Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Shattered glass reflects morning light at the scene of the accident.

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand,
and it give light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before men,
that they may see your good deeds
and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5: 15-16 NIV

Being a light on a stand is uncomfortable. Light is noticed.

Many times after my family was in an accident in January, I've felt like a candle balanced on a candlestick. I usually avoid being noticed and find the candlestick a narrow, hard perch.

Yet our family has been noticed. First responders, law enforcement officers, witnesses, doctors, nurses, therapists, judge, prosecuting attorney, family, friends, co-workers and neighbors in the past months, have all watched to see how we will respond to the event that has changed our lives.

Many people have commented that our family has an attitude of forgiveness. If, in ourselves, we could forgive the woman who ran the stop sign, causing the accident that endangered nine other lives and seriously injured three of my siblings, it would be extraordinary. I don't possess that ability.

The forgiveness we exhibit is only the reflection of the forgiveness we have experienced in Jesus Christ. Because of what He has done for us, we have no choice but to forgive and to continue forgiving.

So, if you see the tiny twinkle of a candle or the sparkle of shattered glass, give honor to the Light we reflect.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Thirty years

Mr. and Mrs. Cook

Friday, June 25, 2010


She rides again, though she dismounts carefully.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


(Wrenching, in mechanic-speak, means repairing machinery)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ford Rouge

Logan is a self-declared Ford man. Nearly every week he defends the merits of Ford over Chevy against Brother John or Caleb.

So it was appropriate that, in honor of his birthday, we toured the Ford Rouge Factory in Dearborn Michigan. From the 1/3 mile, elevated walkway we watched as, step-by-step from installing headlights to attaching windshield wipers to stuffing owner's manuals in the glovebox, hundreds of workers turned thousands of parts into complete pick-up trucks.

The Rouge Factory Tour is a part of the Henry Ford, which also includes the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. Henry Ford, the man who founded the company that first mass produced automobiles, left some of his fortune to preserve history. Part of that money was used to create the museum beside the Rouge factory.

Today the Ford Rouge Factory produces pick-up trucks, including the popular F150. Over the years the factory has been the birthplace of tractors, cars (such as the Model A, Mustang and Thunderbird), and, during World War II, Jeeps. Henry Ford's inspiration for the Rouge was a facility where all the components of an automobile were produced on-site. While the strategy of the Ford Motor Company has changed since Henry Ford first produced the Model A, his vision of providing Americans with affordable automobiles remains.

Waiting for the bus that would take us from the Henry Ford to the Rouge.

The Rouge factory with it's ten acre living roof.

In it's heyday, the Rouge employed 100,000 workers and produced a car every 49 seconds.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Kid brother to Tina.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Going courtin'

Irvin, second from right, at our church's sunrise breakfast

Irvin, a thirty-one-year-old mechanic from Ohio, is quite interested in Julie. Irvin, his three brothers and one sister were raised on a chicken farm in Pennsylvania that has been in his mother's family for generations. For generations, Irvin's family has also been influential in the Old German Baptist Brethren (though often mistaken for Amish, the group embraces some technology and speaks English rather than Pennsylvania Dutch). Recently the group split, and Irvin joined the New Conference. Irvin drinks coffee, drives a Ford Five Hundred without a radio, and is the only person who has ever splashed Julie with water and not received a lecture in return.

Lauren visiting Betsy at home in February

Lauren Mae, a ninteen-year-old college student, was, as Betsy reminds Aaron, Betsy's friend first. Lauren is the first born-again Christian in her family (which consists of her parents and one younger brother) and is growing rapidly in her faith. Lauren fits comfortably in our family and has provided support and stability in the months after the accident (to read about how she cleaned blood out of Aaron's hair, click here). Lauren has a dog named "Cupcake," is learning American Sign Language, and is content to occasionally beat Naomi at a game of Uno.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thy will

"God has editing rights over our prayers.
He will...edit them, correct them,
bring them in line with His will
and then hand them back to us to be resubmitted."
~Stephen Crotts

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Five months

...God's faithfulness
and a frog

Betsy posing with her frog on her third day in ICU (before I snapped the picture she removed her oxygen so that she would look better).

When Amanda visited Betsy in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital she brought dark chocolate for me and a stuffed frog for Betsy. Amanda caught a glimpse of the heart-spotted amphibian in the window display of our favorite candy store and promptly bought it. The frog has been Betsy's nearly constant companion. He provided Betsy with color in her sterile ICU room. At home she hugged him as she breathed into her spirometer every hour. Now she holds him to insulate her arm from the ice packs she still uses to control the pain in her sides. After five months, the frog is a little bedraggled, while Betsy is returning to her usual bouncy, smiling self.

Brian wheeling Betsy to the vehicle on her way home after a ten-day hospital stay.

Forty days after the accident Julie came home from the hospital.

Can you find the frog? Leave a comment with the name of the post(s) where the frog appears.

Friday, June 18, 2010


I eliminated lighthouse keeper from my career possibilities--the spiral staircase made me woozy.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Park & Read

In partnership with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, libraries in Michigan are offering patrons free day passes to state parks. Amanda and I took advantage of the program, called Park & Read, and visited Tawas Point State Park on Tuesday. Although I took a library book along, I didn't read it--the water was too inviting.

Few other people found the beach inviting Tuesday. It was overcast, cool, and the yellow caution flag fluttered above the pavilion. When we arrived the beach was deserted, except two guys kite surfing and a busload of Amish schoolchildren and chaperones.

Despite the overcast sky, I managed to get sunburned; it was too windy for my hat. While I waded in Lake Huron, the waves splashing and pushing me, Amanda remained safely on the beach cocooned in her sweatshirt.

Amish schoolchildren on the beach

A guy kite surfing

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


One berry
Two berry
Pick me a blueberry...

Three berry
Four berry

Finger and pawberry
My berry, your berry...

Buried in berries
What a jam jamboree!

from Jamberry By Bruce Degen

Other favorite berry books:
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood
Berries, Berries, Berries by Beverly S. Gordon
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010


He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
Psalm 23:2 NIV

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I were there...

Tawas Bay, Michigan

Friday, June 11, 2010


After thirteen weeks of therapy, Julie graduated. She had an appointment with her bone doctor Thursday. Beside no horse riding or extreme sports for six months, she left the office with no restrictions and no further doctor's appointments.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Amish bonnet

On a shelf above bolts of blue, green and purple, polyester fabric rested three black bonnets. Now there are only two. We brought home one of those Amish bonnet from the quilt/fabric store in Clare.

Amish girls at the farmers' market jokingly refer to their bonnets as "hard hats." My sisters likened the experience of wearing one to placing an ice cream pail on one's head.

While we had a grand time passing the bonnet from one sister to the next and peeking from beneath its black brim, we agreed that none of us look truly Amish despite the clothing. It takes more than a black bonnet to make a person Amish.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places
Psalm 16:6 NIV

Tuesday, June 8, 2010