open eyes and ears

Yep.  Took a few photos this week.

So, there was a fuss created, mostly south of the border, with Ann Coulter's careless use of the word retard.  Yeah, I said it.  And I don't care for the word at all.  In fact, it bothers us a great deal when we hear it.  Unfortunately, the word is still used to describe our girls in both professional and casual conversation... and it hurts when we hear someone use it as an insult or when they are frustrated with their stapler.  I think you get it.

There were some creative responses to Ann Coulter's comments, most moving was this one.

I know we can't change everything.  We can only hope that a media stir as such was created will remind us to show grace, create understanding and promote awareness.

For now, we'll keep on doing what we're doing.  Hopefully, the sale of thesauruses will increase as people search for new describing words.

* * *

The other day, Janneke took to exploring the garage, making sure the Sprinter fit.  Pretty nice bat cave, eh, kid?

The birthday parties were a lot of fun for all.  Soph wanted hers at home, all organized by her - games that had prizes and dressing up.  Em asked Uncle Harvey and Aunt Carol for another farm party, complete with an obstacle course, hayride, and hot dogs over a fire .  Lots of good memories...

Today, Ralph showed me a great list of 10 resolutions for mental health (via this link with John Piper).  Here they are for you:

1. At least once every day I shall look steadily up at the sky and remember that I, a consciousness with a conscience, am on a planet traveling in space with wonderfully mysterious things above and about me.


2. Instead of the accustomed idea of a mindless and endless evolutionary change to which we can neither add nor subtract, I shall suppose the universe guided by an Intelligencewhich, as Aristotle said of Greek drama, requires a beginning, a middle, and an end.
I think this will save me from the cynicism expressed by Bertrand Russell before his death when he said: "There is darkness without, and when I die there will be darkness within. There is no splendor, no vastness anywhere, only triviality for a moment, and then nothing."
3. I shall not fall into the falsehood that this day, or any day, is merely another ambiguous and plodding twenty-four hours, but rather a unique event, filled, if I so wish, with worthy potentialities.
I shall not be fool enough to suppose that trouble and pain are wholly evil parentheses in my existence, but just as likely ladders to be climbed toward moral and spiritual manhood.
4. I shall not turn my life into a thin, straight line which prefers abstractions to reality. I shall know what I am doing when I abstract, which of course I shall often have to do.
5. I shall not demean my own uniqueness by envy of others. I shall stop boring into myself to discover what psychological or social categories I might belong to. Mostly I shall simply forget about myself and do my work.

6. I shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, or a person [or cows]. I shall not then be concerned at all to ask what they are but simply be glad that they are. I shall joyfully allow them the mystery of what Lewis calls their "divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic" existence.
7. I shall sometimes look back at the freshness of vision I had in childhood and try, at least for a little while, to be, in the words of Lewis Carroll, the "child of the pure unclouded brow, and dreaming eyes of wonder."

8. I shall follow Darwin's advice and turn frequently to imaginative things such as good literature and good music, preferably, as Lewis suggests, an old book and timeless music.
9. I shall not allow the devilish onrush of this century to usurp all my energies but will instead, as Charles Williams suggested, "fulfill the moment as the moment." I shall try to live well just now because the only time that exists is now.

10. Even if I turn out to be wrong, I shall bet my life on the assumption that this world is not idiotic, neither run by an absentee landlord, but that today, this very day, some stroke is being added to the cosmic canvas that in due course I shall understand with joy as a stroke made by the architect who calls himself Alpha and Omega.

I think I'll print that list out and stick it on the fridge.

Peace for your week.

Oh, a lesson learned: Don't serve cake on a hayride.

And a special thanks to Nancy and Doug Roorda for raking our leaves each year.  Such a treat - and such a huge help.