Monday, August 29, 2005

Marking their territory

Dogs and cats do their thing on various bushes, trees, and carpets in order to signal to others "this area belongs to me." My kids do their thing on Dining Room tables, Hutches, and Coffee Tables. Dogs and cats use -- well, you know what they use. My kids use Star Wars legos.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Friday, August 26, 2005

Hotel California

Well, we made it home safe and sound, though we had to fight a little L.A. traffic on the 5 during rush hour. But our California abode was right where we left it - clean and cozy and inviting. And not only to us; we discovered a significant infestation of ants in various places around the apartment. In fact, they had been finding their way into the freezer all summer long, and then freezing to death inside. "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave..."

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Burbling Brooks

Today was another fun, though not quite so ambitious, day of hiking. The kids enjoyed a modified version of "Pooh-sticks" in the brook burbling beautifully in the ravine behind our little cottage. In the evening it was a fabulous dinner (pizza from the grocery store), Coldstone ice cream, and baths for everyone.

Oh yes, and then packing. We're off for California tomorrow!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Gold and Green

We went hiking today up to an old mining camp near Mohawk Lakes – about 11,500 feet above sea level. We were looking, but didn’t spot any stray gold nuggets on the path. However, the scenery was fabulous, and the lush greens a prophylactic tonic for the dry SoCal desert we’ll be heading home to in a couple days.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


We were told that Breckenridge Christian Ministries – the folks who invited Deb to speak this weekend -- would provide us with “a swanky place to stay.” Swanky turned out to be something of an understatement. See photo- yes, that’s all one house, and it’s all ours for five days. The kids each have their own suite with private bath, huge bed, and their sitting rooms. Pip is downstairs in “Pip world” and Mia is upstairs in “Mia world” and Jake has his own world, too. After so many months of living in cramped spaces with junky furniture, we hardly know what to do with ourselves. We can’t even locate one another in this huge place. Once we’ve managed to find ourselves all in one room at the same time, we’ll probably go outside and enjoy the gorgeous scenery.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Rainbow on the Range

Today was a long day crossing all of Nebraska (haven’t we driven these same miles of highway over and over again? It all looks familiar.). We landed in Fort Morgan, Colorado. On our way to Pizza Hut, Pip spotted this beautiful rainbow, spanning the eastern sky.

"Days and days...

...of unrelenting tedium, in a baking steel capsule on a ribbon of highway."

Two times daily - Ouch!

Time for a stretch

We made it to Council Bluffs last night after a long day of driving. It was made longer by our actually trying to enjoy the trip -- including making a couple stops to stretch our legs and arms at Iowa's many rest areas. Notice in the background what Bill Bryson (today's in-car entertainment) would call a "featureless sweep of corn as far as the eye can see."

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Traveling Mercies

We're now officially on the road-- we'll be leaving in just moments from my folks' cottage in Douglas. We hope to make Council Bluffs, Iowa by night.

Packing yesterday was an ordeal. It took nearly all day, and every square inch of the mini-van is now filled with Rienstraphanalia: Pip's super-hero gadgets, Mia's soccer stuff, Jacob's many books, clothing crammed into garbage bags, hiking gear for our layover at Breckenridge this weekend, and much much more. Barely room for ourselves, actually.

Highway 80 will be a breeze, but we'll need prayers for traveling mercies making our way around the windy city. More tonight...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Happy 40th!

We had a great open-house birthday party yesterday. Thanks to all who came! Deb and her mom put on a fabulous spread, and we enjoyed the company of many of our great friends, who stopped by to chat and well-wish. By the end of the evening we were socially exhausted, but very very grateful.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


These not particularly good photos are the only record we have of the 1-over par scramble round golfed this week by a brain-tired brain trust wishing for one more week of summer.
A wonderful time was had by all. Sirach 27:12

Birthday bashing

It was Debra's 40th this past week. "What would you like for your birthday?" I asked her, not really wanting a specific suggestion, but hoping she'd point me in a fruitful direction. "Oh, something that makes me feel young," she responded. "Or something that helps me be comfortable getting old."

Taking her at her word, she received on her birthday the following small gifts:

A can of Monster Energy Drink
A can of Ensure
A copy of the Onion
A copy of the Large Print Edition of Reader's Digest
A pair of funky rectangular mirror sunglasses
A pair of half-moon reading glasses
A pair of skimpy unmentionables
A pair of gramma briefs
A bag of chocolates
A can of prunes
A pair of extreme athletic socks
A pair of support hose

Plus something a bit less of a gag-gift, which we'll blog about later.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Graduate School

Went with the Theologigglers this weekend to the Meijer Gardens, where we discovered this sculpture. Don't remember what its actual title is. We called it "Graduate School."

Friday, August 05, 2005

Set a course for adventure

The Theologigglers spent a chunk of yesterday afternoon in a friends' boat out on Spring Lake. Pip and Jerusha got a kick out of sitting in the captain's chair.

In our boat conversation we all decided that should the weather start getting rough, and our tiny ship should be lost, we would surely die in very short time on the desert island were it not for Mr. Phil. We're persuaded that he could make a nuclear reactor out of coconuts and beach sand.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


J. M. Thornburn one said: “All the genuine, deep delight in life is in showing people the mudpies you have made; and life is at its best when we confidingly recommend our mudpies to each other’s sympathetic consideration.”

We always spend some good time at our annual Theologiggle reunions sahring mudpies with one another: songs composed, books written, other projects to be proud of. I've had stuff in past years; this year I decided that I would not subject my good friends to academic papers I'd written this past year. Instead I quick made something up last night. Here it is.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Formulaic pop song

Gotta check out this meta-analysis of boy-band love songs.

Props to Andrew Burnett, one of my Theologiggle Homies for the 411...