Saturday, May 29, 2010


...on Wilson's senior pic. Rushed out today and took a few quick shots because I hated the other ones. This is final....seriously...I'm not doing this again....ever.....until Annie is a senior :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fresno State Grad

Brad is officially a college graduate.....Yippee Yahoo!

We attended his graduation ceremony Saturday at the SaveMart Center in Fresno.

More than 2 thousand young people filled the stadium floor and we spent most of the 2-hour ceremony trying to find Brad in a sea of black (which proved fruitless despite the texting between Brad and girlfriend). We were sitting about 12 rows down from the ceiling and tho we were some distance from the stage, we liked our seats.

I did find Brad later in the random photos I was taking of the graduates as they were getting seated.

And apparently we weren't the only ones trying to locate our children:)

Lots of speeches, awards and honorary doctorates (one given to Exeter High grad Kenny Guinn - former governor of Nevada) before the bestowing of the degrees on the graduates. It truly was an impressive ceremony. And on a surprise note(to us anyway:) Brad graduated Cum laude 'with praise', awarded to undergraduate students with grade point averages of 3.5 to 3.69.

Following the main graduating ceremony, there was a reception for the Kinesiology graduates
where the actual diplomas were awarded.

As we were leaving campus, we had to deal with the obligatory car problem....taken care of with a little brute strength and ignorance.

Afterwards we headed to Brad's favorite dining establishment, Brewbakers (hey, it's not just about the beer :) and then walked down the street to take in a movie (How to Train Your Dragon - Brad's choice) before heading home to open a good bottle of Pina and toast our oldest son's accomplishment.

Congratulations Brad!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

AMGEN tour of California

The bikes came thru Exeter today and it was pretty exciting. The riders were in town for all of about 3 minutes and went by us so fast that I had no idea what I was shooting.

The photo of Lance was a complete fluke, I was shooting the guy in front of him....duh. Armstrong was involved in a crash just outside of town and shortly after the peloton passed us, he dropped out of the race due to his injuries.

update: 8 stitches under his eye, no broken bones.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

School Prayer?

In 1992 the Supreme Court ruled that an invocation at a High School graduation was in violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution, stating that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Writing for the majority Justice Kennedy states that “the government’s involvement in religious exercises at graduation is ‘pervasive’ and unavoidable. The state creates both public and peer pressure on the students to rise for and remain silent during prayers. State officials not only determine that an invocation and benediction should be given, but also select the religious participant and provide guidelines for the content of the nonsectarian prayers.”

I'm not sure I completely agree with the original reasoning, but not being able to pray at graduation isn’t going to diminish my faith or my relationship with God in any meaningful way. I usually spend the invocation fuming over the incessant chatting that goes on in the midst of it...yet another reason to abhor graduation ceremonies. Frankly, it’s amazing that in our small town the high school has managed to avoid detection for the last 17 graduation ceremonies. It ends this year.

At the center of the controversy is a student whose questioning of the legality of prayer led to an overly-cautious administration shutting the practice down. Rumors abound. The discussion around school and around town has been rather heated and somewhat ridiculous (talk of "going back to where they came from" atheists have a homeland?) Most of the banter has borne little resemblance to the truth and certainly no resemblance to Christianity. It’s understandable to be upset over having yet another of our traditions stripped away, but it is unacceptable that people would be vindictive and cruel to an 18yr.old girl because of her beliefs. And it's not a very compelling method of persuading anyone to our side of the argument; coercion is hardly an effective conversion tool.

Wouldn’t it have said more about our faith if we could have accepted the decision with grace and a determination to be a positive witness in the situation? I don’t like the idea that God is being taken out of much of the public arena, and I doubt the sincerity of many who are determined to strip our lives of any religious references. But our reaction to this minor persecution is much more important than securing the right to say a prayer at graduation or have a crèche on the courthouse lawn. If a moment of silence is all that is offered...use it. Let’s pray for our country, our town, our neighbors...pray for the non-believers.

And while we’re at it, thank God that we live in a country where taking prayer out of graduation can even be considered a problem.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A thought

This world has all that I could want and nothing that I need.

...Caedmon's Call

Friday, May 14, 2010

Busy busy busy

Taking senior photos last weekend with Beatles fans....this is what happens :)

I've been in the garden pretty much non-stop this week, pausing only to attend various 'senior' activities and occasionally cook dinner (very occasionally). Hopefully, I will get some time this weekend to take a few pics (with a borrowed camera-another sad story) and post our progress. Bye!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Prayer for today

There's a place in the darkness that I used to cling to
It presses harsh hope against time
In the absence of martyrs there's a presence of thieves
Who only want to rob you blind
They steal away any sense of peace
Though I'm a king I'm a king on my knees
And I know they are wrong when they say I am strong
As the darkness covers me


So turn on the light and reveal all the glory
I am not afraid
To bare all my weakness knowing in meekness
I have a kingdom to gain
Where there is peace and love in the light, in the light
Oh I am not afraid
To let Your light shine bright in my life, in my life
Oh I... am, I...

There are ghosts from my past who've owned more of my soul
Than I thought I had given away
They linger in closets and under my bed
And in pictures less proudly displayed
A great fool in my life I have been
Have squandered till pallid and thin
Hung my head in shame and refused to take blame
For the darkness I know I've let win


Can you hear me?

Well I've never been much for the baring of soul
In the presence of any man
I'd rather keep to myself all safe and secure
In the arms of a sinner I am
Could it be that my worth should depend
By the crimson stained grace on a hand
And like a lamp on a hill Lord I pray in Your will
To reveal all of You that I can


There's a place in the darkness that I used to cling to
It presses harsh hope against time...

-Jennifer Knapp Martyrs and Thieves

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Just Because

Have you ever noticed? Anybody going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac.

A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.

"One thing leads to another"? Not always. Sometimes one thing leads to the same thing. Ask an addict.

I don't have to tell you it goes without saying there are some things better left unsaid. I think that speaks for itself. The less said about it the better.

In El Salvador they declared a cease fire after ten years. Why didn't they think of that at the beginning?

Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.

-George Carlin, 1937 - 2008

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Senior awards were last night. Wilson got his CSF gold cord, number 7 class ranking and one small scholarship award.....out of hundreds. We were kind of disappointed (ok, I was disappointed, Wilson ate Panda Express.....and was fine).

Our young man wants to go to Lane Junior College in Eugene Oregon and eventually to the University of Oregon. We normally wouldn't even consider an out-of-the-area community college because we have one 10miles away. But to establish residency and save $14,000 (a year!!!) on out-of-state tuition, it seemed reasonable. It seemed more reasonable when we thought we would be getting
a bit more help here.

I absolutely LOVE seeing the kids who have worked hard, given back to their community and used their talents for good get the recognition they deserve. Other kids....not so much.

Sour grapes? Perhaps, but what do I tell our daughter about working hard when she's watched 2 of her brothers graduate with 4.0 GPA's and little else to show for it? Yeah, I know hard work is it's own reward, and the efforts they have put in will pay off in the long run....yada, yada, yada. We've been saying those things to our kids for years, why doesn't it make me feel any better?

Wilson is a good kid, he's worked very hard this year, he's smart and personable (senior picture day not withstanding) and I'm frustrated that his efforts weren't recognized. Financially recognized.

....sigh. But it's my frustration, it's my issue and one that I need to deal with. Maybe I'm just being a bad sport. Maybe I need to stop whining and get on with it. Maybe I need to pray for wisdom and a tiny bit of the joy I used to know......and maybe I should eat a little Panda Express now and then :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Wilson's Senior Photos

...and the reason I'm not a professional....eek I hate doing these!

And just for the record, he actually has a very nice smile.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

To Mom

Saturday, May 8, 2010

For Sam

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Welcome Home!

Sam is back on American soil.....Yippee Yahoo:) He and the last remaining brigade of the 82nd Airborne arrived back in North Carolina on Saturday after 3 months of duty in Haiti. These are some of the photos he took of the earthquake damage. The country is obviously still in need of our continued prayers and support.