kite runner

chris and i just saw kite runner. i cried through almost the entire book and the same was true for the movie. it is such an incredible story with very talented actors and captivating cinematography.

i don't want to give away anything from the movie but basically it's about 2 young boys, friends, growing up in afghanistan just as the russians and then the taliban take over. it's made me think of many things.
i don't know when we'll be held accountable for the things done to children in our world... it's so horrific. it seems unfair that the children chris and i have one day (god willing) will probably never have to live through what other children do. i guess we never know. that was one idea the movie brought to my mind. how do you raise children to be so courageous and loving? so willing to sacrifice self-preservation for the needs of others? i suppose we, the adults, have to mirror it. and so, it comes back to me. how do i become courageous and loving? how do i become willing to sacrifice the preservation of me for others? can i do the little things that inconvenience me? can i talk with jim a little longer outside my house the next time he comes around? can i invite shanna in to sit on my couch for pb&j and soymilk (she loves the stuff, it's weird) when the absolute last thing i want to do is deal with is a needy addict (just being honest). can i greet the men who stand on the corner with a little more trust and love than i do?

ok... so as i type those out they embarrass me. they seem easy. ok, so if those are easy and i struggle doing them could i put my life at risk for my friends? could i actually lay down my life?

our community christmas picture

finally, here is our christmas picture (after christmas, i know). almost everyone is in it and we're standing in front of the philly skyline and a scrap metal facility.


bad genes

at about 7:35 am today i found out that i have been passed down the gerhke (mom's side) migraine curse. my first one. it was awful! i still feel awful. i got the whole deal... massive piercing headache, nausea, and throwing up. and now i'm so tired, laying here, and thinking of all the things i need to get done.

on an another note, christmas was nice. we went to chris' grandparent's houses in ohio. lucy came too and we had a great time. pictures are coming. chris' grandpa keeps bees and we got to go check them out. and we all got honey! yum. chris put some on my toast this morning, after all my "cleansing".

speaking of cleansing... a different kind, of course... my bathtub is calling.


school's out!

today was the last day of school for my class and for chris as well! it feels good to have a break. hopefully i'll have more time to post about what's been going on.

i just ordered some stationary from a beautiful artist that i want to share.
gwen frostic prints are lovely and you should buy some. here is a picture of her bird notecards.


levon helm

i was listening to npr in the car today and terry gross was interviewing a musician and singer levon helm. i've never heard of him but fell in love with the music he plays. "dirt farmer" is the first album he has put out in 25 years - he was diagnosed with vocal chord cancer but is in full-ish recovery. check him out of you like mountain music.



there are good things about jersey! to read about the new law rejecting the death penalty, click here.


Our Lady of Guadalupe

today is the feast day of our lady of guadalupe referred to as "like the mama of all the mexicans". (i like that)
we can appreciate the story of guadalupe, whether it's true or not, because she represents the needs and care of indigenous peoples. she spoke not to the conqueror but the conquered. she spoke in his own language and made him a messenger.

good stuff.

i also liked this reading from today.

God saw the world falling to ruin because of fear and immediately acted to call it back with love. God invited it by grace, preserved it by love, and embraced it with compassion.
- peter chrysologus 5th century


pictures and pizza and forts, oh my!

today we decided to have our community christmas celebration. unfortunately we were missing kaitlin and amber and their absences were definitely felt. we took our community picture at the pier with philly in the background on one side and the camden iron and metal facility (the scrap metal place) on the other. we thought the dichotomy was a nice one.

after that we ate pizza and brownies and built a fort. that's right, a fort... out of blankets and pillows and floor lamps and couches. upon reflection at one gathering, on our childhood memories, we all realized that most of us had built forts. so we decided to fortify ourselves, all 11 of us, and read winter and christmas stories. i was a little skeptical about all this but i did end up having fun. one of the books we read was "louhi, witch of north farm" which is a story from finland's epic poem, the kalevala . this is a special story to me because i grew up reading it and my family on my dad's side is from finland.

here are some pictures of our day...

lakes in finland

in our fort #1

in our fort #2

getting set up for our picture


a holy longing

it is advent time, one of my favorite times. we've been reading every night from two advent books and are trying to be present to longing and waiting. it's hard to slow down and experience anticipation but it's helped me to try and pay closer attention to my kids in school, to my neighbors, and the folks on the streets. there is a lot to long for. i do long for cities where children are not forgotten, families who are whole, people who are free from addictions. i long for the fierce motherly love of Jesus to show us the way. i think we need that kind of love particularly.

it does help that winter is finally here!

i also wanted to share the beauty that is our friends dave, caren, and little clara. if there is any family i want to grow up to be like it's them. i love their commitment to using no electric lights during advent. read about it.