Blog Retraction

In light of licensing issues and other complicated musical copyright technicalities, we here at the Duckabush Blog wish to be sure everyone knows that the soloist, doing his very best to share the Christmas joy in O Night Divine, is not, I repeat NOT, Tim.

We’re sorry to have caused any confusion. :)

Upon more mature reflection, it has occurred to us that mocking someone else’s effort at singing a Christmas Carol is perhaps not the best way to go about honoring our King.

T & K

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A Very Merry Christmas

We had a great Christmas Day celebration. We woke around 8 am, some sore (well, mostly me) and some cold from having slept all together on the floor in the family room. We opened stockings, read the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke, and ate a delicious French Toast casserole and quiche breakfast. We managed to open five or six rounds of presents over the course of the day (each present must be duly admired and appreciated), well mixed with games and movies and time to play with the various toys.

At one point we visited the local park, where we walked around the lake and inaugurated the new plastic rocks they have installed.

I was able to be King of the Rock after pushing all the smaller kids off, but my reign was brief.

One of the most appreciated gifts of the day were these fine Scooters, given by Mamie and Grandad to the middle three kids. Happily, we had a reasonably warm and sunny day, and the scooters were immediately tested and approved.

David gets upset if his scooter gets dirty, and Daniel has already tried several stunts on his.

I was in church a couple of Sundays ago, and a friend commented on my strong singing voice, as often happens to me when I sing out with enthusiasm. I finally decided to go ahead and make an audition recording to submit to our worship pastor … hopefully they’ll let me sing sometime. Here’s a link if you’re interested:

O Night Divine

OK, I’ll admit this was not my best effort … I think maybe my throat was a little sore from Christmas caroling or something. Still, you’d think I would hear back from the worship pastor … it has been a week since I submitted my audition, and still no word … weird. What do you think? :)

Tim the Crooner

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Happy Birthday Uncle MoMo!

Today is Tim’s brother’s birthday. We so enjoyed having the PMGE’s living neaby last year. We got to celebrate many holidays and birthdays together. What a joy that was. We miss them!

When we used to live on the peninsula, Mark would often make the trip out to visit us if he was passing through on business. We felt very honored that he would drive all that way just to spend a little time with us. One year Elmo was very popular with the little ones. I can’t remember the exact details but somehow we introduced Mark to David and Sarah as Uncle MoMo. I think they were being silly and asked if he was Elmo. We quickly responded, no, he was Uncle MoMo. This knickname has been ruthlessly repressed by Mark and the rest of his family but still makes an occasional appearance here at our house.

Here’s a picture of Tim and his favorite (one and only) brother, Uncle MoMo.

Notice the characteristic expressions of mature dignity appropriate to men of such high and lofty purpose.

Happy Birthday Mark!!!

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When God Closes a Window, Does He Open a Door?

It is a silly thing, but I’m a bit sad today. I found out that I will be losing my lovely window office next week some time, as our reorganization goes into effect and we are subsumed into another group. We snuck upstairs to look at our new digs, and crawled around on the floors looking at cube numbers. I found my new cube — a standard, 8×8 cubical, right in the middle of a row of three, without a window. It is sad to lose the view I have of the Olympic mountains (at least on a clear day) and (perhaps more importantly) my view of the traffic on I-405.

On a clear day, I can see Mount Jupiter. Of course, clear days are hard to come by in Washington in the winter.

My boss was assigned a window cube, but he has a big pillar in the middle of it, which lessens the ambient charm considerably … but I’m glad for him anyway. It has always seemed a little inappropriate to be lolling about by myself in a window office while my boss had a cube out on the floor. It is strange, but a little change like this makes me wonder if I should look for another job … I guess the change introduced in physically moving offices (and being reorganized under a different director) opens the mind to the possibility of other kinds of change?

This view of Mount Jupiter is not really available from any office window.

Yesterday was a very good day in our home. We have long been planning to purchase some gifts for some folks we want to bless, and Rachel and I finally went out and did it, coming home laden with good things. Rachel and Daniel both asked me if they could have any part in it, and I agreed to ‘sell’ them some of the items so that they could give them, rather than hogging all the giving for myself. I was stunned by the generosity of all three of the kids — they really impressed me with their willingness to give from their hearts. It reminded me of what Jesus said in Mark 12 about the poor woman who gave two small coins amidst the larger gifts of the wealthy temple contributors:

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

One of the things I have tried to teach my children is to be generous — to be willing to give any and everything away to please our Lord. It was very heartwarming to see them live out that lesson — in one child’s case, they gave nearly everything they had, and all three astounded me with the extent of their kindness. I reminded them of the promise Jesus made to his disciples:

Peter said to him, “We have left everything to follow you!” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. (Mark 10:28-30)

I am convinced that God honors the generous gifts of his people, and returns those gifts generously, often in ways much more valuable than coin. I have long suspected that one major reason for the many blessings I have enjoyed is because the Lord honors the way that Kathy and I make our tithe and offering a priority, and try hard to be generous in our dealings with others. It brought tears to my eyes to see my children understanding this spiritual truth and desiring to be like God in this way.

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Over the River and Through the Woods

In a last-ditch effort to avoid the lack of a blog entry in November, I am hurriedly posting this brief glimpse into our trip to the Duckabush over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Thanks to the generosity of my employer, I had Thursday and Friday off, and was released a few hours early on Wednesday. We packed hurriedly and drove out to the Duckabush Wednesday evening, arriving after dark but in time to enjoy a few hours with our neighbors, Tom and Casey.

We spent Thursday lolling about the house, enjoying the delectable aromas and then devouring the feast (which began around 1:30 pm and ended some time on Saturday) with Grandma and Grandpa. We played Dealer’s Choice (a 1970-era board game in which each player assumes the role of a used car dealer) and started a rather difficult 1000-piece puzzle. As expected, it rained most of the weekend, but we (veteran Washingtonians that we are) simply hunkered down and enjoyed it, watching movies, reading books, and playing computer games.

It was delightful to have a few days when we could sleep in, stay up late, and be away from the cares and responsibilities of our home. The kids worked on gingerbread houses with Grandma, and we all trooped over to make Christmas wreaths (or, in some cases, watch Grandma make the wreaths) during one of the dry spells on Friday. The boys and I did an hour or so of raking, if only to demonstrate that we could still move after all the leftovers were devoured. We enjoyed a visit from the Zelen children and even found time to sneak in a few quick games of ‘Kings and Queens’ with the whole Zelen family. Later, the Bringhams came back to help us finish our puzzle — Teddi Jo had the honor of placing the final piece.

Sunday morning dawned with about 2 inches of snow, much to the delight of the children. We had a rather interesting church service at home, in which I would read a verse fragment and the kids would try to guess where it was found in the Bible (or at least the rough vicinity of the verse). I was impressed with their familiarity with the scriptures, as usual.

About the time we were packing up and cleaning, the power went out, which put a damper on things a little. We headed home, refreshed and relaxed, and (with a little extra care on the snowy roads) arrived safely.

I’ll sneak in a few pictures when I get the chance, but I must post before people realize that it is actually December 1.

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