The Little Voice

March 8, 2010

This was one of those days that one never forgets.

A couple months ago, if you would’ve asked me who Allen Anderson was, I would’ve shrugged my shoulders and given you a blank look.

A couple months ago I got invited to be a part of an online support group for Allen Anderson. Since the name meant nothing to me, I figured it was an accident, and nearly clicked ignore, but something stopped me. That little voice in me that always wants to do good, suggested to wait… think about this… it could be important.

I thought about it throughout the day, and into the night. Looked again at the people who were joining this group, and _none_ of them looked familiar with the exception of my Aunt Carolyn, who had invited me to join this group.

It must have been a mistake. Allen Anderson was some kid who clearly got into trouble and was trying to work it out. I wanted to be supportive, but really… who was I to this kid? Do I join this group, or do I ignore? The little voice that wants me to do good, was getting louder, said wait… think about this… it could be important.

All day long today, I’ve been thinking back to that moment when I had that choice. How easy it would’ve been to just ignore the invitation. No one would’ve said anything. No one would’ve missed me. My life would’ve continued as it was, Allen Anderson would’ve never known the difference if I had joined his support group or not.

It was late in the evening, on the second day with this choice that I made the connection. Allen was my cousin’s kid. This was family. Granted… family who I rarely see… hardly know… but they are family. Allen and his family was looking for support. I confess… I still hesitated on joining the support group. I was skeptical that something like this would be meaningful in anyway to Allen, his family, or to me for that matter. But I joined in hopes that my cousin and his family may, in some small way, be uplifted that we were paying attention.

So I joined Allen’s support group on Facebook.

Again, just a small gesture. I did little else except to read the updates from Allen’s brother and mother on the page. Allen enrolled in MN Teen Challenge, and was recovering from alcohol and drug abuse. Recovering from a life where he was constantly getting into trouble that nearly killed him. His brother and mother would occasionally ask for messages of support that they could share with Allen. That small part of me wanted to write something… but Allen wouldn’t know who I was… anything I could write would be meaningless. So I never did. I just read the updates, and hoped things would work out for Allen.

We are fortunate at our church that we have MN Teen Challenge come once a year to share a service with us. This includes having about 60-80 adults, aging from 14-60 come in front of our congregation, and share some wonderful music, and testify some of their personal stories of struggle and triumph. The music and the stories make a powerful presentation of how effective this program is to help people get a second chance in life. There are stories about mother’s who have their children taken from them because of their drug problems, men who lived in homelessness just trying to get that next high, people that were stuck in a bad situation and couldn’t, for whatever reason, make the right choices, and constantly getting themselves in life threatening situations. This program (MN Teen Challenge) has a good record of helping these people overcome their struggles, and give them the confidence and life skills to make a better life for themselves, and their families.

We are also fortunate at our church to have a member, Jim Mackin, who works for MN Teen Challenge.

I am also very fortunate to have a wife who will say and ask questions that I may not. She must work with that little voice in my head, because she asked Jim about the possibility of having Allen come to our church. He suggested to her that it would be no problem.

So I stood again at a choice. Is it weird to pull strings so that Allen could come to our church? Allen’s family was clearly going to all the churches Allen was visiting… would they be comfortable coming to our church? We had already made tentative plans for celebration of Cecelia’s birthday party, if Allen came, how does that change things?

I’m sorry to share that a big part of me suggested that I shouldn’t make a fuss. Don’t bother our friend from church with our personal business. Allen will never know that we decided to bypass on the chance to have him come to our church, his family will never know, the world will go on… but that little voice in me persisted.

Janet was also persistent. We talked about it for over a week until finally decided to push the button, and ask Jim to see if he could make things work out. In effect, we decided to bother our friend to have Allen, this kid… this distant cousin of mine who wouldn’t know me from anyone else, come to our church and hear about his story that we knew very little about. My gut ached all week, as I wasn’t sure if this was the right thing to do.

I could spend the next several paragraphs detailing what happen Sunday morning at my church, but I would be wasting my time. If I were given a microphone, and allowed to have an hour of broadcast time on the radio to tell you what happened when Allen and his family greeted me, it would mean little to you. If I had the ability to hire Shakespeare and Steven Speilberg, and have them write and produce a movie about my Sunday morning, it would be a huge flop, and no one would want to see it.

All I will say today is that Allen and his family gave beautiful testimonies today about their struggles and their triumphs. They inspired many tears from the congregation, including me. After the service, it was a great opportunity to sit down, and share a memorable meal with Allen and his family.

Today was one of the days in my life I will remember forever, and keep close to my heart. Today was one of those days where I could look back at those seemingly unimportant decisions that I made… and now know that they did matter… they did mean something. Not only to Allen and his family… but to me.

A couple months ago, I listened to that little voice. I think tomorrow… I’m going to listen for it a little harder.

Our Valentine Inspiration!

February 13, 2010

A Valentine wish for our mothers on this special day from Basso Child Care!

What do I do when Janet and the girls are gone for 10 days?!

February 4, 2010

I imagine I would’ve done an inside out potato man whether the girls were here or not, but I thought it was visually interesting.

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I couldn’t find the mouth, and putting the hat and feet on wasn’t possible, but did get the earrings on.

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The task I took upon myself to do this week (without consulting Janet) is cleaning out our pantry. This is most of the food stuff that was in there (3 shelves worth). Most of which has been put back.

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Then I start looking at these boys and their hair and I think, hey, I could do something with their hair! So here they are all styled up! Isaiah’s turned out very nicely I think!

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Josh didn’t have as much to work with, but I did get two little piggy tails.

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Evolution of a doorway

January 31, 2010

I found a flickr group a few days ago where people were piecing together photos from the past and present, and I was inspired. Here’s my first attempt, putting 6 photos together of our entryway that were taken a various times during the construction of our home.

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Things lined up pretty well, but the angle isn’t always right. At the bottom, you see the hole and original basement floor, then the concrete block and stairs as they were finished along with pictures of the house, before, during and after it was built. (along with a gaping hole of nothingness, as I didn’t plan very well)

Look who’s growing up!

January 28, 2010

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It’s always a fun day when the little one first sits with the big kids. Baby Isaiah isn’t a baby anymore!

School days

January 6, 2010

Monday Janet and Cecelia visted Maeve’s class to celebrate Maeve’s birthday.

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Our 5 year old enjoying a cupcake.

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Due to some recent changes, we can now get Cecelia to preschool, so she started today. Here she is flashin

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Here’s our new preschooler!

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Off to school. She did great!

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2009 Christmas letter

December 25, 2009
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2009 LINKERT FAMILY CHRISTMAS LETTER

(to the tune of Good King Wenceslas)

Those good Linkerts send this out
in this festive season,
to share this year’s fun happenings,
nothing out of reason.
Brightly shines the moon this night
though the frost is cruel
Our house is laughter every night
our children are our jewels.

Our 2009 was good
healthy, happy, pleasant.
Hope you think we’re not a prude
sharing rhymes on parchment.
We’ve had activities old and new,
camping, dancing, boatin’,
Road trips, yes we’ve had a few,
Williams, NC, Princeton!

Maeve soon will be 5 years old
a sweet and funny lady
works on letters, colors bold.
Plays hide and seek with Daddy.
Cecelia writes well, and likes dance,
her laughter is infectious
creative thinker, blue eyes glance
hair is full of blondness.

Children come to George each day,
laughing, singing, playing.
Janet cut ties with Tar-shay
Wish her luck in looking!
Play our music when we can,
Alumni Band and Big Band.
Scrapbooking on a weekend
Visiting parks with woodland.

Hither friend and family
share with us your news please.
We love updates, doubt not me
online, visits, tel-lee.
May your Holidays be fulfilled
happiness be plenty.
find some moments to be stilled
and a time for whimsy.

Happy Holidays from the Linkerts, and all the best in the New Year!

First Snowfall 2009

October 10, 2009

As a Minnesotan, and blogger. I am legally obligated to share pictures of our first snowfall. Here, Cecelia couldn’t wait to get a taste of it.
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The winter cloths not pulled out yet… I put the kids in sweaters and tennis shoes suggesting they would be fine for a bit…. they were.

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And of course, snuggling under the blanket to warm up afterward.

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Here’s pics from our first snow last year.

Summer turns to Fall in Mound

October 8, 2009

Fall is here… Maeve is off to school most days now, and Cecelia has really enjoyed tracing letters…

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The girls on a nature walk at Carver Park.

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The three on a adventure.

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Finishing our walk, now to the promised playground.

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Maeve’s last baseball game was in September.

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Out at the playground, all the kids decided to play at the backstop for some reason.

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Maeve and Cecelia exploring all the different ways one can go down a slide.

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There’s a nice path on the far side of the park, perfect for tricycles and wagons.

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The hint of fall coming in our neighbor’s trees.

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Janet found this doll in our bed one day.

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The girls and I again to Carver Park (I was inspired by the recent Ken Burns series about National Parks).

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Working together to get to the top!

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Cecelia takes the lead.

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Now dragging her sister.

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It’s a lovely place… I’m so glad to have regularly visited this summer. We’ll have to wait and see what the winter brings.

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Now off racing ahead!

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Cute girls!

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The playground there has a cool flower garden next to it the kids can run around in. I was standing in it, taking a picture of the girls on top of the slide in the background.

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Brother Josh working on a puzzle.

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Maeve’s pre-school class went to Voyaguer Enviromental Center for a field trip the other day. I was fortunate to be able to go with and see the class in action. Here, her teacher, Mrs. E. discovered there were two Gopher fans on the trip.

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It was a bit cold and rainy, but we had a great time experiencing bugs, and animal fur and tracks.

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If you didn’t know it, Maeve is a ham.

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On the way home, we sat in the back, and were the cool kids on the bus. Maeve loved feeling the bumps!

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Missing Mommy.

September 27, 2009
Janet and Becky (Kendall and Mason’s mom) happen to be gone away for the weekend… so this is mainly for them.