Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ben's candy tree

Last time I wrote about Ben planting some candy. Today, he noticed a weed growing in the general vacinity of the planted candy. He is sure his candy is growing. I mentioned that it looked like the other weeds and I wasn't sure it was a candy plant. He came up with some story about the candy melting into the soil and being absorbed by the roots of the plant. Like a white carnation put in red food coloring, he is sure the weed has been transformed by absorbing the melted candy juice and is now somehow a candy plant. I told him, I wasn't sure about it. He told me to just wait and see. Glad I have a smart kid or I might have pulled up our candy tree with the weeds.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Savoring the moment

Ben rushes into the house from the school bus. I glance up to see him run back outside. I follow him and he is covered in dirt with a glass sitting next to him.

Mom: "Ben, What are you doing?"
Ben: "Nothing...I'm almost done."
Mom: "What is that glass doing outside?"
Ben: "I was...a...thirsty."
Mom: "Come on Ben. Let's go inside, clean you up and you can tell me about what you are doing."
Ben: "Well, Mom, you know when a person plants a piece of gum, hoping a tree will grow."
I nod trying to look like the wise mom.
Ben: "I had this piece of candy (a great sour candy called toxic waste) and I planted it. I wasn't wasting it because it had fallen on the floor of the school bus. I know it probably won't grow but there is always hope. God can do anything."
Mom: "You're right Ben, there is always hope."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fall Ball Saturday

Two games today Ben's at 9:00 and Nick's at 12:30.

Ben's - Coach pitch in the rain. Ben liked being catcher the best. This is an interesting position. The coach uses a big bucket of balls and pitches one pitch right after the next, especially in the rain when he wants to keep the game moving. Anytime Ben caught the ball, it would still be in his glove as the next ball arrived. Ben would try to dodge it, but frequently, it would just bounce off of him. I'd rename this position catcher/target.

More fun at Ben's game. While Ben was catching, there were several pauses to refill the ball bucket. After the first, Ben decided he would play his position differently. He played sitting down and gathered the balls between his legs. Like a hen with a big clutch of eggs, Ben hoarded the balls in hopes he could throw them back to the pitcher instead of just putting them in the bucket. No such luck. Ben came over to me after the inning and said, "Mom, I wanted to be a ball machine and keep throwing them." He demonstrated with awesome sound effects. The ball machine at the batting cages Thursday evening really had an impact.

Nick's - A bit more serious. They actually keep score,count outs etc... Nick had a good game for having been at a sleepover the night before. He was tired as he walked out onto the field but pulled it together. He even scored a run. Nick's team won! Way to go Bulldogs!

In tomorrow's game, Nick will pitch for the first time. He is excited and nervous. He practiced a little after the game today and looked good.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Too Busy at Palmer?

Wow! I really have a love/hate relationship with school. I love going to school- the people, classes, ideas etc... Hate the feeling that I have too much to do and a brain that might explode trying to get everything done.

Learning to juggle my responsibilities at home with my new responsibilities is a challenge. I sometimes think, if only I could take one class a semester, it would be perfect. Two or three things would not be due the same day and I could just enjoy school. But then again there are benefit to taking multiple classes. Classes have interconnected themes and my thinking is more challenged. Being at school two days with some time between classes allows me to befriend other students, sharing ideas and challenges. Besides if I took one class at a time, I'd be in school forever. School is not my hobby, but a means of developing the skills I need to live out my calling.

So, where does that leave me. I love school. In life I always seem to have an overflowing plate or not enough to do. I much prefer the overflowing plate. Life is good.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The End of VBS

Today was the official end of VBS at Crossroads. The kids and adult leaders sang in church, there was a slide show and a couple brave souls came in costume. That would be Anne and I. Anne was a wise man and I was a BTL. Not to be confused with the ever popular BLT. As a Bible Trek Leader, I was dressed in camping/hiking clothes. It was pretty obvious that Anne was in costume, most people don't wear crowns and robes to Crossroads; however, I am not sure people realized I was in costume even with a water bottle hanging from my belt, a bandana tied in my hear and a waist pack instead of a purse. That might explain some of the odd looks.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Couldn't go to leadership summit

I missed the leadership summit this year. Fortunately Sage Tom went. He gives the following Advice to Leaders: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, walk together. Some real wisdom in that!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Two VBS's???

This year I had the privilege of being a part of two VBS's. That is because our family has been involved in Tri-County's VBS for the past 4 years and I was helping with that. Then... Crossroads hired a dynamic new director of Children's Ministry. Crossroads, a UMC church plant is our home church. The new Children' director, Leigh Anne, thought it would be fun to have a VBS so we began planning one in July without even a location. God has worked everything out and it looks like this will be one of the most unique and fun VBS's I have ever been involved in.

Such a cool location for VBS

Crossroads VBS begins on Monday and it will be unique. The Connors are hosting us at their house. They have a fabulous yard for Camp E.D.G.E. We will be taking daily Bible treks.

The first day is Trek to the Promise land. The storytime begins in a tent with a Bible Trek leader from there the kids travel through the woods and down to a river (a real one!) where they meet Joshua aka Pastor Tom in costume. He will be standing next to a stack of 12 stones and he will tell about the trip across the river and how God stopped the water and how the stones were put there to remember what God had done...

The second day is the Trek to Bethlehem. We begin in the tent then follow a star through a path in the woods ending up under the deck where we meet a wise man who tells about visiting Jesus.

The third day we begin in the tent and follow a different path to the Pharasee's house where a servant is cleaning up from a dinner party Jesus had been to. The servant will share about the dinner and teachings of Jesus.

The fourth day we start at our storytelling tent and travel to the upper room. Take the path through the woods and end up on the top level of the deck. We will meet and hear from one of Jesus' disciples.

The fifth day is the trek to Galilee. We travel to a mountain. There really is a hill and meet Mary and hear that Jesus is alive.

The location just lends itself to these stories and except for a few props and some costumes, the prep is relatively simple.

Looking forward to a fun time next week.

Monday, August 3, 2009

An Awesome team

We have a team together for the Bible Story center at VBS. With one week to plan, we really needed to get together. Great news! Everyone is available on Wednesday morning. Yeah! Can't wait to get started. Please pray for us Tom, Anne, Kit and I as we communicate the Bible stories to the kidos. May this be educational and fun for all.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A tight fist

Pastor Tom mentioned the importance of giving and being generous today. He said that when the hand is closed tightly one is not able to take or receive what God wants to give them. What a great image. I can just see one of my boys clenching 3 M&M's so tightly, refusing to share them with his brothers, he is unable to take the bag I am holding out. Not only that but the color on the M&M's in his hand is beginning to spread over his skin and they are becoming less appealing the longer he holds them.

I think this principle applies to many things. One who does not give love, grace, forgiveness etc... is not open to receiving these things either. There are times when I have been so unwilling to forgive that I became embittered? During those times, the world a lot less forgiving as well. Generosity may be easiest with money or time but it is needed in every domain in life, if one wants to really live an abundant life.

Beautiful Indian Garments

Wow! Jessie really outdid herself. When I mentioned that I loved her clothing from India, she offered to get me some on her next trip. Well, she was true to her word and brought me back two beautiful Indian outfits. I wore one to church today and will be wearing it to Kate's bridal shower this afternoon. They are not only unique and beautiful but comfortable. Thanks Jessie.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Last day of VBS

The crossing of the Red Sea. I was God again, "Moses, stretch out your staff..." Then even better, I got to spray all the kids with water as they walked through the sea and they couldn't get me back! :-) What fun! Between groups while the kids were led around by Moses following a cloud/fire, Katie and I had some mini water fights. Always a fun but exhausting week.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fun, Busy and Exciting

That's today! VBS went well we celebrated the passover again with a twist. It was the passover/last supper. We used Hawaiian punch in place of wine and of course more Taco bread as the kids call it.

Fast forward to Ben's attending his 1st grade teacher's wedding. She and her husband celebrated communion as their first activity together as man and wife. Ben says in his loud I forgot to whisper voice, "Do you think that is real wine?" I shushed him and he began wispering, "Are they gonna kiss. When are they gonna kiss?" Soon Ben. He looks down for a minute and misses the all important kiss. A forlorn looking Ben says, "I missed it, I can't believe I missed it." We went through the receiving line and I mention to Miss Yurik that Ben missed the kiss. She tells him not to worry she will kiss Chad again soon. He just stands there, staring at her, waiting and holding up the line. Finally, Miss Yurik aka Mrs. Gery asks Ben if he wants her to kiss Chad now. Ben nods. Mrs. Gery asks her husband if she can borrow him for a minute and explains the situation. They kiss and Mrs. Gery says, "See Ben, we really are married." That was good enough for Ben. He was all smiles from then on.

Got the call I've been waiting for. I was just accepted into Palmer Theological Seminary's MDiv/MSW dual master's program! While I took a class last spring I was a non-matriculate. I had not completed the application process for the degree candidates. Now I am actually working toward a degree. The class I took in the spring will count toward my degree. I am planning on taking 4 classes this fall. O.T Pentateuch, Church History I, Introduction to Seminary Writing and Spiritual Formation I. I took N.T. Study this spring and loved it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Over the hump at VBS

Another great day at VBS. I was talking to two little girls today and one said,"You were God yesterday weren't you."
I said, "Yes, but I don't look much like God do I."
Racheal replied,"You sure sounded like God."
Rachael doesn't know it but she has moved up to the number one spot on my favorite kids at VBS list. Thanks Rachael, you made my day.

Well, today I could not find my "God" microphone so it was too hard to be both God and the narrator. Fortunately, the story adapted well and the kids had a good time packing, marking their house with blood and eating unleavened bread. (One sharp kid noticed the bread was the same as the flour tortillas his mom used for tacos and commented that he liked italian food.) They were glad to be passed over and hurried out of Egypt following Moses. Thank you Katie for being Moses at the last minute, itchy beard and all.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

2 days of VBS

Yesterday was the first day of VBS. I began the day as God but because I was just getting over a cold, my voice did not sound "Godlike" enough. So, I was demoted to narrator. Now I ask, "What exactly does God sound like anyway?" That's ok being God wasn't much fun anyway. As God I was stuck behind a burning bush the whole time. I even got corrected during practice when I tried to ad lib God's lines. Apparently God is not allowed to say "Hey Mo, Mo. God here. Take off those shoes..." So I guess I really prefer being the narrator. That way I actually get to interact with the kids and can ad lib without getting in trouble.

Today I was God again. After 9 plagues presented to four different groups of kids, I began wondering how many times I could tell Moses to, "Go to Pharoh and tell him to "Let my people go." At least 36. Ever wonder how God keeps his sanity as he tells us the same things over and over and over... Being God is harder than you think.

Tomorrow is the last plague, the passover. Because of staffing issues, I may very well have to be both God and the narrator. At least I have experience in both roles.

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