The latest on Sean – the struggle continues …

12 February 2012

First (and last, and middle), thank you to everyone who has been praying for my son Sean for the last 2½ years in his battle against Leigh’s disease, and praying for us as we battle alongside him.  It’s been a long, hard, tiring struggle, and will continue to be one for … well, as long as it takes, I guess.  But we know that we wouldn’t have gotten this far without the help of God – or of our circle/cloud/polygon of friends who have stood by us in all this.

It’s been about four months since I last wrote, so I suspect you’re probably wondering what changes have taken place over that time.  And the answer is … well, not a heck of a lot, actually.

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Christmas on the down low

27 December 2011

So the Christmas season is winding down here at Chez Anselmeau.  Which in many ways is the best part of the Christmas season.

Now I’m not going to play Scrooge and pretend I don’t like Christmas, because I do.  I love  remembering what God did for us in coming to live among us in the person of Jesus, and how much He loves us that He was willing to be with us dirty apes at all.  I like the talk about peace and joy, and the reminders to give to those less fortunate (I need those reminders).  I enjoy the old hymns and stories — Christmastime is the only season where you get to hear 200-year-old songs on most radio stations, and it’s nice to see Charles Dickens and O. Henry get some attention.  And I enjoy spending time with family (my wife’s family these days, to be precise) and catch up on the year that’s past.

Furthermore, while I know many of them have pagan antecedents, I enjoy many of the secular traditions as well.  We always have a good-sized and very busily decorated tree in the house (a Douglas fir, always — for the price and the smell), and set up other holiday decor besides.  I can’t indulge in my wife’s baking as much as I used to — had to cut back on the carbs to avoid rampaging indigestion — but the season’s first batch of gingerbread is still much anticipated.  And I really, really like buying gifts — even more than getting them!  (This year, it was my daughter Charlotte who hit the jackpot — a 21-speed bike from Mom & Dad, an Snap Circuits electronics set from the grandparents, and a Kindle from her great-aunt and -uncle in Florida.  But she got me a book on the Giants’ 2010 championship season, which was perfect.)

But what makes the days after Christmas the most wonderful time of the season?  Easy.  We have all the thoughts about God and Jesus still in mind, all the decorations still up, all the gifts (which now we can enjoy) … and none of the spectacle.

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Beginning the “busy season”

22 November 2011

I’m writing this on November 22, two days away from Thanksgiving.  Which means that I’m two days away from what we at Chez Anselmeau call “the busy season.”

It’s kind of a funny thing, the holiday season around our house.  (And if anyone from the evangelical thought police is bothered that I just said “holiday season” instead of some other phrase, all I can say is — tough beans.)  We never planned it this way, it’s just how things worked out.  But starting Thursday, almost every commemorative event in our lives — and all the attendant celebration and gift-giving — will land in the next twelve weeks.

Don’t believe me?  Here’s the rundown:

The anniversary that wasn’t

24 January 2011

Yesterday was my wife Nina’s and my twelfth wedding anniversary.  Nowadays, it seems like spending twelve years married to the same person without committing a homicide is fairly rare, and considering some of the problems we’ve had to work through over that time (internal and external), we do rather feel we’ve beaten the odds.  So it’s kind of a big deal, certainly worthy of a celebration.

And what did we do yesterday to commemorate such a momentous occasion?  Well … pretty much nothing.

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God is with us

27 December 2010

I was planning to write this entry on Christmas Eve.  That didn’t work out because the little kerfuffle with my wife finally came to a head that evening, so I had to spend the time there (and I’m glad I did).  I was too tired after driving the family to San Jose and back for Christmas to accomplish anything else of note over the weekend.  And earlier today we had separate visits from one of Sean’s caseworkers, one of Nina’s friends, and our landlord.  So really, this is the first clear chance I’ve had to write my Christmas blog entry.  On December 27.  Oh well.

But it’s okay, I guess.  Because what really makes Christmas important for me is not something tied down to a calendar …

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Periodic Pingback Double-Dose: Conscientious objection and concussion protection

22 December 2010

It’s Christmastime, after all — the season of giving, yes?  So why not give you, dear reader, a double dip of Periodic Pingback — links to articles on the Web that so intrigued me I couldn’t NOT pass them on?  (You know I’m cranked up when I start dropping double negatives.  This thing is on!)  So, you up for it?  ‘Cause I am.  Here we go …

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My grown-up Christmas (play)list

21 December 2010

One of the most enjoyable things about the Christmas season — for me at least — is the music.  I grew up singing in Christmas pageants and continued to do so into my thirties.  And I stopped not because I no longer liked singing or liking Christmas music, but just because I found flaws in the whole “big-event” mentality of American Christianity (including pageants).  I still love to hear songs about the season, whether church-based or “secular.”  Even today, when I took my daughter to the mall so she could do her Christmas shopping (all done in an hour and a half — I’m so proud of her!), I found myself grooving to the latest versions of the holiday tunes I grew up with.

So it got me to thinking: if I were to put together a Christmas playlist — say, a dozen songs — what would be on it?  Over lunch and later on, I started scribbling down a few seasonal favorites.  Granted, I’m willing to tolerate almost any Christmas tune except “Santa Baby” (the touching ballad of a gold-digging tart asking for all the possessions she can possibly drag off), but I was shooting for the ones that are most special to me, for whatever reason.  And here they are:

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