the common sense

“I have photographed many people: artists, writers, and scientists, among others.  In speaking about their work, mathematicians use the words ‘elegance’, ‘truth’, and ‘beauty’ more than everyone else combined.”
-Marianna Cook, Mathematicians-

I loved numbers once.

The time has come to love them again, but first I must consider to learn them again.  Like a square in perfect peace, I shall return to my roots.  Hear, O students

the first rule of study:

Greatness in learning happens not in the student who can master every subject, but in the student with the heart to uphold every subject. For of such is the secret

to love numbers twice.

back to school

I’m looking forward to the beginning of school.

The summer season is rolling right along

and September will be here before we know it.


My boxes of books are steadily arriving.

I spent a good couple of weeks this summer, searching the internet, reading reviews and sifting through samples, handpicking books for each of my kids.

They’re hidden in my room like Christmas presents, like mystery toys hoping to be loved, waiting to be delivered and unwrapped on the first day of school.

The month of August is dedicated to getting the school room back into tip top sorted and organized shape.

It appears to have been terribly neglected, but all that means is, the kids have been playing in here all summer long.

There are also some fun finishing touches still forming in my dreams.

I’m simply waiting for the fullness of time.

head full of dreams


I picked up my cousin on the way.

With a coffee and Red Bull to get us going

we picked up right where we left off.


A big thank you goes out to my sweet little girl

who came along so she could help and play with the babies.

Mom said she couldn’t have done it without her.


We drove away from mom and dad’s

and booked it down the road to catch the train

riding our way into downtown Chicago.


We rolled safe and sound into Union Station.


The first thing we did was use the bathroom

and then we found a place to eat.


We texted and Facetimed

all the missing loved ones

with my still new iPhone.


My baby sister had made Coldplay shirts for all the girls.

She did a great job.


After we were done eating

we did a lot of sweating

and a lot of walking.


And more sweating…


And more walking…


I did my best to keep up with the group


but I was also trying to pay attention

and use my new iPhone to keep track of this


Okay, does anyone else think Soldier Field

looks like an alien space ship in this picture?


At some point we realized we needed to run

if we were to avoid getting completely drenched.

Wouldn’t be the last time either.


Side Story:  When you grow up your entire life hearing your Dad talk about how much he loves Chicago style pizza, you make a decision, no matter how much of a nuisance it might be, to carry the pizza leftovers through the rest of the night and all the way home.  But as fate and rules would have it, I was forced to abandon the mission at the stadium, where no food was allowed to be brought inside.  The pizza ended up in a box full of umbrellas. Moral of the story:  Good intentions alone can’t get you where you want to go.  You need a Higher Power.


We finally arrived at our seats

after a long and soaking storm delay.

The storm had cooled the air

so we didn’t have to sweat anymore.


Here we are enjoying the view

waiting for the concert to start.


Still waiting…


Here we go…


Every song made your heart pound.

Every last lighted second was amazing.

And my cousin made a great date by the way.


When it was all over we said goodbye

and tunneled our way through the crowds.


Here’s where the story gets a little hazy.

Our group got separated, and half of us, I kid you not

were stuck in the middle of a Zombie Herd.


What happened after that

our flip flops and change of plans and

the Two Mile Sprint through the city streets

is the kind of stuff brothers and sisters are made of.


By the amazing grace of God

ever present and leading the way

we made it there and back again.


I’m so happy we went.

nights on fire

I’m supposed to go to this Coldplay concert.

My brothers had this crazy idea that all the siblings should get together and go.  We were in the middle of moving when the plans were made and the tickets were bought, so we weren’t exactly thinking completely straight.  We thought the concert was Saturday night, but we were wrong.  The concert is Sunday night.  This means my better half isn’t able to come.  Sunday evenings in the summer he has to be here to welcome all the week’s new campers.

Now, my heart wasn’t terribly set on going to this concert.  I know and like a few Coldplay songs, but it’s not like I’m the world’s biggest Coldplay fan, nor am I mightily and forever in love with Chris Martin or anything (I just Googled ‘Coldplay’s lead singer’ in order to get his name).   I tried to gently ask if anybody would be too terribly upset if I didn’t come.  All my baby brother had to do was reply with an instant “Beck!!!” to know that not going was not an option.

Did I mention the concert was in Chicago?  Listen, I don’t care if I have an adventurous side, which I do, or even if I was born there, which I was, the windy city isn’t exactly the first place I’d like to find myself these days during one of the weirdest things I seriously just don’t get the Pokemon Go craze.  And Soldier Field.  Good Lord (I mean that).  Does anyone else see why there are at least sixty plus thousand reasons why I’d be having some perfectly understandable hesitations about this?

There’s no getting out of this.  I had no choice but to Facebook message my long lost cousin who I haven’t seen or talked to since high school.  Let’s just say our lives took different paths.  But before all that, before we lost touch for so long, we were and always will be cousins.  My family moved in with his family the year we first moved to Lexington.  We lived in their basement and slept on their floor for six months until my parents were able to buy a house.

Boy do I have some stories.

That’s not the point though.  The point was it’s been awhile.

He only lives an hour away.

“Hey Cuz. I have an extra ticket to a Coldplay concert this coming Sunday night at 7PM. All my brothers and sisters and their significant others are going (minus Liz and Rob). I just found out my husband isn’t going to be able to go. Wanna be my date? I can stop by on my way and pick you up.”

He wrote me back about thirty seconds later.

“I’m in!!!”

Well then.  I guess that settles it.

He didn’t even have to think twice.

We’re going to a Coldplay concert.



the narrow gate


“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

~Matthew 7:14~

The narrow gate passage was an often quoted memory verse in my growing up years.  It wasn’t on the same level as John 3:16.  Not even close.  You cannot top that one, the Gospel according to Jesus.  But I heard the narrow gate account enough times to form images in my mind of mass mobs of people bottle-necking their way through the wide gate while the narrow gate remained all alone and clear for the running.

It’s kinda like picturing the checkout aisles at Wal-Mart.  Two checkouts are available.  One is wide open, with no one there but the lonely cashier, and the other has formed a busy line that snakes all the way past the toys and electronics and into the baby section.  For whatever reason, people keep lining up there.  Nobody wants the open checkout lane.  Everyone is perfectly content to stand in line and wait with the snake.

The words of Jesus strike a minor chord of terror, but the way of fear is not of God.  Jesus never meant to frighten anybody.  He said Himself, He has not come into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world.  Jesus is offering another way–freedom from the busy line.  Jesus is saying “Come to me, away from there, away from the craziness of the world, and find rest for your souls. And by all means, bring a friend.”