Friday, May 30, 2008

Responsibility Training

"For each one should carry his own load."
Galatians 6:5

I recently listened to a recorded seminar called, "Raising Large Families," from the 2008 Seminary Wives Institute Seminar Saturday. One main point of the speaker's message was "don't do anything that someone else in your household can do."

This got me thinking: am I doing things for my children that they really should be doing themselves? I realized I was tidying Calvin's room every day, sometimes more than once. If he makes the mess, can't he clean it up?

So I've added to Calvin's list of responsibilities, which I wrote about back in October. He now is responsible for tidying up his room every morning.

I've walked through this process daily with Calvin over the past few weeks:

  • Books don't belong on the floor. Put your books in your book box or on the shelf.
  • Neither do clothes belong on the floor. Are they clean or dirty?
  • Dirty clothes go in the laundry hamper.
  • Hang clean shirts in the closet.
  • Put clean pants, shorts, underwear, pajamas, and socks in the correct drawers.
  • Close the dresser drawers.
  • Close the closet door.
  • Put your pillow and blankets on your bed (he's not to the point of actually making the bed, but this is a good first step).
  • Look around. Did you do everything? Doesn't your room look good now?

I see some progress. Cleaning his room is now an expected part of our "morning jobs," and, for the most part, he has been doing it without grumbling.

Of course, I like his room to be clean. But I hope that I am instilling in him a sense of satisfaction from orderliness and a job well done.

I'm finding out that, yes, a three-year-old can clean his room, though teaching him how is tedious.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Girl Talk

Though this book may look like the chick-lit novels on the racks at Target, don't let the cover fool you.

Girl Talk: Mother-Daughter Conversations on Biblical Womanhood, by Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Mahaney Whitacre, is a significant book for women, specifically mothers and their pre-teen or teenage daughters.

It could be extremely helpful as well to youth workers, not only to pass on the content to teenage girls, but to gain a greater appreciation for the significant mother-daughter relationship and to encourage teenagers to "talk to Mom," as Mahaney and Whitacre like to say.

The book is divided into two parts. The first part is devoted to making the mother-daughter relationship strong. The second part is all about carrying out a purposeful relationship, one that passes on the character qualities of biblical womanhood from mother to daughter. In doing this, they write, the gospel will "sparkle" in our lives. Topics discussed include communication, conflict, salvation, roles of men and women, friendship, courtship, true beauty, modesty, homemaking, good works, and marriage.

With book lists for further study, discussion questions, and a list of memory-making activities, Girl Talk could be just a starting point for years of fruitful discussions, reading, and memories.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Boys Play Rough

Check out this rough-housing:

This is the type of play we have daily! Boys are fun!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cave Hill

I've been curious about Cave Hill Cemetery for months. I drive by it and around it often. It's hard to miss: 296 acres in the middle of Louisville.

Until today all I had ever seen were the miles of stone fence surrounding the cemetery along Grinstead Drive and Lexington Road.

But this morning, we took our family walk in the cemetery. Sounds strange, but it was fascinating and beautiful.

Walking through the cemetery was a history lesson, for sure. All the big names of Louisville history are buried at Cave Hill: Speed, Seelbach, Colonel Sanders, Gheens, Norton, Belknap, Boyce, Sampey, Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., and many more.

We passed by the graves of Breckinridge, Henry Watterson, Zorn, Grinstead, Baxter. It seems every street in Louisville is buried here :)

Cave Hill is known as a "Garden Cemetery," and is in fact an arboretum, the only one in the city. The foliage this season is full with roses, peonies, Iris, and Japanese Maple. Probably many more exotic things, too, but I'm still at a basic level of plant appreciation.

Part of the grounds were used as a Civil War burial site. One section for Union solders; one section for Confederate soldiers.

The elaborate monuments are quite a sight, all in memory of wealthy and influential Louisvillians. Fountains, statues, obelisks, mausoleums with stain glass windows, elaborate family plot gardens. One monument was a life-like statue of a magician, his hand outstretched in invitation to his audience. To his side was a trunk with a cape draped over top. Many amazing works of art, really.

We didn't intend for the morning to be any more than a walk through a sort of outdoor museum. It turned, however, into a spiritual lesson when Calvin asked, "Mommy and Daddy, why do people have to die?"

We discussed with him Hebrews 9:27, "Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment."

What a profound question he asked us, and what an unexpected opportunity to once again share the gospel with him.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ken's Summer Reading

Well, break is I must begin studying and reading for summer classes. I have ten books to read this summer. I will also need to keep up with my Greek because I have one more Greek class in the Fall that builds upon the Greek class I just finished. Here is the list of books I will be reading this summer:

Baptists and the Bible by Russ Bush & Tom Nettles
Uneasy in Babylon by Barry Hankins
A Hill on Which to Die by Paul Pressler
The Baptist Reformation by Jerry Sutton
Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel by Eugene Merrill (who is also teaching the class, he is a godly, pastoral scholar, I took an exegesis course on the books of Judges and Ruth from him last summer)
The Christian Ministry by Charles Bridges
An Earnest Ministry by John Angell James
The New Guidebook for Pastors by James Bryant & Mac Brunson
Preaching & Preachers by D. Martyn Lloyd Jones
It's Still Greek to Me by David Allan Black

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


At our home in Minnesota, I planted a Sarah Bernhardt peony in the front flower bed. I never saw it bloom. We were always in Louisville for summer term classes, ironically, while the peonies were in bloom. (I did see pictures, thanks to my neighbor Mary, and they were gorgeous)

God always gives the most thoughtful gifts. Look what is blooming in our side yard ~


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

Some highlights from this Mother's Day:
  • Ken and Calvin cleaned the van, inside and out. It looks like we just drove it off the lot! Ken even took out the car seats and vacuumed out the raisins, M&M's and sand.
  • I plan to ask for the same gift next year.
  • Calvin came down the stairs this morning with a card. He ran to me saying, "Happy Mother's Day, Mommy! I got some mail for you."
  • When I told Calvin, "I am so glad to be your mommy," he hugged me tightly and said, "I'm so glad, too."
  • Ken arranged for a baby-sitter last night and took me out to dinner.
  • I snuggled with Cal for a few minutes before he fell asleep. He wrapped his arms around my neck and then gently touched my face. So precious.
  • Both boys gave me no shortage of opportunity to put my mothering to good use today. Most notably when Calvin hosed down the bathroom floor with pee pee.
  • Teddy actually sat and read with me for about fifteen minutes. We read Touch and Feel Baby Animals at least a dozen times. (He's been far too busy for that lately, what with a fun big brother and quickly advancing gross motor skills.)

I love being Calvin and Teddy's Mommy!

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Bug Barn

Very popular at our home this spring, among both our boys and their friends, is Calvin's Bug Barn ~

It is currently housing three caterpillars.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Finished! (For a little while)

Hooray! Ken finished his spring term today!

I made my friend Kacie's "Best Brownies" to celebrate.

Ken is taking the weekend (he's really indulging himself here) as a break from studying and reading. Then he'll begin reading his books for his three summer classes.

We are seven months away from graduation!


It happened again last night.

We had a lovely dinner at the home of our friends, Matt and Ashley. As Ashley and I cleared the table, what do you think the men did? They mumbled something about books and then disappeared into the basement to inspect Matt's library.

I love books, too, but not nearly as much as Ken and his friends.

We have plenty of bookshelves in our home now, so Ken's obsession can be contained. I have one friend who kept finding theological books stuffed into various drawers throughout their home after her husband's library outgrew their bookshelves! So it could be worse...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Ph.D. Posse

Ken has a posse of sorts at seminary. It started with his friendship with Lee Tankersley, a Ph.D. student. Lee would often invite Ken up to the Ph.D. student lounge at the library. It was there that Ken got to know two other guys, Jeremy and John. (Ken enjoyed their company almost as much as he enjoyed the free coffee in the Ph.D. lounge.)

I hear stories every week about the four of them yabbering in the lounge. People think Ken is a doctoral student because he spends so much time with these guys.

Anyway, I got to see them all together tonight. We had the whole group and their families over for a cookout. The guys jib-jabbed around the grill about amillenialism.

Then the guys mumbled something about books and quickly disappeared into the basement to inspect Ken's library.

Ken is in his element with these guys! (I'm sure many of you can picture it.)

A Simple Surprise

Today Kimberly and I did something I never imagined we would do. We threw around the football in the park. She is a natural, she catches with her hands and not her body. Life is good.

On the school front, two classes complete, two more tests to go...

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Simple Pleasure

A random thing I love about our home in Louisville:

The vent for the clothes dryer is right below the kitchen window. When I open the window on laundry days, in wafts the smell of detergent, bleach, and dryer sheets. Good clean smells. Mmm.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Derby Day

Today is Derby Day, the biggest day of the year for the city of Louisville. And I did today what so many Louisvillians do: I stayed as far away from Churchill Downs as possible! I did spend the afternoon making Derby Pies, so I do feel like somewhat of a participant. And I caught a few minutes of the Derby on television, where I saw Joey Fatone. Whoo hoo.

I knew next to nothing a year ago about the Kentucky Derby. I knew it was in Kentucky, and I may have been able to tell you that it was a horse race, but only after a brief hesitation as I debated in my head between horses and cars.

I still don't know a ton, but here's a few tidbits (Louisville friends, correct me if I'm wrong):
  • Derby is always the first Saturday of May.
  • It is held at Churchill Downs, near downtown Louisville.
  • The day before Derby Day is called "Oaks." The fillies race on "Oaks" day, and the saying of the day is "Lilies for the fillies."
  • Oaks day is mostly attended by locals, and has more of a family atmosphere than Derby Day.
  • The flower of Derby Day is the red rose. I'm not sure on this one, but from the street boulevards to the cakes at the bakery, I've noticed that the whole city is decorated with horses and red flowers...
  • The two airports in town are as busy as can be with charter planes bringing in the rich and famous.
  • Several restaurants in town are rented out this evening by groups of celebrities.
  • Every hotel in town is completely booked.
  • The infield (outfield?) has a reputation for boozing and rowdiness. In short, stay away.
  • People bring elaborate picnic meals to Churchill Downs.
  • The hats are even more elaborate.
  • Traditional Derby foods include strawberries, Mint Juleps, and Derby Pie.
  • Summer in Louisville begins on Derby weekend, not Memorial weekend. Derby marks the beginning of summer clothes, white shoes and white purses.
  • It's called "the fastest two minutes in sports."
  • Derby is anticipated for two weeks prior with hot-air-balloon races, fireworks shows, festivals, and parades.
  • Before the big race, everyone sings, "My Old Kentucky Home."

And, by the way, Derby Pie is a chocolate chip pecan pie served warm with sweetened whipped cream. Is your mouth watering?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Things I do to escape my schoolwork...

I am convinced that I could study each and every minute that I do not spend in class or working. However, I am equally convinced that it would not be proper to do so. Thus, I have a couple of things I like to do instead of homework.

1. Play with Calvin and Teddy

2. Spend time with my beautiful wife

3. Read a theological book that is not related to any of my classes (right now I am reading two books for fun, the first is Understanding Dispensationalists by Vern Poythress and The Holy Trinity by Robert Letham)

4. Nap

5. Mow the lawn

6. Watch Lost, The Deadliest Catch, and Sportscenter

7. Read blogs