Archive for the ‘Family Life’ Category

What do Newlyweds discover about each other?

“First, you begin to find out how selfish this wonderful person is. Second, you discover that the wonderful person has been going through a similar experience and he or she begins to tell you how selfish you are. And third, though you acknowledge it in part, you conclude that your spouse’s selfishness is more problematic than your own.”
What Christian truth needs to be at work in marriage?

“The Christian principle that needs to be at work is Spirit generated selflessness–not thinking less of yourself or more of yourself but thinking of yourself less. It means taking your mind off yourself and realizing that in Christ your needs are going to be met, and are, in fact, being met so that you don’t look to your spouse as your savior.”

(Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage, pp. 55,58)


Why is marriage so hard? What does Jesus’ life and death teach us about marriage?

“So the Biblical doctrine of sin explains why marriage–more than anything else that is good and important in this fallen world–is so painful and hard.”

“Jesus gave himself up for us.  Jesus, the Son, though equal with the Father, gave up his glory and took on our human nature (Philippians 2:5ff).  But further, he willingly went to the cross and paid the penalty for our sins, removing our guilt and condemnation, so that we could live united with him (Romans 6:5) . . . .  He gave up his glory . . . and became a servant.  He died to his own interests and looked to our needs and interests instead (Romans 15:3).  Jesus sacrificial service to us has brought us into a deep union with him and he with us.  And that . . . is the key not only to understanding marriage but to living it.

(Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage, pp.33, 37)

Homeschooling resource

For all my homeschooling mom friends– I am new to all of this (just three weeks in), but already I have found this website (see blurb below) really useful for materials to supplement some of what I am teaching A.J.  They have all kinds of worksheets and activity sheets that reinforce basic skills.  Thought I would pass on to those of you who may not be aware of them yet!  Do you have any websites you can recommend? has 1000s of free printables and worksheets that can help parents reinforce at home what you are working on in the classroom. All of these resources are free and designed with an eye on keeping learning fun!

August Highlights

On August 6th Bets and I welcomed Joshua Benjamin into the world.  Since that time, as you might imagine, life has been a bit hectic.  Nevertheless, I have broken away from trucks and trains for a moment to post some pics and pen some prose.   August 10 we welcomed Bets’ parents (Papa & Mimi) and Grandmommy to North Carolina.    Papa and Grandmommy spent a few days with us  before flying back to Dallas.  Mimi stayed on for a few extra days.  She was a real God-send.  As you know, when a new baby arrives, a boy in our case, he demands lots of attention.  Thus, the transition for the rest of the household can be challenging.  However, thanks to Papa and Mimi our transition has been much smoother. 


Mimi's monkey bread

Papa & Mimi gave the other boys some much-needed attention.  The boys 

Aunt LIz & Joshua

 enjoyed reading books, playing on the floor, watching nature shows, making monkey bread,  and going to the library.  In addition to Mimi’s daycare she also found time to cook for us.  One of the highlights of the week was eating Mimi’s Brisket, with Green chili rice, and vinegar green beans.  In the evenings Mimi ministered to Joshua for us.  She rocked him, feed him, burped him, changed him, prayed for him, and sympathized with him.  This was all in a days work!          

 One weekend,  Uncle Toby, Aunt Liz, Molly, and Maddie visited us.  They treated us to Domino’s Pizza.  We enjoyed seeing each other. We (the adults) tried to visit, but with six children in the house conversations were short but sweet.  Monday, Liz called  to tell us that the Strider’s are expecting their third child.  We are thrilled and know that Molly and Maddie will make great big sisters.    


A.J. & Uncle Brandon catching up

Another highlight last month was our family’s trip to Ft. Bragg.  We cruised down to celebrate Uncle Brandon’s return.  Brandon has come home from a tour of duty in Central Asia.  He serves in the U.S. Army as a Chaplain.  While serving, Brandon was awarded the Bronze Star for valor.  We are so proud of Uncle Brandon not only for his bravery exhibited on the battlefield, but also because he is a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  We pray that the next few weeks will be a good time for him to unwind and regroup. 

Well, I could say more.  However there is a very excited little 19-month old who can’t believe that he has his dad all to himself this weekend.  We thank God for baby Joshua.  We can’t believe that he is four weeks old.  Our family and church have helped tremendously!  We are so blessed. 




Saturday Morning Shout Out to Gigi

Gigi & Joshua

The Durand home is so thankful for the love of our family.  This week we welcomed “Gigi” back to North Carolina.  “Gigi” is Betsy’s 94-year-old grandmother.  Gigi lives in Dallas, Tx., and made a special trip all the way to North Carolina to meet her fifth great-grandchild.  We were so blessed to have her! 

Mimi, Gigi, & Joshua


Children say…

Son:  “Dad, How many angels are there in heaven?”

Dad:  “The Bible says 10 thousand x 10 thousand.”

Son: “Wow!

Other Son:   “Yeah Dad, God has his angels, but Satan has his deacons!”

The Lordsmen II???

Pawpaw, Dad, Aunt Jan, & Uncle Rick

Pawpaw, Dad, Aunt Jan, & Uncle Rick

Seemingly many moons ago, back in the 1970’s a singing group came on the scene, no not the Jackson 5, but the Lordsmen.  My grandfather thought it wise to enlist the singing services of his college age twin boys.  Thus the Lordsmen were born.  No longer touring, Southern gospel enthusiasts await the next great family sound to emerge (fitting word for Durands).  Rumor has it that one such group might make quite a splash.  Could this young trio of boys surpass the legacy of the original???  Stay Tuned…






A.J. sang base, Jesse sang tenor, and Jon Jon joined right in there!

A.J. sang base, Jesse sang tenor, and Jon Jon joined right in there!