Thursday, May 15, 2008

a celebration of citizenship

this morning, about 4.30 a.m., my eyes were peeled open with all kinds of thoughts racing through my head - resettling an iraqi family, community garden dedication, helping aida register for college courses, neighborhood politics, national politics, demolishing our bathroom this weekend, and geoff's citizenship test today.

we will travel to louisville this afternoon for geoff to complete the final stage of becoming a citizen of the u.s.  this includes an interview and an oral exam of u.s. history and government (for this he's only had a bit of time to study but i promised him they will not withhold his citizenship if he can't remember how many representatives we have).  if he passes everything, it is sort of official as of today.  he will be booked for a swearing in ceremony sometime in the following months and at that point, he's in.  fortunately he does not have to renounce his australian citizenship in this process.  geoff and isaac both will possess two passports.

i think we've been surprised at how moving this really is for us.  of course it's a big deal.  i've had the honor of witnessing one of these swearing in ceremonies with some bosnian friends of ours and i was deeply touched as i watched a room full of people from all parts of the world become americans.  in the span of an hour their access, rights and sense of self was transformed by the freedoms they were guaranteed and the privileges secured.  it is a tremendous occasion.

for geoff, this is a profound reflection of god's work in his life and a significant measure of his commitment to place and purpose as a missionary.  this city, once a temporary stopover for graduate school, has become his home.  although he rarely laments it out loud, his long-term residency here has cost him a life in australia (and this not only a place with the highest quality of life in the world, but one with all things familiar and cherished, and his beloved family).  god has been faithful in these years and geoff has made choices that have produced a genuine affection and adoration for the bluegrass of kentucky and a life in lexington. 

arriving at this point we see  the unexpected and the good in it.  with only a few days from celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary we can safely say you just never know what's in store...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

mother's day


happy mother's day, sherry.  her traditional gift for mother's day is a plant.  this year, an oak leaf hydrangea.  here she is collecting it from a stand at the farmer's market yesterday.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

the right way to eat

as we navigate the day-to-day, privileged decisions of eating organic and buying locally, we've been inspired by the sentiment - better to eat a twinkie with friends than broccoli alone.  geoff found this verse in proverbs 15:17 that tops even that:

"better is a dinner of vegetables where love is than a fatted ox and hatred with it."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

an evening of neighbors

as the day closed yesterday, we finished dinner and ate ice cream outside (relishing the mosquito-free garden).  isaac ran around and geoff and i placed a trellis over our eagerly-reaching sweet peas.  wally stopped by with a community garden contract from him and his roommate.  tenika and kendra, two girls in the neighborhood, came over and tried a radish, straight from the soil, for the first time.  i received a call from deborah and raced over to the community garden to meet her and her mother.  they took plots side-by-side and in the slanted last bit of sunlight, began gardening together.  on my way home i stopped by dick's house (our n'hood association treasurer) to pick up a check for a youth organization in our neighborhood.  i chatted with him and his wife (they've lived on the street for 21 years) until dark chased us indoors.  walking home i felt a great sense of placedness - a grounding in one corner of the world, one corner of a city - and with it a budding sense of goodness that comes from knowing the people nearest us.

we've lived in this house almost four years (minus a big chunk of time in australia last year).  we've prayed for a way to meet our neighbors and form relationships that will last, relationships that are genuine.  it's taken a while and it is coming slowly but surely in a way we wouldn't have anticipated, via gardens.  it is a sure sign of an economic, creative god at work - using what we love to do and what brings us such life to establish us in a place.

Monday, May 5, 2008


isaac gets up close and personal with a snail at mimi and papa's place last weekend.

boy meets snail

Saturday, May 3, 2008

espanol isaac

quick, funny isaac moment:

at breakfast this morning isaac was counting in spanish (up to 20!) and we were praising him, suggesting he could learn the language.

geoff:  "isaac, you are very good at spanish.  would you like to learn it...perhaps you could even teach me?"

isaac:  (pause)   "no comprende"

guerrilla gardening

our australian dad sent us this article about guerilla gardeners -  wonderfully subversive activism going on in several countries.  you can find out more here.   and here's a clip...

THEY work in the dead of night, armed with seed bombs, chemical weapons and pitchforks. Their aim: to beautify.

An army of self-styled Guerrilla Gardeners is growing across the world, fighting to transform urban wastelands into horticultural havens.

To document and encourage their victories, one of the movement's leaders has written a handbook. On Guerrilla Gardening, by Richard Reynolds, defines the activity as "the illicit cultivation" of someone else's land.

"Our main enemies are neglect and scarcity of land," said Mr Reynolds, 30, a former advertising employee who wrote the book after his website,, became a global focal point for activists.

Friday, May 2, 2008

our weekend

tonight, as a family, we made pizza from scratch and ate dinner with caleb (0ur housemate).  during the conversation we spoke of the foolishness of the gas tax, of jimmy carter and how he is so disrespected by american christians, and of seminary, professors and such.  we must have focused enough on the reputation and acts of men because isaac interrupted us at one point and said "i think i want to be a girl because mans are mean."

it is rainy and cool and we are so glad to be home for a quiet, uneventful weekend.  even though the world-famous kentucky derby is happening just up the road, we are truly content to be at home and watch our garden grow.