Chase Fireflies


If I Stink, Here’s Why…

In an effort to be more aware of the chemicals I am subjecting myself to, I am making switches to all natural stuff. Last week, I ran out of deodorant and saw that Tom’s All Natural stuff was on sale (if you call $4 change a sale.) So I bought it in an effort to extend my life 10 years with mere deodorant.

Well, here’s the deal. It is so not working! I’m not certain if I’m just more pungent than your average individual or what. I smell like peaches a minute after application and it lasts for an hour or two. I’m kind of wondering if all natural just means that it is, in fact, only a peach marketed as deodorant. Cause that would make sense as to why the fragrance only lasts so long.

Anyway, poor Paul is advocating for a switch back to the unhealthy deodorant. As I apply over and over again through the day, I keep assuring him it will get better. Not like he’s complained or anything – I think my own complaints are freaking him out – so he’s fearfully keeping his distance.

At least for the time being, I am staunchly sticking with Tom’s. Because I am stubborn and I think it will eventually jive with my chemistry and actually work. And because I spent $4 on stinkin deodorant. What was I thinking?

My apologies to anyone reading this… for odiferous me and for this post:)


A Happy Day

Initial Wading

Three generations of Charles’ guys

Our Favorite Crew!

Selah’s Sheer Delight!

Hanging with Ganma

We spent yesterday at Idlewild Park with the Charles clan – Ganma and Ganpa, Aunt Ashee and Uncle Jon, and Kayden. It was a perfect 78 degree day, partly sunny, and gorgeous.

The kids adored Storybook Forest, where they got to meet the likes of Raggedy Ann, Red Riding Hood, the Lady who lived in the shoe, and Mother Goose. I personally loved seeing Selah’s reaction as these stories jumped off the printed page for her.
After devouring a fabulous picnic lunch, we headed off to the water park and doused ourselves in freezing water. Kayden’s smile lit up his face, Adden tried his hardest to drink gallons of water, and Selah daintily cooled off her fingers and toes. I bit the bullet and sprinted through a fountain of water with each of the kids. We were soaked and freezing, but it really was worth it.

Then onto the rides. Selah didn’t particularly enjoy Kayden’s antics in the ferris wheel, so she promptly put him in place with a wagging finger. But apart from that, they giggled on all of the other rides together. They played in a sea of balls, raced down slides in burlap bags, scaled up a net, hitched a ride in the Doodlebug, and rode the carousel (my kind of old school ride.)

Selah and Adden also took a jaunt in Mr. Roger’s Land of Make Believe. We got to whoop it up with King Friday and the crew at a Hug and Song party. “It’s such a good feeling, to know you’re alive, it’s such a happy feeling, you’re growing inside…” Hee, hee. We’re big Mr. Roger’s fans. Selah doesn’t give a moment’s attention to any other children’s programming, but she’ll sit for 12 minutes and watch Mr. Roger churn butter. Oh yeah, that’s my girl.
All in all, it was a fabulous day spent together as a family. It happened to be Ganpa’s Happy Day, but it was a pretty happy day for all of us.

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Passivity Breeds Injustice

In a Hand Full of Stars, Rafik Schami tells his story about growing up in poverty and political oppression in Damascus, Syria. As Rafik is confiding in an old friend about a horrific, unwarranted encounter with the police, his friend says, “Whoever forgives injustice, gets more injustice.”

“Could Rafik’s diary rouse us all to ask ourselves whether our passivity about the injustices in the world has simply allowed them to multiply faster?”

– Marva Dawn

In Unfettered Hope: A Call to Faithful Living in an Affluent Society, Marva explores the issues of poverty, injustice, and racism among other things – and our responsibility to this crises as followers of Christ. I just concluded the first chapter today and it is incredible.

She implores us to “expand our grief at tragedy to encompass the world” by comparing the stats of September 11. In no way does she belittle the 2,800 lives lost in our country that day, but she does put things into perspective.

The stats for 9/11, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, concerning deaths from starvation and other preventable conditions on that same day:

Victims: 35,615 children
Where: poor countries
Newspaper articles: none
Special TV programs: none
Messages from the president: none
Bills before Congress to deal with crisis: none
Military alert level: unchanged
Minutes of silence: none

And to conclude, a stat that makes my stomach turn. Sorry. I am all about taking care of animals as pets and such, (when the kids are older, we are thinking of having a little Fido running amuck, so I’m not pointing fingers or anything!) but not to the exclusion of human lives. The UN Development Program says that to meet basic health and nutrition needs for the world’s poorest people, it would cost $13 billion more a year. Here’s the killer. Americans and Europeans spend more than that on pet food yearly. You have got to be kidding me.

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My Only Hope

He is still the Hope
of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas.

He is

the hope of the nations
the hope for the homeless
the hope for our children
the hope of tomorrow

the hope for broken hearts
the hope for addicts
the hope for orphans
the hope for healing

the hope for the imprisoned
the hope of the church
the hope for those in bondage
the hope for the lost

the hope for the forgotten
the hope for the rich
the hope for the poor
the hope for the widow

the hope for racial reconciliation
the hope for injustice
the hope for our cities
the hope for our country

the hope when all has been lost
the hope when you can’t cry anymore
the hope when you’ve had enough
the hope when you want more out of this life

He was and is and will be
my only hope, this Jesus

The hope is in our hands
to hold and to give away

Surely this is our God,
we trusted in Him and
He saved us.

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So Few Words…

My Dad is gentle, quiet, unassuming, and humble. He is someone who has little to say, so you listen when he speaks. He loves Dunkin Donuts coffee, the Red Sox, and his family. It’s that simple. But loving people who can be unlovable at times (me:) is not simple. It requires all the patience, stamina, and sacrifice that you can muster. And he has done that, day in and day out – in great health and with cancer and Crohn’s disease – for as long as I can remember.

My Dad teaches me that God listens to what I have to say. Even if I just ramble on with nonsensical junk all the time. He hears me and He cares.

My Dad also helps me to understand the weight of God’s word. God doesn’t talk our ears off. He hasn’t given us libraries chock full. He’s given us one book. So I’m thinking that whatever is in that book must be drenched, just sopping wet, with meaning. And yet His voice – the only one that can speak to my deepest need – gets drowned out by noise – text messages, the microwave beeping, emails, the droning TV, screaming children, magazines, work, websites, facebook, whatever.

I want to love my Dad more. I need to love him more. He’s the best Dad ever and I thank God for giving him to me. But I also want to learn to love my God more. He is my everything. To do that, I’ve got to still the distractions and carve out quiet. In that silence, with His few simple words, I will find wholeness. I will find complete.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.

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Health Care Haves and Have Nots

The kids have been miserable of late – high fevers, chills, coughs, no appetites, and lots of crying. Adden is in the midst of Roseola and Selah just seems to have tons of congestion and an evening fever. Thankfully, Paul and I have dodged stuff thus far. Though it stinks to look in their cloudy, sick looking eyes and though it’s not so much fun to have to deal with, I can’t help but think how good we’ve got it.

We’ve got clean water to drink, affordable health care, 24 hour access to amazing medical professionals, and medicine to relieve their symptoms. If Adden didn’t make a complete turnaround in an hour Saturday night, we would’ve landed in the ER. It would have been inconvenient, we would have had to wait a good while, and we would have been nervous for our little guy, but it would have been posh – clean facilities, 20 minute drive in our little Mazda 5 (or is it 6 or 7? I’m so bad with numbers!), and great doctors and nurses. (The staff at Children’s is phenomenal.)

Contrast that with a mom who has a feverish, lethargic little one and no meds or clean water to give him, no one to call, and no access to transportation. My heart breaks for these women who carry their children miles upon miles to the nearest clinic in scorching heat, only to find out it’s too late. I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer here, but it happens all the time, every day. This is an injustice.

Paul sent me to a blog a while ago of a short-term medical doctor journalling her time in Haiti. She is now back in the states, but the archives of her days are still available at She tells countless stories of poverty, suffering, terrible medical conditions, and an extreme lack of funding in her facility. Yet she also journals stories of hope, healing, and sacrifice that give promise to the country of Haiti.

If you have the means and even if you don’t – please consider supporting medical missions somewhere in this world. Consider personally encouraging doctors that your church may support, going on a medical missions trip yourself, or giving to those who do this stuff everyday. Here is a skinny list of organizations to check out:

Real Hope for Haiti ( : a faith based organization that is intentional in its efforts to improve the quality of life for the citizens of rural Haiti, while communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For $10 a month, you can treat 30 people for Malaria. For $20 a month, you can deworm 128 kids. For $40 a month, you can provide a monthly supply of formula for a child. Not too shabby.

Compassion International ( : for $32 a month you can provide for a child’s
education, health care, and nutrition, among other things. You will also allow a child to hear about Jesus, the One who came to bring hope to this world. This organization is the real deal. I reread at least 25 old letters last evening from our sponsored kids. Roberto, the oldest, has been a part of our family for 8 years now. Wow. He’ll be graduating from the program soon!

World Vision ( a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. World Vision has this cool gift catalog, by the way, that enables you to make a donation in honor of someone. I personally can’t think of a better gift! For $41, you can provide basic immunizations for one child. For $50, you can provide safe drinking water for a school. For $39,000, you can build or renovate a health clinic in Africa (okay, well this one is way out of our financial league, but it would be very, very cool!!!!!)

Hoops of Hope ( a mission started by a teenage guy that provides care and hope to the 15 million children orphaned by HIV/AIDS by encouraging people of all ages to participate and raise funds through annual free throw shooting marathons. We’re praying that one of our teens will head one of these babies up. It would be an absolute blast and would raise money for an awesome cause!

Any other worthy organizations you know of? I’m curious to learn about more. Thanks!


Little Man Turns One and We Party

Pre-Party Antics – It’s A Ball Party!

Behold – The Yummies

Focused Cake Eating


Cousin Kayden Teaching Adden Unwrapping Basics


The Fifth Attempt for a Good Family Pic


Adden had a great first birthday. We wanted to thank everyone who was able to come to the bash, celebrate our son, and encourage us. Also, thank you to anyone and everyone – every peep:) – who has played a role in our little guy’s first year. We love you all!