Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Little Builder

The other day I was folding laundry in my bedroom when Z came running in and began pulling at my jeans and pointing to the other room. I dutifully followed him out into the dining room where he proudly showed me this wonder of architectural design. He'd made a tower out of all his sippy cups! Look at that happy little face!

Saturday, 18 April 2009


I made an important discovery tonight for the Stegall clan. Nathan asked me this question while we were playing Trivial Pursuit: "What do sufferers of Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst Syndrome do when exposed to bright light?" The answer: sneeze. So there you have it, Stegalls -- a diagnosis.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Happy Easter

Nathan and I have always thought that Easter is the climax of the Christian calendar, and so we've wanted to have a big celebration to mark the day. This year, we're finally going to do it. After talking with some friends, we've organized a big Easter bash which will include a lavish Mediterannean feast (roast lamb, mousaka, hummous, baklava and much more!), a small gift exchange, an Easter egg hunt for the kids, and an Easter liturgy. I put together the liturgy this afternoon and thought some of you might enjoy it or be able to make use of it. Here it is:

Before the meal

Leader: He is risen!
People: He is risen indeed!

The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous;

The right hand of the Lord does valiantly. The right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.

I shall not die, but live, and tell of the works of the Lord. The Lord has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death. Open the gates of righteousness.

I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the Lord; the righteous will enter through it. I shall give thanks to Thee, for Thou hast answered me; and Thou has become my salvation.

The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! [Psalm 118:15-24]

Prayer and meal.

Before dessert

Reading: Matthew 28:1-9

Easter Hymn: “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” (by Charles Wesley)

Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!

Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to you by both be given; Alleluia!
Risen Christ, triumphant now; Alleluia!
Every knee to you shall bow. Alleluia!

After dessert

And Jesus said to them: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” [Acts 1:8]

And this is the gospel to which we are witnesses: That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ, the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at his coming, then comes the end, when he delivers up the kingdom to God the Father, when he has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. [I Corinthians 15:3-4; 22-26]

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
[I Corinthians 15:54-57]

Thanks be to God!

Easter Psalm: Psalm 110 – sing to the tune of ____ (If you're a psalm-singer, just use the tune in the psalter!)

Jehovah to my Lord has said, “Sit Thou at My right hand
Until I make Thy foes a stool whereon Thy feet may stand.”
Jehovah shall from Zion send the scepter of Thy power.
In battle with Thine enemies be Thou the conqueror.

A willing people in Thy day of power shall come to Thee
Thy youth arrayed in holiness like morning dew shall be.
Jehovah swore and from his oath He never will depart:
“Of th’order of Melchizedek a priest Thou ever art.”

The Lord at Thy right hand shall smite earth’s rulers in his wrath.
Among the nations He shall judge; the slain shall fill His path.
In many lands He’ll overthrow their kings with ruin dread;
And, marching, he’ll drink from the brook and so lift up his head.

The risen Lord is coming soon. “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and he shall dwell among them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be among them, and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying or pain; the first things have passed away.”

And he who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and offspring of David, the bright morning star.” And the Spirit and the bride say,


And let the one who hears say,


And let the one who is thirsty come, let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! [Revelation 21-22]

Henry Doorly Zoo

A couple of weeks ago, during spring break, we had the chance to go to Omaha to visit the world-renowned Henry Doorly Zoo. We drove down Monday morning and spent Monday afternoon walking around the Old Market District. In this shop, you can see Z really enjoys all the soft animal furs!

Here's Z in our hotel room, tossing around his ball. We had huge storms that night, including tornadoes. When we asked the woman working at the hotel desk what the procedure was when the tornado siren went off (which is what they were doing), she said, "I don't know." Very helpful and well trained.

And here we are at the zoo. We headed for the aquarium first, which is wonderful! It includes a glass tunnel that goes through the aquarium, so there are fish on three sides. Z loved it! He walked into the tunnel area, took one look around, and started running in circles waving his arms. Then he flopped on the floor, laid on his back, and took in the view.

Z also really enjoyed the goats at the petting zoo. This one seemed to like Z back.

Here we are in the desert dome. Z clearly liked the big open spaces, since the running in circles began again, although he didn't flop on his back this time.

The meerkats in the desert dome.

And here we are in the jungle.

Z seemed to think it was a little loud, but enjoyed it nonetheless.

Nathan was wanting to see a sloth, and we finally found one. He's in the tree in the background -- kind of hard to see.