Category Archives: children

Hannah’s Chuppdate (age six)

From the always excellent archives, a letter I wrote to family and friends at the tender age of six. Enjoy my superb spelling and creative punctuation.

This is Hannah. it is my BirthDay Number Six ! .I am exsited !aren’t you to ?Well I am! Rejoice in the Lord always!we ALL! love all of you !. Here is some about me (Hannah)


SWING (At PlayGrounds)
READ BOOKS (Very Much Evan Big Ones!)

Things I don’t like…


my favrite foods and season and why?



Things I want to do while I’m six…

Learn to swim
Learn to ride a bike
Learn to play gatar
Learn to play piano

what I think about my DAD… he is…,speisal,happy,funny and loveable
MOM….she is…MY MOM!

My favrite things to do at SCOOL…


Here is a poem I wrote about hugs:

Hug’s Don’t Evaporate

Hug’s don’t evaporate
that is true.
When we say: Mama I’ve got a booboo!
that’s when we need a hug!

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A bit on writing, and then a few jokes.

I was editing a news release today and had to come up with a bit more filler copy, but I had some really ridiculous jumble of phrases running around in my head, phrases that would sound completely absurd in a news brief. I’m pretty sure the words “tutelage” was there, and maybe “adulation.”

Stop being idiotic, I told myself, and write a proper sentence like a grownup.

But seriously, these words wouldn’t leave. So I grudgingly wrote them down (with a pen, on a piece of paper – it’s how I write best), and realized that I had, in essence, freed myself. I’d appeased the beast of my imagination by writing down what it gave me, and when I did, it offered more and more until finally I had written something worth reading.

It was a good reminder to keep on writing on, through the cruddiest bits, until something good somehow appears.


And finally, some jokes.

My favorite childhood joke:

What did the man say when he sat on a pin?

NothingIt was a safety pin.

A joke that only makes sense to Texans:

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To show the armadillo that it can be done.

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On Falling in Love with a Familiar Story in an Entirely New Way

I sometimes endlessly ingested Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, and grew up falling in love with Christian Bale & Winona Ryder’s movie version.

But the ending, whether print or film, always left me dissatisfied. Why, oh why, did spunky Jo, my idol, my model, my heart, why did she settle for an old geezer like Bhaer? He was nice, for sure, but with a niceness that seemed to fall into the realm of someone’s grandpa. Not a heartthrob like Teddy. I mean, come on.

Old and decrepit man, or . . . vs. total hottie? This should have been the easiest decision, Jo.

No contest, right?

I had a dream in high school, or middle school, I think, in which I ended up marrying Professor Bhaer. I found myself in the same setting as the movie, in pouring rain, under an umbrella . . . either that or in a school hallway. Anyways, I kissed this man I knew I was going to marry, and looked up, and it was Professor Bhaer. I woke up horrified. Never would such a thing happened to me.

Then this morning, I realized, as the anvil fell on my head, that Jo was on to something. She wasn’t settling. Not at all.

I realized this morning that Professor Bhaer is my ideal man. Behold:

  1. An older man. When Bhaer and Jo get married, he is around 40 and she in her mid-twenties, leaving an age-gap of 15ish years. My current ideal age for a man is 35, which leaves an age gap of 13 years. (Although I did just realize that this means he would be closer to my mom’s age than mine. Details.) Men mature at a slower rate than do women, so at this age he would likely be more wise, as well as have more life experience.
  2. European. I really don’t know what else I need to say to support the validity of this point.
  3. Professor. My current dream job is to be a professor and author. My current favorite men’s fashion look is professorial. I love academics.

There it is. We are destined for each other, Professor Bhaer and I, whenever we find each other.

I’ve always identified with Jo, and in fact last year that was my apartment’s nickname for me. And finally I can identify with her choice of Bhaer.

Meant to be. That’s all I’ve got to say.

True happiness right here . . .

Rediscovering the Library

I was recently reminded that public libraries exist and are manifestly awesome, so when my mom and brother took a trip this afternoon so he could take his practice SAT, I decided to tag along.

I thought perhaps I would find some nice books to browse in my time there, but I was categorically ambitious in my check out choices (after renewing my library card following years of disuse).

Seriously. The food is taking up arms. Like zombies.A lovely cookbook by Jamie Oliver- I looked at every single picture on every single page and quietly salivated to myself. I’m inspired to make some of the more British dishes. I also would like this for my birthday.

The Survivors Club - Ben SherwoodRecommended to me by Evan and Becca- I read 84 pages in the library this afternoon, sprawled on a comfy chair, probably to some patrons’ consternation.

Hannah Coulter - Wendell BerryWendell Berry comes highly lauded by the Rabbit Room, of which the highly esteemed (at least by myself and all persons I consider to be worthwhile) Andrew Peterson is the proprietor, so I thought I would do well to discover his writing for myself. Plus I wanted to encourage my library to continue carrying good literature (I trust AP).

I've not yet started a coffee shop, fyi.I’ve been wanting to open a coffee shop / used book store / fair trade goods marketplace for several years now, and although this venture seems to be nowhere in my future, this seemed a practical tome.

I'm still not fluent in Spanish.Yes, a Spanish textbook. I’ve decided that French and Spanish are two of the most common languages in the world (at least in the Americas, Europe, and Africa, which is a good portion of this planet), and since I would like to be a conscientious citizen of the world, it would behoove me to learn them.

I'm guilting myself by titling these photos. There is a sad lack of Spanish fluency in my life.Hey! I have 30 days to spare! How practical. You know, I thought it would only be fair to my children to learn another language, since I expect them to pop out bilingual. (According to Laura Vela, they will say to me, “Hola mamacita!”)

I don't know French yet either.Then we went to Border’s, which was having a store-closing sale, and I went halvsies with Peter on this, which cost us a grand total of $6.41. Maybe when I’ve mastered French and Spanish I’ll tackle Mandarin. or Russian. or perhaps modern Hebrew.

I’ve decided to forego any computer games or TV-watching if I’m doing it by myself. Instead, I’ll read, and learn how to survive, cook, respect nature, start a business, and speak two foreign languages. Well, French might wait until the summer. Time to put my library card to good use!

A Joyful Heart is Good Medicine

#4 – Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot.

#5 – Having a clear mind while writing.

#6 – The clarification of certain doubts about the Old Testament from reading Galatians 3.

#7 – Gum and fresh breath.

#8 – Christmas music (don’t be a hater – it’s already Christmastime to me).

#9 – A loving family.

#10 – The smell of a fire and smoke coming from a fireplace.

#11 – Remembering memorized Scripture from when I was little.


I’m feeling weird … I’m nostalgic over things that have never happened.

I sit in a comfy chair writing a paper as the rain whips against the windows, and I think, If only I could go back to that cabin and be writing that novel again. I was so productive then.

Never mind the fact that there never was that “then” for me.

And I thought back to that same cabin when my grandchildren used to gather around me and I would tell them stories and we would snuggle and drink cocoa. The blankets, the warmth, the solidarity. The good old days.

Except for the small part in which this never happened.

I don’t understand! Am I going crazy?

Freud would have a heyday with this.


In doing research for a project this past semester, I came upon this report. It details the use of forced labor (including child labor) in the Uzbek cotton harvest. Uzbek cotton is one of the largest exports of the country, and from there is often processed in Bangladesh, a country notorious for the exploitation of workers. The process continues until we buy the clothes from well-known stores here in the US.

I was aware of many of the parts of this process, but reading that report about forced labor in Uzbekistan has really stuck with me. I can’t get it out of my head. Since then, I’ve tried to find a way to get involved. You can petition corporations to boycott Uzbek cotton, but what I’m wondering is if there are any organizations working in Uzbekistan directly with the children, or trying to persuade the government.

Anyone know of anything or have any leads?

why my brain hurts this semester

My classes this semester have hit me with some of the hardest questions I’ve ever come across. I will let you ponder them as well.

  • Industries are impacted by consumers. The supply will meet the demand. Child labor and sex trafficking are both industries. What do you endorse (perhaps unintentionally)?
  • What does “missions” really mean? Are the Gospel and social justice distinct?
  • How do we share the gospel to survivors of sex trafficking, who have so many attachments of shame and stigma?
  • Do we believe in a just world?
  • What does it mean to “have church”? Are we doing church wrong? What’s the balance between sermons and service?
  • Can inner growth be expressed in service? We are so “I” focused.
  • What does it mean to be Christian? Have we narrowed our definition too much?
  • If a part of the reintegration of the wounded includes a healing ceremony, how do we integrate that with Christianity?
  • Can you love others as yourself when you don’t love yourself?
  • Is there a tension between physical/mental care and spiritual care?
  • In sharing the Gospel, what is your end goal? What is success to you?
  • Is there a “psychology of conversion”?
  • How do people heal?
  • Do NGOs perpetuate trauma? Overstate it in order to get funds?
  • How do you bring aid to a trauma situation without creating systemic dependency?
  • At what point does a cultural value become a problem?
  • Is pulling older street kids – the leaders – off the streets the best idea?
  • Are human rights a biblical notion? Or have “human rights” usurped the role of Scripture?
  • Why aren’t churches a safe haven emotionally and spiritually?
  • What do you do when, as a missionary, you meet a Christian polygamist?
  • What do you do when the closest family for an orphan is dysfunctional?

And here’s some statements to ponder as well.

  • There are more children who are HIV/AIDS positive in the US than there are gay people.
  • “To preach the gospel to a brothel owner, you’d probably have to risk your life.” – John Molineux