Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Elf Yourself!

It's that time of year again. I got a couple of friends to help me out this Christmas.

Also, check out Matt, Anna, Ben and Aaron.

How to See

Sometimes I realize how sheltered I am.

Growing up in a Christian home, attending Bible college and working at a ministry are blessed experiences I wouldn't trade. Still, it can leave me at a loss as to how to relate to those who don't share my experiences or point of view. Sometimes differences are glaring, and I wonder how the Lord would want me to respond.

I explored these feelings in this week's Boundless article "Godless People."

The sensation was something like being trapped in an elevator…or grabbed and held tightly from behind. In a matter of minutes, the 15 or so people who surrounded me had turned from acquaintances to potential adversaries.

Read the rest.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Please, Sir, May I Have Some More?

My friend Dave has a great article on Boundless this week. In "How Big is Your Latte?" he considers the culture of "more" in which we live. He makes a great point that when it comes to indulgence, there's not much difference between a 2-year-old and the average American.

My 2-year-old son already has a fascination with more. He loves to see the train go by, so we always point it out to him when we see it coming. He watches with excitement, and as soon as it passes, he doesn't say, "That was cool!"; he says, "I wanna see another one choo-choo!" The same goes with snacks. When we give him animal crackers, before he even eats one, he says, "I need more animal crackers." Not "thank you," but "more." And even worse, he has learned to distort the distinction between wanting and needing more.

The more problem infects not only individuals. Consumers and businesses have collaborated to create a culture of craving. How often do we hear advertisements say, "indulge yourself," "you deserve it," "pamper yourself"? (Picture a big piece of chocolate cake with chocolate icing taking up your TV screen — just for you!) And if they don't say it outright, they imply it with images of people who indulge themselves on the latest fashion, food, or fun — people who, no less, look physically, socially, and emotionally healthy.

If this post has left you wanting "more," read the rest of the article.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Mia vs. Yarn Ball

A few of you are aware of the trials I've experienced with my new kitten, Mia. (Mainly nursing hands that look like they met Edward Scissorhands in a rose bush forest.) I wrote this about her on another blog:

I think whoever made up the phrase "Don't bite the hand that feeds you" knew my cat, Mia. She has the potential to be cute and snuggly but mostly she chooses to bite (and destroy pantyhose). I believe she may have been a ninja warrior in another life. She stalks like a tiger and then bites to kill. How can I convince her my hand is not prey? Mia was abandoned by her mother as a tiny kitten, so maybe it's just childhood issues. Does anyone know a cat whisperer?

You'd never know she's attack cat from this cute, innocent video. A kitten playing with a ball of yarn...what's cuter than that?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Conversation

Kids say the best things. Particularly on holidays. I had the pleasure of spending Thanksgiving with a few Stick Horses and Toby's family, including his three nephews and niece.


Nathan, 9, (in response to Hunter talking about improv): "You know, it's polite to explain to everyone at the table what you're talking about, so they feel included."


Isaac, 5, (talking about the cranberries): "Do you like these, Mommy?"

Mommy: "Yes, I do."

Isaac: "I'm glad you like these, Mommy. I hate them."


Ellie, 2 1/2, (upon being asked what she was cooking in the toy kitchen): "Mac and Cheese and yogurt."


And my favorite. Nathan (after learning that he might be going to bed at Grandma and Grandpa's): "Hmm. I should have brought my Bible."


Happy Thanksgiving! I finally have time to update my blog. Last weekend, my neighbor Becky and I got to watch the Air Force Falcons beat the San Diego State Aztecs 55-23. (I should also note that Ohio State beat Michigan 14-3.)

Each time Air Force scored, the cadets did push-ups to recognize the score. They had to do a total of 251!

This was attempt No. 1 to take a self-portrait. Becky thought it was funny. Thanks for braces, Mom and Dad!

Ah, better!

This was one of the 11 trained falcons that perform at Air Force game. Otto performed for us. He was pretty impressive.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Boys

I tricked Ben into this photo.

I got a little distracted from the full report on my trip to the Northwest. One highlight was spending time with my nephews. Ben is 2-and-a-half, and Aaron turns 1 in December.

Aaron and his angelic face.

Ben's "no-thank-you" photo.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Starting Off on the Wrong Foot

I bought a new pair of shoes this weekend. I was very excited about them. Black Mary Jane flats with white stitching (for those who care). Anyway, when I put them on this morning, I was disappointed to discover that the left shoe seemed cramped. As I walked to a meeting this morning, I saw an odd white thing peeking out of side of the shoe. When I returned to my desk and investigated, I discovered that the cardboard insert was still inside. Oops. I'm happy to report the shoes are VERY comfortable after all.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Portraits of Friends


This weekend I'm organizing photos and saving them to disk. I have more than 1,600 to deal with. As I've sorted, I've found some gems of my friends. I love how their personalities shine through.








Talent and PureNRG

I love my job. But there are days when I love it even more. Today, the intern Kristina and I took a road trip to Broomfield to eat Chinese food with PureNRG: Jordan, Caroline and Caroline, a few of the coolest tweens you'll ever meet. We talked about rollercoasters and discussed whether we were pirates or ninjas (I'm a pirate along with C and C. Jordan's a ninja.) Tonight we saw them in concert. Take a look at the video for a glimpse of their incredible talent. These kids also love the Lord. Their theme verse is 1 Timothy 4:12: "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in faith, in life, in love and in purity." And judging by the response of kids in the audience, that's exactly what PureNRG is doing.

Checking out Brio magazine.

Caroline and Caroline are a blur.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Venting and Losing

I don't know about you, but when I'm venting I am on a crusade — for number one. I'm the one who's in the right. I'm the one who's a victim. I'm the one who deserves better.

In contrast, Christ showed ultimate humility by going to the cross for those who mocked and abused Him. Talk about having a reason to complain! And yet, even while suffering a humiliating death, Jesus never uttered a self-seeking word. Instead He asked His Father to forgive His murderers. That attitude, unexplainable by human standards, captured people's attention and changed lives. Imagine the difference I could make if I embraced the same attitude.

My friend Ashleigh reprinted my article "Venting and Losing" on her excellent Webzine Ungrind. The article was originally published on Boundless.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Quotable Friends

Overheard last night:

Sarah: "Better to have loved and lived than to have never lived at all."

(The brilliance of this quote is that the word "loved" can be replaced with anything: breathed, sneezed, peeled potatoes, etc...)

Lacey: "Hunter, breakfast is the most important meal of the day."

Hunter: "But sleep is the most important sleep of the day."

And, an oldie but a goody:

Johanna: "My dream, one day, is to dance with John Travolta."

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Guitar Hero

Um, not really. I learned to play guitar to be the character of Phoebe Buffay of "Friends" for a TV-themed murder mystery party. (You can view more pictures here.) My fingers hurt real bad, but the end result was worth it.

Jared lent me the guitar and taught me the song. This one goes out to you, J. (Oh, and that's Kramer who rushes in and breaks up the party.)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Bekah at the Beach

I just love these pictures I took of my sister Bekah at Ocean Shores, Wash. Be sure to watch the video at the bottom!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Love Jesus

Sometimes I feel as if I don't even know what it means to love Jesus. This man who is the Hero of my Bible and the Savior of my soul. The One who began his ministry at my age and wielded more influence in three years than anyone else did in a lifetime.

How do I love this person — human and divine — who carried my most revolting sins, suffered a humiliating death for them, and yet calls me friend? He is my example, my brother, my lover, my advocate, my king. There is so much to love. But how?

Read more in my article "Love Jesus," new on Boundless.