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He is Risen!

March 26, 2016 | By | No Comments

Sharing a repost from one of our family’s most treasured Easter memories — Over a decade ago now in 2005, we took a trip with all of the children to the Grand Canyon for Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday. At the time, since they were small, I used pseudonyms for each child. Hannah was the Dreamer; John was the Dude; Helena was the Diva; Sarah was the Dancer; and James was Baby Boo. Happy Easter and God’s richest blessings to each of you and your families!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

The alarm went off at 3 AM. Could we manage to rouse five tired children and make it to the sunrise service at the Grand Canyon 90 miles north? Having come this far on our westward adventure, we wanted to try. But the Penta-Posse got themselves up, into the ski clothes we’d laid out to combat the cold, and beat me into the truck. (They may have been eased along by the chocolate and jelly beans the easter bunny left. . .)

In fact, they were in such high spirits that they wanted our progress up Arizona Rt. 180 through the Coconino Forest to turn into a race with the lone hatchback we encountered along the way in the dark. As the little car left us in his wake (Dad, c’mon, let’s go!!) Jack told the posse that we would let the hatchback “hit the cow” for us and tried to refocus their attention on seeing who could guess how low the temperature would go. The Dreamer “won” when the thermometer dropped to 17 degrees. I worried about the wind-chill on the canyon rim. Then, we crested a hill and came up suddenly on the hatchback, which was stopped dead in front of us as a herd of six or seven deer charged acrosss the road.

The mountains to our right, capped in snow, glowed with the reflected light of a full moon. We reached the canyon at 5 AM just as the faintest light began breaching the eastern rim. We parked along the shoulder near Mather Point; the Dancer had fallen asleep again and didn’t want to venture into the cold — we wrapped her in a blanket and joined the others who were streaming in the direction of haunting music playing on a loudspeaker at the outlook. We were early enough to be among the first there; eventually around 1600 people arrived, filling up the platform, the stairs to the outlook, and lining the rim looking out over Mather Point.

The Dreamer, the Dude and the Diva scrambled up to a perch atop a large boulder, while Jack and I settled in to lower seats along a rocky wall with the Dancer and Boo. By now, a faint pink light was spreading along the horizon. We had made it! My eyes filled with tears as my apprehension and tension from the press to get there was replaced with a sense of awe at the majesty in front of me.

Then the cold started to seep in. The Dancer started to cry. She settled in to Jack’s lap and buried her face in his chest. A little later, the Dreamer came down to take her so that they could warm each other. Boo slept on.

Half an hour left until the service and now the light was spreading and we could see the growing crowd around us more clearly. My worst fears about the wind-chill never materialized, but it was very cold. A stranger came over to the Dancer and the Dreamer, and wrapped them in a blanket. “Here,” he said, “you look cold. This is an extra.” It wasn’t an extra. We were among friends.

He is risen. He is risen indeed.

The service started and Boo began to cry. Then he settled quickly into my shoulder. . . The sun broke over the northeastern rim with a brilliant glow, revealing the colors of the canyon in all their glory. Red, green, pink, orange. Deep clefts of darkness and shadow. The Colorado silently running in dizzying depths below. A raw wood cross on the edge appeared to hang in the air, silhouetted with the vast expanse of the canyon behind.

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!

Hail, the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!

Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!

Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!

Hail, the resurrection day, Alleluia Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!

Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!

Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!

Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

Afterward, the Dude and I stood and looked over the canyon. “This is awesome,” he said.

He is risen. He is risen, indeed.


Originally published on March 28th, 2005.

29 Jan



Steve Nock: Scholar and Friend

January 29, 2008 | By | 3 Comments

Before beginning a dissertation, you have to put together a committee to review your work. Three of the members come from your own department; one must be from an outside department. There’s not a whole lot of benefit to faculty members in serving on dissertation committees. It mostly represents extra work. This is quadruply true for the outside reader. Why take on the reading, reviewing, advising for a student who isn’t even in your department?

With this knowledge that the benefit would be entirely on my side of the equation in mind, I approached the door of Steve Nock a few years ago to ask him to serve as my outside reader. I remember the apprehension I felt: while universally acknowledged to be a friendly, nice person, Steve was also a highly-regarded scholar with a national reputation for his writing on family issues from a sociological perspective. He had also managed to champion marriage and family in his research and writing — even defending “covenant marriage” — while maintaining his reputation within the liberal academic establishment. A not inconsiderable feat.

Exactly the person I would most like to have on my committee as the outside reader. Hence the butterflies in my stomach as I knocked on his door.

I still remember the warmth and friendliness he greeted me with, instantly setting me at ease. He expressed interest in my research project and, much to my relief, agreed to serve on the committee.

An outside reader isn’t really obligated to do much on a committee — as long as they show up at the defense and ask a few cogent questions to demonstrate having actually read the dissertation. Steve, however, gave me the benefit of real input and advice as the project went forward. He read early drafts and critiqued my research methodology very thoroughly.

At his memorial service this past Saturday, all these thoughts were going through my mind. Of the great contribution he made to my professional development. Of his great graciousness to me, going above and beyond what he was obligated to offer.

But most of all, what drew us to drive to Charlottesville on such a sad trek was to pay tribute to Steve Nock, the man.

He died suddenly last week of complications from diabetes — he was only 57. Long-term he had struggled with his health in ways I was only marginally aware. Several people mentioned this quality about him at the service: he lived a life of such joy and enthusiasm that very few people outside his family knew of his health challenges.

What a wonderful way to be remembered — as a person who spread joy and made others around him happy. Certainly Steve’s many articles and books create an important intellectual legacy. But what those of us who were fortunate enough to have known Steve Nock will really remember about him was his wonderful smile. . . and that he shared it so readily.

31 Jul



Marine Corps Marathon, Training Tips

July 31, 2007 | By | 2 Comments


Your Business Blogger and me

running the Richmond Marathon We are training for our third marathon. And this year The Dreamer will be able to join us.

She has done a triathlon, so she knows training and preparation and, well, pain, I think. A child’s pain, is always more painful to parent than child.

Which makes this marathon doubly painful. I got mine. I got hers.

Jack is a pain…sometimes. And sometimes not.

So we have the hurts and the runners’ high at the same time. Highs and Lows. Contradictions.

Except I’m not sure just how much pain she’s in. The Dreamer has not been running for a decade yet. (One track coach said she had natural talent. The only thing her parents could do was mess her up…) At the track, she laps her parents with ease.

So we don’t really know her pain level, but we do know ours. And knowing the pain will be a-coming, the hardest part is getting started. We are using the Jeff Galloway training program and he has advice for GETTING STARTED,

Those who run for 20 years or more tend to have the following things in common:

They enjoy most of the miles of almost every run.

They take extra days off from running to recover from aches, pains and burnout.

They don’t let goals (and training schedules) interfere with running enjoyment.

Or any of life’s enjoyments. With all of its contradictions:

Life is solidary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.


Life is Good.

On our New Balance we’ve had more of the latter than the former.


Thank you (foot)notes:

This is an unpaid advertisement/endorsement – From Running Getting Started by Jeff Galloway.

Nasty, Brutish and Short is not a law firm. But there is a very good blog Nasty, Brutish & Short, Penned by legal counsel, of course. Jack and I share a passion for ellipitcals with the lawyer at NBS. Both the trainers and reasoning, I guess.

Read More

Work and Family: One Size Does Not Fit All

December 23, 2006 | By | No Comments

No ‘cookie-cutter’ solutions: Family expert Charmaine Yoest says creativity, flexibility are keys to resolving work/family issues

Charmaine Yoest acknowledges that creative solutions to juggling work and family are never easy. “That’s part of why I study it as an issue.”

By Elizabeth Kiem [from May 14, 2004]

Charmaine Yoest, a doctoral candidate in U.Va.’s Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics, is an up-and-coming young expert on family policy issues.


Charmaine Yoest

Photo by Andrew Shurtleff By normal counts, her 10 years at the University have been hyper-productive: Her papers on the subject are prolific, as are her media appearances, congressional testimonies and academic presentations. She has written a book on working mothers and is completing a second on parental leave policies.

But Yoest’s career must be viewed in the context of a not-so-typical doctoral student’s family life — she is the 39-year-old mother of five children, ranging from age 10 to infancy.

“I hope it’s inspirational to some,” she said of her ability to pursue her studies and career even with a full capacity mini-van. “Obviously I couldn’t do what I’ve done unless my husband was willing to live a nontraditional life as well.”

Yoest acknowledges that her domestic situation, with close family near by to step into the child-care breach and a husband willing to reduce his workload significantly to help raise children, has been unusually conducive to her career. Nonetheless, she would like to see more families adopt a “nontraditional lifestyle” to accommodate childrearing and professional equality among the parents.

There is such an emphasis on work and family that sometimes the family gets lost because people are so focused on ‘how can we facilitate work? she said.

A regular on the political talk-shows, Yoest is careful with her words, aware of just how politicized the debate has become. She is quick to emphasize that her pro-family stance in no way negates her advocacy for women to pursue careers and advanced education, as she has done. The mission, she says, is to find creative ways to do both — and women require the participation of spouses and employers to do so.

Continue reading at the jump.


Thank you (foot)notes:

Originially published by UVA Insider May 2004.

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Merry Christmas

December 19, 2006 | By | One Comment


Merry Christmas to you and yours,

from Your Business Blogger, Charmaine and the Penta-Posse

If you would like to be added to our good-guy Christmas Card list please email us.

Read about London’s John Calcott Horsley and the business of the first Christmas card at the jump. And the original meaning of “merry.”

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Music Camp in the Baltimore Washington Corridor

July 7, 2006 | By | One Comment


The Diva on Piano The Baptist Convention of Baltimore and Delware is sponsoring a music camp. Starts this Sunday and spaces are filling up.

Cost $99 per child — We’ll be sending our Penta-Posse.

Call Bryan at 410 -dot- 695 -dot- 5374 to reserve a spot. Reservations can also be made at the door at First Baptist Church in Laurel, Maryland. Or email Bryan at BPatrick AT FirstBaptistLaurel dot org

Or email me.


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Thank you (foot)notes:

Cross posted at Jack Yoest.

06 May



For Jack, Scenes from a Life, Another Year. . .

May 6, 2006 | By | 2 Comments

From the archives, from last Cinco de Mayo. . .I still do.

* * *

May 5, 1990

To have and to hold, from this day forward,

Those two didn’t know what they were getting into did they?

for better, for worse,

May 5, 1990: The day dawned dark and dreary. . . but, then — midway through the service, the sun broke through, a single ray of light piercing the chapel windows, illuminating the altar. . .

for richer, for poorer,

No, we had no way of even imagining the hurdles and challenges that lay ahead.

in sickness or in health,

But then, no way of even dreaming of the joys either.

The Penta-Posse

Four Corners Monument, April, 2005

to love and to cherish

May 5, 2005: another dark and dreary day. . . just take-out dinner on folding chairs at the ball-park, . . .but there, still, rays of light, piercing our hearts, illuminating the future. . .

hylight.jpg john light.jpg
gylight.jpg sylight.jpg
james light.jpg

’till death do us part.

I do.

* * *

Update: April, 2006

The Penta-Posse


01 May



White House Correspondents Dinner: Fairchild v. Trainor

May 1, 2006 | By | 6 Comments


With Elaine Donnelly, Christopher Buckley and Jack

Jack has a hilarious post up entitled “Walking the Red Carpet in 7 Easy Steps.” I love the part where he points out the two tennis poles growing out of his and Chris Buckley’s heads in the pic above. . .


Morgan Fairchild

My favorite story from the event comes from one of the pre-dinner parties. At one point I was standing next to a beautiful woman who turned, put out her hand and said, “Hi, I’m Morgan Fairchild.” Very friendly. I think I’m going to have to forgive her for being a Democrat.

We started to chat when I felt Jack pulling my elbow. “Come on. Quick,” he whispered.

I wondered what could possibly be pulling us away from chatting with. . .Morgan Fairchild. But ever the dutiful wife, I hurried away with him. . .

Lt. Gen. Bernard Trainor

“Hurry,” Jack says, a star-struck sound in his voice: “We’ve got to meet Bernie Trainor.”

Kid. You. Not.

Savage Places Second in the Cal Ripken Tournament

April 3, 2006 | By | No Comments

Cross post from Jack Yoest with Savage.


Savage Spirit, Maryland

Championship First Runner-Up

Cal Ripken, Opening Day Tournament

2006, 11u, years old and under

Vince Lombardi once said, “The Green Bay Packers never lost a football game. They just ran out of time.”

Coach Scott Grebenstein must be saying the same thing. Running out of time and innings in the final championship game Sunday afternoon with the Maryland Cardinals. Score: Savage behind Cardinals, 11 to 12, to place second.

He led the Savage Spirit baseball team this weekend on a series of wins and a “slaughter rule” upset over the Maryland Mud Hens.

It started Friday nite. Your Business Blogger packed up Charmaine and the Penta-Posse into the monster SUV for two nites in Aberdeen, Maryland. Home of the Cal Ripken Stadium complex. Opening Day Tournaments.

We saw old friends from Charlottesville baseball allstar days. Charmaine teared up. Not me. Although it was windy andblowingdustgetsinyoureyesandwateruptogetdustout.

(Hint: moving 11 times in 15 years of marriage is too many good-bys. Too many hellos.)

Anyway. The team played well. The Dude played well.


The Dude pitching


Wind up


Delivery: 3 up, 3 down


The Dude can hit The Dude got his first over the fence home run on Sunday.

Congratulations Savage Spirit on a great season’s opener!


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Thank you (foot)notes:


Cal Ripken Baseball

I’m honored to be included. . .

December 29, 2005 | By | One Comment

. . . on Concerned Women for America’s end-of-year Evangelical Women of the Year 2005 list. Jack has the story. (Of course!)