Saturday, October 30, 2010

You have to see it to believe it

My husband & I went out to dinner & a movie last night. First time we've done that in a long time but this story captured my interest as soon as I heard about it & I really wanted to see it. Little did I realize tho' - before watching the movie - that it took place "in our backyard".  

True story. Rated "R" for good reason...language, graphic scenes/evidence, etc. .... but - if the truth is rated "R",  so be it. To tone it down would only make it - well, less than true - and in this case, the truth is what set a man free - after 18 years in prison.

You have to see it to believe it.

(click the pic to link to the trailer & source of the synopsis below)

CONVICTION is the inspirational true story of a sister’s unwavering devotion to her brother. When Betty Anne Waters’ (two-time Academy® Award winner Hilary Swank) older brother Kenny (Sam Rockwell) is arrested for murder and sentenced to life in 1983, Betty Anne, a Massachusetts wife and mother of two, dedicates her life to overturning the murder conviction. Convinced that her brother is innocent, Betty Anne puts herself through high school, college and, finally, law school in an 18 year quest to free Kenny. With the help of best friend Abra Rice (Academy Award nominee Minnie Driver), Betty Anne pores through suspicious evidence mounted by small town cop Nancy Taylor (Academy Award nominee Melissa Leo), meticulously retracing the steps that led to Kenny's arrest. Belief in her brother - and her quest for the truth - pushes Betty Anne and her team to uncover the facts and utilize DNA evidence with the hope of exonerating Kenny.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I love the scene in Sherlock Holmes where Sherlock says:

"I, using musical theory - have created order out of chaos."


 it actually caused me to wonder if perhaps, at the beginning of time,
that's how God did it originally


with as many times as trumpets are mentioned in Revelation,

if perhaps, in the fullness of time, that's how He'll do it again.

6Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.
Revelation 8:6

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Greatest Show On Earth

We went to the circus recently and had a ball! Just had SO MUCH FUN & the kids were all ready to join up by the time the show was over :)

Got to take in a little behind the scenes action

Ohhh say can you see... 

Hubby woulda liked to have brought home this as a souvenir! :)

No circus is complete without Cotton Candy!

The girls now want a tiger - of their own. I suggested we just paint some black stripes on Big Mak and use our
i-m-a-g-i-n-a-t-i-o-n :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

trick or treat

Pop over to  Scattering Lupines to see the post that inspired these trick or treaters to visit our doorstep a bit early.  I'm planning a Bunko party too & for that I'm considering trying to convince my family to carve these same pumpkins into the creative & cozy "fireplace" concept you'll find there as well :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Why dogs don't live as long as humans (according to a 6yr old)

Received this sweet story in an e-mail forward from my sister-in-law.

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as the Belker family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ''I know why.''

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live.

He said, ''People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?''   The Six-year-old continued,''Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.''

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

- When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

- Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

- Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

- Take naps.

- Stretch before rising.

- Run, romp, and play daily.

- Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

- Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

- On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

- On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

- When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

- Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

- Be loyal.

- Never pretend to be something you're not.

- If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

- When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Packed up the pooch & a  picnic & went for a Sunday drive.

Playmaker's ipod provided tunes for a time of worship during our travels ...
Talk about a joyride :)

Met up w/ Spokes along the way

and explored splendid scenery.

A ride in the car AND a new squeaker toy in the same day
 was much more than Mak ever expected when he woke up Sunday morning :)

Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.
Isaiah 6:3b

  The glimpses we were given of this on Sunday were stunning :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Rules....Who NEEDS Them?

Was talkin' w/ a friend the other day about her family's orchard - such an incredibly beautiful corner of creation.  I was sad to learn of so many new rules & regulations the Department of Health has instituted that drastically affect how business is done on this family farm &  who knows how many others like it. Things like...

- No jackets can be hung on the trees. (Go figure!...there's really a law on the books for that?!)

- No one not employed on the farm is allowed to even walk thru' it. (But this is private property)

- Wild animal feces must be monitored. (Every time the person in charge of this fun job finds something, it is to be written in a book. We're talkin' acres and acres of land here! ...& when you think about it, it's really fertilizer of the most natural/organic kind.)

And she told me how the laws in our state work. If her father hires an employee & said employee does something out of anger - say he throws a bucket & it hits someone - her father could be held responsible bc he hired him in the first place - tho' he's not even allowed to do a CORY/background check  bc that's "discriminatory" - so he'd have no way of knowing if someone even had "anger management issues" to begin with. (On a side note - churches are required to do CORY checks on anyone who works w/ children...)

Laws like these - & countless others - are what's gonna put family businesses out of business! Seems every time there's an issue they make a new law to "protect society" with little regard for how it will impact those who are least likely to be found guilty of related infractions to begin with. So let me ask you - who is really being punished here?   

I shared about all the rules at the high school. Virtually every minute of every day is scheduled - & montitored (security cameras everywhere) & the long list of things the kids "can't do" causes the "can do list" to pale in comparison (does this sound like prison to anyone?)  -- but evenso, you should see what kids get away with!! Playmaker isn't attending there now - & one of her old teachers recently said to her something to the effect that it must be nice for her not to have all those silly rules to follow  ...  and the truth is that one of the things she enjoys most about taking her classes at the university is ... her newfound freedom!  

We like to think we live in a "free society" where all are presumed innocent until proven guilty - but with each new rule of law, the innocent & conscientious pay penalties  & suffer consequences that were never intended to apply to them. Before we know it .... their hands are tied - and the offenders  (the guy who threw the bucket!) aren't even held responsible for their own actions.

There's something very wrong with this picture. For starters, it's upside down & backwards! When I look at God's perfect law and read of things as they should be, it all makes much more sense. Here, take a peek... 

46Jesus replied, "And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.

17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather,
through the law we become conscious of sin.

13You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. 14The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 15If you keep on biting and devouring each other,
watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

18The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.

25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Watching You



Went to Spoke's cyclocross race the other night. This is a new type of racing for him & we hadn't been to one of these races yet. What fun! Basically it was an an obstacle course race for cyclists built into the side of a ski slope. Adding to the difficulty that night was the fact that it poured rain earlier so the course was soggy & mud-boggy. I can see why he likes it so much's fast, challenging, competitive and, in this case, rEeeeAaLly muddy fun:)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Her Mother's Hope & Her Daughter's Dream

"Every family is marked by the struggles of the generation before...."

A complex story by nature because it's about

More specifically,
it's about the unique relationships
mothers & daughters share.

From a daughter's (my) perspective:

"In the end" you are (or at least I was!) challenged to

 consider that,

well that....maybe you (I) don't know the whole story ...

the reason behind why your (my) mom always did "this"

or acted/reacted like "that"...

but perhaps,

no matter how unlikely it may seem,

 it was because

 she loved you (me)

dearly - 

tho' not perfectly...because she was human.

And she didn't know what else to do

 considering how 

her mother loved her

just as dearly -

tho' not perfectly .... because she was human too.

And so on

- and so on -

 back thru time and circumstances.


There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
I John 4:18

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
John 8:32


According to I Corinthians 13, Love always protects.


From a Mother's (my) perspective...

Whew...Convicting.  Because

"in the end" you are (or at least I was!) challenged to consider

how your (my) reactions & responses to circumstances

at such a time as this,

tho' soon to be history...


will no doubt





"Generations will reap what I sow.
I can pass on the curse or a blessing...
to those I will never know".

Excerpt from Generations by Sara Groves

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The end

Going to a funeral today. In this case it's called a Celebration of Life. Now that this life has ended (tho' I wholeheartedly believe it's just a new beginning for him), we who remain are going celebrate it. Go figure. I guess I just find it kinda sad...that the one whose life we're celebrating won't even be there today. And I wonder how much of what is said about him today should have been said to him while he was still here - as it seems to me ...

if half the stuff said about people at funerals
was said to the person while they were still living,
the exchange of encouragement therein
would be a much more timely and appropriate way to
celebrate life.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

True Story

"...once you've lived a good story, can't go back to being normal; you can't go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time."

I visited a Christian book store I used to work at the other day to touch base w/ a former co-worker & convey how sad/shocked I was to learn that the founder (a friend/my former boss) had passed away. Naturally, I was contemplating how I might (should!) be living differently in light of how brief & fragile life is - and that's when I happened upon this book. I bought it on a whim - thinking my son, an avid cyclist, might like it - but was surprised to learn that it was written more "for me"- and it's not so much a story as it is about story and how it parallels life. I underlined things that "rang true" or that I've found to be true, etc. & tho't to share some of them here.

".... humans are alive for the purpose of journey, ... He didn't know what the point of the journey was, but he did believe we were designed to search for and find something. And he wondered out loud if the point wasn't the search but the transformation the search creates."


"If story is derived from real life, ... a condensed version of life, then life itself may be designed to change us, so that we evolve from one kind of person to another.


"The point of a story is the character arch, the change."


"...a character is what he does..."


"The only way to know the truth is to witness him [a person/a character]
make choices under pressure..."


"A story is a character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it."
(ambition & sacrifice)


"I wasn't living any kind of sacrifice, My entire life had been designed to make myself more comfortable..."


"A general rule in creating stories is that characters don't want to change.
They must be forced to change."


Whimsy - the nagging idea that life could be magical; it could be special
if we were only willing to take a few risks.


Perhaps what resonated most w/ me is the understanding that I am "the main character" in my story (as you are in yours) but my story (testimony) is only part of a much bigger story. To some degree, I have the ability to determine what I want to be like and the direction I want to go in  -one choice at a time - but in the end, the Truth is... it's not about me.

Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going,
so how can we know the way?"
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:5-6

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years - What I Learned While Editing My Life

The author mentions an art student who devoted nearly a year of his life to work on his senior thesis. In an attempt to understand whether our physical bodies said something about our philosophical reality, the art student studied human beings as they physically mature. He concluded

".... humans are alive for the purpose of journey, ... He didn't know what the point of the journey was, but he did believe we were designed to search for and find something. And he wondered out loud if the point wasn't the search but the transformation the search creates."

I just found that to be thought provoking. In thinking about it, two verses came to mind:

and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Peak" -a- boo!

Ventured to New Hampshire & Vermont today to partake in some peak peeping.

There's bears in them there hills!...

Spied the top of the world

and hiked to it!

I don't believe I've seen the American flag standing tall & proud
in the midst of a cornfield before.

A routine rest stop morphed into a memorable moment :)

And look who drove the rest of the way home!

Just a really restful day. My oldest daughter mentioned how, given the sheer beauty of some of what we saw, she sensed that God enjoyed making it all....& I got the sense that He made it for us to enjoy :) She also mentioned something to the effect of how she feels closer to God out in nature than she does in a church - and I thought to myself .... she is her mother's daughter :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fun Fall Fotos...

...of some of my favorite people :)