Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful For...

Blue Skies

Good Books

Purple Flowers

End of Day

Happy Smiles

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Falling Leaves

Orange Skies

Dirt Paths

Gravel Roads

Blue Eyes

Sunny Smiles 
Wonderful Laughter

Go Home!

A letter written for a newspaper in 1959. 51 years later a newspaper in North Dakota republished the letter.
From there a principal in New Zealand republished it (in his own words). Then a radio station. Then a facebook page. A 52 year old letter has gone viral... but not in the original format.
Here is the paraphrase the principal published.
Here is the article Alex and Brett Harris published on The Rebolution:

If you only read Judge Gilliam’s words on Facebook you might come away with the impression that this was just a cranky old guy letting off some steam at the young whippersnappers littering all over his yard — and you would be dead wrong.

Judge Philip Brewster Gilliam was no stranger to the struggles of youth. He grew up during World War I, graduated from law school in the middle of the Great Depression, and entered the juvenile court system during World War II, when juvenile offenses were skyrocketing.

With fathers gone to war and mothers gone to work, hundreds of thousands of unsupervised young people turned delinquent in the 1940s, often ending up before men like Judge Gilliam on charges ranging from truancy and petty theft to arson and murder.

For a quarter-of-a-century, from 1940 through 1965, Judge Gilliam was the sole arbiter of these cases in the populous city of Denver, Colorado — sitting down each year with hundreds of young felons, troublemakers, and petty criminals. Early in his career he wrote:

“To work with delinquents requires limitless patience, and at times it seems almost an endurance test to those so engaged.”

Judge Gilliam endured for thirty-three years and was a tireless advocate for the young, wielding his substantial popularity to direct new resources towards preventing juvenile delinquency and helping those already in the system. Today Denver’s Juvenile Hall, located at 28th and Downing Street, is named in his honor.

At the same time, Judge Gilliam wasn’t soft on young people. One year, just a few weeks before Christmas, he took the time to pen an op-ed for Denver’s South Bend Tribune. Published on December 6, 1959, Judge Gilliam’s Open Letter to Teen-ager doesn’t mince words. But if anyone had the credibility to issue such a challenge, it was the dogged champion of the Denver Juvenile Court.

"Always we hear the plaintive cry of the teen-ager. What can we do? … Where can we go?
The answer is GO HOME!
Hang the storm windows, paint the woodwork. Rake the leaves, mow the lawn, shovel the walk. Wash the car, learn to cook, scrub some floors. Repair the sink, build a boat, get a job.
Help the minister, priest, or rabbi, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army. Visit the sick, assist the poor, study your lessons. And then when you are through — and not too tired — read a book.
Your parents do not owe you entertainment. Your city or village does not owe you recreational activities.
The world does not owe you a living… You owe the world something.
You owe it your time and your energy and your talents so that no one will be at war or in poverty or sick or lonely again.
Grow up; quit being a crybaby. Get out of your dream world and develop a backbone, not a wishbone, and start acting like a man or a lady.
You’re supposed to be mature enough to accept some of the responsibility your parents have carried for years.
They have nursed, protected, helped, appealed, begged, excused, tolerated and denied themselves needed comforts so that you could have every benefit. This they have done gladly, for you are their dearest treasure.
But now, you have no right to expect them to bow to every whim and fancy just because selfish ego instead of common sense dominates your personality, thinking and request.
In Heaven’s name, grow up and go home!"

Friday, November 16, 2012

If We Survive by Andrew Klavan

The Story: Mission trips are usually normal.  Usually.  Especially mission trips to help school children in Central America.  Will Peterson and his three friends, are sheltered, rather pampered, highschoolers who can't wait to return to their video games and shopping excursions.  They are in Costa Verdes to build a wall with their pastor.  Partly out of a want to serve and partly to earn required service points.  It should be a rather uneventful experience and that's what they get.  Until the shooting starts.

Caught in the middle of a bloody revolution, Will and his friends are aghast at the hatred surrounding them.  Their title as Americans is a death warrant and they are sentenced to death.  Their one ticket out is a bitter ex-marine who has turned his back on trusting anyone.  Trapped in the jungle with killers, snakes, and lost Indian tribes, they journey to home and freedom.

If they survive.

There was some violence in this book.  Knowing beforehand what the plot line was, I was not surprised at the violence and it was handled very well.  One thing I love about Andrew Klavan is his respect for life.  Will does kill someone in the book by shooting them.  However, he does it out of defense for his friends and it haunts him the rest of the book.  A wiser man explains to him that it is good and right for him to regret having to end a human life, but that sometimes that is the only way  to end evil and protect those you love.  Again, wonderfully handled and shouldn't be a problem for a mature audience.

A kiss is exchanged.  Other than that the only thing is when they are *spoilers* in jail.  The girls are separated from the boys and apparently made to endure the soldiers' comments.  Eventually one of the girls slaps the soldiers and tells them they wouldn't want their sister treated this way.  The only reason the heroes weren't at the girls' sides was they were imprisoned.  Another great theme in Klavan's young adult books his the great respect the boys have for the women.

None as I recall.

Overall Rating
5 star!  Great book!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Printed Word Lovers

Read the Printed Word! I just can't bring myself to really read off a electronic device. Am I the only one?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Meal Time

First of all, we don't usually eat cookies and little smokies.  We were making these for a party... but you get the point.  

Cooking for a family of ten is a huge event.  Each meal takes a least one hour of prep time and an hour of cleaning up.  Menu planning, shopping, mixing, everything is a long, arduous process.  I provide all three meals on Sundays and Mondays and that is no small feat.  Today I spent an hour and a half in the kitchen making lunch and prepping dinner.  I have another hour to go and it's a crockpot meal! 

But I'm not complaining!  Far from it.  One day I'll be cooking for two and I won't know how to just make a recipe.  I'll keep trying to multiply it times 4.  I won't know about leftovers and freezer meals.  I won't know what to do with my 7 loaves of extra bread.  I'll miss my family and their healthy appetites.  :-)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fall Days

We're eating our meals outside and playing in the grass.  Although cool mornings make us wrap up tight and start up our fire, the sunshine quickly warms it up and makes it wonderful!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Whirling, Tilting Review

Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl by Nathan D. Wilson

Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World


I am here to live my story, to love my story. I will not fail to savor any gift out of ta desire for self-preservation.  Self-preservation is not a great virtue in this story.  

I fill my lungs with the world, with this life, with this gift beyond containing.  There is only one thing I can say.  Thank you.  And I must say it with my life.  Through my life.  

To the end of my life.  And after.

I have searched long and hard for a copy of this book.  Ever since reading one of Nate Wilson's other books, I have wanted to read everything else he wrote.  I'm slowly adding to that list.  I was thrilled to stumble upon this copy on my neighbor's shelf.  The pink and white diamonds on the cover are lit with orange bulbs and the pictures and font puts you in mind of a circus.  Circus music, circus rides, and circus attendees.  Isn't that where we live all over our life?

Why do Christians believe in God?  What is it that drives us to believe in a loving creator and his rescued creation?  What would we lose if we believed in a Big Bang and an impersonal power?  We would lose everything.  I was convicted again and again as I read this book about just how much proof exists for the existence of a Creator and his creation.  Created in love, judged with justice, and redeemed in grace. 

I was also convicted about how self focused we are.  Certainly we, as humans, are created in the image of God (something nothing else in Creation has a claim to).  But, we are not the only creature on the planet, and God loves the ants and the plants and the planets and the dirt and the rocks and the birds.  He created it all and he loves and cares for it all.  We lose sight of that when we focus inwardly and self-righteously to ourselves. 

The only complaint I have for this book is the language.  In very un Wilson like style, Nate Wilson has sprinkled this text with inappropriate language.  I believe he was trying to appeal to the secular community, but I found it revolting and un-needed.  I recommend a parent or older sibling reading this book with a white out marker before handing it out.  There were only a few instances, but he used some strong language.  I was very surprise and disappointed that Nate Wilson would include that in his book. 

Other than that, I think this is a good book to read - at least once.  It may not make it to your "re-read" shelf, but some passages should definitely make it to your quote book. 


Friday, November 2, 2012

It Happened...

I remember lying in the grass and the sunshine... waiting to grow up.

I remember wishing that I was old enough to carry the babies... all by myself.

I remember wishing I could read big books that told big stories... lots of books.

I remember wishing I was old enough to get married and have a family... lots of kids.

I remember knowing that God had a plan for me in the future... one day.

And it happened.

Now, I'm officially in my last year as a "teen"  (even though we don't believe in teenagers, just young adults).  I'm 19 and facing the world ahead of me with fear and joy.

I have started driving... just not on the road yet.  My timid side is still showing.

I am carrying babies around all by myself.  And teaching my sisters and brothers.

I read big books of big stories now and I love it.  Lots and lots of books.

I'm living God's plan for my life.  It's a great plan, a huge plan, a glorious plan, and a wonderful plan!

Read my mom's post.