Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Not Yours To Give

When I mentioned the account of Ron Paul's response to the proposed Commemorative Gold Medal for Ronald & Nancy Reagan, all I could think about was this story that floated just out of reach. I have researched the story, called Not Yours To Give which was originally published in "The Life of Colonel David Crockett," by Edward Sylvester Ellis. I will summarize it for you here.

In the 1820's & 30's Colonel Davy Crockett was, like Ron Paul, a congressman for Texas. He was one day standing on the steps of the capitol when a fire broke out in Georgetown. After he and several other members of congress offered aid and surveyed the damage, Congress easily voted for $20,000 in relief efforts, which sounds quite laudable on the surface.

Later on, as Davy Crockett was surveying his district and preparing for an election, he happened upon a farmer who told him flat out that he shouldn't waste his time - he wouldn't vote for Davy Crockett, due to the $20,000 of relief Congress had awarded. The full story lays out in detail the farmer's response to Congressman Crockett. The gist of it is this: the Constitution does not give Congress the right to use the people's money for charity. Here are portions of the farmer's response,

"It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means...."

"...If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give at all; and as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. 'No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity....'"

"'...So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people [emphasis mine]. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you.'"

Davy Crockett humbly received this farmer's correction, and learned that this farmer was none other than Horatio Bunce, a man well-known for his great intelligence, kindness and benevolence. He told Davy that he would vote for him, on the condition that he would acknowledge his error before the people. Horatio organized a barbeque for him, and Davy delivered what he says was his best speech ever, and gives credit to Horatio in his story. Horatio endorsed Davy Crockett to the people, and Davy writes,

"there went up from that crowd such a shout for Davy Crockett as his name never called forth before. I am not much given to tears, but I was taken with a choking then and felt some big drops rolling down my cheeks. And I tell you now that the remembrance of those few words spoken by such a man, and the honest, hearty shout they produced, is worth more to me than all the honors I have received and all the reputation I have ever made, or ever shall make, as a member of Congress."

As Davy tells this story in its entirety, he opens with a situation in Congress, where a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. The bill had already been supported heartily in Congress and moving speeches made. Davy Crockett then opposes this bill, and is successful in shooting it down. Here is a quote from his address:

"We have the right as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money."

The story of his encounter with Horatio is in response to an inquiry of a friend as to why he had opposed the bill. The whole story is definitely worth reading. This particular link is found at Love to Learn and is part of a lesson plan for children, replete with vocabulary, geography & comprehension questions for homeschoolers.

I'm sure it's obvious why I think of Ron Paul when I read this! Ron Paul seems to be the only one on capitol hill right now who recognizes that the American people are being robbed to finance a myriad of unauthorized things. Consider the following:

"Foreign aid is a system by which the American taxpayers are forced, in the name of national security or defense of the “free world,” or charity, or whatever the politicians tell us, to subsidize US export companies and prop up client states that are often ruled by dictators.

Constitutionally, of course, none of this spending is authorized. The US Constitution was written under what is referred to as “positive grant.” In short, what this means is that the federal government is authorized to engage in only those activities specifically authorized by the Constitution. Positive = authorized activities. Grant = specifically listed.

Just to make sure this principle was legally codified, the Tenth Amendment was included:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

There is no authorization to pay for spying in Mexico. There is no authorization to prop up dictators in places like Pakistan with your money. There is no authorization to spend your money on “military assistance” for other countries. There is no authorization to funnel money through the CIA to support regime changes. The Constitution was written in plain English – there is nothing there which authorizes the federal government to take your money and give it to foreign governments. For any reason."

If we desire to reign in the government that we have allowed to run amok, then we have the responsibility as Americans to educate our children about the Constitution, and vote for Ron Paul and others who advocate limited government and walk with integrity in regard to our Constitution. In closing, here is a quote from The Wall Street Journal:

"Ron Paul has a record of philosophical consistency unmatched in recent congressional history. He seeks to limit government at practically every turn. His refusal to compromise is legendary."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Banana-Kefir Smoothie

My son David is particularly fond of this recipe; in fact he helped to develop it himself. I am absolutely thrilled that he loves it, for he tends to be one of my more picky eaters, and I feel good knowing that he is partaking of something as wonderful as kefir. Kefir is a cultured beverage, which (like yogurt) is extremely probiotic in nature. Here is an excellent website which gives everything you want to know about kefir (and everything you didn't want to know :-) ). Dom's Kefir Site is very fun to read because it is written in such an engaging style.

We were blessed when the wise and gracious Robyn (Mama of 7), from whom we buy goat's milk, gave us some kefir grains (and sold us a $6 strainer), and we have been having these smoothies every other day since then. It is so easy! We just pour fresh milk over the strainer, which contains the kefir grains, and then set it in our pantry for a few days until it is of the right consistency (kind of lumpy). When we use it up, we transfer the kefir strainer to a new jar, pour fresh milk over it and then begin the process anew.
So, without further ado, here is this easy recipe:

Combine the following in a blender, chill (if you can wait) & enjoy! My son will often add color to the smoothies, so it will sometimes be rather vivacious looking :-).
1 quart kefir

1 quart milk

1/4 cup raw honey

2 bananas

1/4 tsp. vanilla

5-6 strawberries (optional)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ron Paul - America's Hero!

In the spirit of Davey Crockett, Ron Paul voted against awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to Ronald and Nancy Reagan, though he was one of only 4 congressmen to support Ronald Reagan. Here are his supporting statements:

Dr. PAUL: Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 3591. At the same time, I am very supportive of President Reagan's publicly stated view of limiting the federal government to it's proper and constitutional role. In fact, I was one of only four sitting members of the United States House of Representatives who endorsed Ronald Reagan's candidacy for President in 1976. The United States enjoyed sustained economic prosperity and employment growth during Ronald Reagan's presidency.

I must, however, oppose the Gold Medal for Ronald and Nancy Reagan because appropriating $30,000 of taxpayer money is neither constitutional nor, in the spirit of Ronald Reagan's notion of the proper, limited role for the federal government.

Because of my continuing and uncompromising opposition to appropriations not authorized within the enumerated powers of the Constitution, I would maintain my resolve and commitment to the Constitution--a Constitution, which only last year, each Member of Congress, swore to uphold. In each of these instances, I offered to do a little more than uphold my constitutional oath.

In fact, as a means of demonstrating my personal regard and enthusiasm for Ronald Reagan's advocacy for limited government, I invited each of these colleagues to match my private, personal contribution of $100 which, if accepted by the 435 Members of the House of Representatives, would more than satisfy the $30,000 necessary to mint and award a gold medal to Ronald and Nancy Reagan. To me, it seemed a particularly good opportunity to demonstrate one's genuine convictions by spending one's own money rather that of the taxpayers who remain free to contribute, at their own discretion, to commemorate the work of the Reagans. For the record, not a single Representative who solicited my support for spending taxpayer's money, was willing to contribute their own money to demonstrate their generosity and allegiance to the Reagan's stated convictions.

It is, of course, very easy to be generous with the people's money.

    If you are interested in reading the whole story, here is the link. I will be writing soon to summarize my reference above to Davey Crockett - a fascinating story!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I was so confused. There were many things that needed doing and fuzz-brain was having difficulty getting her butt in gear. My dear husband helped me. He said "Danielle, I want you to figure out what the most important thing is, and do it." I was also given direction in how I was to do it. Sweetly. This may give you a clue as to my true need. And I'll tell you that I really thought hard about what I needed to do next.

I finally sorted it out. I needed to reconcile our checkbook. This was certainly the most important thing. After all, how would I know if there was enough money in there to buy milk this week (fresh, raw goat's milk - mmmmm!) if I didn't update things? So I trudged over to my computer with a *smile* on my face and ignored my true need.

It's easy to center ourselves on our perceived needs. As a parent, we realize that we aren't as consistent as we need to be, so we center ourselves on being consistent. As a wife, we realize that we aren't being loving enough so we focus on being a more loving wife. Maybe we see that we need to be gentler to those around us, and we try our best to be sweet. On the practical side, we see that the dishes need to be done, so we do the dishes. Or we see that the house needs to be painted, so we paint the house. (Or we reconcile the checkbook, like mu-wah.)  So much of our lives are centered around the "tyranny of the urgent". And, like a bunjee cord, we snap back to the object of our true heart focus when we aren't paying attention.

But there is only one thing that is needful. Centering ourselves on the Lord Jesus Christ. is. for the believer. essential. In such a way that we are breathing Him. Eating Him. Drinking Him. We are to fix our eyes upon Him, our need upon Him, our hope upon Him. And when we do, it all clears up. Sweetness isn't much of an option, because the banquet of Jesus will bring the smile of a chesire cat to our faces. It used to seem like a miracle to me when this happened. And I guess it really is a miracle. That the Christian identifies with Christ in such a way that he is truly dead, as the scriptures say, his life hidden with Christ in God. This death is the only thing that makes it possible for us not to be ruled by our flesh. Centering ourselves on the Lord Jesus Christ means reckoning ourselves to be "dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:11).

Yet there is more to centering on Jesus Christ. That affection, ripped away from our fleshly appetites, must. be. put. on. Christ. *Period* And Him alone. And we do this by singing his praise and thanksgiving to Him "all the day long". By putting on praise music and remembering to thank Him often for little and big things. Even when we don't *feel* like it. For our affections, like a bunjee cord, will snap back ravenously to whatever our flesh was previously fastened to, if we don't firmly fix our eyes (& affections) on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." (Hebrews 12:1-4)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Founding Father Material

Once in a very long time there comes along a fellow who truly has the potential to direct the affairs of a nation with understanding. Our founding fathers were such men. They understood the dangers of government, and put one in place which left the power where it should be - in the hands of the people. Thomas Jefferson has many quotes on this subject, the shortest being "[It is] the people, to whom all authority belongs." (--Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1821. ME 15:328) We utilize our "authority" as we elect officials and communicate with our leaders.

However, there seems to be a problem when the majority of Americans believe one thing, and our leaders are directing us elsewhere. Consider our current state of affairs. No one would disagree that we are currently "at war". Yet our constitution has given us clear directions in regard to declaring war. It must be declared by congress, and congress is to declare the will of the people. Our constitution puts the seat of power in congress for a very good reason. Lord Acton, a British historian of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, observed:

"Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely."

I believe our founders understood this well, and that is why our government was formed just so, with all of it's checks and balances. What I want to know is, why are we at war now, when our congress has not declared it? One congressman, in fact, proposed legislation which declared war and our congress would not vote for it. So it seems that "we the people" are being carried along by a small minority. I say it's time for a change.

In the past I have tentatively endorsed candidates for president or other offices. But this is the first time I can wholeheartedly recommend an individual for president. Congressman Ron Paul, in my opinion, is "founding father material". Here's why:

  • He is the only candidate who will only vote for something that is expressly stated in the constitution. And, here's the neat part - his voting record proves it! He has, for nearly twenty years, stood consistently on his principles! Today in the world of politics, this is truly unique.

  • He is the only candidate who believes there should be less government; therefore he's the only one with the fortitude to steer our country toward true fiscal responsibility. Consider this: he annually gives back a portion of his office budget to the US Treasury. I don't know about you, but when I hear of a government official acting righteously (not just giving lip service), it gives me great hope for our country.

  • He didn't seek out to candidate for the presidency; others have, like they did George Washington, propelled him forward to a difficult calling to serve our country. In the past, a career in politics was unusual. Men would have a career in some worthy occupation, and then serve our country later on. Ron Paul is such a man. He had a career in obstetrics and delivered over 4000 babies! He also served our country as a flight surgeon in the US Airforce in the 1960's.

If you have listened to the Republican debates, you know what I mean when I say that he has understanding of history, government & our constitution which seems to be lacking in many of the other candidates. He also, according to the poll results, is the clear winner of the debates, even though the media is downplaying him and not giving him as much air time as the other candidates. When I hear Ron Paul speak, my heart beats with pride to be an American! I remember what our country was founded upon; what made her great, and I shake my foggy brain and want to make her great again.

In summary, I believe Ron Paul is a man of integrity. He is 71 years old, and has used his considerable intelligence to understand economics, historical patterns of government, and the intentions of our founding fathers in designing our country like they did. I pray that other Americans will really listen to him and rally behind this man of wisdom and strength.

Friday, June 8, 2007


For the third year we have stepped into the heretofore unknown world of gardening. It is becoming more familiar to us, but we still have a lot to learn. This year is doing well - especially the cool weather veggies, as we are enjoying a cool spell. I absolutely love green onions from the garden! Rebekah also has a little wild onion garden in the forest. She will often bring me a handful before dinner :-). They are one of the first veggies we can eat in the spring because they grow so fast

In October we will finally plant garlic. I've even written it on the calendar so I won't forget, as we have the last two years. So far this year we've planted spinach (not coming up - I must do some research), black seeded lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, onions, potatoes, and gobs of tomatoes! Our lettuce is delicious and we eat it with every evening meal - it's really good with the green onions. It is especially rewarding to be able to supply the fresh vegetable for a meal from our garden. The three oldest children also have a little square garden that I roped off with string. They have planted what they desired to plant from our collection of seeds.

We plan to mulch again with straw or hay, using the Ruth Stout method. Ruth Stout gardened diligently until she was well into her 90's. Though she is no longer with us, her many articles and books about gardening bring much spunk and wisdom on the subject. She is mostly known for her method of laying down straw or hay at least eight inches thick in order to smother weeds and prevent watering. As soon as I can get ahold of my straw provider, we will have them deliver a truckload of straw bales. The kids will have great fun for a week or two playing on the straw bale stack; then we will begin mulching around the plants and between the rows. After a few weeks, when a few weeds will begin showing their ugly faces, we will just cover them up with straw so they can't grow through. Simple! But still a challenge in the hot weather when we would prefer to stay inside with the A/C on :-).

Though we don't plan to need a lot of watering once we get the mulch on, we have determined that there is a need to have a water supply closer to the garden. A hose laid across the yard just doesn't cut it! We decided this after two hoses burst due to hot weather, and one hose was shredded by an inattentive mower (I'm not naming names her :-) ) Having a water line put in would cost about $1500, so that was out of the question. So, my sweet husband decided he would bury a hose across the yard. He ran the hose along the back of the patio, up the edge of the cement stairs that lead to the garage, and off the landing into his trench, which is the shortest route of ground to the garden and goes downhill. The trench leads to the edge of the garden, so when we do need to water, it's a cinch! And o-so-much-better than dragging the hose off the yard every time you want to mow.

We have also experimented with two ways of deterring critters from the garden. The liquid fence (foul smelling liquid that deer hate the smell of) is not very cost-effective or fun to use for the garden, but we like it on our apple trees. The water sprayer with the laser eye (I'm not remembering the name of it right now) was very effective for awhile. The device is battery-operated and attaches to your hose. When it senses movement in the vision of it's "eye", it will then spray a semi-circle burst of water toward whatever critter is invading our garden. Generally speaking, this was very effective in scaring them off. However, it was not as effective when the plants began to grow too tall and thick. I think the next thing we will try is the electric fence; if we can find the time and money this year.

We also planted 4 new apple trees this year, which seem to be doing very well. We planted them in a semi-circle around the apple tree that Nate's dad planted before he died. However, Nathan did find ants - big, fat, black ones - on all of them last week. He learned that the ants were there because aphids were present; the ants were trapping the aphids at the end of the branch until they were nice and fat from sucking the juice out of the leaves. Then they would eat them. What was the solution? Dish soap, diluted with water, and sprayed on the aphids, effectively killed the aphids (and some of the ants). This solution seems to work well for a lot of yard pests. Our decorative cherry tree was attacked by tent caterpillars this spring, and dish soap did the trick with them also. Now I just need to find the solution for squash bugs. I found some of them on my zucchini plants and I refuse to leave a pail of bleach water in my garden, where the children often are present.

In summary, I love my garden! And I love a good portion of the work associated with it. But I still have so much to learn and so much work to get into a likable pattern. Anyway, it gives me a great deal of security to know I am working on it, when I consider the current state of our economy.

Monday, June 4, 2007

To Provoke or Not to Provoke


I winced at the high-pitched scream from the back seat. Turning to face the perpetrators, I questioned my son and daughter carefully. The truth came forth easily. It was a case of mistaken provocation. We were driving along in our van on the way to our campsite in Iowa for vacation. My daughter had leaned over to get her crayons, which had dropped to the floor, and leaned into my son's pillow. My son, assuming he was being provoked, reached out his arm to shake off the annoyance. This provoked said scream from nose-bopped daughter (as well as the following discussion and this blog-post :-) ). The fact that the annoying behavior was expected shows that one child is not guiltless. Both children are responsible for their reactions and for the expectations others have of them based on past actions (parents are also responsible to train their kids up right, but that is another discussion).

After the above incident, Nathan and I were discussing the reasons that annoying and provoking one another is such a problem, given that unpleasant consequences are often directly evident. Is the demonstration of power and manipulation more important to the child than the potentially painful consequences? Does the child forget that such consequences exist, or is he just so self-centered that he can't see them? Certainly Godly parents will strive to train their children up to see the folly of such actions and to look out for the best interests of those around them. Yet provoking behavior & consequences is certainly not limited to siblings.

A particularly good example is the way women dress. If a woman chooses to wear short, tight-fitting or otherwise alluring clothing, she is likely to provoke men to lust; certainly some men more than others. She is also likely to have consequences for her provocative behavior. She may end up compromising her innocence on some level (sometimes the consequences for this come sooner, sometimes later). Or she may end up being raped or murdered, having become a target of some man who lacked restraint. The point is, if provocation occurs, consequences should be expected.

But this begs the question - is she entirely to blame? No, not entirely, but she bears more responsibility than our society would lay at her feet. Consider David and Bathsheba. Bathsheba could certainly have chosen a place to bathe which was less visible than a rooftop! Modesty here may have averted a long chain of disastrous consequences, including much bloodshed, and the death of an innocent baby. Yet here was King David, taking a stroll on his veranda, obviously idle during the times when kings go to war. (Perhaps industry is the cure for much provocation? My little ones just need more constructive activities! :-) ) Many would lay the blame for the heinous sins that followed entirely in David's lap. I believe Bathsheba bears partial blame.

Another example of provocation is a tad controversial, but still deserves attention. Many Americans believe that we were attacked on September 11th solely because we are the subject of unprovoked hatred; that Muslims hate us merely because we are free and because we are "rich". This is simply not the case. Since before I was born, we have had a military presence in Saudi Arabia, considered to be the Muslim holy land. I question, along with Congressman Ron Paul, "what would we do if they were building bases here?" Would we not be provoked by such an action? It is simply not logical to provoke someone, and not to expect consequences. I agree with Congressman Ron Paul that we have a flawed foreign policy; it is not our job to be the policeman of the world. The consequences, or "blowback" of such provocation are simply too great.

So the inevitable consequences of my ramblings brings me home to My Father's Words...

"From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not." James 4:1-2

"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works..." Hebrews 10:24

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. " Mark 16:15-16

"Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged." Col. 3:21

"But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth." Col. 3:8

Sunday, June 3, 2007

They Ate All Our Hotdogs!

At first we were confused. We believed the hotdog wrappers which littered our campsite came from the trash they had invaded. But after we had stoked up a fire the next day, we realized that we had no (zero, nada, zilch) hotdogs left in the cooler. And our butter was decidedly mutilated. Let me explain.

The first night at our campsite was beautiful. The wind blew through our popup camper and the temperature was just right. But some noises disturbed our restful night. I groggily opened my eyes to hubby shining his flashlight out to scare whatever critter dared to approach our groceries in the night. It didn't work. So he reluctantly came out of the camper to investigate. Here's what he found: a raccoon with his hand in the cookie jar! Well, really we didn't bring our cookie jar with us. Nor do we actually own one. However, we did bring our butter, and this resourceful raccoon managed to pry the lid off with his claws, sit back on his haunches, and eat much of our tub of butter! I would give much to be able to have a picture to show you, but all we have are claw marks on the butter container (sorry, I didn't get a picture of that either).
The next night Nathan and I sat around the embers of our fire and chatted in the dark. I saw the outline of a large, fuzzy creature walking down the middle of the road. His eyes were round, focused flashlights in the night. He was completely fearless; used to taking what he wanted from unwary campers. He was the king of his domain. This was the last I saw of him for the duration of our camping trip.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Magicicada Mania

I am stilled awed with the wonder of it all.

Rubbing their wings together to make a familiar summer song, cicadas and I were only marginally familiar with one another. That is, before this last week. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I think I assumed that this bug was just like any other. I feel that I have been re-educated. By the critters themselves. They were simply inescapable; crawling out of the ground by the hundreds; transforming an otherwise boring campsite into a homeschool room to be envied.

The Magicicada is a periodic cicada with a 13 or 17 year life cycle. This particular brood (brood XIII) of cicadas will not return until 2024 - we were fortunate to have landed right in the middle of the most exciting part of their cycle! There were holes everywhere on the ground just like this one:


The cicadas burrow out of the ground as nymphs, leaving holes like the one above. Then they crawl up nearby vegetation (or laundry :-) ) and begin their transformation. At nightfall, we were able to get pictures of them in their various stages of change.

Here is a nymph crawling up a pine tree right next to our picnic table.


Here is the nymph opening his shell and beginning to change.


Note how he has curled his body back onto the tree.


Now his wings are beginning to fill in and take shape.


Here his wings are almost formed, but he is still white. Only his eyes stay the same. A magnificent red.


The fully formed cicada is much more colorful:

The cicada will hang around for six days or so waiting for his exoskeleton to harden, at which time the males will begin calling to the females with their signature cicada song. They produce the sound using their tymbal, and the females respond by flicking their wings. This attracts the male to the culmination of his life, after which he weakens and dies. The female lives long enough to deposit her eggs into a twig. About 6-10 weeks later, the nymphs will hatch, fall to the ground, and burrow below to find a root to snack on for 17 years of so. How fascinating! I can't help but think how utterly long it takes this cicada to mature. Once he matures, his only goal is to reproduce, which takes but a short stint into the sunshine (is there a lesson for me here Lord?).

Yet I think he is happy. That is, when he is not being attacked by a purple dinosaur:


Or carried around by a giant bi-pedal creature.  :-).

I am so awed to have been a part of this rare event. Thank You Father, for giving us a glimpse of Your marvelous creation! My eyes have seen, recognized and glorified the amazing God of the universe. The merciful and mighty God who authored and perfected my faith; the creative genius who authored and perfected... the Magicicada.