". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Sunday, January 28, 2018

From Texas to Illinois to Oklahoma to . . .

Almost 25 years ago we packed up what little we had and moved from Texas to central Illinois. We took a baby with us, but not a piano. The piano had to be sold because we needed the cash and also because the tiny place we could afford in Illinois had no room for a piano.

About 7 years later we moved again, this time from central Illinois to the Chicago suburbs. In a turn of events my husband and I would have never predicted when we were growing up and attending school in Texas, that house in the Chicago suburbs ended up being the longest place either of us has ever lived in our lives. We spent 14 years there. We gave ourselves, heart, mind and soul, to building a life there. We (mostly) reared our children there. We got a lot older and tireder there.

Then life took an unexpected turn. In another development we would have never predicted, we wound up in Oklahoma. Oklahoma?

Yes, Oklahoma. God knew exactly what we needed, and he brought us to a place of love and rest and patience and beauty. It ended up being the place my mom died. She is buried here, in a quiet, peaceful location, and for that I give thanks. Oklahoma, how good you have been to us. We hope we have been half as good for you.

Now we prepare for one more move, one we hope and pray will be our last for a very long time. In a few weeks we will pack up our Oklahoma house and move to Missouri, where I have been working in a job I love for the last six months. We are excited but sad. We will miss this place. We wish we could take the house, church and people with us. We will always be grateful for our time here.

For the foreseeable future my husband will continue working in Oklahoma, staying with friends and making regular trips to Missouri. He is working with our church to help them find a suitable replacement and to aid in the transition. In the meantime, Evan will join me in Missouri and prepare for his own new adventure: Lutheran high school! He is so excited about the prospect, if a little nervous about the changes coming.

We would appreciate your prayers for this transition, for our family's eventual arrival together in one place, and for my husband's vocation as we wait upon the Lord's direction for how he can best serve his neighbor in the years to come.

 P.S. We're taking the piano with us.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Mid-January update

I am back at work in St. Louis and finally over the December sickness, yay! Praying I avoid whatever is now going around my workplace. From the descriptions of what some of my coworkers are experiencing, I think it might be the same bug, which should mean I am immune, right?

Caitlin has been in St. Louis with me this week, which has been wonderful. I kinda like that girl. Yesterday we joined some of the LCMS Communications team in attending the Chicago March for Life. We left at 7:00 a.m. and returned about 18 hours later.

On the way in our nice, warm van.

Lunch at Nando's. 

On the right is the social media manager for The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod. He does superb work. You can catch a few of his live videos from the march here. Unfortunately, the cold was a major drain on all our devices, including the livestream camera, which shut down before the march was over.

We have eyes of life!

On the way home we stopped for gas in Bolingbrook, Illinois, where we lived from the time Caitlin was 4 until she was 18. She has many memories of this city, as well as of Chicago, and would like to go back for a longer visit. We hope to do that when it's a little warmer. 

Much of our drive home was in snow. This is my back yard in St. Louis this morning.

Today I drive Caitlin back to college for her final semester as an undergrad! In May she will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a French minor. Boy, did those four years go by quickly.

Meanwhile, here's Trevor back at school at University of Iowa, where he is beginning his second semester of his doctoral program in piano performance. Next to Trevor is his current teacher at Iowa, Ksenia Nosikova. Next to her is his former teacher at University of Nebraska, Paul Barnes, who recently visited the U of I campus. Next to Dr. Barnes is a high school student who formerly studied privately with him in Nebraska but who, after a family move to Iowa, now studies privately with Dr. Nosikova. It is a small musical world!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Useful phrase

So I learned a new phrase over Christmas break. My college kids taught it to me, and I'm liking it more and more. Here it is in case you want to try it out.

"Quit harshing my mellow." 

In other words, stop messing with my serenity, disturbing my peace, rattling my cage, invading my quiet, or otherwise impinging on my sense of calm.

There. Go useful that one and let me know what you opinion. :-)

Monday, January 1, 2018

A Magness New Year's Eve

It was a wonderful New Year's Eve.

Trevor received the board game Ticket to Ride, so we played it for the first time. It was fun and not hard to learn. Guess who won? :-)

Evan plots his next move.

I am so proud of these two, the amazing people they have become, and the things they are doing with their lives.

Blurry Evan and Mom.

We made black-eyed peas in our Cosori (think Instant Pot, but better).

After game and supper, we listened to the King's College Lessons and Carols broadcast since we didn't get to do it on Christmas Eve. Then we watched a little of NYE from Times Square, after which we went downstairs to the piano and gathered around to sing "Auld Lang Syne." There may have been a few tears.

We wrapped up the night by taking turns sharing our aspirations for 2018.

Today I leave to go back to St. Louis. It will be a cold, cold drive! I am excited to return to my work but sad to leave the family here. I know they will be making good use of the time, though, and I'll be back home Friday night.

In spite of a lot of sickness running through various members of the family at different times of this holiday season, it has been a blessed time of togetherness. I pray the remainder of your Christmas celebration is a continuing reminder of God's goodness to you and His promise, no matter what happens, of another year of grace.

Now greet the swiftly changing year
With joy and penitence sincere.
Rejoice! Rejoice! With thanks embrace
Another year of grace.
Remember now the Son of God
And how He shed His infant blood.
Rejoice! Rejoice! With thanks embrace
Another year of grace.
This Jesus came to end sin's war;
This Name of names for us He bore.
Rejoice! Rejoice! With thanks embrace
Another year of grace.
His love abundant far exceeds
The volume of a whole year's needs.
Rejoice! Rejoice! With thanks embrace
Another year of grace.
With Him as Lord to lead our way
In want and in prosperity,
What need we fear in earth or space
In this new year of grace!
"All glory be to God on high,
And peace on earth!" the angels cry.
Rejoice! Rejoice! With thanks embrace
Another year of grace.
God, Father, Son, and Spirit, hear!
To all our pleas incline Your ear;
Upon our lives rich blessing trace
In this new year of grace.
("Now Greet the Swiftly Changing Year" - LSB 896; translation by Jaroslav J. Vajda; to the tune "Sixth Night" by Alfred Fedak)