Showing posts from November, 2022

Expressing Gratitude

“I never want to miss an opportunity to express gratitude!” That statement became a caption that accompanied a picture of myself that was posted on social media the day after Thanksgiving this year. The occasion for the picture was a moment of reflection and prayer before the meal at my sister’s that day. I had read an article just a few days before about the need for specificity when expressing gratitude. "May I have your attention, please!" A surprising example was used in the article entitled, “Thank Outside the Box” by Jess Stillman, (Source:, November 22, 2022). The article suggests that we need to be as specific in expressing our thanks as we would be in describing a good breakfast stack of pancakes! For example, we might tell someone about our experience and use words like “fresh golden pancakes drizzled with lovely, sweet, amber, Maple syrup.” I have prayed general prayers all my life. These characteristically have an airy and less than satisfying

Moon to Mars Mission!

We were there! Well, not really, but we excitedly followed the news source coverage of the Artemis 1 launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, this week! This launch represents a major step in NASA’s return to the Moon. The Artemis 1 Mission occurred in the early hours of Wednesday morning and was launched toward lunar orbit with the expansive Orion capsule as its payload. This twenty-six-day test run (without astronauts) was propelled to its destination by the most powerful rocket in NASA’s arsenal to-date! The launch exploded from the pad with a whopping force of 9 million pounds of thrust! A look back to the future! The Keppler’s made a return visit (our third!) to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, August 2016, when the idea of a Mars mission was beginning to gain traction. During that occasion, we had our picture taken next to a prototype of the bulbous, gum-drop shaped Orion spacecraft. This four-passenger spaceship is being designed to transport astronauts to the Moon and later, to

"Enough! Let's Move On!"

Our eldest son, Matt, is taking a course with policy wonks from near and far. He is engaged in a program of professional development for several weeks this fall under the tutelage of a notable east coast institution of learning. He is loving it! It has been over twenty years since he has taken any advanced studies. The whole experience is demanding in its instruction, reading and class assignments. There is both a collegiality and competitive spirit among his study group as they work together on policy issues from various levels of government, educational and civic concerns. Don't Sweat God's Redirects! Recently, one of his group members offered a bit of advice as they were establishing norms for how they will relate to one another during group time. She said that, in her experience, when a group discussion was holding up the work, they needed to complete during their limited time together, they invoked the acronym – E.L.M.O. As current group members looked at each other puzzle

"I Am the Coach!"

Our daughter, Melissa, graduated from SIU-E in 2004 with a degree in Kinesiology. She could have taken that preparation into several related careers: coaching, professional trainer, sports therapy, nutrition/ health education, or other related professions. Melissa chose to focus on being an elementary physical education teacher. Today, she finds it very fulfilling to build “fitness with fun” value into her students. This is her seventeenth year of teaching! Our Coach! Recently, Melissa has taken on the responsibility of coaching her fifth-grade son’s youth league basketball team She would prefer to sit on the sidelines and enjoy the games, but the team could not enlist a volunteer coach and was at the point of canceling the season due to a staffing shortage. So, Melissa reluctantly stepped up. I think her especially athletic son, Karter, had put considerable effort into persuading his mother to step into the vacancy! Even Melissa had to admit, “I think I am probably the most qualified