Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Notice the new page.

Do you see the new page I posted?  Just wanted to draw your attention to it.  And as a tribute to Alex's 4 years of being a priest/minister/pastor/reverend, whichever title you choose, I thought I'd post these.

Alex's seminary class.  All really cool people.  (Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge Pennsylvania, 2006)

Alex being ordained in Denver, Colorado.  I'm putting the stole on him (while simultaneously carrying Eloise in my belly because I'm coordinated like that).

And all the awesome family and friends from our Vail, CO church.  So many made the trip from Vail (and Florida, California, Georgia, and Texas) to Denver that cold day.  They are hands down the most supportive group of people you'll ever meet.

Did you know, from start to finish, Alex's ordination process took 6 years.  Wow!

My Parents

Grandchildren #1, #2, #3,

# 4,

#5, and #6.

And 1 silly or annoyed or tired or how do you say . . . 1 son-in-law.

Aren't my parents lucky?

Monday, June 28, 2010

I Heart Faces

I heart elk faces this week!

It's animal week at I Heart Faces, and since I sadly have no pets at home, this dame from the Rocky Mountains will make a great stand-in.  We turned a corner on an early morning hike and bam! there she was.  I snapped a couple of shots very quickly and we tip-toed by her so not to disturb.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Self Timed Portraits

Today I decided to take a family photo using the self timer.  I thought I knew how to do it.

But I didn't and accidentally snapped this shot.

I dismissed my subjects while I found my manual and read up on how to really take a self timed photo.

I reassembled the team and shot this.

Yikes!  Hello, poor proportions!  I'm huge.  Cordelia is crying and Eloise looks weird. Hmm...have to rethink our posing.

Take 3, awful idea.  Alex's knees are getting way too much camera time is as is my profile.  Cordelia is pulling my hair, and Eloise is chasing a bug.  New pose needed.

Getting closer.  Looking better except for the fact that I'm tackling Eloise.  And let's lose that pacifier, what do you say?

Ahh, much better.  I'll take it, except I won't take that 3rd baby in the picture.  She's not mine.  Two is good for now!

Eloise Yesterday

Friday, June 25, 2010

VBS update

We did it!

No major injuries, allergic attacks, melt downs, lost children, disasters.  All those major things we prepared for and prayed about.  Not one happened!  Praise the Good Lord!

And on top of that, it was a FANTASTIC week.  Vacation Bible School is always great for the kiddos.  I never worry that they won't have fun or be blessed by the experience.  That part is easy.

The hard part for me is working with the volunteers.  Our VBS is a "co-op."  Meaning it is dirt cheap AND all the labor is volunteer.  That means leaders, moms, dads, nannies, teenagers, and pre-teens.  We all work together for the little ones.  And this enormous group of volunteers can be very difficult to manage.

Not all volunteers are created equally.  Most are fantastic, eager, and ready.  Others are working from their phones or socializing or just leave.  The trick for me is not to get annoyed by the volunteers but to get to know them and enjoy them as people.  And the blessing for me this week is -- that happened!  I met some new moms who were lovely!

One mom in particular was quite nice and we talked everyday.  She explained to me that she was Catholic and her husband Episcopalian.  (Being a pastor's wife, I get all kinds of confessions about church attendance, explanations of church background, etc . . . and I don't really care about them except for when they are good stories. . . .)

So this really nice woman tells me about the church she is currently attending.  I'm actively listening to her.  She says,

"I took my 3 girls to church by myself, which is really tough."

"I know.  It's so hard to get out that door in the morning."

"Yeah, and we made it through the whole service and as we were leaving, shaking the priest's hand, my daughter asks if we could go to Starbucks.  I said yes."

"Mmm yummy....."

"And the priest says, 'That's a really bad habit to form in these children.'  And geez!  At least I was at church."  Sigh.

"Oh my.  How awful!  The priest should have said jokingly, 'Bring me one too!'"

People.  If you go to a church where the minister makes you feel tiny.  Run the other way.  That is not what church and God are all about.

In conclusion, I met that fun lady and many others.  It was a fantastic week and am already thinking about next year.  Note #1: Sign up more volunteers for clean up!

Happy Friday Night!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Time for Work, Part 2

All this work is making me tired.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Time For Work

This is how preschoolers work.  They play, and their play is hard work.  Learning, exploring, practicing, creating, producing, exercising.

Job well done, girls.  Keep up the good work!


What are you eating?

You two look guilty.

Caught red handed, enjoying a bowl of cherries!  

Going home, even for a quick and full 48 hours, was wonderful.  It's always nice to be altogether and enjoy laughs and talk over some great food.  And P.S., cherries make a wonderful Father's Day gift.  Yum!

Monday, June 21, 2010


We are back in full swing now.  Just home from our first day at VBS and I think we did it.  I as joking with some moms this morning, if you don't have a prayer life, just volunteer to coordinate VBS, and you'll get one real fast.

In fact, last night in bed I said, "Alex, we need to pray.  We need to pray for VBS.  Dear God, please keep us safe.  Amen."

Nothing like 50 preschoolers, 100 elementary, and tons of teenagers to manage to get you on your knees at night.

There were some scary times.  Like when 2 preschoolers just walked out of the playground.  Or, when a mom tells me her son is allergic to stuff and had not given us a heads up before today.  Or, when kids just left their groups to join another one and you can't find them.  A few scary things.  But God had that covered.  PTL.

It's all worth it though.  It's worth the headache (and belly ache and foot ache) when you're driving home and your daughter (who cried 2/3 of the time and wouldn't leave my leg) starts singing the songs.

Thank you God for answering my prayers and more.  I know it's going to be a great week!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


We are back after a full and meaningful trip for Granny's funeral.  It was full of love.

I was especially struck by the role of the pall bearer in the funeral service.  Pall bearers carry the burden of death on their shoulders.  The dead weighs heavy on them as they struggle to walk together, carrying the heavy casket, and maintain composure.  It is the most literal and oddly beautiful image of carrying someone's burden, carrying their loved one to the grave.  A final act of our love for that person.

Granny carried many burdens in her life.  She was a young widow raising 2 daughters.  She sacrificed much to give them the best she could.  As a grandmother, she moved to Dallas to be close to us.  I have many fond memories of her helping with us when we were young.  She knew the meaning of sacrificial love.

And she carries that burden no more.  She's at rest with our Lord now.  But we're here still carrying our burdens and carrying the burdens of others in this often difficult life.

And that's love, carrying the burdens of others.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Couple of Beauties

Beauty #1: Cordelia

Beauty #2: Our Neighbor

After dinner we like to head back outside to get all our energy out.  We either walk around the block, blow bubbles, drive our motorcycles, but in the end, we ALWAYS end up just talking with our neighbors.  Because we are all always here :-) and we are a real community.  (If you've read this blog before, you know none of us work around these parts :-)  We know each other well.  In fact, we know our neighbors better than some of our friends. 

I guess they really are our friends.

And this beauty is one of our very best friends.  Here, he is perched across the street from our yard watching us play with our new rocket.  He is always there, always happy and loving.

It reminds me of my Granny's old cat, Callie, a beautiful calico.  Callie was lovely.  And she was such a wonderful friend to my Granny.

Which causes me to think even more.  I am so glad God gave us animals to be our friends (because let's be honest, furry friends are usually a lot easier than human friends.)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

An Easter Liturgy

The liturgy for the dead is an Easter liturgy.
It finds all its meaning in the resurrection.
Because Jesus was raised from the dead,
we, too, shall be raised.
The liturgy, therefore, is characterized by joy,
in the certainty that
"neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities,
nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
This joy, however, does not make human grief unchristian.
The very love we have for each other in Christ
brings deep sorrow when we are parted by death.
Jesus himself wept at the grave of his friend.
So, while we rejoice that one we love
has entered into the nearer presence of our Lord,
we sorrow in sympathy with those who mourn.

My grandmother died peacefully this morning just two months shy of turning 90.  She woke up, got dressed, ate breakfast.  She asked to be returned to her room because she needed to rest.  Then she died in her sleep peacefully and easily.  And that gives us all great comfort.

My Granny was a hardworking, sacrificial woman with a quick wit.  She was steadfast, loving, and always had great hair.  She loved and raised my mom and aunt to be incredible women.  And she has 4 awesome grandchildren, especially me, and 6 beautiful great grandchildren. :-)  Eloise Marie, her first great grandchild being her namesake.  We all love her very much and will miss her dearly.

The above is a description taken from the Book of Common Prayer, the book the Episcopal and Anglican churches use for services.  I had never read it until it was printed in my dear friend Tom's funeral bulletin this past March.  This was printed on the back of the bulletin.  I thought it was so moving and beautiful and true.  So, I share it with you.

We love you Granny!  Thank you for all you have done for us.  Love, all of us.

Good Morning

Good morning!

That's not where I would have decided to rest after waking everyone up at 6am.  But if that makes you happy and if that's where you decide to stay quiet, go for it!

(While 6am is early, it feels beautiful these days because I'm no longer waking up at 2 and 4 am.  Yea for continuous sleep and Dr. Marc Weissbluth!)

Monday, June 14, 2010

I Heart Faces

It's all about babies at I Heart Faces this week.  I took this of Cordelia right after I got my DSLR.  And it's when I officially fell in love with my camera.  (I fell in love with little Cordelia long before that!)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fine, thanks.

"How are you doing?" people ask.  "Fine, I think."  I say.  I haven't stopped to think about it for a while.  I haven't stopped at all, really.  When there are children in the house, there is no time to stop and think about how I'm doing.

Thoughts dart through my head.  They are sometimes important, sometimes not, but they are shooting straight across and landing no where.

Just now, I was in Cordelia's room comforting her back to sleep.  She reached up and grabbed the crib bar and pulled herself towards me.  She wanted out.  And, now that she's crawling, I need to lower the mattress. (Yes, my little baby is crawling.  Can't believe it.)

I think, "I need to lower the mattress.  Don't forget that.  I should write that down or I'll forget."  Then I left the room, put some laundry up, came down stairs and picked-up some toys.  Check some email.  Thought, "Oh I need to pay those bills. I'll do that tomorrow.  Write that down...."  And the cycle continues.

And I haven't written either of those things down.

That's my day summed up.  When I have a moment to string some thoughts together, they are interrupted with small whispers.  Like this one today.  "Mom, I hear something.  Mom.....mom.....there's a bear in my room.  I'm really really trembling.  We need to go up there and see him...."  So off we go on a bear hunt.  There was no bear.  No bear in the closet.  Nor under the bed.  But, when we looked out the window, there was a, GASP, a monster!   AHHHH!  So we went running really fast.

By this time my mind has forgotten everything I had thought about before.

So how am I doing?  I'm really really busy playing and feeding and chasing and getting *nothing* done.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Weekend Photos, Update

UPDATED edit.  Thanks for all the suggestions.  I like this new edit best.

As I mentioned before, I now have PSE 8.  (Photoshop Elements 8.)  So cool.  And I'm so confused.  I think I liked Lightroom better, but I got PSE 8 for a variety of practical reasons.

I have lots to learn and practice. And I need your help.  Which Eloise edit do you like better for this image?  #1 or #2?

I basically did the same editing on Cordelia's photos.  Which image do you like better?  #1 or #2?

Seriously folks, I'd love feedback.

Have a happy weekend!