Get Jesus Wet

Summer is here! And for me, summer means swimming. As a child, my siblings and I had the privilege of having our grandparents live right next door to us, and if that weren't fabulous enough, they built a swimming pool in their backyard for their grandkids to enjoy. My Nana taught all of us to swim, and we spent the better part of every day of summer in that pool. We currently have a … [Read more...]

Sights and Sounds of Summer, Part 1

There's probably no argument that the beginning of summer is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. Christmas may compete with summer for generating the most enthusiasm for its arrival, but for the 2/3 of the country that experiences winter in all its splendor, we eagerly anticipate 'school's out for SUMMER!' The NFL's summer is abbreviated when compared to the rest of the world, … [Read more...]

We’ve Made It!

This photo is from Spring 2012, as Spring 2013 appears to have hit a snag. Minnesota's temperatures reached the upper 70's this past weekend, allowing for the kids' first un-cancelled track meet of the season. The day was one for the books: picturesque azure skies with brush stroked clouds, musical robins and sparrows ushered in daylight starting in the wee hours; dirty, salty snow piles melted … [Read more...]

My Mouth on Mute

The weather. It's a harmless enough subject; the basis for the majority of checkout register chit chat, right? Except for me. For the immediate future, I'm not to talk about the weather. This post is really about much more than the weather, but I got myself in a bit of trouble talking about Minnesota's seemingly endless winter. Right after that goofy Punxsutawney Phil predicted we'd have … [Read more...]

Looking in All the Wrong Places

I just returned from a refreshingly brisk walk on a 38-degree, wet falling snow day in Minnesota. Thirty-eight degrees, however, is considered unseasonably warm for this time of year; say nothing of the previous two days' 50 degree marks. I rarely listen to music when I walk, opting instead to take in the beauty of the outdoors, reflect, or pray. On days like today, I animate God -- in the most … [Read more...]

Hold On

If you look really closely you'll see a hint of burgundy popping through the leaves. And burgundy leaves mean fall is coming. And fall is followed by winter. And winter drags on faaaaaar too long here in Minnesota. I caught myself mid-conversation with the kids over the weekend. Each time I pull into the beautiful tree-lined neighborhood we live in, I pointed out the spattering of golden … [Read more...]

Land That I Love

We're taking our annual vacation, and this year Becky participated in a volleyball tournament overseas that took us back to Italy. The scheduling couldn't have been more perfect, as we had a previously-booked cruise with my parents that departs from Venice, and the volleyball tour ends in Venice the day before our boat leaves. So we packed up the remaining younger three kids and headed over to … [Read more...]

Never Again

Probably because I've been spending inordinate amounts of time by myself and in my own head, lately I'm keenly aware of everything. It seems that somehow, some way, someone turned my sensitivity sonar up much higher than I'm used to. I'm doing my best to spend two weeks at a time between California and Minnesota, resulting in a feeling that I'm neither here nor there, and quite possibly somewhere … [Read more...]

It’s Spring Somewhere

After a week of balmy 50-degree days, yesterday's rain and dreary drizzle gave way to evening reports of a 'chance of flurries' for today. And this is what awaited us when the blinds went up this morning: I figure God was busy all night long preparing this little springtime surprise for us. I grew up in Michigan, and spent 20 years in Chicago, so I'm not at all naive to the fact that the … [Read more...]

Going Green

One of the most enjoyable aspects of living in California is the beauty of it.  We live in northern California, where we’re surrounded by mountains and valleys, palm trees and evergreens and redwoods, the ocean and the bay, and beautiful flowers and plant life.  And Californians are extremely serious about preserving all of this beauty.  They have some of the most progressive ‘Green’ … [Read more...]