Sunday, July 27, 2008
Remember this cool breakdancing move?
A new, fresh variation:
Tom and Lily in the whirlpool tub. I soaked myself into a giant prune each night we were there. Do you think Brett would mind if I took out the kitchen and put in one of these tubs?
Monday, July 21, 2008
- I am on day 1 of 14 days of vacation! We are going out-of-town for about 5 days -- which means 9 days of stay-cation.
- The whole family slept in this morning. We didn't hear any peeps from the little peeps until nearly 7:30AM. Yay!
- 99% of the laundry is done, the house is clean, the neighbor kids are taking care of the menagerie while we are gone.
- We are going to spend time with extended family (yay!) AND spend time in a little cabin with just our family of five (double YAY!!)
- Vacation Bible School was excellent and VBS Sunday went very smoothly. Thomas's behavior during the songs improved tremendously over the past year. He is really growing up.
- Brett is feeling much better and appreciates all the prayers. He has an appointment on the 31st to find out the results of all the tests and blood work. Prayers still needed!
- We will be celebrating the 60th wedding anniversary of Brett's grandparents this weekend. Very cool!
- That's about all... I'll post some pics when we get back.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
The phone rang around 7:00 this morning. A church member calling to give some terrible news about another church member. By 8:00, I'd driven to a large, downtown hospital. By 10:00, I was home, having prayed with and for a family during the death of a family member.
It is an odd thing, to begin the day this way. To be a part of such a sacred, tragic, beautiful moment, when the baptism of this blessed saint of God became complete in her death. By 10:15, I was out running mundane errands with my daughter, but not long before, I talked with family about organ donation and funerals and other rituals of such great importance.
The Presbyterian blogosphere has been full of 'political' talk since the General Assembly finished their work last month. Some are angry with the results; some are elated. But families who call their pastor early on Saturday morning, needing someone to remind them of God's presence even in the face of death and tragedy, these families are not worried about the Book of Order or the theological conservatism or liberalism of their pastor's seminary or the Essential Tenets of the Reformed Faith.
I am reminded that being a pastor is nothing special, really. I have no medical expertise, nor do I bring any practical aide in the midst of a gaping emptiness. But I know enough from these past ten years that showing up is 99% of what the church is about. Show up, try not to say anything too stupid or thoughtless. Show up with Bible or Prayer Book in hand, touch the still-warm hand of the one who has gone to be with her Savior. No great sermon or ministry program or Bible study matters in the ICU of a downtown, high rise medical facility.
I love the UCC's slogan: "God is still speaking." I think that "God is still showing up" doesn't have the same style... but it is true, and something that the Church needs to see from her clergy -- God is still showing up.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I am on hold with the darn Board of Pensions. AGAIN. I could easily spend one full day a month on the phone with the health insurance, dental insurance, etc. Here is a post I wrote about them last June. I've been back and forth with our pediatrician's office and Blue Cross/Blue Shield for the past hour. I shouldn't have to be the one to explain to my insurance company or my doctor's office what is covered by my policy!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
My dad is an attorney. Over the course of a few decades in practice, my dad and his (now retired) partner had many, many secretaries. The main reason they had so many secretaries is that the main qualification they looked for seemed to be good looks. They had incompetent secretary after incompetent secretary. On the other hand, the tough-looking paralegal who has worked for my dad has stuck around year after year.
The cutest of the cute secretary parade was a woman named Chris. I remember her from my childhood. To say she was a dim bulb is an understatement. It was essentially like Jessica Simpson hung out in their office, talking on the phone and such. My dad told her that she'd "better not run out of cute".
A few weeks ago, my dad gleefully told the story of running into Chris at the county courthouse a few months ago. In a conversational turn that only my dad can manage, he mentioned to Chris that she didn't look so good (my dad, at 60, is often mistaken for my brother; I guess this gives him the right to comment on such things). Chris (apocryphally, in my opinion), responded by saying, "Yeah, I guess I finally ran out of cute."
While in full tantrum mode during their recent visit, my dad admonished my daughter not to run out of cute. I had two separate individuals use the word 'exquisite' to describe Lily at church this morning. I do think my daughter is gorgeous. But I don't want her to spend her life worrying about 'cute'. Luckily she has a tough-as-nails personality to go with all that cute.
Please help me to wish my friend Tin Man a happy 40th birthday tomorrow!
Tin Man is a seminary student and the brother of one of my closest friends. The past year has been full of challenges for T.M. - he deserves to start 40 out in style. Please head over to his blog at: http://emptykettle.blogspot.com/ and wish him a great day.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
But Judy knows how to avoid our kids so this kind of thing doesn't happen to her.
more cat pictures
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Thanks to those who've asked after Brett's health. He is feeling better, but is still not at 100%. Maybe 80%, or even 85%. He goes back to the doctor on Monday, probably for more blood work.
Say a little prayer for Big Church. One new staff member arrived yesterday (hallelujah!) and one may be leaving (sigh). Change, change and more change. It is hard on the staff.
I hope everyone had a good 4th!
Thursday, July 03, 2008
My friend Pastor Peters posted about something called 'The Big Read', from the NEA, designed to encourage community reading initiatives. They came up with a list of their top 100 books and they estimate that the average adult has only read 6 of these books. I will highlight the ones I've read. Cut and paste into your blog and let us know which you've read.
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
I've read 55 of these -- more than half. I am embarrassed by some that I have not read and I am confused why some are even included. I guess this just leads to the usual conclusion -- some Americans hate books...
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
- Brett left on a trip with a friend of his on June 16.
- My parents arrived on June 18.
- Brett got home on June 20. He arrived home sick.
- Baby D was baptized on June 22.
- My parents flew home on June 23.
- Brett went to the doctor in the morning, on June 23.
- I took Brett to the Emergency Room on the evening of June 23.
- Brett had a spinal tap in the ER. No meningitis. They sent us home with some prescriptions.
- Brett started taking his prescriptions on June 24.
- Brett had a serious allergic reaction to one of his prescriptions on June 24.
- Brett went back to the doctor on June 25. Blood work showed he did not have West Nile.
- I had a conference at church on June 27 and 28. Babysitting was arranged in a very piecemeal fashion so Brett could stay at home and rest.
- Lily felt sick at church on June 29.
- I took Lily to the outpatient clinic on June 29. She got an antibiotic prescription.
- Brett still feels sick.
- Brett went back to the doctor this afternoon, July 1. He got an antibiotic prescription.
- Our new music director moves to town on July 4. I am coordinating volunteers to help her move in.
- VBS begins in less than 2 weeks. The VBS director is not super cheerful. I am avoiding her.
I am tired. I am praying no one else gets sick. I need a day off. My vacation begins in 20 days. I hope I can make it. Wah.
Poor Thomas. As my first child, he must endure all of my "first time" experiences as a mother. For example, it seems that the deadline to sign him up for the U-6 soccer season was *June 1st*, not July 1st. Thankfully, another mother mentioned this to me on Saturday and I frantically called around yesterday and weaseled our way onto the team. Paying a late fee for the registration, all the while.
Luckily for me, Thomas is very forgiving. As we walked into the grocery store yesterday afternoon, Tom held my hand and said, "I will play soccer because it will make you happy to watch me play, Mommy." I just hope all the running will wear him out a little bit.