Author Archives: Jesse - Page 2

Great to see the property pictures. Looks like a rich thirty acres! When you guys finally settle down, I should come spend a year-long sabbatical mooching off your largess with my whole family and writing a book or something (helping out around the edges of course). It really sounds so good!

Hoping to catch Mom today for an update on the conversation with her doctor on Thursday. We’ve been so filled with awe and gratitude since the incredible good news of her “complete response.” I also did not know that mom’s second book was printed. So great!

I’m really enjoying work on a presentation for the Acluin Fellows to be given at their retreat at Calvin College in a couple weeks. Our theme for this year is “Science and the Christian Faith” (with special attention to the creation/evolution issue), and my talk is about “The Cappadocian Fathers on a Theology of Creation.” My boss at Logos (PCA pastor Aaron Anderson, who is also coming to the retreat with me) has asked me to give the same talk (right before we leave for Calvin College) in our school auditorium (after school hours) for folks in the area who might be interested. My talk at Calvin is supposed to be recorded professionally on video, so any of you can watch/listen if you care to at some point. Christopher Perrin is hoping that our deliberations will help to inform the plans for the SCL national conference in Atlanta, Georgia this coming summer. Please pray for wisdom for me! You can read more about the retreat a this URL:

Better go now. Love to all!

So grateful this weekend! 🙂

And another Redwall Abbey this weekend (hours of play with it already):

Look forward to hearing and seeing more about the trip West from Poortenga kids. Kevin, glad to hear of a visit to Be in Health on the calendar. I will join Joel in praying that you’ll soon be even more enthused by whatever house design replaces the one that you’ve pitch.

Elizabeth and I finished Hannah Coulter out loud yesterday. Pretty proud to have read it all aloud as a couple. We were both impressed and appreciated the whole thing. I think it works great out loud for grown ups.

I posted a couple favorite passages to Copious Flowers. One of my postings was liked by “ghostbusterbev.”

It’s been a good weekend here. Late little celebration of Elizabeth’s birthday. She also finished up her Shakespeare course. Other than that, mostly just recuperating together and doing house work. We also snuck in a quick one-night adventure camping on an island in the Susquehanna River. That went well, and we imagine doing it again.

Here is a feast at Redwall Abbey that the kids set up today (every little creature at the table in back has a name from the books):

That’s a beautiful photo, Poortengas! I enjoyed reading up on here a little this evening, and I really miss writing on here myself. First day of school today was good. Elizabeth is writing a big paper all through the night tonight with a heavy deadline coming up at 8AM. Love to all!

so much goodness

I have been happy to read so much goodness on this family blog.

Kevin & Becky – congratulations on the arrival of Noel! She is beautiful! Nessa and Tobin said that they still remember how delighted and proud Judah was when Sienna was born. That has remained a very special memory to them, of getting to meet a newborn Sienna and witness Judah’s earliest responses. (Thank you, Mom, for taking them along for that.)Judah has somehow turned into an almost legendary character here, especially for Tobin. Even though nothing happened with the war last August, Tobin still talks about what’s going to happen this year at the family reunion as far as the war between the girls and boys. He is convinced that Judah is the secret weapon who will defeat Talia, the girls’ leader.

Kevin & Jessica – thank you for sharing so many pictures and stories about life in Canada. Despite some French-Canadian prejudice and other hassles, it seems as though it will be an adventure the memories of which your family will enjoy for years to come. I recall driving through Quebec as an adolescent, on a family trip, and having a driver pass us and then throw a glass bottle onto the front hood of our car. We thought it was just because we did not have a Quebec license plate (and whatever political implications went along with that).

Joel & Katie – a fifth little one on the way! What a gift! I am praying that you both feel better quickly. Argh. Bodies can be so annoying…so amazing, strong, and resilient…and so annoying, weak, and vulnerable. I wonder how much a voice-activated/operated computer system costs?

Isaac & Hannah – happy anniversary! And many more to come! We hope you share about your time in Colonial Williamsburg. Nessa and Tobin both have been thoroughly enjoying a couple Dear America books, “diaries” from 1777-1781 that I’ve been reading aloud to them recently, historical fiction for kids. And a great, simple overview of the Revolutionary War for kids (and also for adults like me), George Vs. George: The American Revolution as seen from Both Sides. Our own family trip to Colonial Williamsburg this past spring was really fun.

Luke and Liesl – I am praying for your safe return. We are eager to hear more of your times in Nicaragua, and especially about what each of you is thinking regarding your futures in light of them.

Elsie & Elaina – you are blessed aunts, indeed! 🙂 When I think of you two, I hear your special laughter…which makes me smile.

Dad – it’s been a pleasure to read more posts by you recently. Your accounts truly add to the sense that this family at large is connected at a deep level.

Mom – I am praying for your pain management. It’s reassuring to know you have many helping hands nearby through your church, etc.

Jesse, Nessa, and Tobin have had great luck lately with bugs and small creatures, it seems. I love watching them with their praying mantis stewardship, increasing knowledge and care of ants, baby turtles, bullfrogs, spittlebugs, etc. Watching them all climb out of the canoe and into the murky edges of the lake to try catching a bullfrog, that was great. I was especially proud of Nessa who paused wisely when a water snake swam near her, but braved ahead anyway, and successfully caught herself a bullfrog, working strategically with Jesse. Those three people give me so much joy!

I’m officially registered for my second-to-last college course in order to get my degree. Shakespeare 313. The last time I took it, the professor relied fairly heavily on class small-group reinterpretations of various plays. I’m thinking that will not be the case in an online course. 🙂 Unfortunately, I am going to stay home from the 4th of July & wedding celebration at the farm in order to (hopefully) get ahead in the class. Praise God that Aunt Patrice is talking!!!

We have been enjoying several good books this year. Somehow, we have fit in a few small trips together as a little family. Long distances mean lots of time for audiobooks or one of us reading aloud. I already have a nearly impossible list of books I dream of reading with the kids at certain age ranges, and there just seem to always be more and more added by other people’s recommendations, etc. I have been reading more again to myself, as well. Currently I’m in The Book Thief. This time around I had no problem getting into it. Before that, I read The Luminaries, which I really, really like a lot. Until the end. Which was okay. But I loved the book until then. And then it just seemed okay, or pretty good. Hmm. I did like that book! Maybe I was just deflated because it had to end? There are 9 more books on my personal to-read list for the summer. One is The Goldfinch, which is popular right now apparently, and I want to know what the hype’s about. Another is Jayber Crow. I have never read any Wendell Berry.

The kids are playing animatedly with Playmobil toys right now. It’s so nice; they have been increasingly at odds with each other during such play over the last few months. Harmony is wonderful!

the battle














the audience


battle prep…





Luke chasing dolphins

Luke chasing dolphins

Dear Dad and Mom,

I am washing the dirty dishes today that I carried home from Rivendell over a year ago. Hope springs eternal.

Love to all the family! (And thanks to Elizabeth for the photo.)



Jessica, we’ll stay at your new place! 🙂 I recommend prayer every evening and every place, regardless. Suicides and very sad but don’t need to be frightening.

I should post pictures of a paper zoo that the kids worked on all day today.

It’s late so I better call it quits for now, but it was peachy catching up on here. Elizabeth and I enjoyed Emily’s song.