Thursday, May 31, 2007
One of the hardest things about moving to a new place is the loss of regular interaction with friends and our usual social network. I realized today that we have not been over to anyone else's home in the month since we've been here. We haven't been out to eat with anyone (except a couple of 'business lunches' with church colleagues for me). We have met a few of our neighbors, but only casually. We haven't had the Sunday bbqs, the Saturday play dates, etc. If we had to have birthday parties for the kids right now, I would only know the children of church staff to invite. I think we are feeling lonely.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Big Church has been soooo friendly thus far. But today I am reminded that it is still part of the church. Which means that there are those who feel free to treat their pastor like dirt. I suspect I know why this person is so grumpy, I can even understand that it is not about me at all, but it still hurts. I am trying not to get sucked into the grumpy mood that was tossed my way, but...
Monday, May 28, 2007
My favorite show as a teenager was a classic, high quality production; "Doogie Howser, MD". If you are an old geezer and don't know about this show, it was the one where Neil Patrick Harris (before he came out as a 'contented gay man') played a teenage doctor. (It is mostly an aside, but I had the major hots for Doogie.)
The conceit of the show is that Doogie would have some wild adventure because he was trying to live the life of both a cool 80s teen and a medical doctor. Fish out of water. Ha ha. Anyhow, every show ended with Doogie writing a journal entry on his word processor. An example -- the entry that concluded the episode titled "Doogie's Awesome Excellent Adventure" said:
"There's nothing better than being cool and having a lot of friends... except being uncool and having one real friend."Sigh. Doogie, you are so dreamy and deep. Rad.
As much as I loved Doogie before I had ever been kissed, his amazing messages just don't do much for me today. I feel the same way about bloggers who feel the need to make some pithy *point* in every darn post they write. Never anything silly. No good photos. No jokes. Just post after post where the Doogie Howser theme song begins to play and the blue light from his Radio Shack computer falls across his boyish face... and everything is wrapped up neatly at the end of every thirty minute episode. C'mon fellow bloggers, resist the urge to be so sappy and mawkish. Even Neil Patrick Harris is getting grossed out. Like, totally.
We saw "Shrek the Third" this afternoon. The first hour was very cute, but then an annoying two-year-old in the audience was making so much noise that I had to leave before the movie was over. I wish people would control their kids better. Sheesh.
Oh wait... that was MY two-year-old. Daddy and Thomas liked the end of the movie. Lily and I excused ourselves before an angry mob physically removed us from our seats. I walked down the block with my darling girl and treated myself to a latte. Lily did not have any coffee. The LAST this she needs is caffeine.
Only 5 months and 11 days until she turns 3. She's got spunk, that's for sure.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
We went to the Soulard Market this morning. It is the largest Farmer's Market west of the Mississippi. We bought tons of produce, cookies, pastries and a rabbit (not for a pet, for stew) and only spent $23. It was amazing. We love taking these Saturday morning jaunts with the kids in the backseat. Since we moved here, we have done the full tourist thing and have gone to a number of parks, markets, museums, and other notable locations. We've also spent time driving around, just to get a feel for the land. Our friends gave us a fun cd before we moved here -- "Illinoise" by Sufjan Stevens. It has been an excellent soundtrack for our adventures.
We are going to head out to a local Farmer's Market if it is not pouring down rain. But I thought I'd point you in the direction of a great insight from my mother's decades of teaching experience. I think she may have coined a new phrase! Check it out and tell her what you think...
Friday, May 25, 2007
I've had three different members of Big Church sidle up to me at various times this week and announce, "I want you to know that I'm the most liberal member of this church." Hmmm... what do you think that means?
Thursday, May 24, 2007
My grandmother would sometimes send me cards with two or three dollar bills tucked inside. I suspect she ironed these bills because they were always perfectly crisp, but were not new. The note with the $3 would often say something like "Buy yourself a little treat." Even when I was an adult, she would send these cards. I miss my grandma.
Good Good Friend once told me that any bad or stressful day could be improved by the purchase of a new lipstick. I have not had a bad day, or a particularly stressful one. But I am very, very tired after my first week at Big Church. Too. many. new. people. Too. much. information. to. assimilate. So I did buy myself a pretty new lipstick. I bought myself a little treat.
GGF is supposed to get home from Europe today. I am ready to chat with her about Big Church and tell her about my new lipstick. I am exhausted. I am sure she will be jet-lagged. But it will be a little treat to hear her voice.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Thanks for the calls and emails from friends and family, wishing me well at my new church. This post is a stop-gap until I find the time to contact each of you personally. Yesterday was my first Sunday and things went well (though I didn't preach yesterday, which made it a little less stressful). Three worship services, a special Session meeting, a choir potluck, and spending some time with the youth group -- I got in a bunch of good ol' church activities at once. Today is my first day in the office. I'm working on exegesis and thinking about Pentecost. I will head out for my first hospital and nursing home visits later this afternoon.
Love to you all! Talk with you soon!
Friday, May 18, 2007
I'm 2, I'm 2, I alone know what to do... I'm 2, I'm 2, my listening days are through!
I'm 2, I'm 2, so I don't have to listen to you!"
The taller one needs your help...
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Our family is beginning to get on each other's nerves. We are all a little snippy, a little bored. Even the children are tired of being at home with Mami and Papi. They are asking to return to Sunday school and Preschool. Too much togetherness is not necessarily a good thing.
Speaking of nerves, has anyone been to see the Body Worlds exhibit? The darn thing is following us around the country. It is wrapping up at the Arizona Science Center and is opening at the science museum in the nearby Big Midwestern City. It icks me out, big time. I understand that I am supposed to be in awe of the human body, but it makes me feel a little funny in the tummy.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
The wikipedia entry on pet peeves can be found here. I am curious, for reasons of personal and professional research, to hear your pet peeves about the church. If you are a pastor or a church member, please comment and share your minor annoyances.
Here are a couple of mine:
- unnecessary liturgical 'gimmicks' -- you know, props or cutesy things in worship that get in the way of an actual worship experience (GGF -- does this make you think of balloon stomping?)
- prayers that aren't really prayers -- when the person praying weasels out of praying and instead delivers a sermonette disguised as a prayer.
- the overuse of the word 'just' in prayers -- "Lord, we jus' wanna thank you..."
- anytime someone says "But we've always done it this way..."
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Instead, my family let me sleep in, made me a delicious breakfast (Lily ate most of the food off of my plate -- surprise!) and gave me some lovely gifts.
The best part of our day was a trip to Grant's Farm in St. Louis. We arrived well before noon and were surprised that it was not particularly crowded (duh -- everyone was at church, where we would be on any other Sunday).
As we rode the tram around the park, the tour guide wished all the mothers aboard a "Happy Mother's Day". At this, Thomas turned to me and said, "Oh Mami, it's your special day!" The group of teenage girls sitting beside us squealed in unison, "He is so cute!" I agree; he *is* so cute.
It was my special day.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Dining room -- I am happy to report that there are HARDWOOD floors under that white carpet. That will likely be project #1 in this house -- get rid of the white carpet.
Brett making a pre-Mother's Day meal in the kitchen (likely project #2 -- new cabinets, countertop and bye-bye to the yellow sink)
Kids in the den, playing in paper bag boots
... is stock in Henkel Consumer Adhesives Corporation.
On the Duct Tape website, they have a page that lists creative uses for their product. I am considering a submission to their "Duck Tape Saves the Day" contest that says:
"Dear Sir or Madam Duck tape:
Have you considered recommending your product as a way to keep a two-year-old girl from removing her diaper and urinating all over the bedclothes during nap time? I assure you that your product is extremely effective for this purpose.
Rev. Alex, mother of mischievous 'Lil'"
Friday, May 11, 2007
1. Mac or PC? PC, I guess... I know my new HOS will be sad to hear that I don't really care much about this issue.
2. Pizza: Chicago or NY? I *LOVE* crispy, thin crust pizza. I guess that is more NY than Chicago.
3. Brownies/Fudge containing nuts? Yum. I like any kind of chocolate and good nuts make it even better.
4. Toilet paper: over or under? Over, of course. Whaddya think, that I'm some sort of animal?
5. Toothpaste. I have to be honest or my spouse will publicly protest. I am a squeeze from the middle kind of girl. That is the kind of behavior that puts my OCD husband on edge, big time. Sorry darling.
Bonus: Coke or Pepsi? (Actually, diet Coke or diet Pepsi). I need to say here in this public forum that the best and the brightest drink Coca-Cola products only.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Do you know what this is?
If you answered, "a squirrel", you are wrong. According to my daughter, it is a little doggie. Poor girl has lived in the desert; she's never seen a squirrel before.
My children have spent the last week fascinated by umbrellas, green trees, grass, and all things that desert rats are unfamiliar with...
Wait 'til they get to play in the snow.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
I spent an hour on the phone last night with a friend. She was not originally my friend; she started out as my husband's friend. He met her 15+ years ago at a Presbyterian event where they were both representing Presbyterian young adults and being gorgeous young people of Dutch extraction. They have been good friends and were even roommates a couple of times while in college and just-out-of-college. I met her about seven years ago and loved her at first sight. I can understand why my husband liked her straight away. She has the best dry wit and makes me laugh until I can barely hold my bladder.
It is a strange thing, to try to make friends. When we are children, we make friends with classmates, neighbors, and other children we encounter. Children's lives are designed for friendships and playful interactions. Adults, well... not so much. So in this case, I just stole a friend from my husband. The internet and cheap long distance make it so much easier to be in touch with friends, thank goodness.
On a related note, I chased a woman across the Target parking lot the other day. She had a daughter who appeared to be adopted from China. My assessment of the situation was correct and she happily gave me her email address and told me about an adoptive families group in my area. Another woman stopped Thomas in the church parking lot this morning and asked him if he was from Guatemala. It turns out that another child at the church preschool (where Thomas will attend) was also born in Guatemala. Very cool!
Cheers to good friends! And traveling mercies to my GGF as she and her husband travel to Scotland today. Happy 40th birthday to GGF's husband -- have a wonderful trip!
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
I am tired tonight. But I want to keep up with my blogging, so I am shamelessly posting a link to a slide show our adoption agency produced a couple of years ago. It is much harder for little boys to find families through adoption than it is for baby girls... Thomas is in this piece three or four times. Enjoy!
Monday, May 07, 2007
We are FINALLY feeling settled in our new house. I know where the grocery store, a good playground, a good ice cream shop, the Target, the Lowe's and a couple of nice neighbors can all be located. The Extremely Incompetent folks at the local cable company finally wandered over this morning (and only 4 days late for their appointment), so we now have the internet and the Disney channel. Hurray!
I will blog more very soon.