Thursday, June 28, 2007
For boring, international adoption-related reasons, I had to email the Department of Homeland Security this afternoon. I couldn't believe it when my secretary buzzed me on the phone and said "Chicago DHS is on line two." A real, live human being called me back within 20 minutes of my sending the emails. She answered my questions. She was polite and helpful. This has NOT been our usually experience with INS/CIS/USCIS/DHS (or whatever the Patriot Act is calling this department this month). I am still in shock. God bless America!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
She doesn't let anyone push her around. She never takes no for an answer, but she can say no whenever she wants. She knows who she is and likes who she is. She enjoys her own voice and values what she has to say. She has no doubt that God and everyone else loves and cherishes and adores and admires her. She laughs easily. She cries when necessary. She eat heartily and often. She loves life. She is full of new ideas.
I pray that she always feels so true to herself. I pray that she always loves herself. I pray that God's grace will surround and uphold her.
A conversation with a Well-Meaning Lady.
WML: Are your kids really brother and sister?
WML: Oh wow, so they came from the same womb?
WML: That is cool that their real mom let you adopt both of them.
Me: Oh, if you are asking if they are biologically-related, then the answer is no. But they are *really* brother and sister.
WML: Yeah, we thought about adopting from overseas. But then we just decided to host foreign exchange students.
Me: Uh, I have to go now...
What I wish I would/could have said: "...because hosting an exchange student is so similar to being the mother to these real siblings for the rest of my life."
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Yield: 12 Servings
1 c butter (2 sticks); unsalted
3/4 c granulated sugar
3/4 c dark brown sugar; firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 ts Vanilla extract
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour; (high altitude; add 2 tablespoons)
2 ts baking powder; (high altitude subtract 1/2 teaspoon)
1 ts baking soda
1/2 ts salt
2 ts ground cinnamon
16 oz can purple plums packed in syrup, well-drained, syrup reserved and plums chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter
until creamy and light, then gradually add the sugars, beating until creamy
and smooth. Beat in the eggs, then the vanilla. Sift the flour, baking
powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together. Stir the dry ingredients
into the butter mixture, alternating with 1/2 cup reserved syrup, beginning
and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in the plums. Pour the batter into a
buttered 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick
inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Turn the cake out onto
a rack and allow it to cool, then dust with confectioners' sugar. Makes 12
to 16 servings.
From the novel, The Cereal Murders by Diane Mott Davidson.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
...you are trying to think of a particular fact and the answer is revealed by an outside source? There is probably some weird, German word for that...
The kids had their first experience with the Ice Cream Man yesterday. We were playing in the backyard, surrounded by our new fence (YAY!) and we heard the familiar, tinny sound of the ice cream truck music. Thomas got a SpongeBobSquarePants ice cream bar -- SpongeBob's eyes were made of suspicious-looking gumballs. As we enjoyed our ice cream, Brett and I tried to remember the name of the ice cream truck company in NYC. This morning, while reading an AP article in the newspaper, the Mr. Softee truck was mentioned.
In an unrelated development, when Thomas tasted the SpongeBob GumBalls, he found them to be disgusting. He spit them into the ice cream wrapper. I threw them into the garbage. A few minutes later, Brett discovered Lily chewing on the gumballs. Ah, I love a child with a commitment to recycling.
Friday, June 22, 2007
27th General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church
Plan for non-geographic, transitional
presbyteries overwhelmingly approved
By Craig M. Kibler
The Layman Online
Friday, June 22, 2007 HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. – In a series of stunning votes, commissioners to the 27th General Assembly of the Evangelical PresbyterianChurch on Friday morning overwhelmingly approved a plan to create non-geographic, transitional presbyteries to receive congregations seeking to join the denomination.
With an admonition from Bill Meyer, chairman of the committee on administration, the nearly 1,000 commissioners in the worship center at Cherry Hills Community Church for the June 20-23 General Assembly approved by voice vote and without amendment the following:
* "Structure for Receiving Churches and Pastors Transitionally."
* The creation of two administrative commissions – one for churches and pastors desiring transitional membership in established geographic EPC presbyteries, and another for those seeking to join a transitional, non-geagraphic New Wineskins Association of Churches-Evangelical Presbyterian Church Presbytery.
* The members of both administrative commissions.
* The application for transitional membership.
Before the proposals were placed before the assembly, the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Jeremiah, stated clerk of the EPC, told commissioners that Dr. Samuel Logan, executive secretary of the World Reformed Fellowship, had told him that "believers in Jesus Christ around the world are praying for you during this time."
As he introduced Meyer, the Rev. Bill Vogler, moderator of the 27th General Assembly, commended commissioners for the discussion on the proposals the previous day.
"The discussion," he said to applause, "was respectful, honoring and kind."
Meyer introduced the four recommendations, telling commissioners that the structural proposal "we bring to you is a flawed document. I can't point out the flaws. We present it to you as a first step that we believe the Lord Jesus Christ is bringing before us. We believe He is setting it before us and to take steps in the future. It does not answer every question in the next five years; those will have to be addressed later on."
The only one of the recommendations that prompted some discussion, all in favor, was the one on the structure. Bill Davis of the Presbytery of the West, said he was "optimistic that this will serve us well."
Jerry Albert of Mid-America Presbytery said, "We're about to learn how big the heart of the EPC is. With the love of Jesus Christ, we will succeed in this transition."
Meyer, referring to Ephesians 6, said the EPC's "adversaries are not flesh and blood in other denominations. Our adversary goes by the name of Satan, Lucifer. Let's stand against him. Let's understand that he will seek to undermine what we have done today. Stand firm."
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
After the votes, Jeremiah asked commissioners to join with him to "commit our decision to God by singing A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." Commissioners stood up and sang the hymn, many with hands raised to the Lord.
Jeremiah then introduced the Rev. Dr. Gerrit Dawson and the Rev. Dr. Dean Weaver, the co-moderators of the New Wineskins Association of Churches, a conservative movement within the Presbyterian Church (USA). Dawson is the senior minister of First Presbyterian Church in Baton Rouge, La., and Weaver is the senior minister of Memorial Park Presbyterian Church in McCandless, Pa., a suburb of Pittsburgh.
"Thank you for your welcome all week long," Dawson told commissioners. "It's been overwhelming. People have prayed for me, smiled for me and encouraged me in ways that I haven't felt for years. I thank you on behalf of the 160 or 170 New Wineskins churches.
"Thank you," he said, "for your courage in doing something new and a willingness to fail gloriously or succeed gloriously."
Not an easy road
Dawson reminded the assembly that there's still a long road ahead for churches seeking to join the EPC. "Coming out to join you may not be easy," he said. "It will be a church-by-church vote, a session-by-session vote, a congregation-by-congregation vote, a presbytery-by-presbytery vote."
"Not all will leave the Presbyterian Church (USA)," he said. "Some will not be called to live out this vision, while others of us will. The New Wineskins name is not popular. I'm sorry to say that your name also will be dragged into it. I thank you for being willing to stand with us. We are proud to stand with you. In a time of storm, you have welcomed us."
Weaver also thanked commissioners, telling them that he was "so grateful for the Biblical hospitality you extended to us in our time of need."
He then told them about an e-mail he had received from a commissioner just after the final votes. The e-mail, he said, read: "Regardless of the cost, my friend, welcome to a place where you are loved."
"It's good," Weaver said, "to be home."
In a joint statement issued on behalf of the New Wineskins Association of Churches, Dawson and Weaver said:
"We offer our heartfelt and profound thanks to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church for creating a New Wineskins Transitional Presbytery. It has been quite a week in Denver. We were overwhelmed with the Gospel hospitality we felt in their midst. The encouragement and affirmation, the sense of kinship in Christ, were all like cool winds on our souls. We witnessed at this assembly a wonderful graciousness of discourse, a Christ-centered passion in worship and a courageous openness to God's future.
"We are humbled that the EPC has opened its arms to the vision we share. We agree profoundly that God is calling us to an expression of His church based on shared essentials of the faith, clear ethical imperatives and a mission-serving polity.
"We know that many of the New Wineskins churches are called to remain in the PCUSA, living out this vision right where they are. We also know that many of our churches are being called out, and we express our deepest gratitude for the open arms into which they will be received.
"We pray that such a spirit of graciousness as we have felt will blow through our denomination as well."
After Dawson and Weaver received a standing ovation, outgoing Moderator Dr. Paul Heidebrecht prayed for the assembly, saying: "Lord Jesus Christ, how grateful we are, how overjoyed we are, how overwhelmed we are at what your Spirit is doing here right now."
Craig M. Kibler is the Director of Publications for the Presbyterian Lay Committee and Executive Editor of The Layman and The Layman Online. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Favorite summer food(s) and beverage(s). Ice cream sandwiches. Shiner Bock beer. Not to be consumed at the same time (yuck!).
2. Song that "says" summer to you. "You Can't Take it With You" by Kelly Willis.
3. A childhood summer memory. Sitting on the back porch with my mother, watching the heat lightening and listening to coming thunderstorms. Smelling the unique, delicious smell of the Sonoran desert during a rain storm. Feeling safe and protected.
4. An adult summer memory. Going to a reunion for our adoption agency at the Cincinnati Zoo two summers ago (so hot & humid that my infant daughter "stuck" to the inside of her Baby Bjorn carrier). Sleeping in the hotel room with our two kids. Enjoying lunch at a little Italian restaurant in a tiny town in the Ohio countryside. Feeling happy and content with my little family.
5. Describe a wonderful summer day you'd like to have in the near future. (weather, location, activities). A warm, breezy day, driving to a small town somewhere in the Midwest to look at antique stores and farmers' markets. Enjoying the drive with good music on the iPod. Lily snoozing in her car seat and Thomas narrating the trip from the backseat. Maybe we will do this tomorrow!
Optional: Does your place of worship do anything differently in the summer? (Fewer services, casual dress, etc.) Well, we were very casual this past Sunday because of a broken A/C in the sanctuary. Mercifully, our HoS suggested wearing our summer clothes & no robes during the service.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
If all of the desserts listed below were sitting in front of you, which would you choose? (You can only pick one!)
Pick your dessert, and then look to see what your choice says about your personality.
1. Angel Food Cake
3. Lemon Meringue
4. Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Icing
5. Strawberry Shortcake
6. Chocolate Icing on Chocolate Cake
7. Ice Cream
8. Carrot Cake
No, you can't change your mind once you scroll down, so think carefully what your choice will be...
OK - now that you've made your choice this is what research says about you.
1. ANGEL FOOD CAKE -- Sweet, loving, cuddly. You love all warm and fuzzy items. A little nutty at times, sometimes you need an ice cream cone at the end of the day. Others perceive you as being childlike and immature at times.
2. BROWNIES -- You are adventurous, love new ideas, are a champion of underdogs and a slayer of dragons. When tempers flare up you whip out your saber. You are always the oddball with a unique sense of humor and direction. You tend to be very loyal.
3. LEMON MERINGUE --Smooth, sexy, & articulate with your hands, you are an excellent after-dinner speaker and a good teacher. But don't try to walk and chew gum at the same time. A bit of a diva at times, but you have many friends.
4. VANILLA CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE ICING -- Fun-loving, sassy, humorous, not very grounded in life; very indecisive and lack motivation. Everyone enjoys being around you, but you are a practical joker. Others should be cautious in making you mad. However, you are a friend for life.
5. STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE -- Romantic, warm, loving. You care about other people, can be counted on in a pinch and expect the same in return. Intuitively keen. Can be very emotional.
6. CHOCOLATE ON CHOCOLATE -- Sexy; always ready to give and receive. Very creative, adventurous, ambitious, and passionate. You can appear to have a cold exterior but are warm on the inside. Not afraid to take chances. Will not settle for anything average in life. Love to laugh.
7. ICE CREAM -- You like sports, whether it be baseball, football, basketball, or soccer. If you could, you would like to participate, but you enjoy watching sports. You don't like to give up the remote control. You tend to be self-centered and high maintenance.
8. CARROT CAKE -- You are a very fun loving person, who likes to laugh. You are fun to be with. People like to hang out with you. You are a very warm hearted person and a little quirky at times. You have many loyal friends.
I chose strawberry shortcake. What did you choose?
- I have a cold. Which means I will be hanging around the office instead of making hospital or nursing home visits. I hate colds.
- I did not end up sending this email to my beloved family member. Why? A number of reasons. Mostly because I calmed down. And because I know this person is not open to hearing what I have to say. I still feel very sad when I think about it.
- We are less than a week into "Thomas Watch" 2007. The excitement has not abated in waiting for the arrival of the new engines.
- The fence company is supposed to arrive today to install a picket fence around our yard. They did not call yesterday to confirm (as promised) and the forecast is calling for rain later in the week. I sure hope they show up today.
- We had a great Father's Day outing on Sunday. Our kids were on their best behavior, which was great.
- Big Church is celebrating their 25th anniversary this weekend. Of course, last Friday, the giant A/C unit that cools the sanctuary decided to give up the ghost. Please say a little prayer that the contractors are able to replace it by Saturday (when there is a wedding). I'm guessing the A/C folks and our fence folks are out golfing together, or something like that...
- After my evening meetings tonight, I am looking forward to watching "Last Comic Standing" on TiVo. Gotta love summer television...
- Ciao! Happy Wednesday!
Monday, June 18, 2007
A question for those of you serving large congregations -- is it just me? We have been here six weeks now and have yet to receive a single social invitation from any member of the congregation. With the other churches we have served, all under 200 members, we felt almost inundated with invitations from the very beginning. BBQs, dinner invitations, holiday meals, school plays and sporting events -- we were asked to all these occasions. Is it because this church is so big? Is it because I am the associate? Is it because we have two fairly unruly children?
I don't know if I should try to seek folks out a little more or what... but other than a child's birthday party (*a staff member's child*), we have not seen anyone socially outside of the fellowship hall. We have tried to get together with a few folks that seem nice, but our invitations have been politely declined (all with good reasons, mind you). So I am beginning to feel that the culture of Big Church means no socializing with the pastor. Or at least no socializing with this pastor. Which feels weird.
Because it is Monday morning and I need to get moving, I thought I would start with an easy one: the Church Lady. I blogged about Little Church on the Desert's Church Lady back in December. I am happy to report that Big Church also has church ladies. Quite a few of them, actually. I guess because Big Church is bigger (duh!), the church can support quite a few church ladies. Evidence of church ladies include:
- Hand-written or dot-matrix printed signs (often laminated with packing tape) that say things like "Items left in freezer for more than a week will be thrown out".
- Freshly laundered and starched napkins with the communion elements.
- Flowers. In center-pieces on Fellowship Hall tables. In the beds outside the sanctuary. At hospital beds.
- Decorations in church bathrooms.
- Cards for every occasion (church ladies never forget birthdays or anniversaries).
- Sharpened pencils in the pews, usually golf pencils.
I am afraid that the Church Lady is a dying breed. I can understand why, but I don't know what my ministry will look like in twenty years if no one is saving aluminum foil in a drawer in the church kitchen. Seriously, I take such comfort in the presence of these women.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
I have been involved with numerous churches in my lifetime. Here is a (fairly) complete list:
1) Home Church -- I grew up in this church (baptized, confirmed, ordained as an elder).
2) College Church -- The first church I chose to attend. I walked there many Sunday mornings with a sorority sister of mine. We often sat in the balcony. I also participated in the college ministry that was active through this church.
3) Tiny Church -- A church I attended off and on during my first year of seminary.
4) Merged Church -- The church that helped to define my pastoral role while in seminary. I did a year-long internship at this church. While I was there, I hired Brett as their youth director. We were married at this church and I later became a parish associate at this church. Their pastor is one my best friends.
5) University Church -- Where Brett did his seminary internship.
6) Uptight Church -- Where we took our first call. We were co-pastors and were too wild for this congregation.
7) Pleasant Church -- The little church we served as stated supply while also serving at Uptight Church. The name says it all.
8) Mom's New Church -- My parents joined this church while I was in seminary. Our first summer back in AZ, I served as their youth director.
9) Iglesia Presbyteriana -- The great little church Brett served for three years while we were in AZ. A good church with a hard history.
10) Little Church on the Desert -- Church where I recently concluded an 18-month interim. Very solid, nice church.
11) Big Church -- The church where I recently began serving as an associate. So far, so good. (Keeping my fingers crossed!)
Between this group of churches and the churches where friends have served and attended, I have begun to formulate some archetypal individuals within churches. I am going to write a blog series profiling these recognizable church characters. You know them, you love them -- you know them, they bug you -- either or both. Coming soon!
We found out the other day that 1.5 MILLION "Thomas the Tank Engine" toys were recalled, due to the lead paint used in many of the red engines.
Our son is an HUGE Thomas fan. So he helped me pack up the "ill" trains to send them back for new paint jobs.
Based on this upsetting situation, there has been a recurring conversation at our house.
DS (dear son): Where are James and the other engines?
Me: They flew to the Island of Sodor.
DS: To Sodor?
DS: To see Sir Topham Hatt?
DS: To get new paint?
DS: And they'll come back soon?
DS: They'll come in the mailbox?
Etc., etc., etc. Repeat about three million times. Luckily it should only take 6 to 8 weeks to get the trains back. I know that I, for one, will certainly be happy to see James again. Darn Sir Topham Hatt for being such a greedy capitalist pig that he makes his engines in China and does not use higher quality paint. Someone should really alert Al Gore.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Jerry Rubin, one of the Chicago 7, was famous for saying, "Never trust anyone over 30". He's been dead for 13 years now...
Three weeks from tomorrow and I will turn 30! A few signs of my impending untrustworthiness (untrustworthiness? is that a word? huh) --
- I dyed my hair red (sorry you are hearing about this on my blog, Mom). There is nothing like a big life event to make me do something weird to my hair.
- A man outside the Blockbuster store today told me I have nice legs. I felt complimented, not offended.
- I forgot to mail the Father's Day cards to the grandpas. Getting forgetful, I guess.
- I think the grey hair Brett is sprouting makes him look distinguished, not old.
- I've been listening to the classical station in the car quite a bit.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
The email forward I received yesterday was a racist, anti-Hispanic email. I am sorely tempted to send the following email to the family member who sent it. Brett says to let it be. What do you all think? Should I send, or should I ignore?
Dear Beloved Family Member,
Regarding the email from yesterday -- I have no doubt that the individuals quoted in that email did say those things. But those quotes are like saying Jerry Falwell is a good representative for all Christians. The far-right or far-left fringe of any group are the extremists. They do not represent the group as a whole. I don't know if you realize that Brett just finished a 3-year term as the pastor of a Hispanic Presbyterian church in Phoenix. Many of those church members are Republicans and citizens (many are 4th and 5th generation citizens). They are very offended to think that the majority of the white, American public thinks in the generalizations that your email forward portrayed.
The part of that email that really offended me was the part beneath the quotes. The message received by that commentary is that white people are deeply afraid of Hispanics. Is that what you are hoping to communicate, fear? I do not need you to educate me about Hispanic culture or politics. Frankly, I don't believe you have enough information to be informed in such a debate. I do not want to debate with you. What I want is to be left off the email lists of forwarded messages. I heard from a couple of individuals on your list yesterday -- they indicated that they have also requested to be left off of your email forwarding lists. Please email me if you have pictures of your grandkids or information about our family. But I do not want to get involved in political debates.
I appreciate your desire to be informed. But those kinds of emails do not convince most people. The most recent issue of "Time" magazine has some more reliable and accurate sources about the current immigration debate and Hispanic-American demographics.
I am done discussing this issue. PLEASE remove me from your email lists.
I hope you and your family are doing well. I love you and hope to see you at some point this summer.
Monday, June 11, 2007
What do you do/have you done when someone close to you forwards one of those horrific email screeds? I received one this morning from a family member that stunk to high heaven. What do you do? I'll tell you later what I did (though I imagine you can guess)... have you ever had an success in diplomatically navigating such rough waters? Please share, as I am feeling very sad and frustrated right now.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Whew, I'm exhausted. I usually entertain myself in my room for at least 45 minutes once mom and dad put me in bed, but today I've been very busy. I woke up at the crack of dawn and politely knocked and my door and called out for my parents in a gentle, lilting voice until my father finally came to get me at 5:45AM. (The service is not always that great around here...)
I spent the morning advising the children on my brother's t-ball team in the proper ball playing techniques. Because I am too small to lift the bat, none of them cared to listen to me. Fools. After lunch and a brief siesta, I watched various Disney selections and perused the paltry selection of "toys" they have around this place. When those things did not interest me, I found more suitable playthings in my dad's office and on the kitchen counter. I drew a striking, modern piece on a notebook of mom's, while she was blabbing away to some friend of hers on the phone. Whatever.
This evening I had two appointments with my public. The first was quite irritating; while dining out with some friends, my parents expected me to sit in a highchair. As if. I am not a baby. Clearly. I made my distaste well known to the waitstaff, other diners, etc. I will not be treated in such a manner.
After we departed from that distasteful restaurant, we went to an ice cream social with the other children and their parents from the local adoptive families group. Once again, my father didn't appreciate my need to direct traffic from the middle of the parking lot. I don't think my parents understand the kind of work I am required to perform. They can be quite tiresome.
So, you can see why I am exhausted. A girl needs her beauty sleep. Tomorrow, the church nursery! Two-year-olds of the world - UNITE! Ciao.
Friday, June 08, 2007
All my little Presby friends will recognize that BOP means Board of Pensions. I think we should send an overture to the 2008 General Assembly in California to change it to 'Brain off Premises'.
I have so many examples of dumb moves made on our family's accounts by the BOP. (One of my favorites -- did you know I have twin daughters with the same birth date and social security numbers? Neither did I, until the BOP informed me of this miracle).
Yesterday I received an invoice from the BOP -- for 5 cents. Now how much did it costs to process a 5 cent invoice? I figure it will cost me at least a dollar -- between the check and the postage -- to pay my 5 cent bill. I am sorely tempted to tape a nickel in the envelope and send it COD.
No wonder the dues are so high.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
It is an odd feeling to be congratulated for being a mother. Let me explain.
Big Church has a Thursday morning lectionary group. I am preaching this Sunday. The youth group is also being commissioned for the mission trip they are taking next week. Somehow a conversation began around how we can share Christ's mission in our day-to-day lives. And then a member of the group used me as an example: "You adopted two children so they wouldn't spend their lives in an orphanage. They are such lucky kids."
Wha-aaaa-at??? Yes, we adopted our two children. It is true that they may have grown up in an orphanage if they had not been adopted. BUT -- we did not adopt as some sort of selfless, missionary, charitable action.
I gave my standard answer. "WE are the ones who are blessed."
It is weird to me that anyone sees adoption in this light. I am a mother. My children are my children. We giggled while they were in the bathtub tonight. Thomas cried because his Superman pajamas were in the dirty laundry. Lily ran the toothbrush through her clean, wet hair (with toothpaste attached). We read books before they went to sleep.
My kids, my husband and I are a family. Not a mission project.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Today I heard "the rest of the story" from Paul Harvey (okay, it wasn't really Paul Harvey. It was Good, Good Friend). OH. MY. GOODNESS. Call me if you want the details. But anyone who is reading this, please be in prayer for the church God did not call me to serve. GGF, I hope we can be neighbors someday. For now we will rely on the Internet and cell phones. Thank God.
Monday, June 04, 2007
I visited with a woman this afternoon; it was a great visit. She was the first woman ordained in her presbytery, back in the early 1960s. She shared some great stories. Did you know that the official title of an ordained clergywoman at that time was: "The Rev. Mrs. Donald Smith"? That is shocking. She gave me the lowdown on a number of interesting issues at Big Church (all unsolicited). I asked her why she thinks women (as a group) are still struggling in ministry -- she shrugged and said, "Women try to be 'nice' at all costs. We let people walk all over us. Not very Christ-like, to let people walk all over you. Don't be a shrinking violet, and you will be fine." Good advice. If the choice is between acting with integrity and being nice, why do (some) women choose nice every time? Glad I am not a shrinking violet.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
- I will officiate at my first memorial service for a member of big church on Monday morning. That meant I had no real day off. I met with the family for service planning yesterday. I will work on the service tomorrow morning (very early) and probably tomorrow afternoon as well. Then it will be off to the visitation at the funeral home. Memorial service on Monday, then a luncheon back at the church. Even with all of that, I stand by my belief that a funeral is much easier than a wedding!
- I did work in the yard for a long while yesterday. I used over 10 bags of mulch in the flower beds. We planted cat nip for Bad Cat to enjoy. She has been enjoying and enjoying. She actually looks a little stoned.
- Tomorrow night we are hosting a party for the APNC (associate pastor nominating committee) that hired me, along with their families, here at the house. I'm hoping that chocolate, wine and much good cheer will be had by all (except for kids -- they can have soda or juice and good cheer).
- Thomas started t-ball this morning. Brett took him to the first practice. They will practice again next Saturday and then they have eight Saturday morning games. This is Tom's first experience with organized sports, and it sounds like he didn't really get the "organized" part. Plus, the nice young coach needs to learn that 4 and 5-year-olds are not keen on ordinal numbers ("run to 2nd" would be better phrased as "run to that base over there!")
- Lily and Mommy had a successful mother/daughter morning -- haircut, shopping and lunch. I feel optimistic that she can act like a little human being at times... She has become quite opinionated about the shorts and t-shirts she wears ("I wan dis one!")
- I am heading to the back porch for some quality literary time with a Patricia Cornwell mystery.