Monday, March 30, 2009

Henry's music program

Tonight the kindergarten had a "Fine Arts" open house; their artwork was displayed throughout the building, and there were two different musical programs with four classes each. Here is one song--Henry is the boy in blue with white stripes (and the only boy in the frame!)

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 things on my to do list

Yano at YanowhatImean (a great blog name!) posts an idea for "Ten on Tuesday" every week--thanks!

Here's my to do list at work:
1. Send out Faculty Development letters to recipients...and ones we turned down.
2. Write a report about possible ways of running Faculty Development with a tighter budget.
3. Grade 30 lab notebooks
4. Grade 14.5 6-10 page formal lab reports
5. Prepare my lecture for Wednesday
6. Revise and submit a departmental writing statement
7. Revise a case study I submitted to the Science Case Study Library
8. Review a paper for a journal
9. Order primers for my research student
10. Advise two more students tomorrow

1. Play with Hope
2. Read Harmony her new book
3. Help Henry figure out how to play his new game
4. Balance the checkbook
5. Vacuum (this is always on my list)
6. Clean out the diaper pail (ew!)
7. Laundry (this is also always on my list)
8. Do some menu planning
9. Go grocery shopping
10. Plot my next Walgreens run

But now, I need to go to bed! What's on your to do list this week?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dust if you must...

Laugh for the day, courtesy of my aunt:

LADIES... Remember...a layer of dust protects the Wood beneath it.

'A house becomes a home when you can write 'I love you' on the furniture.'

I used to spend at least 8 hours every weekend making sure things were just
perfect - 'in case someone came over.' Finally I realized one day that no-one came over; they were all out living life and having fun! NOW, when people visit, I don't have to explain the 'condition' of my home. They are more interested in hearing about the things I've been doing while I was away living life and having fun.

If you haven't figured this out yet, please heed this advice.

Life is short. Enjoy it!
Dust if you must .......
but wouldn't it be better to paint a picture or write a letter, bake cookies or a cake and lick the spoon or plant a seed, ponder the difference between want and need?
Dust if you must, but there's not much time . . . . rivers to swim, mountains to climb, music to hear, books to read, friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must, but the world's out there with the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair, a flutter of snow, a shower of rain.. This day will not come around, again.
Dust if you must , but bear in mind, old age will come and it's not kind.

And when you go - and go you must - you, yourself will make more dust!

(I think I'll still have the cleaning lady come every once in a while :))

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thankful Thursday

This week I'm thankful for evidence of spiritual growth in my children, despite not having a regular church home. I'm specifically thankful for:
--AllBoy's weekend report being all about going to church
--AllBoy praying for Princess to be healed from her cough and fever in a hands-on and faith-filled way
--Princess talking about Jesus right and left. Tonight she was asking about seeing Jesus, and how she couldn't wait to get to heaven to see him face to face.

Lord, I thank you for spiritual growth in my children, and for showing it to me.

Just friends

We had to have a "just friends" conversation with a pastor a couple of weeks ago. We've visited several times, and hubby plays for a monthly Sunday night service, and they were excited about a new young family.

And while we've worshipped there, it's not going to be our home church--it's a place holder while we're seeking God. It's two blocks from our house, so it's convenient.

So we had the "just friends" conversation, and it went well...though it's a strange one to have with a church!

Thankful Thursday--new life!

Spring has sprung around here! The hyacinths are poking their heads out, the trees have buds, and the students are wearing flip flops.

So this week I'm thankful for new life:
--for all the newness of spring
--that spring didn't spring a leak around here (with prayers for those threatened with flooding in the Northern Plains)
--for Hope--she's rolling over, blowing raspberries and generally being cute (though still not sleeping through the night)
--for the new life scripture promises us:
"We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4

and thanks to Lynn for hosting Thankful Thursday this week!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ten on Tuesday--Favorite things on vacation

Patrick and I have different vacation styles, so it's taken us a while to master "the vacation"!

1. Eat at good (generally non-chain) restaurants. Since we have about 10 restaurants in town, this is generally easy. Patrick does lots of research ahead of time, and he does a great job picking winners.
2. Go to museums.
3. Walk around old neighborhoods and farmers markets
4. Eat donuts for breakfast

The kids and I:
5. Play in the hotel pool (while Daddy does #8 and #9)

The kids:
6. Take modes of transportation not available at home, like taxis, buses, trains, etc.
7. Do fun kid things, like play on the beach, go to a water park, children's museum, zoo, or the Mouse House

8. Sleep in
9. Read the paper

10. Take a bubble bath!

So what are your ten favorite things to do on vacation? I made this Mr. Linky long ago and far away, so might as well use it:

You can also share by making a comment here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Saying no

On Sunday afternoon, Henry and I were working/playing in the yard. He asked if we could have a squirt gun fight and I said no--it's not summer yet.

Henry wanted to play light sabers, so we invited the neighbor boys (who were also outside) over to play. They were looking for a third light saber, and ventured into the back yard.

After a while, I got suspicious--usually their duels (or tri-els) range all over the yard, and I hadn't seen them in a while. So I went looking.

What I found was a soaked Henry and friends, Super Soakers in hand.

Uh oh...time for the neighbors to go home.

Henry was quick to point a finger at the oldest boy, saying it was his idea. My response was, "But you knew the rules. It's important that when someone asks you to do something that you know is wrong to stand up to them. Say no and tell them why."

I think that's easy advice to give, and hard to live by. Saying no has never has been my forte, so I hope I can teach my children well.

Lord, give us courage to stand up and say no when we know something is wrong. Help us to teach our children both your rules and the ability to stand up for what they believe in.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Church history

We have an interesting trend in our church attendance history:

Church #1: we attended here when we were dating until we moved. Our first Sunday was their groundbreaking for a new building. They met in the gym of a church school, and moved into the new building the year we were married (the gym wasn't really ready in time for our reception, but we had it there anyway!) They went through a huge transition during this time, with explosive growth. I was a middle school youth counselor, and my husband was on worship team and was worship minister for awhile.

Church #2: met in the Boy's and Girl's Club when we first started attending, and moved into a new building shortly before we moved. I really learned to study my Bible, but we were not well accepted because of my education level and occupation.

Church #3: We knew we were living in this town for only a year, so we wanted to plug in quickly to a church. The church met in a movie theater, then a school gym. They were transitioning from being a college church to a community church.

Church #4: During the year we were attending church #3, we felt called to continue going to that denomination, even if it meant driving an hour on Sundays. The day we committed to that, we discovered a new church listed in a town only 25 miles away. We didn't think it was real--the phone number had the wrong area code, and we both knew that town really well. We called, and that Sunday had been the contact's last Sunday at the old church; they were planting a brand new church. Their first activity was the day after we moved back to the area. We were as close to being on the plant team without moving with the team, though there was a distinct division between leadership that came from the mother church and the "townies". We were life group leaders, I taught kids' church (and coordinated the curriculum) and hubby played on the worship team. We easily could have been "lifers" there, never leaving that church.

So what patterns emerge?
--We must like setting up chairs, since most of these churches have not had buildings and had to set up/tear down each week.
--God has been very active and present, moving these churches to new/different levels.
--Serving is important to us; it's not enough to be a member of the congregation, we need to be actively using our skills.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Moving on

'May another take his place of leadership.' Acts 1:20, quoting Psalm 109:8

Acts 1 ends with the disciples replacing Judas. First they set the criteria, then nominated two men, and finally sought the Lord by casting lots.

Some days I wonder how the donut church has replaced all of us who have left--the worship leader, key board player, singer, hospitality coordinator, several life group leaders and kids' church teachers. They obviously have...I pray they've had smooth transitions.

Lord, I pray for the donut church and for all the new leaders there. May they seek you first, and may You be glorified there.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Guide my sword

The Princess Bride is on TV right now. This scene was just on, and it really struck me...Inigo is genuinely praying for guidance, and winds up sticking his sword in a tree, not finding the man in black. In defeat, he drops his head onto his arm on a knot on the tree...and opens the door to where the Man in Black is.

I'm putting my head on the knot, me the open door.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thankful Thursday--Freedom

I grew up going to a mainline church. During grad school, I realized that I was looking to people to provide what only God could. I decided to "marry" Jesus--that He would be my one and only. I set a date, wrote a ceremony, and even bought a special ring.

A couple of months later, I was contemplating dating someone. I wasn't sure if I should or not--did marrying Jesus mean I couldn't marry a human? Was it the equivalent of committing to be a nun? As I prayed about it, I didn't think that it did, but I didn't want to mess up my relationship with Jesus.

As part of my bedtime routine, I always hooked my ring through my watch and set it on the dresser. One morning, the ring was no where to be found. Not on the dresser, under the dresser, under the bed, anywhere. It was like the ring had just disappeared into thin air! Even two years later when I moved out of the house and could really look everywhere, it was no where to be found.

I took that as a sign that I was free to be in a human relationship...and married my now-husband of more than ten years.

So this week I'm thankful for God's amazing way of freeing me from that concern, and making it clear to me who I should marry!

Thankful Thursday--Maps

When we were getting ready to leave our final hotel to head to the airport, I asked the guy at the front desk for the best way to get to there. The directions he gave me didn't seem right--didn't we turn right, not left on that street to get to the interstate? And didn't the interstate go by the airport? And they didn't match the printed directions from the hotel, either--they had us just go straight on the first road.

It was hard to trust his words. In fact, when we stopped to get gas, I dug the maps out of the suitcase in the bottom of the trunk.

Turns out the guy was right--it was the shortest and fastest route. But I felt so much better when I saw it for myself.

Now it would be nice if we had a map for life?

The good news is, we do!
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

So this week, I'm thankful for:
--the Bible, our road map for life.
--Jesus, our personal tour guide. With Him, we'll never be lost.
--Martin Luther and the Gutenberg Press, for putting The Map in the hands of the people in words they could read.
--a great vacation
--a smooth re-entry into "normal" life

Please share your thankfulness with our new host, Lynn

Wordless Wednesday--Vacation

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top Ten Vacation memories

10. Meeting a T. rex on the Jurassic Park ride from the front row...and Henry refusing to go on it again.
9. Twenty plus times on "one fish, two fish"
8. Harmony's love of the Woody Woodpecker Rollercoaster and Ripsaw Falls (a very large flume)--she's going to be a coaster girl (unlike her brother)
7. Hope rolling over for Henry and Harmony, but not for Patrick or I
6. Hope's first plane ride
5. Henry jumping over the waves at Cocoa Beach
4. Harmony being the "queen of the beach" (She told me I could be "queen of the shells")
3. Patrick and Henry getting completely soaked having a water battle in Camp Jurassic
2. Meeting friends for a great and very fun dinner, complete with flamenco and belly dancers (Harmony was trying to imitate them!)
1. Having a wonderful and relaxing time as a family

Monday, March 16, 2009

Melodic Monday--Be my Guide

Be my guide, God of Abraham
Lead me by Your hand
You are strong and wise
I want to trust in You and in all I do
Bring You honour and praise

How I love You
Great and mighty King
You are faithful
Through the ages You never change

Be my guide in the dark of night
Set all fear to flight
You are hope and truth
I want to trust in You and in all I do
Bring you honour and praise

Be my guide for the road ahead
And should I feel misled
You are just and good
I want to trust in You and in all I do
Bring You honour and praise

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Roller coaster rides

We're spending Spring Break at Universal Studios Orlando--Patrick won free passes during the Super Bowl, and he and Henry had free tickets that expired April 1.

Part of the fun of theme parks is being scared in a controlled environment. You're scared, but you know it's just for a time and that really, you're safe. We showed the kids the tracks, and explained to them that the rides are like life--they might have bumps, twists, turns and falls, but in the end, God is in control and he keeps us safe. When we put on the safety gear, it's like putting on the armor of God, and between it and the track, you're safe.

How scary life must be when you don't know this!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wordless Wednesday--goofiness

Top Ten Tuesday: Theology of the Princess Bride

The Princess Bride is one of my all time favorite movies. I had it mostly memorized in Grad School, and wrote a list of "Everything I needed to Know I learned from the Princess Bride" (in the era of "Everything I needed to know I learned in kindergarten"--which is now taught in preschool, not kindergarten). So here are my top ten theologically relevant lessons from the Princess Bride:

10. There isn't much money in revenge.
9. When things go wrong, go back to the beginning.
8. Rush a miracle, get a rotten miracle.
7. True love is the most noble cause of all (except for a nice MLT, where the mutton is nice and crispy...)
6. Sometimes it's just the name that's important.
5. Lies do not become us.
4. Just because it hasn't been done before doesn't mean it can't be done.
3. Life is pain, and anyone who tell you otherwise is selling something.
2. As you wish sometimes means I love you.
1. Death can't stop true love; it only delays it a while.


I bought some potting soil tonight--I want to start some tomatoes, peppers and herbs to put in our garden. They'll start indoors, under a grow light with lots of fertilizer and regular waterings. Once they're well established and it's warmer outside, we'll move them to the garden.

If you leave them in the little pots, they won't flower and bear fruit, and if they do, it's pretty wimpy. The roots need a bigger pot to grow in. It's a little stressful on the plant to move, and it can take some time to acclimate. It's recommended that you set the plants outside for a couple of days before actually transplanting them, to help them get used to life outdoors.

I was talking to a friend this week who also moved on from our former church. We talked about how much we had grown at the donut church, and how we missed life group. This image of transplanting a plant popped in my head, and it fit. They had grown leaps and bounds, and were freed of some spiritual bondage during that time. But others in the church didn't necessarily realize that. While getting uprooted was painful, they've been transplanted into a bigger pot, and are growing and starting to integrate, taking on bigger roles than would have been available at the donut church.

God, I'm ready to move off the porch and be planted somewhere. Help us bear fruit and flourish where ever you have for us.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Temptation in my pocket

Toniht Henry and Harmony split some M&M's from a quarter machine. Since Harmony was on her way to dance, I kept hers in my pocket.

I rediscovered them tonight at the grocery store. It was temptation, right in my pocket.

You see, I gave up cookies, candy, and cake for Lent. For me, Lent isn't so much about "giving up" something--it's more like spiritual "spring house cleaning," removing spiritual clutter, dust bunnies, and idols that have replaced Jesus on the mantle of my heart.

So there they were, taunting me from my coat pocket...Harmony's forgotten about them, she won't notice if you just eat one. No one can see you in the car, go ahead. It's silly to give things up for Lent. It's just an M&M.

But isn't that just like the Tempter, saying no one will notice, it's just one, it's not important, you're silly for thinking that how you behave matters to your spiritual life. Notice the pattern of minimization?

But sin is sin. God classifies gossip in the same category as manslaughter--a sin is a sin, no matter how big. So flee from it.

I resisted the M&Ms. And with God's grace, we can resist sin too.

Melodic Monday: Sanctuary

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving, I'll be a living
Sanctuary for You

It is you, Lord
Who came to save
The heart and soul
Of every man
It is you Lord
who knows my weakness
Who gives me strength,
With thine own hand.

Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and Holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving I'll be a living
Sanctuary for you

Lead Me on Lord
From temptation
Purify me
From within
Fill my heart with
You holy spirit
Take away all my sin

Lord prepare me to be sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving, I'll be a living
Sanctuary for You