“the very paradox of human existence, namely, that although man is a passing creature who often does merely strut and fret his short hour upon life’s stage, he is also more than a passing creature of an earthly day—for he is made for eternity, for God himself. Therefore, what happens to him and in him, as well as what is done by him, though of short temporal duration, has eternal value.” (James Boice)

Family

Family,

Staring at the Sun and Moon

The Eclipse 2012

You are not supposed to look directly at the eclipse.So I called my dad to see if he had some welding helmets appropriate for staring at the sun. I didn’t realize that, in his garage, he had stored the same hand-made viewing apparatuses that he made for us when we were children.

To make your own viewing apparatus: take a shoulder-width square piece of cardboard and cut a small square window in the center, large enough to hold a welding lens. Tape the lens into the window and hand to child (or adult). Safely view the eclipse holding the cardboard up to the sky and looking through the small square viewing area.

My dad made three of these. We each had our own when we were three young boys. This time we shared with our neighbors. To our surprise, we walked out front to find several of our neighbors outside with the same goal. Tony, our metal working neighbor, and John, our old-school neigbor both had full-fledged welding helmets. Our new neighbors had a soda box converted into a peep-hole camera. The eclipse was ultra-cute and small in the peep-hole camera. They thought it was pathetic in comparison to looking directly at the sun though a welding lens. But in the end it was fun to experience the eclipse in a variety of ways, including the shadows!

The light from the sun filtered through trees casting eclipse-shaped shadows on the ground. The video originally had my unedited narration with redundant statements like “here’s shadows of the eclipse through trees again”. I felt that my voice managed to turn something exciting into something uncomfortably lame. So I redeemed the audio with a song. Although the video doesn’t come close to representing the reality of the experience, and there was a bit of a strangeness to be excited over looking at something as mundane as the sun and the moon, I hope you enjoy. smile

 

To make your own viewing apparatus: take a shoulder-width square piece of cardboard and cut a small square window in the center, large enough to hold a welding lens. Tape the lens into the window and hand to child (or adult). Safely view the eclipse holding the cardboard up to the sky and looking through the small square viewing area.

My dad made three of these. We each had our own when we were three young boys. This time we shared with our neighbors. To our surprise, we walked out front to find several of our neighbors outside with the same goal. Tony, our metal working neighbor, and John, our old-school neigbor both had full-fledged welding helmets. Our new neighbors had a soda box converted into a peep-hole camera. The eclipse was ultra-cute and small in the peep-hole camera. They thought it was pathetic in comparison to looking directly at the sun though a welding lens. But in the end it was fun to experience the eclipse in a variety of ways, including the shadows!

The light from the sun filtered through trees casting eclipse-shaped shadows on the ground. The video originally had my unedited narration with redundant statements like “here’s shadows of the eclipse through trees again”. I felt that my voice managed to turn something exciting into something uncomfortably lame. So I redeemed the audio with a song. Although the video doesn’t come close to representing the reality of the experience, and there was a bit of a strangeness to be excited over looking at something as mundane as the sun and the moon, I hope you enjoy. smile

Family,

Swimming In Alabama

A Survival Strategy For Outdoor Fun

Sammys Pool

Alabama had one of the hottest summers this year, and the best way we survived the heat was to jump in a pool. Our friend Jeannie, brother Sammy, brother Jared, aunt Jean, and Nana Lynn all had pools. Sammy’s pool was the most unique swimming experience I’ve ever had. You can kick back, relax, and wave to the transfer trucks rolling down the freeway.

Claire Swimming

Matthew and Claire loved being in the pool and their skills as swimmers improved, even though they still need swimming aids. Towards the beginning of our trip Claire was using both a floaty and arm rings, and always staying close to one of us; by the end of the trip Claire was using only one swimming-aid and was roaming the pool on her own.

Matthew Jumping

Matthew jumped off a diving board for the first time in Alabama. He would hold his nose and take such a deep breath that his cheeks puffed up like a puffer fish. At first he wanted me to be so close to the diving board that he would nearly jump onto my head, which brought both of us underwater. As Matthew overcame his fear I would move back a little more so that he could jump more into the water rather than onto me.

Usually in San Jose pools are only refreshing on very hot days, during heat waves, when it’s 95 degrees or more outside, otherwise it’s usually a too cool to be hanging out in a pool. But in Alabama, it was 95° or hotter, with high humidity nearly every day. It was so refreshing to hang out in a pool, take a break from the heat, and play in the water.

Slideshow

Family,

Boxes Are Greater Than the Gift

Especially When You Can Fit Inside Them

Washer Box Camping

We recently purchased a new washer, which has many cool and interesting features. It’s one of those new top loading high energy efficient models with the glass lid that allows you to look down and see the clothes spinning and churning. But for Matthew and Claire the most interesting thing about the new washer is the box that it came in. It is actually big enough for the two of them to sleep in.

This new box stayed in our house for two days or more and this was not the only time that a box has provided so much enjoyment. Recently, Nana Lynn sent Matthew a cool batting toy that automatically grabs the ball and dangles it in front of you to hit; but the box that it came it was the most interesting thing to him. He immediately climbed into the box and sat in it like it was a rocket that could take him to outer space. Of course, later he did love the toy after we had put it together and it was actually doing what it was intended to do. However, that curious fascination and love boxes is also present in our children as that classic and mysterious enjoyment that all children share.

Family,

Library Grand Opening

We Are Enjoying 34 New Books

Went to the South San Jose Santa Teresa Library Grand Opening. The library opened with all new books. It was amazing. Literally, every single book in sight was brand new. This evening we looked over at Claire reading one of her books to find her taking stickers out of the book and sticking them to the cover. Normally library books don’t have stickers in them! These were very new and Claire was on it. We let her keep the stickers, but we peeled them off the cover and put them on the train table.

By God’s providence we were there at the same time as Dianne Carlo and kids. Lance and Matthew borrowed the same Firetruck picture book. I found Richard Dawkin’s God Delusion, Mark Driscoll’s Religion saves, and a few very new computer books. Jenn found some cooking books on cupcakes and soups.

There was so many people and the lines were plenty long. The people in line with us had so many books that they were finding surfaces to place their books on as they waited in line. They encouraged everyone around them to do the same: it was funny. We held onto our books because we had settled into a comfortable hold on them, and we knew the line was going to keep moving.

When we first entered the store we ran into another neighborhood mom that Jenn knows. While in line we saw Nate and his son quickly walk buy, we said hi and they were taken back for a second at the size of the line. A few people in front of us was another family that we vaguely recognized but could not remember from where we remembered her; we kept staring and staring, but just couldn’t remember.

What a nice library visit. We thought it would be too busy to bother, but it actually turned out to be a fun time.

Family,

Claire’s Prayer for Haiti

The Simple Faith of a 2 Year Old

At the end of our family worship we ask each of our children to prayer for something. We asked Claire if she would prayer for the children in Haiti. We explained that their houses were crushed and some of them don’t have any mommy or daddy.

Claire said, “I share my daddy; I share my mommy” (She’s only two, so the English is a bit broken).

Jenn and I looked at each other and were moved by her compassionate response. We asked her a second time to confirm that she would really want to share us: she did. What a simple solution, at least form her perspective!

In her prayer she continued to voice her desire to share her daddy with the children of Haiti. I must admit I was a little choked up at that point. We all finished our prayers and Jenn asked, “so, will we be adopting a child from Haiti?”

I said, “Who knows, I guess we’ll see.”

Well, that’s quite a prayer. It’s easy to discount her little prayer as just the naivety of a 2 year old who’s prayer is straight from the heart. She really wasn’t thinking about the difficulty of the thing she was asking. At the same time, the Bible calls Christians to do this very thing.

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (Jas 1:27)

Perhaps this is one of the qualities of a child that makes them the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 18:3-4).

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