Category Archives: Odd

The Thneed

IMG_1461I’m being quite useful. This thing is a Thneed.
A Thneed’s a Fine-Something-That-All-People-Need!
It’s a shirt. It’s a sock. It’s a glove. It’s a hat.
But it has OTHER uses. Yes, far beyond that.
You can use it for carpets. For pillows! For sheets!
Or curtains!  Or covers for bicycle seats!”


In Dr. Seuss’ beloved story, the Lorax, one of the main character’s creates a highly versatile object knitted from the foliage of a “truffle tree.” Thneeds can take on a variety of forms being used as a shirt, a sock, a glove, a hat, a pillow, a hammock, a canary nest and so much more!

Why am I writing about a thneed? Because I own one. At least, it looks and acts like one. When Meghan, one of my daughter’s dearest friends, was learning to crochet, she made Kristin something for her birthday. It was a red “scarf” that had a uniquely short and stout shape. It sits like a tall collar when you wear it. I told Meghan, if you make me something, I ‘ll wear it from the pulpit when I preach. Of course she did and I wore it on one Sunday last year. My crocheted item had such a one-of-a-kind design that I wasn’t sure how to wear it. When I asked Meghan, “Am I supposed to wear it like this or like this or like this (placing it on different parts of my body)?” She said, “Exactly.”

When I left pastoral ministry to join seeJesus, I promised Meghan that wherever I traveled, I would take at least one selfie with my thneed on. Below is a few places it’s been to. The first is in Pennsylvania at the seeJesus headquarters. The next one is in Canada at a church I was serving. The third is at the Seattle airport and the final one is in Kathmandu.

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When Meghan heard Sonia was coming with me to Nepal, she rushed to make Sonia a thneed as well. So, we each took one with us on our journey. During the conference in Pokhara, I left the thneeds on the seeJesus book table and invited the missionaries to take selfies with the thneeds. The top two most creative selfies would get a prize from the table. I wasn’t sure if anyone would participate, but I found missionaries like to have fun too! Below are just a few of the submissions. The last two (eye-thneed & jellyfish thneed) was the winner that Sonia and I chose. And the very last picture was the winner that the crowd chose. It was so cool looking, I though it could be on an album cover.

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If you’re interested in purchasing a thneed, sorry, they are not available for order. Mine is one of a kind and Sonia’s is as well. I guarantee you there is nothing else like them on the planet. Thanks Meghan!

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She is One of Us

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This is a purple yam. Really. It is a purple yam. And this is how Eden found it in 99 Ranch Market yesterday. I immediately took a picture to share her find with my youngest son and wife. When I showed them the image, Jaren began to laugh incessantly and Sonia told me to go get it so we could purchase our newfound treasure. Kind of like the treasure hidden in a field that you sacrifice everything for in order to purchase. Maybe not. OK, not at all.

When we got home, we set the groceries on the counter and I asked my oldest son to put the yams away. When Evan picked up this one, his eyes popped out of his face, he turned all red and began to cry because he was internally laughing so hard. He had the look of laughter but with no sound coming out. Too. Many. Jokes. Immature. Overload. Even my eldest daughter had to laugh at our portly piece of produce.

Either God has a sense of humor when he created this yam or we, Horis, have an imagination that went afoul when we saw it. You may find this type of thing inconsequential at best or vulgar at worst. But my family happens to find these kinds of things amusing for a variety of reasons, none of which I will go into at this time (although I’m really tempted to).

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After such a long hiatus from blogging, why would I restart with this? Because after the zany dust settled, I realized my new daughter had become one of us. She has become a Hori. For the good or (more likely) for the bad, she is now truly part of the family. I don’t know if she would have found this humorous if she was still living in an orphanage in Nanning. I doubt they even have yams like this in China. All I know is that Eden’s delight in this rotund yam reveals she is now one of us. While a similar sense of humor is part of a shared family culture, I hope we are growing to have so much more in common than a fascination with odd root vegetables. Sonia and I want all of our children to broadly share our faith, our values and our love. This does not happen overnight. It takes time. It takes intention. It takes prayer.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, adoption is easy but family is hard. Moving from being a family of five to being a family of six is a matter of simple addition. But transitioning from being one, unified family of five to becoming one family of six is relational calculus. It involves daily conversations, taking advantage of teachable moments and simply living life together. This type of oneness is difficult to measure in its progress. So, little signs of unity, even silly ones that happen in the produce aisle, I hold onto as small glimpses of change and hope. Who would have thought a portly purple potato could do so much?