Saturday, January 31, 2009


if we actually loved people
with no preconceived ideas of power or caste
really desired relationship
and not authority,
can you imagine what we could do?

love people
because it is what you were designed to do.

Friday, January 30, 2009

a welcome surprise

steve called me this morning around 9am...
asked if i still wanted to go to the bakery in Amana.
do you even have to ask?

brody and i picked him up a half an hour later,
and were on our way.

we enjoyed the beautiful sunshine,
and iowa cold.
it was a great morning.

and yes, i am spoiled.
very, very spoiled.
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

she's just one voice.

i had mentioned before that emily, my 12 year old daughter, had expressed an interest in signing up to be one of the 300 voices.
we talk about clean water a lot in our house,
so she understands the need,
and the ease in which we could achieve it.

yesterday before school, she asked me if i had signed her up yet.
i said that i had not, because she had talked about joining with a friend, so the expense wouldn't be so great for someone with little income.
and then i reminded her, that if she committed to this, she would have to follow through every month, with a $20 donation.
i asked her if she thought she would have that much money to give away.

she looked at me,
much like i look at her.

she pulled $40 out of her pocket,
and said, here is January and February.
i decided i want to be a voice on my own.
that way i can encourage other kids to join on their own too.
she said, i will have the money.
if i run out,
i will work.

she is only one voice.
but clean water matters to her.
and she is willing to work
to give it all away.

kinda puts things in perspective.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

can't roll over.

pent up again.
so i apologize if i offend,
if i come across harsh or calloused.
if my passion for water
causes you to move on,
to the next blog
without stopping to consider what YOU could do.

but i can't roll over.
i can't stop talking about clean water
until there is no longer a need.

we still need more voices.
300 voices.
standing together
from many towns, many cities, many countries.
being the change.
bringing clean water to Liberia,
one voice at a time
one month at a time,
one donation at a time.

i can't roll over.
not until every voice
has been raised.
not until the need is gone.

partner with us.

beauty on a window sill

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we're home...

but not without good food, and good friends to finish up the trip.



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Monday, January 26, 2009

it's a new morning

and we are still without our kids.
we still have lots of coffee.
we still have our computers.
it will be a good day.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

More from the road trip




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chicago. the surprise.

one hotel.
one night.
4 computers.
4 moms.
without our 18 children.
we are having a seriously good time.



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so, jody is 30

pam flew in to surprise jody..
it was good times on friday night.

we have been trying hard to keep all sorts of secrets around here.

and i painted for her. i know, it's lame.
but the real surprise was still to come.
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Friday, January 23, 2009

300 Voices

so here's the thing.
clean water is still needed.

water for christmas,
as successful as it was..
is not enough.
we are not done.
we are not done, because there are still people living without clean water.

about midway through the wfc campaign
jody crunched some numbers,
if we could make it to $50,000 how many years would it take to eradicate the need for new wells in Liberia?

300 years.

that is not acceptable to me.
not acceptable at all.

so jody has been working tirelessly to get this new campaign up and running.

playing off of the 300 years,
300 Voices.

we are looking for 300 people to commit to $20 a month, for 2009.
or, $5 a week, or $240 one time.

300 people thinking about, dreaming about, and bringing fresh water to people who can't live without it.

it's simple.
it's not much.
but if 300 people share their voice, and their money, we will have $72,000 this year.

15 wells.

15 villages where no one has to worry about drinking water that will kill them.

300 voices.

i was talking to emily about this, and she said that she doesn't have $20 a month, but she wants to get involved... so she is going to go to school, and see if she can get some friends to partner with her, to make one voice.


making a difference. being the voice of change.

please join with us.

add your voice.

commit to clean water in 2009.

there is a blog set up, where you can sign up, the details are there...

and as always, go read jody's and cassie's blogs.

we can do this.
it's simple.

be a voice.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

isaiah... he can write.

just need to brag here. but my boy, isaiah, he can write.

he had to write a story,
and he chose to write about a boy in Sierra Leone.

(if you think our kids aren't listening... you are sadly mistaken)

so here is one sentence from the story:

"Jericho was just being woken up by a thundering yell, and scurried in the kitchen as quick as a mouse, where his father stood there like a tree stump in a bad mood."

am i proud?
uh, yah.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

explosion eminent


still in my heart.
still in my mind.

there is so much going on.
feeling like i am going to explode.

good things.
big things.

water. life. change.

stay tuned.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

snow days...

so what exactly happens when there is a snow day declared?
well, you build forts in the living room....
but don't stay inside too long, all those blankets make the available oxygen pretty slim.

and you find labeling stickers, and make football pads.

and have a cute coach.
and play football in the same living room.
and knock stuff off the shelves... but it's okay because nothing broke.
because it fell on the blanket rich fort.
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

the edges

i have said before that i love people hard.
and i do.
i dive in.
no, not dive, that is too graceful.

more like a cannon ball.

i've recently discovered that it goes beyond love.
when i am involved in some one's life,
i am fully immersed.
i don't hang around the edges.
i hate the edges.

probably why i don't have too many friends.

and i think, once again, that i tend to get hurt
because i expect everyone to live in the middle of things.

where it is messy, and jumbled up.
where the lines blur a bit, where truth lives.

not on the edges.

where things and relationships can always be neat and tidy.

maybe i just need to start asking people...
excuse me please, before we get into this thing called friendship,
can you tell me..
are you an edge walker?

Monday, January 12, 2009

the window to my soul...

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so i was reading last night..
and came across something that stopped me cold.
i had a sense of doom, a sense of betrayal.
it was one of those moments in time
where i felt as if
i had been found out.
they wrote what they wrote, because,
although it is completely impossible,
they must have a window to my very soul.

in short, this is what it said:

it was what she had battling inside her.
an unmixable mix.
the infinite tenderness of motherhood,
and the reckless rage of a suicide bomber.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

still thinking...

and praying that i can remain naive enough to actually believe that i can be used.
that i won't be jaded by the reality that this world wants me to own.
because i don't.
i don't own that.
i won't own that.
here i am... send me.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Be brave.

Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination.
--Ernest Hemingway

to prove my point...

i had "someone" in the comments say that my Dad was a good looking guy then too...
and to prove my point, you can see how much better looking he is now.

love you old man.
you still got it. :)
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Water for Christmas Total....

The total amount of money raised to build wells in Liberia...


Fifty Nine Thousand Dollars.

I don't have any words right now, I am still too close to it to process effectively.
I will later, I am sure. Just not now.

But Fifty Nine Thousand.
Freaking huge.

Our wedding day...

Because Heather wanted them...
My Dad and I.

The happy couple.

Why is it, that Steve is better looking now...

And I looked WAY better then?
Totally not fair.
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Wedding rehearsal 14 years and 1 day ago...

Some things never change...
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14 years ago...

14 years ago this morning i said, "I do."
and i still do.
more than ever.
i do.

Monday, January 5, 2009


the very word evokes emotion.
i live in introspection.
i live in a world inside my head,
that would be perfectly content with only reading and writing
the rest of my life.
i struggle with that balance.

with living outside of introspection.

for me, it is not a comfortable place.
it's open.

but i suspect, if i truly want to be
who i claim i want to be
i am going to have to do a whole lot more
living on the outside.
less brooding.
more doing.
sounds simple.
or not.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

little boys in a new year

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it's a new year

it is so daunting beginning the first post of a new year.
what could i possibly say, that will bring what i want for my year ahead to fruition?
there is absolutely nothing i can say.
all i can do is act.
and that is how i plan to be in 2009.
few words.
more action.
i pray that the unrest in my heart will never dull.
that the passion i carry so close to the surface these days won't fade with time.
may the discomfort i feel only grow.
may i never, never
be satisfied with how things are in the world.
with what i am doing.
with who i am.
may i be constantly changing, and more broken by every move.