Tuesday, October 31, 2006


So I wanted to surprise the kids today and do something halloweeny since I never do. They were rather amused when they came home from school...

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At night, Bridget went trick or treating around the neighborhood with a friend. Maria left to be a pirate with her artsy friends.


Edward stayed home and showed me his ghost trick.


Monday, October 30, 2006

The Clawless Wonder

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Leonardo Fibonacci, a.k.a. Leo

Our cat, Leo, was named after the greatest Italian mathematician of the 1100's.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Finish Line

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This morning, John ran in the Grand Rapids marathon with 1700 other runners. We saw him at the start, the 11.5 mi, the 14.5 mi. and the finish, 26.2 miles. We also went to church in there for awhile while he was running. He finished in 3:44 which is 3 minutes better than last year in Columbus. It is a beautiful, cool sunny day here in GR, but a bit windy.

This afternoon found us in a somewhat brainless stupor. John was recovering from 26.2 miles with bloody toes, and I was recovering from waking up early and driving to and fro chasing him about the marathon with 3 kids in tow. But as John & I were sitting here in a daze, our TV started displaying this unbelievable hot dog eating contest on ESPN which took place on July 4 in Coney Island, NY. The winner ate 54 hot dogs in 12 minutes for the new world record. The announcers spoke of his athletic ability. After coming to our senses, we listened to our pastor's morning sermon on the web. That was way better.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Still Running

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Yesterday afternoon, John & I took a drive to the Regional JV Cross Country meet, our last one for the year. The course was rather muddy, but Edward ran it in 19 minutes and came in about 17th place. I was just happy to get the pictures above and below. Now that CC is over, Ed will probably take a couple of weeks off before he begins his winter training. Go Sailors!

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

More About Leaves Than You Really Want to Hear

Bridget asked me when I am going to stop blogging about leaves. So I thought, yes, I have been a wee bit obsessed by the leaves and their changing color. But then I saw these and I just had to share them with you:

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But I suppose there is a lot more involved to falling leaves than their beauty. As the saying goes, "All that glitters ..."

Like when there is a big bee hive hiding in the leaves:
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Then, there's the raking...
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Actually Bridget, when we have to start raking, then maybe I'll stop blogging about leaves. Until then, I have to keep looking for awesome things to take pictures of with my new camera.

One Thing I Saw On My Walk Today

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Zealous Cat

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Someday, if I'm looking for something fun to do, I might take the cover off the fish tank to see what Leo does. He's kind of a chicken, but I will say I have never seen a live mouse around our house. Or baby bunny or baby bird, for that matter.
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He likes to read.

Monday, October 23, 2006


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His bright glory fills the whole earth. Isaiah 6:3

We haven't seen much of the sun for the past week, but the leaves are making up for it. It is dropping down to the 40's this week and though my bones sometimes ache from the cold, it is worth it to live in the north this time of year. Oh, the exciting color!!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Fleeting Moments

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Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
-Robert Frost

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I'm thinking this is the autumn of their childhood.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Canon in D

My Uncle Alan in New Hampshire sent me this picture of their beautiful New England fall. This is French King Bridge in Gill, Mass:

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Enjoy the colours as you listen to my new favorite heavy metal song. It's quite amazing.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Ever-Bloggable Bridget

Bridget didn't have school today, so I told her if she cleaned her room we would be able to go shopping. Much to my complete surprise, her room was neat as a pin when I came home which illustrates how much she loves to go shopping. I told her on our way to the mall that my 1 gigabyte memory card should be coming FedEx today! I don't remember what exactly she said back to me, I only remember the tone did not relay the same excitement as I had for the memory card. It was more like she was thinking, now why did I take the geek-mom shopping when she doesn't appreciate truly cool clothes?

The good news is this - the hooded brown waffle weave shirt she has been wanting was on sale at Old Navy, and she is wearing it in the picture below in her sparkling clean room.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

All Dried Up Today

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“'Tis the last rose of summer Left blooming alone; All her lovely companions Are faded and gone” Thomas More

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Ultimate Coffee Cup

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I overslept this morning. When John, the fully-clothed early bird, stopped back in the bedroom to wake me up, I asked him what day it was. I couldn't believe it wasn't Saturday. I fast-forwarded through the morning routine and drove Bridget all of 50 feet to the bus stop because it was raining. We waited for the bus as we tried to get stupid songs stuck in each other's head for the day. The mug pictured above has been with me since college, and it was with me through this morning's conundrum. I don't know why coffee tastes the best in it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Ultimate Container

When we were at the Outer Banks last summer, my sister Marianna from the land of the Good Stuff had a little clear plastic bag which was the exact right size for all of her sun tan lotions. It was a relic from the turn of the century as it had 2000 emblazoned on the side, and it truly looked like it was made to contain these bottles of lotion. She recounted the origin of the bag and the feeling she had when she realized it was exactly the right size for her lotions. Furthermore, it was waterproof which goes along well with the beach. When you match up a container with such exact dimensions as you need and a profound purpose like this, it is henceforward known as the "Ultimate Container." It feels so good when you actually find an ultimate container that you had better hope there is somebody around to "high 5" when this happens to you.

It usually happens with leftovers. One time, I tried to apply the term to a new pair of pants, but Mar said "No." She made me promise to blog about it someday when it happens, and no one in our office really does high 5's anyway, so here it goes. I wanted to mail 5 books to Pella, and I found the perfect, right-sized box for them:

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High Five!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Walking by Faith

I wrote about today's message in church on our Living the Message blog. After church, we had a taco bar in celebration of all Pastor Henry & Amy do. It was fun and John was in his Mexican food heaven, ie. he loves it.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Speedy Sailors

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They're off!

The South Christian Sailors ran today over at Calvin College at the Christian School Invitational where about 7 Christian high schools from Michigan competed. This was our last Saturday Invitational so hang in there. Today, we were privileged to have Aunt Susan & Uncle Paul, Grandma & Grandpa G. come to watch also. It's always good to have "Auntie Susan" come because she points out fun things like how "cute" Edward looks.

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Edward using his all to cross the finish line.

It was such a fine Saturday afternoon with the beautiful puffy kind of clouds on top of the blue sky that make you happy; and with the leaves changing in their bright fall colours, I was about ready to bust open. Thus, we also went to our nephew Stephen's soccer game; he plays for Calvin College. We sat in the stands with Grandma & Grandpa G. and Uncle Paul & Auntie Susan, drank coffee, and clapped. I overheard a lady in front of me talking and using deductive reasoning, I realized it was a blogger I've read. I did not want to cause a nerd scene with the relatives in earshot, so I kept quiet. Oh well.

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Nephew Stephen

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I Am Turning in to My Mother

This scene moved me to poetry:

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I looked out the window, and what did I see?
Three different seasons, staring at me.
Fall gold and summer green leaves on the tree,
And snow on the bushes, incidentally.

Okay, I didn't try very hard that time, but I needed to say something about the snow on October 12 and this is what I came up with? This is better:

"Blessed always his blazing glory! All earth brims with his glory." Psalm 72:19

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Rain (Un) Bow

This post is a bit of a stretch, not quite a dud.
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It takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow.

Here is the thing about Michigan - you can be sweating in the heat and sunshine, and the very next day, shivering in the snow. This past weekend, it was very warm, almost 80, and this afternoon, we went to a Cross Country meet where it was pouring rain and 45 degrees.

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John ran over to the 1 mile mark and saw Edward run by with his shoes untied, hence the rain-un-bow. Bummer. He managed to get a picture with his head on it though. I was under a pavillion at the time, but then I decided to be a sport and I went out in the pouring rain to add my cheering noises to the crowd. Edward finished the race in good time!

When I was walking around sweating last Saturday at the race, someone told me it was supposed to snow later in the week and I said "No way, not when I'm this hot today." But this is Michigan, and it's getting cold, and we just might see that first snow flake on October 12...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Living the Message

Our church is starting a blog this week where we talk about Sunday's message. I did the first post Sunday afternoon, but only a couple of people know about it so far. It's called Living the Message. I hope it is a good thing. Feel free to visit and drop a comment!

Sunday, October 08, 2006


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I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free. Psalm 119:32

Yesterday, we went to the Portage Cross Country Invitational where South Christian competed. I think it's the biggest one in the state with over 170 schools and over 5000 runners. The sun was bright in the cloudless sky and temperatures were in the upper 60's. Edward's Boys'reserve race had 368 runners and he managed to come out of it with a new season PR of 18:28 and a medal for 25th place. The picture above captures a piece of the excitement of the crowded race. John took this picture as Edward ran by and realized the conundrum you find yourself in when you want to get a picture of him with a head on it while cheering him on, all in that one split second he runs by. I still love this picture.

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Getting ready by the team tent

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Pre-race huddle

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368 runners are off!

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Running by

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Girls running up the steepest hill

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Glad it's over for now

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Never stop

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Family First

Yesterday was a big day at the Family Institute where I work because we were hosting Dr. Bill Doherty at several speaking engagements. This is probably why I wasn't blogging. He's the author of these books:

· Putting Family First: Successful Strategies for Reclaiming Family Life in a Hurry-Up World
· Take Back Your Marriage: Sticking Together in a World That Pulls Us Apart
· The Intentional Family: Simple Rituals to Strengthen Family Ties
· Take Back Your Kids: Confident Parenting in Turbulent Times

In the morning, he spoke at the Prince Conference Center at Calvin College to therapists about marriage friendly therapy. At lunch, he spoke to pastors about referrals, and in the evening, he did a session at a church called "The Over-Scheduled Family." His message is so good and so true. I drove about 70 miles going to these events to help out with filming, taking registrations, selling books, & other details. I managed to squeeze in a side trip to Edward's X-country meet though which was in the opposite direction in the boonies - he PR'd at 18:38! Maybe it helped seeing his mother there all dressed up. :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

All the Same

I love this video! If you have 3 minutes, you should watch it.

Free Hugs

Monday, October 02, 2006

God is Good

"When things are going bad, that does not mean that God has stopped doing good. It means He is shifting things around for more good... He works all things together for good for those who love Him."

-John Piper & Romans 8:28

Today, we had some fantastic thunder showers - the kind that make you feel cozy even in your office at work. It was so dark and grey out, and Sharon told me her son over in Milwaukee had clear blue skies. They get our weather about 3 hours ahead of us, so we knew this is what was coming, and sure enough, by afternoon, it was sunny.

Maria told me that in high school today, the electricity went out and the kids all broke out in great cheers. Then, one second later, it went back on which caused them all to groan. Really, shouldn't that be the other way around?

I'm getting so old.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Drinking Snow

This morning, Pastor Amy talked about Amos 8:11 of the famine God was sending through the land of Israel - not of food or water, but a famine of hearing the words of God.

Today, we are so surrounded by words - we have to make an effort to listen to God's words, the ones that don't make us hungry or thirsty. This is what Amy said this morning that illustrated this point almost perfectly: If you are stuck out in the snow somewhere with no water which you need to survive, the snow won't help because you need more energy to turn the snow into water than the energy that water would give you. Think about it. Some words may make us feel better for awhile, but in the long run they'll do more damage, especially to who we think we are in relation to God.

She also told us about a professor of hers who plugged up the outlet by the TV with an outlet cover so that if he wanted to watch TV, he would have to go through the hassle of taking out the cover and plugging in the TV. This would make him at least stop and think, do I really want to watch TV or is there something else I should be doing? Whatever we need to bring on the silence & listen is good, right? Shalom, dear readers!

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105