Sunday, May 22, 2011

Emma's words of wisdom

Emma (age 5 1/2) bought and wrapped her own gift for me with great care.

In addition to the "Congragarashons" she wished me, she composed her own special cheer:  "Go Mom! Stop Mom!"

According to Emma, this means, "Go Mom! Go study! ... "Stop Mom! Come home and play with me!"  (The 'No ... Yes ... Yes ... No' written across the middle mean the same thing: "No, don't study. Yes, study.")

In my commencement speech I talked about the "rhythmic alternation between school and family life."  Emma clearly has a handle on it!

special friends and special gifts

Many special friends helped us celebrate my graduation from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Phil and Julie (top), Nicole (middle), Kimi (bottom), and many others showered me with gifts ... as if graduating wasn't gift enough on its own!  All the gifts were wonderful, but one deserves special mention.  About 2 weeks ago a package arrived on our doorstep.  It was rectangular in shape, not very heavy, and not very thick.  I tore into it right away, wondering if it could possibly be ... and it was!
'Simeon's Moment' by Ron diCianni
Photo: C Imes
Simeon's Moment, by Ron diCianni, has been my all-time favorite painting since high school.  For 17 years (yes, it's been that long!) I have dreamed of one day having it on my wall.  It depicts the event recorded in Luke 2:22-38 when 8-day-old Jesus is dedicated in the temple.  Simeon, a devout Jew, had a divine appointment with baby Jesus that day.  The Spirit compelled him to go to the temple, and when he laid eyes on Jesus he knew that centuries of expectation were coming to fulfillment in this little child.  Jesus was, in fact, the long-awaited Messiah, sent to be a light to all nations.  The story of Simeon and Anna has been a favorite of mine for most of my life.  I love their unwavering faith in God's promise to deliver His people.  DiCianni captures so well the look of rapturous joy that must have been on Simeon's face. Even in greatest darkness, with no tangible evidence of answered prayers, Simeon and Anna cling to what they know is true of their God.  He is faithful.

This print of Simeon's Moment was a gift from my parents, who were unable to attend my graduation.  They more than made up for their absence with this perfect present, followed by a beautiful letter of blessing.  I feel so loved!

summa cum laude

Eliana (age 10): "Mom, is that your name in Spanish??"
Danny: "No, that's Mom's name in Latin."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

all in a day's work

Friday I spent the evening in the libary grading exegesis papers.

As I walked to my car I saw this:

I just couldn't resist. 

Have you ever tried to drive one-handed while holding a squirming frog in the other hand?  It can be done if you live less than a mile away.  (Last time I did this was 2 years ago.  The frog was much bigger and so it was a little tricky.  But this guy was tiny!)

Easton's smile was totally worth it.  And the girls were tickled.  And yes, we set him free on our front lawn the next morning.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


In Emma's words (she's 5):

I know that college is important because ... "I will lrn mor wrds! And go to Grmeny! And go to my hous! And I will de a otur (author) and illastrater! I will write all dooks!"

A classmate of Emma's moved to Germany just before Christmas, and she figures that would be a good place to go hang out and write books.  For those of you who are a long way from Kindergarten, this is quite an impressive life plan.  I love it that Emma has big dreams.  She plans to have a library with all of the books she writes and she will sell them to me and Eliana (we're picky book buyers, but she'll write books that fit our taste).  She'll need to write plenty to keep up with the readers in this family.  She's taken Accelerated Reader comprehension quizzes for more than 150 books already this year in Kindergarten, earning more points than most 5th graders.  Eliana will hit 400 points before the end of the school year (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is less than 6 points ... so you do the math!).  As you can imagine, it's hard to keep enough quality literature on hand ...

Good thing we'll be living across the street from the public library in Wheaton!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

precious moments

Easton is approaching his 3rd birthday, and just when we think he couldn't get any cuter, he surprises us.  Today he told me at lunch, "I can't eat anymore, because I'm wearing short sleeves."  Totally logical.

Earlier this morning he asked, "Is my birthday tomorrow?" 
"No," I told him. "But it's soon.  Your birthday is in one month!"
He was delighted.  "You mean, in 20 minutes??!"

Over the weekend we went camping at a gorgeous place in the Carolina Mountains with a crystal clear stream that tumbled over huge boulders.  It was amazing.  Easton and I had our own, lazy, mother-son walk discovering the wonders of nature.  First we spotted a field mouse.  He was itty-bitty, and didn't seem to mind us at all!  We sat and watched him from 2 feet away, enraptured, for at least 5 minutes, maybe 10. Easton did not want to leave.  When the mouse gave up on the acorn and disappeared around a tree trunk we ambled down to the stream and watched some fishermen catch wriggling fish.  As we peeked over the edge of the bank into the water, I asked Easton, "What do you think we'll see in there?"
Quite seriously, he responded, "Maybe an octopus!" (No doubt this had something to do with our recent trip to the zoo.)

When I was done giggling, I told him, "When I was a little girl, my daddy took me fishing and I caught a fish!"
Easton replied, "When I was a little girl, I caught a fish, too!"

After a few minutes of soaking in the beauty he said, "This is incredible."

And it was.
Especially the part about being his mom.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

living with abandon

Here it is!  My thesis is offically turned in.

"Treasured Possession": Peter's Use of the Old Testament in 1 Peter 2:9-10

I made dozens of tiny adjustments this week, and I feel great about the final product.