Anna’s Nest

Farewell Philly...

4 June 12

In about 2 weeks, on Tuesday January 19, we will move from Philadelphia to Seattle.

Philadelphia – we will miss you so much! Especially all the friends that made it so warm for our family! Thanks for welcoming us, and for the great memories you are sending us away with!

I’ll do a more thoughtful post soon with milestone pictures of our kids while we were here, and some of the things we are looking forward to about Seattle, WA!

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My Love Goes With You

9 September 10

Today is the fourth anniversary of the death of our first child, Sarah Grace Marie. (I talk about that a bit here.) To commemorate it, I thought I’d post this song (so beautifully sung by the Innocence Mission on their album of lullabies, Now The Day Is Over that always makes me think of her.

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Letting go (*sniff*)

17 May 10

So, it’s not even 10:30 yet, and the laundry is going, the dishwasher is emptied, our breakfast dishes are washed, and I even took some time to attach our new hose to the spigot and give the garden a little watering! Also, I’m dressed!

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Dear Blog,

16 February 10

Are you still there? I seem to be able to make out a thick layer of dust somewhere back in the dim recesses of my mind, but nothing more than a vague shape…

Okay, so it’s been a little while. Maybe a big while. Maybe I have a lot to catch up…

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Always My Baby

1 July 09

Bridget turned eighteen months old yesterday. It’s tradition that on half-birthdays (we call them “Appreciation Days”) the celebrated person gets to choose the meal, so I picked some of Bridget’s favorite foods. Thus, she feasted on steamed carrots, rice, a fried egg with the yolk broken, and pizza. She actually only ate a couple bites of the pizza – that was more for Brian and me…

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21 February 09

Hi guys! So sorry for the neglect. I’ve been in a blogging funk. It seems like there’s either nothing to say or, more often, there’s too much to say and my brain “shorts out” from all the options.


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Unfinished Business

10 January 09

Team Warren Christmas Card
A Happy New Year to you! I took a rather long Christmas break (longer than anticipated, anyhow), but now I’m back! Yay! Aaaand I have some things to say – things I wanted to say before Christmas, but was a little preoccupied with sanity-keeping…

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Fridge Box

29 May 08

How cool is this?! Now you can make a fort even if you don’t need to buy a new fridge! Found via RookieMoms

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Memorial Day

27 May 08

Yikes! I got into bed last night and realized that I hadn’t done a single blog post! And I was doing so well… For Memorial Day, we took the babe and went to a cookout some friends of ours were doing (they actually used to be our neighbors – hi, E & B!). It was kind of fun cruising around the old neighborhood. We made so many great memories there. It was an overcast, kind of chilly day, so we spent most of our time holed up inside while a select few braved the elements and brought back grilled goodies. I suppose it was not the typical Memorial Day weather, but the weather this spring hasn’t really been typical in general, so it fits. And the rain was so nice for my garden. Although not so nice for the diapers on my clothesline trying in vain to get dry. The weather is rainy again today. Rainy and chilly, giving me a great excuse to make myself a tasty Hot Chocolate drink. We’re almost out of mix (and I wanted to try something different anyhow), so I just followed (sort of) the directions on the side of the Hershey’s box and mixed sugar and chocolate powder in with milk, but I just did a search and turned up lots of other yummy-looking recipes for hot chocolate. Too bad I’m discovering these at the tail end of Hot Chocolate Season. This might mean I’ll have to make an exception…research, you know, is very important. What’s your favorite all-around beverage (not necessarily hot)? Do you mix it up yourself or is it nicely packaged up for you?

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22 May 08

Today’s been kind of a grey day. The sky has been mostly grey, and my activities this afternoon have had a kind of grey feeling to them. That’s not necessarily bad, it just makes my day boring to talk about. It’s a nice velvety color of grey, but it’s still grey. Bridget did take two glorious naps today, which means that the dishes are clean and the house is a little more tidy than it was before. Hooray! And I had one of my favorite lunches – Everything Wraps! Basically tortilla wraps with everything that looks good to me thrown inside – in this case lettuce, ham, Goddess Dressing (I love that stuff!), shredded pepper jack cheese, and thinly sliced apples. Sorry, no pictures – I was going to take a picture at lunch, it looked so pretty, but then I thought, “Anna, No One Cares What You Had For Lunch. Then later I changed my mind and decided that if you didn’t, you should. Because it was TASTY. This afternoon Bridget and I just kind of hung out – she had a mini-nap in my arms while I bopped around the interweb, she had some poos (which I changed),I did a bit more tidying…so nothing terribly exciting, but all quite good. Sadly, I haven’t made any progress on the shirt project since I blogged about the material :u( Maybe tonight I’ll get to work on it a bit. It is fun, this making my own clothes, but an awfully slow process. Hopefully it will get faster as I get into the groove. I’ll be sure and keep you all updated on the process! In the meantime, I should go cook supper, which promises to be exciting – we’re having ribs! And maybe some broccoli or something on the side. Grey with a touch of Everything Wraps and ribs – I can handle that!

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On the Subject of Entertainment

21 May 08

Bridget is such a delight. I took this picture today with my computer camera, which shows a preview image on the screen. Bridget loved watching the little baby in my computer! I also did computer babysitting for the first time. iTunes has a feature called “Visualizer” which dances colorful shapes and lines over the screen of your computer to the beat of the song you are listening to. It’s very pretty, and slightly hypnotizing. It turns out babies (or Bridget, anyhow) fall very easily under it’s spell. So while Over the Rhine’s Ohio played, Bridget happily sat in her bouncer and stared at my computer screen and the pretty shapes weaving over it while I scurried off to unload the dishwasher and start some laundry. Brilliant, I say! Of course it might be easy to try to take advantage of this and overuse it, but I think I would be too afraid of it losing it’s power. Besides, Bridget is my entertainment, as you can see from the picture above. I can’t go very far for very long without being sucked back to the adorableness of my punkin. And I’m pretty sure she’ll never lose her power over me. Positive, even.

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Bright Moments

14 May 08

Okay, I guess I missed my window for posting on the 14th. Oops! I haven’t gone to bed yet though, so for me this still feels like Thursday hasn’t started yet. So far this has been a really challenging week for me. Bridget is teething (poor little punkin), and wants to be held pretty much every waking minute, although sometimes she’ll play/chew on her toys for 5 minutes or so while I scramble to wash dishes or move clothes from the washer to the dryer. Sometimes as much as 10, but then she’ll fuss to be picked up. I am ashamed to say that several times I have actually gotten frustrated with her (as if she could help it). It does give me much more compassion for those moms who aren’t blessed with generally happy babies (which Bridget mostly is, even when her mouth is hurting). Today I went for a quick trip to the grocery store. She was in a great mood, with a full belly and a recent nap. As we walked around the store every once in awhile I would focus my attention on her, talking baby talk to her and blowing gently on her face (something we’ve recently discovered that Bridget thinks is hilarious). She loved it, and even in the checkout line, when she was beginning to get fed up with the outing and I wasn’t able to focus on her as much, she entertained everyone in line behind me by making herself cough and then laughing! What a little goof. I need to focus more on the bright times like that rather than the dishes that pile up, or the gobs of other stuff that I can’t do because being a mommy comes first, and the dirt that is piled up all over our floor won’t be hurt by me ignoring it for another day. Overall, those bright moments drastically outweigh (and probably even outnumber) the other not so fun moments. I wonder what I can do to help myself not to get all hung up on the rough patches… Another great thing I’ve been doing (in the evenings after B goes to sleep) is work on the bag for Brian that I mentioned the other day. Doing this has also contributed to other work not getting done, so I can’t really blame Bridget for all of that :u) I’m pretty much done with the bag, except for lengthening the shoulder strap for Brian. Yay! I love that feeling of having finished something that won’t undo itself in the next 8 hours! So I guess, even though it’s been a tough week so far, it really hasn’t been as bad as I made myself think. Go, perspective (and thank you once again, Blog)! I’ll take pictures tomorrow (along with more websites – see yesterday’s post) so you can see the results of the bag for yourself. For now, Good Night, All!

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Happy Mother's Day!

11 May 08

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas. And be sure to tell your own mom how much you love and appreciate her.

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Mama's Happy!

10 May 08

I am now convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt that Bridget is cutting teeth. It’s either that or an amazing coincidence of a bad mood, gnawing on EVERYTHING, and and incredible amounts of saliva. Poor little punkin. In spite of that, she did take a pretty good nap this morning – probably about an hour long – and I got to spend more time gardening. Happy mama! I planted some green beans and set up some poles for them to grow up, and took some pictures of my Coleus plants (which I also thinned out a bit). The highlight of my day, though, was this afternoon when Brian gave me an early Mother’s Day gift – a gift certificate to my favorite online fabric store. Whooeeee!!! Off to pick out some yummy fabrics!

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Being A Mom Is Hard Work

8 May 08

I mean, really Hard Work. I know, people say this all the time, but you can’t really appreciate it for what it is until you’ve experienced it. Bridget was a handful and a half today. Her naps have been terrible lately, and she’s not a happy camper about that fact. Maybe it’s teething, but I don’t approve either. It got to the point where I was ready to scream and pull my hair, but then Bridget thoughtfully did that for me. I had to make some phone calls today, and Bridget fell apart during all of them. In between that, the wimpy napping, and the one-handedness of getting things done (something I’m getting pretty good at, but am very tired of), it was just one crazy day. Fortunately, my Knight in Shining Armor rode up on his white horse at the end of the day and rescued me (awww…thanks Honey!) As much of a trying day as today was, it was so totally worth it. The delighted look on my baby’s face when she sees me, the trusting gaze of her beautiful blue eyes, her infectious shrieks of delight all have an amazing way of putting everything into perspective. I love being a Mom.

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Before I Go

9 April 08

Maggie over at Mighty Girl made a list of 100 things she would like to do before she dies (if you want to see the list, go to the web page and scroll down – it’s in the sidebar to the left). It got me thinking (as things like that do) what I would like to have done when I die.

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Sweet Softness

15 March 08

This morning Brian is gone at a meeting, and Bridget and I are taking it easy.

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Incredible Joys

25 January 08

Thank you all for your congratulations and well-wishes! I am so blessed to have such amazing friends. You are all an incredible joy to me.

Aaand…speaking of incredible joys…

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Bridget Ruth Warren

12 January 08

Bridget was born at 11:55 am on Saturday, December 29th. She weighed 7 lbs, 8 ozs, and was 19.5 inches long – a perfect size, if you ask me.

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Works in Progress

17 December 07

I’ve been getting some requests (from relatives, mostly) for updated pictures of my big baby belly and the baby’s newly painted and furnished room. The baby room in all of it’s creamy yellow glory. We found out we’re having a girl, but a room full of pink is just too much for me. Also (and this probably had a lot more to do with the decision), if perchance the doctors were wrong, or if we would ever in the future want to use the room for a boy, I really don’t want to re-paint. And here’s me, in all my 38 weeks of big-ness. People say that I look great, and I really really appreciate that because that is generally not how I feel. Not that I’m feeling bad – just generally uncomfortable (and wondering just how much bigger I can get!) Suffice it to say that, as wonderful and relatively painless as this pregnancy has been, I’m ready for it to be finished. Which is kind of good I guess, because, from what they tell me, it could be any day now! Whew…now there are just a couple of things I’d like to finish first…

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Pie for Breakfast

23 November 07

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was wonderful and full of family and friends…

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Safe Cleaning

15 November 07

With the arrival of our baby on my mind more and more these days, I have been thinking (among other things) about the health and safety of our home, specifically as it relates to cleaning (you know that fizzing scrubby cleaner you use on the tub? Ever wonder why it hurts your throat to breathe when you use it, or has so many warnings on the label?). Some of you might remember the post I wrote about making your own laundry detergent. This experiment has been an overwhelming success. Our clothes come out of the laundry just as clean as before, the process of making it takes only a little effort, and I can rest easy knowing that not only am I saving money by doing this, I am reducing the impact of our household on the environment. One thing I have enjoyed doing instead of using polluting fabric softeners, especially with sheets and towels, is doing a vinegar rinse in the laundry cycle – just add about 1/4 cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle to ensure all the soap is rinsed out. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell – it goes away once everything dries. For a special touch, you can add some essential oils to your vinegar rinse – I put a couple dozen or so drops of lavender scent into a gallon jug and use that. When the vinegar smell (not very strong to begin with) goes away, the scent remains. Ah…lavender sheets! I have also been trying my hand at expanding the safety of our cleaning supplies to other realms. I really like the method cleaners that are available now. However, they can be a bit pricey for our generic budget, and aren’t available everywhere. I received a book for my birthday called Clean House, Clean Planet, written by Karen Logan (that last link is to an article written about her and her business, and has some other interesting info too). The book is a wonderful read – it outlines some of the dangers of common household cleaners, and presents some alternatives that you can make yourself out of things that you probably have around already. White vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, essential oils, liquid soap, borax, olive oil and club soda (!) are the main ingredients she says to have on hand. I haven’t finished the book yet, but it’s so amazing to think of the possibility of getting rid of the scary cleaners, and using only these basic ingredients. Not only are these options healthier, they’re cheaper (also good with a baby on the way!), and they’re a lot kinder to the world in which we live.

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12 November 07

I’ve been making lots of progress lately, both in terms of baby-growing, and in terms of getting ready for the baby to be born. Whew! It’s kind of crazy, but it looks like a couple of months from now we’ll have a baby!

For now, though, she’s stuck inside me…

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20 September 07

This trip was our “final fling” before being thrown into the wonderful-but-irreversible world of babydom. I’ve heard other people refer to trips like this as a “Babymoon”. It’s been very very fun. Perhaps too fun. But I am ready now to return to Clive our cat, and to check on the garden and other plants and see how they fared. Good thing, too, because our flight leaves tomorrow morning!

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20 July 07

Okay, this is simply silly. Out of hand, really. No, I don’t have a really marvelous reason for not posting. There is a silver lining, though! This means that I have lots of wonderful posts saved up for you…I think they might still be swimming around somewhere in my head…

Well, they’ll just have to wait awhile longer…

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LonG island

29 December 06

Yup. That’s how they say it here. (Brian spells it “Lawn Guy Land”) We’re at Brian’s dad’s house in New York. We got here Christmas eve, our flight only slightly delayed as the airlines recovered from the blizzard conditions of only a few days before. We’ve been having a really wonderful time. Christmas was, of course, great fun, with gifts and stockings and festive cheer. Yesterday we took the train out to the city, (we were going to go the day before, but waited out of consideration for me and a cold that’s been dragging me down) where we stopped at a couple of specialty shops (something NYC does very well), rode on the subway, saw the huge Christmas tree in the Rockefeller Plaza, had a nice lunch together, and then Brian and I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Wow! What a banquet for the senses! I’m sure we didn’t see even half of what’s there – just a small percent really (and some of what we did see was skimmed) – but we left feeling as if our eyes had just had the Thanksgiving meal of their lives. The history and the culture that museum contains is so rich it is amazing. We touched the Roman culture section, as well as the Egyptian section, but focused on the American wing, which did not disappoint. There’s something so epic about “Washington Crossing the Delaware”; seeing it in person, as well as other amazing paintings by well-known American artists (John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Mary Cassett) is an incredible experience. It felt as if we were seeing a bit of the history of our country being written. After the “Met”, we went back toward Penn Station (took a cab partway, and walked the rest). On the way we got to see Times Square at night – we saw it before, but during the day, and at night it’s much more overwhelming. Brian and his dad were making jokes about not having anything to pay attention to, and everything being so drab. Harhar. There were billboards everywhere – and not just regular billboards! Ohhh no! NYC doesn’t do those. At least not in Times Square. If you’ve seen the “countdown” on television you know kind of what I mean. Everywhere you look, there is a screen with some kind of commercial on it. The words “assault to the senses” came to mind. Nothing against Times Square, but maybe it was too much too soon after the huge feast my eyes had at the Met that afternoon. Or maybe it was just too much. Oh! And what they say about New York never sleeping? It’s pretty much true. There seemed to be more people (if that is possible) battling for their spot on the sidewalk during our walk last night that there was during the day. I know some people just love NYC, but I don’t think it’s for me. I suppose I’d get used to it if I had to live here (and I could most definitely get used to living near the Metropolitan Museum and certain wonderful specialty shops with artsy crafty things), but the speed at which everything goes would stress me out, at least at the beginning. I suppose it’s one of those things that people adapt to, but I prefer a slower pace. Long Island is nice that way. It’s well removed from the craziness of the city, yet the city and all the wonderful advantages it holds is only a short train ride away. Still, I like our house and our city. Good ol’ Denver.

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21 November 06

We’re trying to pull everything together to drive out tonight for Arkansas to spend Thanksgiving with family there. Woo hoo! This should be quite the experience, and assuming we live through it, I should have lots to tell. For one thing, this is the first long trip we’ve taken with our dog, Rusty. That’s right! We, the insane Warrens, are undertaking to drive 15+ hours with our dog. He was just diagnosed with diabetes a little over a month ago, and since he’s not quite balanced out with his insulin shots yet, we didn’t feel comfortable leaving him with friends (or wishing them having to get up at 3 am to let him out to pee. Because they are our friends). Anyhow, I’m all ready with some motion sickness pills his vet prescribed, so hopefully the trip will be uneventful. This is also the first long road trip we have taken in awhile. We plan to drive through the night, armed with “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” (read by the author!) on Brian’s iPod (thanks Mark & Jody!), some snacks, and perhaps a couple of naps if we get too tired. Part of me is looking forward to it. I kinda’ like road trips – they remind me of trips I took with my family as a kid (which are so much easier to romanticize now that they are no longer a threat). Also, I don’t really have back problems so, for the time being at least (knocks on wood), I don’t have to deal with the stiffness and general uncomfortableness. So… Happy Turkey Day, everyone! May we enjoy this time of being with the ones we love, and be grateful to the One who has blessed us with them!

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"Big Stuff", continued

3 November 06

At last! Okay, so remember this post? Back when we first found out we were pregnant? Well, as some of you may have suspected (or already known), the “Big Stuff” I mentioned in my previous post has quite a bit to do with our “Big News”. There’s not really any good way to say this, but we had a miscarriage. These past few months – ever since mid-August, when we found out that our baby wasn’t going to make it – were incredibly hard. Strangely, they were not as hard as I imagined, and the sadness was not all-consuming. There were good days and bad days, but the grace we experienced through our church and through various things that happened (which I have no doubt were orchestrated by God) made the pain so much more bearable. And through all that time life went on – there were times when I laughed with Brian, and times when we just sat together, just being. On September 8, in my 22nd week of pregnancy, I went in for induction, and on September 9, at almost 2 a.m., I delivered our daughter, Sarah Grace Marie. She was stillborn. The hospital staff were incredible – they gave us a room in an especially quiet wing of the maternity ward so we could have plenty of privacy, and supported us in every way imaginable (and in many ways that I could not have imagined). They took pictures of our beautiful baby, made casts of her tiny hands and feet, dressed her in clothing sewed and donated by volunteers, and gave us all the time we needed to say our goodbyes before going home. That was the hardest part. Before this, I had never really experienced the loss of a loved one. All of my family are still living – even my grandparents on both sides. And the loss of our child? That was so very incredibly hard. Saying goodbye to her tiny sweet-smelling body, with which we had spent so little time, was unbelievably hard. Words cannot describe how wrenching it was to say goodbye to her. We did get to have a funeral for her. She was buried, along with another stillborn baby, on a hill which has a beautiful view of the Rocky Mountain foothills. We had a little service, with our priest, my Nouna (Godmother), and the Godmother we chose for Sarah Grace. On October 29th, we had a larger memorial service for her – a chance not only for us to remember her, but also for our families and friends to get a chance to grieve for her. Although our daughter never breathed the air of this world, or reached out her fingers to touch another person, I know she has still deeply affected many lives. We are continuing with our lives. There are still bad days, when someone says something thoughtless, but most days are good (or at least not bad). If I think deeply on certain aspects of our experience with her, I become sad, but mostly she is a sweet memory – like the inexplicably sweet fragrance that she carried on her body.

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"Big Stuff"

19 September 06

We’ve had a lot going on. Some Big Stuff that I’m not ready to blog about yet. But I thought I owed it to you, my faithful readers, to at least acknowledge that to you. Hopefully, within a week or two, I’ll be ready to say more than “I’m not ready to talk about it” about the past month or so. Until then, I’ll maybe do a few posts about some Little Stuff. The weather, for instance – it has been Absolutely Gorgeous. I mean ABSOLUTELY. Sunny and crisp – just a hint of breeze. GORGEOUS. I love fall. I forget just how much I enjoy it until it sneaks up on me and reminds me how beautiful it is. The drifting leaves just beginning to turn color, crisp cool mornings, evenings snuggled under an afghan drinking hot chocolate. It is just lovely. For what it’s worth, I think my cat loves fall, too. He’s been acting like a kitten lately (except when he’s sleeping. Which is a lot). It’s awfully cute. ‘Till next time…

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New Orleans

1 August 06

I’m going to be gone for a couple of weeks – my sis-in-law is getting married! – so I thought I’d give you all a little something to muse over in the meanwhile.

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Guess What?

10 July 06

We’re gonna’ be parents! Those two sentences and the above picture have defined most of our interactions with people over the past month or so as we have gradually alerted family and friends to our “big news”. Exciting, huh? Most of you have probably read all about it on my D.H.‘s fabulous blog, but I wouldn’t feel I was being honest with you unless I shared, too. The due date is January 12, I’m about 13 weeks along, and no, we haven’t decided yet if we’re going to find out if it’s a boy or a girl. :) I’m feeling much better now that I’m over the first trimester. Although I had a very light case of the baby queasies – didn’t throw up, just felt icky – the exhaustion was overwhelming. I’m glad to be past that point. We are quite excited about our big news, to say the least!

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31 March 06

I have been reading my brother’s thesis. It’s quite good. He’s graduating from seminary soon, and reportedly has a bad case of senioritis. I volunteered to help him proof-read the thesis and, although it took a long time (and I’m not even sure if my suggestions were all that helpful), it was quite the cool experience. Best of all I think was seeing what he’s up to these days. If anyone knows of a church in the Denver area that is looking for a pastor – I think an assistant pastor is the specific position he’s looking for – let him (or me) know. I’m campaigning to get him to move here (sorry, John Mark, it’s not about you, it’s your kiddos). :u)

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