Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dog Days & Tuesday Tunes

Last Friday morning, I picked up this little guy from a church friend’s home.  If you read her blog, you will see that they were just ready to have a dog-free home.  We weren’t really looking for a dog, but Mark and I both thought the same thing when we saw his cute little face on our friend’s blog.  So we decided adding Simon to our family was a good move.  After 4 days, we still feel that way.  He is just the right size, about 30 pounds, he’s well-behaved, and he is friendly.  We are enjoying him and look forward to having him around for a long time.  The kids are enjoying him, too. 

As far as Tuesday Tunes go, I haven’t been listening to much adult music lately.  Veggie Tunes 1 & 2 are what Charis requests most in the van.  We occasionally get a dose of other children’s favorites like the “Hokey Pokey” and “A Tisket, A Tasket.”

Seriously though, I have been listening to old Rich Mullens Cds.  I just love the song “Creed” on his Songs cd.  This is nothing new, since Rich Mullens is no longer around to record anything new, but I just love the folk style of his music.  I guess I would call it pensive.

The other cd I have been pulling out lately is Michael Card’s Starkindler.  I love the old hymns set in new arrangements. 

These cds are like the music I enjoyed 15 and 20 years ago.  I am open to checking out new stuff, but I guess sometimes you just want to listen to something familiar that makes you feel comfortable and safe.

D. James Kennedy is With the Lord

Dr. D. James Kennedy went to be with the Lord early this morning.  I heard it on NPR just minutes ago.  He wasn’t as well known as Jerry Falwell , but he was a force within the Christian right. The secular media will put most of its emphasis on Dr. Kennedy’s political interests and activity, but as the founder of Evangelism Explosion and the Senior Pastor of an influential church, it was obvious that his faith in Christ was the foundation for all that he did.

I worked for Coral Ridge Ministries soon after I graduated from college.  From 1988 through 1992 I worked in a number of communication positions at the television ministry established by DJK.  I met my husband Mark while working there, and we were married in the beautiful sanctuary of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.  A lot of my reformed theological views germanated through the ministry of Coral Ridge Church.  I will join many today in saying that Dr. Kennedy’s outreach impacted my life.

I am praying for Dr. Kennedy’s wife of 51 years, Anne, and his daughter Jennifer today as they mourn the loss of their husband and father.  But I am sure they are rejoicing in the life he lived and in the legacy he leaves behind.

The New Blog on my Blogroll

The e-bay link from my last post was funny.  So I went back to the blog where my friend found it.  On this entry, I found the link to the e-bay seller’s blog.  She has an astronomical number of hits since she wrote this e-bay listing–77,000 and counting.  I can’t even imagine what that would be like.

As I was browsing around on her blog, I found a couple of really funny things.  She posted some of her favorite comments in one blog entry.  Here’s my favorite of the ones she listed:

In reference to the woman with the kids who always behave perfectly “Her kids only behave because they’re afraid of being beaten by the stick that’s up her butt.”

(Now that April of April Showers is moving to Kansas, I am taking her part-time job.  So I have spent a few hours with her learning how to do the job.  I guess sitting close to her has caused me to be ok about posting the word “butt” on my blog.)

So take some time to stop by because i said so–especially if you’re a mom or a child of the seventies or both! 

We Are the Beavers!

Angie B. tagged me for this meme.  The picture is just an emblem of my high school’s  chomping mascot.  Go Beavers!  Beat the chucks!!!

1. Who was your best friend? Lisa P.  We had been friends since grade 2.

2. Did you play any sports? Yes.  Freshman year, field events–shot and discus; Junior & Senior year, Varsity Volleyball.

The volleyball thing sounds more impressive than it was.  My junior year was the first year of volleyball at our school, so you didn’t have to be great to play even on the varsity team.  That being said, we were pretty bad my junior year, but we improved by the time I was a senior.  I was a setter, and I did start in games occasionally.  So I guess I was a real high school athlete.

3. What kind of car did you drive? Car.  Did you say car?  I rode the bus to school, caught rides with friends to various activities, and on occassion, my parents would haul me around.  One of my older brothers referred to his truck as “Jennifer’s jitney” because he was often called upon to get me from place to place.

4. It’s Friday night–where were you? At the football game when the team was playing at home.  Working at my part-time job.  Bowling.  Eating and drinking tea at Perkins.

5. Were you a party animal? No.

6. Were you considered a flirt? No.

7. Were you in the band, orchestra or choir? Choir, girls ensemble, junior and senior girls’ trio and school musicals.

8. Were you a nerd? No.

9. Were you ever suspended or expelled? No.

10. Can you sing the fight song? Yes. Well, most of it.  Choir sang it for pep-ralley assemblies.

11. Who was your favorite teacher? Mr. Thompson.  He taught 11th grade American history.  He was a deacon at my baptist church, and I had him for US history in 8th grade before he moved to the high school to teach. 

12. What was your school mascot? A beaver.  Our high school rivals were the Punxsutawney Chucks (Woodchucks, synonymous with ground hog–get it, you know, Punxsutawney Phil from Groundhog Day fame.)  So every year, right around Veterans Day, those big teethy rodents go at each other for the last game of the season.

13. Did you go to the prom? Yes.  I went my senior year with a sophomore guy friend from choir.  He drove his parents 1983 Camaro–a silver blue color.  I wore a powder blue dress.  He wore a powder blue tux with dark blue velvet lapelles.  Oooh.  Yeah.  We were stylin.

14. If you could go back, would you? No.  I had a pretty decent high school experience, but I couldn’t wait to leave my home town.

15. What do you remember most about graduation? It was in the gym because of rain.  It was hot.  I was glad when it was over!

16. Where were you on Senior Skip Day? We didn’t really have one. 

17. Did you have a job your senior year? Yes.  I worked at Bonanza Steak House (now the Ponderosa).  I worked at every station in the place.  My least favorite was the salad bar.  When I worked the salad bar, I went home smelling like a pickle.  My polyester brown uniform cap smelled like the filter over a range exhaust.  All those smokey grilled steak smells were trapped in there.  Nice.

18. Where did you go most often for lunch? The cafeteria for whatever the entree of the day was.  We weren’t allowed to go scampering all over town like kids today do. 

19. Have you gained weight since then? Of course.

20. What did you do after graduation? I went to Messiah College in Grantham, PA.  I was a communication major, and I graduated 4 years later with a BA.

21. What year did you graduate from high school? 1983.

22. Who was your Senior Prom Date? Jim T.  See question 13.

23. Are you going/did you go to your 10 year reunion? They didn’t have one.  My class hasn’t had any reunions in the 24 years since we graduated.  There are rumors that there was some sort of financial scandal with the funds our class raised for reunions.  I guess it must be true since the class has never gotten together.

Hmmm…  I hate to tag anyone else.  Every blogger I know is younger than me, and it makes me feel old to think about these people graduating from high school when I was in college and beyond.  So I’ll leave it at this . . .  if you read this and want to take a journey to your past with all your blog visitors, please consider yourself tagged.

What’s Really Important

Our family has been experiencing trials over the past several years.  Our trials have been of the sort that you can’t really share with a lot of people.  Yet, we have probably shared more than we should.

In recent days, the trials have felt overwhelming to me at times.  Yet, I know people with far worse trials than we have.  I know about a baby who has cancer.  I know an 11-year-old with cancer whose family home burned down on July 4.  My sister has bone cancer.  My sister-in-law has throat cancer.  And, there are many, many others.

Despite knowing about these trials, because my trials are mine, I often give them permission to overwhelm me.  I wallow in them.  Then I read something like this by Tony Snow.  I think what he wrote in Christianity Today puts life into perspective.   I really appreciated this sentiment: “We get repeated chances to learn that life is not about us—that we acquire purpose and satisfaction by sharing in God’s love for others.”

So no, I don’t think we should say, “Well, we’ve got troubles, but at least we don’t have cancer.”  But I do think when we face trials–whether they be physical, emotional, financial, etc., God puts us in community with other people who have different kinds of trials to remind us that “it’s not all about us.”  We need to focus outward and quit dwelling on our own problems.  When we reach out to others, even in the midst of our own stress and pain, God reminds us that He did (and is doing) the same thing for us.

The Missionary Next Door

Our church supports a PCA missionary who attended Covenant Seminary with my husband. The missionary’s name is Marcus Toole. Marcus ministers to the Cree people in Canada. That’s right, Canada. We have lots of church planters in the US and other modern countries, but the work Marcus does is really incredible. He sends regular e-mail updates about the forces of spiritual darkness these people are under. I hesitate to say too much because I don’t want to get the facts wrong. So I’ll point you to this in Covenant Theological Seminary’s summer edition (.pdf) of their quarterly magazine.

There’s an article about Marcus’ work on page 14. I’ll also ask you to pray for the adult children of Arnold, a man Marcus led to the Lord who just died this week. Arnold’s Christian funeral caused quite a stir in the Cree community, and there are more funeral activities today. So please pray for Arnold’s family, Marcus, and the Cree community today.

P.S. I am having trouble with linking the article and I have to go to work. So I’ll fix it later.



Hi, this is Mark. Jennifer’s getting tired of the spam and I haven’t had time to change the template (like I wouldn’t make it worse). So she’s moving to until Jay has time to port a wordpress blog over here.

It would be great if you didn’t change your bookmarks, since we’re hoping this is temporary….

So please go leave a comment on her generic entry. (By the way, Jennifer hasn’t even seen the new template I chose, so she’s not reponsible.)

Blog Post from Heaven

Dad, Mark, Jay

I have been thinking of posting today because I want to post more regularly than I have been in the habit of doing. But, nothing right was coming to mind. Then, this photo arrived via e-mail from Mark’s dad. The timing was providential. This is Mark, his dad, and his younger brother circa 1978. What a great picture!

I also have to say that I almost broke into song when I saw Mark’s shirt. If you were a kid in an evangelical church in the 70s, you probably know the tune.

Kamp 2 – The Gang’s All Here!

The three older children came home from camp today. They are all healthy and well. I was really surprised at how emotional Mark and I were when we dropped them off last Sunday afternoon for a little more than 4 days of camp. So we were really missing them while they were gone. All the reviews indicate that camp was a hit.

Turkey Hill Ranch Bible Camp is the name of the place. It is down near Rolla in a really beautiful part of Missouri. As a family we went there over Memorial Day for their Family Camp, and we enjoyed the facilities and the fun.

A few interesting highlights — Evangeline had a counselor named Karis. It was easy for her to remember her name. Evangeline also passed the swimming test, and she is begging to go back for another week’s session before the summer ends. Nevin and Calvin also had fun, but I haven’t had a chance to get a “review” from them. Nevin did say that he answered the EE questions “very well.” They are all begging to go to the Labor Day family camp, too.

On the home front, I finished priming and painting the girls’ new room. I have to paint the trim, but the walls are done. Evangeline was really happy to come home to this surprise.

Charis was happy to welcome home her big sister, too. Their sharing a bed tonight in celebration of their reunion.

It was a little too quiet around here this week. I’m glad to have the whole gang back.

Kids, Kamp, Kings

Ok. I couldn’t resist the K alliteration. Please don’t hate me!

The 3 big kids are away at Kamp for the week. What sort of camp, you ask? Bible camp. I have really great memories of at least 7 summers in which I attended our denomination’s church camp. Now, the PCA may have camps somewhere, but there aren’t any near here. So our kids are attending a Bible camp that is not related to our church. In a few days when they are home, I’ll post a link to the camp. Since it is the week before July 4, the kids only stay until Friday this week. We are happy that we haven’t received any panicked phone calls from them, and we’re hopeful that this will continue for the next 36 hours until Mark brings them home.

The youngest kid was quite upset that we took away her sister for the week, but I think she is actually enjoying having a little more one-on-one time with Mom and Dad.

One thing we’ve done a lot this week with Charis is to play “king” or queen. We
ate at Burger King on our way home from taking the kids to camp on Sunday, and the paper crown has gotten a lot of use since then.

Painting Kids’ Room
I had grand plans to get several projects completed while the kids were gone this week. Well, I still had to work and do the normal household chores in the evenings, so I haven’t managed to do anything extra yet. But I did get a start on painting the bedroom the girls will be moving into. We are doing a little switching around of rooms–moving the girls to the larger room that has been serving as the play room so they can put their bunk beds down on the floor. With the switch, I promised some redecorating. So the new wall color is a light green–to match the wings of Tinker Bell. Hopefully, once the main color is on the wall, we’ll add Tinker Bell and other fairy accents with purple as the accent color.

Other news?
Is anything else new? Not really. We’re in the process of working through all the questions/issues/details of life to figure out how/where we’ll educate the children next year. The school they have attended for the last 2 years is just out of our price range, so we have to make a change. What type of work Mark and I will do also plays into this decision. So please pray for us if you think of it. Summer is over in 6 weeks, so the decision must be made soon.