Monday, September 28, 2009

Cardboard Testimonies

My friend Mickey Shortsleeves sent this along. I thought I'd share it here. Redemption really is beautiful.

Look here for more on how to be changed by God.

How to Ride a Roller Coaster

The experience of dropping Becca off at college taught me a lesson. In the days leading up to her imminent departure, people would ask how I'm feeling about it as a dad. I came to realize that I was both excited (for her) and dreading it (for me) at the same time. I saw more clearly in myself a tendency to dread such a big change, since I knew the ripping feeling in the chest (as I described here) was coming up soon. Honestly, I even got the shot of adrenaline in the pit of the stomach sometimes when I thought of her leaving.

I came to describe these two feelings as the difference between the two ways you can ride a roller coaster. You can strap yourself in with a sense of dread, and then hold on tight with your eyes closed till its over. Or you can trust your safety harness, throw your hands up in the air and scream your head off! But either way you choose to ride, your destination is the same, right?

So I think I can actually say that I did better this time with a change that life threw at us. I really did enjoy the process of sending my daughter off to college. And I stopped dreading it so much. To mix my metaphors, I feel a little like the dad-fish in Pixar's Finding Nemo, who would worry too much about his little fish-son swimming too far away from the safety of the reef. Not that I'm happy to see her go; no, just the opposite. *sniff* But I am doing better at enjoying the ride. Like 'Dori' I guess.

So, I'm going to keep trying....look ma, no hands!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Supersize Me

Fall is definitely on its way here in Vermont. The mountains are rusty, but not the flaming reds and yellows and browns and golds that we expect every year. Its the early fall 'tease' that makes you keep watching for more.

So Janie and I got in the car this afternoon and went for a drive up to Killington. There is for me an, "ah, finally" kind of sensation to the approach of fall, and its not about the approach of deer season. I think its more the sense of release, since my summers at work are always so loaded and it finally relaxes once the seniors are back in school. So I look forward to fall a lot. Plus the air is cooler and dryer which I like because I hate heat and humidity. Plus its just beautiful. Vermont is just stunning in the fall. God does some of His best work in the fall.

The bonus to our little jaunt was that I got a FREE coffee and the soft ice cream wino got a 39 cent soft ice cream from...McDonalds. That's right, McDonalds! Not to worry, coffee and ice cream is the limit of what we would ever get at McDonald's. We heard from Andrew Hilliker, McDonald's employee par excellence, that McDonald's was giving away coffee. Why? Who cares? But there was Andrew and his buddy Steve Latucca in our driveway with a large (ok, supersized) coffee cup on top of his car. I said to him, "dude, if that's full, you are my new best friend." Alas, it was a fake made to strap onto a car to advertise the free coffee just by driving around town. He thought that was the best job ever.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Real Food

I am happy to report that Janie has moved beyond bagels and broth and is having the rest of us! Not exactly five-course banquets or anything, but cereal and toast and ziti lasagna (thank you Gladys) and squash soup (thank you Carol) and even pasta with Mediterranean chicken (thank you Laura) have been on the menu! As you can see, the good folks at Ira Baptist have been taking good care of us. I guess that is a part of what Community is about. Thank you all so much for the meals and especially for praying.

So she's on a good track. The fever is down...AND: she is finally not feeling sick anymore! Huzzah! She did have her chemo this week and is getting her energy back. She even went on a short walk in the neighborhood tonight, so we are very happy and praising God.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bagels Are A Start

Janie continues to improve...a tiny bit each day. Yesterday (Sunday) she went in for two more bags of fluids more as a 'just in case' kind of thing. They didn't want her to get dehydrated. She ate 1/2 a bagel and some crackers. Woohoo!

Today (Monday) she is definitely up and around, though still moving slowly and just ate a real lunch! Yippee! She is still going to take it slow. The UTI is still there, so she is going back on her antibiotic for that.

Chemo tomorrow........thanks for praying!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Warning: the following post includes miracles, answers to prayer and beautiful people. Read at your own risk.

First of all, thank you all so much for praying for Janie. We have some encouraging news, though we are not quite out of the woods yet.

Yesterday (Thursday) Janie slept, well, all day. She had taken an Adavan (the strong one for nausea) which just knocked her out. I'm glad she slept - she needed the rest I think. She was very sluggish and woozy. I don't know about you, but if I sleep during the day, I'm up all night. Not so here: she then proceeded to sleep all night. She didn't feel very well when she was awake.

Today was a pretty exhausting day. Janie got up ok, though she still had no appetite at all. She was sitting up and by the time it was for me to go to work she had dutifully taken her antibiotic for the UTI. She barely got it down since that involves swallowing. She had eaten 9 potato chips and a few sips of Fresca since Wednesday and felt very you feel after you've had the flu. Janie's mom came to be with her for a while and decided wisely to call the cancer center to discuss more IV fluids. Sure enough, by 10:00 it was back to RRMC for two more big bags of fluids.

They decided to have a look inside her abdomen (via CT Scan and X-Ray) for anything fishy. I guess they wanted to see if

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Janie Does Have a Brain After All

The following is a good news story. (However, she has not read it as of 'posting time,' so I may need to revise this to correct any inaccuracies...).

For the last several weeks, Janie has been feeling very exhausted and even kind of car-sick and feverish. We haven't known why, and it had gotten worse over this past weekend. It had gotten bad enough by Monday that her oncologist, Dr. Eisemann, decided to hold off on her regularly scheduled Monday chemo so he could prescribe some anti-nausea drugs and some steroids. He thought it would be best if she was stronger (by skipping chemo for a week) while she gave these drugs a chance to work.

He also sent her (still on Monday) to our friendly neighborhood ear/nose/throat specialist so he could have a look at her sinuses. Janie had been having a lot of, shall we say,

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Elegant Universe

New Hubble Space Telescope pictures...spectacular!


I know you've probably seen this oldie, but I have a point in posting it here:

Would anyone really believe that the car parts in this ad just randomly, with lots of time and chance, came together to work exactly the way they did to produce the final advertisement? You would think the answer should be "no," but every day Darwinian evolutionists ask you to believe just that.

Where we see a design, there must be a designer. It seems so clear to me that there was a designer of the movements and unique functions of the parts in this (amazingly clever) ad. Why shouldn't this be so for other far more complex us and all of the universe? If we see design, doesn't that indicate a designer?

The 'Cog' video is actually a good example of 'intelligent design.' It illustrates very well the concept of irreducible complexity: a machine or organism needs all of its essential parts to work. Like the basic mousetrap: remove any of its parts and it will not work. Design.

I think this is probably true of any machine. Remember those funny old Rube Goldberg machine cartoons?

Remove any essential element and the machine will not function.

Michael Behe (who wrote "Darwin's Black Box") wrote a brief article (scroll past the section on the eye if you only want to read about irreducible complexity) that mentions intelligent design and irreducible complexity. If you don't want to read that, just get this point: He said, "What is 'design'? Design is simply the purposeful arrangement of parts."

Behe says that Darwinism has made virtually no strides in explaining how "irreducibly complex " systems (like your blood or your eyeball, for instance) could arise through Darwinian means. He proposes that "a better explanation is that such systems were deliberately designed by an intelligent agent."

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world."
Psalm 19:1-4

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Fair

We've never really been "Fair" people. Meaning we're not really go-to-the-Fair-and-eat-artery-clogging-fried-dough-and-over-pay-to-play-carnival-games-you-can't-win-for-stuffed-animals-you-can't-sell-at-the-yard-sale people. I suspect that America's land-fills are in trouble because of giant styrofoam-pellet-filled Magilla Gorilla carnival prizes. But Carly begged and we finally caved in because it was get-in-for-a-buck night. Plus her cousin Anna was there to keep her in line.

So we texted Becca at college: Hey, we're at the's a picture.


We text back: we love Carly more.

Becca: Hahahaha well have lots of fun and use lots o Purell.

Ok, so we have germ issues. I'd like to take Kim Winters' suggestion and fill a Super-Soaker with Purell and hose down most of the crowd. But that's not very loving I suppose.

This year *sniff* Till We Have Faces did not play at the Fair as they had for the last two years. It felt funny to be there as 'civilians' and not as participants. However, The Skys from Prince Edward
island were there...Celtic style gospel music complete with clogging. Worth checking out.

We bumped into lots of dear friends too. I think Rose is stalking us...we saw you like 50 times Rose, and you bear-hugged Janie each time. Every life needs a Rose. Lyandon and Kim, congratulations on the arrival of Charlotte! She's beautiful!

Also thanks to our niece Anna for the super top-notch cellphone picture.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Resident Geek

Smarty-pants Daniel gave this web comic to us...