Wednesday, July 30, 2008


In a desperate bid to convince the Western Tates to vote for Ron Paul the Irvings are going to come out for a visit at the end of August (Aug. 22-24).

Despite their dangerous political views we can't help but love the Irvings, and we are super excited!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Still scraggly.


If all Americans were divided into tribes based on the make of the vehicle they drive, which tribes would dominate the rest?

I would be part of the Astro Van clan of the tribe Chevy, and we would surely dominate.


I found myself recently accompanying Bowden to a crowded Men's Room because he needed to "poop." Upon entering the men's room I instantly noted that all of the toilets were in use, but Bowden wasn't satisfied until he peeked under every door. Finding none available, Bowden started a little dance as he chanted loudly, " I have to go, I have to go, I really have to go" over and over again. Finally an elderly asian man exited stall number two, gave Bowden a knowing smile, and Bowden, ignoring the man, rushed into the stall like the ocean filling a breach.

For a few minutes Bowden was quiet and I stood off to one side listening with a half a mind to the ordinary busy bathroom sounds- water running, flushing, paper towels dispensing and ripping, shoes scuffing over wet tile- then Bowden's inappropriately loud voice shouted from inside his stall,


"Yes, son."

"I got poop on my underwear. Lots of poop!"

"Shhhh! Bowden, not so loud. We'll just throw them away."

You could have heard a pen drop. A few men nodded their heads and smiled their silent encouragement to me- fellow fathers I suspected. Then one man, fat and bald with a goatee, bellowed towards Bowden's stall, "It's okay little Dude!" and another chimed in "It's happened to me too, man."

Everyone laughed.

The company of men.

Bowden cracked the door and handed me the soiled power ranger underwear, which I threw away, and a few moments later he emerged himself a celebrity.

"Way to go little Dude!"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

On some days I feel like my walk with Christ is not something I hold as dearly as I ought. I feel that way today. My faith has rarely ever cost me anything, and as such I tend to have a shabby attitude towards it. I listen to stories of those followers of Christ in other countries and in bygone days, and I wonder when it will be my turn. When will I have an opportunity to show my love, faith, and devotion in the face of persecution and hardship? I view such a day with a strange mix of loathing and self-doubt, but these days of ease and comfort have become equally undesirable. I liken it to the urge to go for a walk after eating too much. I have had my fill of ease and comfort. In fact I am stuffed to the gills, sluggish from too much, and I want to go for a walk. I want to stretch the muscles of faith. I want to have needs and not know how the Lord will meet them. I want to lean entirely on the frame of Christ, and truly trust in Him for my support and supply. Such a day is coming for me and my family, and in the heat of that day, I pray that I will not prove a failure and an impostor.


Philippians 1:9-11

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,

that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,

being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Happy Birthday Lucy!!! I love you!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I'm just a couple of days in so it is still in the scraggly, patchy, itchy stage. I have weathered this season before, and I can endure it because I know that beyond lies bearded grandeur.
The Coulter Pine produces the heaviest pine cones in the world. Measuring up to a foot or more in length and quite massive (between 5-8 lbs) these missiles, nicknamed "widowmakers," can fall from a height of seventy feet, and have been known to do considerable damage to parked vehicles as well as craniums.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


APPOLYON: That is pure sentiment. Consider again in cold blood, what you are likely to encounter in the way you have chosen. You know that, for the most part, his followers suffer reproaches, perils, weariness, stripes, stonings, imprisonment, pain, and death, all because they oppose me and my kingdom. Think how many of them have been put to horrible death! And your master never came from His mysterious, invisible, exalted dwelling place to deliver them. How can you count his service better than mine? Not many of my servants have ever been martyred. All the world knows very well that I deliver, either by power or by fraud, those who have followed me, from your Master and His power. And be sure I will deliver you.

CHRISTIAN: When He, for a time, does not deliver His servants from trouble, it is for their good; it strengthens their faith and their love for the right, and affords an opportunity for them to show the sincerity of their love and add to their rewards. And as for the death you speak of, it is only temporary. he delivers His servants out of death, and gives them a perfect life beyond. His servants do not expect immediate deliverance from the petty dangers and discomforts of this present perishing world, but are willing to wait on the Lord, knowing full well that they shall be more than well rewarded for all their sufferings, when He comes in His glory with all His holy angels.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Before checking in at LAX Steve wanted to go to the Pacific. It was his first time to the shores of that great salty expanse and he was resolved to swim in its waters before leaving. So we went to Santa Monica which is near the airport.
Steve- fresh from his dip in the ocean.

Santa Monica is easily the best place on the surface of the planet to do some people watching. There are some interesting folks down there at the pier.
Unfortunately, our time with Steve came to an end. It was nice while it lasted.
We spent the night in the valley, and in the morning we met Sarah's Grandparents at Las Lomas. I love their corizo and eggs. Bowden likes getting together with Umpa because they're old war buddies.

Sarah and the kids stayed in the valley for a while to help Nanny with a few things. I had to get back up the mountain to work. About halfway up the mountain I had to pee so I pulled over at a pull out. After I had relieved myself I noticed a trail across the road. I decided, on a lark, to follow the trail. The path, bordered by bracken ferns and overshadowed by pines and cedars, struck out away from the road before cutting back downhill towards a stream. I followed the stream back towards the highway, and found, to my delight, that it flowed through an old stone tunnel. It was cool and shady in their and I sat on the cool concrete next to the stream praying for a while as vehicles rumbled overhead.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Some of the guys on staff took a field trip up to Hollywood to see the sights and Nathanael thoughtfully took this picture for me.


After a woefully eventful trip on Wednesday, Steve finally arrived on the west coast. Since then we have been doing lots of touristy things like going to the dump.

I love hanging out with Steve, and this trip has allowed for plenty of that. I will be sad when this time comes to an end.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

ARTS AND CRAFTS with Josh Tate

Today we're talking placemats...
1. Find food items with interesting labels
2. Empty the container by eating the food.
3. Cut out the desired portion of the packaging that you will want to use in your placemat.

5. Place your newly acquired label clipping with your growing collection. You will want a large pile of clippings before beginning the project.

6. Using a glue stick or spray adhesive place your labels in a pleasing arrangement on a piece of posterboard.
7. Fill the posterboard completely.
8. The final step is to cover your work of art with contact paper.

... and that is how you make a placemat.
p.s. I will send one yankee greenback to the first person who can find Jared from Subway in this post.


...and congratulations also to my Aunt Roxanna who is today a Grandmother.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


I don't think I have ever, in all my life, used a garden hose that didn't leak from somewhere. It fills me with vexation and botherment.

Friday, July 04, 2008


This year for our evening study we are going through "Pilgrim's Progress" as a staff. So every Thursday night at 8:30 the staff (about 12 people) come over to the house. It has become the highlight of the week for me. I am from the school of thought that you should have food at such gatherings, but it isn't really practical to have dinner together- it's too late and they just finished dinner clean up before coming over. So every week I have the "incredible edible," a food item worth celebrating. The first week was a big bowl of assorted gummy candies- swedish fish, gummy worms, gummy bears, gummy dinosaurs, spice drops, etc... The next week was six different kinds of pudding (I still contend that pudding is better than ice cream.) The identity of the incredible edible is kept a secret all week and then is finally unveiled at the beginning of the study.
This week was crayfish with melted butter and lemon wedges. I was a little nervous at first because as they filed in they all agreed that our house was stinky. Nathanael Peck pronounced "It smells kind of like cat food," and his sister Rachel said "It smells like that fish stuff that father puts on the garden to make it grow better." Sleepy Bowden came downstairs still rubbing his eyes, and when I asked him why he was out of bed he stated flatly, "Our house stinks."

About half of them tried it and all who tried it said that they really liked them. We polished off all 50 of them in under ten minutes. I love crayfish... it is truly an incredible edible.
The study went well too. This week we covered chapter 3 wherein Christian drops his burden at the foot of the cross and makes his way up the hill of difficulty and arrives at the House Beautiful. Along the way he had many experiences and met many other travelers which led to great discussion. As usual I talked too much, but I think Pilgrim's Progress is a great book for group study. I do part company with Bunyan on the issue of eternal security though. His view that a believer can lose his/her salvation colors the whole book up to this point, but even that has led to some good back and forth within the staff. It is definitely an issue worth wrestling with.