Thursday, November 25, 2010

happy thanksgiving

My favorite holiday. A day to celebrate resilience and gratitude.

You can't see baby Faye, she's in her car seat sleeping.

Maddie. Our darling turkey princess.

A paper bag turkey conceals a bag of cheddar popcorn. For the kiddies. It looked kind of cute when the glue finally dried.

Cate helped me make these corn on the cob favors. We stuffed them with bags of peanuts and tootsie rolls.

We spent the rest of the day rehearsing the tubes and moving furniture out to make way for new. Oh, and eating. We did a lot of that. Love my fam. Love Thanksgiving.

cardboard band

We're in rehearsals for our upcoming holiday tour, but here's a sneak peek. Yeah, we need to work on our rhythm a bit. What? You want to do this too? Well, okay.

Jingle Bells
(with cardboard tubes)

3 3 3 – 3 3 3 – 3 5 1 2 3

4 4 4 – 4 4 3 3 – 3 3 3 2 2 3 2 – 5

3 3 3 –3 3 3 – 3 5 1 2 3

4 4 4 – 4 4 3 3 3 3 – 5 5 4 2 1

Cut cardboard tubes to these lengths:

Tube #1 – 15 inches
Tube #2 – 14 inches
Tube #3 – 13 inches
Tube #4 – 12 inches
Tube #5 – 11 inches

Gather up cardboard tubes left over from wrapping paper or empty paper towel tubes. You'll need enough for five tubes. Doesn’t matter diameter of the tube, it’s the length that counts.

Cut tube number one 15 inches long. Write the number one on the tube with a marking pen. Cut tube number two 14 inches long and write the number two on it. Cut tube 3 13 inches long and write number three on, etc.

The directions have the number of the tube that is to be played and when it is to be played. For example, when there is a number three, the person holding number three tube hits her head. Since everybody knows the tune it isn’t hard to learn to play the tubes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

31 years

Yup. Getting older. Getting rounder. But! Getting better at life and this whole marriage thing.

Grow old along with me!

The best is yet to be,

The last of life, for which the first was made...

Robert Browning

For you then, ld. What else but a Beatles song? he he he
Love you forever. Mean it.

youtube wouldn't let me embed this version like I wanted. Just go to it and have a listen:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

she's here

Meghan is amazing. Kody is amazing. This baby is amazing.

God is amazing.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

mercy in the loving, then. some grace, too.

From The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

‘The great thing is to have lots of love about. I don’t see,’ she went on, ‘at least I don’t see here, though I did at home, that it matters who loves as long as somebody does. I was a stingy beast at home, and used to measure and count. I had a queer obsession about justice. As though justice mattered. As though justice can really be distinguished from vengeance. It’s only love that’s any good. At home I wouldn’t love Mellersh unless he loved me back, exactly as much, absolute fairness. Did you ever. And as he didn’t, neither did I, and the aridity of that house! The aridity*…

*only in the movie Enchanted April Lottie, instead of aridity, says oh the emptiness of it all!

What is loving if it's not caring? And what is caring if it doesn't include sharing?
And tit for tat trading isn't love, either. It's trade. Loving is never more real and true then when not exactly deserved.

online until dec 7, so hurry

Watched the last of PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery excellent modern day Sherlock. The first and third episodes were wonderful, the second, not so much.
You saw them too, yes? If not, then remedy it by going over to:
and watching:
A Study in Pink
The Blind Banker
The Great Game
(this one is brilliant, but you should watch all three to really get the third)

I loved it. The developing Sherlock/Watson dynamic and the show’s intelligent, ever-present humor, it’s terrific. From what I understand series II will not be out until next year. Can’t wait.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

the sin no one talks about

No one really admits to struggling with this, do they? Well, line up behind me, folks. It’s such a low class sin to confess to. I'll joke about my gluttony, admit to my slothfulness, and boldly proclaim myself as a serial procrastinator but admitting to the sin of envy, it's just so, well, seedy.

But, seedy or not, it's also just so deadly, and maybe the worst of all the Seven deadly sins* spoken of, not just because it’s so destructive, but because it will not let you and I live productively. It doesn’t let us be satisfied with what we have or be grateful for our own talents and personality. It hinders us from finding meaning in our life because we think the meaning must be someplace else.

Liking this a lot. From Envy (Joseph Epstein):

Whatever else it is, envy is above all a great waste of mental energy. While it cannot be proved whether or not envy is part of human nature, what can be proven, I believe, is that, unleashed, envy tends to diminish all in whom it takes possession. Wherever envy comes into play, judgment is coarsened and cheapened. However the mind works, envy, we know, is one of its excesses, and as such it must be identified and fought against by the only means at our disposal: self-honesty, self-analysis, and balanced judgment.

If theological thinking is unavailable to you, if the very notion of "sin," original or unoriginal, as damning simply makes no sense to you, I would invite you instead to consider envy less as sin than as poor mental hygiene. It blocks out clarity, both about oneself and the people one envies, and it ends by giving one a poor opinion of oneself. No one can see clearly anything he or she envies. Envy clouds though, clobbers generosity, precludes any hope of sincerity, and ends in shriveling the heart -- reasons enough to fight free of it with all one's mental strength.

Envy (by Joseph Epstein) is the first in the Oxford University Press/New York Public Library Seven Deadly Sins series.

While I do think and believe envy a sin (the scriptures are full of examples and so direct that we begin to see our own struggle with it, eh?), I like how Epstein describes it as poor mental hygiene. A kind of mental illness and when we look at what it destroys, a kind of spiritual illness, too.

Envy, for me, is usually dejected. Envy becomes sad or depressed over my own lack of achievements or position or looks or…whatever. You fill in the blank. When someone else succeeds sometimes I don’t rejoice but rather think I’ve never been blessed, my life is a failure. Such thinking, it’s crap, I tell you. Crap as in distorted thinking to the max.

When I’m constantly depressed and distressed about my circumstances (someone else has a new China cabinet, someone else raised a problem free child! someone else can still wear a size 8, someone else has the energy and skills to paint murals on their walls) I am envious rather than grateful. And this folks is the root of the problem here for me.

Oh, November, blessed month of celebrating gratitude, you couldn’t have come at a better time. The antidote for all this envy and comparison making, it’s all helped along by feeling gratitude. Duh.

My problem with envy is maybe I don’t really get or understand gratitude. Care to guess the bent my blog sermons will take this month?

Some more thoughts on the green eyed thing:

*Traditionally known as: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony.

Friday, November 5, 2010

i'm a fan

There's not supposed to be any video recording, photography, and other rude mannered behavior during a concert. Whoever filmed this (not me, folks) didn't get the memo. Still, I'm kinda glad they did as I was there at this actual performance.

And this. Not of that evening's actual performance obviously but a recording of one of his standard encores. The Swan. Sorry about the kitschy pics, it's the cleanest recording I could find on youtube.