A new school year has begun.
We ask your blessings on all those who teach our children.
Give teachers the strength to face crowded classrooms and underfunded schools.
Help teachers to find patience and compassion as they offer important lessons.
Let teachers feel respected and loved.
A new school year has begun.
We ask your blessing on students everywhere.
Give students the strength to navigate the inherent awkwardness of childhood and adolescence.
Help students to grow into moral beings who respect differences and value diversity.
Let students feel respected and loved.
A new school year has begun.
We ask your blessing on parents everywhere.
Give parents the strength to know when to let go and when to hold tight.
Help parents to lift up their children so that all children know the importance of learning.
Let parents feel respected and loved.
God, you have created a people able to achieve great things.
A new school year is a time of hope and excitement.
Help us all to find ways of supporting our schools - they should be cathedrals, not shacks.
Open our hearts in ways that transform our spirits so that we truly value education.
Let us all be agents of your love for the children of this earth.
Written by the Rev. Chuck Currie
Frances and Katherine celebrate their 6th birthday today. A party in Portland was held a couple of weeks ago. Today they'll celebrate in Palo Alto. Check out the links below for photos from their past birthdays. Where are the years going?
We had an early birthday party for Frances and Katherine yesterday (their actual birthday is July 8th but we'll be out of town then so we wanted to have a gathering for friends and family before we left). These were the cakes we ordered. Ordering Barbie cakes for my daughters shows my complete failure as a father, I think. But they loved them!
Today the Rose Festival Junior Parade was held here in our own backyard: Hollywood and Grant Park. The Rose Festival's website reports:
From the very beginning, the Portland Rose Festival has celebrated our community's children. Portland's very first Rose Festival in 1907 included a children's parade of 2000 boys and girls representing 23 schools! In 1936, the Junior Parade became an official Rose Festival event. Since that time, the parade has become a beloved tradition for many Portland families.This year over 30 school marching bands took part and kids were everywhere. I brought Frances and Katherine and they had a blast with many friends from school. Their only complaint: dad didn't think to bring cash for cotton candy.
This evening we took our trusty dog Hazel to our neighborhood park for the Summer's End Dog Fest.
Here's the scoop on the event from Film Action Oregon, the primary sponsor:
The goal of the first annual Summer's End Dog Fest is to bring together Portland's dog lovers and the residents of Hollywood, Grant Park, Laurelhurst and Irvington neighborhoods at a special event at Grant Park, famous for its statues of Beverly Cleary's Ramona and her dog, Ribsy. The purpose of this event is to build community, raise funds and awareness for Film Action Oregon / The Hollywood Theatre, and simply to have fun.
We had a good time and the twins, who ran into a couple of their new classmates, enjoyed watching the wiener dog races.
We'll look forward to attending again next year.
Frances (far left) and Katherine (far right) joined Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski as he signed a bill this morning expanding health care to 80,000 children. Children First for Oregon notes that the legislation signed today will "provide health care coverage to 95 percent of Oregon’s uninsured children over the next two years." That's a great accomplishment for the governor and Oregon's legislature.
The above photo comes from KGW in Portland.
Frances and Katherine turn three today. This photo was from their birthday party held yesterday. Wasn't it just last week that they were born? Time flies. Happy birthday, my not so little baby girls!
If World War III broke out I'm pretty sure it would sound a little like Portland at this hour as our neighbors attempt to out due each other with the size of their 4th of July
explosives fireworks. Actually, I so want to be out there blowing things up but as the responsible parent of nearly 3-year old twins I'm sitting at home and just watching the festivities out my window. We did manage to take the little ones out for ice cream tonight and then to Washington Park to run around. Nothing is better than ice cream on a hot summer day. Hope everyone out there is enjoying their 4th of July.
By day I’m a mild mannered minister in the United Church of Christ. But by night I’m a potty training progress monitor with a vested interest in twin two and a half year olds coming to the conclusion that a happy face on a chart tacked to the bathroom door is worth abandoning diapers for.
Before you know it they'll be driving.
Bedtime one night this week in the Currie household:
"Daddy, I don’t want to sleep. Mommy, I don’t want to be in bed.
Pharaoh, let my people go!"
- Frances, age 2.
Someone was paying pretty close attention to the hymns we sang at church during the MLK tribute.
Frances and Katherine, our dynamic 2-year old duo, woke up around 5 am this morning and were ready to start their morning with a little dancing, endless book readings, some wrestling with their old man and a few minor disagreements over which twin got which Elmo doll. After three hours of that it was off to work and tonight my last meeting ended just before 8pm. Long day and I’m ready for bed. The kind of funny part: I had so much fun this morning with those little monsters of mine. I was bummed they’d already crashed by the time I got home. Sleep is overrated when you’ve got 2 year old twin daughters around.
Frances and Katherine had their second birthday today. Two! Today we went to the Oregon coast for the ordination service of our friend Scott Elliott and tomorrow we’ll celebrate their birthday with a family lunch. It seems like it was just yesterday that they were born.
Frances this week at Mt. Hood's Timberline Lodge
Katherine today in Lincoln City
Portland is in the middle of our annual Rose Festival and today the Rose Festival Junior Parade was held. I took Frances and Katherine - the parade was in our neighborhood - and they enjoyed every minute. This parade is the "oldest and largest children's parade" and each year thousands of children "march in bands, ride on floats, cruise on unicycles, trikes, and bikes, dance and twirl in drill teams, and walk their pets down the one-mile parade," according to to the Rose Festival web site. Here are a few pictures of the festivities.
Thousands of kids and their families lined the streets to watch the parade. Schools are even let out early.
Frances (left) and Katherine watch a float go by.
Frances watches one of the many middle school marching bands which took part.
Katherine watches a band go by.
Frances (left) and Katherine enjoy the parade. The twins are 23 months today - nearly two years old!
This weekend we made our way down to the Bay Area to visit Liz’s family. It was a great chance to show off the twins to their grandparents, aunts, uncles and assorted cousins on the Smith side of the family. Unfortunately, a short visit like this didn’t afford us the opportunity to spend time with our many friends in the area. The occasion for this mini-vacation was the 40th birthdays of Sarah and Paul, Liz’s sister and brother-in-law. Carolyn, Liz’s step-mother, also arranged a tour for me of the Pacific School of Religion (a UCC affiliated seminary connected with the Graduate Theological Union) and First Congregational United Church of Christ of Berkeley. PSR has an excellent reputation as a first rate theological school and a hope of mine is to partake in some of their continuing education programs in the years to come. Make sure you check out their new Progressive Christian Witness web site. Photos of the trip will be available shortly on our family web site but I’d thought on this blog I’d post two from PSR (including one of their chapel) and one from First Congregational UCC (note the good looking God Is Still Speaking banner – new commercials from the UCC using that theme are on the way).
We’ve made the move back to the great Northwest and are glad to be here. Movers arrived just today with the rest of our stuff. We’ve spent the last several days unpacking and trying to bring some sort of normalcy to our chaotic lives. But we already feel so much more relaxed being close to so many family members and friends. Unfortunately, there are periods in our lives when chaos seems to come in waves. That is true for us in this moment. It will be several more weeks before we can declare victory and fully celebrate our move back to Oregon. But we’re very much enjoying the endless opportunities for good coffee and the love and friendship we’ve felt since coming home.
A senior White House official has been indicted for betraying the nation.
The president’s Supreme Court nominee has been forced to resign after the right-wing agreed that while Harriett Miers was a practitioner of the Dark Side of the Force she wasn’t evil enough to serve their will.
And Rosa Parks – hero of the nation – has passed away.
I wish I had the time this week to blog about all this.
This is Reading Week at the old seminary. It is a week without classes where we can catch up on the mountains of books needed to be read before the fall semester starts to come to a close. I'm using the week to do just that - and to catch up on spending some time with the twins, my wife, and extended family and friends. So I just don't have time to blog much this week.
Head over to Street Prophets - the other site I write at - if you want to read some quality and updated stuff.
Over the past week we've been in South Carolina visiting with family. We spent a big chunk of time watching CNN and the coverage of Katrina. But between all that we had a great time showing off the twins to my grandfather and other family members. Here are just a few pictures. Happy Labor Day!
Rock with his great grand daughters Frances (left) & Katherine. The twins are dressed in University of South Carolina Gamecock outfits in honor of my mother and other family members who attended there.
Mommy and Katherine playing.
Daddy with Katherine (left) and Frances.
The United Church of Christ has adopted the “comma” as a symbol of our theology as part of the UCC’s “God Is Still Speaking Campaign.” Comedian Gracie Allen is credited with saying: “Never place a period where God has placed a comma.” What does that mean? For many of us in the UCC it means that God still has more to say to us than just that which was written in the Bible. Over 400 people gathered this weekend on the Eden Theological Seminary campus to celebrate the success of that campaign by forming the world’s largest human comma. The UCC’s effort has drawn considerable media attention and resulted in many visitors to UCC congregations across the country.
Liz and I were there with the twins.
Fellow Oregonian and Eden student Scott Elliot was there with his daughter Forest. Even Pastor Dan's parents were on campus for the event. It was a fun time. The credit for putting everything together (and for the comma photo) goes to the good folks with the St. Louis Association of the UCC.
There just hasn't been time for any real blogging today. The seminary owns me on Tuesdays. My first class starts at 9 am and the final class ends at 9:30 pm. There are breaks in-between the three classes I have on Tuesday so that we can have lunch and dinner. My family used the afternoon break today to celebrate my 36th birthday and our twins 7-month birthday. There was cake for all - except for the poor babies who sat there and watched Liz and I eat. Liz made the cake and it was just great. We wished there could have been more time for our family to just sit around and enjoy the day - but we'll get more of a break tomorrow. The weather is even calling for snow and ice. Maybe Katherine and Frances will want to sleep in. Ha, ha, ha.
Several people have asked if our babies have returned to good health since getting sick over Christmas. Frances and Katherine are doing great. There are a lot of children, however, that don't have basic health care or even enough food in our country. Visit the Children's Defense Fund to learn more about how you can help children in America.
Happy New Year's Eve. We'll be leaving in the morning from Portland and heading back to St. Louis. Traveling with us are two very sick babies. Frances and Katherine got sick over Christmas and by this Monday had developed pneumonia. We've spent the last five days in and out of doctor's offices. Both babies are undergoing breathing treatments every three hours and have enough medicines in them to open up a pharmacy. Our hope is that once home they'll relax and start to feel better. Your prayers and good wishes for a speedy recovery are appreciated. Even sick these kids are way cute!
Thanksgiving was a wonderul time for us this year. We flew down to Columbia, South Carolina to be with family. For those who like seeing pictures of the twins there are now pictures posted on our homepage or you can simply click here. Katherine and Frances are now just about 5 months old and are doing great.
It occurred to me that loyal readers of this blog might be in baby withdrawal. There haven’t been new photos of Frances (left) and Katherine (right) in weeks – until now. They smile, they laugh, they eat, and then they poop. And they’re more perfect every single day.
Life has abruptly taken a change this week at the Currie household. Eden Theological Seminary’s fall semester started last Tuesday. Over the last nine weeks we’ve literally been working in shifts to raise the babies. Now most of the baby work is falling on Liz as I retreat into books and writing in my study. We have a sort of Ozzie & Harriet life.
Today was also the start of my field practicum. For the next nine months I’ll be working as a seminarian pastor for St. John’s United Church of Christ.
A selection of the books I’m reading this semester for various classes is listed on the right side of this blog (near the bottom) for those interested in what is read in seminary. My list is incomplete because a) I don’t have all the texts in front of me and b) we read a lot of journal articles that I don’t have the ability to link to.
It is going to be a juggle to raise twin girls and manage graduate school over the next 20 months, but we’re looking forward to all the fun that will come with it.
We’re now seven weeks into our big adventure as parents. It is now clear why sleep deprivation is considered a form of torture. New pictures of our growing twins have been posted to mark the seven week milestone. Frances and Katherine are still perfect.
Our girls turn five weeks old today. They just keep growing. Every week I'm posting a new series of photos. This might get a little old when they're 26 or 27, but until then you just have to check them out. Click here to take a peak.
Our twins Frances and Katherine are four weeks old today. We have new pictures of them at www.chuckandliz.com. Both are doing well and starting to grow fast. Liz and I even manage to get a little bit of sleep each day. Check out the photos and you’ll understand the definition of cute.
Frances and Katherine take a quick nap before watching the Democratic Convention.
Political pundits across America are already talking Katherine and Frances up as potential presidential candidates. Here they are watching US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton speak at the Democratic National Convention.
We made it back home today from the hospital with Katherine Chalmers Currie and Frances Bright Currie. Both girls and their mother are doing great. All of us are a bit tired. You can find a few new pictures of the girls at www.chuckandliz.com or just click here.
A few people have asked where the names came from.
Frances Bright was my grandmother who passed away last December. Just before she died I was able to tell her we were having twins.
Chalmers is Liz's dad and is Katherine's middle name. Katherine is just a named we liked.
There you have it.
Frances Bright Currie and Katherine Chalmers Currie are now more than 30 hours old. Click here for a photo album of their first two days. Liz’s mother Alice arrived here last night to meet her new grandchildren. My mother was here in time for the delivery. Liz is recovering quickly from her c-section and the twins are – as expected – perfect. One of these days I’ll get back to posting on matters of great national importance, but right now I’m pretty sure there is nothing more important going on than these girls. Make sure you check out the photos.
Our c-section has been moved up to this afternoon (around 2 pm). I'll post information via an audblog post after the babies are born. Prayers and good thoughts are welcomed. We're having babies!
Here is Liz now 36 weeks pregnant with our twin girls. We are only five days away from the planned C-section. My mother will arrive on Wednesday night and Liz's mother gets here on Thursday afternoon. We're pretty excited as the day gets close. Our 4th of July was pretty tame. We went to see Spiderman and hung around the house. This picture of Liz, however, shows that she is in the 4th of July mood.
Here Liz is at 35 weeks. We have less than 2-weeks until the planned c-section. Take a trip down memory lane and look at all the pictures of Liz since she was 15-weeks pregnant. Have you entered the "name our baby contest" yet? Time is running out. If all goes according to plan it looks like Liz’s sister Sarah will be the winner of the contest to pick the twin’s birth date. I’ve accused Liz of rigging the contest but she denies the charge.
Our doctor has scheduled July 9th for Liz to have a caesarian section to deliver the twins. Both babies are still breach and that doesn’t look like it will change (hence the need for a c-section). Of course, Liz could still go into labor on her own before July 9th (just two weeks from today), but we’re hoping the girls stay put a bit longer to grow as strong as possible. They’ll be at 37 weeks around the time we deliver.
In the meantime, we continue our movie going marathon as we wait for the babies. We figure we won’t be able to see movies again for at least another 18 years after they arrive.
Today we saw Fahrenheit 9/11. Go see this movie! It was the first film we’ve seen this summer that has a) been packed for a matinee b) received long applause at the end. Bring any of your friends / family who are on the fence about the war and George W. Bush.
Update: See Liz's picture at 35 weeks.
Today we had an extra long appointment at the hospital. We went for our normal ultrasound scans (which ended up starting nearly an hour late) and those went fine. One baby is 4 pounds, 14 ounces and the other is 5 pounds, 2 ounces. What we didn’t expect is that we’d be moved to a back room where Liz would be strapped to two fetal heart monitors, one monitor for contractions, and one for blood pressure. This is apparently a routine procedure that no one ever mentioned to us. They’re checking, in part, to find out if you’re in labor, which I can promise we are not. Several hours of tests proved that. The good news is that everything is still looking great.
We’ve reached the 33 week mark in the pregnancy. On Thursday, we had another appointment with the OBGYN who was very happy with Liz’s progress. As I’ve mentioned before, our doctor won’t let the pregnancy go past 38 weeks (somewhere around July 15-18). That means at the most we have five more weeks to go. However, our doctor has also told us that in recent times he has only had one mother of twins actually make it to 38 weeks. So these girls of ours could come at any time. Liz is busy getting prepared. Today she assembled one of the swings.
This evening we were invited to dinner at the home of Jerry and Sue Palmer here in St. Louis. The Palmer’s are friends of the Marsh family in Oregon. My friend Wendy Marsh was a colleague at Baloney Joe’s and her father, The Rev. Spencer Marsh, was also a friend who served as the chair of the board of Burnside Community Council. Doris Marsh, Wendy’s mother, got Sue and Jerry in touch with us and they were very generous in having us over for a fabulous meal.
(Jerry and Sue Palmer)