I don't think JESUS said that.

Before you read this, you need to know that my husband's parents made huge financial sacrifices to send him and his siblings to a private Christian school. 

This morning we did "family church" together on our couch.  I'd like to let you think we are super awesome that way... but it would be a gross misrepresentation if I did not add these facts: 
1) we've never done "family church" together- it was a first.
2) we did it because we were too lazy to go to real church 
3) we stole the idea from Chris, who did this with his family last week

Here was the order of service (which lasted as long as the 3 year old's attention span allowed):
1) Opening prayer (led by mom, who thanked Jesus for the two semi-clad babies sitting in our laps)
2) Worship (led by Jo who played her new "trumpet" while we sang "Jesus Loves Me")
3) Bible story (led by Luke)
4) Closing prayer and another go-round with the trumpet (to the glory of God)

Luke settled on the toddler bible story "Jesus Loved the Little Children."  

He ad-libbed ad he saw fit.  

It was going fine.

Until he said:

"Jesus said, 'No- the kids are not bothering me! Bring them back. I love the little kids. The children are our future!'"

I wonder if Dick and Sara can get a refund...


Happy Bday Richard!

My oldest nephew is turning 12 today- he was born in 2000.  
 This is the perfect "Richard" picture- he's trying to sell/convince/persuade Naomee.  I am pretty sure Richard would make an outstand lawyer.  He really thinks through his arguments.
 He is competitive.
 See- here you go. Richard being clever, and Gillian is not buying it.  
 He's charming.
 And very boyish.
 He loves his aunties.
And he bathes in the sink.
Happy birthday sweet boy- you have one of the sweetest hearts I know.  So thoughtful, sensitive to how others are feeling, perceptive, quick witted and fun to be around.  Your family LOVES YOU!!!

My Favorite Pooh Quote

When I was growing up, this is how I felt about my parents. 
Now that I'm grown up, this is how I feel about my babies.



  • This last week was my husband & sis's birthdays, which are important, blogworthy events.
  • Years ago I somehow lost the ability to output Jack & Patty's wedding slide show, and they don't have a copy.
  • I recreated it today.
  • It is my blog and I can do with it what I want and I don't have to be all chronologically correct.  
  • So here goes: some of my favorite pictures of Jack.

I love this picture of Jack & my parents- he looks so STOIC and uncharacteristically straight faced.  Like wrestling in nearly-see-through spandex and then holding FLOWERS is manly.  Or maybe the mean mug is BECAUSE he is wearing spandex and holding flowers? And my mom is trying not to laugh at him.  
I think that's it. 

Ah- that is more "Jack."

 Jack likes big guys. 

Jack likes really big guys.

 Jack holding a salmon.

 Jack BEING a salmon.

 This smile is Jack to the core.

 This one is so sweet.  But a little devilish.  It reminds me of Baylor. I remember on picture day how mom would try SO hard to get his hair to lay down and not stick straight up all haywire.  If you look closely you'll notice it is actually wet in the photo- my mom's best efforts.
 Jack has never felt compelled to suck it in.

 See, there's the haywire hair.

 This is one of my favorites of Jack & Dad.

 This is one of my favorites of Jack & his best friend and cousin, Casey.  Casey is trying super hard to look like a tough indian with his plastic knife, but he is wearing a mickey mouse muscle shirt.  Jack isn't trying so hard at all, as you'll note he is wearing osh kosh b'gosh's.  These two were thick as thieves growing up.  And they always excluded me.  For which I forgive them.  I am, afterall, a [gag] girl.
 Even collared and tied, Jack bucks convention.

 He's rather pouty.

 Jack & my dad- both #41's
A good guy all around- love you brother!


Love Letters

Buried in a scrapbook made by Grandma's Grandma, was a letter she wrote after marrying Grandpa Dave (who was in the Army).  I though the first and last lines in the letter were appropriate for her memorial service slide show.  It gave me goosebumps to read it... (see bottom)

I also couldn't help but notice how many pics there were of Grandma looking lovingly (or at least in amusement) at Grandpa.  So sweet.


Gra(nd)ma Jo

The (nd) is silent.

Grandma Jo passed away Wednesday morning.  The above picture is of her with her sister Beth and her grandson Chris.  This is one of my favorite pictures because the amused look she's giving Chris is perfectly typical of her, and the way she is clutching her wine glass and on the edge of laughing captures her in one of her favorite pastimes- enjoying people and their stories.  Grandma Jo, as the matriarch of a giant, adoring clan, was always game to hear a good story and ready with one of her own.

A good show of how well you "played with others" here on earth is how you're grieved and celebrated when you die.  Let me tell you- the mourning and celebration going on right now is one for the record books. Grandma Jo is precious to her family.  Her granddaughters call her for her recipes for scotcheroos, beef stroganoff, white enchiladas and chicken divan.  Her grandsons serve her like a queen, seeing that her deck is power washed, her bushes are pruned, her light bulbs are changed. Her name is scattered into the names of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  No doubt what started as one "Jo" will result in dozens and dozens of "Sara Jo's" or "Johonna's" for generations to come.

I had the distinct pleasure of being welcomed by Grandma Jo into the family as a teenager.  Her family grew up around her but the ones she welcomed into the fold later in life got a special treat: Grandma Jo was one of the most welcoming people I've known.  She had an uncanny way of making you feel special and welcomed even if she was simultaneously stirring two vats of gravy, warming up rolls and discretely supervising whoever was in charge (Dick) of carving up her perfectly roasted Thanksgiving-on-Friday turkey.  Her family knew Grandma Jo's love for them from birth- but I got to suffer the anxiety of meeting my 17 year old boyfriend's grandparents (eek! have to make a good impression!) and then appreciate the blessing of Grandma Jo's gracious, welcoming, loving, inclusive ways.  And I am not alone in that- I know every single one of the married-in's (as we are affectionately dubbed in the Hamilton family) knows exactly the relief I felt upon meeting Grandma Jo.

Grandma Jo is in HEAVEN.  I don't know how heaven works exactly- like do you get a tour upon entry? Do you meet Jesus in a field? a cloud? his office? I get anxious because I'm the type that likes to know the menu before I pull up at someones house for dinner.  But I figure it must be like having a baby.  People can tell you how it feels to love a child until they're blue in the face but until you hold that sweet one to your chest and smell them and feel them wriggle for the first time outside your body, there is NO understanding.  So I suppose I can trust that heaven is going to rock my world in that wonderful way too.

I want to say this: the certainty that comes in knowing you will spend eternity in heaven starts by asking Jesus  WHO he is.  Just ask him.  It is a starting point and I have it on good authority that if you ask you shall receive.  If you seek, you'll find. And if you knock the door will be opened unto you.  Just extend the invitation and I believe God will see you through the rest.

This (as I should have expected) turned into a novel of a post.  I am 16 minutes late now, so I'll wrap it up with this- something I emailed Grandma's kids & grandkids yesterday:

I remember when I first met Luke he kept talking about his “really cool” grandparents who lived in Roseburg.  Our world was small and our idea of an adventure was to take a trip to visit his grandparents.  He told me that he & his grandpa would probably go “shoot some shit” (literally go shooting) and I could hang out with his grandma.  I distinctly remember what I expected.  I expected a soft and round old woman with gray hair and glasses.  I expected that she’d be dressed a little dowdy and we’d bake cookies while the men left to go “hunt.”  I was expecting your typical sweet and fuzzy grandma.  Maybe a little hard of hearing and a little disengaged as grandma’s sometimes are.  Obviously, I could not have been more wrong – and I love thinking about the contrast between what I expected and what I got.  Grandma would maybe bake cookies with you while the men were away, but she was likely to have a scotch while doing it and then follow it up with some sort of rated R psychological thriller movie rental.  She was sharp and witty.  She was the kind of grandma that you visited not out of obligation or respect for elders, but because you couldn’t think of a single person more enjoyable to go hang out with.  She was so social and personable.  I loved her very, very much, I am so grateful to have known her, and I am proud to be part of her family.   I was thinking about heaven and picturing your dad standing there and laughing with open arms and calling her “jodie” while she walks into him.  What a sweet reunion!



I ran by this picture tonight going through archives, and thought it was sweet.


Looking through old pics I saw this.  It sums up Jo & Baylor in a nutshell.


My New Bad News Boyfriend

I got a new boyfriend.  He's way older and pretty rough around the edges.

He dresses poorly and has some cobwebs in the closet.
He likes to play pool.
He's shaggy and unkempt.
He's rather outdated.
He hasn't bathed for a while.
He's tattered and torn.
And quite worn.
He's all tatted up (that would be asbestos siding, for those of you still following this loose analogy)
He could use some serious help- he's definitely a project.
My dad is worried I'm in over my head...and he is probably right.
But he's definitely original.
And he's got nice features.
Not to mention good bones.
He's got a good heart.
And his rear is kinda cute.

For better or worse I think we're diving in!