Archive for June, 2008
I hated word problems in school.Â I always got them wrong.Â Take this, for example:
Â On Saturday, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim played the Los Angeles Dodgers.Â The Angels had 5 hits.Â The Dodgers had none.Â Who won the game?
After spending hours uponÂ hours mulling this one over, no doubt I would have picked the Angels.Â I mean, how can a team win with no hits, right?
The correct answer: the Dodgers.Â Final score: 1-0.Â The Dodgers managed to win a game without a hit.
Oh, and one other quirky little factoid: because it was a home game for the Dodgers, they didn’t bat in the bottom of the ninth, therefore this does not qualify as a no-hitter.
Gotta love baseball.
It’s amazing what a little housecleaning can do for my psyche.Â Somehow the cleansing of my bathroom toilets promotes a cleansing of my soul.Â The washing of the dirty dishes washes away the tiredness and the funk from my emotional “sink.” It’s sad, really, almost a sickness.
But it’s worth it, because now, my mind has cleared enough for me to realize that yesterday I DID have something to write about!Â Something of substance!Â A cause worthy of celebration, and sharing, and shouting from the blogtops!
You see, at Twilight Camp on Tuesday night, my boy shot a bullseye in archery!
Never mind that none of his other nine arrows hit the target.Â Â This was definitely an event worthy of celebration…and a few pictures.
With two weeks back-to-back of camp leadership, I am just about brain-fried. I can offer no salient words of wisdom, no pithy prose. I have no energy for creative thought or humorous musings. Therefore, I unashamedly provide this explanation into the meaning of life as sent to me via email by one of my Bible study friends. Enjoy, for I can guarantee it will be better reading than anything I could put forth today.
On the first day, God created the dog and said:
‘Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years.’
The dog said: ‘That’s a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I ‘ll give you back the other ten?’
So God agreed.
On the second day, God created the monkey and said: ‘Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I’ll give you a twenty-year life span.’
The monkey said: ‘Monkey tricks for twenty years? That’s a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the Dog did?’
And God agreed.
On the third day, God created the cow and said: ‘You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer’s family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years.’
The cow said: ‘That’s kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I’ll give back the other forty?’
And God agreed again.
On the fourth day, God created man and said: ‘Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I’ll give you twenty years.’
But man said: ‘Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?’
‘Okay,’ said God, ‘You asked for it.’
So that is why for our first twenty years we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family. For the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.
Life has now been explained to you.
We’re jammin’ in the jungle
lifting our praise
We’re looking hard to find
Something God has made…
“Let Heaven and earth praise Him;
The [jungle] and everything that moves in it.”
Thus began “Jammin’ Jungle Praise”, our weeklong worship and arts camp for preschoolers at McKinney Fellowship. I was first approached about the possibility of directing a camp like this in mid-April, and what seemed at the time to be an exciting opportunity morphed into “Oh-no-what-have-I-gotten-myself-into” within a matter of weeks. But on my own personal journey through the jungle, God showed me that when He calls me to ministry all I have to do is follow. If He calls me to it, He’s faithful to see me through it!
Despite my doubts, fears, insecurities and misgivings, God worked in amazing ways this week. I was completely humbled and awed at what He accomplished. He provided an awesome team of volunteers who came each day completely committed and totally enthusiastic about being a part of this ministry. He provided 27 darling and excited little campers who filled our days with energy and life – and who absolutely threw themselves into praising God. He provided supportive and grateful parents who brought their children faithfully and encouraged us in the work we were doing. He gave me time with my family throughout the week so I could stay grounded and connected despite the busyness of all that was going on.
The old adage states that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” And frankly, they can tell the story much better than I could. So I now present a snapshot view of our “Jammin’ Jungle Praise.”
The children made cute animal masks out of ZooPals paper plates. They decorated and embellished with yarn strips and felt to create whiskers, fur, or stripes for their animals.
They also made cute little safari vest – like Diego! – from brown paper sacks. These vests came complete with lunch-bag pockets. They used foam animals and circles to create badges and decorate their vests, which they wore for the performance on Friday.
Each day in music they learned songs and practiced the motions for them. Our music leader created our own cd of music for the week. The songs were perfect and the children loved them.
It was such a blessing to watch the children in music as they sang to the Lord!
We would fill our time with games and fun activities. The children made lots of new friends this week!
At the end of each day, we would meet back in the large room and practice our program for Friday. We would sing songs, do the motions, and review our Bible verse for the week.
There was always activity going on with this group!
Crisana was the Mommy in one of the songs we performed. She had to instruct the disobedient children while Jesus changed their hearts to be obedient ones. She loved that role.
In their songs, the children showed how Jesus changes our hearts to love one another and be kind.
The performance was definitely the highlight of the week. The children wore their camp t-shirts and the vests and binoculars they had made in crafts this week. They sang their songs, recited their Bible verse, performed a scripture chant, and closed out the program with a special scripture reading (Ps. 148) and signing of “How Great Thou Art” as recorded by Selah. We served jungle-themed refreshments and the parents saw some of the games and activities from the rhythm rotation. The children picked up their remaining crafts and all the leaders had the chance to mingle with the parents and friends who had come for the performance.
It was an exhausting week to be sure, but one that was definitely worth it. And I must admit I was moved to tears during the performance as I listened to the children sing exuberantly: “You are always with me, Jesus. Where could I go? Where could I hide? You are always with me, Jesus. Where could I go? You’ll never leave my side.” What an awesome message. What a tremendous truth to be hiding in their hearts at this young age.
We’ve jammed through the jungle
And we’re amazed
At all we’ve seen
And all God’s made.
We’ve jammed through the jungle
And now we’re through
Except to say:
“God, we love YOU!”
No, I’m not endorsing some type of ecologically-friendly lifestyle.
Rather I am basking in the glory that is the Boston Celtics winning their 17th NBA title. It’s been 22 years since their last title, and the years in between have been mostly forgettable especially in recent history. But the wait was worth it! The Celtics beat the Lakers!
It is truly a great day in Beantown, and for all Celtics fans everywhere.
As part of our Father’s Day celebration, we took a family outing to the movie theater. For most of you, that’s probably not an occasion to blog about. But for us, the last movie we went to as a family was in January to see “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie.” I guess what I’m really saying is…we don’t get out much.
We headed up to the Cinemark McKinney for an afternoon matinee of Kung Fu Panda. I will admit, I’ve never been a huge Jack Black fan. But after this movie, I may have to change my mind. This movie was GREAT. To paraphrase the opening lines of the movie, it was awesome!Â We all loved the awesomeness of it. I would be willing to watch this awesome movie with my kids again. And again. And again.
I’ll spare you the usual nonsense of recaps and details. But like all ancient Eastern mystics, the red fox Shifu did offer some sage advice I will share with you. As Po reaches the top of the mountain, he is greeted with a beautiful lake, shaded by graceful trees bearing delicate pink flowers. The scene is tranquil, serene, and placid. We sense that we are about to experience a defining moment between Po, the blundering panda, and Shifu, the wise kung-fu master. Po, still the eager-yet-rough-around-the-edges apprentice, complains that the only reason Shifu brought him to this beautiful place was for him to take a bath…and he begins to clean himself with the beautiful water.
Shifu stands, silent for a moment. The master is readying himself to speak. We wait in anticipation of the wisdom he is about to bestow. And then he speaks, in a perfect, flat deadpan:
“We do not wash our pits in the Pool of Sacred Tears.”
I am still laughing over that one. Go see it. It’s worth the price of admission. Oh, and take your kids with you. They might like it too.
For most of my adult life I have been complimented many times by those who claim I am very organized.Â I demur, claiming that it’s all an illusion, but still the accolades persist.Â It’s tempting to believe, but I know the truth.Â Despite my best efforts to look organized, to present an organized front, to have a well-organized house and life and schedule…
I end up doing something like this:
Yesterday we were heading to the pool for the kids’ swim lessons.Â We carefully packed the pool bag with towels, cover-ups, goggles, glasses case, sunscreen, toys.Â I packed the cooler with drinks, sandwiches, snacks, and fruit.Â I made sure I had my book to read during lessons.Â I made sure we had sunglasses.Â I made sure we had extra snacks for post-swim time.Â I made sure the kids had bathing suits on and pool shoes on and sunscreen on.Â I made sure we had everything….
…except my swimsuit.
Which I discovered after lunch, when we were just about to have our afternoon of family fun.
So there you have it.Â If you ever want something really well partially organized, call me.Â I’m your gal.
Welcome to today’s edition of “Reader’s Theater”.Â For today’s dramatic reading, you will need two voices, preferably one male and one female.Â The male voice should be that of a child, approximately 8 years old.Â In this narrative, this reader will be referred to as “Big Brother”.Â The female voice should also be that of a child, this one approximately 5 years old.Â The female voice will be referenced as “Little Sister.”
And now, for your pleasure, we present: “The Swim Lesson.”
Little Sister (in an excited voice):Â Today, in my swim lesson, I stayed underwater for A LOOONG TIME.
Big Brother (in a congratulatory tone):Â That’s great!Â How long did you stay under?
Little Sister: Oh, I don’t know…probably about 10 MINUTES.
Big Brother (dripping with sarcasm):Â Yeah right.
Little Sister: 3 minutes!
Big Brother (again, dripping with sarcasm): Yeah right.
Little Sister: ONE MINUTE!
Big Brother:Â Hey, mom, my goggles need to be cleaned and tightened.
Thus ends today’s edition of Reader’s Theater.Â Please tune in next time when you will hear Big Brother say, “Yeah, but can you whistle?”
I had a rather interesting adventure on my weekly grocery shopping trip to Kroger today.
And no, the price of milk had nothing to do with it, although I did happen to notice that the price of gas at a competitor’s pump has officially topped the $4.00/gal mark. *Ouch* And this is Texas, where we’re all supposed to have oil wells in our back yards!
Anyhoo…so there I am in the checkout line, with my eco-friendly canvas bags in tow. In my haste to unload the cart, however, I neglected to give those eco-friendly canvas bags to my equally hasty bagger. Much to my dismay – and the dismay of many a tree-hugger – I noticed that she had already filled two plastic bags and was starting on a third!Â *Gasp!*Â Quickly, I thrust my eco-friendly canvas bags in her direction, crying, “I brought my own bags!Â I have four of them!”
Ah, all was well once again.Â Or so I thought.Â After giving up both children’s college funds to pay for groceries, I turned to get my cart and noticed that my hasty bagger had simply placed the plastic bags INSIDE the canvas ones.Â And despite the fact that I had one completely empty canvas bag, she had bagged the final two items with separate plastic bags and was trying to squeeze them into one of three already-bulging canvas bags.
Kinda defeats the purpose, don’t it?
I promptly managed to empty out two of the plastic bags in the store and recycled them on the way out the door.Â Thinking I had reached my daily quota of inanity, I put my groceries in the car and proceeded to the gas station to fill up my non-eco-friendly SUV.Â As I pulled up to the pumps, this is what I saw (and it is probably the ONLY time I have dearly wished for a camera phone):
two teenage boys with bikes laying on the ground next to the pump, holding the nozzle in their hands.
My friends, you know things have gotten real bad when people are having to resort to putting gas in their bicycles.
(come to find out, they did have a gas can that they were trying to fill up.Â However, in another turn of sheer stupidity, one boy emptied out the remaining gas on the concrete before filling the can back up.Â I wanted to scream, “Don’t throw that away, boy!Â That’s liquid GOLD!”)