Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Great Escape

Project Runway - Episode 3

Let the controversy begin! I DO NOT agree with the judges' decision on tonight's episode, and I am sure the blogs are absolutely buzzing tonight with peoples' opinions and disagreements about it. The designers were sent around New York with cameras to take pictures of things that inspired them. They had to choose one picture, and design an going-out-on-the-town outfit inspired from the picture. Some of the pictures were amazing, and showed some pretty good photography skills, actually. It was interesting to see what they found inspiring - graffiti, clocks, tiles, grating, lights of traffic, etc.

The winning designer created a dress from some absolutely hideous fabric, mainly teal with magenta in the pattern. And sticking out from one hip was this bubble of magenta tulle. It made the model look lop-sided, and silly. The outfit I was rooting for had beautiful gray and black graceful petal layers on the skirt, and a black top that was very elegant and fit perfectly with the skirt.

The loser designed an asymetrical black dress with some Carmen Miranda fruity colored ruffles that ran across the breasts and down the front. I was a bit surprised that they auf'd her over the designer who created an outfit that is the definition of boring and matronly, but since they were both bad, either could go in my opinion.

Well, there's my escape for the week. Swirls of fabric, a whole lotta personalities, and a string of outfits that I would never wear!

Monday, July 28, 2008

I Admit it, I'm a Worship Planning Geek

Tonight we had the first Worship planning meeting since I've been in this parish. I've been going it alone up till now, so it was a relief to get others' perspectives on worship, and hear some excitement about doing new things. And hear some ideas take flight in ways I could have never envisioned on my own!

What seemed to get the motors really revving was when I mentioned that October 5th is World Communion Sunday. Boy, did the ideas start flowing! They want me to learn about how other countries "do" communion, and maybe incorporate a different tradition into our communion that day. We're going to have some great congregational music from around the world, we're going to have the kids make decorations for the worship space and design the bulletin cover, and see if we can get some info and decorations from a local retired pastor who was a missionary in Africa for over 30 years. We're going to try to really build this up, and get folks excited. Since this synod's connection with our Companion Synod in Africa is extremely minimal, I thought I'd try to get some info about it, and do some educating about it.

So we're off to a promising start, just as long as we keep good communication with the whole parish about what we're doing and why, and make sure we keep everyone involved. Yay for worship planning!!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Modified Pastoral Evaluation Form - for anyone who finds it helpful!

Pastoral Evaluation

Please use this scale when considering the following statements:
5 – Very Good
4 – Good
3 – Adequate
2 – Only Fair / Not So Good
1 – Poor

__________ Preaches well, God’s Word is made alive and related to our life situations
__________ Is faithful to the teachings of Scripture and makes good use of tools for Bible
__________ Expects us to participate in the life and mission of the church

__________ Leads worship services well, comes through sincere and genuine, easy to
understand and follow
__________ Provides variety in our worship life, is sensitive to our needs when introducing
__________ Counsels with families about the meaning of Baptism before a child is baptized
__________ Meets with couples before marriage to help them begin life together with God

__________ Is sensitive to people, alert to our spiritual needs, and responds quickly when
there is a crisis
__________ Is a good listener, one who can be trusted with a confidential matter
__________ Provides a counseling ministry within the limits of her ability
__________ Visits regularly the sick, the dying, and the bereaved

__________ Works well with leaders of the congregations & encourages them as they do their
__________ Coordinates, advises, and evaluates what’s happening in the parish with the
parish leadership
__________ Is involved in the community or other activities outside the congregations and
encourages members to do the same
__________ Helps encourage and motivate teachers and other workers for parish ministry

__________ Works to sharpen own skills; seeks to grow in those areas where we need strong
__________ Follows a regular program of prayer and devotion for her own spiritual growth
__________ Takes commitment to own family seriously, takes time off
__________ Keeps parish leadership informed about plans for her own personal and
professional growth

__________ Teaches and empowers others to teach adult education classes, retreats or other learning opportunities; makes classes interesting and informative
__________ Teaches and empowers others to teach child and youth education classes, retreats or other learning opportunities; makes classes interesting and informative

Sermon Thoughts; Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

Excessive, ridiculous, out-of-bounds, over-flowing, beyond abundant.

That is the kingdom of heaven.

Mustard seed - this teeny seed turns into a rough, dry looking small shrub, that spills many many seeds around it to propigate new plants. How can this become "the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches." This becoming of a small humble unwanted weed into something grand says miracle, and how God starts works with the small and humble to make his kingdom known.

Yeast mixed in flour - the absurd amount of bread made by the woman reflects the abundance and fullness of the kingdom

Treasure hidden in a field -great joy in discovery and overwhelming response to that joy that the kingdom inspires.

Pearl of great value - selling everything in order to obtain that which is precious. That is how important the kingdom is for us.

Net thrown into the sea - everyone is drawn into the kingdom, none are left out of that net. It is only at the end of the age that the separation comes. All are given the invitation, all are given the chance.

The great irony in this story is that Jesus asks his listeners "Have you understood all this?" and they answer "Yes."!!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fun with Chickens

So what did you pick???

Friday Five: What you positively cannot leave home without!

This week's RevGalBlogPals' Friday Five question is: what are the five things you simply must have when you are away from home? And why? Any history or goofy things, or stories?

1. Cash - you just never know when it will come in handy. There are times when credit cards just aren't a good idea, or aren't accepted. Plus, it's a bit of a secrity blanket, you feel ready for anything!

2. Something to read - if there is a moment of down time, I NEED something to read, no question. Or there will be trouble! Yes, I'm addicted to reading...

3. Extra undies - I think I learned this from my mom. You always bring an extra pair of panties, just in case. 'Cause you can put up with a lot, and face a lot of unexpected troubles, as long as you have fresh undies in the morning! (or is it just me?!?)

4. Camera - those photo ops show up sometimes when you least expect them. And even if you don't end up using it, it doesn't hurt to bring it.

5. Shoes for every occasion - I know, it often makes no sense, they take up way to much room, and you don't end up using them all, but I just can't not pack them.

There's nothing particularly odd or cool that I routinely bring with me. Though my husband and I used to travel with his brown teddy bear pillow and camoflage blanket from the guards because they were comfy!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday Reality TV Binge

Wednesday is turning into my big TV night. First Project Runway, then Shear Genius. I think I dig these because they are all about creative people trying to excell in their talents. With some personality clash-drama thrown in!

Project Runway - the designers had to use "green" fabrics chosen by their models, to create cocktail dresses specifically for their models. It was tough for them, since their models (who don't know any better) chose fabrics that didn't go together, or not enough yardige of fabrics, or the exact same fabrics as other models. Some rose well to the challenge. Others, definately not so much. No strong personalities have emerged yet...but its still early yet!

Shear Genius - A very moving episode. For the big challenge, they had to style wigs for women who have alopecia (sp?). A couple of them really connected and felt for these women, and threw themselves whole-heartedly into it. It became less about a self-focused competition and more about helping some women who have suffered. My big frustration is that one of the stylists is constantly among the worst, places the blame on everyone else, and has yet again squeeked by and not been eliminated. Urgh!

Sigh. Now to wait a whole another week for the next episodes. How will I manage it??

Oh yeh, I have a ton of ministry work to do. And house work to do. And Barbie/princess games to play.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday's Text Study

This coming Sunday - 9th Sunday after Pentecost

1 Kings 3:5-12 Solomon asking God for the gift of wisdom
Psalm 119:129-136 "When your word is opened it gives light..."
Romans 8:26-39 "Who will separate us from the love of Christ?"
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 Multiple parables about the kingdom of heaven

This morning's text study worked on the many parables about the kingdom of heaven in Matthew, and the richness of concepts and images in Romans. The one sentence we all seemed to focus in on was Romans 8:28, "We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose." This is a radical statement to make, when faced with the realities of life many face - hail, drought, divorce, cancer, dementia, car accidents, our country still at war and many of our young people serving in dangerous places, rising gas prices, and this list goes on. ALL things work together for good?

Yes, these realities are hard and harsh. Yes, we deal with serious issues. But they do not define us, nor do they have the last word. The good news is "I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." God is active and alive in our lives, loving and supporting us through everything, no matter what. Nothing can stop that good!

Those are the early thoughts for this week. Some good directions, that will take some hard work and lots of thought. Let the pondering begin!

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Diagnosis, and a Great Jacket

The diagnosis from the doctor for Lil' Princess' alarming spreading rash: Fifth Disease.

It's a relief that it's just a mild rash illness which apparantly is a common childhood illness now (I don't remember it from my childhood). It should clear up in about a week. We've been enjoying good health for a while now, so it took us by surprise when this nasty rash started showing up. Now that she's going to public school this fall, we really should get ready for just about every bug and germ there is. Yuck!

Such a day. RevDad and Lil' P got some bonding time today with the doctor visit and hanging out this afternoon while I went shopping with my Revfriend from down the road. She needed to do a major supply run, but her vehicle has become unreliable, so I drove and got to have a fun day with my friend. Herbergers has a 70% sale on right now, and I found the sweetest little jacket. It looks great, fits great, and I got one in black and one in a gray pattern for a total of $25!!!

All in all, it was a good day. I'm grateful.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hail, hail, go away, come again...well, never!

This weekend a hail storm went through south of here. It took out various fields in its wake, a number of which belong to members of one of my congregations. These are their southern fields that were actually doing well, in contrast to their northern fields which have not received enough moisture and have basically crisped up in the sun. So a good number of them just watched this year's profit disappear.

In commenting to one of them that farmers are the world's biggest gamblers, this life long farmers wife replied that one time she told her husband that they should take the money they put into the fields every year and blow it in Vegas. At least they would have fun losing it.

They're solid people, taking it is stride. This is not a new situation. But still a tough one.

One family has it particularly tough. The dad is in Minneapolis, struggling for life. He's waiting on a heart transplant. They put in a pump, but the doctors estimate that it will only hold him over for maybe six weeks. His wife and three grown kids made the long trip and are there with him. While they're gone, the hail storm went through, and the folks at church tell me that it wiped out almost all their fields. Talk about hitting you when you're down.

Life is tough out here. It just is. And no one tries to pretend otherwise. We're all a storm or a bad choice away from losing everything. It's a very bare-bones, honest, simple way of seeing the world.

I still struggle with it. The emptiness, the loneliness, the harshness. I don't call my friends hardly ever anymore, 'cause what am I going to say? Compared to what other people have to deal with, what point is there in their having to hear the broken record of my depression, my loneliness? I've got a job, a home, a family. We have food on the table, clothes on our backs, and enough money to pay for what we need. Guess this weekend has been a reality check for me. Sure I'm in pain, but what's that compared to losing your year's income? Watching your husband or dad struggle to hold on to life? Waiting for a heart that may not come in time?

Dang, this is a dark post. Guess it reflects my thoughts these days. I've really been struggling this summer. I'm so unhappy here. I feel trapped. I feel alone. I just want to go home. But where is that?

ENOUGH with the downers! The Pity Party is over. Here's hoping tomorrow is a better day.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Saving Power of Humor

I signed up to get a daily Savage Chickens cartoon in my email, and I've enjoyed their offbeat humor. My current world/ministry is usually lacking humor that could be called offbeat. Eccentric, yes. But funky offbeat no.

When I got this particular cartoon recently, I about snorted my milk out my nose. Just had to share!!!

If you don't get it or think its stupid, I'm so sorry, I just can't help you. You need some intense twisted-humor therapy. Begin by viewing all the Monty Python movies. For the religiously, scripturally inclined, start with "Life of Brian." Trust me.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


The day has has finally come! Not THE DAY when Christ returns in glory, of course. But the day when Project Runway Season 5 begins!!!

I have been a faithful watcher from the very beginning, my first guilty pleasure in reality television. And I was sooooo pleased that for the first challenge, they brought back the grocery store shopping trip from the first season. Just imagine, the materials for you to construct your outfit have to be bought from a grocery store! I was disappointed that most of the designers just bought table clothes and modified them...not very original. Only two of them actually used food items, which is a bummer, cause that's the fun part!
But nonetheless, I enjoyed the episode, and am ready for another fun-filled season. I can already tell that a couple of the designers are going to drive me crazy, and that a few of them are going to be a blast.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Getting Caught Up

Halleluiah! I'm connected!

The past few days our internet service has been spotty and difficult, and I've been unable to access Blogger. I think I started going through serious withdrawal!!

Our excitement from this weekend was going to a rodeo - and we're talkin' the REAL thing. Never saw so many spurs, giant belt buckles and cowboy hats in my life. Lil' Princess and I enjoyed it while RevDad had to help his youth run the concession stand. They sold funnel cakes, and oh, Yum! Hot oil fried, powdered sugar covered heaven!

There were a few tough moments at the rodeo, one of which we did witness. While we were there, they were herding a bronc back into the corral after a bronc riding event, and it ran full speed straight into a metal fence. It was knocked unconscious, and died later. It was tough to see it happen, I'm glad Lil' P was looking away at the moment. Later on, after we left, a cowboy got gored by a steer. Glad we missed that.

Yesterday's sermon went really well, I'm pleased to say. I used a dead potted petunia (one that had died before I had gotten it planted) and talked about God's extragent grace and about how we are to grow and bloom in faith. The dead petunia was a good visual for what our other option is for our faith if we resist growth. What was great about it, was that they were actually open to hearing about how we can encourage others in their growth of faith. Usually they tune out when I start talking about sharing our faith, but something about this Sunday's Gospel, and the growth/seed imagery connected with them. Yay!

Today was get-serious-about-cleaning day. Now that we're going to be around home for a while, its time to take care of all those jobs that we've been avoiding. So today I took on our bedroom, while Lil' P played Cinderella around me (I got to be the Grand Duke. When she switched to Cinderella II, I got to be one of the ladies-in-waiting. Lucky me!). I've come to the conclusion I should clean under the bed more often. I sneezed for a good minute after sweeping under there!

Now I'm enjoying internet computer heaven while Lil' P and RevDad watch WonderPets. Aahhh. For the moment, life is good.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Five: Summer Camp

From the RevGalBlogPals author of the Friday Five:
We're settling into our new new apartment, and after a lifetime at Montessori Katie is having a fantastic summer at YMCA day camp. Meanwhile, Nicholas is packing up for a week at Camp Julian, shared by the Episcopal dioceses of Los Angeles and San Diego. His lists of supplies and rules--except for the ropes course available to the teenagers and the ban on IPODs and cell phones--bring back memories of my own happy times weeks at Y camp Ta Ta Pochon, funded by selling countless cases of butter toffee peanuts. So, in celebration of summer, please share your own memories and preferences about camp.

1. Did you go to sleep away camp, or day camp, as a child? Wish you could? Or sometimes wish you hadn't?
I went to church camp (Luther Crest Bible Camp) two summers during junior high, and loved it. The only downsides were some of the other girls, who were really into the catty, snobby jr high girl stuff. The counselors were great, the camp was beautiful, and I LOVED the music.

2. How about camping out? Dream vacation, nightmare, or somewhere in between?
We went camping and canoeing every summer during my childhood, and I loved it. We stayed at a lovely state park, and floated down a river with our extended family. The icky part was the old fashioned outhouses - full of flies, spiders, mosquitos, and smells that absolutely defy description. I would take a deep breath, and run inside, praying that I could get my business done before I needed to take another breath! I still enjoy going camping as an adult, an actually just got back from a nice camping experience in Medora ND this week!

3. Have you ever worked as a camp counselor, or been to a camp for your denomination for either work or pleasure?
As a teenager, I helped our camp counselors do day camp for the little kids in our church. As a pastor, I have been a chaperone at one of our synod's bible camp many times, and have run many, many confirmation retreats at one of our nearby bible camps before moving to a new call. My previous synod's bible camps are incredible, I am so impressed and proud of the staff, and the congregations who support them!

4. Most dramatic memory of camp, or camping out?
Oh, I have to choose?!?! I went to a Girl Scout camp, and we went canoeing. I had three other people in my canoe, two of whom had never been in any kind of boat before. We headed out, with me in the front, and the other girl with canoe experience in the back. It took a little time for us to get the swing of it, which freaked out the girls in the middle. We were doing fine after a few minutes, but they stayed scared the whole trip.

There were some big rocks coming up, so I called out to the girl in the back to warn her, so she'd steer us clear of them. The girls in the middle panicked and started screeching and wailing. As we safely went past one of the large rocks, one of these girls reached out and grabbed it, and held on. But of course the canoe kept moving with the force of the current. So we had a girl barely in the boat, screeching loudly, as we desperately tried to keep the canoe by the rock. The other girl in the middle kept trying to stand up to help her friend, and we kept yelling at her to sit down. I'm not sure how long this went on, but it felt like a long time. Finally, a canoe with some leaders came along, they rescued the screeching girl, they yelled at us for getting her into that predicament, and took both of the scared girls into their canoe to save them from us since we obviously couldn't be trusted with the welfare of others.

Come to think of it, I quite Girl Scouts after that year.

5. What is your favorite camp song or songs? Bonus points if you link to a recording or video.
It Only Takes a Spark
Make New Friends
I Can Sing a Rainbow
Love The Lord Your God

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Love to Read

I found this on one of the blogs I regularly read, "Choral Reef music under the surface." This is from something called 'The Big Read', and it is designed to encourage community reading initiatives. The NEA 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 me 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 been wondering what to read next. Guess now I know where to start!

Here we are

No, we have NOT fallen off the edge of the earth. We got to spend a few days camping, and just got back this afternoon. It gave me SO much inspiration!!! More thoughts to follow, but right now, I need to get to a council meeting!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Sermon for Sunday, July 6th

Sermon outline for tomorrow (thus far):
+Image of building a sandcastle - have an image in our minds of how we want it to look. Work hard on it, try to make it just how we want it, but sand dries out and crumbles, waves come in and wash it away.
+good image for Paul's words in Romans. I know the good, but I don't do it. We have the vision for how God wants us to be, have the best intentions, but we go out into our day, and we slip up, and slip up, and slip up. We are caught in the shackles of sin.
+BUT we don't need to despair. The gift of grace is ours from our living God. In our Matthew text, Jesus offers us peace and rest. We give his our shackles of sin, and in return we share in his yoke of life, righteousness, and Christian freedom.

Still need a conclusion, and to fully flush out my main thoughts. But it's coming together.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Friday Five Fireworks Edition

Happy Independence Day! We're spending it at our place with RevDad's parents and two nieces. The kids have played, played, played. Grandpa and grandma brought me hostas (yay!!) so we did some weeding and planting today. We grilled hotdogs and ate on the patio tonight, then watched hubby and our oldest niece light fireworks. All in all, a pretty nice day. Except for me, everyone is too tired to go to one of the big fireworks displays around here, so we'll miss out on the big show. Oh well!!

Today's Friday Five reflects today's holiday.

1. Barbeque's or picnics ( or are they essentially the same thing?)
They are very different!! I'm more used to picnics, which are fun, but barbeques are so so yummy.

2. The park/ the lake/ the beach or staying at home simply being?
I have to pick?!?!?! How about all of the above? This year it's staying at home. If I could do anything I want, I'd go to the lake.

3. Fireworks- love 'em or hate 'em?
Love them, definately. (Well, except for the morter shells, I think that's what they're called. The really loud booms. I hate those!) I love the sparkles, the oohs, the aahs. Some of the best I've seen were at Epcot Center at Disney World.

4. Parades- have you ever taken part- share a memory...
Gotta love 'em! Every year I was in high school, I marched in our local summer parade in the high school band, the last two years as part of the flag corps. Tassle boots, fringed skirts and everything! One year I dropped my flag right in front of the judges stand. Miss Dexterity, that's me! It was HOT and exhausting, but had its fun moments. I enjoy watching them now.

5. Time for a musical interlude- if you could sum up holidays in a piece of music what would it be?
Yesterday at the nursing home service we sang "O Beautiful for Spacious Skies."

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

First 90 degree day of the Summer

Whew! Today was our first truly scalding hot day. The flowers are lookin' sad. The grass is browning and turning crunchy in spots. Sigh. We are now entering my NOT favorite part of the year. Holiday plans for the end of the week are still up in the air, which is fine. Hubby is still recovering from the stomach flu, so we'll play it by ear.

Lil' Princess had Day 2 of swimming lessons and is thoroughly enjoying herself. Her instructor is great with her, and seems to understand how to coax her out of her fears and doubts. I just sit back, read my book, and listen to her delighted laughter, and sneak quick peaks of her giant grins.

I'm attempting to ponder texts for the upcoming Sunday. I feel tugged towards the second lesson, Romans 7:15-25. I do what I don't want to do, and don't do what I do want to do....consequenses of sin in our lives. Such a cycle we're caught in - we know the good, but we can't truly live it. I'd like to talk about taking sin seriously, because I think our American culture has pretty much erased the very concept of sin for many. But I also want to talk about taking grace seriously, living as forgiven saints, humble in our rebirth. Ponder, ponder, ponder!