Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

First Things

Today is a day of firsts.

I have been on my own with SweetBaby all day, and I'll be on my own with both girls until late tonight. I also ran errands with SweetB on my own today, which is also a first. Up till now, RevDad has always been with. It all went well, to my immense relief.

It gives me some confidence and hope that I can handle our new reality as I head back to work. I managed to get Lil' Princess fed without too much stress. She and I worked together to get the Halloween treat bags ready for her class on Friday, and had fun doing it. The only thing I'm not going to do is Lil' P's bath. SweetB is awake and demanding, and I just don't feel quite up to how much work it is to get Lil' P bathed. She is....high maintenance when it comes to bath time. We'll do it tomorrow night when RevDad is around for back-up.

It felt really good to get out of the house, and not feel completely tied down and trapped. SweetB's colic is getting a bit better, so I feel more positive about being able to take her places. Now if the nasty germs weren't everywhere, I'd feel no reservations about taking her with me wherever I go. We don't want any of the influenzas to visit our house!

It has felt good to start doing the work that needs to get done to be prepared for Sunday, my first official day back at work (thought actually I've put in work time throughout the maternity leave). For the first time, I feel like this is do-able!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Under the Weather

The sickness continues at our place. Lil' Princess and I still are under the weather, a week later. Actually, my cough is worse, and my back went out this week, so I'll be going in to the clinic today.

The clinic and hospital are places you want to avoid these days. The cases of swine flu and influenza A are rampant, I'm surprised that any of our local schools have stayed open this week. So many students and teachers are ill, including Lil' P's teacher. The clinics can't keep up with the load of patients, I'm truly surprised I got an appointment this week, all the doctors are overloaded. The scheduler at our clinic sounded frazzled and exhausted when I called.

I go back to work in a week, and I'm concerned about many things, including still being sick. We still have to figure out how we're going to manage juggling my work and taking care of SweetBaby. That stresses me out! We don't have daycare, and SweetB is still colic-y, and I have some really tough work situations waiting for me, and on and on and on. I'm trying to stay calm and not freak out, but I am such a natural-born worrier (thanks Dad!).

So I'm looking for some good health, and some serenity. God grant me the serenity...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sick

RevDad and I are debating whether Lil' Princess and I have a cold, or a milder form of the flu. I did the symptom checker on the Mayo Clinic site, and it says that it could be either.

Dry cough, worst at night
Runny nose for Lil' P, a lot of drainage for me
Fever of 100 during the day for both of us, goes up to 102.6 for Lil' P at night
Tired out

So who knows what this bug is! I just hope that RevDad and SweetBaby don't catch it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

RevGals Friday Five - Happy Feet


This week's Friday Five is about footwear...and is kinda fun!

1. What is your favorite footwear at this time in your life?
I have a pair of brown Mary Jane slip-ons that are sooooo comfortable and look pretty spiffy. I like the combination of comfy and pretty, which can be hard to find.

2. What was the craziest shoe, boot, or sandal you ever wore?
Ya know, I know that I'm pretty boring, because I can't think of a single crazy one! The closest is a pair of soft sneakers I had in high school that had a zipper pocket on each shoe. The pockets were just big enough to put a couple of coins in it. I thought it was so cool that I would always be able to have enough change to make a phone call if I needed to (in those ancient times before cell phones, and pay phones were everywhere).

3. What kind of shoes did you wear in your childhood?
Tennis shoes or black flats (which we wore without socks, even in the middle of winter) for school. Dressy flats for church and other dress-up events, back when you actually dressed up for church.

4. How do you feel most comfortable? Barefoot, flip-flops, boots, or what?
When I'm hanging around the house, I prefer to be barefoot even in winter, which my husband thinks is crazy. When I have to wear shoes, I run around in tennis shoes or other comfy shoes.

5. What kind of socks do you like, if any?
Soft white cotton...have you picked up on the focus on comfortable?

Bonus: Anything you want to share about feet or footwear.
I have just recently discovered the joys of a good pedicure, so I'm actually taking better care of my feet, instead of ignoring them. I am so low-maintenance in my personal grooming, but I am discovering the fun of paying more attention to such things. Who knows, maybe a manicure is actually in my future!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Icy Wednesday

School is two hours late today because of icy road conditions. We're supposed to have snow changing to rain all day today, so we'll see if school gets called off early too. I'm concerned we might not be able to get the 24 miles down the road to the town with our clinic. SweetBaby has her check-up today, and I have a lot of questions for our doctor!

So right now Lil' Princess is looking through all our theology books, asking why there are so many highlighted parts in them ('cause she's not allowed to write or draw in her books, so why are we???) RevDad is trying to convince SweetBaby to stay asleep. I'm looking around the living room, wondering how the house can become a disaster zone so quickly.

Today I am doing something rare, I am doing something to truly pamper myself. I have an appointment to get a pedicure at the hair salon here in town (as long as she can get into town from her place!) I've only had one once before, and discovered to my surprise that I really enjoy it. It was really relaxing, and fun to have pretty toes. My back hurts, my head hurts, I'm exhausted, so maybe a little pampering will help the situation.

Oh, it's my turn to walk the floor with SweetBaby. Time to sing!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I've been thinking...

Ok, now that I'm getting over my snit...thank your for your patience...

I've been thinking about pursuing some graduate work. My challenge is that I'm interested in too many things. I'd love some more work in Youth and Family ministry. I'd love to explore studies in Preaching. And there's my original passion and interest, the intersection of psychology and theology. I'm just not sure what would fit me the best, and be the best asset to my ministry. (And I'm not sure how I would juggle job, family and studies, especially now with a baby.)

What has prompted these reflections is the fact that my current parish is probably going to fall apart within the year in response to the ELCA's Sexuality Statement passed at this year's assembly. Since I have a very big chance of being out of a job by early 2010, it has started me thinking about what's next.

We want to move back to our "home" territory, and be closer to family...and civilization. We're interested in exploring perhaps serving together at a call. I'm pretty sure I want to continue with a part time call. Being able to be home with my children, and not gone all the times at meetings and events is a luxury I hope I can continue to have. I want to settle somewhere where we can stay for a good long time, and give our kids some stability, if that's possible for pastors.

It's all pretty nebulous right now. And I've been told that there aren't that many openings right now because pastors in my denomination aren't moving as much because of the economy. But I have to trust that we'll be guided to the wheres and whats. I started to fill out the mobility paperwork, which really is the first step. These forms are a huge pain in the behind, but they do force you to think about where you've been, where you want to be, and who you are as a pastor. It's going to take a few months to finish them, but hopefully the process will help me clarify some things for myself and my family.

So what's next? I don't know. As my sister-in-law tells me, it's one day at a time. As scripture tells me, don't worry about tomorrow, today's troubles are enough for today. I just have a hard time remembering that, and giving myself over to the process. I want the end result, the answers, right now!

Never Mind

I expressed my wish to develop some hopes and dreams in a couple of different places. The responses I have gotten overall has been people pretty much making fun of me. While I know that no one has to take me seriously about anything, and it may have sounded silly to others, that response still kinda pisses me off. It was a serious question, and some serious pondering.

So I'll ponder on my own and not bother anyone with my thoughts.

Yes, I'm annoyed.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Unanswered Question

I was staring blankly at the TV the other day (which happens pretty often now that we're up at all hours day and night with a cranky baby) and I caught a part of Oprah. Now I haven't seen an episode of Oprah in years, and have never been that interested in watching. But it was on, I was conscious but didn't dare move from my seat until the baby was definitely asleep, so I watched.

Oprah told the story of a woman from Africa who had a dream of coming to America and getting an education. Everything was stacked against her, she had a very moving story. But after 20 years of struggle, she now lives in America, has a Bachelor's degree, a Master's degree, and is a few month's away from a PhD. The premise of her presentation was that a person's hopes and dreams are attainable.

It really struck me. Besides being horrified by the situations she came out of (refused education by her father, married off at age 11, stuck with a husband who beat her), I was so moved by her tenacious commitment to her dreams, and her refusal to give up on them. I started asking myself, what are my hopes and dreams? The sad thing is, I didn't have an answer. I couldn't think of any.

This is really bothering me. I find myself thinking alot about this, and doing some soul- searching. I'm not sure where this will lead me, but I know that it matters deeply to me. In my current call, I had already realized that I have felt little to no passion for the ministry, but have chalked it up to the isolation and depression. But now I see that this lack of passion is connected to a lack of personal hopes and dreams for myself. I have hopes for my children, my husband, my other family and friends. But none for myself. So I'm trying to set myself on a path to some self-discovery. I'm not sure how, but I know it matters.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Autumn Friday Five

From RevGalBlogPals:

Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest. Jeremiah 5:23b


The Autumnal Equinox has just come 'round again. I took a look back at our Friday Fives and noted that it always seems to make the Rev Gals and their Pals think of changes.

There is something so nostalgic about this time of year, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. The nights grow cooler, crops are harvested, for some of us the leaves are beginning to change colors. The scent of smoke is in the air, pumpkins are in the stores (or on wagons, or in roadside stands for those of us in the country). I'm thinking of putting away my summer clothes and pulling out the sweaters. And I have a tub of Fall-themed items that my husband just lugged up from the basement. I'm looking for my scarecrow.

For this week, let's share some memories along with some hopes and expectations.

1. Share a Fall memory.
My brother and I raking together the biggest, most impressive leaf pile EVER (we lived in the middle of the woods so there was a never-ending supply), then absolutely demolishing it by running and jumping in it. It would start off taller than we were, and end up in a small pulverized heap. To add an element of danger, we'd put it on the edge of a pretty deep ravine, and try not to fall in. By some miracle, neither of us ever did.

2. Your favorite Fall clothes--(past or present)?
Jeans and a snuggly cardigan - fall temps are such a great excuse to layer on my favorite soft cardigans.

3. Share a campfire story, song, experience...etc.
I got to go to Girl Scout camp once, which coincidentally took place in the fall. We sang "make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other's gold." A memorable night game we played was a version of hide and seek, where one team had to hide and each member had to make a different assigned animal noise. The finder teams had to see who could find all the "animals" on the list first. I'd lost my voice earlier in the evening, and so spent the whole game vainly attempting to make a hooting noise. It took forever for anyone to find me, and it was cold!

4. What is your favorite thing about this time of year?
Cool days, the crunch of leaves under your feet, the feeling of something new happening, the change of activities, kids boarding the school bus. It's a time for new things, and has a freshness about it.

5. What changes are you anticipating in your life, your church, family...whatever...as the season changes and winter approaches?
The decisions made at the ELCA's Churchwide Assembly in August have riled up something pretty ugly in my parish. There are members from one of the churches in particular who are up in arms, and want the whole parish to leave the ELCA. The way it looks now, this one of the churches will either leave, or a good chunk of the members will leave the church which effectively closes that church. Either way, the parish cannot afford to lose one of the churches, and will be forced to make some tough decisions in order not to close. So my hubby and I will be downloading the mobility papers onto our computer soon, and we'll be making preparations to leave within the year. This all has happened in this last month, so we're still reeling.

Bonus: What food says "AUTUMN" at your house? Recipes always appreciated.
Yummy soups, especially comfort food combinations like tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sweet baby

I am now the proud mommy of a little baby girl!

We've been home together for a few days. Things have been a bit rocky, but it's working out better now. She's a sweety, Lil' Princess is absolutely a doting loving big sister, and RevDad still looks a bit stunned by how our lives have changed.

I'm tired and grateful. And sore. And so happy that she's here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Baby Where Art Thou

Tomorrow I go in to the hospital for a second try at inducing. I'm going out of my mind, so here's fervently hoping this one works!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Zip

Still no baby.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Nada

Well, THAT was a big let-down!

I spent all Wednesday in the hospital, and diddly happened. No baby, no nothing.

I am sooooooooooooooooo frustrated.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Baby Time

The plan is that I will go to the hospital tomorrow morning to be induced. If all goes well, we should have a baby by tomorrow evening.

I'm nervous and excited. I had wanted to do the early labor at home, but this little one seems reluctant to make her appearance.

So the plan is to get the last few things done around the house tonight, like get the portable crib set up in our room. Then we'll try to get a good night's sleep (the last one for a while!), take a deeeeeep breath, and head out early in the morning.

I have a wonderful doctor who I feel great about. After the fiasco of a doctor I had with Lil' Princess, I am so comforted to know I will be in good hands.

So, this is my last post as a mother of one! Next you hear from me, I will be an exhausted mommy of two little girls. Bring it on!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Waiting, waiting

39 weeks of pregnancy and counting...

I'm finding it hard to wait! Lil' Princess showed up two weeks early, so I'm finding it hard to be patient this time.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sinking Stomach

Well, POOP!

After the vote on the Human Sexuality statement at the Churchwide Assembly for the ELCA, I knew there would be some sort of reaction in my parish. But I hadn't even heard a murmer, and was thinking that it might actually not be too big of a deal for my people.

And then my secretary called me today. Members of one of the three congregations I serve apparently are freaking out BIG time and are contemplating two alternatives - 1. leave their congregation or 2. take the congregation out of the ELCA. None of them wanted to tell me about their impromptu meeting this last Sunday (it was my Sunday off) where they all freaked out and talked about these things, because they didn't want to upset me...which of course upsets me far more than if they had been upfront with me in the first place.

Making this all the more fun is the fact that I could go into labor at any moment. And they're talking about doing something radical right away, they're so upset. So this is going to be just one PEACHY maternity leave. I sent an SOS to my bishop, and he's planning on calling me tomorrow afternoon, so hopefully some good advice is coming my way.

Crap, crap, crap, crap.

Friday, August 21, 2009

RevGal Friday Five: Rules

The host of this week's RevGal's Friday Five writes "After a family vacation with our four children and three additional "partners," I am more aware of rules, spoken and unvoiced. Expectations are not always clearly expressed, but are still expected. . . . unbeknown to all unless one is not fulfilled! So how about writing about rules in your families and workplaces? Choose one or more for each category, especially if one seems odd or funny to you now."

1. Formal rules in family of origin
NEVER say "shut up" to another person, ever! (It was considered on the same level as swearing in my family.) Do your best. Do your chores. Go to college. Be honest. Always behave appropriately in public, you represent the family. Go to church.

2. Unwritten and unspoken rules in family of origin
Be a "good girl" - no sex, no drinking or drugs, no juvenile delinquent behavior. We're private people, so keep family stuff (including extended family) within the family. Know how amuse yourself, 'cause no one is here to cater to your amusement. When mom is in that certain mood (every mom knows this mood!) stay out of her way and don't bug her. Hugs and expressions of love for everyone in the family are a must at leave-takings.

3. Formal rules in current family or workplace
Try everything on your plate. Be kind and considerate. Read often, if not every day. Practice patience. Use your words (adults sometimes need reminding of this one too!). Mind your manners.

4. Unwritten rules in current family or workplace
Be understanding when someone in the family is not feeling the best. Education is extremely important, so take learning seriously, but have fun with it too! We're a naturally messy family, but try to fight back the chaos. Don't spend too much time in front of the TV or computer. Encourage dad in his diet.

5. When was a time that you became aware of different rules in different places/families than your own?
When I was in elementary school, I hung out a bit with a girl a little younger than me who lived just up the road from us. Her mom would scream, yell, criticize and belittle her pretty much all the time, even in front of me. In return, my friend would talk back to her mom, misbehave just to tick her off, and tell me how much she hated her. Up to that point, I had no idea that this kind of family behavior existed!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Children

My baby started first grade today.

It was a really good morning. Her aunt, uncle and two cousins got to see her off and wish her well, since their quick visit overlapped with the big day. She was excited about going to school, and glad to have RevDad and I with her for the first morning. When we got to her classroom, and she saw her classmates, mom and dad didn't matter anymore! She was rarin' to go. The only anxiety was when she looked for her name on a desk, and couldn't find it. Once the teacher explained that they would be fitting each child to the desk that was the right size for their height, she was fine and dandy.

It was nice to see that all the classmates immediately connected, as if they hadn't been apart for the summer (of course, only having 5 in the class does promote bonding!) They share their teacher with the second graders, and do many of their activities with them, like gym, music, art and English. So in many ways she is a part of a class of 13, instead of just 5 (yes, the second grade class is made up of 8 kids, that's rural life for you!)

I find myself enjoying the quiet, and the chance to relax and catch my breath. But I also catch myself checking the clock often, thinking things like, "only one more hour until she's home!" It will be nice to have this time before the baby arrives to get stuff done during the day. But it will take awhile to get used to being separated from her for so many hours again. Better get used to it though, that's how it's going to be for a long time, now that the school years are here.

The baby has the hiccups again, it's so darn cute! And less uncomfortable than some of the big kicks. I think she's dropped some more today, things just feel different. At yesterday's prenatal exam, the doctor said we're at 1 centimeter dilated, and just a tiny bit effaced. Of course you can sit at 3 centimeters for weeks on end, but it is a hopeful sign nonetheless. We really are coming down the home stretch! As of this weekend, we're at 37 weeks, so baby is fully developed, and just puts on weight from here on out. That is also an awesome, reassuring thing! This weekend I'm going to pack my hospital bag, I probably won't need it for a few weeks, but this time I'd like to be ready! With Lil' Princess, I was quickly stuffing random stuff into a bag after my water broke, and rushing off to the hospital without a bunch of stuff I needed. So if this little one is early too, I'd like to be prepared.

How lovely to be thinking about "my children" instead of just "my child." A miracle I never expected!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What the....?!?!

I tuned to NPR while driving in the car today, as I often do (satellite radio is a life-saver in no-reception land!). Talk of the Nation was just diving into an extended analysis and conversation about all the wild and crazy behavior at the health care town-hall meetings around the nation. I switched it to the Broadway tunes station abruptly.

I am so....sick of this behavior. Absolutely people have real concerns and grievances when it comes to the topic of health care. But shouting others down? Chanting crap so that no one can talk or hear? Getting physical and even violent to stop events??? What happened to conversation and dialog? What happened to civility and basic decency? I just can't buy the line that they're just expressing their mistrust and anger. If you have real issues and concerns, then you'd be part of the conversation, part of the solution. If you have a larger political agenda and believe in shutting down true partisonship, believe in influencing through fear and appealing to people's worst instincts, and just love being a bully, then you act like the folks have been at these meetings. It's a perversion of what American democracy is supposed to be about.

Ugh. Ok, now that that's out of my system...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cravings


So today I got a craving. A full-blown pregnancy must-have-it-now craving. So on one of the hottest days of this whole summer (95 degrees) I turned on the oven and whipped together a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. The cookie dough was so yummy. The hot melty cookies right out of the oven were heavenly. And the house smells awesome. It is also pretty unbearable to go into the kitchen right now, and Lil' Princess and I are camped out in front of the air conditioning unit in the living room, but I think I can officially declare the cookies so worth it!

Tomorrow we're going to go visit one of my members who is recovering from breast cancer surgery, so we'll bring some of our cookies with us. She's a champion baker, and has shared many treats with us, so we hope she'll enjoy a treat from us, especially since Lil' P helped make them (flour all over the counter and floor, and many of the chocolate chips ended up in her mouth instead of the bowl, but hey, we had fun!)

Sigh. The dryer beeped again. Time to put away the fourth and hopefully last load of the day!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A Quiet Sunday Afternoon

Life has quieted down.

The insane wedding happened, which gratefully had far less drama than expected.
A couple of members are in the hospital, but holding their own.
I'm still managing to survive three services on Sundays, though a nap is a must on Sunday afternoons.

RevDad is heading out for a continuing education class, so we'll see how well I do with no back-up for a few days. Lil' Princess is definitely overdue to go back to school - she's pretty fed up being stuck with tired-out boring parents! I'm trying to think of things to keep her amused while Dad is gone, since I just can't keep up with her now.

It has been an interesting experience to be pregnant in this parish. They are very pleased that a baby is coming, and were pretty impatient for me to start showing. They want everything to go well, and have been wonderful about making arrangements for a good maternity leave. But a certain contingent have been impatient with the side-effects of pregnancy that impact my work...getting dizzy and tired in worship, easily over-heated, less energetic in my worship leadership and sermons, more limited in what I can do overall and how long I can last. I think it's the whole "You're not supposed to let them see you bleed!" rugged individualism that is the back-bone of survival here. But I can't complain, they've been gracious and understanding overall, and have a deep appreciation and valuing of family life. I know some of my peers in larger communities have run into resistance and even hostility and resentment when they've made family a priority.


Well, once this batch of popcorn is done, it's off to bed. Grocery shopping and writing a newspaper article await me tomorrow. What fun!

Friday, July 31, 2009

It Just Keeps Getting Weirder

I'm on the wedding roller coaster, and I want off!!!

After some...challenging premarital sessions, we have finally come to the wedding weekend. But the excitement is not over. Tonight, the bride and groom did not show up for the rehearsal because they got into a Massive fight. Family all freaked out, big time. It was looking like everything was going to be cancelled. Now, about 30 minutes ago, the bride showed up at my doorstep with her sister and a friend to tell me that they intend to go through with the wedding. That they'd worked it out and are committed to making this happen.

Crap. I'm in the black hole of couple and family dysfunction.

RevGalPals Friday Five - Silliness

Today’s Friday Five celebrates the spontaneous child in all of us… or at least the one that we admire in someone else:

1) On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being I can’t do this now I am about to jump into a pit of plastic balls at the mini-mall and 1 being I can’t do this now until I can get all of the fonts on my blog to match – where are you?
Ooooh, it depends on the day! Actually, it depends on the grumpiness quotient of the day. When the grumpies hit, I'm the one raining on the parade (depression SUCKS). On regular days, I'm probably a 3.5. A 4 on special occasions. As I've gotten older and added responsibilities, spontenatity has definitely lessened. I was the one who was ready on a moment's notice to go do something silly and fun. Now, not so much. Darn, all those adult responsibilites!

2) What is the silliest/most childlike thing you have done as an adult?
I went to a Halloween party dressed as Jael, with the bloody looking tent peg & mallet and everything. I won first prize in the Biblically-themed costume category!

3) Any regrets?
No, I don't think I regret any of my adult occasions of silliness. There are a few adolescent occasions of silliness I wish I could erase!

4) What is the silliest thing you have ever seen another adult do on purpose?
Ummm, the ones I can think of came about because the persons in question imbibed too much alcohol, so I don't know if they really count.

5) What is something you wish you did when you had the chance?
Travel abroad!!! During college and then again at seminary, I had the opportunity to do so, but passed them up over fears about money. I really wish I had just gone for it!

BONUS: For our ‘I told you so’ sides – what thing did you skip doing and you’re really glad you did!
I'm glad that I didn't accept some invitations to some parties that ended up being excuses for adults to act like immature adolescents. I enjoy silliness yes, but stupidity, no.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Drawing a Blank

I have always loved the written word. I love to soak up ideas and images, sort through layers, revel in the richness of language. On my kindergarten final report, the teacher commented on how desperately I wanted to learn to read (in those days, the standards and expectations of 5 & 6 year olds were v-e-r-y different from today! Now you can't graduate from K without knowing how to read at a basic level).

I have also loved to write, to play with words, bring the images and ideas from my head into a form that expresses them to others. I make no claims to excellence, or even mediocrity in my writing, but it is an exercise I enjoy.

So I find myself in a rather odd predicament at the moment. Our local paper has a "From the Pastor's Desk" article every week, and the pastors in the area take our turns writing the column. I am assigned for the first week in August, and the first week in September. Since this baby could show up any time after the first weekend in August, I decided I should write both columns now, and submit them to the paper early with an explanation of my situation. All well and good. BUT. I am having the worst case of blank mind ever, writer's block big time. I can't squeeze out one column right now, much less two! I've started on several different themes, and run out of steam after 100 words each time (the column calls for 400-500 words).

What am I going to write?!?! Nothing is really catching my interest or inspiring any passion in me at the moment - other than the strong desire to sleep and eat as my body preps for the upcoming event. And I don't want to blather about pregnancy or babies in the column, I'd like SOME privacy and boundaries in these tiny communities. Arrghl. Makes me secretly wish I'd saved all those years worth of monthy newsletter articles I wrote in my last parish. I hate to recycle, but I'm coming up empty!

So. Now what?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pre-marital Part 3

Uffda. I'm still working out what I just experienced in my latest pre-marital session. Each time I think I know what's going to happen, or think I've got things figured out with these folks, I end up being surprised and challenged.

The positives - both were able to honestly and clearly express their love and trust and commitment to each other. It was simple and straightforward, and...beautiful, really. They were also able to express and start discussing their relationship challenges and issues with me. I hadn't expected this, I'd hoped for it, but thought it wouldn't or couldn't happen.

The negatives - so many, many difficult issues for which they struggle to be able to come to any consensus or game plan. They both have complicated and painful pasts that have a HUGE impact in how they understand and deal with their realities. They both have families that barely function. He deals with substance abuse and a history of getting in trouble with the law. And so dealing with all their life issues becomes so huge and seemingly insurmountable for them. Their frustration and anger were palpable as they talked about their issues, but they didn't seem able to move past venting to dealing with them and coming up with ideas and solutions.

I wish that I had more time with them. I wish they were open to seeking out some skilled counseling. I feel better about them as a couple than I did when we first started. But. They have so much to deal with and overcome. And getting married is not going to solve any of the problems. So here we are. Uffda.

And what in the world am I going to preach at this wedding?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Internal Musings


Just finished reading Kate Braestreps' book "Here If You Need Me" again. I think it's one of those you just need to read periodically, to remind you of essential things, to keep you grounded. I appreciate her honesty, her openness about her thoughts and situation, and how it affirms the holiness of certain moments in our lives.

I'm trying to orient myself to once again be aware to the holiness and blessedness of events and activities in my life. Being tired and grumpy and overwhelmed most of the time has leached that awareness out of me, bit by bit. It's too easy to see problems and troubles, less easy to see them as possibilities and blessings. I'm so easily haunted by mistakes I've made, the work not done, the words unsaid or unfortunately said. I think "failure" is my mind's default setting when analyzing myself. My question is how to be gentle, forgiving and loving to myself, yet bracing and kick-butt to deal with the things that stymie me.

Right now Lil' Princess is begging me to play with her. I think the plan is to go downstairs and play with Play-doh. So further internal introspection will have to wait. Maybe there's some good therapy to be found in Play-doh!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Night Thoughts

The doctor called this week - the gestational diabetes test turned out to be negative - Yay!

RevDad's parents, and his sister's three kids are visiting this weekend, and all the kids are having a great time together.

I'm re-evaluating my sense of self, call, and attitude tonight, after a conversation with my mom-in-law about our future plans.

The little bun in the oven has been moving and kicking tonight, which is lovely. My in-laws brought the crib out with them (we stored most of our baby stuff at their farm), so I'm looking around my study (soon to be nursery) and envisioning where it will go. That's a good feeling.

Good night, I'm tired. I'm sure the kids will be up bright and early!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blood Day - sounds lovely, eh?

So today I went in for the 3+ hour gestational diabetes test. It was a l-o-n-g morning. They took my blood for a baseline, had me chug a bottle of nasty orange-y stuff, and then took more blood after 1 hr, 2hrs, and 3 hrs. But I wasn't allowed to leave the lab area the entire time, which consists of a few ancient uncomfortable chairs stuck in a kind of hallway outside of the actual lab. And the air conditioning was blasting the whole time, so I froze! I'm not sure when I'll get the results. I shouldn't really complain though, the staff were very gracious and encouraging, and one very nice lady got me a blanket and talked with me about books. And the staff who were around at the last blood-letting were cheering for me, and offering their best wishes for a good outcome to the tests.

Ever since my dad was diagnosed with a blood disorder back when I was in seventh grade, and had to have blood drawn several times a week for a long time, I've grown to appreciate phlebotemists (sp?). They're often the last person the patient wants to see, but by and large all the ones I've met have been patient, good-humored, and very skilled. One of the patients who came through the lab today was an elderly woman in a wheel chair, who was obviously miserable and in pain when she came in. She was having a hard time with getting poked by a needle, and whimpered for a while. The tech was so gentle and reassuring, and did about the quickest blood draw I've ever known. The poor lady was quickly on her way, one of the available techs wheeling her to Xray instead of waiting for an aide, and speaking soothingly and encouragingly as they went. I was impressed with their compassion and professionalism.

So now I'm home, with a sore arm, getting ready for tonights family service and tomorrow's funeral. Lil' Princess was NOT happy to wake up and find me gone this morning, and ticked off that I didn't get home till after lunch. So she's been a little...difficult this afternoon. But for the moment she's happy to watch a princess movie while I snatch a few moments.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pre-marital Part 2

So tonight was pre-marital Round 2. I have been grumpy and off all day, in anticipation of the evening. I had to miss teaching at VBS to do this, which made it a challenge for the rest of the VBS leaders, but they rose to the occasion to make it possible for me to be gone. But that didn't help my mind-set any, trying not to start resenting this couple who could only make tonight work for our meeting. My stomach was twisting as I waited for them to arrive - late of course.

And then something surprising happened. It actually went pretty well. I walked through the marriage service with them, emphasizing the promises they'd be making, and how as a community of faith we take this very seriously. And then I asked them if this was truly what they wanted, if this was what their intentions are. And this actually led to some conversation.

It became clear that the groom will not do the inventory because his reading and comprehension skills are minimal, and plus he has some extreme family disfunction in his past and some current drug abuse issues that he doesn't want to own up to (those were primarily the questions he was freaking out about on the inventory). But he is committed to going through with the marriage. When I asked if we could talk about their relationship in our sessions, and about their goals and plans for the future, he did agree to commit to that. When I teased him that that meant he'd actually have to talk, that made him smile. It really seemed to help when I affirmed how uncomfortable he'd been feeling with the process and about me as pretty much a complete stranger. That put him more at ease.

The bride also relaxed quite a bit with this session. She opened up a bit, and was able to be more direct with the groom. She knows what she is getting, she fully knows the horrific upbringing he survived, his intellectual limitations, his immaturity, and his forays into substance abuse. But she still wants this, and is pretty practical about their chances together. I didn't find any rose-colored glasses here.

I still can't help wondering why in the world they want to go through with this. But they have committed to the process (adjusted for his intellectual and emotional limitations), and seem to have taken most of the chip off their shoulders. I still have misgivings, but feel better about it now. Maybe I'm just fooling myself, but I think we can do some positive work together. Sigh. I hope.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Painful Pre-marital

This evening I have experienced the most painful, disturbing and down-right AWFUL premarital meeting of my professional life. And I have counseled well over 50 couples at this point, which had made me thinking I'd seen alot. Oh no. Tonight I was introduced to a whole new level of awful.

It was over several hours ago, but I just can't seem to get it out of my head. I am incredibly disturbed by the obvious multitude of ugly issues the groom is not dealing with, and the serious denial the bride is in. In fact, I'm pretty sure that he has absolutely no interest or desire to get married, or continue to support or have anything to do with their 1 1/2 year old son. So I am at a loss as to why they even showed up tonight, and why this wedding is happening. I was almost to the point of straight out asking them this blunt question, but realized that I wasn't going to get anywhere with him tonight. I decided to let them talk some things over before we meet again on Tuesday. If they even show up on Tuesday.

The atmosphere was ugly, so many unsaid things hanging over them. They were reluctant to even come into my office, and struggled to answer the simplest of questions without tension towards each other. The groom refused to answer most of the questions on the inventory, but couldn't or wouldn't tell me why. He just seemed pissed off and uncomfortable. The bride just didn't deal with him, acting like nothing negative was happening. Every attempt I made to make him more at ease, to establish something positive with him was ignored.

Wow. It was just really bad. And I'm still trying to process it. I'm really not sure what I'm going to say to them. Knowing what I know about their history, I think that their marriage is a huge mistake. Even after I share my reservations, I can totally see the bride dragging us through this painful unproductive process, in her determination to get to this wedding. She already sent out the invitations, before she even verified with me that I'd do the wedding. Her family has such a tenuous connection with faith and church, I don't want to jeopardize that. But I feel like I'm witnessing a train wreck. I've never refused to marry a couple. There have been a few that I insisted that we do some extra work before the wedding, which actually worked out quite well. The couples involved were able to see that they needed some more guided conversations. But I don't see that awareness or capability in this couple. It will be a miracle if I can get them to talk about anything more than the practical details of the service, and even that will be like pulling teeth.

Ugh. I am just haunted by this evening, with an ugly feeling in my gut. I don't know what to do, and don't know if anything I tried to do or say would even be received, or understood for that matter. Ugh.

It's gonna be hard to fall asleep tonight.

Friday Five - Grocery Shopping


This week's Friday Five from the RevGals has to do with food shopping...


1. Grocery shopping--love it or hate it?
I usually really enjoy grocery shopping - the satisfaction of finding everything on the list (almost like a scavenger hunt at some of my local stores!), looking for new items, getting ideas for meals. If I'm rushed, however, then I dread it. It becomes a chore instead of an adventure. Takes all the fun right out of it!

2. Who is the primary food shopper in your household?
That would be me, except that RevDad can be counted on to pick up the little something we need now and then - milk, bread, etc. Now that I'm the one working part time, I have the time to do it, and do the big stocking-up trips. And now that Lil' Princess is off from school, I have a very enthusiastic helper! She always has ~interesting~ suggestions!

3. Do you have a beloved store like TJ's which is unique to your location or family?
This question makes me wistful...being in the boonies, we are very limited in our options. I can drive 10 miles to the nearest grocery store, which has an extremely limited selection, most of which is past its expiration date (and don't even go NEAR the produce section, it will make you weep with dismay). I can drive 30 miles to the next nearest grocery store, which has a slightly less limited selection, fresher foods, and ridiculously high prices - and none of the lovely goodies all the RevGals mention, since mild taco sauce is as exotic as it gets. OR I can drive an hour and go to Walmart. More selections, better prices, and no soul.

4. How about a farmer's market, or CSA share, as we move into summer? Or do you grow your own fruits/veggies/herbs?
There is a sort of CSA share available which does drop-offs in a nearby town. It provides some fruits and vegetables for those who pay their membership dues. I haven't gotten directly involved, since you can only buy in bulk, and we are only three people in our family, and I don't know how to (or really right now want to learn to) can or freeze or dehydrate. My RevFriend in that town did take part last year, and we split some of what she bought, which worked out nicely. That reminds me, I need to ask her if she is interested in doing that again this year.

5. What's the favorite thing you buy at the grocery store?
Hmmmm...locally, I can't think of anything I get particularly excited about. When we do our big trip to Walmart occasionaly (whoopee!) I do look forward to stocking up on my chai tea. Which is getting dangerously low right now, good thing we're going on a little vacation next week, and I'll have access to a larger grocery store. Yes, one of the highlights of vacation, for me, is going grocery shopping at a place that has a lovely variety!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Calamity Jane and Pie

I read a storybook about Calamity Jane to Lil' Princess this morning, which totally enthralled her. She's a girly girl, and the opposite of brave and intrepid, but something about Jane's story connected with her. Right now in her imaginary play, instead of her princess waiting to get married, her princess (Sleeping Beauty) is a doctor who is saving the lives of all the dolls. The bad guys made them sick, and so the princess has to save them. (I just got the update, one of the dolls is really sick, and so the doctor princess is going to give them all magic ice cream which can heal owies.)

I grew up being told I could do anything that I wanted to do, a strong empowerment of women message from my mom. It has been...interesting to have a little girl who loves stories of damsels in distress whose only goal is to be married, being saved by princes. I've tried to encourage her in other directions and messages, so its so nice to hear some of it sinking in.

Hmmm. All this talk of all different kinds of flavors of magic ice cream is making me hungry...and there's nothing really to snack on here at home. Except cheese. Which is not what I'm craving. Maybe Lil' P and I need to do a little road trip to the nearest town where we can find some ice cream. No, better yet, pie! Yeah, I'd really like a big slice of pie...banana cream, or apple, or strawberry...strawberry rhubarb!! Ooooh, a big slice of slightly warmed strawberry rhubarb pie with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Ah, heaven! Though unfortunately, I think we'd have to drive several hours to get to a town that has any. Sigh - guess I'll have to be happy with cheese. But man, that pie sounds good!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Baby Tracking

Maternity countdown -

baby is moving around a lot at all times of the day or night

can't fit into regular clothes anymore, have brought out the maternity clothes

get hungry more often, but don't need to eat a whole lot at one sitting

running out of room on my lap for my daughter

getting dizzy and light-headed when I stand for any length of time (which makes leading service a challenge, let me tell you!)

weepy and overly emotional at random times

tired a lot of the time

getting impatient to get the nursery done

At 27 weeks into the pregnancy, 6 pounds gained

So we're progressing pretty well!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

a Full Day

Egads, but I'm tired. Did the third funeral in one and a half weeks today. They've all gone well, but it does get draining. My secretary firmly believes that these things run in three's, and assures me that we'll get a break now. We'll see - I tend not to buy into these things.

Tomorrow is a big day, confirmation service with 8 students. I'm looking forward to it, yet also will be glad when its over...these things tend to be so labor intensive! Plus there's the strain of needing to make sure everything goes perfectly for the kids' big day. The perk is that there will only be one service, with a potluck to follow, so far less exhausting than a usual Sunday. I'd ordered some really nice metal bookmarks to give to the kids, but of course they were back-ordered, and won't arrive until Monday, one day after I need them. Argh! So I guess I'll have to mail their cards with the bookmarks this week.

The big news in our household is that Lil' Princess now has a Big Girl desk. Since we'll be fixing up my office to become the baby's room, we wanted to be sure to make a fuss over Lil' P too, so that not all the focus is on the baby. She had a tiny desk that worked when she was a toddler, but she's long out-grown it. She decided to give it to the baby, so I bought a really nice desk at Walmart, and RevDad spent many hours today assembling it (what a great dad!!!!). Her room is looking really nice. Now if the rest of the house could be as fixed up!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Weekend Saturday

It was a good first (unofficial) Saturday of the summer season. I got the flowers planted in the back yard brick planter, with some erstwhile help from Lil' Princess. She enjoyed watching the forms being put in from the back of the church to our back door, for the brand new sidewalk that will be poured this week...she was quite a helper to the guy in charge, holding things and moving things for him. Very nice, patient guy! Between hubby and me, most of the lawn is mowed.

We had lunch AND dinner on the back patio, and I spent time sitting there reading for my sermon while Lil' P played on the swingset. It's nice to finally be able to enjoy the being outside again. I got a ton of phone calls made, and found out I have a funeral on Tuesday. I even got some work done in the kitchen, which really needed it! Still have a ways to go, but a good start.

The only thing that hasn't gotten done on my to-do list for today (besides finishing the kitchen) is the sermon. Ah yes, the ever-present sermon. Any given day, there is one on my mind, but Saturday is crunch time. I read a ton of commentaries, but all that I got out of them was Blah, Blah, Blah. Nothing inspired me. So, I think I'll have to go with my rather dry idea for this rather dry text Sunday. Jesus' prayer for his disciples following the Last Supper...what does it mean for us today? Ummmmm......

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Nature, take it our leave it?


The other day I was raking out the leaves and other crud piled up over autumn and winter in the rocks alongside the back of the house. A supposedly simple job was complicated by the fact that a bunch of tumbleweeds had taken up residence there, and had been flattened into large barbed wheels by the heavy snows. So instead of just quickly raking up some leaves and putting them in garbage bags, I got to attempt to wedge large prickly things into bags with leaves falling all over the ground instead of in the bag. Stupid tumbleweeds!

Then I took a tour of the bushes around the yard to survey the damage the rabbits, deer and antelope did stripping the bark during winter. Some may make a comeback, but a few will not survive. Stupid wildlife!

And then, as I took a break and watched Lil' Princess play on the swing set, the absurdity of all that struck. When we moved here, we were a little entranced by the very western-ness, the "Oh give me a home"-ness of this place, watching the tumbleweed roll across the plains, seeing the large herds of antelope and deer grazing around the countryside. And now that very uniqueness is chapping my hide. Is grumpy frustration with the forces of nature around us a common human trait? (or mostly just found in tired pregnant ladies in their late 30's?)

Today the sky is clouded, the wind is whipping, and the temps are dropping. Our little pleasant reprieve of warm sunny weather is over for the moment. BUT the birds are still singing, the tulips are still blooming, and new life is popping up all over. So despite the fact that I have to teach some bored, unruly, spring-fevered teenagers this afternoon, I will find the joy in today! Yes, really!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Hope of Spring

After a full-on rainy day, it looks like we'll have a sunny one today. I can hear the birds singing for all they're worth. The wind has gone from a hurricane-like force to a light breeze. I think spring in ND is a big tease! I need to go check my bulb garden. The few that had been coming up got pretty battered in the wind. Hopefully the rest will bloom still.

It's a busy week. I've got a member in the hospital, and several with family that are going through some health challenges right now. The confirmation kids need to get going on decorating their stoles, so I need to track done lots of colors of felt before tomorrow (and fabric glue). I'm supposed to be going to SD on Friday through early Sunday, and still need to arrange where I'll be staying. And I really should wrap the baby shower gift!

Today is text study, so I should get some snacks ready. Left-over birthday cake, anyone? Since RevDad has a funeral this morning with his fellow pastor, we'll be a small group. I don't preach this Sunday, but I'll still play hostess. I haven't really examined the texts, so I won't be a whole lot of help there! It's nice to hang out with my peers, though. It's nice to spend time with people who understand your experiences, and have their own stories to tell.

We got an early phone call this morning. RevDad got asked by my people to do the Memorial service message this year. I did it last year, and since I'm the only pastor serving and living in this community, I was worried that this would be my job every year. I'm glad to share! Though hubby is not sure what he's going to say, since last year I borrowed parts of his old Memorial service message. (he's such a generous, nice guy)

Time to get busy. A pretty normal Tuesday.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunny Day


(photo from flik'r)

It was a beautiful day. We stayed outside for hours today when Lil' Princess got home from school, we washed my car, played with chalk and bubbles, checked out the progress of the flower bulbs, chatted with neighbors about gardening, and took a walk.

Sigh.

So very nice. Nice to have mild weather and a sunny day. At one point I sat in a camp chair and just soaked in the sun while reading a gardening magazine. Tomorrow and Wednesday are supposed to be even better, with temps getting into the 70's. I can't wait! Of course, then it's supposed to rain from Friday through Monday, but at least it isn't snow.

The concerns about flooding continue around the state. RevDad is supposed to go to a meeting and I have a class I'll be going to on Sunday, and both activities are in towns that are battling flooding right now. So we'll see if our Sunday goes as planned!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

Can I sleep yet?

It was a good morning, all three services went well, with decent turn-outs at each. I had no problem on the back roads to the country church, though my car is even more filthy now. I found myself missing special music, organ music, and trumpets playing for Easter, but none of my congregations are able to supply those. They were meaningful services nonetheless, and it was a beautiful morning. I was pleased with the sermon, which is always a good feeling.

I got home an hour before RevDad and Lil' Princess. As I dragged my carcass into the house, my first thought was, "I'm so tired I could puke." And I meant it! But I still needed to make lunch. By some miracle, it turned out OK, considering I was stumbling around the kitchen like a zombie. Though there were some bumps on the way! I took the outer wrapping off the precooked ham, but forgot about the paper-like covering still on it until about halfway through the cooking process. Oops. It turned out yummy anyway. When I put together the green bean casserole, I grabbed the wrong can, and put in cream of celery instead of cream of mushroom soup. The rest of the family was not impressed, but I thought it tasted all right. Some really good corn and fruit salad rounded out the menu. Not bad for being half conscious through the process of putting it together!

Our Easter afternoon has been quiet and low-key. Called relatives to wish them Happy Easter. We've watched Mary Poppins and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (older version). I managed to doze off for a couple of minutes, but both RevDad and I are trying to stay up till bedtime, so we get a good night's sleep. An egg bake with cheese and leftover ham for supper, and now Lil' P is playing with the things from her Easter basket.

And I just want to go to bed for the night! It was a nice Easter, and I'm glad to be done for another year.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Holy Saturday


It's been a rather nice quiet day. Easter egg hunt and grocery shopping in the morning with Lil' Princess. Dying eggs in the afternoon, and hung out around the house. RevDad and I have had next to no energy today, so I'm hoping we will be able to get through tomorrow.

We're still trying to work out our sermons...Come Holy Spirit!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Maundy Thursday & Good Friday


The rubber meets the road at Maundy Thursday, and doesn't stop till Easter Sunday afternoon.

I was pleased with the service on Thursday. The altar guild ladies really came through, so the prep and divesting went smoothly. The gentleman who did the dramatic reading (from the perspective of Judas) did a nice job, spoke clearly and good pacing. It was a reading that could have been much more dramatic and have lots of umph, but I am just grateful I had someone willing to do it and practiced it. 16 people showed up for the service, which is 6 more than the average Sunday attendance at this small church. The extra 6 were made up by people from the largest church in the parish who came over for the service. We would have had a good number from the little church in the country too, but the roads got icy in that direction, so they all stayed put.

Tonights Good Friday service was very good. It really emphasized the cross, and kept everyone's attention on the theme through readings, music and extinguishing candles. The pacing was good, and the reaction to my sermon was very positive. It was a satisfying night as a pastor. Since this service was supposed to be at the church in the country, but got moved to the biggest church because of bad roads, I arranged for the ushers to be from the little church. It felt right to keep that connection. There was a decent turn out, and I was relieved that the weather and road conditions cooperated overall.

RevDad and I are pretty exhausted right now, but not ready to sleep. We both need to finish our Easter Sunday sermons. But it will be nice to have tomorrow free of services. There is an Easter egg hunt tomorrow morning in the town RevDad works in. When we get back from that, we'll color and decorate our eggs. It'll be a nice day!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Holy Wednesday

(image from flik'r)

It was a quiet day. The morning and early afternoon was spent dealing with a migraine. I'm hoping the headaches will run their course, and I'll be free of them for Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

This later afternoon, Lil' Princess and I went to the town RevDad works in, to run some errands, and have supper with Dad. He had a long, full day and evening, so it was nice to get some family time together.

When we got home, Lil' Princess rode her bike for the first time this spring as I walked. We went over to the home of one of the ladies of the parish so that Lil' P could apologize for her bad behavior yesterday. That went really well, and everybody felt good afterwards. The wind really came up, so it was a nippy trip back home.

Tonight I got Lil' P to bed, and then ran over to the church for a few minutes, to catch part of the council meeting. Fortunately Lil' P was perfectly happy to look at her books while I was gone - I HATE when we have a schedule crunch like that, but it worked out. I was able to report the flooding concerns for the parsonage, and the possible problems with the Holy Week services.

When I got home, I got to spend several hours trying to get a hold of the right people at the various churches to verify Holy Week services. The results of this phone tag are that we can have Maundy Thursday service as scheduled at the small church down the road - they finally were able to get somebody to come and plow out the parking area and road. The Good Friday service has to be moved to the largest church from the church in the country, because the roads are impassable to get to the small church. So I have to do some quick rearranging of details. Easter Sunday out in the country is up for grabs, we'll just have to wait and see.

And right now I'm going to review the Maundy Thursday service, and make sure I'm ready. Or maybe I'll just zone out to the TV until I'm ready to sleep. Which way to end Holy Wednesday?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Holy Tuesday

How to summarize today? It started with a migraine. In the middle, the plumber finally showed up to fix our furnace. And I got the Easter bulletin done finally. At the latter part, Lil' Princess went embarrassingly postal on me in a public place, and then fell apart completely when she got in trouble for it. Tomorrow she will be calling a lady from my church to apologize for her behavior. Now this evening, I hope to sketch out some ideas for my Good Friday sermon.

So pain, some necessary tasks done, some embarrassment and punishment, and now thinking about Christ's death.

So that's Holy Tuesday!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Holy Monday


Monday of Holy Week is over...and almost all of it was spent at doctor's offices. Didn't feel all that holy!

In the morning, I drove RevDad to his clinic in the town where he works, because he was feeling too ill to drive himself. It was an unsatisfactory appointment, the NP is totally puzzled by his escalating symptoms. We've been dealing with this stuff for over a year, and it's just getting worse. I think I finally have him convinced to get a second opinion, with an internist or specialist. The timing of this is horrible, of course, it being Holy Week. So I've been trying to give him as much of a break to rest as possible.

This afternoon, I went in for my prenatal exam, which was a much more positive, happy appointment! There's nothing like listening to the baby's heartbeat to lift your spirits and make you think anything is possible. Apparantly I'm still not drinking enough fluids, but other than that, it was a good report. And the ultrasound has been scheduled - yay!!! We're really looking forward to finally seeing this little one. And we're pretty sure we want to know whether its a boy or girl this time, so there's the anticipation of that.

So it's been a day of great frustration, and great joy. Fear and hope side by side. So I suppose it has been an appropriate day for Holy Week. And prayers ascending for it all!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Friday Five - Holy Week

From the RevGal blog;
Holy Week is almost upon us, I suspect that ordained or not, other revgal/pals calendars look a bit like mine, FULL, FULL, FULL........

Jesus was great at teaching us to take time out, even in that last week, right up to Maundy Thursday he withdrew, John's gospel tells us he hid! He hid not because he was afraid, but because he knew that he needed physical, mental and spiritual strength to get through...

So faced with a busy week:


1. What restores you physically?
A nap, a walk with my family, more napping!

2. What strengthens you emotionally/ mentally?
Prayer, talking with friends and family, reading good books, getting things accomplished.

3. What encourages you spiritually?
Interacting with my parishioners in positive ways, prayer time, meditating, reading devotions.

4. Share a favorite poem or piece of music from the coming week.
Holy week music is so stirring...from the heart-wrenching "Were You There" to the joy of "Jesus Christ is Risen Today." It runs the full gamut of emotion. I love it all!

5.There may be many services for you to attend/ lead over the next week, which one are you most looking forward to and why? If there aren't, do you have a favorite day in Holy week, if so which one is it?
At my former parish, I really looked forward to all the services - Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil, Easter Sunrise - because the members were really into them, and attendance was excellent. It was obviously so meaningful for the parish. Now its harder, because my current parish does not get into Holy Week. Easter Sunday yes, but the rest of Holy Week, no. It makes me a little sad and wistful. But I am looking forward to Easter, it's such a big full-on happy day.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggidy Jig

I'm sitting on my own couch, looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight. Ahhh. It feels good to be home. It has been a bit crazy since we got home, I've had to return a ton of phone calls. I'm still not sure if I'll have both services tomorrow night, since the rural church is snowed in.

I still feel a little out of sync with normal life, but hopefully by tomorrow I'll get up to speed. It will be good for Lil' Princess to get back to school, and RevDad to get a good night's sleep now that we're back. And tomorrow, the to-do list is HUGE!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Snow Days


So we're still in Miles City. Thanks to the hotel pool, we've had a pleasant day. Thanks to the portable DVD player, getting ready for bed is going pretty well (new Backyardigans DVD). There is about an 85% chance that we'll make it to the big town an hour north of our town tomorrow. There's about a 75% chance we'll make it all the way home. RevDad says that our local guy hasn't even tried to start cleaning out ANY of the streets in town yet. It is physically impossible to open our front door. He can't tell where our driveway is. And the snow is still coming, until about midnight tonight! (the picture used in this post is from flick'r, it is not one that I have taken)

I'm hoping that means that there is no school tomorrow too, so Lil' Princess doesn't miss it. She already has missed waaaay too many days, thanks to illness and our big trip over New Year's. Plus she loves school and her teacher so much, she doesn't want to miss anything. Her teacher is concerned about what she is going to do with the kindergarten class, since there have been soooo many snow days, and she's required to put in so many contract hours in the classroom with them. They might be having class the week after everyone else is done! (which I wouldn't mind)

RevDad is missing us very much, and not sleeping well with me gone. I think he's torn between his desire to have us home, and his concern about us traveling. So I'm sure there will be a lot of checking in with us tomorrow as we make our way east. We miss him too! It's felt strange to be away from home without him. Well, absence is supposed to make the heart grow fonder, so this little experience should make us all more appreciative of each other!

I was having some cabin fever before this trip, fed up with being stuck at home all the time, but I think that's done for awhile! Now I just want to get home, be in our own space, sleep in my own bed, and resume a normal schedule. Don't get me wrong, our trip has actually ended up being quite pleasant and enjoyable, but it has been long enough. And I don't really care for the constant smell of chlorine (the bathing suits are drying in the bathroom, no amount of rinsing is getting that smell out).

So, hopefully homeward bound tomorrow! And then all my various relatives can stop worrying so much! (love ya Mom, Dad, and big bro!)

Snow Days

Well Howdy Do!

I'm sitting in a hotel with Lil' Princess in Miles City MT, stranded because of a nasty blizzardy storm system that has covered our home with two additional feet of snow. Even though this hotel is nice, and Lil' P likes the pool, I'd like to try and get farther along our trip today, get as close to home as we can. For sure we won't be able to go home until tomorrow at the earliest. We had a lovely time visiting my brother and his family, but we sure didn't plan to get stuck on the way home!

Lil' P votes that we stay put today, so she can spend the day in the pool. I need to make my decision soon, since check out time is coming soon. Argh!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Long Night

To my pleasant surprise last night, we had about 25 people for supper and service. Most were from in town, a notable exception being an elderly couple who can barely walk, who never miss anything no matter what. Service went pretty well, though I wish I had done more editing on the sermon I used from esermons. The theme was good, but the author gets so long-winded, and says in 50 words what could be said more elegantly and clearly in 10. I had cut down a lot already, but as I read it, I realized that is was still too wordy. But I think people heard the theme and understood the point.

In these Lenten services I've been having them chant a short opening dialogue. They haven't done chanting for decades, so I'm trying to re-introduce it in a non-threatening way. I've explained that it is about creating an meditative, worshipful atmosphere and putting us in a reflective frame of mind. The initial nervousness seems to be over, and now they smile and go along for the ride. I keep trying to introduce new things in small ways, to expand their worship flexibility and openness.

I went to bed feeling pretty satisfied about the day (I got the dishwasher emptied, and a load of laundry put away right before I went to bed, so I was feeling pretty right-eous.) But then at 3:45 am I was awakened out of a very sound sleep by a really painful abdominal cramp. I had about 6 of them, which hurt enough that I had to use my breathing to deal with the pain. In the end, it turned out to be an intestinal thing (I suspect a bug that Sophia has shown symptoms of), but it was terrifying for a while. Having had a miscarriage before, intense painful abdominal cramps immediately send your mind there. I have never been so grateful to have to run to the bathroom, since it showed that it wasn't about the baby!

So today I'm going to be careful with what I eat, and focus on preparing for this weekend at my brother and sis-in-law's. I don't want to miss it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Snow, snow and more SNOW!


It was momentarily spring around here, but winter is back. With a vengeance! I had to wade through snow up to my knees to get into the church to check on things there. Most of the streets in town have a single lane down the middle cleared. School was 2 hours late this morning, and the bus barely had enough room to get down the street. Some kids in town don't have the streets cleared by their houses yet, so they had to hike a few blocks to meet the bus.

One of the services for tonight has been cancelled, but the service at the big church is still supposedly on...which is crazy. You can't park anywhere near the church, and you can't even get to the door without going through drifts, and it doesn't sound like that is going to change today (there are just a few loaders around here, and they're all being kept very busy). Even if someone does manage to clear it out some, many people are still snowed in, and I do NOT want my elderly folks going out. So if my leadership insists, I'm guessing it will be me and the few people who live in the blocks right around the church who even show up.

I need to get to the post office today...I'm debating whether to try to drive, or just walk through the drifts to get there. RevDad was able to get out of town, but I'm not sure how the side streets will be to get downtown. Sigh. I'm ready for winter to be over!

UPDATE: Two of the three guys in town with big equipment are, as I type, clearing out the street in front of the church, and sidewalks. Whew! I drove to the post office, and almost got stuck once. The streets are still challenging in many places, but I think some of my younger members will be able to make it tonight. I just really hope the elderly ones stay put!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Stormy Weather

A big storm is a' brewin' right now. The winds have been literally shaking the house, they're being clocked at 50 miles an hour. By this afternoon a winter storm is supposed to be here, possibly bringing 16 inches of snow. Then the next couple of days are supposed to bring torrents of rain. So, a big mess! We finally got rid of a lot of the snow, and have streams of water running through the front and back yard.

The school called a little while ago to say they're letting out at 1:30, so I'm wondering if school will be cancelled tomorrow, or at least late start. Good thing I just bought some more craft supplies, I'm going to have a bored little girl to keep amused!

Wow. My hanging birdfeeder just went horizontal in the wind...hope I don't lose it!

UPDATE: We've moved from sleet that the wind was flinging straight down the street, to sleet-like snow coming down heavily. The latest forecast is 12-16 inches overnight, with the storm continuing until Wednesday. Time to bring out the board games!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lenten Disciplines


The Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5)

"By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another. "


Love - imperfect and conditional

Joy - fleeting

Peace - occasional

Patience - not with my difficult husband right now!!!

Kindness - when I feel like it

Generosity - when it doesn't cost me much

Faithfulness - waxes and wanes like the moon

Gentleness - when no one is provoking my temper (like this **** computer)

Self-control - hah! Never with chocolate, rarely with my run-away mouth, sometimes otherwise.


My Lenten discipline this year has been to cultivate those priorities and expectations that are God's, instead of those that are mine or the culture's. As you can see from the list of fruits of the Holy Spirit, I'm not feeling particularly "fruity" right now.


The danger is always that we turn these things into some sort of "God's Holy To-Do List" and get caught up in the despair and failure of trying to live up to these standards. They're meant to raise our awareness of God's good and gracious desires for us and our lives, which the Holy Spirit is working at in us. To be open and aware to that good work, and try not to stand in its way. It's about growing in love and appreciation for the One who wants only the very Best for us.


The problem is, I quickly turn it into a Law, instead of letting it be a purveyor of Grace. It comes down to, "I'm never good enough" & despair when the point is supposed to be "through God, all things are possible" & hope.


As I struggle with these things, I am constantly asking God to give me the wisdom and trust to let Him do what He seeks to do in and through me. This is the point of a Lenten discipline, I guess, to open ourselves up to be kneaded and molded and transformed. So that the cross is more than a symbol, but the life-preserver we cling to, recognizing that only here, at the cross, can we find hope, healing, forgiveness and life.


I hope that you too have cross-encounters this Lent and Easter season, and that you allow the Holy Spirit to do the work that God seeks to do in you. It leads to meaning, and to eternal life.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

SWAK

Hi Dad!!! Big smooches coming your way from both your girls...

Spring Break

So I'm pondering what to do with Lil' Princess' spring break. She gets Thursday and Friday off, so I'd like us to be able to get away for a couple of days. RevDad really needs a break, but at this point he's resistant to any plans...how to convince him that it is in his best interest to get away and relax??

I've been thinking we should go to one of the Big cities about 3 hours away, stay at a hotel with a pool or water park, maybe do some shopping or touristy stuff, or just nap the day away! But overstressed hubby can't see past his icky work issues right now. I'm tempted to just force the issues, make the reservations, and insist that we're going - even if I have to force him into the car!

Sigh. A small little domestic drama, we'll see how it plays itself out. Here's hoping!

Friday, March 06, 2009

My #1 Reader

Hi Mom! Love ya - say "hi" to Dad for me!

Migraines Suck


OK, I am so incredibly sick and FED UP with the state of my health right now, I could just SPIT!

CONstant migraines, total exhaustion, occasional nausea, and a huge amount of frustration and anger that there is very little I can manage to accomplish in a day.

Now, I know that in the scheme of things, I have it great. I don't have a crippling neurological disease, I'm not taking chemo for cancer, I have working eyes and ears, and I have a job and a family who support me while I am so useless.

BUT

I just want to wake up without crushing head pain! I want to be able to do normal daily tasks. I want to feel good so I can play and interact with my daughter. I want to have fun and hang out with my husband.

Arrgh! I'm trying to focus on how truly blessed I really am, but it's getting harder and harder. I just need some RELIEF.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Taking a Break Friday Five


Songbird at RevGalBlogPals writes:
Where we live, it's February School Vacation Week!
Yes, that's an odd thing, a vacation extending President's Day. But it's part of our lives here. Some people go South or go skiing, but we always stay home and find more humble amusements.
In that spirit, I offer this Taking a Break Friday Five.
Tell us how you would spend:

1. a 15 minute break
With my life being sooo different now (going from working 80 hours a week at a pretty high maintenance church, to 40 hours a week at a very self-sufficient parish), I get these short breaks pretty often. I typically check Facebook, have a cup of tea, or check out part of an episode of "Clean House." That show always make me feel better, I may have a messy house, but its not THAT messy!

2. an afternoon off
I'd love to hang out with my RevFriend down the road!! It's been a few months since we blew off an afternoon and went and had fun. Sometimes we go shopping at the nearest bigger shopping town an hour's drive away, sometimes we travel around the country backroads birdwatching, animal watching, or just to fly wildly down gravel country roads. Sometimes we go out to eat, and spend hours just talking. Awesome fun!

3. an unexpected free day
Ohhh, wouldn't that be lovely! If I didn't have to be back to get Lil' Princess off the bus, I'd go shopping, real shopping , which can only be had by traveling 2 1/2 hours. I only get to do that maybe twice a year, so I start to go through shopping withdrawal. Going to a movie would be great, too.

4. a week's vacation
I would definately go to my parent's place in Arizona! We don't get to see them nearly enough, so it would be awesome to hang out with them, see the sights, go hiking in the desert, go 4wheeling up the nearby river bed, and just BE with my mom and dad! We've only gotten to visit them in the winter in Arizona once, and they've been wintering there for about 5 years now.

5. a sabbatical
Ummm...I'm torn. My good friend is going on a sabbatical to Italy this spring with ther family, to study the Benedictine monastic traditions, and how they can be translated into Protestant faith life (thank you, Lily Foundation!). After our Christmas time trip to DisneyWorld, my hubby has decided he wants to do a sabbatical at Disney World, studying the theology of Disney! I think I'd like to go back to Germany and Switzerland, and finally be able to share that experience with my hubby (and kids). I'm particularly interested in the intersection between religion and psychology, so I'd work up a study in that theme. After all, priests and pastors were the first mental health care workers!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

First Contact

Today was the first pre-natal exam. It went well, I am very impressed with my doctor. Such a different experience from the last time! My previous doctor didn't take much time, wasn't interested in what I had to say, and left you feeling a bit lost after a visit. My new doctor in our new area is sooo the opposite! She takes her time with you, asks lots of questions, listens carefully, encourages your questions and information. And is gentle in the pelvic exam!!! (a new experience for me!)

The best part of today was listening to the baby's heartbeat for the first time. There's something amazing about that moment. For me, up to that point you know you're pregnant, but it doesn't seem entirely real. After you hear that beating, it is so real, you start to truly fathom that there is this little person growing inside of you. It's a pretty awesome moment!

Now I'm anxious for the ultrasound...I want to see this kid! It will be another 9 weeks or more before that will happen. Time to be patient!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Baby Days

Today was the big day - I made the announcement to the congregations. The news was met with great joy, and almost all the ladies said "Oh, I suspected!"

We had the annual meeting for the largest my congregations, and I was so moved and appreciative by the expressions of support for me and my family at it. They are working very intentionally and compassionately on a new worship schedule that will be more do-able while largely pregnant, and with a newborn. And I was soundly lectured that if I need absolutely ANYTHING I am to let them know, and if I'm too sick on a Sunday morning, I am to stay home and they'll take care of it...even last minute with little warning.

I am so blessed...and so grateful for my people. They are folks who truly know how to do community. We have a good number of people who are going through some really tough times medically, and they are so supported, loved and cared for as they go through their struggles.



So we are beginning to adjust, and get things ready. I will lose my office, it's the best room to be the nursery. I'm glad to give it up to such a good cause, its just that I still need office space. My sis-in-law came up with a good idea...we only use the "formal" dining room when we have visitors, and it is open to the living room and right next to the dining room. She suggests that we transform that into the office, since it will be so accessible for taking care of baby. The only downside is that I can't close a door and have privacy, peace and quiet. But I think it's the best idea.

Most of our baby things are stored at RevDad's family farm, many, many miles away. So we are also trying to figure out how to get there, sort through all the stuff, and get all of it back here. I'd like to do it before I get big bellied, but hubby wants to wait for a few more months. I have such a mommy-nesting need at the moment to get it all sorted and hauled NOW, so I think I might just have to go buy a baby outfit to get my fix!

I have a sneaking suspicion that my entries for a while are going to be nauseatingly baby-related, but hey, that's where my mind is now!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Big Announcement


I'm going public this weekend - I'm pregnant!

After 10 years of struggling with infertility, we were blessed with our Lil' Princess. Now after five more years of wondering if it could ever happen again, I find myself pregnant!!!

We are ecstatic, and scared, and tired, and oh so very overwhelmed by this blessing. If all goes well (please, oh please God!!!) the due date is September 12th. It will be a long hot summer, but what a fall!

Your prayers are coveted, and appreciated.

Monday, February 09, 2009

So Much for Romance

Ahh, gotta love those great romances...dying together in the family crypt. I've never been one for syrupy romance, but I do like an occasional romantic comedy. But what movie did my lovely hubby get from Netflix? The latest Batman movie. You know, the dark movie where Heath Ledger did an amazing job playing an intensely insane Joker. Feel the love!

I challenged him tonight about whether he was going to remember Valentine's Day this year (he forgot last year). I'm not asking for him to dance attendance on me at my every whim...I'd just like a little romantic attention! I found the best Valentine gift for him when we were at Disney World, so I'm stoked.

Ah married love.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Pain and Dizziness

Uhhggggg. Migraine. Constant dizziness.

Sermon needs to be done...

Arggh!

The bright spot in the day is that Lil' Princess is having a wonderful time working on her Valentines for school. The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse valentines I bought are a big hit with her (she still asks often, "When are we going back Disney World?"). And so are the Valentine Toostie Pops...those are a big hit with all of us!

This is Day 2 of head pain and whirling world, and I am so ready to be DONE with it. I'm concerned about being able to drive, and to lead worship tomorrow. Plus, I have an Annual Meeting and Potluck tomorrow afternoon, and a l-o-n-g meeting at 5 pm. So I'm hoping and praying for relief.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Changes

It's a quiet night. Hubby is away at meetings, and won't be back till Wednesday. Lil' Princess is tucked in her bed, finally asleep after worrying about the fact that Daddy isn't around to watch over her while she sleeps (the fire prevention program at the school a few months ago freaked her out a bit, and she still worries.) I'm ignoring my mental list of all the things I should be getting done before I go to bed - sorry laundry! - , and instead am lounging on my couch watching HGTV.

As I watch shows about people fixing up their houses, I'm pondering some reorganization that needs to happen around the house. It's exciting to visualize how nice these changes will be, but I'm not excited about all the stuff that has to be sorted through. It's ridiculous how much stuff we've accumulated over the years. What do we do with it? What do we keep, what should go? It's way too easy for me to get overwhelmed before I even start.

Soooo...I'm trying to come up with a do-able battle plan. A little at a time, really think through better organization options, focus on the prize waiting at the end of all the hard work. So, tomorrow I get a start on the first room - our bedroom. So, dust bunnies beware! I'm coming for you!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Movie Meme: I've seen 111 out of 239 films - apparantly I have no life!

SUPPOSEDLY if you’ve seen over 85 films, you have no life. Mark the ones you’ve seen. There are 239 films on this list. Copy this list, go to your own facebook account, paste this as a note. Then, put x’s next to the films you’ve seen, add them up, change the header adding your number, and click post at the bottom. Have fun.

(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest
() Boondock Saints
() Fight Club
() Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
(x) Airplane
Total: 7

(x) The Princess Bride
() Anchorman
() Napoleon Dynamite
(x) Labyrinth
() Saw
() Saw II
() White Noise
() White Oleander
() Anger Management
(x) 50 First Dates
(x) The Princess Diaries
(x) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total so far: 12

() Scream
() Scream 2
() Scream 3
() Scary Movie
() Scary Movie 2
() Scary Movie 3
() Scary Movie 4
() American Pie
() American Pie 2
() American Wedding
() American Pie Band Camp
Total so far: 12

(x) Harry Potter 1
(x) Harry Potter 2
(x) Harry Potter 3
(x) Harry Potter 4
(x) Resident Evil 1
() Resident Evil 2
(x) The Wedding Singer
() Little Black Book
(x) The Village
(x) Lilo & Stitch
Total so far: 20

(x) Finding Nemo
() Finding Neverland
(x) Signs
(x) The Grinch
(x) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
() Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
() White Chicks
() Butterfly Effect
() 13 Going on 30
(x) I, Robot
() Robots
Total so far: 25

(x) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
(x) Universal Soldier
() Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
() Along Came Polly
() Deep Impact
() KingPin
() Never Been Kissed
(x) Meet The Parents
() Meet the Fockers
() Eight Crazy Nights
() Joe Dirt
(x) KING KONG
Total so far: 29

() A Cinderella Story
() The Terminal
() The Lizzie McGuire Movie
() Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
() Dumber & Dumberer
(x) Final Destination
() Final Destination 2
() Final Destination 3
(x) Halloween
() The Ring
() The Ring 2
() Surviving X-MAS
(x) Flubber
Total so far: 33

() Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
(x) Practical Magic
(x) Chicago
(x) Ghost Ship
() From Hell
(x) Hellboy
() Secret Window
() I Am Sam
() The Whole Nine Yards
() The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 37

() The Day After Tomorrow
() Child’s Play
() Seed of Chucky
(x) Bride of Chucky
() Ten Things I Hate About You
() Just Married
() Gothika
(x) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
() Remember the Titans
() Coach Carter
() The Grudge
() The Grudge 2
(x) The Mask
() Son Of The Mask
Total so far: 41

() Bad Boys
() Bad Boys 2
() Joy Ride
() Lucky Number Slevin
(x) Ocean’s Eleven
(x) Ocean’s Twelve
(x) Bourne Identity
(x) Bourne Supremacy
() Lone Star
(x) Bedazzled
(x) Predator I
(x) Predator II
() The Fog
(x) Ice Age
() Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
(x) Curious George
Total so far: 50

(x) Independence Day
() Cujo
() A Bronx Tale
() Darkness Falls
(x) Christine
(x) ET
() Children of the Corn
() My Bosses Daughter
(x) Maid in Manhattan
(x) War of the Worlds
() Rush Hour
() Rush Hour 2
Total so far:55

() Best Bet
() How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
() She’s All That
() Calendar Girls
() Sideways
(x) Mars Attacks
(x) Event Horizon
(x) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
(x) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
(x) The Terminator 3
Total so far: 64

(x) X-Men
(x) X-2
(x) X-3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
(x) Sky High
() Jeepers Creepers
() Jeepers Creepers 2
() Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
() Freaky Friday
(x) Reign of Fire
(x) The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
() Cruel Intentions 2
() The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2
Total so far: 76

() Swimfan
(x) Miracle on 34th street
() Old School
() The Notebook
(x) K-Pax
() Krippendorf’s Tribe
() A Walk to Remember
(x) Ice Castles
() Boogeyman
() The 40-year-old Virgin
Total so far: 79

(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total so far: 85

() Baseketball
() Hostel
() Waiting for Guffman
() House of 1000 Corpses
() Devils Rejects
(x) Elf
(x) Highlander
() Mothman Prophecies
() American History X
() Three
Total so Far: 87

() The Jacket
() Kung Fu Hustle
() Shaolin Soccer
() Night Watch
(x) Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
() Shaun Of the Dead
() Willard
Total so far: 90

() High Tension
() Club Dread
(x) Hulk
() Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Hook
(x) Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
() 28 days later
() Orgazmo
() Phantasm
(x) Waterworld
Total so far: 94

() Kill Bill vol 1
() Kill Bill vol 2
() Mortal Kombat
() Wolf Creek
() Kingdom of Heaven
() the Hills Have Eyes
() I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
() The Last House on the Left
() Re-Animator
(x) Army of Darkness
Total so far: 95

(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
() Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
() Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 106

(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
() Animatrix
() Evil Dead
() Evil Dead 2
() Team America: World Police
(x) Red Dragon
(x) Silence of the Lambs
() Hannibal
Total so far: 111

Now Add them up and…
Put “I’ve seen ___ out of 239 films” in the subject line and repost Note