Actual Bed-time Conversations

Me: who was the guy who baptized Jesus?

Evie: I don’t know, but he liked honey… and bugs

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Evie’s conception of God

tonight, while Evelyn was talking about her prayers, she mentions that she pictures God when she prays.  This makes complete sense to me, as I know Evie has an very vivid imagination, and I’m always wondering what’s going on “up there”.


What follows did not disappoint.  God, according to Evie:

  • has a blue ski hat, with tassells
  • a yellow bathrobe
  • a big nose
  • wears bunny slippers
  • Pink Skin
  • is male


These moments are just priceless

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A Good line from Abbey

Tonight in bed-time Bible stories, Abbey said something I won’t forget (in fact, I’ll probably use it)

Abbey said: God’s love is priceless, and it’s also priceless

What she means by that (i didn’t quite get it, either) is that:

  • 1-God’s love has no price (price-less), and therefore can’t be bought
  • 2-God’s love is so valuable it is beyond monetary price; its price is inestimable

that type of thinking is very typical of Abbey these days.  Very devotional, thoughtful, creative.  And she’s always been pretty good with words.

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the Treehouse

Our backyard has long been a unique asset to the house.  We’ve loved bringing people back on a nice day since we bought the house. But it wasn’t until we re-graded the back yard, 3 years ago, that I noticed there was a great spot for a tree house. I knew that the yard was great for a tree house.

but it wasn’t until this week that we were able to have it done.  It is no exaggeration to say the girls (and their friends) were waiting anxiously, watching out the window, while the workers worked put the finishing touches on it. As soon as they signalled it was okay to come out, 4 of them ran out and onto it.

We’ve now had the tree house for 3 days, and it feels like we’ve had it for 3 years.  It’s exciting to think about what memories will be created in this new addition.





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Happy Easter!, egg hunt

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Gatherings (Hawaii Journal)

So far on this vacation journal, we’ve talked about a few key elements related to what it takes to make a good trip: fun, togetherness, experiences, and sights.  (Those all overlap in one way or another, but there’s distinctions in my own mind.) Like a good recipe, you need these “ingredients” to make a tasty dish.  Also like a recipe, they need to combine and interact with each other in certain ways for the end result to turn out well.

But to me, there’s nothing more important on a vacation then to take time away and reflect. As a family, we do this by having Family Gatherings every morning.  For 1 hour+, after every breakfast, we did a Bible Study on what it means to be a family, and how God influences the family.

Of all the things that could benefit this family (that’s everyone, including myself) on this vacation, I can’t think of anything that has the potential like these Gatherings.  Ideally, these Gatherings are to the heart & spirit what a workout is to the body.  They build solid habits of the spirit, and orient the emotions towards the community and, ultimately, towards God.

At one point during a Gathering, Evie told me “I’m BORED” (she said it with a lot of emphasis).  I can understand that she’s bored; I would expect her to be.  But I believe boredom to be one of the best signs of building mental and spiritual stamina there is.  Just as a muscle signals pain when it has been stretched, so do our ‘attention muscles’ signal pain by telling us that we are “bored”.  But, also just like a muscle, if you expose yourself to that pain with enough regularity, you will become stronger, and you will be able to focus your attention on things for longer periods of time.

And of course, there is nothing more important to focus your attention on than the BIG THINGS.  While Evie is bored, she is also noticing 20-30 people around her talking about Big Things, telling each other they love each other, and that they take their actions towards each other seriously.  Evie notices that her Aunts, Uncles, Granparents, and cousins all have to confront the tough stuff of life, and wrestle with how to act well.

Finally, she notices that everyone has to confront God on his/her own. As we say a lot in our family, “God has no grand-children”.  He has to be addressed on an individual level, and no person can do it for you.  Evie has to figure out how she relates to God, and I can only pray for her as she does.  But it helps that she is surrounded by such good examples, who live it out in front of her.

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Hawaii: Activities

It’s tempting to not want to do anything other than sit in the sun and feel the breeze here.  Eric, my brother in law, remarked yesterday while we were at the beach how perfect the air quality & water temperature were: “if you had weather controls at your fingertips, and could manipulate each exactly, you couldn’t make it any more comfortable than this!”

that being said, the Big Island is a pretty amazing place, and there’s an amazing amount to explore.  To balance that with relaxing, we’ve had a few strategic excursionsn (see pictures, below):

  1. Mauna Kea summit: the top of the Big Island is (one of) the best places on earth to view the stars.  For this reason, ~15 countries have put high-powered telescopes on top of the mountain to view celestial activity.  It is also one of the few places where you can drive to the top of a 14K mountain (similar to driving to the top of Mount Rainier).
  2. Snorkeling on Kealakekua Bay (Captain Cook Monument): the place where Captain Cook died is also a pretty amazing place to snorkel.  Apparently, much of the coral reef at the beginning of the movie Finding Nemo is based on this area.
  3. Dolphins swimming at the Hilton
  4. YWAM Worldwide Headquarters: we’ve long been fans of YWAM, and know many people who have been a part of their work around the world.  So it was a special pleasure to visit their main world campus as ~500 new students came in from around the world the night before.



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