Thursday, November 30, 2006

first grade mumps

A long time ago, when I was a first grader, I got the mumps from the MMR. Not bad, but bad enough to be home. Gran'ma was in the kitchen. I was on the couch.

I might have been watching TV or I might have been just there on the couch. The Christmas tree was decorated and standing at the end of the couch. I made Gran'ma leave the lights on all day.

We had bubble lights. They were so cool to watch all day. And even when the TV was on for cartoons, the bubble lights had to stay on because they were so cool.

At some point, the cat decided that the real live Cedar Christmas tree was fair game for her claws. The tree fell over on the couch. On me. I could just barely see above the top of the tree but I couldn't move.

Gran'ma rescued me.

And threw the cat out.

I wasn't hurt at all. Can't vouch for the cat.

Christmas memories.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

so many books so little time

What this really means is that I have other books (Cornwell, already started, and Meltzer) to read after I finish the last thing for class.

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday Five from RevGalBlogPals

Black Friday Five

1. Would you ever/have you ever stood in line for something--tickets, good deals on electronics, Tickle Me Elmo? I stood in line for about 30 minutes for concert tickets but not ever for "speical" sales event or item. I've never camped out for anything except a camping trip.

2. Do you enjoy shopping as a recreational activity? Not so much. Online works really well for me.

3. Your favorite place to browse without necessarily buying anything. Any bookstore, except I usually end up buying something, or Home Depot.

4. Gift cards: handy gifts for the loved one who has everything, or cold impersonal symbol of all that is wrong in our culture? Gift cards are great because they don't tend to break during shipping, the cost of delivery is low, and the satisfaction is generally high. I do want to purchase meaningful gifts for those I love and care about but sometimes the practicality of delivery is horrible. But then again with online shopping, there's "ship to" which cuts down on the delivery problems.

5. Discuss the spiritual and theological issues inherent in people coming to blows over a Playstation 3. "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" Instant gratification meets scaricity that will be abundance in a few months. The fruits of the spirit applied to shopping might be a good idea, especially the patience, kindness, and self-control part.

Bonus questions related to video games since I'm not a shopping queen or princess:
And what's your high score on your favorite game?
How long did it take for you to get there?

When I had time to play more video games (right now it's hit and miss), I played a Star Wars Podracer game on our Nintendo 64.

Tangent: I spent so much time playing that I aggravated my arthritis in my thumb. when my dr. asked how I was doing and I told her my thumb hurt, she asked what was going on with that? I told her I'd been playing Nintendo and she just looked at me. not a typical complaint in her office, I'm sure.

It took me three weeks to figure out that I would never be a good podracer so I became a terrific podcrasher. I learned to crash in spectacular ways. The goal turned into the number of spectacular crashes before running out of time or crossing the finish line ordinary, still on the track crashes didn't count.

I also like the Harry Potter games and wish I had time to play more. Since I only have one final and one project left for the semester, Harry and I may get to spend some time together ... or maybe Super Monkey Ball but it should be Mario Dance Revolution.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Whats the word

Yourself: enthusiastic
Your partner: nonexistent
Your hair: short
Your Mother: narcissistic
Your Father: dead
Your Favorite Item: book
Your dream last night: friends
Your Favorite Drink: DietMtDew
Your Dream Car: 4Runner
Your Dream Home: owned
The Room You Are In: den
Your Ex: unprintable
Your fear: asthma
Where you Want to be in Ten Years? home
Who you hung out with last night: dog
What You're Not: froufrou
Muffins: chocolate
One of Your Wish List Items: timeshare
Time: late
The Last Thing You Did: comment
What You Are Wearing: sweats
Your favorite weather: spring
Your Favorite Book: Potter
Last thing you ate?: brownie
Your Life: full
Your mood: content
Your Best Friends: busy
What are you thinking about right now?: football
Your car: comfortable
What are you doing at the moment: typing
Your summer: hot
Relationship status: what???
What is on your tv?: NFL
What is the weather like: warm
When is the last time you laughed: today

i told you

Take this quiz at

Happy Thanksgiving

thanksgiving dinner's sad and thankless

christmas dinner's dark and blue

when you stop and try to see it

from a turkey's point of view.

Shel Siverstein

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

From RevGalBlogPals

All three of you who read, be sure to post!

Thanksgiving Delurking Week

There are so very many things in our lives that we can be thankful for. I personally, am thankful for such a wonderful group people represented by the RevGals and BlogPals and our community here online. At Bits and Odd Pieces of Mindy's Kingdom recently, some of us were noticing that there has been a drop in commenting recently. So, in honor of Mindy, Princess of Everything, we are having a Thanksgiving Delurking week! (Please notice the cow; that's for Mindy).

Place this image on your blog and announce Delurking Week, starting today and going until November 26th. When you visit a blog, you can either just say "Thank you for blogging" or place a blogstone (o) (The invention of PPB of The Ice Floe) or whatever verbage the Spirit moves you to leave.

Let the Delurking begin!

boomer sooner

I am not a Sooner fan. But sometimes the Sooners bring my college roommate close enough to eat together. I like it when we get to see each other. She grew up an Okie and I love her anyway.

She travels to a lot of OU games. Most of the time she says, "Watch for me on TV. I'll be the one wearing red." She is the reason I know about Carl Pendleton.

Carl Pendleton is giving up his last year of eligibilty in football. He is a starter for OU. Unlike most guys with one year left, he's not giving up to go pro. He's giving up to raise his 10 year old brother. Part of the story is here.

Sports Illustrated has an article in the
Nov 13 issue about Carl.

Carl is the President of FCA at OU.

He even teaches Sunday School.

Because of the NCAA rules regarding gifts for athletes, people who would like to help Carl with money to raise his brother can't.

Carl turned down an honorarium for speaking and his brother said, "But we're broke!"

Carl kept telling his brother that God would take care of them.

Carl has been awarded an $18,000 scholarship for Draddy Trophy finalists.

Carl's little brother said, "You're right!"
Carl asked, "About what?"
"God does take care of us!"

Thanks be to God.
Boomer Sooner.

it's 2 am do you know where your sleep is?

I'm awake because I just finished a project for a class.

I had church conference on Sunday with an "interesting" section. i don't like interesting church conferences. boring is much better. no. really. boring means no one had an agenda.

Anyway, I was up until 4 am finishing sermon, pastor's report, and making sure the right forms with the right number of copies were in the right folders. I think this year's experience may have convinced the secretary that 3 weeks in advance to start the paperwork is not too much.

And then, on Monday at 6 pm, I had a final due. And due at midnight, a short but well researched paper and major project. All of that is completed. So even though I am actually finished with all that, my brain is still on. Where is that off switch? I'm really not uptight about anything in particular, I just can't get shut down.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I am working on a project (well really I'm stalling) for class on gratitude. I'm watching reruns of The Amazing Race. I am facinated by the interaction of the teams. The bickering vs. the blessing. The griping vs. the gratitude. The class, the show, the sermon for Sunday are all swirling around in my head, kinda like stew, flavoring one another while retaining their own distinctiveness.

Amazingly, this Sunday, that has lost her sermon, is Committment Sunday, all church Thanksgiving Luncheon, and Charge Conference. We'll have all of that in less than four hours. Now that I 've been reading the academic stuff about gratitude, I feel a sermon coming on. I just need a scripture to back up my preconceived notions ...

To be honest the whole prep thing for charge conference does not really lend itself toward gratitude. I have scheduled the Lay Leadership (nominations) committee and had only ONE out of NINE show up. twice.

And there's this whole mess with utilities for the parsonage.

I've got all the understanding I need of Bowen Family Systems and/or Heifetz's adaptive change to put the utility thing into perspective. However, in the face of personalized attacks couched in language that does not take ownership for the damage, gratitude is most assuredly a choice.

And I choose gratitude. There are so many things for which I am grateful at this church.

  • I have had so many folks who express support on a regular basis.
  • We have visitors in worship 3 out of 4 Sundays a month.
  • Sunday when I did not feel well at all, church members took my girls home with them, fed them, took one to a birthday party, and brought the other home about 2:30. Another church member delivered party girl after the party was over.
  • While we are not rolling in money, we are SO much better than we were last year at this time. Last year we needed about $40,000 to pay back savings and pay out our apportionments. We didn't pay apportionments. This year, we are on track to pay out apportionments. Our pledges recieved are within $1000 of the pledged amount.
  • We sold some land and paid off the debt for the Family Life Center. That reduced next year's budget significantly. And our apportionments went down, by a bunch, due to cuts in 2005. So the proposed 2007 budget is about $18,000 less than 2006 without cutting programs or staff.
  • In a span of less than three weeks, I had three different (not even related) people tell me a specific thing about a sermon that made a difference in their week.
  • Sunday, when I preached about committment, and felt horrid, God knocked it out of the park! I have a church member who regularly crosses paths with "big deal" preachers and told me how great the sermon was.
  • We will deliver thousands of shoeboxes for Operation Christmas child after the Thanksgiving Luncheon. The girls and I bought the items for our boxes today.
  • Enough people responded so we are having "A Christmas Carol" Bible study.
And not related to church
  • my sister is really cool. She is significantly younger than I am so we didn't really grow up together. She has grown up to be someone I want to be around. We don't agree on lots of things and it doesn't matter.
  • my kids have their own talents and I cherish them. The Entertainer was switched to another part (solo instead of trio) for the class musical program because she could hit the notes and had the right rhythm. The SportsQueen was such a go getter that the ref who was parked next to us said, "Hey, I remember you. You're a good hustler. You keep at it." High praise for both of them. And I get to be their mom!
  • I am weeks from having only 3 classes left for the PhD, of course there's this gratitude project in my way
  • I have a wireless laptop so I can sit on the couch working (or not) and watch tv with my kids right here
  • we have a smart dog with a big bark (and big body to go with the bark)
  • we have food in the freezer and in the kitchen and diet Mt Dew in the frig
  • Out of 3 fantasy football teams, one is in first place, one is in second place, the other one ... well there's always one to make you grateful for the others
  • the Seahawks won, even without Alexander and Hasselbeck. Go Josh Brown! and how about that return by Nate Burleson. Wish I was there, but I got to see it on NFL replay.
  • I've got health insurance to cover the really expensive meds that keep me moving so well that most people can't tell there's anything wrong
I am quite sure there's more, but there's the project that I need to quit writing about and start writing.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

and what does the Lord require of you?

“The Gospel of Christ knows no religion but social, no holiness but social holiness.
You cannot be holy except as you are engaged in making the world a better place. You do not become holy by keeping yourself pure and clean from the world but by plunging into ministry on behalf of the world’s hurting ones.” - John Wesley

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Five: What's Red and Blue and Purple All Over?

Those of us who are in the United States have just been through quite a topsy-turvy election. During the campaign we heard a fair amount about red states and blue states, when in fact most of us live in some shade of purple. And so... a lighter look at those confounding colors:

1. Favorite red food Has to be steak. My step-dad makes sure the freezer here has "home grown" beef. So, ironically, when we can't afford to eat out, we have steak. well, not all the time, sometimes we have roast or hamburger.

2. Tell us about the bluest body of water you've ever seen in person. There was a fountain with blue lights and blue die in Kansas City when the Royals were winning (like George Brett era). Other than that, I am hopelessly deprived to a world of brown water.

3. It's movie rental time: Blue Planet, The Color Purple, or Crimson Tide? I'd rather rent My Blue Heaven but if it's not available then I'll take The Man with One Red Shoe

4. What has you seeing red these days? Well, that's a long story but the short version is: some folks at church who focus a lot of time and energy on money and aren't happy that their pastor is convinced that money is not the most important thing but a tool that empowers us to make disciples

5. What or who picks you up when you're feeling blue? I tend to hide in books, movies, the computer, and I talk to my college roommate, sister, and friends. Most of the time, more than one of those at a time.

Monday, November 06, 2006

out of all those options it should be at least one

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West

The South

North Central

The Inland North



The Northeast

What American accent do you

Saturday, November 04, 2006

a journey

Originally, the spot on today's calendar was blank. Instead, I met a guy who is dying.

I traveled about an hour to his house. His daughter is one of my church members and she wanted to make sure he had a preacher and that he's not afraid to die. I think mostly the whole family is anxious about the changes that are obviously moving closer to reality.

There was a point when the rest of the family pointedly left the room so the dad and I could talk. I had no idea what I was going to say. I jumped off into the void trying to articulate those fears in such a way that he knew I wasn't going to question his salvation and, at the same time, gracefully name the unnamed fears. When he put out his hand so I could put my hand in his, I knew that God found a way to speak the peace.

Like the third verse of the Servant Song

I will hold the Christ-light for you
In the night time of your fear.
I will hold my hand out to you;
Speak the peace you long to hear.

It may sound odd but those are the moments that I wouldn't trade for.

I am blessed to be a part of this sacred journey.

Friday Five: Nothing but the tooth from RevGalBlogPals

Friday Five: Nothing But the Tooth

We are in the throes of what will (hopefully) be the final set of braces in this family, and so my mind is on the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.

Please share your thoughts on the following:

1) The Tooth Fairy Delivery fogotten too many times, can we grow out of it yet? And I didn't even get a visit when all four wisdom teeth were pulled at the same time. It was Dec 30, 1999. Quite eventful and gross but no tooth fairy.

2) Flossing A good thing, always and everywhere. Because of the arthritis and the meds that go with it, I'm more likely to have dental problems. Some very intentional flossing reversed a downward trend. So, if I wasn't before, I'm a believer. And I love the Reach thingy!

3) Toothpaste Brands Way too many choices, especially with children standing next to me. We have often used the sample size to try out the flavor before committing to the "real" deal. Personally, at home, I use Mentodent. But for traveling that's too bulky so I use one of those samples, usually, Aquafresh.

4) Orthodontia for Adults For right now, I'd rather live with slightly crooked than pay any amount to change the alignment of my teeth. After the wisdom teeth came out, they did straighten some on their own.

5) Whitening products Due to meds, the whitening wouldn't last long. So why bother? If we're talking about the over-the-counter stuff, I'd rather have new Nikes. I can't afford the professional version but really don't have any desire to save for it either.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Renoir and RA

I have had Rhuematoid Arthritis most of my life. I was diagnosed at 15 months. So I get to take some really expensive medicine along with some moderately priced medicine and some really cheap medicine, too. I am convinced that the "healing" miracle for me is that I am very functional and most of the time no one would guess I have this debilitating disease.

I avoid using a cane on Sunday morning. I just hate it when I need the cane for worship. Right now the pain it pretty well controlled so there are no obvious signs. But I am really struggling against the fatigue. It's the kind of fatigue that is like when your kid is sick and you haven't sleep more than two hours in a row for three days. Except the fatigue is there even when there has been 12 hours of sleep in the last 24. I hate waking up thinking about the next time I can go to sleep. I hadn't looked far enough down the calendar to realize I was "running out" of my IV medicine that costs thousands of dollars. I got my 2 hour dose today. I slept through most of it. The nurse said, "You've never slept through all of the infusion before." Yeah. So in a couple of days, I'll have more energy again and I won't be calculating sleep opportunities at every turn.

With all of that, I am quite thankful for the medical options available to me. And I am so impressed with Renoir who continued to paint (including this picture) after he had to have someone strap the brush to his arm because his hands were too crippled and too full of pain to grip the brush. What a gift to say:
"The pain passes, but the beauty remains" and "Why shouldn't art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world."

I'm looking for a Renoir calendar to help me remember the beauty.

Maybe I'll dream about it.


Given that I get at least a "B" for the two classes I'm in now, I registered for the 3rd and 2nd to last classes for my PhD today.

For Spring 07, I'll be taking "Grief and Bereavement" -- probably has some use for a preacher -- and Advanced Qualitative Research Methods -- use for preacher: 0, use for PhD: priceless?

Ironically, the last class for Grief and Bereavement is scheduled for May 08, 2007. The 25th anniversary of my father's death. He died when he was 40. That's how old old is.

it was my birthday

I am not quite old plus a week. So last week I turned old. Most of the people in church laugh when I say that. We had a great party, mostly put together by my sister from out of state. She had a little help from a church member with organization and a few folks pitched in at the last minute with serving and clean up. There were about 60 people. It was WAY cool. And the cards from folks who couldn't come where way cool, too. I didn't want the day to pass as just another day. It didn't. And I am so glad my sister is my sister.

She got my mom to put together two poster size collages of pictures from childhood through fairly recent. One guy, looking at young childhood pictures of me, said, "Wow, you look like SportsQueen in this picture and you look so like the Entertainer in this picture. And they don't look that much alike. How about that?" Yep, those are mine. And we look alike and not alike all at the same time. Funny thing is the same could be said about them and their dad.

And the same could have been said about me and my mom and dad. But there were no pictures of my dad for anyone to see. Or anyone on his side of the family. I was struck by how much my mom put together the stuff that was important to her. Most of it was important to me too but there were huge gaps related to the important stuff for me. Only one softball picture, no basketball at all -- I lettered in basketball. Only school choir, not church -- you know, where I got to be Mark in Celebrate Life (and Jesus). No pictures from church camp or youth group.

She had a picture of my 16th birthday cake. It was a driver's license with a Mazda RX7 (I wanted a 280zx, she could only remember that it had both letters and numbers.) Hotwheels on it. Under the Hotwheels was the real car key for the Gremlin I actually got to drive. After basketball practice, I came in the backdoor, like always, and I walked in behind my friends who were looking at the front door. I said "surprise" and scared them while they waited to surprise me. I really loved that!

For my, turning old party, we made huge pots of Texas chili and had so many compliments on it. I couldn't believe how many people said they loved the chili.

I. hate. to. cook.

Compliments on the chili? and a bunch of people to eat it? whoo hoo! happy birthday!
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