The First Hundred the light of eternity. "Life's a tough proposition, and the first hundred years are the hardest." Wilson Mizner

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Happy Birthday Papi

Friday was Papi's birthday... complete with a Cookie Monster cake & cookies, and an outing to one of Karina's soccer games. I liked the action on the sidelines...

Monday, April 24, 2006

Say Cheese!

Josiah is 17 months old, and he loves cheese. Check out this video clip to see just how much.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Training Wheels

As I was walking home from work I noticed a little boy barreling down the sidewalk toward me on his bike. He appeared to be about 5 or 6 years old.
"Beep, beep! Look out!", he glared at me.
I sidestepped in time, and avoided being bowled over. Stepping back onto the sidewalk, I glanced around. His father was sitting on the steps of the house I'd just passed.
Not a word.
Well, maybe he was waiting until I was out of earshot to give his son some instruction...

Two blocks down I noticed several cars stopped in the intersection. One of them was a police car with blue lights flashing.
A three car accident? Four?
Approaching, I noticed they were all police cars. One with blue lights flashing and four unmarked. There, with hands cuffed behind their backs, legs spread, and faces pressed onto the hood of one of the cars, were two young teens, two bicycles lying on the sidewalk nearby.
Wonder what they did to deserve a five-car salute. Did they steal those bikes? Were they buying drugs? Selling them?
My first thought was of their mothers. They were about to have a beautiful spring evening ruined.
And maybe there are a couple of dads out there today wondering where they went wrong.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


I looked across the counter at the bank teller, then at her name tag: PRECIOUS.

That gal's name is Precious, I thought to myself. The wheels started turning: I wonder if she is. Precious, that is. I wonder if her mother thought about how a name like that might affect her life. I wonder if it HAS affected her life? I wonder what her middle name is... Darling? Baby? Sweetheart?

On the drive home, I thought about it some more. I wonder if she's married? What does her husband call her when he's mad at her? Precious -Darling, -Baby, -Sweetheart.... by the time he'd said her name, he'd be over his anger, wouldn't he?

Later, as I walked to work, I pondered the subject further. Some names are just plain hard to live up to. I'm glad my parents named me Karen. No pressure there.

I like my name, and feel honored to have it. My mom had chosen it, her grandmother's name, to give her first daughter, but ended up saving it for me, her third daughter. Makes me feel special whenever I think about it.

Here are some names I'm glad she didn't pick for me:

April. (or May or June) I was born in November and wouldn't want to spend my life trying to explain it.

Bambi. (As a young nursing student I talked a new mother out of saddling her ten-pound baby girl with this moniker.) It's apparent my mom didn't envision for me a future as an exotic dancer.

Melody. While I can carry a tune, I'm not what you'd call particularly gifted in vocal music.

Joy. A good name, but hard to live up to. What about all those times when I wouldn't feel particularly joyful? Same thing with Charity or Faith. On second thought: could having a name like that have a positive effect on a person? Could living as Joy, Charity, or Faith make someone more joyful, charitable, or faithful?

I wonder if Precious feels cherished.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Come to Jesus

Our pastor sang this song to conclude his Easter morning message. It was considerably poignant for me.

by Chris Rice

Weak and wounded sinner, lost and left to die
Raise your head for love is passing by
Come to Jesus, come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live

Now your burden's lifted, and carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain
Sing to Jesus, sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live

And like a newborn baby, don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk sometimes we fall... so
Fall on Jesus, fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live

Sometimes the way is lonely, and steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain... then
Cry to Jesus, cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live

O, and when the love spills over, and music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside... then
Dance for Jesus, dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live

And with your final heartbeat, kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace and laugh on glory's side... and
Fly to Jesus, fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Tea Time

I'm having a cup of tea. Raspberry Zinger. I thought it might be a very "English" sort of thing to do, in honor of my just having finished reading "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis.

I don't agree with all he has to say, or maybe it's just that I don't understand some of the things he says well enough to know whether or not I agree....


The following quote made an immense impression on me. See what it does for you.

"If what you want is an argument against Christianity (and I well remember how eagerly I looked for such arguments when I began to be afraid it was true) you can easily find some stupid and unsatisfactory Christian and say, "So there's your boasted new man! Give me the old kind." But if once you have begun to see that Christianity is on other grounds probable, you will know in your heart that this is only evading the issue. What can you ever really know of other people's souls - of their temptations, their opportunities, their struggles? One soul in the whole creation you do know: and it is the only one whose fate is placed in your hands. If there is a God, you are, in a sense, alone with Him. You cannot put Him off with speculations about your next door neighbours or memories of what you have read in books. What will all that chatter and hearsay count (will you even be able to remember it?) when the anaesthetic fog which we call "nature" or "the real world" fades away and the Presence in which you have always stood becomes palpable, immediate, and unavoidable?"

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Old Rugged Cross

I was in the church office yesterday, putting together materials for our Good Friday and Easter worship services. We'll be singing this old favorite. It always touches my heart; and while I do cherish the cross, I worship the One who bore my sins there.

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.


In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.


To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Two Out of Three....

Josiah came to visit yesterday and got to do two of his favorite things:
and playing. Posted by Picasa

...That's Pretty Good Odds

But he doesn't like taking a nap. Into every life a few tears must fall. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Twelve Years

"Is it Wednesday again, already?!" was the first thing PR said to me this morning. The days and weeks pass so quickly, it's mind-boggling.

I started thinking, "Is it twelve years already?!".... yesterday marked the twelfth anniversary of my working for Dr. P.

Let's see, April 4, 1994... I had a sixth grader and two teenagers at home. I was doing laundry several times a week, and I even cooked meals, every day. I didn't know too much about gardening, and wasn't acquainted with strange aches and pains (or was too busy to notice them). I had just heard about email, and was trying to figure out how to do it. Having lived in Brazil for so many years, I felt technologically challenged. You should've seen me with out first cordless phone!

Yesterday at work I was talking with a patient I'd met that first April, twelve years ago. Then, he was a young man of 52, and now he's on the cusp of retirement. Considering his health woes, I didn't expect to know him this long. Life is like that. Unpredictable and full of changes. And it keeps on moving along.

Help me, Lord, to live today (and each day You give me) to the fullest, and for Your glory.

Monday, April 03, 2006

More Busy Days

What a swingin' time!
Posted by Picasa

Let's wear Papi out!

Josiah, King of the Mountain.

Posted by Picasa

Cousins' snack time!

Helping Josiah put his shoe on.

Fishing with Papi.

Cheese! I mean to eat! Posted by Picasa

Trying out Great-Great Grampa Monte's youth bed.

Love those Fisher-Price Little People toys! Posted by Picasa

Luke is showing off his North Park University sweatshirt. A future Viking?

Reiley's getting big for Papi's old high chair.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Do-Wop Horses

I've got a few more photos to post, but have been too busy playing with the grandsons, and am delightfully exhausted. I promise to get around to the pictures one of these days. In the meantime,"vacation" is over, and I'm going back to work tomorrow. It's been a very full ten days, and I've been looking for a way to unwind. I think I've found it: Have you seen the Do_Wop Horses? After the 4 horses load, click on them for some mighty fine do-wop. Click different combinations for variety. Experiment! I'm gonna have them sing me to sleep tonight...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Is it April Already?

In the middle of our morning jog PR suddenly said, "Oh, man, I just peed my pants!"

"You DID?!"

" Of course not........ April Fool."

I don't care for April Fool jokes.

Karina told Jason she was pregnant, and had him sweating bullets for about 5 minutes.

Jason and I aren't amused.