Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Reality Nite

Ah yes, my one night of guilty pleasure, of tv with no redeeming value! Lil' Princess was exhausted from school, and actually went to bed without a fight, so I was able to watch my shows in peace for once.

Shear Genius - The Finale; it was down to the top three. They had to come up with a story of a life of a woman, and show this story through the hairstyles using an 18 yr old, a 30 yr old, a 45 yr old and a 60 yr old model. For me, the winner was clear. Charlie is an excellant hairstylist, and he had a good story, but his styles made his ladies look old. Nicole did a nice job, but once again showed her inexperience. Dee just did a wonderful job, and I totally agree with the judges choice of her as the winner!

Project Runway - I love these challenges! Tonight's was taking car parts and using them to make an outfit. How hysterical, and what a chance to be innovative and think outside the box! As usual, Blayne annoyed the heck out of me. Most of the designers seemed to have fun with it, and rose to the challenge. I agreed with the top two, they did amazing things with car parts! Leane deserved the win. The bottom two ended up there because they were designing with judges past critiques in mind instead of the present challange. So glad that Kief is finally out, because he showed minimal range. Fringe seemed to be all he was able to do!

Another intriguing week. Now I have to find a show to replace Shear Genius!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Long Road

Things have really picked up. It's been a quiet summer, but now ministry situations are coming out of the wood-work.

A suicidal member who refuses treatment, and his confused and hurting family who don't know how to deal with him (adult children).
It is SO frustrating that we have little to no mental health professionals and support out here. Folks with issues go untreated for years because of ignorance about these kind of issues, and when they finally do recognize they need help, the options are very limited. There are generations of depression and suicide in many families around here, but no professional help. The local pastor is as close as it gets to help, and we're not trained to give what many of these folks really need!
The son of the man who is suicidal doesn't want to talk to dad because of the hurtful things that were said and done in the big episode that happened before the sheriff's deputies hauled the dad away. And I'm trying to talk to him about his father having an illness, and about the son needing to talk about his feelings, so that he stays healthy. And he's looking at me like I'm speaking a foreign language. But by the end, he'd come to an understanding of what I meant, and what was going to be helpful during this tough time.

Oh Lord, be with this man, his two brothers, and their mom! And be with their dad, help him to seek out the help he needs.

It's going to be a long road.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Some thoughts about the day

It was a GREAT day at kindergarten for Lil' Princess!

And I only cried a little when I left the school. RevDad was fully stoic and tough. My wonderful RevFriend boosted my spirits over Chai tea, and helped put it into persective.

The year of Christian education got launched tonight with the Confirmation program parents' meeting. It went well, and it feels kind of exciting to be diving into the fall schedule.

Here we go!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tomorrow... baby goes to kindergarten.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Van Has Landed

We have landed.


It was a long trek, a good one, and it's good to be home. We saw our parents, did a quick celebration of our anniversary, did some errands that had to be done back in the "old home country" and then took the long road back.

As always, we wish we had more time, wish we could have seen some friends and more of our family, but we take what we can get. It was a quick respite before the insanity of fall schedules and Lil' Princess going to school begins.

So tonight we settle in, get reacquainted with the home turf, and get ready to hit the ground running tomorrow.

I have several conclusions from our whirlwind trip:

1. The Minnesota Renaissance Festival in Shakopee is obnoxiously fun. And a great way to celebrate our 15 year anniversary!

2. A day and a half with each set of parents is NOT enough time. It was all we had, but still. You need to take the time.

3. Go to St. John University near St. Cloud MN. Ask someone how to get to the swimming beach. Find the walking path that goes around the lake, out to the chapel. It's worth it. Beautiful, life-affirming, God-present, delightful kind of stroll that restores one's soul.

4. A good way to deal with the frustration of road construction while on long trips is to use it as a prayer discipline. While in sight of any orange cone, barrel or sign, be in prayer. When you see road construction workers, pray specifically for them. Many have a tough, thankless job.

5. When the trip home gets long, list all the things you were blessed by during the vacation. Then list all the things you are looking forward to when you get home. You'd be surprised how this can liven up the conversation, and where it can take you. And how it can make the miles fly by for a little while, at least.

6. Be gentle to each other. Everyone's tired and out of sorts to some extent. Wait to deal with BIG stuff until you've slept in your own bed at least one night.

Well, there's my travel-worn wisdom. May your miles fly by, your worries be few, and your happy reunions many. Good Night!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wow! Did you see that?!?!

It's been wonderful to watch gymnastics and swimming tonight on the Olympics coverage. We are all in awe of what these athletes are capable of...

We are just glued to these games. It will be challenging on us to be traveling these next few days, since we don't want to miss our nightly viewing!

Sorry, just don't have time to say much now. Don't want to miss a second!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Guess Who's Coming for Dinner

My aunt and uncle are visiting today through Wednesday morning, which rocks. We haven't gotten to spend much time with them for years, so its so good to have them here. Besides being my godparents, they are also a lot of fun.

My uncle has already charmed Lil' Princess with his goofiness and antics, watching him tease her just like he used to tease me when I was little was priceless. He tried to convince her to call him "Uncle K the Great" but instead she has declared him to be "Uncle K the Silly" much to my aunts delight! We gave them the tour of the church, down town and took them out to eat, then had a nice time chatting the evening away. I'm just so glad to have visitors!!!

Tomorrow I'll take them to see the other two churches and visit the cool odds 'n ends store here in town. After that, we'll just have to wait and see what they are interested in doing. There aren't a whole lot of options, and most of them require alot of driving, so we'll see if they want to travel, or if they'd rather hang out and talk. I'm just so happy to have the time with them, I'm willing to go with the flow.

It's so nice to have something to look forward to as I head to bed and think about tomorrow. Happy dreams!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

All Eyes on China

The glory of the games!

We're enjoying watching the Olympics at our place. We let Lil' Princess stay up late to watch a majority of the opening ceremonies, and have had the TV on much of this afternoon. She's asked alot of questions, and was impressed with some of the gymnastic events in particular. RevDad was on the swim team in high school, so he's kept an eye on the water events. I just love it all! I totally buy into the whole package - nations coming together, united by the love of athletics and excellance, celebrating what brings us together.

Now, there are plenty of politics swirling around these Olympics. Because China is hosting, and have a terrible history with human rights violations, plus the whole Tibet issue, there are those who are calling for the public to boycott the games. Others are ticked with how NBC is handling the broadcasting of the events.

I'm just glad in our fractured world full of sound bytes, violence and reactionary thinking, that we can still come together for something better. We can all still agree on some ideals and seek to attain them. We can recognize excellance and celebrate it. We understand sacrifice for something greater. We empathize with defeat, we rejoice with triumph. For a small window of time. we can actually focus on what unites us, instead of what divides us.

For me, the Olympics are about hope.
And some kick-butt athletics!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Thought Provoking

"I have a priest friend who points out that the opposite of faith is not doubt but certainty"
quote from Ron Hansen, from 'An Interview with Ron Hansen - The risks of writing' by Amy Frykholm in the August 12, 2008 edition of The Christian Century.

"It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings."
--Wendell Berry

These are a couple things that made me go hmmmmm today.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Reality Show Nite

I'm still recovering from yesterday's migraine, so it's been a quiet day. It's nice to end an off day with the shows I've been looking forward to since last Wednesday.

Project Runway - Design the type of outfit Olympic athletes wear in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.
It was fascinating to watch their thought process. I mean, this is for the Olympics, and over half of them are pretty much avoiding the athletic and American aspects of the design! It was truly odd to realize that some were absolutely ignorant about (or ignoring) who their clients were meant to be. I totally agreed with who they chose for the top three and bottom three, and can go along with who won and who was auf'd. The bottom two - a purplish/blue cocktail dress with red piping and a creamy striped dress with little dark cardigan - both deserved it, I thought.

Shear Genuis - The big challenge was to style the hair of a dog and the hair of its owner in a way that both complement each other.
The stylists pretty much freaked out at this one, and I don't blame them! They don't know anything about dog grooming. The winner did do an excellent job of making both the woman and her dog look great, and they looked like a matched set. And I was absolutely thrilled when the stylist who (in my opinion) should have been kicked off WEEKS ago finally got the boot. Yay!!!! She was almost always worst in the challenges, she almost always blamed someone else when the judges didn't like something about her hair-do (tonight, yet again, she blamed the client!), and yet has managed to make it till now. I would have been seriously ticked if the guy who was up on the chopping block with her had been the one to go, he has shown such great possibilities.

Another night of guilty pleasures is over. Now I've switched it over to the movie version of Pride and Prejudice, to watch Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy discover that struggle and challenge makes the coming together that much sweeter.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Migraine day.

Sink hole of pain.

Can't think clearly.

Just want it all to be over.

Coherent thought maybe tomorrow.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Stormy Thoughts

I am considering walking on water.

I mean, not me doing that nifty little miracle, but the Gospel lesson for next Sunday that recounts Jesus walking on water. And Peter trying to. And going all panicky. And having to get fished out by Jesus. (Me? I'd still be clinging to the boat, freaking out)

So I was looking around at my usual internet spots for inspiration to prepare for tomorrow's text study, and came across a blog that had a link to a Casting Crown's song. This is a Christian band that I'm not all that familiar with, but I was touched by the song, and thought, "Hey, I'll check them out on YouTube, and see if they have something that connects with this Sunday's theme." Aren't you so glad you get to hear my internal dialoge?

Well, I just finished about 30 minutes of listening to their songs and BAWLING my eyes out because they are so incredibly moving and I'm such an emotional rollercoaster this week (you girls all understand). Their songs are so powerful, about forgiveness, and crying out to God in our pain, and not being judgemental, and not shutting out people who aren't like us, and so on. Powerful! I have so been out of modern Christian music ever since my daughter was born, so they were new to me.

I don't think my foray into YouTube necessarily helped me with walking on water, but it definately touched me in a deep soulful way tonight. Which walking on water certainly did for Peter. And for the rest of the disciples for that matter! There's one Casting Crowns song, Praise You in this Storm, which I think will make its way into my reflections this week and perhaps my sermon this Sunday.

I was sure by now, God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away


I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth


Sunday, August 03, 2008

On all things Vehicular

We are in the middle of the great vehicle debate.

The good old family van needs to be replaced, because it gets terrible gas mileage, and it's starting to show warning signs that age is catching up with it.

So here's the debate, condensed;

Me: Gas prices aren't going to get any better, so our priority needs to be something that gets great gas mileage, but is roomy enough that we're all comfortable riding in it.

Hubby: I still want something that has plenty of room for us to haul things when we go on trips, or do one of our big restocking shopping trips. We'll miss having the room to be able to haul stuff and fit in extra people. Plus it would be nice to be able to have towing capability, if we're going with a smaller vehicle than the van. If we need to haul something larger, then we could hook up one of my dad's small trailers to it.

So what should our compromise be? Any suggestions???