Voices live in every finite being,
Often undivined, near silence.
Hear them!
Hear them in you! in others!
They sense truth deep in all life;
They know the things true Pilgrims stand for.
Stand out!
Come to Him without the things the world brings;
Come to Him!
As a child and as a poor man.
He had all. He gave all.

~Charles Ives

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just for fun

Every now and then I have Sofie babysit.

I'd say it works pretty well.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Last Hoorah of Summer

Several weeks ago Charlie and I decided that a trip to Delaware was in order. Since he was awarded the chaplain residency at Barnes Jewish Hospital after much hoping and praying, we were at ease with the prospect of some income for the coming year and a little concerned that our Christmas plans might need to be flexible, considering he will be the low man on the totem pole and considering the intensity of the job. So, we bought our tickets and flew to DE for a week. We had a blast, and by blast I mean a relaxed, enjoyable, delicious time with our family.

First things first.
After a somewhat stressful plane trip,
Charlie got to relax in Grammy's bath.

He likes Grammy, because she gives him bath toys!

We got to meet our nephew Jude Davis for the first time.
And, oh boy, did we have fun with him!
He was all over the place:
getting out of things we put him in,
and getting into things we kept him out of!

But mostly, we did a lot of relaxing...

...and looking...

...and thinking...

...and looking some more.

In fact, there really was a lot of looking going on.

The best part of the week was simply being together and away from our home-bound responsibilities. It was the first extended time together the three of us have enjoyed.

We spent one afternoon with our brother and sister Jeff and Maura and our nieces and nephew. This is Aleka, Gemma and Teagan. Their oldest sister, Kaila, was off to start her first year at college. Charlie's cousins proved themselves excellent babysitters!
Watch out, guys, or we may just take advantage of that fact!

Uncle Jeff may very well prove to be Charlie's coolest uncle. Have any of the rest of you sunk a WWII naval vessel? Didn't think so.

And Aunt Maura kept us all in line, happy and very well fed.

Though we didn't get any pictures of Pop Pop holding Charlie this time, I will always remember hearing him laugh from the other room while he watched Charlie play in an ExerSaucer (what a name!). I would hear Charlie's infant noises and then, "Hmm? Yes. I agree." from Pop Pop. He was, as his T-shirt declares, a Proud Great Grandfather.

Our last afternoon with Whitney and Jude was spent very peacefully under a tree in the front yard.

We had a lot of fun imagining what kind of friendship Jude and Charlie are going to have. Time will tell, but in the meantime we have proof that at one time, at least, they were very interested in each other.

Mother and son. I love this picture.


Our last evening in DE our cousin, Arlene, came with dinner...Italian, of course. These olive penguins were especially in honor of my husband.

Charlie is going to love getting to know his family! And what fun it is to see him surrounded by people who love him.

Now, back to real life.

Friday, August 13, 2010

First Foods

We have been trying to introduce solid food into Charlie's diet. This morning we started with prunes, one of his cousin, Bryonie's, favorites.

The result was, I suppose, predictable...

"Oh, Mom, do you know what's more interesting than prunes? This thing around my neck!"


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cabin Time

50 some years ago my grandparents bought an old converted one-room school house in the middle of a valley right behind Pikes Peak in Colorado. Every summer Nanny would take her four children and hide away in the mountains while Papa would come and go on speaking trips, and other business. Dad grew up spending three months out of the year in perfect little boy country. Not surprisingly, he made it a priority in his adult life to spend his vacation there in the mountains. Thus the five of us had the privilege of retreating for a month every summer to the cabin. There we built forts, shot guns, played cowboys and Indians (very un-PC of us, I know.), hiked up mountains, explored hills and valleys, bought candy at the General Store, and generally had a blast. As we got older it became a place to work on familial relationships, reflect on our lives, pray, study and generally rejuvenate. In such a secluded place, you can imagine the conversations that inevitably happen.

Here we are on one of many walks together.

I have felt weird all my life about publicly expressing my love and gratitude for my family. There are several reasons for this, though I haven't really put words to them till recently. The main reason is that somewhere deep down I feel guilty for having such a wonderful family. Guilty? Oh yes. I can feel guilty about just about anything. It's one of my spiritual gifts. (hmm)

I was convicted, however (also one of my spiritual gifts), this summer by a comment made by my youngest brother, Jamie. The five of us were talking together about the good and bad ways our family relates to each other, mostly the bad to be honest. Jamie stopped us all and said something to the effect of, yes, we have our dysfunction--such a trendy term, which really just means that we all hurt each others feelings, lose our tempers, act selfishly and sin against each other with the best of them, but we have also been taught by our parents to "take walks," talk it out, apologize and get to the other side: pursue each other in love, in other words. He's right. Though it's good to know our weaknesses, it's also good to see what works well. I am so grateful for the relationships I have with my brothers, sisters and parents. I would be a weaker Christian without them.

That being said, I'd like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest appreciation to my brothers and sisters-in-law. The intensity they have to face every time we're together is nothing to shake a stick at! Their patience and willingness to diffuse our dynamic with good humor, sweetness and straightforwardness is truly angelic. They each add so much to our growth as a family and as individuals, and I am so grateful for them all. Here's to new blood!

When company is over it's also nice to have the extra hands. Thank you, Jordan and Arrika!

And who could put a fence together without the brain power of six strapping young men? That's right, Dad, I included you in that description.

I'm including this one because I love it. No other reason.

Did you notice the eagle feathers in Robbie's hat?

How often have I seen my parents in this pose?
The work in the background is our new septic system in progress. Oh the joys of country living!

The babies certainly add a new dynamic to cabin life.

The best part is seeing them loved by their aunties, uncles and grandparents.

Can we say Rayburn resemblance?

These two gave John a break from grill duty. I must say we are fortunate to have at least three very accomplished grillers.

Did I mention that we talk a lot?


It is so much fun to watch the dogs do what dogs do best! It is not fun, however to see them mope when their mean masters return them to their confined lives in the city.

Charlie told me that his favorite cabin memory was hiking on Grandpa's back.
I told him I was a little surprised that he could even remember that,
since he slept the whole time!
Little Bryonie was, let's face it, a bit better at the whole hiking thing than little Charlie.
Hopefully that will change with time.

I don't have words for all the pleasant thoughts and feelings this picture brings me.

The picture below is at last an updated version of one we took years ago on this same log when Jamie was a toddler.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Charles H. Dey Jr.: an Essay on the Event of His Twenty Eighth Birthday

Charlie Dey is a man of vision. His vision was arguably first accessed and nurtured in Mrs. Unger’s art class at Delaware County Christian School. Perhaps art for art’s sake is yet in his future, but presently he has replaced the camera, canvas, sculpture and pencil sketches with furniture repair and refinishing, pantry crafting, patio building, and, Lord-willing, bed frame making. In short, Charlie’s vision adjusts with his resources. In this stage of life when time and money are rare commodities, his art finds an outlet in the everyday chores of home ownership. Our house is happily nothing like what it was when we bought it four years ago, thanks to Charlie's foresight and artistry. A visionist, however, must see life in potentials and possibilities. Perhaps I have this to thank for the many unfinished projects around the house as well as for the completed ones—a finished product no longer needs revelation after all.

Charlie Dey is an explorer. I have seldom met a man with so many interests and so much curiosity. Because life to him is full of the possible and the interesting, his has been filled with many miscellaneous experiences. Whether he is rock climbing and cliff propelling with the boy scouts, biking across state lines with the Harley crew (BMW snobs, really), traveling to Peru with missionaries, collecting theology books with his brothers-in-law, building decks with his neighbors, rebuilding engines with southern car fanatics, or debating the strengths and weaknesses of Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation Charlie seems at home. His interests are as many as his friends and as diverse. Did you know that he receives an electronic Word of the Day? that he surfs the internet to find out things like how to work on the breaks of your car and what makes a good piano? that his preaching tends toward the charismatic? that he can build a dog house in a matter of hours? I didn’t either when I married him.

Charlie Dey has a deep sense of loyalty and duty. Though independent in his ambitions and hard work, he is far from being a loner. If you find yourself numbered amongst his friends, consider yourself a part of his large extended family for that is how he will treat you. I'm not sure how many times he has moved furniture from one house to another, or volunteered his truck for other similar tasks. His commitment to the Church and her service is as strong as I’ve ever seen. He takes his deaconal work very seriously, dropping everything to see to folks in need, doors that won't lock, and any number of random church concerns. But He also does what it takes to fulfill his familial responsibilities, even if it means getting up at 2 am to work a job he does not like in order to provide great insurance for himself and his wife.

In his recent role as a chaplain I have seen how all these traits have worked together to minister to the sick in body and in spirit. I have seen him able to break down walls and speak with love and authority. He is a good man, and I am so proud to call him mine.

As we are apart on his birthday, I would like to publish a few new pictures of his son for him to enjoy. I would also like to let him know that it is because I love him so much that I'm going to give him these, though they are "not at all attractive to my way of thinking." (what movie?)

A typical afternoon at the cabin.

We've noticed Bryonie is interested in all sorts of things. Charlie's not too sure about this particular interest.

But they seem to really love each other.

Nanny has turned out to be a wonderful and enthusiastic babysitter! It's such fun to see her love our son the way she does.

I took this picture this morning. Grandpa is watching him today while the girls head to town for tea.