Sunday, August 31, 2008

Another Kiss Dis

allie-kiss-1 Here's Allie finally giving up on playing hard-to-get letting the charming and Susan in close for a kiss.

allie-kiss-2 Here's Allie ecstatic after springing her little trap on the unsuspecting charming and beautiful Susan. She almost bit her lips off.

Allie exudes personality. She may have special needs and may even be a little slow to respond. But she is definitely not slow of mind. She doesn't miss a thing.

On Wednesday we'll be in family court with Allie down in San Francisco. A judge will bring the adoption process to a close. Allie will be our third child.

check out this Kiss Dis, too.

Missed Kiss Dis

This video is pretty funny. Bill moves in to kiss Hillary. But she turns her head... and kisses someone else! Watch and see who.

I'm willing to give Bill and Hillary the benefit of the doubt. But then I'm generally clueless about little relationship nuances. I mean, my batting average for landing kisses on the charming and beautiful Susan is about .650. That's a pretty hign batting average, but low hit-miss-kiss ration.

The charming and beautiful Susan is of the opinion that Hillary is mad at Bill for something. Who'd a thunk it...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Go take a cold shower

I've been looking at my blog stats since I posted about Sarah Palin being picked as McCain's running mate. It seems that people are more interested in Sarah Palin swim suit pictures than in the woman herself.

Give it a rest, you guys...


I've written about Obama, McCain, Bush, and even Clinton here on this blog. Never were there swimsuit picture searches for any of these candidates.

Hey. I didn't come up with the topic. This topic found me.

There's woman on the ticket but it won't be Hillary

image Who is Sarah Palin?

Here's her bio on Wikipedia:

Sarah Heath Palin (born February 11, 1964) is the current Governor of Alaska, and a member of the Republican Party. She is the youngest and first female governor of Alaska. Brought to statewide attention because of her whistleblowing on ethical violations by state Republican Party leaders,[1] she won election in 2006 by first defeating the incumbent governor in the Republican primary, then a former Democratic Alaskan governor in the general election. On August 29, the Associated Press reported that "speculation [has] moved to [Palin as a] darkhorse" pick for the vice president running mate slot by presumptive Republican nominee John McCain.[2] The CNBC news service is now reporting that Palin will in fact be the GOP vice-presidential nominee.[3]

She is reported to be a possible choice for the Republican Party's nomination as Vice President of the United States in the 2008 election. Formal announcement of the presumptive nominee will be made in Dayton, Ohio on August 29, 2008, by Presidential candidate John McCain.

I think this was a good move by McCain. Finally, someone on the ticket who has RUN something rather than just occupy a political seat.

I wasn't impressed when Obama picked Biden, another senator.

Here's a story about her on Fox News.

Here's Sarah Palin on the issues...

Interesting. She's a mother of a special needs child. She's been in the Army. Pro-life. Traditional view of marriage.

If you're looking for someone that is a non-Washington insider, you can't get any further away from the Beltway than Alaska...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Donald Miller and Barack Obama Exchange Emails

One of my favorite authors gave the closing prayer the first night of the Democratic National Convention. After Cameron Strang, CEO of Relevant Magazine, turned down an offer to give the benediction (he didn't want to appear to endorse Obama), Donald Miller accepted the offer.

Don is pretty serious in this video (thanks for posting this, Luann) , which I'm sure he is. But he's also pretty hilarious.

Below I've cut and pasted from Miller's blog emails back and forth between him and his presidential hopeful.


Dear Donald,

You did it!

Not just yesterday, but every day for more than a year, you did what the cynics said we couldn’t do.

You said the time has come to get beyond the same old tactics that divide and distract us, and you gave people a reason to believe again.

We’re within reach of the nomination, and we are ready to take this country in a new direction.
Thank you for your continued support, and for everything you’ve done to make this possible.


Mr. Obama,

Wow. I’m shocked. How did you get my e-mail address? I signed up on a clip board a cute hippie handed me, did you get my address from her? Do you know her? Can you ask her to call me? Anyway, no biggie, just cool that you wrote.

I wanted to talk to you after the rally but the guy with the curly earphones said you were busy. As for your e-mail, I don’t remember saying “the time has come to get beyond the same old tactics that divide and distract us,” but that’s exactly how I feel. I say a lot of things I don’t remember. My roommate Jordan said I said he could eat my leftover calzone from Pizzicatta but I don’t remember saying that and I know I was planning on having it for breakfast the next day.

Anyway, I hear you are going to Europe. I was thinking about trying to get over there myself but the exchange rate is nuts. My friend Karl said he pad nine bucks for a pint. That’s out of my league. Are you backpacking? Staying in hostels? Watch out in Amsterdam, that place is crazy. Write back about that hippie girl.

I gotta go.


Read the rest of his emails here >>>>> HT: Donald Miller

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I have been working on a new web site for Shepherd's Staff Mission Facilitators for roughly a year, now. A year. I proposed several designs and we settled on this one:


Nothing fancy. Functional, I like to think.

The learning curve on this project was unbelievable for me. In addition to learning how to care for a special needs child, moving to a place, and coping with the legal process we were tossed into with adopting Allie, figuring out how to communicate online through computer code is like, literally, learning a new language.

Now I know why it costs tons of money to have a team of pros do this for you...

Check out the site here: link

quote of the week - the view from her

celibate I have GOT to share this quote with your from J A N 's blog.

Overheard in the hallway:

"Celibacy leaves a lot to be desired."


quote of the week - the view from her

Church and Politics Quiz

Out of Ur had a link to this little quiz. Lately, as I've expressed opinions about my willingness to listen to and evaluate the guy on the the non-red side of the aisle, I've taken some heat. But I really feel like, before the Lord, we need to totally evaluate both men.

Hey, twenty years ago when I got saved and was taught to pray for the government, I didn't just start praying for Reagan's Republican's, I prayed for Democrats, too. O prayed hoping God would start moving in the Democratic Party. I don't know what you guys think that should look like, but I think He's at work.

Anyway, take the quiz. There are some instructions to follow. There's two quick quizes. One evaluates your opinion of how engaged the church should be in politics and the other evaluates your opinion about whether he church should act as prophet or chaplain.

Let me now how you scored.

My score:
part one: 34
part two: 27

Quiet critic. But I'm not usually so quiet. Definitely a critic.

HT: Out of Ur

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Other MondokBlog

I should sue, but I have a hard time dragging my own flesh and blood into court. Aaron started a video blog on YouTube called MondokBLOG#1.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Allie sports a TheraTog

IMG_0289 There's the mild-mannered Allie, and then there's Super-Allie. This is a TheraTog suit designed to provide optimum alignment and posture. Melissa broke this suit out for experimentation during Allie's session last Thursday. It was big fun for Allie. She loves the sound of velcro; she thinks the ripping sound Velcro makes.

Which reminds me:

Did you ever have one of those cloth and Velcro wallets that were so popular imagewhen I was a teenager? One time when my teacher bent over in class, I opened my wallet making that Velcro ripping sound. That teacher stood up so fast grabbing her behind thinking she was covering up a tear in her polyester pants suit... What a crack up. My dad heard from the dean of students so often they were on a first name basis.

Anyway, that was a little off the subject. What I meant to tell you is that I'm pretty sure Allie's suit is where Olympian Mark Phelps swimsuit got the inspiration for his winning swimsuit.

I wonder if he pulls loose those Velcro straps near the girls volleyball team to make them think their little suits are ripping.

This started out as a post about Allie. Here's some video of her and Rena.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Baby

I've done all my growing up with the charming and beautiful Susan as my partner. I've been with her for more than half my life. We met just a few days after I turned twenty. She was only nineteen. I married her before I turned twenty-one. Today, our marriage is twenty-two years old.

We've been on marvelous journey together. She introduced me to faith in Jesus Christ. We've grown together in that faith. We've put our faith into practice in marriage, parenting, and service with God at the center of all we do.

Like all marriages, the foundation of that marriage has been attacked from outside forces and we've allowed it to be undermined from the inside by our own selfishness. These challenges have forced us to build and rebuild, examine and remodel, tear down and re-construct.

The night that Charity called in despair over her baby near death, our lives changed forever. We cried out to God in anguish; we questioned Him angrily.

"How could You let someone hurt this incredibly precious, innocent little baby?"

Both of us asked this. We always felt we had the answers to the theology of suffering but never knew how dark and lonely and disorienting suffering would actually be. We never knew God would be so quiet.

We both tried our damnedest to hear God.

It wasn't until we both individually made a choice to live for God in spite of what we were going through, that is, the ripping apart of our family, leaving friends, surrendering property, that things started to change. As I watched the faith and obedience of the charming and beautiful Susan and her selfless mothering and caring for me, we turned a corner. I saw God working in her and I started to see Him at work in places I wasn't looking before. He was at worked through every situation I was most critical of; the places I was fighting Him the most. He worked through my friends, my family, you readers, and through that familiar, still small voice. I was starting to hear again.

I don't know how any of this could have happened if I didn't have the incredible partner He gave me. I see the amazing wisdom of God at work in my mate.

I never knew I could experience the depth of love that we have in our little trio. I genuinely look forward to the company I keep every single morning when we have our time together over coffee before we take on the day. Our love and joy are overflowing; they far exceed the suffering of the past year and a half. We didn't get here over night. It has taken two decades of sowing into a field that's been our life together.

If the last twenty-two years has yielded this kind of payoff, I can't wait to reap the benefits of the next twenty-two years.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Is God on Our Side?

So you think you have voting according to the will of God all figured out. If you do, you're probably one of those who've been duped into voting exactly the way a political party or Rush Limbaugh tells you to. You probably won't be interested in this post and should just click on out to ESPN or MTV or Ebay.

The video below is a conversation between two evangelical leaders coming from different political points of view. Brian McLaren from the progressive (or liberal side) and Richard Land from the conservative side. Both made Time Magazine's list of 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America.

The post I put up about the Warren Forum got tons of hits and comments. It's obvious that Christians are struggling with voting "correctly". If this is true for you, you need to give a honest, open-minded listen to the exhortation of these two men.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Best Bible Commentaries

This web site has an incredible list of Bible commentaries for every book of the Bible.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

kids... 4


sorry for this, but I'm having a creative block...


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Blogger Reviews of Our Obama Book - Michael Hyatt

I just wanted to link back to Michael Hyatt's blog. Mr. Hyatt is the President of Thomas Nelson Publishers. A couple of weeks ago, bloggers were invited to read The Faith of Barack Obama and then write a review. I threw my hat in the ring and told them I'd do it. I noticed that Hyatt linked back to our reviews from his blog.

Thanks for the opportunity.

Blogger Reviews of Our Obama Book - Michael Hyatt

Monday, August 18, 2008

Book Review: The Faith of Barack Obama

bo-coverStephen Mansfield, author of The Faith of George W. Bush, and The Faith of the American Soldier, does a great job of summarizing and getting to the point. He knows what it is you're curious about and gets to the answers in an engaging way. Indeed, the story of Barack Obama and his faith rings true. Many Americans will identify with Obama in their own tensions of living life before God and a watching world.

No doubt about it: Obama is a great story. He grew up with no father, no country, and no destiny. If he becomes president, few tales of political ascent will read like his. Mansfield makes a strong case and organizes his material well. The Faith of Barack Obama is a biography that chronicles his coming to faith while coming of age in Chicago’s South Side while becoming part of the community of worshippers at Trinity United Church of Christ.

Mansfield gives a balanced look at Obama’s faith. To keep the scales even, he writes a chapter on the faith heritage of Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and George W. Bush in the chapter he heads “Four Faces of Faith.”

In “The Altars of State” Mansfield compares the hellfire and brimstone bludgeoning Abraham Lincoln took from his preacher contemporaries to the beating Alan Keyes tried to give Obama during his 2004 senate race.

This book, my dear inquisitive, conservative, red-state Christian friend answers your questions about what Obama believes about Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the death of Jesus Christ, and His resurrection. It gives a look into his membership at Trinity United Church of Christ under the tutelage and mentorship of Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright. It discusses Obama's views on public dialogue about God, faith and religion. As these topics were opened up, the book became a real page-turner for me. I can't say I like or agree with Obama's politics and theology at every point, but I definitely acknowledge that God is at work in this man through his faith. His faith comes across, not as perfect or complete, but genuine. Honestly, there is probably more that I do agree with than disagree.

“This book is written in the belief that if a man’s faith is sincere, it is the most important thing about him, and it is impossible to understand who he is and how he will lead without first understanding the religious vision that informs his life,” writes Mansfield.

Mansfield's description of this man and how his faith influences what he does and who he is makes me less settled in my choice for president than I was before the mail man dropped the book off on my door step.

“Obama’s faith infuses his public policy, so that his faith is not just limited to personal realms of his life; it also informs his leadership.”

164 pages are contained between it's front and back covers including notes and index. It’s a quick read; give yourself about three or four hours to work through it. If you want to get to know a little about Obama’s Christianity, this will be time well spent.

Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2008, Nashville, TN

download a preview

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Trinidad, CA

IMG_0272 Allie, the charming and beauitiful Susan, and I have been doing a short day trips in the new van for the past few weekends. Each trip, we drive a little further. Today we did 80 miles round trip with a stop in Trinidad (pop 314), CA, for a short walk on the beach. Allie did phenomenal.

Saddleback Showdown: First Impressions

imageDid you have a chance to watch the Rick Warren hosted forum at Saddleback Church? Let me just say that kudos are due Rick Warren for leveraging his pulpit and popularity to bring about a civil forum for discussion about where faith, character, and politics intersect.

Here are my thoughts. I'll do it in the same order Warren did and start with Obama.

Right off the bat, Obama's answer to the Warren question sounded like a stump speech and Warren called Barack to order. Obama's answer to Warren was that he's been doing quite a bit of stumping lately so it flows kind of naturally. But, after that, Obama was compliant and conversational.

Obama was most flustered, I felt, by Warren's question, "When does an unborn child get basic human rights?" Obama's answer was not an answer to the question, - he said the answer to that question was above his pay grade - but an explanation to why he is pro-choice. He mentioned that Bush is pro-life, but during his time as president, the rate of abortions has not come down and that is something that everyone agrees should happen and should take steps to make reality.

That was the biggest question to be answered for me as a man who has always voted a pro-life ticket right down the line. I think the issues this generation face right now go beyond that single issue, but in the past, that has been the single issue that has kept me voting a straight Republican ticket since I was eighteen years old and voted for Reagan in his second term.

I love that Obama invoked Mathew 25 saying that we have to follow Jesus's teaching to take care of the least of these; that we have to be willing to serve a cause greater than ourselves. Later, McCain said something similar about serving causes greater than ourselves. In fact, when McCain said that the one mistake we made in the wake of 9-11 was that we called for people to go shopping and to travel instead of calling people to serve in the Peace Corps and Military and volunteer organizations. I wanted to stand up and cheer but I was holding the baby. I know that the church was shocked and fearful and missions has suffered ever since. O, that a leader at the national level would have stood up and said don't stop; do more.


McCain was warmly welcomed by the Orange County crowd. The moment on stage when Obama and McCain occupied the same space was civil with Obama going beyond the offered hand shake to pull McCain in close for a man-hug.

While I love the directness and confidence with which McCain fired off answers to Warren's questions, I was a little disappointed that Warren didn't reign McCain in the way he did with Obama. McCain often defaulted from conversation to a campaign style of answering questions. McCain answered quickly, but he stumped. He told stories instead of giving direct answers. His quick answers permitted Warren to ask more questions, but it also gave McCain more time for campaigning leaving wondering if McCain was capable of listening and responding vs. responding to what he think is going to be asked. I feel like we already have a president that does that and had made serious policy errors because of that.

McCain's tendency to campaign in this forum hurt him in my opinion. He told me a bunch of things I've already heard or read. Don't get me wrong, I think he's an honest guy passionate about his beliefs. But I was hoping he's answer Warren in the same thoughtful way Obama did.

Here's the verdict: Obama seemed more human than McCain. He listened and responded. McCain launched into talking points. I'm not saying that Obama was totally innocent of this, but I felt he respected the forum, Warren, and the audience more than McCain did.

These are my initial impressions. I know there were questions about energy, evil, the Supreme Court, etc, but I don't want to take up space here or your time hashing through each one. In the next few news cycles, we'll watch pundits dig trenches along party lines and fire shots at each other doing exactly what Pastor Rick asked then not to do: demonize the man you don't agree with. Both sides will be guilty of making the other man look like Satan, the Father of Lies.

But neither man is. Both men came across as sincere men. I honestly can't remember when I've had a tougher choice between two good candidates. Most times, I've felt that I've had to pick the lesser of two evils. But this time, from my point of view, it's not as cut-and-dried as previous elections.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Saddleback Showdown

image Tomorrow night, at 8pm Eastern Time, Rick Warren will host a unique forum for presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain.

Folks in the audience will listen to a speech given by both, and then will ask questions of each candidate. Only one presidential hopeful will be on the stage at a time while the other sits in a soundproof room. He won't know what questions are being asked.

I'm pretty jazzed about the forum and the vision of the man hosting it. Check it out.


Humboldt County: Welcome to the Lost Coast

humboldtThis is a movie about the land where I live and grew up.

The North Coast Journal, a local alternative periodical is running an article this week about the movie.

What's it about? Humboldt's culture of marijuana horticulture. Everybody here knows someone that makes a living profiting from growing dope. Everybody. The economy here would be worse than it already is if cash from this alternate economy wasn't pumped into it.

I doubt that this is the beginning of pot becoming mainstream in culture the way it was in the days of Cheech and Chong. Most people have grown-up above and imagebeyond those days of folly.

Or maybe I'm in denial.

No doubt, this is one more addition to a growing genre. Interest in a Northern California return to nature ebbs and flows. I wonder what will happen when this movie hits theaters. My hope is that it enjoy the kind of attention that cause movies to bypass theaters and go straight to DVD.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

English as a Second Language

Are you looking for ministry you and your church can spear head and be a part of both domestically and when you take teams abroad? Check out this post...

read more | digg story

Act Justly

These are a couple of great talks given by N.T. Wright at a Christian Aid conference held last year.

read more | digg story

Stuff Christians Like: #374. "<><" - Christian Emoticons

I thought this was, um, kinda fun...

This means, "I stayed in bed this morning and accidentally missed church. Please don't judge me if we see each other at a restaurant on Sunday afternoon and I am clearly wearing clothes that indicate I did not go." (Also known as "bedside Baptist.")

This means, "Our church had to install speed bumps in the parking lot because despite what the sermon said, I will run you over if you get in my way when I am trying to leave church.

This means, "I am a Christian with a halo and a unibrow. I wear both proudly."

This means, "I drink coffee during church! Lots of coffee!"

This means, "Our small church is becoming a megachurch."

This means, "You will see lots of people singing with their hands raised at our church." & This means, "I am a bald worship leader."

\_ \_ \_
This means, "Our new church building has movie-theater style seats."

This means, "We handle snakes at our church during service."

o o o o o o o
This means, "I am not afraid to throw Skittles in order to wake up a crowd of people."

This means, "I tip with tracts instead of money at restaurants." (Shame on you.)

[ --> <-- }
This means, "I can't clap on rhythm during worship songs. When I try to bring my hands together, it's like one hand is thinking one thing and the other is thinking something completely different."

Stuff Christians Like: #374. "<><" - Christian Emoticons

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Laura Bennett with the next Former President

david's-sis My buddy Dave's sister Laura had this great photo op over there at the Olympics in China.

I just have one question: What the H-E-double hockey sticks was Ralph Lauren thinking when he pitched these outfits to the U.S. Olympic Team? Does he hate sports more than me? I've never been a Polo fan. Maybe I instinctively knew they were heading in this incredibly hideous direction.

The only thing that redeems the hideous design is that our athletes are so good looking, that they make any rags look good.

Do these look people look like moving targets or is it just me?


The Good News of South Florida - More Bentley Jive

imageMy good friend Luann sent me links to a couple of articles printed in the Good News of South Florida, a periodical of note (I write for them some times :)  ). To go on the record, The Good News does not "does not endorse nor condemn Todd Bentley or The Florida Healing Outpouring". But I'm a little slanted on this blog. Maybe, dear perceptive reader, you'll notice which way.

I've included some pull-quotes from Tullian Tchividjian, a South Florida pastor I knew as a lad (when he was a lad that is).

I have no problem going on record and saying this guy is a false prophet & with a capital F, says Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham and pastor of New City Church in Margate, Fla. And it shouldnt surprise any of us because the Bible warns us about this from cover to cover. John Piper once said that Satan does not tempt us with poison, but with apple pie.

While Bentley frequently rouses the crowd to cry out for “more of God” in anticipation of healing, Tchividjian, who recently authored the book “Do I Know God?” says promising to heal hurting people is dangerous.

“At least from a biblical standpoint, there is no doubt that God can and does heal people. … Sometimes he chooses to do so, and sometimes he does not. …” he says. “There are many people, like my grandmother, who God chose not to heal, and that’s OK.”

Tchividjian also notes that Bentley claims to physically abuse people in order to heal them.

In one sermon recording provided by Way of the Master Radio, Bentley said the Holy Spirit told him to bang a crippled woman’s legs up and down on the stage, and then finally, “The Holy Spirit came over me … and said, ‘Kick her in the face,’” and he did.

Only then was she healed, he says.

Kicked in the face. Nice. In my B.C. days (read: Before Christ) I can recall being kicked in the face a time or two. Back then, the justification was to "heal your smart mouth".

I'm still waiting for that healing to take.

The Good News of South Florida - Local

Leaving Lakeland | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

image This article about the Todd Bentley show in Lakeland, FL appears in the online version of Christianity Today.

It's one thing when Baptists say, "I don't know about that Todd Bentley; it looks like a bunch of hype." Baptists are supposed to say that about Pentecostal Revivals. They teach them that from the time they're Awanas and all the way through youth group.

But when Pentecostals say, "I don't know about that Todd Bentley; it looks like a bunch of hype," then, Houston, there's a problem.

Christianity Today wrote a few paragraphs about the claims that the dead have been raised. There has been no corroborations of these claims - not even a whiff of a reported stench. Just claims. No fruit. But maybe a bit of fruitcake.

While faith healing is a part of the Pentecostal tradition, leaders' claims that at least 25 people have been raised from the dead have especially raised eyebrows. No dead bodies have been brought into the revival. Rather, reports of the recent death of a loved one in some cases located long distances away are relayed to the stage by e-mail or cell phone, and Bentley has led prayers for the person to be revived.

"We do our best to find out the situation. In one case, a boy drowned in a pool. He had no pulse, wasn't breathing, and was clinically brain-dead," he said.

Recent news reports have been unable to verify any of the claims of healing, although revival officials say they have been barred from releasing complete information about the identities and conditions of people claiming to be healed due to privacy concerns and laws forbidding the release of medical records.

"We hear about the dead being raised, but we don't know who they are or where they are," said Reggie Scarborough, pastor of Family Worship Center in Lakeland, a charismatic congregation that frequently practices faith healing. "I saw a lot of passion from [Bentley], but there was too much hype. I just don't feel I can endorse something that's being exaggerated.

Read the whole story here: Leaving Lakeland | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Monday, August 11, 2008

Commando Crawling

These are videos I shot today of Allie at physical therapy.

Since I'm an ex-Marine (once a Marine, always a Marine, my father the twenty year lifer always says), all of my off-spring WILL know how to:

  • low crawl
  • shoot a weapon while covered in mud
  • field strip an M16 in thirty seconds or less
  • sing the Marine Corps Hymn while laying at attention in bed

So here's video of Allie learning how to low crawl...

Politics, Evangelicals, Obama, and Barna -

This post by respected author and theologian Ed Setzer is good. I finished reading it and said to myself, "Self, that makes sense."

Then I read the comments fired back at Ed by Pastor Shaun King and thought, "Self, that makes sense, too."

Let me suggest that you follow the links, read the post and comments, think about it, and then share your thoughts.

link: Politics, Evangelicals, Obama, and Barna -

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Writing Our Way to God

An interview with theologian N.T. Wright and author Anne Rice of "Interview with a Vampire" fame. Both use all of their talent and intelligence to point people to Christ. Follow the links. Get the interview. Be inspired.

read more | digg story

Laura Bennett

This is my buddy's sister. She's in the Olympics. In China. I'm not name-dropping. I'm just sayin'.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Latest Allie Occupational Therapy Update

IMG_0174 Rena completed a thorough review of Allie's goals and achievements.

Summary: Ali is now two years old and continues to make progress towards her goals. She has increased muscle tone and limitations in fine motor coordination and self care skills.

Past Goals:
1. Reach to cause and effect toy with 80° right shoulder flexion: met
2. Reach to cause and effect toy with 80° left shoulder flexion: met
3. Grasp 1 to 2" cube or toy using a radial digit grasp: improved but not met
4. Use both hands together when offered a light weight 12" toy held to her fingers: not met

Current Goals:
1. Finger feed 6/6 Gerber Puffs or other soft finger foods independently
A. Finger feed 3/6 Gerber Puffs with moderate assist
B. Finger feed 4/6 Puffs with minimum assist

2. Spoon feed 2 ounces of thick puree with moderate assist
A. Spoon feed 1 ounce of thick puree with maximum assist
B. Spoon feed 4 bites of thick puree with moderate assist

3. Demonstrate a radial digit grasp on cube or toyIMG_0229
A. Consistently use a radial palmer grasp with cube or toy

4. Independently hold a light weight 10" toy with both hands
A. Hold a 10" light weight toy with both hands with minimum assist

General: Ali is now two years old and scheduled for twice weekly occupational therapy. She continues to make progress towards her goals.

Caregiver Concerns: Her grandmother notes that although Ali now tolerates taking a bath, it has become increasingly difficult to support her in the tub. Ali leans towards the right when sitting in her car seat and her grandmother would like her to be safely supported when in the car. She also wants Ali to be more successful feeding herself.

Range of Motion: Ali's upper extremity range of motion is within normal limits.

Muscle Tone: Ali has increased muscle tone in bilateral upper extremities. All shoulder motions, forearm supination, and elbow extension are tight at end ranges. Although she will open her hands, her thumbs are often in her palms in the left more than right.

Fine Motor Coordination: Ali is demonstrating increased curiosity about her environment and is using her hands more frequently to explore and play with toys. She has met her goals of reaching with her right and left arms to 80° or more to play with cause and effect toys. Although she is beginning to visually focus and occasionally track moving objects, her vision is not consistent or functional. She frequently relies on her auditory and tactile senses to relate to her environment. Ali's ability to grasp and release is restricted by flexor tone in her hands and thumbs. Although she volitionally opens her hands for toys, she lacks complete active thumb abduction and opposition for more refined and age appropriate grasp and release patterns. With her right hand, she has a functional lateral pinch but not the graded control and coordination to finger feed independently. With her left hand, she pinches with her index finger pad to the dorsum of her thumb IP. Ali is not yet using both hands together to grasp and explore large toys.

IMG_0164 Activities of Daily Living. Ali feeds herself Gerber Puffs and other finger foods with maximum assist. She is normally handed finger food, but is starting to occasionally reach to it on her tray. She often gets the food near her mouth but has difficulty consistently targeting to her mouth and coordinating the release of the Puff into her mouth. Ali was placed at a table in a Snug Seat to assess her abilities to use a spoon. She was given a bite of chocolate pudding and then the spoon was placed into her hand. Once the spoon is loaded for her, Ali brings it towards her mouth. She was able to target her mouth with minimal assist for a couple of bites, but overall needed hand over hand assist to get the food loaded and into her mouth. Ali is dependent for the remainder of her self care needs.

Recommendations: Occupational therapy to continue with twice weekly visits to
1. Work on the above goals
2. Obtain bath chair, car seat, and feeding chair
3. Monitor range of motion, fine motor coordination, and self care skills
4. Update her home stretching and activity program
5. Consider Joe Cool type of splints to help her open her hands for continued
advancement of fine motor and self care skills

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Monday, August 04, 2008

Trip to the South Jetty

We're so proud of Allie. We took her for a pretty long ride (forty miles round trip) around the south end of Humboldt Bay out to the South Jetty. Allie did great. She was happy, self-soothing, and looking around the whole way. Both ways.

If you've followed any of Allie's story, you know that our trips have been very short. Long trips with her are a nightmare. Next month, we have to ride down to San Francisco for an appearance before a judge. This is the final step in Allie's adoption. We're not looking forward to the trip. But yesterday's happy-ali was the longest trip she's taken without pushing her to the limit and gives us tremendous hope. We usually don't venture more than ten miles from home with Allie due to her tendency to have an emotional and physical meltdown. But she's made tremendous progress over the past few months. And she really likes riding in this new van much better (who wouldn't?).

40.6 miles round trip

Sunday, August 03, 2008

kids... 2


Susan Mondok times two

IMG_0231 These are both Susan Mondoks. My mom on the left and the charming and beautiful Susan on the right. They're on a cliff that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and South Humboldt Bay.

Yes. That is a hang glider.