Friday, January 02, 2009

Cullop year-end letter

2008 was a wonderful year. Ashley (13) was transformed from a pretty girl into a beautiful young lady. In the spring she was selected to play soccer on the Stafford Falcons in the classic division. The team made it all the way to the championship before losing in a shoot-out 4-3. In both the quarterfinal and semifinal games, Ashley scored the winning goals. Recently she was selected to play on the Fury, a Fredericksburg travel team, starting in the spring.

Ashley continues to do well in home-schooling. She participates in a co-op with friends and competes in a home-school bowling league.  She still reads all the time. She is active in the youth group at New Hope, and does a lot at Convergence (where Todd pastors) as well.

Brady (2½) is talking all the time, and has wonderful manners. He says “please” and “thank you,” says “bless you” when someone sneezes, and often answers “yes sir,” to both me and Jamie (we just can’t get him to say “yes, ma’am!”). He also loves to pray.

Brady loves being outside, playing games on the computer (at Playhouse Disney) and watching Disney movies (Cars is his favorite.) He loves music; I’ve now got him yelling “Bruuuce” when a Springsteen song comes on. His favorite song is John Lennon’s “Beautiful Boy;” I sing it to him and he calls it our song. Brady also sings the “ABC Song” all the way through.

Cash (15 months) also loves music—We often have dance parties when Jamie and Ash are out—the boys and I dance to the Imagination Movers—a great band who plays kids’ music.

Cash is walking, and trying to talk. He follows Brady and imitates his big brother. He loves to play with toys that require him to do something—push buttons, take things apart and put them together.

Both boys love their grandparents. Grandma Helen (and sometimes Grandpa Jerry) comes down to watch them once or twice a week. Brady has always taken to Grandpa Jerry; Cash is definitely a Grandma’s boy. Both boys really took to Grandma Vicki, Grandma Dee and Grandpa Lyle in Washington. They are lucky to have such great grandparents!

Jamie has done wonderfully with Stampin’ Up this year. She has been doing more demonstrations, shows and parties; and really has a blast. Thanks to her, we’re sending Christmas cards for the first time in years. She has made over 100 beautiful cards for us and for her customers.  I’m hoping she can keep growing her business and who knows, maybe in a couple years I’ll become a stay-home dad!

Todd is busy with work, but his schedule is flexible so he gets to spend some time with the kids each day, and is usually home for at least two full days a week.  Convergence is doing well, we have built a great sense of community, and we’re growing and building great relationships with artists.   

We all got to do some traveling this year—Todd went to Faith and Arts events in New York, Austin, and Grand Rapids for work; and took his annual trip to Richmond with his college buddies for the CAA basketball tournament, which George Mason won!

Jamie went to VA Beach for Stampin’ Up, Williamsburg and Richmond for home-school events, and Las Vegas to celebrate her birthday with her mom.

In July we took a road trip to Nashville; Lake Martin, AL; and Atlanta to see family and friends. We also flew to Washington State to spend Thanksgiving with Jamie’s family.

Life is fun, challenging, very busy and never dull. We are very blessed with our family, two great church communities, and more wonderful friends than we can name. Thank you for your love and support—we’re always up for visitors!

                                    Much love,

Todd, Jamie, Ashley, Brady, and Cash

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Phyllis Tickle; The Great Emergence

January 1st. New Years Day. Like many others; I'm going to try to do a better job of writing this year. and reading. two things I don't do near enough. 

I have made a lot of progress cleaning out the clutter in my home office. is it obvious I don't really have much to say today?

I'm sick with a cold; not thinking real clearly, don't have much creativity. so I'll stop, and share something good from Phyllis Tickle. I just ordered her new book, The Great Emergence:

Apparently and for some not-very-clear reason, it is incumbent upon the faithful in every new epoch or changing era of Christian history to re-define what we mean when we use the words "church" and/or "Church." But even if some strenuous re-thinking and re-stating had not been required during history's previous turning points, it none the less would be required for emergence Christianity. There is no question about the fact that this time around everything-whether sacred or secular and with no holds barred-is up for scrutiny and that most of everything, once scrutinized, is up for re-defining, including "church" and/or "Church."

For quite some time now, analysts and pastors and observant Christian laity alike have known and said that church is not a place, nor is it a thing. Historically, church was probably conceived of in the popular imagination as a thing several centuries before that same shared imagination began to think of it as a place. Of those two, the notion of place as definition is probably the more debilitating, but unquestionably it had also come to be the more dominant of the two during the last century. But as a conceptual definition, neither place nor thing alone is strong enough to support much vitality beyond loyalty to itself.

you can read the rest of her post here.