Donald Miller goes to Washington, err Denver

Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, and one of the more interesting writers I've come across (listen to me . . . like I "come across" a lot of authors . . . like I'm all enrolled in "Book-It" or something) was invited to pray at the Democratic National Convention this week.

When asked why an evangelical christian author would pray at the DNC he said something to the effect of "when someone asks to to pray, then you pray." Hmm, good answer.

I found my way to his blog, where he wrote a hilarious recap of his email correspondence with the Obama campaign here. Favorite part: when he starts signing his name "Donald" after repeated requests for them to call him "Don".

Anyways. Found this 13 Paradigm Shifts two-pager there too. Pretty simple, yet great thoughts.

Here's the prayer, I mean, invocation:


Fun Pit Stop

On the way up to the reunion (see post below), we made a super fun pit stop in Asheville to hang out with the Norths. Maymay and Peeps happen to be traveling there for the weekend, so we all ate lunch together. Here are Avery, Jackson and Grayson hanging out on the back porch.

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100th Zachary Family Reunion

We traveled up to Cashiers, NC this weekend to hang out with my side of the fam in the good ol' family cemetery.

Yep, you read it right, the annual reunion takes place with "all" of our relatives. You'll even see the permanent shelter with picnic tables below, ready for a potluck anytime.

This was Grayson's first trip to Cashiers (for you non-locals, the town is pronounced "cashers" not "cashiers" like the person who checks you out at the Wal-mart). She was written down on the record as the youngest at the reunion until a 6 week old showed up late and stole her spot. She wanted to take him out but I told her he was too cute and to be nice. Below is the living crew of the "#3" descendants. If you click to enlarge the picture below, you'll see the permanent sign at the cemetery that shows the numbers that coordinate with each member of the family. You write the number on your nametag at the reunion so everyone knows who to talk to and who to stay away from (ha).

This motley crew descends from Alexander Zachary, #3, not Dale Earnhardt, as Justin wished. Grayson was pretty excited to meet all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins, and they were even more excited to finally meet her.

My favorite part was the dessert table. Yum. It's hard to beat banana pudding, pound cake (chocolate and vanilla), homemade toffee, peach tart, and blackberry cobbler, even if we did enjoy them sitting among the headstones. And yes, this sweet tooth did take one or two bites of each of these desserts since she couldn't decide on just one!

Funniest things overheard:
- One old guy to the other: "Well, I hope I see you again next year . . . above ground, that is."
- Uncle Mark to the crowd after seeing all the good looking people: "You know, Dad always told us we had to date at least forty miles from home."

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be careful what you wish for

Last week, I posted about the disconnect between what I do and what I say (see Keeping Your Parents' Commands). One of my thoughts was:

". . . I ask her [my daughter, Grayson] to put others above her self even though I haven't served a Wednesday night at Grace in the three years I've lived here. "

Be careful what you wish for. On Tuesday, one of our readers (ok, ok, my mom) sent me an email from her friend Janet. She said the Hospitality House, which normally serves breakfast to ~150 homeless men and women on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday was going to be closed this week. Janet and her friend Michele knew that these folks depend on these meals and so they decided to make it happen. They would serve breakfast on Thursday and Friday, but they would need some help.

I meet at Biscuitville on Thursday mornings with some guys to do a bible study . . . and watch the occasional headline like "world's largest cat" on their TV tuned to CNN Headline News . . . and catch up on fantasy football . . . and other Godly things. Anyway, we decided to feed the homeless instead of ourselves.

I showed up at the Salvation Army church at 6:00 to help cook then over to Grace to serve it at 7:00. My job was to hand out 'good mornings' and coffee with my friend (no longer just my mom's) Janet. I would fill up the cups, and then Janet's kind-hearted part would go something like this:

"cream and sugar?"

"yes, please"

"now, we've run out of regular sugar but we've got pink, blue, and yellow"


"you seem like a yellow [or pink or blue]. what do you say?"

"[usually now smiling] that sounds fine, thank you, ma'am"

"there you go, how's that?"

"one more please, ma'am"

"what are you trying to do? make it as sweet as you? it's not going to happen."

[more smiles]

So, I went back Friday too. Highlights:

  • Seeing people's faces when I remembered their names from the day before.
  • Getting to know a guy who was working at A&T. He just moved up to full time with benefits at $8.00/hour. He told me how god keeps on blessing him but he keeps screwing it up. (that's us in the picture.)
  • I got to talk with a older man, who lived under a bridge, but was thankful for the cooler weather and the public library.
  • Around 8:00 I saw a guy looking in from Lee street as the crowd had dwindled down and we were all packed up. I waved him in and met him with a 'to go' plate and was met with a "Thank you so much. I thought I wasn't going to make it."
  • I got to talk to two guys about mowing lawns for a living. How the draught over the last two years made the grass grow slower and their workload (and paychecks) less.
  • And everything in between.

I know even though I just had a bowl of cereal both mornings, I couldn't have felt more "full" if I had had three sausage and gravy biscuits . . . with hash browns.


results are in . . .

woohoo. we passed level 3.

it was a team effort if I ever saw one:

thanks millie for letting me kinda diss you from January to April and then for being a single mom from April to June. And for always telling me "you'll do great Hoost." And for being more nervous about getting my results than me. And for being proud of me.

thanks Grayson for sleeping well at nights and taking decent naps during the day so Mommy wasn't a complete basket case. and for smiling when i got my results.

thanks jsco for letting me take hours and days off work to help me get me through this.

thanks God for each of the previously mentioned items and all other good things.


Hole In The Wall

Does anyone know where I can get some foam to make this for YL camp? I think Bravo signs has a CNC machine that can cut out the shapes.

Make sure you watch it all the way till the end.


For Avery and No One Else

Dear Avery,

Your mom told me that you've been trying to sing your Spanish alphabet I taught you. Here's a video to help you out. I noticed that I forgot to say the ~N ("enye") somehow. Ooops. Just squeeze it in there between the "ene" and the "oh".

If I had two dead rats, I'd give you one.

Uncle Hoost


Big Day Today

Grayson's pulling up on everything in the house now. And not just pulling up, but pulling up and over things. If we gave her enough time, I think she would have pulled herself up over this plastic wobbly drawer thing.

She's also gotten a cold in the last couple of days. We didn't want to drop her off at the church nursery and have all the other parents hate us, so Millie went to the early service and I stayed with Gray. She was standing up underneath the kitchen table when she decided to climb up over the crosstie between the table legs and . . . KaThwap!! Girlfriend fell flat on her face. No hands, no arms, all face.

I picked her up (her face still on the ground; her feet still in the air), dabbed a bloody nose and mouth, figured we didn't need to go to the hospital, called Millie and told her we were good ("yes, I'm sure we're good . . . I promise . . . no, her nose isn't crooked").

We sat down and had some blueberries and cheerios, took a nap, and everything was as good as new (except for the fat lip and red marks on her face.)

Grayson said the best part of her day was trying out her new (well . . . borrowed from the Potts) swing. Thanks Potts.

"Swing daddy, swing!"

Note that she keeps both hands on the ropes. She's very safety conscious now.

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Keeping Your Parents' Commands

Reading in Proverbs this morning, I came across Proverbs 6:20-23:

20 My son, keep your father's commands
and do not forsake your mother's teaching.
21 Bind them upon your heart forever;
fasten them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they will guide you;
when you sleep, they will watch over you;
when you awake, they will speak to you.
23 For these commands are a lamp,
this teaching is a light,
and the corrections of discipline
are the way to life,

Millie and I are trying to be intentional about teaching Grayson, but the hard part (other than the fact that she doesn't totally understand us quite yet) is that our 'commands' are both the things we say and the things we do.

So I say to Grayson that being in the presence of God is better than anything else even though I spend a lot of mornings with my bible closed, watching our horrible local news, complete with rapping traffic girl.

. . . I tell her to have a joyful heart and then complain about only having one bathroom.

. . . I ask her to put others above her self even though I haven't served a Wednesday night at Grace in the three years I've lived here.

. . . I reminder her that all good things are from God and then I anxiously await my CFA results to see how well I did . . . all on my own.

p.s. - regarding that last point, Grayson says that she's pretty sure that all good things come from Bisquick (not God). When I told her that God made wheat > flour > Bisquick, she said "Hallelujah!" . . . not really, more like: "Shwshrrhshw!".


"Take me out to the ball game . . .

. . . let me stare at the crowds . . .

. . . buy me a plastic bottle and time with Anna May . . .

. . . I don't care if I ever go back (cuz this big green thing scares me) . . .

. . . so root, root, root, with the JSCO team . . .

. . . the Hoppers won so it's wasn't a shame.

. . . after 8, 9, 15 innings I'm glad we didn't stay for the whole . . . ball . . . game."
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The Week in Review

Grandpa Jon came to visit..

Grayson loved the banjo.

She is crawling everywhere, and now pulling up on everything.

Book time with Grammashu!
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So Big!

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