Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tim Challies wrote an article titled, "Trick or Retreat?" which I found to be very helpful in sorting out my thinking on this subject and therefore, my practices.
So, with John in Chicago this week and Hannah in bed for the night, the kids and I sat out on our driveway to greet our neighbors with smiles and free candy. Many of our other nearby neighbors did the same, which added to the visiting time - even if it was having a conversation by yelling at one another across the street.
Waiting for trick-or-treaters...(notice the very cool, carved pumpkin in the background).
Here they come!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I'm leaving again this Wednesday night for a meeting of various theologians in Chicago. It should be a fascinating discussion. I'll be gone until Saturday night. We'll post some pictures of the fall festival.
Also, I want to make a movie recommendation: "Freedom Writers" with Hillary Swank. It's a true story of a teacher who tries to turn around a class of 62 kids from opposing gangs. I watched it with the pastors on Wednesday night and then Mindy and I watched it together last night. Tonight after the kids went to bed we watched all the special features. It is a wonderful movie on a number of levels. Go see it!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Hannah will be 7 months old this Saturday and I've noticed that she has been able to sit up with minimal support for a couple of weeks now. So today I plopped her down on the floor without any support to see how long she would stay upright before tipping over. Wouldn't you know, she just sat there as content as she could be? I guess it's official now, though she probably would have done it sooner if I gave her the opportunity...
Of course, as soon as I got out the video camera, she tipped over a couple of times as you will see in the following video clip.
The next video is of Hannah bouncing in the hanging door bouncy swing, or whatever the official name for it is... She goes bananas every time I put her in there and it just cracks me up.
Monday, October 22, 2007
However, John had his yearly physical last week and had very different results. For the past couple of months, John has been meeting with a nutritionist weekly who not only advises and keeps him accountable in the food/nutrition department, but also has him on a pretty rigorous exercise regimen. John has been relentless in journaling all of his food/calorie intake and more consistent than ever in his exercise. John told his doctor that he'd be curious to see if any of this might make a dent in his bloodwork numbers. His doctor said that so much of it is driven by genetics, so don't be surprised if the numbers come back the same.
Drum roll... Well, John's doctor called the next morning saying that whatever John has been doing is making a difference! So here are the numbers for you to see:
Total blood cholesterol should be under 200 mg/dl
last year = 203; this year = 183
HDL (good cholesterol) should be >40 mg/dl
last year = 37; this year = 44
LDL (bad cholesterol) should be <130 year =" 121;" style="font-weight: bold;">this year = 108
Triglycerides (fat in the blood) should be <150 year =" 225;" style="font-weight: bold;">this year = 154
Cholesterol ratio (total/HDL) should be <4.4 year =" 5.5;" style="font-weight: bold;">this year = 4.1!!!!
After years of not seeing his weight budge or any of his other numbers move (at least in the right direction), this was incredibly encouraging news! So for those of you who have been praying for John in this regard, we wanted to let you know that all of John's efforts and your prayers have not been in vain. We certainly covet your continued prayers as there is still a long road ahead, but do pause and give thanks for these first steps in the right direction!
Friday, October 19, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
This morning, there was a lot of commotion around the breakfast table as all 5 of us were there, eating and conversing. In the middle of it all, Sarah, who will turn 3 next month, was trying to get my attention. She said with a very serious tone in her voice and a look of alarm in her eyes, "Mommy, mommy...an alligator tried to bite me." (of course, alligator sounded more like "ah-yih-gator" since Sarah has a little trouble pronouncing the "l" sound) I played along and asked (aghast), "When?!?" She responded with equal seriousness, "Um, on Friday." John and I couldn't help but chuckle. The comment had nothing to do with our current breakfast conversation, and yet she felt compelled to tell us this most earnestly and expressively. Can't say the girl doesn't have an imagination!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Here is an interesting post by John Piper today...
Today, October 10, 2007, is the 50th anniversary of the publication of the novel Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. As I write this on October 9, 2007, the book is ranked 237 at Amazon. That is phenomenal for a 1,200-page novel that contains philosophical speeches, one of which stretches to 90 uninterrupted pages. The book has sold over six million copies. In one survey from 16 years ago, Atlas Shrugged was ranked second only to the Bible as the book that influenced people most.
My Ayn Rand craze was in the late seventies when I was a professor of Biblical Studies at Bethel College. I read most of what she wrote both fiction and non-fiction. I was attracted and repulsed. I admired and cried. I was blown away with powerful statements of what I believed, and angered that she shut herself up in what Jonathan Edwards called the infinite provincialism of atheism. Her brand of hedonism was so close to my Christian Hedonism and yet so far—like a satellite that comes close to the gravitational pull of truth and then flings off into the darkness of outer space...
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
At Hannah's 6 month check-up this past Monday, the pediatrician pointed out her two bottom teeth which had already broken through the gums. There they were, as clear as day, and I hadn't noticed them before. When the doctor asked me if they had been bothering Hannah, I replied, "Apparently not..." While this is a testimony to Hannah's sweet, content, and gentle nature, I must admit that I was a bit embarrassed. I felt guilty and a little negligent for not noticing this 'event' in my 3rd child's little life. At the same time, she had never tried these chompers out on the mommy that feeds her (for which I am deeply grateful) and I wasn't expecting them for at least a couple more months (Christopher and Sarah both teethed after they were 8 mos. old). Other observations from her appointment: she weighs 15 lbs. 11 oz., which puts her into the 50th %tile for weight and measures 27 inches, which puts her into the 90th %tile for height. At 6 months, Christopher weighed 20 lbs. 3 oz. and Sarah weighed 19 lbs. 14 oz. (both in 90th %tiles for weight). It's so nice for the 3rd to stay smaller a bit longer...especially since this gives us a little more time to save up for a minivan! We currently have all 3 kids jammed into the back seat of our Buick Century, which works so long as Hannah fits into the infant carrier carseat. As soon as she tops the scales at 20+ lbs., she'll have to graduate into one of those big, honkin' convertible carseats, which will not squeeze in between Christopher and Sarah's big car seats. So hopefully Hannah will stay under 20 lbs. until she reaches 1 year...