all five of the children had a wonderful time exploring each exhibit. The gallery was fun and safe, even for our two one-year-olds. The museum staff greeted us and told us the kids could touch everything; they just couldn't run. Good rules.

The kids enjoyed the art studio, where they painted at easels. Here's my little artist-in-the-making....

He told me this is a picture of Curious George the monkey. Can't you tell?

I especially enjoyed seeing the boys do a "messy" project, but not have to clean the house afterward. This is Teddy's hand when we came home (the only evidence of our messy fun):

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Teddy Dean

Teddy found his way into Daddy's lap this morning before we all headed to the seminary. Here they are, each looking very handsome.

These are some things I want to remember about Teddy at 14 months of age:

Teddy doesn't walk all the time now, but he walks more often than he crawls. His latest skill is carrying an object while walking. He gives great kisses. He will usually kiss me if I ask for one, but the best kisses are the ones he gives spontaneously. Teddy asks several times a day to take a bath, by signing bath and pointing to the bathroom. He gets angry and screams when I tell him it's not bath time. If his skin did not dry out so easily, I would give him a bath every time he asks; it's just so irresistably cute.

Ted sleeps in a crib with his blue blanket, wearing his blue sleep sack. When I come into the room to get him, he tugs at the sleep sack to remind me to remove it. Then he hands me his blanket to be sure it doesn't get left in the crib.

He has an infectious smile and if he can get me to smile, or, better yet, laugh, he will squeal in delight.

Sweet boy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Kim's Book List

Have you noticed that Ken and I love to read (and write about) books? Awhile back, Ken posted a list of his favorite books, ones he considers worth reading many times. I figured it was time for a list of my own. My list is of the books that have most influenced me (besides the Bible), and it's much longer than Ken's list. He did a better job than I did at narrowing it down:

1. Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret, by Howard and Geraldine Taylor
2. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, by Donald Whitney
3. Shadow of the Almighty, by Elizabeth Elliott
4. The Treasure Principle, by Randy Alcorn
5. Systematic Theology, by Wayne Grudem (and I have not read all of it, but a lot of it)
6. Desiring God, by John Piper
7. Faith is not a Feeling, by Ney Bailey
8. Finding Common Ground, by Tim Downs
9. Questioning Evangelism, by Randy Newman
10. Passion and Purity, by Elizabeth Elliott
11. Lady in Waiting, by Jackie Kendall
14. The Peace Maker, by Ken Sande
15. Let Me Be A Woman, by Elizabeth Elliott
16. The Joy of Hospitality, by Vonette Bright
17. Worship and Service Hymnal, Hope Publishing Company (I have an old copy, held together with green tape, with "University Ave. Congregational Church" printed in gold.)

I hope you have time to enjoy a good book today!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Preaching the Gospel to Yourself

The GirlTalk bloggers had a thoughtful series last week on preaching the Gospel to yourself. I found it helpful, so I want to highlight briefly some of their discussion:

Author Jerry Bridges in his book, The Discipline of Grace, explains this concept: “To preach the gospel to yourself, then, means that you continually face up to your own sinfulness and then flee to Jesus through faith in His shed blood and righteous life.”

Bridges writes that the Gospel is something to be preached to Christians as well as unbelievers.

As for the benefit of doing so, Milton Vincent says it well:

“Over the course of time, preaching the gospel to myself every day has made
more of a difference in my life than any other discipline I have ever practiced.
I find myself sinning less, but just as importantly, I find myself recovering my
footing more quickly after sinning, due to the immediate comfort found in the
gospel. I have also found that when I am absorbed in the gospel, everything else
I am supposed to be toward God and others seems to flow out of me more naturally
and passionately. Doing right is not always easy, but it is never more easy than
when one is breathing deeply the atmosphere of the gospel.”

For the complete series from Girltalk, click here. (This is not just for girls, by the way.)

And if you are at all unsure what exactly the "Gospel" is, please click here, for a presentation of the most important message you will ever hear.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Birthday Party!

Calvin's Sunday school classmate, Caden, had his 3rd birthday party tonight at McDonald's playland. Teddy and Calvin were invited (along with over 20 other children). The kids had a ball!

Calvin hovered over the birthday boy, "helping" him open all his presents.

Teddy Dean got in on some of the action...

And showed off his social side, making friends with Carson.

Calvin was especially happy that his teacher, Miss Shari, was there. She even climbed to the top of the playland with the kids!

A Morning at the Zoo

I headed out the door this morning with the boys to do an errand. It was sunny and warm enough to be comfortable without jackets. I said to the boys, "How about we spend the morning at the zoo?"

We entered the zoo gates and Calvin said, "Where is everybody?" I don't think most people think of going to the zoo in February! We nearly had the place to ourselves, as you can see:

Something fun about the Louisville Zoo is how much there is to do. The animals are exciting, but there are other activities, too. Like the old typewriter. It's by the hippopotamus exhibit (the hippos were not out today--still too cold for them), and Calvin just loves it. While he types, he says, "click, clack, moo" (quoting from one of his favorite books).

And then there's always plenty of mulch to play with...

We did see some animals, too. The zebras, giraffes (pretty smelly today), rhinos, and elephants. Did you know that African elephants' ears are shaped like the continent of Africa?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Boys Learn New Skills

Calvin is a new student at Southern Seminary!

In the Rec Center Motorskills class, that is. He went yesterday for his first class session, where they did basic skills assessment. Ken and I sat on the bleachers and watched him. The gym was full of young children, but Calvin was always easy to spot...he was the one standing when everyone else was sitting, running when everyone was crawling, lying down while everyone else was jumping...

And right at the beginning of class, as soon as the children were told to come down off the bleachers and out onto the gym floor, Calvin ran right to a small foam ramp, ran up the ramp, and tumbled head first off the end of the ramp.

Oh dear...

But he seemed to have a great time. The class schedule says they will work on running, jumping, balancing, hopping, leaping, skipping, catching, throwing, and kicking. What fun!

Teddy is learning new skills as well. He loves to throw and catch. When asked, he will point to his eyes, nose, mouth, and belly button. He has two new words, "Ball" and "More." He is also signing some words now. He does the signs for milk, please, and bath. That just about covers all the words a 13-month-old boy needs, right?

These are precious days, watching them grow so fast.

Monday, February 4, 2008


Ever been to Aldi?

This is one of the great things about our recent move; we are now just two miles from Aldi. Aldi is a grocery store chain that started in Germany. In fact, we shopped at Aldi while in Germany a couple of years ago. But it is also very popular with my savvy shopping friends in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and St. Paul, Minnesota. Warning: This is not like going to Cub Foods or Kroger. For starters, you need to have a quarter handy to rent your shopping cart. Next, be sure to bring cash, because Aldi does not accept checks or credit cards (some local debit cards are accepted). Lastly, bring your own shopping bags, or else you will need to pay for bags at check-out.

What did you say? Sounds like a hassle? Here's why I like Aldi:

  • It's budget-friendly, as in, about 70% of the cost of supermarkets. (This percentage is from my own comparison shopping.)
  • It's small, so it takes me less time to do my shopping. Also, since Aldi only sells about 1300 of the fastest moving products, it cuts down on many in-store decisions. Also a time-saver.
  • It's never crowded!
  • I've only shopped this Aldi for a month, and today they called me a "regular." You know, sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name...

Try it. Tell me what you think.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


"Will you read me some more poems?"

Calvin has asked this frequently over the past week. We have been reading from, Where The Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein.

Poetry is new for Calvin, and we're glad he likes it.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Good Quote

"People are more important
than things,
but the order of things
affects people."
~Bonnie McCullough in Totally Organized