Monday, May 25, 2015

and on that note...

If I didn't have these photos to prove it I might be convinced that our week long adventure through Yorkshire and London was really just a dream...but we did go and we came home inspired to bring the kids with us next time. We want to see them run along the moors and dales like wild Hobbit things, and explore the abandoned abbeys of those solitary monks, we want to see them wonder at the mysterious Tower, and take a proper stroll along the Thames, to stand in the shadow of Winston Churchill and Big Ben, and to see for themselves the uniformed English school children on their way to "Hogwarts'. I hope that this is just the first of many more adventures for the Kookies throughout the British Isles.

The Brontë Parsonage...where I happily spent an entire afternoon learning about the lives of the Brontë family. This place seemed untouched by time...even the table where they wrote their most well known stories is here in the front living can still see where they carved their names into the wood. Although the house sits just above the town of Haworth, miles of solitary moorland stretch out behind the property. It's very easy to see why this place inspired stories like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. The wind has a different kind of voice here...a sort of happy-sad song that sings, "come and walk and walk with me, cry with me and talk with me, dream with me and sing with me, the moorland song of sympathy." 
Yorkshire is the perfect place to walk for miles and be alone...
well almost alone.

 The city of York is one of the most well preserved medieval cities in the world.
 Yorkminster Abbey
 But our favorite was Bolton Abbey...the ruins seem to welcome God in.
 Bolton Abbey stepping stones
 And then off to London....a new favorite city for us.
Our favorite place in London had to be the Tower...we spent an entire day here.

And of course my man had to take a moment to do any proper Englishman would agree. 

The Queen was quite disappointed that we couldn't stop in for tea

He's smiling on the inside...we just know it!

Just one more of the moors. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Dear Abigail, Benjamin, & Elizabeth, 

Imagination is a gift. Imagination gives us the ability to find beauty in the broken. Imaginative people are resourceful and positive. Imaginative people are inspiring. Imaginative people are content. To have a "good imagination" is a true compliment of character and one might go as far to say that imaginative people are rarely bored. Imagination must be cultivated from an early age. The ability to play and dream and create are God given gifts. It seems that our generation is struggling to maintain active imaginations. We live in "The Information Age" which means that almost everything and anything we want to know, learn, explore, or experience are just a click away. I fear the extinction of originality if we insist on being this entertained and connected.

So, that's why we have a broken dresser in our dining just needed an imagination to make it beautiful again. And thanks to imagination we can go to a thrift store and dig around for something to be redesigned into a spring wreath for the front door (note: a good imagination will save you money.) A good imagination can treat you to one heck of a competitive game of garage ping pong with your seven year old. A good imagination doesn't forget that fabric strips make great curlers. Imagination tells you that it would hurt the dog's feelings not to be included in the family photo. A good imagination makes corn bread waffles to go with the chili that feeds a houseful of teenagers on a Tuesday night. When you have a healthy imagination you figure things out on your own, such as preforming the theme songs to some of your favorite movies. A good imagination tells you to pick up the binoculars and see for yourself. Imagination encourages you to see past the weeds and work hard for the rows of delicious vegetables that come at harvest time.  Imagination keeps you young, healthy, active, fearless, and best of all... a good imagination maintains a realistic sense of humor in almost any environment. 

And just for the record kids....
imagination is the reason why you don't have phones. 
Your brains just are too precious. 
Hopefully you'll thank us later. 

with love from your incredibly fun and imaginative, 

Dad & Mom

(thank you Rachael)
(thank you goodwill)
(thank you uncle lorn)
(thank you Shirley Temple)
(thank you Charlotte)
(thank you Jiffy mix)
(thank you Lord)
(thank you Alan Silvestri)
 (thank you Oregon Garden)
 (thank you craig's list)
 (thank you Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
 (thank you nana)
(thank you England)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

about how a Jew saved my life...

When I was about four years old I decided to jump into a river rapid.

I remember the white water and boulders.

I remember it being fast and thrilling for a moment,

until the water started to fill my nose and throat and pull me down to darkness.

And then I remember large arms and hands and legs all around me,

I remember those hands struggling to keep my face above the water and my body protected from being crushed against those unmoving river rocks.

The water was moving even faster and I was riding the river with someone else,

a someone who struggled to save my life,

a someone who took every jagged rock against his own body to protect my own.

I remember this person dragging me along with his heavy body through the water and climbing out of the rapids and rocks to shore.

I remember looking at his legs covered in blood and his burly body heaving for breath.

I had a few scratches but this someone took the brunt of it and saved my life.

I was so little but I remember bits and pieces of this like flashes of white, and black and red...

and I remember this because I can.

Because of that someone I'm alive with memories today.

That someone happened to be a Jewish rabbi friend of my mom's.

We were at the river for the day and my mom had warned me many times not to play near the rapids.

I specifically remember choosing to disobey and jump in.

How ironic.

A rabbi delivered me.

It's ironic because a Jewish physician also delivered me into this world on the day I was born,

and when I chose to put my faith in Christ, a Jewish Nazarene known as Jesus, delivered my soul from eternal death and gave me everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Because of this, I am a life that lives grateful for the Jewish people and the nation of Israel.

I believe that they are God's chosen people and their story is not yet finished.

And when I listen to testimonies like the ones shared here: spirit sings.