Monday, December 22, 2008

Trying to have a good attitude about it....


This post was removed because of sensitive content.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Refresh Conference is finally here!

I have been working since June on the Refresh 2008 Campus ministry conference. It is finally here and I am so excited to see what God will do in lives of campus pastors. We have 167 people coming this year (up from 110 last year). So I know it is going to be amazing!
December 15-18, 2008

Bus driver made a funny

No in-between with my luggage.

Either I have the tiny black rolling case left over from college (you know the one), or I have the mammoth Ralph Lauren rolling beast which I can barely navigate when stuffed with -- a few of my favorite things.

So I got onto the Hertz rental car bus and the exchange when something like this.

Me: Hey there!
Him: Girl, do you need some help?
Me: I Know! It was the only thing I had available in my closet.
Him: And it looks like you filled it up......with EVERYTHING that was available in your closet!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"My January Project"

Since the beginning of Nov., I have coined the phrase, "That's my January Project". This has helped me feel better about not getting things done that need my attention but aren't totally crucial.
So far the list is:

1. Coat Rack for the Children's outer wear (which is currently strewn across the floor of the mud room).
2. Clean off my desk at work.
3. Call a plumber about the broken knobs on the basement bathroom sink, the kitchen sink, the master bathroom bathtub and the guest bathroom shower.
4. Organize our home office.
5. Hang art in my new house.
6. Train myself on all the equipment I am clueless about at the church.
7. Start doing yoga again (I want to join Lifetime fitness but it is very expensive).
8. Get some boundaries.
9. Start reading again.
10. Begin futuring for my job rather than just riding the wave of the urgent.
11. Get into a schedule of having people over for dinner once a week - to practice hospitality.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas At Resurrection

Huge Christmas Production.
December 7th through the 14th (Rehearsals and Performances).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Childrens Christmas Musical

This week prepping for the Children's Christmas production at church.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving - from the ranch


The children and I drove down to "Papa's Ranch" for the holiday. Thanksgiving at the ranch is a special tradition for us.
Papa cooks breakfast for us every morning and Kimaw's Thanksgiving day feast is delectable.
There are always out-doorsy activities for us to do. We take long walks, play on hay bales, climb on lichen laced boulders, and search for wildlife. Last year, we shot clay pigeons. This year, we're going fishing.
Earlier today, we went down to the barn with Papa to try and figure out what type of varmint had been squatting there. I pushed my kids on the home-made tire swing. Papa showed us his latest taxidermy (giant caribou antlers from his recent big-game hunting trip to Alaska).
I cherish times like this.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I spend more $$ on my dogs than on my children.

Did I say that my dogs were awesome? I take it back.

Today I got the twins groomed. Also, they needed a shot or two and a check-up to make sure that they are physically fit enough for next weeks neuter.

They did great! They look great! They are in great shape! All for the low low price of $508. Wait, I did get a $25 credit for a vet referral from my neighbor.

Next weeks bill: $270 per dog. That is a total of $540 or $135 per testicle.

So in two weeks, we will have spent $1,080 on two four-legged mooches who have no idea how good they have it.

I would get rid of them except for the fact that I already have a huge investment in them!

I should have stuck with cats.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Our Pups


Well they just turned a year old a few weeks ago - - won't be pups much longer! Apollo and Starbuck are getting pretty big. They each weigh about 65 pounds right now. The vet says they will probably both get up to about 90!
This was one of the best "quality of life" purchases we have made. These dogs are amazing!

Catastrophe Overted...

Creighton was driving home from work and happened to glance down a side-street (just off the busy street on which he was driving).
He noticed the head of a little boy (18-20 months roughly). As he looked closer, he noticed that the boy was chasing after his puppy - and that the boy was totally naked!
He whipped around the block to confirm what he thought he saw.

Once again, that was a naked baby boy chasing a puppy near a busy feeder road in Kansas City on a 38 degree day.

So Creighton, slams the car in park and runs to the boy. He wraps the child in his fleece and begins to walk from house to house in an attempt to find out who this AWH pair belongs to. Boy knows one word for sure: Puppy!

After about the 5th house, Creighton notices that the dog heads across the street in a "Lassie-I'll-point-the-way" fashion. So he follows.

Open garage door. Open entry door. Creighton enters the house yelling, "HELLO! ANYONE HOME??"

The dad comes running when he hears the racket. Jaw drops. Eyes as wide as saucers. All he could say was, "Tyler?"

Creighton recounted the story to the man who stood there in shock. The man said, Thank you."
Creighton said, "I need my fleece back."

Silly baby.
Bad daddy.
Good puppy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Other pics of my house....



The UMC in the 21st Cntury

Four Areas of Focus: A conversation is taking place across the United Methodist Church about a vision of ministry and mission for the 21st century. Inspired by the UM ministries around the globe, this vision has emerged as the Four Areas of Focus for the future of the United Methodist Church. They are:

1. Developing principled Christian leaders for the church and the world.
2. Creating new places for new people and renewing existing congregations.
3. Engaging in ministry with the poor.
4. Stamping out the killer diseases of poverty by improving health globally.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Badass Brood of Jedi













Finally getting my holloween photos up!
Everyone got REALLY into their roles.

As always, Cosmo gets to be the animal or mascot. In this case - - the Master.
Whitby loved being Ahsoka (and loved putting on make-up).
Canon was very serious about being Anakin.
And Creighton got to bust out his legit light saber replica. Obi Wan at his best.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Petting Zoo - Sunday


While we lived in Lawrence, we heard about this place called Deanna Rose Childrens Farmstead. We visited it twice and the kids LOVED it.
I knew it was in the city but never really paid attention to the actual location - - because I rarely pay attention to where I am going, especially if I am not driving.
Come to find out, Deanna Rose is literally 3 minutes from my house!!
I am so excited!
We took the kids on Saturday and on Sunday.

Cos fell asleep on Sunday because we went during his usual naptime. So I just snuggled with him for an hour while the other kids played.

What a dreamy day.

One of our last temperate days till spring....


Ahhh.
Soak it in sister.

Winter's a-comin'.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thinking about election day....

I feel pretty confident about Obama - - but now and then I waiver.
I am PRO-LIFE, and I, like so many of my friends want abortion to end. If I was a one-issue voter, I would not check the Obama box. But when I look at the big picture - I see Obama as the transformational leader this nation needs.

Education
Environment
Economy
Equality
Health Care
Global Playing Well With Others....

On these issues, Obama has a more compelling message of hope and change.

I know that Gov't programs are failing at truly caring for the working poor and the homeless, union systems are in need of repair, Universal Healthcare won't solve all of our medical problems and hard-working Americans like my dad will be taxed at a heavier level.
But I don't hear any plausible alternatives from John McCain.
And I DO think that reform is in our future.
I don't want to be cliche but I do believe that there is hope for this country.

I am willing to give Barack a chance to lead us to a better place.

We'll see what happens on the 4th....

Obsession de jour: Pumpkin Ale











Watch out Hornsby's Crisp Apple Hard Cider! This fall you have some competition. Pumpkin Ale. My friend Janelle introduced it to me.

At first it tastes like Ale.
Then, it tastes like pumpkin pie.

You might be thinking, "eeew". But give it a try!
It's quite good. Especially on a cool autumn evening.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Some pics of my new pad






Master Bath
Staircase
Kitchen view to back yard

More to come....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hello again!

I have been off the radar for a couple o weeks...

We sold our house in Lawrence and bought a house in Overland Park. We had a three week window to get out of the Lawrence house and get into something else. Everything worked out beautifully (even though we were homeless for 3 days). But our moving truck came to our new residence yesterday and everyone slept in their own bed last night!

Now, my commute is 8 minutes door to door.

Big thanks to Jen and Lance Johnson for letting us have a family sleep-over. Thanks to Lynn Carter and Shannon Ocsody for taking children off my hands for a while so I could pack up my house.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

To Buy or Not To Buy

So.... We are stuck right on the fence. Should we buy and gain instant equity - taking the risk of owning property in this scary market? Or should we rent - free from the commitment of ownership but not gaining any equity and "throwing away" our rent money?

It seems like renting would be a good option right now. To not be tied down to property in light of America's financial crisis sounds good. But if we buy and weather the recession, we will probably come out on top in the end.

What is the smartest thing to do?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Refresh 2008


I am the coordinator for Refresh '08, a conference for United Methodists in campus ministry.
If you know ANYONE in ministry with college students or on a campus ministry board, or someone remotely interested in campus ministry - - Please pass on the info for Refresh.

Refresh is a highly interactive 3 days of resourcing and connecting with others in our specialized ministry.

December 15th - 18th 2008. The Woodlands UMC, The Woodlands TX.

Monday, September 29, 2008

On the topic of "isms"












Cosmo-isms:

"Mommy, I wanna hold you."

(Every morning) "Is it mornin' mom?"

"I wanna do it myself!" (about everything)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Deward-isms

My dad is a trip - - in a good way.

I have chronicled, in years past, some of his axioms: Deward-isms.
Recently our conversations have revolved around the topic of money and more specifically, real estate purchases.

So here are some Deward-isms of late:

"You make your money in the details."
"I didn't get to where I am today by paying people full price."
And my personal favorite:
"I'm not buying anything today unless I am paying fifty cents on the dollar."

Perhaps you have a "dad-ism" you'd like to share....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Sight for Sore Eyes


We finally have a contract on our house! Only trick is, they want to move in October 9th!
For some, this might be a problem. For the Alexanders, who live in a constant state of "wingin' it", - - piece of cake.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Butterflies


Today we took the kids out to the Baker Wetlands to catch and tag butterflies. The Monarch butterflies use the Baker Wetlands as a kind of rest stop on their journey down to Mexico for the winter. They fill up their tanks, grab a ham and cheese....
KU has a Monarch research department, so for the last 3 Septembers, we have gone out to the Wetlands, to help these entomologists tag butterflies, so they can be tracked on their travels.
It truly has been such a joy for the family. I love the unique memories this gives the children. It's something they will never forget.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Axioms

I have really been loving Bill Hybels leadership book AXIOMS.
The chapters are 2 pages long so I feel like I am getting somewhere!

Chapter I read today was about hiring leaders.

Might seem hokey, but he always looks for the 3 C's: Character, Competence, Chemistry.

Character is top priority (in church work clearly) and that is what he spends the majority of his time checking out. Even takes people on outings to "observe" the way the handle certain situations.
Next, Competence. No brainer. You definitely need someone with the right qualifications - skills, experience, talent...etc.
Third is Chemistry. He talks about the importance of a person being a good fit within the team. "Don't overlook this", he warns, "Your team and the work will suffer if they don't have chemistry".

In the past, we (Creighton and I) have brought people on our teams just because we need to fill a position or we were in a bind or because the person really really really wanted to be there. We learned the lesson of the 3 C's early on - - and we're still learning. I'm glad to hear Bill articulate it in this memorable way.

Wipe that smirk off your face, Poo.



Poor Baby.
Cos is home - sick today. He shat his pants 3 times at pre-school yesterday...and barfed in the car this morning.
I feel sorry for him, but for me it means I get to work from home. It's quite nice to have a break from the commute today!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

List: 2

Talked about a list of functions that I WISH were a part of my everyday life. I have not carved out time for these important life goals. Maybe it's because I have it in my mind that I have to do each one an hour a day - so I put it off completely.

1. Practice Spanish
2. Work out
3. Practice guitar
4. Pray and immerse myself in the Word an hour a day
5. Do one-on-one's with each of my children (at least once a week)

And while I am on the topic of lists. Here is the list of classes I would take if I had the margin:
1. Akido or Kung Fu
2. Spanish
3. Guitar
4. Yoga instruction
5. Photography
6. Web design

I'd love to hear from you about some of your "lists".

Important Sidenote:
This is in no way meant to evoke guilt.
I do not feel guilty - I merely want to write this as a way of saying, "Keep Moving Forward!"

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Natalie

Natalie Merchant is a savant. Raw, naked humanity is her inspiration. Her art is always profound and exegetic. Want earthy and authentic? Natalie will never disappoint.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The List

Tony Steward (one of the guys at Lifechurch.tv) put together this list. He writes:

I think most of us know at least 10 things that if we did them every day or week they would change our lives for the better. So, I wrote out this list last night of 20 rules. A checklist of actions (or inaction) that I know will make me healthier and change my life for the better. Here is my list, but what is yours (it doesn’t have to be 20 :) ? If you write a list, post the link from your blog in the comments section below!

1. In bed by 10:30pm
2. Wake up 6am
3. No soda, water at meals
4. 1 coffee a day (limit)
5. No cheese
6. Very 1st thing each day, quiet time in bible, prayer, etc.
7. 2nd thing of each day 1hr of exercise.
8. Play/Read with my children every day
9. Have an engaging conversation with my wife every day
10. Do a GTD weekly Review each week and a Daily Review each day.
11. Read 1 book a week.
12. Have one day a week that is completely “dark” (devoid of electronics and internet).
13. Never work aimlessly. Either act, review or plan. (or play)
14. Study, Fast or spend time in solitude once a week.
15. Have a Family Meeting once a week on things like budget, schedules, and goals.
16. Access email only at 3 “batch” times a day and RSS Feeds 1 a day.
17. Do 1 household chore a day. (instead of letting them accumulate for my “dark day”)
18. Always eat breakfast
19. 1 date night a week with either my wife or one of my kids
20. Write every day (journal-ing doesn’t count)

Other people had some really great additions. This is the list I posted.

1. Clean my kitchen every night (shine the kitchen sink)
2. Pray and sing a lullaby with my children every night
3. Go to bed with my husband and not at separate times
4. Read before bed
5. 10 minutes of yoga with children in the morning, end with morning prayer and blesssing
6. Make sure everyone gets a vitamin in the morning - take with water
7. (My husband makes sure the kids eat a “brain-food” breakfast every morning)
8. Unlike those of you with clearly more self control - - I text, email and check facebook 63 times a day.

Certainly my list doesn't happen EVERY day - but more often than not, I'd say. Plus there is the prayer/bible study/meditation/worship stuff that weaves in and out of my daily routine.
There are, of course, many other things I wish I did regularly that didn't make my list. That is another list for another day.

What are your daily rules or habits that keep your life moving in the right direction?

Phone Etiquette

My new job in KC has me on a two hour round trip commute - which means I now have two hours a day to catch up with old friends. This is a wonderful gift (considering the circumstances), but in this transition, I have become aware of how much of my day is spent on my phone.
Besides the fact that I am going deaf in my left ear, I would not see this as a problem. Except for one thing.

When I am on the phone, people somehow transform into scenery.

I stop for coffee or a sonic-bev everyday. I stay on the phone. I run through the Chick-fil-A drive thru. I stay on the phone. I go through the toll booth. I stay on the phone. I make a deposit at the bank. I stay on the phone.

What is that about? I have been going through my days ignoring people, real people who I otherwise would be interacting with, because I am deep in conversation on my phone.

No more, "How are you today?", "Thank you for my coffee - have a great day!", "Keep the change - have a great day!"....etc.

Now, I just keep on chatting about kids nutrition with my friend Allyson, Names for a new church plant with my friend Randel, daycare and transitions with my friend Staci, and family stuff with my sister.

I literally can't recall a greeting or a 'thank you' or even an eye to eye look with any of these service providers I rely on each and every day.

People are precious, and I need to communicate that to them - YOU DO TOO! You probably don't have this problem. But in case you do - let's commit together to:

1. Wait to get on the phone till after we get coffee
2. If already on the phone, say to the caller, "Hold on just a sec while I get my coffee...."
3. Connect eye to eye with the person we interact with whether at the bank or the toll booth, the grocery or the drive-thru....

Let's show them that they are people - not scenery!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bolt-ons

What are bolt-ons?

Fake boobs.

I'm thinking about fake boobs because for some reason, everywhere I turn, they are in my face (figuratively speaking).
In July, we went back to dallas for a little R&R and for some reason, I started seeing these round, bulbous beauties everywhere. I suppose it is not THAT surprising to see this trend in North Dallas - - but still I was surprised at the quantity.
That is where I learned the term "bolt-ons". My friend Michelle (who we stayed with while in Dallas) educated me on this all-to-perfect term for the fake boob.
It stuck.
I love it - just really paints a picture doesn't it? Reminds me of the Fembots of Austin Powers.

Anyhoo. Ever since I have been back to Kansas, bolt-ons seem to pop up around every corner. I notice them at Starbucks and at Target, at the Plaza and at church. My new co-worker and I were getting to know each other and he shared that his wife is a nurse for a Cosmetic Surgeon here in KC. Then he and I and about 3 others discussed the ins and outs of enhancement for about 20 minutes.

This is the kicker. As my high school friends join facebook, I confirmed an old friend today, and upon viewing her profile photo, I fell on the floor.
This girl used to be as flat as western Kansas. Now, she is the rolling hills of West Virginia. I KNOW, that there is no way that my friend could explain this away. Don't tell me you're just a late bloomer. And for sure don't tell me that your boobs just grew when you had babies! I know what's up.

The fact that my friend lives in North Dallas probably doesn't mean anything. Clearly, clearly bolt-ons exist everywhere.

Are you noticing this trend?
What area of the country do you live in?
Do you have any strong feelings about cosmetic surgery?
What's your take on it?

Friday, August 29, 2008

IT: Final

So I went ahead and finished the IT book, by Craig Grochel. He actually did have some good things to say. The main thing I have taken away from this book is that Churches and communitites that have "IT" have common qualities though they may not look anything alike outwardly.
My friend Randel clearly stated the main quality, "i'm convinced that "it" is the PRESENCE of God. been to too many churches without it, and been to a few with it. will not settle for less anymore.
doesn't ultimately matter if everything is trendy, the newest formula, or pretty- if HE isn't present, it doesn't do anything but entertain me for an hour."
Well said.
Other indicators, Grochel contends include humility, team camaraderie, a laser focused vision, "kingdom-mindedness" and hearts focused outward.

Nikki walks up to the soapbox podium - re: hearts focused outward.

My patience is wearing thin for communities and churches who are so focused on themselves and what they don't have and how they're not being fed and how they used to do it and how this won't work because (fill in the blank). These communities are stuck in small thinking and a scarcity mentality that keeps them limping and lame. When we take our focus off of ourselves and our lack, God gives us to-the-moon sized dreams and possibilities. Our God is not small or ordinary or powerless. Neither should our dreams be. Niether should our communities be!

Pastor Adam Hamilton, my Sr. Pastor at Church of the Resurrection, spoke at our staff chapel this past Thursday. He talked about his goal to gather together pastors of influence in our denomination to lock arms for positive change. He has had multiple meetings with some key leaders to encourage and inspire them toward this effort. I love it! I'm so proud to be connected to a church who dares to dream big and to stretch their arms out into community and into the world because our God is big and extraordinary and limitless!

Monday, August 25, 2008

We finally got bikes!




My poor children have had to wait til age 6 and 4 to get bikes. I just never got around to it! But we finally made the purchase, after Canon kept bothering the neighbor to borrow her $200 bike :(
What a great purchase it was. The kids are loving life!

A hair-cut, a lost tooth, and just plain sassy


Can't believe how big my kiddos are!
Creighton finally convinced me to get Cosmo a "big-boy" haircut. He looks so different! Such a big guy. Canon lost his two bottom teeth last year during kindergarten. The two up top are on their way out. He lost one yesterday, and I am sure the other one will be out by this evening. Then there is Whitby. The spunk and life and pure-sassy just exudes from her pores. That's my girl.

Canon 6
Whitby 4
Cosmo 2 (almost 3)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Two hours of solace and guilt

I had a dreamy morning. Went to Borders bookstore looking for a specific book on media. Didn't find the book, but continued to browse. And browse, and browse.

For two hours I poked around at Borders. I learned more about Frank Lloyd Wright (who I have always admired from an artistic visionary standpoint). I skimmed some parenting books and got overwhelmed by my lack of parenting skills. Discovered that there is a whole section on magic and metaphysical. Loitered in the children's section, wondering where to take my kids next in literary discovery. I read forewards of books I have wanted to start but havn't: Good to Great, The world without us, Glass Houses, and Freakonomics. I coveted calendars and stationary and journals - none of which I use nearly enough.

Then upon heading out. I took a deep breath and the reality of how much I need to get done today hit me. So for those two blissful hours, I rested in intellectual stimulation and uninterrupted introversion. Then I got in my car and made a guilt-ridden mad dash back to my list of tasks and chores for the day and for the weekend, for my kids and for my dogs, for my house and my job....

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More on AXIOM

Man, I have not been that much of a fan of Bill Hybels in the past. (Probably because of my connection to "emergent" for the past ten years and its anti-mega-church ideals). But this guy has some wisdom.
I love the season he is in right now. He truly wants to build leaders and resource visionaries. He inspires me to keep moving, keep dreaming, keep producing, keep pressing on.

I am a visual person - so I love how he describes vision:

The crispest articulation of vision is that it's a "picture of the future that produces passion in people".
He says that when you have eyes to see the vision that God has given you, you'll know it because your heart will feel it so deeply that, over time, any lingering uncertainty will vanish. "Leaders", he says, "Don't ever apologize for the strength of vision that God has put into your life...Paint your God-given vision for family, friends, colleagues, and total strangers, if they will listen. Paint it as colorfully and passionately as you can! Just get it painted so that people's hearts are stirred enough to shout - Count me in!"

Readers, I want to know what God has called you to! Will you paint a picture of your vision for me?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More on IT

Eh. I think I'm done with "IT".

Craig Grochel was great at the Willow Leadership Summit. I bought his book because he makes a great observation that there are some churches that have "it" and some that clearly don't.
I am about half way through the book and I'm not sure it's worth finishing.

Craig is a bit schticky, trying too hard to be funny, approachable and relevant. While he makes some good points, and profiles some successful pastors, I think there are other books I need to put on my nightstand right now.

My next purchase: Surprised by hope - N.T. Wright

Monday, August 18, 2008

2 down, one to go?



In a previous post, titled "bad mommy", I lamented the fact that I witnessed Canon get attacked by a vicious, killer family dog.
Took it in the face.
Still makes me angry....
Well, you can imagine my shock when we went to dinner at some friends house and their dog BIT WHITBY!
This is a fussy dog anyway (it bit me on the leg one time), and Creighton (somehow always able to foresee catastrophe), almost asked the owner to kennel the dog while the kids were around. Alas, he did not ask (and is kicking himself now).
So, immediately following the group dinner prayer, the dog ran over to Whitby and took a chuck out of her back.
The next half hour, as you may imagine, was quite awkward.

Two dog bites in a month - - Bizarre, huh??

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Desperate for something to watch

Every month I make a payment to direcTV. I pay the bill and ask myself "why did I just do that?"
It all started back during the writers strike of 2007. We were on a forced fast from TV during that dark time and now, I can't seem to get the thirst back.
I especially walk away empty when I waste 2 hours of my life on Scorpion King (three nights ago). I wait for Tivo to produce something from my "programs to record" list - and that returns void right now because of the desolate summer programming hiatus.

I guess I will keep on paying... hopefully (within the month) fresh episodes of Survivor, SNL, Lost and The Office will come to my rescue soon.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Axiom


Axiom: Bill Hybels newest book. Powerful Leadership Proverbs. Axiom is a book that sets forth the argument that "language matters". He contends that the best leaders wrestle with words until they are able to communicate their big ideas in a way that captures the imagination, catalyzes action, and lifts spirits. Leaders coin creeds and fashion slogans and create rallying cries, all because they understand that language matters.
I just started this book. I am already on chapter 5 (because the chapters are 4-5 pages each) :)
At first I thought, "Seriously, Bill? You are writing an entire book on the importance of wordsmithing?" But as I move through the book, I can really see the value of crafting our language so that when we roll out a vision, people can jump on because the vision is clean, clear and jump-on-able. See, I am already getting it.... jump-on-able.

Creighton and I are currently massaging a big idea. We will find this book helpful as we continue to line out the vision for this thing.

More later....

Saturday, August 9, 2008

IT

So I have started reading Craig Grochel's book IT. Even though you may not be able to say exactly what "it" is, you know how to recognize it and you sense anytime you are in a church community that has "it".

I have enjoyed the book, I am about half way through it. His writings seem a little campy. He tries to be clever and funny and relevant. But as I get further into the book, I see that he is trying to help sort out for the reader some of the qualities found in a congregation that has "it".

One interesting thing is that "Just because you have it doesn't mean you will always have it, and if you don't have it, it doesn't mean that you can't get it."

He offers a list of indicators of what "it" is. But I wonder, what do you think it means for a congregation to have "it"?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Obsession de jour: Katherine Rohr


Katherine was making a 200K salary working in venture capital and private equity when she caught a glimpse of her calling. She started a ministry with prison inmates called: Prison Entrepreneurial program.
I am inspired by this woman who leveraged everything for the vision she saw.


“I feel like God gave me a vision—what if we could capitalize on the prison inmates' street knowledge but shift it towards a productive, ethical pursuit?”

Do you have a vision for what God has called you to do? I want to hear about it!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Willow Creek: Leadership Summit


I am excited about this year's Willow Creek Leadership Summit. Church of the Resurrection is a satellite location.

Creighton and I have attended the summit at COR since we have lived in Kansas. It is something we decided to carve out time for every year because we gain so much from it. And we always walk away with so many valuable lessons.

I joined Amway once.

I joined because the person "presenting the plan" to me was strong and compelling. Assured me I would make millions. Clearly, I didn't make millions, nor did I make one dollar, nor did I make one phone call to recruit others in.
However, there is one thing that "my sponsor" and everyone in "my upline" did and modeled which I will never forget. They were frequently listening to motivational tapes (it was a long time ago when there were such things as tapes). At least once a week, my sponsor would hand me a tape and say, "you gotta listen to this, it will just get you fired up". And when I listened, I got fired up. Soon I stopped listening, and soon I fizzled out. You guessed it, my career as a multi-level-marketer ended after a few short months.

My point?

Well, I learned from Amway that if I want to be successful, I need to learn from the successful. I really understand the value of staying connected and engaged and plugged in, particularly with the people who have gone before me - people who have paved the way.

In this case: Leadership.
Leaders show wisdom and maturity when they seek counsel from those who have gone before them.
And that is why I go to Leadership Summit.
I want to be a great leader. I want to learn from great leaders. I want to soak up their knowledge and experience. I always leave the Summit fired up! Then, after a few short months, I begin to forget.
For me, the Summit has become a vital part of my growth as a leader (and as a mom and wife and citizen). And I can't wait till Thursday!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dandelions

I was thinking about Dandelions today.

Trickery.

Since the dawn of man, dandelions have been tricking children into doing their dirty work for them.

It is genius - and very evil.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bad Mommy!


This is a "How could I have let this happen to my child" moment.
An "It's all my fault" scenario.
One of those "I should have been more vigilant" type things.
It's an "I'm gonna beat myself up about this one for a while" kind of situation.

See, I let my child get bit by a stupid, inbred, idiotic, psycho Cocker Spaniel.
The thing that tricked me was that the nice little family of four passed by on an evening walk - the little ones in the Radio Flyer. It always starts out the same. My kids say, "Excuuuuuse meeee! May we pet your dog?" We all go to the sidewalk, intercept them and squat down to pet their dog. Everytime - and I mean everytime, I tell my children to stay out of the dog's face. And I did it this time too. But I guess I was too late because before I knew what happened, Canon was screaming and holding his eye.

What is the appropriate response at a moment like this?
A number of options ran through my head. But somehow, I remained calm in order to bring control and not to exacerbate the chaos.

So I hugged Canon and told him to take a deep breath. I checked him over carefully knowing that if we went to the ER, that unfortunate family would be getting a bill in the mail.

But he seemed ok. Thank God the dog missed his actual eyeball....

The people were very apologetic, but somewhat disengaged. Perhaps they were stunned and embarrassed. Perhaps they were waiting for me to sue them right then and there.

I just kept thinking about what Creighton would have done if one of our dogs bit a child. He would have beat the freaking animal within an inch of it's life - regardless of how many kids and neighbors witnessed it. Both my dad and Creighton's dad would have taken the dog out back and blown it's head off.

These folk simply said, "Tanner, no."

And that is why it comes back to me. I can't be responsible for how someone trains or non-trains their dog. I can only be responsible for how I teach puppy-petting-etiquette to my own children. And I can say that after tonight, I'm gonna be a tad more hardass about it.

Sorry I had to learn this lesson on you Buddy.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sync issues

I’m in a strange, hazy place. I like my new job at Church of the Resurrection. It is challenging and fun. But taking the position means that I have to put the kids in daycare. I don’t get near the time with them that I would like (or as I used to). At the same time, I know that they will enjoy Hilltop at KU. But, I wonder what all this is about.

We are grieving leaving Wesley KU. We (well, I) second-guess our decision every other hour. We made this decision because we foresaw a better situation for our family, but it feels like everything we have worked on and built at Wesely for the past two years is crumbling.

I think things will make sense once we are able to sell and move. But right now I feel like I’m 19, and I feel incapable of making clear, mature, responsible decisions. I feel like I am out of sync with the proper flow of the universe.

Does that even make sense?

Here is the life I am supposed to be living right now.

I am living in a wooden farm-house out in the country. Nothing huge, just 10 or 20 acres. I own a peacock and lots of other animals for my kids to enjoy. A zorse would be nice (its a cross between a zebra and a horse) but I think that might be stretching it.
I adopt another child or two, and I homeschool all of them.

Seriously, this is the life I dream of. I am not joking. And maybe it's just not time yet. But how do I get there? Rather than me living my life, it seems like my life is living me.

Are you exactly where you dream of being?
If so, or if not - tell me about it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Birthday



I am a simple woman, easy to please. A double feature is all I need. For my b-day, my boyf and I went to the movie theater.
We used to go to movies all the time - at least once a week. You guessed it, before we had kids. Now it's netflix and pay per view. I broke up with Blockbuster years ago because I need to draw boundaries and not let someone walk all over me and treat me bad and steal from me. But that's another rant.
Needless to say, it is a decadent treat to hit the theaters, especially when there is so much to choose from right now! Wanted? Hancock? Hellboy II? Journey to the Center of the Earth? But Dark Knight and X-Files won out. Dark Knight because we have seen every BatMan movie have been waiting anxiously for it, and X-Files because we watched every X-Files episode and oh, we hosted X-Files club at our house for 2 years in Dallas.
So, since it was my birthday, I got to choose.

X-Files was first. I so badly wanted to believe. This movie was, how do I say this, a waste of 1.5 precious hours of my life. Ultimate lameness.
I was so glad we saw that one first because I needed something, anything to cleanse my theatrical palate.
Dark Knight did just that.
It was FANtastic. Stuffed with popcorn, I shook my head in wonder and delight for two and a half blissful hours. Sooooo good.

Do you want to watch me make this pencil disappear?

Overall, it was a great night.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Transitions

"In this crazy, mixed-up, topsy-turvy world of ours, transitions glue our ideas and our essays together."

A quote I never forgot by an english professor who I have now forgotten. I have been thinking about transitions lately. Not the grammar kind.

Perhaps it is because my family is currently in the middle of one. I think have a fairly high tolerance for change - the adrenaline, the challenge, the hope.
For some reason, we never just make minor adjustments in my world. Change always happens large scale. Or maybe it just feels that way. And maybe it's like that for everyone.
Right now, we are changing jobs, both Creighton and I. We are trying to sell our house - if so, we will move into Kansas City. We are moving the kids to new elementary and pre-schools. We are getting a new nanny. When it rains, it pours. I guess one change begets another though, I suppose. I am just ready for everything to be steady....

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dance-off between Rain and Colbert

I have watched this literally 47 times. I can't stop!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Pups



You may remember the photos I posted of "the pups" when we gave them to our children as Christmas gifts.
Remember how tiny they were??
Well this is them now!

Apollo and Starbuck.

What a great decision. These dogs have been amazing.
We took a chance on buying a breed we had never known personally.
We took a chance on bringing not one but two puppies into our already chaotic home.
We took a chance on the scorn and ridicule of others because we have become POODLE owners!

But I highly recommend these dogs. They have been great with our kids. They are super smart, sensitive and obedient.

Our favorite family activity now is to take the pups with us to the farmers market on Saturday mornings. Then we walk downtown, sit outside somewhere for brunch. Dreamy.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sigh

I haven't wanted to write anything because I know the more I post, the further "In Memoriam" moves down the page. I know it has been 6 years...
I don't burst out in tears now each time I chew a piece of DoubleMint gum, or use Curel lotion or put pepper on my eggs.
Lip Medex.
"Are ya happy?"
Tweezers.
Jammies for Christmas.

But it is still painful when I consider the huge loss my children (and my soul) and and this world have suffered without her.
And so I don't want her to move down the page. I want her to keep looking at me. Her smile comforts me. Her eyes, they laugh and they speak.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I love people

I love people.
I love people.
They face me in photographs, sad.
I face them in photographs, sad.
Living this double life, I'm Washington and Worhol, Charlie Brown and Kurt Vonnegut,
Oh, maybe I should just become a cowboy.
What is peace?
What is hope?
What the hell?
What if the light that fills the void is just the headlamp of a freight train?
The only thing more frightening, lingering, than questions are answers to life and death.
What if he became an angel?
Face nine tenths shaven, healthy, beaming a star around wings like silk pajamas.
Maybe they'll put him on as a conductor or a brakeman.
Swing in this lamp needlessly, contentedly in a perpetual day.
Maybe he's happy and I'm crying for no reason.
Except for that a man who loved me more than he loved himself is gone, never to return to me and that makes me infinitely sad, mourning for a simple man with simple ways.
And that is why I love the people in the photographs like the ones in this coffee house like the one who makes it harder not to cry the way he plays the piano.
I have no answers.
Have no answers.
Maybe want no answers.
But I look anyway and I love them.

New Job

Well, I officially accepted a new position at Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City. I will be a media producer for all special events at the church. Pretty excited about the job - - just wondering now about what I am going to do with my children!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

In Memoriam


It has now been 6 years since the fabulous Pamela Whitby Strong lost her life to that murderous s.o.b. - cancer. She died when Canon (my eldest son) was 5 months old. I have photos with the two of them together. It seems like an eternity ago, yet sometimes only yesterday.
We have a ritual of remembrance which we observe twice a year. Once on her birthday, November 18 (1946) and once on June 21st, the anniversary of the dark day of her death. We dine at the Cheescake factory. Mmmmm.
In the spirit of the Passover Sederists who set out a special goblet to be filled with wine for the prophet Elijah, we order a Cosmopolitan and set it at the end of the table. I don't drink the cosmo because I don't like to drink liquid fire with a cranberry twist. But we take a tiny taste and giggle, wondering what she ever saw in that beverage beside fact that Oprah introduced it to her.
We order anything we want for the main course, but when it comes to dessert, the white-chocolate rasberry truffle cheesecake is a must. Mom and I used to split it. Unfortunately I will never branch out to a new dessert at the Cheesecake Factory, for that would feel like betrayal.
Sometimes, I bring pictures which jog memories of cherished days gone by. Sometimes others join us, particularly if they miss her too.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Obsession De Jour: My Brother


Deward James Strong is just about the coolest cat I know.
I like to drink coffee with him on the back porch. In his hand, a vintage mug with black coffee. In my hand, a pottery tumbler with creamer (oh and a tiny bit of coffee).
I love so many things about my brother but here are a few.

I love that he and his dog are best friends. Buster is the best "man's best friend" any man could have. My brother takes his dog everywhere - even across country.
I love that he always kissed my mom when he greeted her. And my grandmother - - and now my sister and me.
He's earthy.
I love that he used to have dreadlocks past his shoulder blades. Finally he shaved his head after 6 years (due to the nagging paranoia that he was the human host to a dozen creepy critters).
He looks like Sasha Baron Cohen.
He thinks before he acts.
I love that he genuinely loves and cares for people. All people. He can meet a stranger at the park or the pub, and then bring them home for dinner.
He pays attention to detail.
I love that his tatoo is a question mark. When asked why he has a question mark tatoo, he replies, "I don't know."
I love that on the porch, we can sit for hours and not say a word. Then we feel like we really connected deeply.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Yesterday was Fathers Day

We took daddy to Kansas City and enjoyed a fun afternoon at the Plaza.
We celebrated - because Creighton truly is an amazing father. He enjoys and yearns for time with the kids. He wrestles, chases, and tickles, he cuddles, hugs, and reads to them. He tells them verbally how special they are and how much he loves them.

Meanwhile, Creighton and I reflected on our relationships with our own fathers.

I respect my father greatly. He is an extraordinary person. From him I learned the value of hard work, respect toward others, generosity and serving. I seek counsel from him on matters of business.
But I must say, it is ours is a rather formal relationship. We're not friends. He has no intimate knowledge of my life. He doesn't know how to engage my children. He never has been affectionate - physically or verbally. Yet I know he would do anything for me. I know that he wants to help me grow into a strong and successful person and a good citizen. It is what it is and I have learned to be grateful for what I've got.

I have also learned that fathers day creates great opportunities in ministry.

I asked people last week to share with me about their fathers. Whoa. "Father" is such a catalyst for conversation! A topic with many layers. Fathers (often unknowingly) wield significant power in the lives of their children. They can be a source of deep wounds and miraculous healing.

If you are a father, I pray that you will strive to be an agent of hope, security, strength and healing in the lives of those in your care. Use your magical father powers for good and always be aware of how your actions are affecting them!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Afterlife

During this time of the year, I always ponder life, death, afterlife, heaven, eternity, angels, eschatology, new heaven and earth - - you know, the simple stuff of theology. :)
Heard NT Wright on the Colbert Report (I was rather shocked to see NT Wright on Colbert). And he was promoting his book 'Surprised by Hope'. I am looking forward to reading it because he mentioned that in the book he has touched on some of these issues.
There are many different takes on what happens after a person leaves this life and moves on to what's next. None of which have really satisfied me.
There is experiential evidence that suggests the essence of a person somehow remains present. Also there are scriptural references to mediums and how some possess the ability to contact the dead. Forbidden though it may be, it sounds feasible. What's that about?
Some say we enter immediately into the presence of the Living God. Others say we stay in a sleep state only to wake up with all other humans on the day God ordains.
Purgatory? Is that an option?
Oh, I know. We become angels. We check in. We get fitted for a set of wings and we're handed a fancy harp. Wait. First, we get an orientation at the "pearly gates" by "St. Peter".
At least this is the story that people screw up their children with...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Gaius Baltar


I am a tad irritated about what BSG is doing with Gaius Baltar right now. This new riff that shows him as an emerging spiritual leader to colonies. I hope they are going to get somewhere with it soon.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Email forwards gone bad

So my dad's wife sends me forwards. Lots and lots of forwards. Mostly about supporting the troops. Sometimes they are jokey and sometimes "a touching story about a little boy who...." Often they are emails about John McCain or how Republicans are the heroes who save the day.
I just delete them and go about my day. But today, I got irritated. See, she sent one email soiling Michelle Obama and another bashing Barack.
Look, I wouldn't ever share my political views with her except for the fact that she seems to think that it is quite alright to send me forward after forward damning the democrats. So this time, I shot a quickie back that calmly stated, "I'm not offended," I said, "but you ought to know that we support Obama." I even ended it with a smiley face. :)
My hope was that perhaps at the very least, she would remove my name from her email list. At the very most, I was hoping for an "oh, I beg your pardon."

Instead, I got this weird email telling me how surprised she is - especially coming from someone who "holds the bible so dear".
Then proceeded to talk about the financial implications of the Democrats being in power and how it basically lays to ruin everything she and my dad have worked for their whole lives.

She ended with "These are the reasons me and your dad are seeking permanent residence elsewhere". BTW, they just bought property in New Zealand.

Does being a republican automatically make you a Christian?
Does being a democrat automatically disqualify you for heaven?
Does my voting for Barack mean the take-down of all my folks have lived for?
Is it my support for Obama that has driven them to move to the opposite side of planet earth?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pam.



Which Office Character Are You?

You are Pam. You are sweet and likable, but your shyness makes it hard for you to express yourself sometimes. Regardless, you are always there for your friends and will usually come out of your shell to help anyone.

Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com

Eternally Yours

I was sitting in a group recently, discussing the book of Colossians. Rather than moving throughout the rich, life-giving, -gems to live by- sections of the text, one person pointed out a concern - - then the entire rest of the time was spent in circles.
Someone brought up Paul's statement, "The Gospel has been preached throughout the world".
"Clearly", she pointed out, "the Gospel has not been preached to the entire world". Thus, you guessed it, we talked for an hour about salvation, and what about people who never heard about Christ, and Christianity is exclusive, and if God is a loving God then why would he send people to hell, and what is hell anyway.... You get the picture.

A thought came to me. I was reminded about C.S. Lewis' book The Great Divorce. I thought about how in the narrative, every person who ever lived has the opportunity to choose heaven, ie. reality and wholeness. They get on a bus, take the same route everyday, and stop at heaven's bus stop. Never to rarely do they ever choose to get off the bus and stay. But the option is always there.

And I am sure you have also heard the C.S. Lewis quote, "At the end of our lives we will say to God, Thy Will Be Done. Or God will say to us, Thy will be done."

So, Don't really know where I am going with this except to suggest, what if... just what if we were all given an eternal opportunity to choose life and reality and wholeness, - - heaven, and eternity spent with Jesus?

Why not? Is the God of the universe limited my time and mortality? Is it possible that there is a power point presentation as a person passes from this life to the next, where all is revealed and they are given a final (or eternal) choice to confess the Lordship of Jesus?

Could it be that this choice is eternally yours?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Barackattack!

My friend emailed me and asked me what I see in Barack Obama. This is what I wrote back. I'm sure I have more to add - but this is a start...

He is the visionary leader that this country desperately needs.
He wants to change the way Washington is run.
I have heard him say with his own mouth that he is a Christian believer and a follower of Jesus Christ.
He wants to work toward universal health care. ((have you seen the movie Sicko?))
The liberals seem to care more about the poor, the environment and energy.
He was against the iraq war from the beginning.

Unfortunately, Barack is pro abortion as well as pro-stem cell research experiementation on human embryos.
We are for life.

For us, we had to come to the realization that there is no perfect candidate. But there is a best candidate. And I think this country is ready for a fresh breath of creative leadership.
Sure he is young. I know he has few legislative accomplishments under his belt (he is a junior senator). But he is intelligent, articulate, authentic and married to the same woman since 1992. PS, Michelle Obama is a strong, intelligent woman and they have two young daughters (6, 11) who I have watched footage of Barack showing physical affection to. He is a loving dad.

storypeople

When I die, she said, I'm coming back as a tree with deep roots & I'll wave my leaves at the children every morning on their way to school & whisper tree songs at night in their dreams.
Trees with deep roots know about the things children need.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Community?

There is so much talk about community. I have been pondering community lately. I am a person that pursues others and enjoys friendships. I would describe myself as an emotionally healthy person with much to share in relationship. So you would think that entering into community would be easy for me.
For some reason, since I have been in Lawrence, I have felt disconnected and margined. Oh, I will be fine.
My concern with this is that if I am feeling this, how much more are others feeling it? Others who don't know Jesus, others who have failing marriages, others who have estranged family, others who just moved to town....

Everyday I think, "I should go over there and introduce myself." Or I say to Creighton, "We should have so and so over for dinner and playtime (kids)."

And then I do nothing of the sort.

I simply go in my house, close my garage door, make dinner for my kids, check email/facebook, call my sister or my dallas friends, and call it a day.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Kids in church

In a real-life actual conversation I recently had with a local pastor, the topic of children in church came up. I kid you not, the pastor said, and I quote, "Kids these days need to learn how to sit in worship just like their parents and grandparents did. That includes gum and candy and crayons and books - whatever it takes."
Because the conversation had to end abruptly, I asked if we could continue this conversation at another time.

I want to filter through my thoughts about it here.

1. "Sitting in worship" does not equal worship.
Children have a completely different capacity for learning than adults do. Our droning on with words and more words- prayers, liturgies, sermons, announcements - fails miserably to connect with the heart of a child. To force a child to sit quietly for an hour + is not fostering in them a love for worship. And I doubt the child is actually worshipping.
2. "Gum, candy, crayons and books - whatever it takes", does not help the situation.
This type of tactic makes absolutely no sense to me. Not only does it say, "we know that we have nothing to offer the child, so just try to keep them quiet". But it also says, "Mom and Dad, you will also get nothing out of the service because you will be spending the bulk of your time just trying to keep them quiet".
3. "These days" are no longer those days.
Does this pastor seriously think that the way our (current parents of young children - because that is what he meant by "their") parents and grandparents did it is the time-tested and perfected way of doing things? Newsflash. We no longer have a cultural obligation to go to church. We would rather spend quality time with the kids at home than take them to a place where they will gain and learn nothing. Half the time I wonder if I am gaining and learning anything! If a pastor cares about evangelism, he/she will put themselves into the shoes of a potential visitor and try to imagine what the worship experience might be like now, today, 2008. For most...for many...ok, I will speak for myself: If I visit your church, and you force my 6, 4 and 2 year old to sit in the service with me, I will turn around and walk out. Straight talk. NONE of us will get anything out of it - myself most of all. And I will probably only leave there either mad at my children, mad at the church or mad at myself because I am a terrible parent who has no control over her children.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Carrotmob

Worthy!
Please check this out and keep yourself informed on progress at carrotmob.org


Carrotmob Makes It Rain from carrotmob on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Our first "hide in the basement because of a tornado" experience

We have lived in Kansas for nearly two years. This is the first time we have actually snatched sleeping children out of their beds and raced down to the basement.
It was around 1:30 a.m. We were still awake because we had hosted an end of the year dinner for the Wesley students. Oh, and because it was Thursday and on Thursdays we have to stay up and watch "The Office" and "Lost".
So as I was saying. It was around 1:30 a.m. We were heading up to bed we heard a noise so freakishly loud we thought our house was going to blow down. I shouted to Creighton, "grab some kids!" I got Cosmo and ran down to the basement and Creighton was right behind me with the other two.
We waited out the storm in the bathtub of the bathroom of the playroom, watching weather updates on the laptop.
Our house remained standing, praise God. However, we lost 1/3 of our fence and part of our fort!
The updated weather info confirmed that there was actually a tornado in our area, but it did not do any significant or life-threatening damage.

It sure was scary though!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Guess I need a job

Wow. We came to Kansas with the funding for my position all secure (I have been supported for the last 4 years by a foundation grant). They have informed us that due to an unforeseen decrease in giving, they can no longer continue said funding. :(

It sucks because now I have to find a job!

Perhaps I am done with church work.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Goliath Takedown

As the spring semester comes to a close, I want to give a shout out to Creighton for his mad video skills. Not only is he a fabulous preacher and leader - but he is a movie producer as well!

Our series this semester at Wesley was called iHuman. The life of David.

You can't talk about David without mentioning his valiant Goliath Takedown, so to bulwark the nigh, we put this video together. Enjoy!

Biblical Fidelity

The more I read scripture, the less I understand. The closer I get, the less familiar I become. I am committed to biblical fidelity, I'm just saying - I am kindof in a funk with the Word these days.
I would never break up, its just.... we need to clarify some things here. I need a DTR.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Who Made God?

It seems like there has been a trend in my life group this past year. A trend toward questions - tough ones. I have loved that we used -just the bible- for our discussion text the entire school year. However, as we read through the Gospels and other eye-witness accounts of Jesus, we always ended up with more questions than answers. For our Summer reading, the girls have selected an interesting book. Ravi Zacharias has co-penned a book called Who Made God? And Answers To Over 100 Other Tough Questions Of Faith.
I am really looking forward to exploring questions with them. I relish their honesty and the beautiful balance of their passionate pursuit of God and vulnerability about their questions.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Mario is my hero!


It was an amazing last second shot. Chalmers kept his cool and threw up a three pointer to tie the game and send us into overtime. This was the momentum Kansas needed to gain composure and take the championship for 2008!!
3 cheers for Mario!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Our visit with Nana


Nana (Creighton's mom) has been with us for a week. What a blessing. She came so that we could go on our marriage retreat and not worry about getting babysitters together for our time away.
I realize that I have begun to "lighten up" about her visits and just be thankful.

You see, she comes into my house and critiques my cleaning practices and my parenting skills. She makes comments about my cooking (or lack thereof) and my laundry (or mammoth piles thereof). She lets my children watch TV 24/7 and brings them movies, half of which I do not approve of. She cooks 4 course meals and makes everyone clean their plates. She's bossy.

Guess what. Who cares. I just need to chill out. She loves my kids and my kids love her. She reads them books and tells them bedtime stories for an hour before bed. She takes them to play at McDonalds and buys them nuggets and ice cream. She WANTS to spend time with them and know them. She wants them to know her. She makes time to come see them.

That is what truly matters.

District Committee Interview Tomorrow!

Pray for me! My district committee interview for ordination is tomorrow - - I am not sure what to expect. Some say they could be clueless, others say they could be hostile.
God help me trust you and place my work in ministry into your hands. I know that I am called to serve you whether a committee tells me so or not!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I just gotta laugh






He got out of my sight for literally 3 minutes. This child is so funny. Sneaky. Curious. First, he had shimmied out of his sweatpants and diaper. When I caught his-nakedness, he was in the kitchen confiscating a banana.
I diapered him and let him loose, only to misplace him only 3 minutes later. And this is what I found him doing:

The child had poured baby powder (squirted,really) ALL over my bathroom - the tub, the sinks, the towel bin, the kid-bath-toys, and most evidently, himself.
When I walked in he said is a precious, innocent voice, "Mom, wook, a cwowd!" Translation: "Mom, look, a cloud", referring to the puff of powder that shoots out the container when squeezed.
I just had to laugh. Oh, and commense a baby powder photo shoot.