Merry Christmas, 2011














Once upon a silent table. Like the baby in the manger, there is never any crying around this table.















Amie rests for a moment after running her first 5k race -- and with the number to prove it.















Spring cleaning in the backyard -- where garden implements can quickly become weapons of human warfare.















Jackson celebrates after scoring a cracking goal. Meanwhile, the opponent apparently laughs off losing.















William Nowell, Amie's grandfather, walks along Omaha Beach in 2004 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Normandy invasion. Born in 1922, he passed away in May. "Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days."















Courage every time. Camden steps into the batter's box for the Oakland A's. In June the A's won the Richmond Little League Minors championship.















If Kate had her way, we would live beside the ocean. Upon this occasion, Virginia Beach lights her world.













A vintage group photo from my first class in Islamic Studies/Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut. For the first two weeks in January 2012, I'll be participating in a travel seminar in Oman through Hartford Seminary and Al Amana Centre.
















Our August vacation included an excursion to Gainesville, Florida, to visit my sister and her family. Of course, no trip to Gainesville is complete without setting feet on the same grass that some say God, uh, Tim Tebow, once played football on.















Let the new school year begin. Down the sidewalk and to the right, two blocks away, is Linwood Holton Elementary. Where the kids walk every day; where Amie works as a Title I tutor; where, for us, neighborhood and living-in-community spiritually collide.















In October, we made our annual pilgrimage to Carter Mountain Orchard to pick apples and to rehearse -- again -- how things grow.













It has been official for 15 years: I am the luckiest.















The day before All Hallows Eve, the kids carve up pumpkins at dusk. Yes, we realize the large knife is within reach of our youngest child.















"Sweet Potato Crunch." On Thanksgiving, the Elmore Five hosted Amie's mom and grandmother from Scranton, Pennsylvania, as well as Amie's sister's family from Harrisburg.















To the victors, the spoils. Camden and I lay claim to the family Christmas tree.


"The Lord wants to find in you a path by which he can enter into your soul and make his journey."

{Origen of Alexandria, 3rd century C.E.}


Oman, in January

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