Author Archives: Dad - Page 2

Spring is coming! :-)

We bought a small computer on the way home from church today.  Isaac’s recommendation for the “Grandkids Show.”  Faye is trying to set it up, and just said, “I feel so old and incompetent!  I hope I don’t do something stupid!”

It will be nice to have that up again.  Hopefully should last quite awhile.  That old computer was the last weak link.

Quiet here with “just the four of us.”  We went out to Panera’s last night, kinda spur of the moment, and had a yummy meal and finished reading N. D. Wilson’s The Hundred Cupboards.  Fun, but not what I would call “great.”  Probably gonna pass on books two and three.  In any case, not ready to jump into another book right away.  Faye and I watched “Theory of Everything” the other night.  We were pretty impressed.  Definitely a thought provoking movie.  Elsie had her family night this past Friday, and we did a bunch of things.  Faye’s word for Balderdash was “funkia.”  My definition:  “Strangely weird, as in ‘funkia and funkia.”  I guessed the actual definition, which was a type of lily named after the fellow who first found it, a Mr. Funk.  Laina had this hilarious, long word I can’t remember.  We watched “Despereaux,” a mouse story.  Very well done–definitely recommend it for a family night.  I might have goofed up the spelling.

Looks like almost everyone will be able to make it to the ocean.  Fun!  Probably not the Radmans, and not Luke.  🙁 !!!

I asked Jeremiah Wright today in church if he would like to come over and help me get the boats ready.  He said he’d love to.  He’s sailed the big one with me, and may borrow some combination of the boats.  He has a standing invitation (as do all of you!).  Liesl said that maybe this trip she can actually learn to sail. That would be fun!

We should clarify the dates for the family reunion.  I think Faye said that the last week in July would be better for some of you than the first week in August.  Can we all weigh in and decide?  Would be good to get it on all our calendars.

Faye’s calling me.  I’ll post this, and maybe come back.

Goob Arrived!

Friday night we drove to Frederick and dropped Elsie and Elaina off for a game night at the Wetzel’s.  Belle is a New Hope friend, and also a Tuesday friend.  Loads of fun!

Faye and I then drove to the Orchard Restaurant on Market Street in Frederick.  A very nice place–we had pad thai with salmon, and it was really yummy.  Sweet potato soup and chai tea.  We split a piece of maple-flavored cheesecake for dessert.  We then drove back to pick up Elsie and Elaina, and drove out to the Faith PCA parking lot and read The Lamplighter for a little while till Abbie Messinger dropped Liesl off.  A joyful reunion and happy drive back home.  What a night!

Church was almost canceled again this week.  Icy rain.  Just Elsie, Elaina, and I went.  Faye and Liesl were going to come after SS, but by then the weather was crummy enough that I asked them not to risk it.

Faye is trying a “pain patch.”  It is an even scarier kind of narcotic than Percocet.  Two pages of dire warnings.  We thought hard about it, talked and prayed.  You change the patch every seven days, and it is supposed to give 24 hour relief. So far it doesn’t seem to have done much other than made her sleepy and a little bit nauseous.  🙁  It says it sometimes takes a day or more to get going.  She’ll use it with Percocet, but hopefully can take less Percocet.

We finished The Lamplighter this afternoon.  It was fun, but got a little over the top corny at the end, and Faye could not read it with a normal tone of voice.  🙂  Reminded me of the famous scene in The Old Curiosity Shop, the “death of little Nell.”  Had grown men weeping openly in its day, but we’ve gotten so dried up emotionally.  Humphrey Bogart!


We will be in a beautiful condo in the outer banks the third week in May (16-23).  Very close to both beautiful bay and ocean.  It’s a bit north of Oak Island.  Here’s the address:  570 Coral Shores, Unit O-1, Pine Knoll Shores, NC.  There is a marina right there with a boat ramp and safe place to keep a sailboat.  So, if you can join us for all or part of that time, feel very free.  Not quite as big as the Oak Island house, but still we welcome you all!  There is also good internet access in the condo.  Please let us know your thoughts, so we can begin to look forward to seeing you.

One final ask …

I am pushing hard to get the word out on the camps in July.  I have asked most of you about this individually, but I thought I’d plant one final seed on the BLOG itself.  If after prayer and a brief brainstorm, any of you have any final ideas as to how to connect with potentially interested young people…

These are two “blurbs” I am using (one shorter, one a bit longer).  If you need anything else from me, let me know.  Many thanks!

Christian Renaissance Camps: After a century of death and despair, the time is ripe for a Christian Renaissance. The gospel gives us hope in the darkest of times. Augustine lived in such a time as this. Civilization was crumbling all around him, yet he found strength in God to sound a trumpet blast that we can still hear today. Dr. Steven Hake, a literature professor at Patrick Henry College (Purcellville, VA), has been praying for a Christian Renaissance for many years and is now offering two camps to help begin such a Renaissance. He is inviting young people aged 14-18 to his home to wrestle with one classic work and one contemporary one; to impart the vision of a Christian Renaissance to them; to challenge them to love God with their minds in the context of loving Him with their heart, soul and strength; and to consider the part they and their children might play in this Renaissance. Find out more and register at


Christian Renaissance Camps

After a century of death and despair, the time is ripe for a Christian Renaissance. The gospel gives us hope in the darkest of times. Augustine lived in such a time as this. Civilization was crumbling all around him, yet he found strength in God to sound a trumpet blast that we can still hear today. Dr. Steven Hake, a literature professor at Patrick Henry College (Purcellville, VA), has been praying for a Christian Renaissance for many years and is now offering two camps to help begin such a Renaissance. He is inviting a small group of young people (14 to 18 years old) to his home for a week (or two) this coming July to impart this vision and wrestle with these issues.

Campers can come for either one week or two. Each week we will spend four mornings studying and discussing one classic book (Augustine’s The City of God, July 12-18 and Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, July 19-25). We will also spend four afternoons examining one contemporary book (Andy Crouch’s Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling, July 12-18 and Ross Douthat’s Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics, July 19-25). The study and discussion will be in-depth and real. We will always be asking “what can we learn from these books to help us better love God and our neighbors, and to help us take our place in a Christian Renaissance?”

In the evenings, after family worship, Dr. Hake plans a series of “fireside chats” in which he will look at what following Christ is all about. Our rootedness in Christ is of first importance in any Renaissance that is genuinely Christian. Topics will include “Why a Christian Renaissance?” “The importance of Bible Study, and how to do it,” “Thoughts about prayer,” “What does it mean to be a good brother or a good sister (I Timothy 5:1-2)?” “How can I know God’s call on my life?” “What does it mean to love God with my strength?” “Why does language study matter?” and “Is my Christian life balanced?” These will be spread out over the two weeks.

One day each week we will drop everything and have an adventure. The first week we will spend a day sailing on the Chesapeake Bay and the second week we will take kayaks down the Shenandoah River. You can learn more about these camps and register at

Thanks, Kate, for those beautiful Scriptures …

Liesl did get to Grove City okay.  We had a wonderful ride up and a very nice visit with Isaac and Hannah before heading back.  I saw the pantry!  Truly wonderful!

Kevin and Becky, we have so enjoyed your photos.  We have enjoyed new photos from almost everyone, I think.  Thank you!  Please do keep them coming–they are so much fun!

Kevin and Jessica, exciting that you move step by step toward building.  You guys are amazing.  I just mention heugel-culture (only by concept, I had no idea what it was called) and you immediately knew exactly what it was, and now have one in your backyard.  I’m not allowed to say “Holy Cow!” anymore, or this would be a perfect occasion to say it!

Luke is “up to his wazoo in ministry” as I told the folks at New Hope this morning.  Many, many needs and opportunities!  Pray!

Quieter around here.  Elsie and Elaina are very sweet!

Pray for Faye–she is still very puzzled by what is going on, and sometimes discouraged.

Heading down south to help the Poortenga’s with the arrival of son #2 very soon.  We are excited about that too!

So glad to hear that Katie doesn’t have pertussis!

Kevin and Becky got back from PA for dinner Wednesday.

New Year’s Eve was kinda quiet, which was very nice!

Very pleasant day yesterday.  Quiet play, reading, walking, talking, (eating!).

Isaac and Hannah got in ninish last night. Jesse and Elizabeth expected today.

We had a “family day of prayer” on Wednesday.  It was like a monastery around here. Even Elsie and Elaina participated!  We gathered in the morning and I lead a brief devotional time, then all scattered to meet with God.  We gathered again mid morning for a devotional lead by Elsie and Elaina, then prayed till late lunch, and wrapped up with a devotional lead by Luke and Liesl.   I don’t know that we had ever done that before.  It was wonderful!

I assume Kevin and Jessica made it home okay???  So far the weather has been good for traveling.  Very thankful for that.  Calling for sleet and freezing rain Saturday morning.  Kevin and Becky’s flight leaves then.  Might make the trip to BWI tricky, and might affect the flight itself. Please pray!  Thank you!

Missing the Poortengas!

But having a wonderful time.

I can’t say what we are listening to right now, because it is another “Christmas surprise.”  But it’s beautiful!

I’m very full of caramel rolls!  Jessica made them this year.  Did a wonderful job!  Faye and I just got back from a long walk.  Always nice.  Yesterday we all went (young and old–also nice, in a different way).

I feel like I’ll never be hungry again!  🙁

We opened grandkids packages this morning, because I didn’t get back with Kevin and Becky from BWI till eleven PM Christmas Eve.  Kevin and Jessica made very good time, arriving about eight PM.  So we were lazy Christmas Day.

Good conversations.  Lot’s of loud craziness.  A whole spectrum.

Kevin and Becky head out tomorrow to see Kevin’s folks.

I can’t say much more without disclosing other Christmas surprises.

Katie, hope you are beginning to feel better!

About time!

It has been a LONG TIME since I’ve posted.  So sorry!

Liesl, Elsie and Elaina are playing “Settlers” at my feet.  Luke and Liesl spent most of the day on Christmas secrets, as did Faye.  Elsie and Elaina played nicely all day (I’m quite sure they didn’t mind that too much).  I got in another glorious day on my SABBATICAL.  It has been wonderful.

It has also been wonderful to have Luke and Liesl here.  We had our “little” Christmas yesterday.  It was wonderful.  Tomorrow a bunch of you come.  We are all super excited.  Most worried about Kevin and Becky’s flight.  Praying like crazy!

Katie is talking with Faye about a health concern.  So many health concerns–gotta pray like crazy about them too!

So glad Luke is back on here.  Bienvenido, Lucas!!!

So enjoyed Becky’s post, beautiful pictures.  Sienna strips herself and anyone else she can catch!  🙂  The trampoline looks like loads of fun ….

We have so enjoyed the “bigger and better” grandkids show.  Thank you, Bump, and thank you all, for having such beautiful children!

God is so good.  There are so many hard things we are all dealing with.  The heartache is very real.  But underneath are God’s everlasting arms.  He is so good!

Luke just called Raphael!  Had a good talk.

Just finished the two Gone Away Lake books.  Fun.  We are now reading The Princess and the Goblin.  Also very enjoyable.

Love you all so much! Drive carefully!!!

Speaking of which …

Faye, Elsie, Elaina, and LIESL are due in any moment!  Luke just got back a little bit ago.  I’m glad he’s here, as I know how much it means to him.  We are so glad to get a little window to see Liesl.  She has been so much on our minds.

Our days and hearts are full.  God is good, but life can be hard.  Don’t know where to start!

This weekend is homecoming at PHC, and I will actually be there most of tomorrow, at least in the daytime.  I’ll be driving Goob back to GCC on Sunday, so we’ll get many hours of quiet time together.

Let’s hear from the rest of you!

(Isaac, Luke hasn’t been able to post on here for a LONG time, because he somehow got bumped off, or something.  It would be wonderful if we could get him “reinstated” somehow, so we could hear directly from him.)

So exciting!

That all was so much fun!  From “Plumber Heck” (and Orlando’s heart-wrenching misunderstanding–he must have thought Grandma Kookie had turned into some kind of hard-hearted monster!), to that stunning profile of Baby Bump–handsome!, to “Joel administers the world’s most scenic spanking.”  I really enjoyed that one!

I don’t know where to begin on this end!  Faye has been working really hard on the women’s retreat (New Hope–this coming Friday and Saturday).  Pray for that.  She’s excited, and her “Unshakeables” talk has grown a lot.  It’s been very edifying for her.  I told her, though, that we’ll move Family Night to Saturday (the retreat ends at four) and celebrate “having her back again.”

Last night it had gotten late.  Luke’s PHC roommate was here (a really nice young man) and we didn’t have any easy supper.  So we all piled in the Kia and had Bible Time on the road and read Swallowdale.  We ate at Chick-Fil-A’s and finished off at Sweet Frog.  It was fun!  Faye and I can eat mostly all the yummy fresh fruit, and so don’t feel left out!

Faye and I are going to try to relax together a little bit after several very busy days.

Katie, your idea of a “morning time” is great!  First things first–math can wait!

Faye has been having good days with Elsie and Elaina.  They are super eager learners–delightful to work with (usually!).

We still haven’t closed the pool.  The water is still in the seventies!  We may even swim a bit more!  Much less of that with Luke and Liesl to inspire it!

Let us keep praying for each other!  So many good things, but hard things and questions, too, in all of our lives.  Pray!  God is good.

“Recalled to life!”

No, the news is no longer “under wraps,” Kevin!  🙂

I am assuming you all have seen what Faye wrote Sunday and sent out widely.  And virtually all of you have talked extensively over the phone.

Faye has an important follow-up with Dr. Rajendra Thursday afternoon.  PLEASE PRAY FOR WISDOM!  That is when he will “officially” tell us what he thinks of the test results, and what we should do next.  Help, Lord!

Faye launched E & E’s school yesterday, and it was like the old days:  E & E were excited about everything, even math!  And they got their desks all set up “cozy,” and the schoolroom.  They even liked their new chore sheets when I had them doing chores for three hours last night getting ready for today.  Caleb also pitched in, and so it was actually kinda fun.  I am hoping Faye is finally “fully set up” for her Tuesday classes.  There is every indication that she will actually begin to have some serious white space (as in “margin”) in her life going forward this fall.  Now THAT would be wonderful!  And if she felt good, that would be absolutely wonderful!

I agree.  That Tennessee land is beautiful!  Don’t give up too soon on the buildability of your house, Kevin.  Maybe talk to a couple of other architects or builders.  Granted, you don’t want to get into another hobbit hole situation, but neither do you want to miss something good.  That one person could be wrong.  “By the evidence of two or three witnesses a thing is established….”

We love you all so much!  Praying like crazy!