On Why We Can’t Have Nice Things…..

The following blog post is dedicated to our friend, John Erwood, who passed away unexpectedly a month ago.

He loved to laugh and play practical jokes.

Which is why I think he had a hand in the following scenario that occurred right before we left the house for his funeral on Saturday.

Rest well, Erwood. We’ll see you in The Morning! 

Before we get into what exactly happened last Saturday, here is a little background. Our oldest cat, Phoebe who is 13, was diagnosed with a UTI by a new veterinarian last week. They gave her liquid amoxicillan with instructions to us to administer it twice a day for 2 weeks. Now here’s the thing, Phoebe HATES taking medicine but liquid we’d found at least when we mix it in to wet food, she’ll eat it. Not this stuff. So we had no choice but to implement Plan B which is basically channeling the Crocodile Hunter, closing off all the exits and while one person catches her as she runs by, the other one jams the syringe in her mouth to deliver the medicine.

At least it acts as a great ab work-out. 😛

So rewind to this past Saturday. Erwood’s funeral was at 11:30 and it was a 30-minute drive away. And we had two stops to make before we would even get there. Chad worked in the early morning and arrived home at 10:30 to help me give Phoebe her medicine and then we’d leave for the funeral. After blocking off all the exits and finding her, Chad goes to pick her up and she bolted underneath the living room furniture. After toppling the furniture, Phoebs made a run for it towards the kitchen, Chad in hot pursuit. As he picked her up, it happened.



Flowing forth like Willie Wonka’s Super Disgusting Chocolate Fountain.

As Chad stepped towards me, the poo continued to flow, defiling a large portion of our not-so-clean- anyway linoleum. As I grabbed a hold of Phoebe, poop rained down on my pants and shoes. That I would have to change before leaving for the funeral we were already late for.

We gave Phoebe her medicine and assessed the kitchen floor.

Yeah, we were gonna be late.

As we cleaned up ourselves and the floor, it happened. We ran out of paper towels.

Right before Chad suggested he’d run to the store to get paper towels, we tried mopping up the worst of the mess with toilet paper. Now, a word about our toilet paper:

It’s thin. Like ridiculously thin. Think the thinnest tissue wrapping paper known to man meets the width of a human hair.


Then we started to run out of toilet paper. So Chad left to get an emergency back up of more absorbent paper towel while I was left alone with defiled clothes and shoes, and puddles of linoleum poop from an angry cat who is no where to be found.

So we rolled into the memorial service so late we almost missed the closing prayer. Which I think Erwood would have understood. 




















In Tribute to a Humble Legend…..Thank You Devon!

Over the weekend I discovered with sadness that my favorite English teacher from high school had passed away.

Devon Schrock was a staple in my Christian high school for many years (the school has a long standing tradition of allowing students to call their teachers by their first names). My sisters had him, my cousins had him and one of my aunts had him. He taught students in junior and senior year. His senior year class was most memorable for a research paper that he required. A 40-page behemoth on any given topic. Now, to aid his students, Devon taught you how to do each step. In turn, he prepared his senior class for their next adventure; college.

Former student Jeremy Friesen had this to say about Devon:

“To this day I maintain that my English classes were the most important class(es) for my career as a software engineer. (Devon) was an exacting teacher. He taught me the power of words. That precision in language is so very important if I hope to convey both meaning and intention. Each word, sentence, and paragraph on the page was my thoughts made manifest. I was the owner and subject to the scrutinizing red pen.

Just this past year, I stumbled upon my Senior Thesis, an essay on the Lord of the Rings and its Christian symbolism. I read through it. I realized I had never taken the time to re-read that paper; At several points my words were jumbled and unclear. And Devon rightly marked up that paper.

I’ve since discarded that paper, though I find myself hoping the disposal of it was just a dream. Because I believe, if I were to re-read that poor handwriting, I could conjure the voice of a most gifted teacher.”

Devon was a pretty hard grader, and rarely gave extra credit. My junior year I remember we watched the movie, Roots. At one point in the film, a slave runs away from his master’s plantation. When he is captured, his master cuts off his toes so he can’t run away again. Our assignment was to write a one page (It may have been two) paper on if we had been the slave master what we would have done to keep our slaves from running away.

I thought it over for a minute, and then began to write a one (maybe two) page essay on why I couldn’t answer the question because as a Christian, we are not to own people as property.

If this was some sort of moral test, I was gonna pass it!

I ended up turning in the paper a day late. As was Devon’s policy, late papers were always marked down a few points. So it came as a shock when I got my paper back after it had been graded and it showed 3 EXTRA CREDIT points!! (Keep in mind, Devon seldom gave extra credit).

Now, I tend to be too honest for my own good. I always have been. Eh, for the most part ;-). But that day I was especially honest because I went up to Devon’s desk and reluctantly told him that my paper had been a day late.

I’ll never forget the look on his face. It completely fell and he sighed deeply and said, “Ah, I wish you hadn’t said that!” He then took out a pen and made a mark. Striking out one of the three extra credit points. Leaving two. 🙂

It wasn’t just rare moments of extra credit grace that made Devon so memorable. It was also his sense of humor, sharp wit, and his love for Jesus.

Every Monday at the start of each class, Devon would preach a sermon. Something short, sweet and to the point. Extolling the virtues of daily Bible reading and prayer. Then he’d lead us all in a prayer.

Sometimes during this sermon, it being Monday and all, especially if you had him early in the morning, a few unlucky souls would fall asleep. Devon would then casually, while still preaching, walk over to a glass of water on the bookshelf, walk it slowly over to the unsuspecting victim, and slowly pour it over their head until they awoke.

There’s a legendary story where the water in question once came from a nearby pond. 😛

Then there was the time in the late 70’s that he predicted a time when, due to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, we would develop huge butts to cope with sitting all day.

I suppose he was a bit of a psychic. 😀

So thanks for the lessons and memories, Devon. Rest well and we’ll see you on the other side.


Dear Mary…..

The following post is a letter to my sweet friend, Mary Boyd, who went to be with Jesus late last night….

Dear Mary:

You are no doubt getting answers to your questions of faith right now, straight from the Source.

You were worried that not following the leading of the Holy Spirit would somehow spin you outside of the will of the Lord. This is simply not true, my friend. See, our God is faithful to all His children. He gives chance after chance to come back to His perfect plan. These chances last until death. Remember Jonah and the whale?? He was flat-out rebellious about going to Nineveh to preach to the people there. So rebellious in fact that God had to send a storm and a whale to convince him that Nineveh was the right path. But after he was coughed up by the whale, Jonah realized going to Nineveh was the right choice and went. He was given a second chance. (Jonah 1-4) 

How about one of the greatest apostles of all, Paul? Originally named Saul, he started out being one of the biggest persecutors of Christians, including Stephen (Acts 8:1-2). It wasn’t till he was on the road to Damascus that the Lord stopped him in his tracks, literally making him mute and blind, that he realized the error of his ways, repented and became one of the most powerful forces for the Kingdom of Heaven. He was given a second chance. (Acts 9:1-31) 

So dear, sweet Mary, the Lord almost certainly delighted in your desire to do His will. No matter where that brought you, I’m sure when you reached those pearly gates late last night and looked into the eyes of our Savior, He lovingly declared, “Well done, my good and faithful servant! Well done!”

Good night sweet Mary! We’ll see you in the Morning! Save us a seat!

*Sidewalk Prophets appear courtesy of Youtube