Thursday, March 19, 2009


Corrie's Sixth Birthday

I spent most of today at TJ's, but I did bring home a lovely Ice Cream Birthday Cake for a certain little girl today (by the way, the cake is quite a deal....7.99 for the cake-and that's not a sale price, but an everyday low price).

Steph and I have marveled at the time that has gone by and how much things have changed in 6 years. We are so proud of this little girl. She truly is a gift. We got a couple of of them is her cuddling her new baby doll...very sweet.

Halfway to goodness...

Monday, March 16, 2009


Corrie's Recital

If you are interested in seeing my ham of a daughter perform her violin, here is a link to my wife's blog...we would have had it up earlier, but the very same daughter decided to chew up our camera cord (we had assumed that it was Wes, but she 'fessed up).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Living in Ireland

As luck would have it, I have spent much of this month listening to the music of two Irish artists-U2 and Van Morrison.

I was drawn back to both of them this month due to late night television. Van Morrison was on the first episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. That same week, u2 closed the show for a full week on David Letterman.

I went through a Van Morrison phase back when I was engaged, but I still left some of his music undiscovered. U2 has always been a part of my musical consciousness, though they have come to the forefront of my mind yet again. When Morrison was on Fallon's show, he performed a song from his legendary album, Astral Weeks. I had always heard of the album but had never listened to. Fallon instructed me to listen to this music with the headphones and become lost in it. I obeyed him. I bought it on itunes, listened to it, and what a musical discovery I have made. This hybrid of melody, jazz and rock truly is hypnotic. I suppose I will never have enough time or energy to listen to anything other than popular music (by this, I mean known by many, not "Pop" music). My laziness keeps me from seeking out more independent artists (please though...I am always open to suggestions). However, if I am able to immerse myself in this level of sublime expression it needn't matter. The sixth track on the record, "Madame George", continues to play in my head. It is a masterpiece of climatic and stream of consciousness song writing. I have read a lot over the last few days concerning what it is about, but I don't suppose it matters. Sometimes an artist's tone is enough to convey volumes.

I bought u2's new album this week, and I like it fine. But the musical discovery I made this week was very true to form for me. By this, I mean I was late to the party. 4 years ago, U2 released How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. This week, I have listened several times to the final cut on the album, "Yahweh." Once again, Bono (with the Edge) has brought a sublime expression of faith to a song, and it took me 4 years to hear it. "Take this soul, stranded in some skin and bones...take this soul, and make it sing. Yahweh....Yahweh...always pain before a child is born. Yahweh...Yahweh...still I'm waiting for the dawn." The last line, a prayer to break the singers heart, reminds me of the rebuke of Israel by God in Joel 2:13 to "rend your heart and not your garments." The special nature of Yahweh, the covenant name, resonates for me, since Hebrew has taken over my mind so much in the last 6 years. The prayer of this song seems to be one for sanctification, not matter what discomfort it may bring.

It has been a good March, listening and discovering more of the music of Ireland.

Monday, March 09, 2009


Latest Photos

Here are recent photos of the three kiddos:

Spring is almost here again...

Monday, March 02, 2009


Mixed Bag

Well, the last three days have been a mixed bag. My wife has been in California visiting her family. Her brother and sister in law have just welcomed a new baby, and Steph was traveling out there to have some fun visiting them. I had looked forward to this weekend because it would afford me the rare opportunity to be alone with my kids and have some time to myself.

One of us got what we expected.

As it turns out, our niece has serious health problems. She was born with a hole in her heart, and has been treated for that (though open heart surgery is in her near future). But since the initial treatment, the little one (Katie) has not been able to breathe without the help of a ventilator. We are praying for her, and Steph has had opportunity to spend time with our nephew Dylan, since his parents have had to be at the hospital with Katie so much.

Back here in Minnesota, I have had a wonderful weekend. I have spent so much time with my kiddos. We have watched movies, had pizza, gone to the aquarium, played in the snow, and generally have had a wonderful weekend. I finished another book, watched a movie, and hosted my scotch club on Saturday night. All in all, a great weekend for me. How could I have such a time while my wife and her family's situation is the opposite?

Well, they are related. Obviously I have been very concerned with Katie's condition. I am glad my wife could be there to help. What has been shoved in my face this weekend is how special it indeed is to have a healthy child, let alone three. It seems that almost every couple that Stephanie and I know (beyond mere acquaintance) have had something go wrong-severe birth defects, miscarriages, still births and possibilities of genetic conditions. Add to that the danger of child birth itself (Stephanie would not have survived Corrie's birth without modern medicine), and the presence of Corrie, Jack and Wesley has been a continual reminder (this weekend especially) of the magnitude of the gift that God has given. Why God allows the bad is a mystery that I have to live with, but I do know He has made himself known in every healthy child that does grace the home of their parents.

So as I said, it has been a mixed bag this weekend. Though I must say, I may not be able to enjoy the belly laugh I am hearing from Wesley right now if I did not know that a healthy child is not a sure thing to be taken for granted.

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