Dec 29, 2007

Holiday posts coming soon

Lots of pics and commentary. I promise.

You pumpkin-pie haircutted freak

Ok, I know this is a rude title for a post about your darling daughter's first haircut... but tell the truth, doesn't she look just a little bit like Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber?

You be the judge!!!

No, she really looks darling. Here's how it went down.

We're not sure about this whole situation, but we'll be cool about it, for now.

Good call providing the lollipop, although things did get a little sticky.

It's difficult to get that look just right.

It's starting to look like a haircut!

Honey, I promise you'll like the free blowdry. Plus, it's always easier to have someone else style your hair for you.

Hanging in there.

The finished product! It's amazing how she's moving from toddler to little girl!
The first picture aside, her new haircut looks great.

Dec 21, 2007

I am woman, see me wire

Years ago, I worked for the Appalachia Service Project, doing home repair for low-income folks in the Appalachian Mountains. I learned quite a bit about construction, much of which I've forgotten, and my favorite was always wiring. It's interesting, and it has the best tools. But it's not the kind of construction skill that you find lots of opportunities to use.

So, we just switched our hot water heater from gas to electric. In an attempt to save some $$$, I said I'd wire it myself. The catch was that our electrical panel has plenty of power (200 amps) but a shortage of available spaces for new work. (We're also hoping to finish part of our basement this year, so we'll need to add more curcuits for that, too.) Our electrician came by and suggested we install a new sub-load panel, which creates new spaces for new work. He graciously gave me some pointers, I purchased the materials, and the result is below.

Here is where I attached the 10-3 wire to the water heater. It actually looks very tidy!

Here's our new water heater.

On the left is our existing breaker box, which has far too few spaces for its 200-amp capacity, and too few for a house this size. On the right is the new sub-load panel. I removed a circuit from our now-unused baseboard heater and installed a 60-amp breaker, which I then used as the main for the new panel. Note the large black wire connecting the two panels.

You can see the main wire at the top -- red, black, white, and bare copper. On the left is the 30-amp breaker for the water heater. To its right are 6 spaces just waiting for the new circuits in our basement remodel.

Here is the finished product. And 2 hours after we turned it on, we had hot water!!!

Dec 20, 2007

The Paradox of Motherhood

If you ever read the BabyCenter blog "Tending Violet", you might recognize the basic format of this post. But if you've ever read this blog, you know I am not averse to shamelessly stealing good ideas for posts (and giving credit where credit is due). And I remember, when I read this certain post on Tending Violet, how much it spoke to me as a mother. And for some reason, I thought about it today; I guess I was just having one of those days. So, thanks Joyce for first pointing out this paradox, and I hope you don't mind my borrowing it. Here goes...

Sometimes, I am so tired of being a mother. I'm tired of asking Miranda to keep her feet off the table/please don't play with your food/stop mashing the food/please don't spit the food back out, when it goes in your mouth it stays in your mouth... at least twenty times during each meal. I'm tired of so many meals being rushed and chaotic. I'm tired of constantly running out of diapers, wipes, and milk at inopportune times. I'm sick of chasing little socks around the house and losing them in the laundry. I'm sick of having one outfit after another stained and ruined (hers and mine). I'm getting depressed about having no time to shave my legs, put on makeup, exercise, actually have the time to do something nice with my hair. I know, I could get up earlier in the morning and get these things done, but I'm tired, damn it, and I don't feel like getting up. I'm sick of taking care of someone who demands and demands and demands. I'm tired of having to arrange each and every moment we have away from her. I'm tired of trying to balance motherhood and school, and feeling like I'm shortchanging both. I'm exhausted by the burden of always wondering if I'm parenting in the right way. I'm just tired.

But Miranda, baby, I'm not tired of you. I love hearing you squawk in the mornings, throwing out your pacis and chattering away. I love snuggling you as you drink your milk, wondering which book you'll want to read first. I love how excited you get when you see Daddy or me, running towards us and yellling, "Mommy! Daddy!" I love how, whenever Grover comes back from a new adventure on Sesame Street, you get out your World Map placemat so I can show you where he's been. I love being your companion on the journey of life, watching you explore the world and learn new things. I love your sweet feet, and the fact that you have my legs. I love playing hide and seek with you, and how you play in the basement when Daddy's working, and how you run to the garden to pick tomatoes in all stages of ripeness. I love how you love your friends. You are my precious, my sweet scrunchie, my big girl and my baby, and I'll never get tired of you.

Dec 19, 2007

"I Cook With Mommy"

Yes, I'm getting a PhD

My idea of fun: Read a funny post about grading practices. Compose and post a witty comment with several spelling and grammatical mistakes. Delete and recomment, adding an equally witty quip about spelling mistakes in posts about grading. Read your revised comment, now posted on the original blog, and see 2 spelling mistakes. Receive a D from the blog's author.

How to feel like a really, really, really, really, really, REALLY bad mom

While visiting the refugee family (newly-arrived from Burundi) that Communality has adopted for Christmas, have your daughter attempt to seize each of the (few) toys they have, saying "Mine! Mine!" over and over. Have the refugee boys (ages 4 and 6) look at her and each other like they're thinking, "She's a little crazy, this one -- better let her have the toy just in case."


Dec 18, 2007

A great opportunity this Christmas season (and beyond)

Here is a wonderful post from Billy about an exciting opportunity to support microlending across the world. It is sponsored by One Horizon in cooperation with Communality, and is largely Billy's brainchild. It's really cool. Please, please check it out and consider acting however you feel led.

Advent IV: Conceive

In this final week of Advent, almost upon the inbreaking of Christmas, we conceive of reality in which the Messiah is right here. Imagine the coming of Messiah. Break out of cynicism and pessimism. Challenge yourself and others with the presumption that God is acting and that creation is being drawn into redemption - conceive the re:creation that starts with Jesus and continues with us. Conceive of a love as genuine, as tangible, and as pervasive as the struggle which we more readily perceive. Let that conception be birthed in your actions.

This is the stuff of faith.... a substantial outworking of what we haven't fully seen yet; the kingdom of God, just within reach.

God calls us to the same radical re-visioning of life to which the people of God have been called throughout Scripture. We are called to "see" through the eyes of God's redemptive story. Mary is told that she will become an unwed mother, and she obediently rejoices. Zechariah hears that he will be a father, contrary to reason and biology, and loses his voice for his unbelief. Joseph moves his family to Egypt on the word of a dream and the trust of his faith. Magi journey to see in flesh the child whom they have glimpsed in the stars.

And the beauty of submitting to the dreams of God is that they become reality.

Some suggestions for action:
  • Give $10 when asked for a quarter by the guy on the street. Imagine that God can change a life with grace.
  • Take lunch with a coworker whom you've written off as "impossible". Imagine that you can appreciate them without antagonism.
  • Imagine an hour without cynicism, skepticism, fear, distrust, or something else that you struggle with.... and then meditate on your feelings within the context of the whole redemptive story of God, and the ultimate hope of new life.
  • Imagine your own action, and post a comment here.
  • Read these scriptures and let them shape your imagining: Isaiah 2:1-5, Isaiah 11:1-10, Isaiah 35:1-10.

Dec 15, 2007

Advent III: Be Patient

Wholeness, love, and joy come with the Advent of Messiah. We've been awakened to that. But we've also been awakened to the reality that our journey is potholed by brokenness, hate and discontent... and we're caught in the middle.

We welcome the coming. We are surprised and challenged by the glimpses of advent that God reveals to us, and we would welcome its full coming sooner. We expect it; we anticipate it; we long for it.

And we wait.

Wait for the coming of Messiah. Slow down and watch for it carefully. The faithful have been doing so since the story began. Abraham looked for the seed of blessing, and only caught a glimpse. David shepherded the people of Israel in seeking God's heart, and struggled through. Isaiah prophesied of the judgement and restoration of that inbreaking of Messiah, and himself waited for that culmination.

And so we wait as well... and active, hope-filled waiting leads us to faithfulness.... and calls us to patience.

Some suggestions for action:
  • Fast from convenience. Fast from the microwave or the car or perhaps fast food.
    Choose to wait in line. Take the "human" register at the supermarket and take the time to tell the cashier, "I appreciate you."
  • Think of a person or situation that has left you in a place of exasperation or wanting to give up, and pray for patience. Genuinely, expectantly... pray for patience.
  • Read Psalm 146, James 5:7-10, 2 Peter 3:13-15

Christmas List -- Yes, you too can play along!!

I found this on 32-Aker Woods, and shamelessly stole it.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Paper is my favorite, but I'm pretty picky about the color schemes (I tend towards paper-bag brown, with deep but soft greens and reds, with raffia ribbon), so I'll go with bags if I can't find any paper I like.

2. Real or artificial tree? I can't even type the words "artificial tree" without getting the heebie-jeebies.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the first weekend in December, or the weekend after Thanksgiving, whichever comes first.

4. When do you take the tree down? I hate to rush it; Epiphany seems like a good time, as we're trying to celebrate the Christmas season throughout its actual end, which is Epiphany.

5. Do you like Eggnog? Yes, the kind in the carton! Yum.

6. Favorite Gift you received as a child? My horse Pocus, absolutely.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? I have quite a few; I like to collect them from different places I've visited. Maybe I'll do a pictoral blog about them.

8. Hardest person to buy for? Ummm, they're all about the same.

9. Easiest person to buy for? Miranda, for now -- there are so many things she likes!

10. Worst Christmas gift ever received? The can of "potted meat product" I got at the Wesley Foundation staff gag gift swap.

11. Christmas Cards...Snail mail or E-mail? Snail mail, although it seems like a waste of time and money sometimes. But, in the end I love sending and receiving them. I guess it's part of the season to extend yourself in these kinds of ways.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Emmit Otter's Jug-Band Christmas. Everything else, as good as they are, are just distant contenders. And if you don't know this movie, go to Amazon and get it, right now.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I like to shop throughout the year, as I see things people might like. I also like to shop on my trips overseas, get something a little different.

14. Have you ever 'recycled' a Christmas present? Yes, lots, and let's leave it at that.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? My mom's dressing. And each and every bite of leftovers of EVERYTHING.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear, although Billy may lobby for colored next year. I love how clear lights look -- so clean and crisp.

17. Favorite Christmas Song? "Merry Christmas From The Family" by Robert Earl Keen. (Although there are a few selections from South Park that I'm rumored to enjoy...)

18. Travel at Christmas or Stay Home? Both. We like spending Christmas Day at home, then going to relatives on the 26th. The best of both worlds!

19. Can you name Santa's Reindeer? Only if I sing the song.

20. Do you have an Angel or a Star on top of your tree? A golden angel.

21. Open the Presents Christmas Eve or Morning? When I was growing up, we did presents on Christmas Eve, and Santa on the Morning. But I think we might change it a bit, open one the night before and the rest after Santa. I'd like to keep Christmas Eve as clear as possible for church and reflection.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Decorating and marketing for Christmas before Thanksgiving. And the terrible commercialization.

23. Shopping...Mall or on-line? A mix of both.

24. Do you decorate outside for Christmas or just inside (or at all?) Just inside for now, maybe we'll be more inspired next year.

25. Favorite Christmas cookie? My mom's mint meringues. Nothing better.

26. Do you own Christmasy clothing or jewelry? I used to, but not anymore. Miranda does have several cute holiday dresses.

27. Do you believe in Santa? Don't you???

Dec 14, 2007

Our little missional, feminist, classically trained, philosophically postmodern wunchie

As a 2 yr old, Miranda is presently doing all sorts of things she shouldn't do -- mashing her food, trying to flush things down the toilet, taking off her diaper and peeing in her crib, etc etc. However, one thing she doesn't usually do is mess with the many, many books that we have in the house. With the exception of the shelf that holds her books, she tends to leave the rest alone. So, I took notice yesterday morning when she began to remove books from "Mommy and Daddy's books". I was reluctant to stymie her interest in anything literary, so I just asked her to not rip the pages, and to stack them up for me when she was done. She happily complied, and everyone was happy.

After she moved on to another activity, I started to replace the books when, intrigued by the ones she had chosen, I lined them up on the shelf and took this picture:

Here are the titles she selected, not necessarily in order of importance:

Yes, we're expecting the call from Bryn Mawr any day now.

Most excellent Seinfeld quote

"Somewhere in this hospital, the anguished oink of the Pigman cries out for help." -- Cosmo Kramer

Dec 11, 2007

We heart Boogies Bees

For about a year, we have been going to this great singing group at a branch library here in Lexington. The Village Branch is located adjacent to a growing hispanic neighborhood, has a completely bilingual staff, and is a major source of bilingual reading and spoken materials for that community. They conduct English as a Second Language classes, homework assistance, computer tutorials, and other great stuff.

Their children's librarian, Amy (pictured below in the black) has conducted a singing group called Bilingual Boogie Bees. They dance and play instruments, and sing songs in both English and Spanish. Here's an article that the local public channel wrote on Boogie Bees.

It's really great. It meets in the evening, so there are lots of fathers and mom-dad sets. It's pretty diverse: there are many native Spanish speakers (from Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, and Cuba), an Indian family from London, and lots of age diversity. We can't make it every week, but we love it when we're there. Here are some pics from last week's class.

Singing "5 little monkeys" and using shakers while they jump around. Miranda is is the foreground in a brown shirt and pink pants.

playing clean-up after the fun

playing ring-around-the-rosy with pals Sarianna and Meena

We all fall down!!

These are the sugar skulls we made last month to commemorate Dia de los Muertos. It was a great time, and I'm looking forward to explaining it all in more detail as Miranda gets older.

Advent II: Welcome

Here's the meditation and scripture for the second week of Advent.


Welcoming the Advent means welcoming not only Messiah come to us, but also welcoming Messiah come through us. We welcome as God has welcomed.... graciously, eagerly, lavishly, expectantly. This week of Advent, open yourself up and invite the "other" in. You may find you are hosting Jesus; you may find that Jesus is hosting you.

This welcome surprises us. It comes in times and places that are unexpected, and draws us into journeys that are challenging. No less could be expected of the coming of Messiah.

The call of the first Advent was the call of love and was the call of transformation. Within the incarnation is found the welcoming of God on all that is human; it is a divine and intimate embrace of creation, if you will. Similarly then, in that same incarnation is found the exposure and rejection of all that is inhumane; and herein lies our responsibility to welcoming the new life to which God invites us.

We hope to go beyond remembering this Advent season. We want to do more than recall the events of 2000 years ago. We hope to learn what it means for us to be re-made and re-formed as if this incarnation was as close to you in time and space as the skin on your hands and the tears in your eyes. Our being welcomed by and welcoming Messiah should quicken us with the same present-tense energy as today’s headlines.

Some suggestions for action:

· Host a lavish dinner at your place and invite someone who would not be able to do the same for you.
· Spend time in prayer and meditation. Imagine that you have an evening get together with an old friend, and share that kind of time and space with God.
· Invite the change and transformation of repentance. Call on a friend with whom you can be vulnerable and open up your sins and struggles with him or her.
Read Romans 15:1-13..."welcome one another!"

Dec 10, 2007

Smash the Capitalist Tithe System!

We've always feared that Miranda would eventually be co-opted by the radical anarchists in our midst, like these hooligans. But who knew that her convictions would lead her to take such direct action? And at such a young age? Darin, did you take her aside during your visit and give her a tutorial?

Last night at the fellowship gathering, she decisively smashed the wooden box which has, faithfully and over many years, collected the modest but earnestly given tithes of our community. So... underestimate the power and ideals of the young at your peril. And keep all your breakables at a level that her ever-growing arms can't reach.

Dec 5, 2007

Non-tagged, shamelessly stolen, now it's your turn, interesting book list

I stole this from my friend Ty's blog. Call me crazy, but I like stuff like this. If you'd like to play along, leave me a comment when you've done your own list!

* 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, anywhere from 1-3 depending on how much you recommend them. (I put a ++ by those I started but didn't finish.)

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 Sorcerer's Stone (Rowling)*
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)*
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)*
16. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (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)
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 Burnett)**
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)**
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Advent I -- Awake!

Growing up, I attended the Episcopalian Church with my family. Although not quite as liturgical as the Catholic Church, it nonetheless faithfully followed the church calender throughout the year. Surprisingly, the church year begins again -- not after Easter, which always seemd to make sense to me -- but during Advent, that season during which we await the arrival of Christ in the infant Jesus.

As a child, the meaning of Advent was largely restricted to the opening of an Advent calender each day, and counting down the days until Christmas. But in reality, Advent is a time not just of joyful anticipation, but of somber anticipation as well. It's similar to Lent in that it's a season of examination, of preparation for a special event the meaning of which we may not truly understand. It's true, we are awaiting the arrival of Christ, and that's exciting. But it's also extremely serious in a way that is somewhat lessened by the festive nature of the season in our culture. Don't get me wrong -- I love the excitement of the season. But it's only been recently that I've genuinely understood the true meaning of Advent, and been able to participate in its richness, in both the solemnity and the joy.

The theme for the first week of Advent was Awake! Below is the community's reading for the week. Since Advent actually began on December 2nd, this reading is a week behind. Hopefully you can jump in now, if you like, and savor the anticipation that the season beings.

Advent I: Awake

Wake up! Rub away the comfort of drowsy eyes and take a look around. We live in a world of injustice and pain... Can you see it? Can you hear it? It echos from the groaning of the earth consumed by greed, to the cry of the refugee torn from her country, to the silence of the man sitting cold and alone on the park bench downtown.

Advent calls us to become aware of the need for healing, for hope, and for help. Advent calls us to be awakened to the need for Messiah.

As the faithful waited for the advent of the Messiah many years ago, their longing was filled with the desperation of those on the margins. During this Advent, let's participate in that desperate expectancy by remembering and confronting the brokenness and struggle around and within us.... so awaking ourselves both to the need for and hope of God's life-renewal.

Some suggestions for action:

· Fast this week... skip lunch, or simply eat rice and beans for supper. Remember those for whom choosing what or whether to eat is not an option.
· Donate time and money saved by fasting to the Catholic Action Center or Lexington Rescue Mission
· Sit outside for an hour... on your porch, in the park, where ever. Experience the cold and remember those with whom you share this hour.
· Donate a pair of gloves and a winter hat to Kentucky Refugee Ministries as they welcome folks relocating to Lexington who are not used to the cold of winter.

Read Scripture:

1. Mark 14: 32-42 - your eyes are very heavy…keep awake!
2. Matthew 24:37-44 - be awake and ready
3. Romans 13:8-14 – now is the moment for you to wake from sleep.

Dec 2, 2007

The New Movie Revue

I'd like to start a new series of posts, to hear what y'all think about movies I'm watching these days. These will be the kind of posts where your comments are appreciated, even essential to the purpose, so please play along!

Tonight, Billy and I saw No Country For Old Men. It was incredibly intense, and I was exhausted by the film's end. I'll add more tomorrow, but for now -- has anyone else seen it? What did you think?

Dec 1, 2007

semi-meaningless post concerning high school and the present

I saw this on a friend's blog, and thought it was interesting (in one of those meaningless ways). If you want, add yours in the comments section. I want to know more about you!

5 things I liked in high school that I don't like now:
  1. purple eye shadow (why didn't anyone tell me how I really looked with that stuff on?)
  2. Wham, Culture Club, and Reba McEntire
  3. Big hair, Texas-style (that is, really big hair, especially the bangs)
  4. Ronald Reagan
  5. white wicker furniture

5 things I didn't like in high school that I still don't like

  1. getting up before 8am
  2. writing papers for school
  3. pretensious or snobby people (probably because I was something of a nerd, and still am)
  4. The Canterbury Tales (I'll keep trying, though)
  5. very tailored clothing

5 things I liked in high school that I still like now

  1. Prince, Violent Femmes, and George Strait
  2. denim miniskirts (still one of my favorite items of clothing)
  3. long hair (as long as it's not too big)
  4. dressing up for special occasions, and staying up late with good friends
  5. Rocky Horror Picture Show and Monty Python's Holy Grail

5 things I didn't like in high school that I do like now

  1. commemorating special occasions, such as graduations (for some reason, I was more averse to this back then, much to my parents' rightful disappointment)
  2. spending time with my sister (Ok, that sounds harsh, but you know how sisters can be in high school -- it's ruthless! And now she's truly a best friend.)
  3. drinking beer (really, I hated it in high school, it was wine coolers back then)
  4. learning languages (I hated studying French at Lubbock High, but now I'd enjoy it)
  5. The thought of being in my 30's -- sounded dreadful, but it's great

Nov 28, 2007

Absolutely freakin' adorable

Here's Miranda dancing with Mary Margaret, the daughter of some dear friends of ours from the ASP community. This was taken at the commitment celebration of two other ASP friends, Jeff and Ashley. It was a lovely and moving time spent celebrating the love and journey of two people. Plus the hot cider and pumpkin cookies were excellent. And the music was awesome, as clearly shown!

Nov 27, 2007

Catchin' Up -- Communality retreat

When you get as far behind on your blog as I did between May and November, just getting started again can feel overwhelming. Do you jump in wherever you are, or do you attempt to backtrack and cover some of the things which went unchronicled? Well, I did the former, and now I'll attempt the latter. They probably won't be in any particular order, just as I find pictures or remember stories which are blogworthy.

So, here's the first. I found the most precious picture of Miranda on Billy's desk today (see above). It's of Miranda holding a hammer (I call it "Still Life with Hammer") during the annual Communality retreat this September. We drove east to beautiful Letcher County, where we spent the weekend working with ECCO, Eolia Christian Community Outreach. We extended a porch and added some steps to the community center, sorted clothes for a community yard sale, and generally enjoyed the fall weekend in gorgeous Appalachia. Here's a quick pictoral journey through the weekend. Photos and some captions are courtesy of Geoff Maddock, who takes great pictures.