Saturday, May 31, 2008

the big three

May 30 3, 2008 088
Originally uploaded by laurengulde
Here are Emelie, Jonathan and Katherine with the graduate. Emelie is making sure that no one escapes...

The wisdom of a kindergarten graduate...

May 30 3, 2008 087
Originally uploaded by laurengulde
Yep, he's no longer a kindergartener. So sad. He had a great year, grew a lot (both in height and maturity!) He's a great boy and I couldn't be prouder of him!

He's very wise, too.

The other day, in the car on the way to graduation:
"Mom, I'm glad God made us with skin. We'd look weird without it."

I agree.


May 30 3, 2008 085
Originally uploaded by laurengulde

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

what it means to be young...

and some people wondered why this man was chosen to be our pope??

I am once again blown away by the beauty, wisdom and simplicity of his words...

Here is text from Pope Benedict's talk to the youth from May 18th in Genoa. You better read the WHOLE thing!

"To be young means to have discovered the things that do not pass away with the passing of the years. If a young person discovers the great and true values, then he will never grow old, even if the body follows its own laws.

Stay young in your heart and you will radiate youth, which is to say, goodness. Yes, because goodness escapes the grip of time. That is why we can say that only he who is good and generous is truly young.

I wish you all to remain young, but not as fashion goes. Fashions fizzle out in a heartbeat, they burn out in frenetic pointless succession. But youth - the youth born of goodness - will remain. Indeed, it will be perfect and resplendent in Heaven, with God.

It is beautiful to be young. Today, everyone wants to be young, to remain young, and many masquerade as young people, even if their youth has gone - visibly gone. But why is it beautiful to be young? Why this dream of perennial youth?

I think there are two decisive elements. One is that youth still has all of the future ahead. Everything is the future - the time of hope. And the future is full of promise, although today, it is also full of threats, especially the threat of great emptiness.

That is why many want to stop time, out of fear for a future of emptiness. They would want to consume all at once everything that is ‘beautiful’ in life - and so they burn out the candle at both ends even if their life has just begun.

It is important to choose the true promises, those that will open up the future, even if it means renouncing certain things. Whoever chooses God will have, even in old age, a future without an end, and will fear no threats ahead.

So choose well - do not destroy your future. And the first choice should be God, who revealed himself in Jesus Christ. In the light of this choice which offers us a reliable companion on our journey, one can find the criteria for the other choices that one must make.

To be young, as I said, means being good and generous. But once again: the true goodness is Jesus, the Jesus you know or that your heart is searching for. He alone is the friend who will never betray. He was faithful up to giving his life on the Cross. Surrender to his love!"

Monday, May 19, 2008

The hills are alive...

So, someone is converting the von Trapp family villa into a hotel... I am so there... once I win the lottery! It's something like $150/night. Who wants to come? Maybe we could sneak a few people in the luggage and split the cost...

After the von Trapps left the house, Nazi security chief Heinrich Himmler used the villa until 1945. A missionary order which bought the home after World War II agreed to sell it for use as a hotel.

I am so pumped! If you want to read a really great book to get for your big trip to Austria, read The Trapp Family Singers by Maria Von Trapp. I read it years ago when I borrowed it from a friend, and want to go order my own copy today. It's the book Maria wrote which became the inspiration for the movie. And it's actually MORE exciting than the movie, if you can imagine that! Talk about an amazingly brave and faithful family!

Emelie's home sick today with Asthma and an ear infection and Curt might have broken his ankle, so I think we will watch The Sound of Music to put all our misery into perspective! :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Curt's China Experience...

Since Curt was in China for his trip, he has shared a few stories with me. Some of them are very hopeful, about how China is progressing, allowing more free enterprise, etc... He also told me some very sad things.

Like how many children are in the streets begging for food or money. One little girl touched him. She was younger than Jonathan, pulling on his coat, asking for food or money. She was a beautiful child.

And then, the one story I can't get out of my head...

A woman came up to Curt and one of his team members and tried to give them her baby. The baby was sick and she wanted Curt or his friend to take the child.

Curt said it was really hard to walk through the streets every day and wonder what was going to happen to all these children.

Reminded me of an article about Jim Caviezel (Passion of the Christ) who recently adopted two children from China after visiting an orphanage there.

Made me think that if anyone out there has ever thought of adopting a child from China... go for it. They need help! The children available for adoption are mostly girls, because of China's only child policy (which is still in place), boys are not abandoned like the girls. Boys are much more valuable in Chinese culture... and if you only get to have one child, guess who gets abandoned, or aborted...

I think Catholic Charities has the ability to facilitate Chinese adoptions and I know there are lots of other organizations out there, too. There are probably organizations we can donate to that really get help to these children (not just their government). If you know of any, please add it in the comments!

I'm sure there will only be more children abandoned after the earthquake (that missed Curt by 24 hours).

Thursday, May 08, 2008

What Jonathan would do for Alvin and the Chipmunks...

So, the other day, Emelie and Jonathan were watching their new Alvin and the Chipmunks DVD (our favorite movie, by the way!). The movie was beginning and the FBI warning popped up on the screen. Since they also watch the older episodes of Star Wars, Jonathan thought that any text at the beginning of a movie would be very important to the plot, and asked Emelie to read the warning to him.

She did, and finished with the part, "The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to five years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000." "

Jonathan sat there for a moment, deep in thought, and then asked, "Well, do you still get to keep the movie?"

Bird's Eye view of Hong Kong

This is a pic that Curt took on the famous Singapore Airlines as he flew from Singapore to Shanghai, China the other day. It's not very clear, but it's my only proof that he's really on the other side of the world! He'll be back on Sunday: Mother's Day and Emelie's birthday. We can't wait to have him back!

He said that Singapore was really interesting and "disney-like" and that Shanghai is very dirty. He said that the Chinese caste system was very evident right from the time they got to the hotel. It was very clear at once that they considered the Americans to be very important and the hotel staff were not... I bet he'll come back and be even more thankful to live in this great country!

Wanna make an easy $17,000?

Get this...

If you'd like to make up to $17,000 over a 90 day period, sign up for NASA's Bed Rest Study.

You get to do fun things like lay in bed (without getting up) for 90 DAYS, eat a "carefully controlled diet", lay with your feet elevated above your head and participate in various " tests to find out changes in the state of your bone, muscle, heart and circulatory system, and nervous system, as well as your nutritional condition and your ability to fight off infections."

It's tempting! Except, if I'm going to lay in bed for three months, I'd better be able to eat anything I want. So, no deal for me... But here's the application if you're interested.

Good article on about it also!