This is what we do for the joy of the King,
For His peaceable Kingdom,
For a world in despair.
And this is why we bring any hope we can give,
Any bread from the table,
Any touch of His hand.
This is what we do.
This is where we go.
This is why we sing.
This is how we live.
This is who we are.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Wii-Fit Tells Me So

My recent experience on Brian and Jennifer's Wii-Fit inspired the words of this new holiday hit.  

(To be sung to the tune "Jesus Loves Me")

I'm a lard-o, this I know,
For my Wii-Fit tells me so.
Overweight and out of shape--
Where's that old Pilates tape?

"You are a fatte,
Lay off the latte,
No Christmas pate!"
My Wii-Fit tells me so.

Excess pounds are such a curse
Prior to December first!
Candies, cookies, cakes ahead,
Weight loss fantasies are dead!


Thank you.  Thank you very much.  (A sweating, out-of-breath Don flings his scarf at the audience.)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving 2008 at Bruce and Connie's house!
Here's one turkey that didn't get away!

Connie always puts out a beautiful
spread.  These are the "signature" tablecloths.
Since Haley arrived in 2004, we've been
signing the cloth at each Thanksgiving.  After
Lexi joined us in 2006, another cloth was added.
Both girls will get their tablecloths when they
grow up.  Cool, huh?

Here's Haley's and Lexi's table.  Grandma Connie
made them their own pilgrim hats.
 (On the backs of their chairs.)
This just in:  Haley made her own at pre-school class!
She and Grandma Connie made Lexi's.

The newest little pilgrim.  Emily is exploring
Connie's book collection.  B & C gave Emily a
great little activity book for her birthday present.

Haley and Lexi conspiring with Grandma Connie
about something.  Great Auntie Sherry looks on.

Lex and Hazel playing with Emily's Elmo!

Mama Pilgrim with the pilgrimettes.  Haley's
pouring herself some Martinelli's.

Granddad Bruce carving his FIRST turkey!
He did well!  And the turkey was delish!

One hungry little pilgrim.  Pitiful, isn't it?

Haley and Auntie Jen working on the dishes.
(And no, Aunt Sherry's not imbibing!  Only
iced tea--from Chik-Fil-A!)

"You mean I gotta wash ALL those dishes?!  Hey!  
I'm just a kid!"

Before everyone leaves, we sign the tablecloths.
What a fun day together!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Talkin' Turkey

In case you misplace your Thanksgiving bird,
just be aware that they are more intelligent
than usually given credit.

Speaking of turkeys . . .  (do you suppose
W. insulted the bird accidentally?)

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!!!!  

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm In Awe of This Woman

Annie Lenox.  Amazing performer.  Amazing musician.  Amazing human being.  To tell you the truth, I've never known that much about her before, even though we're of the same generation.  I intend to catch up.

Her song at the American Music Awards last night was brilliant.

There are some wonderful videos on YouTube, but they can't be embedded into blogs, so you'll have to browse on your own to watch.  I highly recommend!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Got Nothin' . . .

I'm as brain-dry as an August afternoon in Death Valley. I hate leaving dangling posts--even of Christmas decorations--at the top of my blog. (You people who have those dated tag things on your blog rolls have created a kind of "accountability" which is murder on someone going through bloggers block.
Sooo, since I've got ZERO to write about, I thought I'd write about zeros.  

Fascinating number, zero.

I found some "stimulating reading" on the subject this morning.  I know you'll wanna thank me later.


"With the advent of Arabic numerals (the forerunners of the standard numerals today), zero became a necessity, especially in a base-ten system where multiples of ten are denoted by the addition of a zero (this is the most common system in today's world). The number zero as a standalone entity truly became important with the advent of algebra, [LORD, deliver me!], for often times in solving an algebraic equation, the number zero becomes a crucial element by itself, while still retaining its basic meaning--the representation of nothing.

"In truth, the idea of zero doesn't seem quite so daunting until one truly attempts to wrap their brain around what it truly means, and why it is mathematically necessary.  At that point it becomes a journey into the very heart and soul of mathematical philosophy." 

Still awake?  I told ya you'd thank me.

Even "mathematically challenged" people like me realize that the zero is REALLY important these days with everything being digital, i.e. binary. Zeroid factoid: THERE WOULD BE NO D.V.R. WITHOUT THE ZERO!!!!  The zero is my hero!

So, here's to the beauty of the zero--of nothingness.  (Don't you like the pretty floral zero?)  

Where would we be without the zero?  I shudder to think.  Even God Himself occasionally writes the "number" in the heavens (as in this solar eclipse).

So, heck, I don't feel bad at all for a "nothing" post.  

P.S.  If you come from a culture where the top photo is offensive, I truly apologize.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Our Christmas Look

At Diane Davis' request, I'm posting a few pictures of our Christmas decorations.  It was fun--therapeutic even--to get it all "purtied up" for the holidays.  (I say therapeutic, considering all the remodeling mess we've been living with for the last month.)  I wish all of us bloggers could get together for real for an evening of live talk, eating, and caroling around the piano.  (Okay, I know the caroling thing might be a turn-off for some of you, but you can hang out around the chips and dip while the rest of us sing!  :)  )  Merry Christmas to all!

BTW, today is the 41st anniversary of my baptism.  

A nod to yester-years.

The way we were four weeks ago.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ho Ho Ho

Yep, I know it's November 15.  And I know we still have 12 days before Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, our tree is up, lit, and decorated. Bring it on all you nay-sayers and bah-humbuggers. We like Christmas...what can I say? Also, my iPod is shuffling about 300 songs I have on a single playlist.  At the moment is Reba McIntyre.  (Her voice is by NO MEANS my favorite, but I really like her, so I put up with the triphthongs she pronounces in every syllable she sings.  "Uh-ah-ee  suh-aw  muh-ah-mee  kee-ihs-sin Suh-an-tuh Cluh-aws . . . "

So, with all that being said, let me be the very first to wish you a Merry Christmas!!!!  (Now hurry up and deck your halls!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

A For-Real "Target Lady"

They really exist!

Tonight our Target cashier was so busy smelling the disposable baby washcloths we were buying that she left me to fend for myself about when to swipe my credit card. (I swiped too soon, so Lyn's coupons didn't get calculated into the purchase.) Long story short, it took twice the time to do the transaction because she had to call in "Marcella" for help on giving us credit for those coupons.

She didn't have the accent, but she definitely had "Target Lady's" enthusiasm. (She also didn't have the SNL writing staff, so the humor was negligible...but it was still comical.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Before and After

Well, I'm sure all of you are sick to death of hearing about our kitchen, so GOOD NEWS!! -- This is the last entry talking about it!!!  

Anyway, I'm posting these before/after photos to show the dramatic change we've been blessed to experience over the last four weeks. (Demo was October 15; completion was today--November 10. That's pretty amazing, I think!) The ONLY thing left is the installation of the range hood. We can function fully without it, so for all practical purposes we're done!


The picture at the top is the way the kitchen looked when we were "house shopping" back in 2002. I think this was taken during the "walk-thru" after we had entered escrow.  Anyway, it was definitely before we redecorated/painted the rest of the house.

The two pictures above show how the kitchen looked
on October 15--the morning of demolition.

This was taken about 4 hours after the
pictures above on "demo" day.

These two photos were taken this
morning.  Finished at last!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Granite is In and Lookin' Great

Here's the crew of guys who installed
the granite countertops.
Alberto is the man in red--he's the true
craftsman here.  The younger guys are
his apprentices.

That stuff is H*E*A*V*Y!!

Those are some serious suction cups
the guys have to work with.
Instant handles!

Lookin' really, really good!

The photo doesn't do it justice; this
stone is really beautiful.  The guys finish it
all up tomorrow.  Then Monday, the rest
of the kitchen will be complete!  YEAH!!!!!!!

My little clown . . . (fish)

Here's the "birthday girl" on her first outing
to the Aquarium of the Pacific--last Sunday afternoon.
She really enjoyed herself; here she and 
the clownfish are having a moment.
Her 1st birthday will be Monday--Nov. 10!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Prop 8 -- As I See It

Millions of dollars and millions of votes invested, and Prop 8 is still with us.

What I am about to say is based upon my views of political and social reality, and not upon personal or spiritual convictions. You may well disagree with me, but I honestly think time will affirm what I'm saying.

I genuinely believe Prop 8 was destined for ultimate failure the day it was placed on the ballot. Even though it passed with a moderate majority vote (I expected a bigger one), I am quite certain that it will ultimately fail.  I understand the good intentions and the "protective spirit" of the designers and financers of the proposition. The problem, however, is basic:  when you craft a constitutional amendment that denies ANYTHING of a group of people, you are accelerating the vindication of that very group, and assuring the quick and unequivocal obliteration of the source of denial

Amending a constitution--state or federal--is always extremely serious business.  Technically, it's a legislative matter.  But when a constitutional amendment is written that denies a right--even an assumed or questionable one--it becomes infinitely more serious. I realize that this proposition grew out of a strong resentment of supreme court justices "legislating from the bench."  That resentment is understandable.  But to react to that pseudo-legislation by engineering a deprivational AMENDMENT is, in my opinion, an act of desperation.  At best, it is an example of naivete at the extreme.

To force God-fearing, Bible-believing people to "vote their conscience" on an amendment that has so many emotional and controversial attachments, is profoundly manipulative.  Of course many, if not most of these people are going to vote FOR such an amendment, if by voting AGAINST it they would be contradicting their moral convictions. You may know or have heard about people who have expressed deep angst about the felt necessity of voting for 8, knowing what it would mean to their friends, acquaintences, and family members.  However, if they truly believe that their first devotion in life must be to God, and if they genuinely believe the Scriptures to be inerrant and infallible, they really didn't have much of an option.  This is why the proposition was manipulative. These people should never have been placed in such a conundrum. 

One of the things that angers me the most about this proposition is the division and tension it has driven into the relationships of people who otherwise love each other deeply, but are on opposing sides of the issue.  This is tragic beyond description.  Hopefully, time will heal these ugly fractures.

In the grand scheme of things, I suppose, creating the proposition was unavoidable.  When large groups of people feel that their grass-roots beliefs and values are being severely threatened by other groups (in this case, a smaller one), they resort to extreme measures. The alternatives:  peaceful coexistence or waging battle.  The folks with the power and the money chose waging battle.

So, the votes were cast, and the "victory" was won.  But was it?  This country is all about freedom.  Increasing people's civil freedoms is much more the norm than restricting them.  For goodness sake, some highly influential leaders in this country are more concerned about the civil rights of terrorists than they are about national security.  So isn't it just a little silly for anyone to honestly believe that the "civil rights" of hundreds of thousands can be voted away by a bare majority?  

My prediction:

Proposition 8 is going to accomplish exactly what it was attempting to prevent: it will only be a matter of time before the proposition itself is considered unconstitutional.  

There are just too many people who will refuse to accept the idea that their state's constitution is going to be altered to deny them or their loved ones the same privileges and rights that others enjoy (and abuse).

Again, this post is not about the "rightness" or "wrongness" of same-sex marriage. It's about the futility of a state attempting to declare something to be "constitutionally unacceptable," while at the same time trying to comfort the "unacceptable" parties by offering clinical alternatives like "domestic partnerships."  (Ironically, these partnerships legally are basically the same thing that's being denied: marriage.)  Thus the question arises:  if the union already exists legally, how can the same thing with a different name be considered unconstitutional ?  If same-sex marriages are unconstitutional, then same-sex unions of any sort should be altogether illegal.  (I'm not suggesting that, by the way; it's just the only logical and legally reasonable alternative.)

When the courts deal with the matter once and for all--and I believe Tuesday's "Yes" vote will accelerate this--millions of people will feel betrayed and will be convinced that their state (or federal) courts are legislating yet again.  The truth is, however, that the tool that was designed to restore or protect traditional marriage very likely will have opened the floodgates to to the non-traditional.

These are the consequences of Prop 8 as I see them.  Time will tell.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Birthday/Election Day

Today was Jennifer's 30th birthday.  One of the "big ones" in a person's life.  It was also a very historical day for our nation.  If Jen lives to be 130, she will no doubt always remember this day.

She chose to eat Japanese the whole family went to one of Jennifer and Brian's favs for a night of family fun and celebration.  In the pic above, the sisters took a moment to pose!
Our waiter was kind enough to
snap this family pic for us.  Jen just 
LOVED wearing the restaurant's "birthday hat!"
Emily is looking very skeptical--she HATED the hat
on her mommy!  Wonder what she was thinking?  :)
Is it just me, or does Kristi look kinda sinister here??

Emily had a great night--chowing on 
chicken and tofu.  YUMMMY!  (not!)

Haley and Lexi enjoyed riding back to 
Huntington Beach with Papa Don and Mamaw Lyn!
(No, they weren't in a cat fight...the red marks
on their faces are from a marker used to make
happy faces on their balloons!)

Monday, November 3, 2008

And a few more . . .

This is my dad as a young man . . .
Curtis Robert Sewell
We won the father-son look-alike contest when
I was a little kid...I definitely see 
my nose and eyes in his.

Wasn't I a cutie?  Wow...stroller technology
has certainly changed over the decades!

Kristi's 3rd Christmas - (26 months)
Johnson Bible College, Knoxville, TN
Still no haircut!  (I really see Lexi here!)

My all-time favorite picture of
Jennifer as a child.  We lost our
copy of it...fortunately, my mother
had one in an album. 
 Isn't she gorgeous?!?!  
BTW, she has her big 3-0 TOMORROW!!!!