Monday, April 30, 2007

The church of today

Have you ever heard anyone say that today's youth are the church of tomorrow? There was a time I bought into that idea, but I've come to realize it just isn't true. They are the church of today. I think of what Paul told Timothy: "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." I don't know how old Timothy was when he wrote those words to him, but I dare say any child who is putting his faith in Jesus could accept that statement as a mission statement for his/her life. I have truly come to believe our kids don't need to wait until they are in high school to take their places alongside adults in kingdom work.

I experienced a great example of this principle this morning. Today was "Youth Sunday" and the worship team was composed of 4 adults and 6 or 7 6th-8th graders. 6th-8th graders! 2 young girls led most vocals with minimal backup from our regular worship leader and another adult male, while the rest of the kids were on guitars (electric, bass, electric acoustic...). The other 2 adults were on keyboard and drums. These kids were nothing short of awesome. If I had been blindfolded, I would not have known it wasn't one of the regular worship teams up there. I was definitely encouraged by those kids today.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Spring reading update

Since my last update, I'm still working my way through my original list; of the 9 books on my fiction list, I've read all but one and just began the last... The Ultimate Gift. But I've also read a bunch not on the list:

  • The Church Ladies, Lisa Samson
  • The Living End, Lisa Samson
  • Halfway to Forever, Karen Kingsbury
  • A Moment of Weakness, Karen Kingsbury
  • Gideon's Gift, Karen Kingsbury
  • Maggie's Miracle, Karen Kingsbury
  • A Thousand Tomorrows, Karen Kingsbury
  • Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
  • Home for the Holidays, Meredith Efken
As far as my non-fiction list, I'm a couple of chapters into the Yancey book on Prayer, and maybe halfway through How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. I have the Lucado book (Facing Your Giants) from the library and will start it as soon as I finish the Yancey book.

The kids and I gave up on The Twenty-One Balloons ... just way too much extraneous material to hold their attention. We're about 6 chapters into The Apprentice now.

Friday, April 27, 2007

3 Characters book meme

I was tagged by Ellen at Above the Clouds for this book meme:

From books you have read:

Name 3 Characters you wish were real so you could meet them.

Name 3 Characters you would like to be.

Name 3 Characters who scare you.

My answers:

3 characters I wish were real:

Melanie Wilkes (from Gone With the Wind)
Elizabeth Baxter (from Karen Kingsbury's Redemption series)

3 characters I would like to be:

Trixie Belden: I really did want to be Trixie when I was a kid.
Nick Cominsky: Just imagine really sitting down to dinner with Jesus!
Katy Hart (from Karen Kingsbury's Firstborn series)

3 characters who scare me:

Junior Cain (From the Corner of His Eye, Dean Koontz)
Edgler Vess (Intensity, Dean Koontz)

Very cool song

They've been playing this song a lot on XM32; it's a new group called Rush of Fools. Love the lyrics and the harmonies in it! I wanted to post the actual group video, but they don't have it on YouTube. You can see their video at their website, though. At least this way, you get to see the lyrics.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

On the road again

I'll be picking Emily up from school at 11 today to get her some lunch and drive her to the airport. After this afternoon, it will just be me and the 3 youngest at home until Tuesday night, when I get to go back to pick her up. The choir has some busy days planned in Chicago... museum tours, the zoo, a night at a Blue Man Group show, and chapel at Moody Bible Institute are just a few of the scheduled activities.


Did anyone else's heart stop for just a moment last night watching AI?? Emily threw the remote at the tv, she was so ticked off.... she had vowed never to watch the show again if Jordin were to be kicked off. I thought it was a no-brainer when it was down to Chris and Jordin, so when he said Chris was safe, I was dumbstruck. What a relief when he said that she was safe, too. I guess since it was a night of charity, they decided to extend it to the contestants as well. I can't believe we have to wait another week to narrow the field, though. It's getting tougher, but I am starting to think it's Kiki's time to go. She just doesn't look happy to be there and her last few songs have been sorely lacking.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It's back!

Actually, 2 its. It number 1: the mysterious stomach bug working its way through the family. When I went to wake up Emily for school this morning, she told me she had been up half the night throwing up. Needless to say, I let her stay in bed. She was better by afternoon and will be able to go to school tomorrow.

It number 2: Heroes! After what seemed like forever and a day, the first of the last 5 episodes of this season aired tonight. For some reason, this episode just had a different feel to it for me, and was a little harder to follow. But I cannot wait to see what happens next week.

We also watched Dancing with the Stars tonight. Joey is still my favorite, but I also have a soft spot for Billy Ray. It will be interesting to see if he makes it past elimination tomorrow night. I'm thinking (and hoping) John will get the boot instead.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ready to crash

This has been a l-o-n-g weekend... not a bad weekend, but just long. Or maybe it just seems that way because today started so early. I was up at 5 to get ready to take Brian to the airport. Originally, the plan was for the kids to stay home while I went alone, but Emily spent the night with friends in Antioch last night, so we had to scrap that idea. We woke up the other 3 this morning around 5:30 and headed out a little after that. Halle fell back asleep in the van, but the boys stayed awake the whole time. We only had a little over an hour from the time we got back from Sacramento until it was time to leave for church. We usually go to the 10:45 worship/class; the kids are in class while we are in worship. But today was my turn to help out in one of the kids' classes, so we went to the 9:00 service so I could still get to participate in worship before class.

We went out for lunch and then stopped at Target to pick up a birthday present for one of Halle's friend's sister. Back home with just a little less than 2 hours to spare before needing to leave the house again. This time I took Halle to her friend's house so she could go to the birthday party, then the boys and I went to the church; I was going to a meeting to get to know more about the church. We were there about 3 hours.... then went to pick up Halle, and then on to meet the folks Emily stayed with at a halfway spot. We made it home around 9. I think most of the kids zonked out by 10. Gee, I wonder why?

Tomorrow, Halle gets a tooth pulled in the morning... then we have piano lessons and gymnastics in the afternoon/evening. Unless I forgot to put something on my calendar, we actually don't have ANYTHING on the schedule for Tuesday. Hallelujah!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Can we be done with it?

So I told you that Brian had to be up early to go to the airport today, right? Doncha know, last night's game went into extra innings... all the way to the 12th (and doggoneit, the Cards lost!). I'm not even sure what time he and Noah got home; I'm guessing it was at least 1. His alarm went off around 4:30 or so this morning. Noah enjoyed the game, though. He said "Stone Cold" Austin was sitting not too far from them in the next section over, and Rob Schneider was also on hand for the game (but down on the field for some kind of celebration for the city of Pacifica).

Anyhoo... the stuff here just keeps on keepin' on. Halle threw up in the van this morning on our way home from dropping Emily off at school. She's been fine the rest of the day, so hopefully we are done with this. And as for Joel, he is putting weight on his foot again, although still not full weight. I am just hoping this stuff isn't any indication of how the next 2 weeks are going to go around here. I will be ready for a padded room by the time Brian gets back from his Texas trip if this keeps up!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Today's news

Halle had an orthodontist appointment this morning. We are done cranking her palate expander. Now she will have 2 teeth pulled on bottom, lose a baby tooth on top that is already loose, and in 8 weeks will get braces on top and bottom. She's not feeling great today though... right now she's napping on the couch.

Joel is not putting weight on his foot yet. So I had to carry him in when we went to the orthodontist. Around the house, he either hops or crawls. This will get old if his foot doesn't heal soon.

Brian and Noah are going to San Francisco later this afternoon to see the Cardinals play the Giants. It will mean a late night. They probably won't be back until midnight. Then Brian has to be back at the SF airport for an 8am flight to Vancouver tomorrow. He'll be back on Friday. On Sunday, I have to drive him to the Sacramento airport before church so he can fly to Wichita Falls; he won't be back from there until late May 2. Yeah, things are just a tad busy around here.

Emily is gearing up for her choir trip to Chicago. She'll leave while Brian is gone, on the 26th. I was thinking that the school would transport the choir to the airport, but according to Emily, everyone is going in separate vehicles. They even are on different flights: boys on one, girls on one, and chaperones on another. That doesn't make much sense to me.... but what do I know?? Anyhow, I don't have any information on when her flight is yet, and that could throw a wrench into plans I had here; Noah was supposed to take a class at the base library that afternoon, but if I have to drive to Sacramento, that will have to be scrapped. This whole thing of homeschooling 3 and having one at school outside is getting to be quite tiresome.

Show the love

Today's the day, folks... In the immortal words of BooMama, it's time to "Bless Heather's socks off." The above graphic will take you to BooMama's post for today, which has a "make a donation" button at the bottom. You can use a credit or debit card, or PayPal. Or if you want to send a check, you can email BooMama and she will give you the info for that.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

No live-blogging tonight

Well, I was going to live-blog AI again tonight, but somehow that doesn't seem right.... Brian left about 30 minutes ago to take Joel to the base ER to get his foot looked at. A little earlier tonight, he and Noah were messing around with each other and somehow Joel's foot was hurt in the process (I wasn't in the room, so don't really know what happened.). Joel tends to over-react, so we didn't get too concerned right away, but after about an hour, he still wouldn't put weight on it and we could see a bruise forming. So I'm waiting for them to get back... no telling when that could be. Could be 2 hours from now, or 4, or more. I'm not counting on 2, unless Brian is able to pull some strings, which isn't too likely. If it is broken, it looks like it might be close to the same place I broke my foot back in the fall of 2005.

UPDATE: Not broken, just a very bad bruise. Drama: what would my life be without it?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Some folks need your prayers

My friend Jim is asking for prayers for his brother, Wayne. Wayne was just diagnosed with prostate cancer a few days ago. Wayne has left for a 2-week mission trip to the Ukraine and is supposed to have surgery when he returns. Please pray for him and his entire family.

If you're a mommyblogger, you may already know about Heather. Heather is a web/blog designer and homeschool mom of 3. She has already been through more than most of us... giving birth to a child who had a heart transplant at the age of 5 months, and who has been diagnosed with autism. Heather just found out that she has a glioma, a brain tumor, which may or may not be operable. There are many unknowns; she is awaiting an appointment at the Mayo Clinic in 2 weeks. Take time to back up and read about the progression of this story from the beginning.... you will be touched, amazed, convicted of those times your faith has faltered. On the 18th, there is going to be a love offering taken up to help Heather and her husband cover expenses. You'll be able to contribute by visiting BooMama's blog and clicking on a "Donate Now" link she'll have. That pretty "For Heather" graphic at the right will take you there now, but the donation link at BooMama's won't be there till the 18th.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

TV Meme

I found this at Carrie's:

List your top six favorite TV shows currently on the air before looking at the questions below.

1. Heroes
2. House
3. CSI: NY
4. Criminal Minds
6. ER

Now answer the questions:

01. Who is your favorite character from #2?

House, of course!

02. Who is your least favorite character from #4?


03. What would a crossover between #1 and #5 include?

DiNozzo would be hitting on Niki/Jessica, while Gibbs and McGee hunt down Linderman. Abby and Mohinder pair up to work on isolating the genes from our Heroes; We find out Claire has a sick sense of humor when she challenges Ziva to a contest to see who's the toughest.

04. Who is your favorite ship from #6?

Assuming this means relationship.... I guess I'd have to say Abby and Luka.

05. If you were to set up one person from #3 and one person from #6 on a blind date, who would they be?

Stella from Criminal Minds and Ray from ER.

06. If you could meet one person from #4 and spend the day with them, who would it be, and what would you do?

Well, since I'm married... probably Mandy Patinkin. We'd spend the day singing show tunes. I know, I'm so lame.

07. If you could change one thing about #2’s plot line, what would you change?

Oooh... I'm getting tired of the Cameron/Chase thing; Either make them decide there's a relationship there or stop the mindless s3x. OR Find House a woman.

08. Explain a relationship between two people (not necessarily romantic) from show #5, and why you like the relationship between them.

I have to borrow Carrie's answer on this one. Abby and McGee. Past dating history, yet still great friends and very supportive of each other (however, if I could change it, I'd probably put them back together).

09. If the lead title characters (first name in the credits) from #1 and #3 were both drowning, and you could only save one, who would it be?

I'm not even sure who the first character in credits is in Heroes. On the website, it's Isaac. So between Isaac and Gibbs... probably Gibbs.

10. If you could change the title characters’ order in the credits for #4, what order would you choose?

Well, I'd keep Mandy at #1, but move Shemar Moore up to #2, and then Kirsten Vangsness (I love Garcia!), then Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson, AJ Cook, and Paget Brewster.

11. If you were able to add a new character, any kind of character you wanted, to the storyline for #6, what would the character be like, and what would their role be?

I'd add a nurse anesthetist... I'm tired of people thinking docs are the only folks who do anesthesia. Maybe make him compete for Neela's attention with Tony. Plenty of time together in the OR to develop a relationship.

12. What happens in your favorite episode of show #2?

Oh gosh.. I don't think I have a favorite episode; I like them all.

13. If you could kill off one of the characters in #1, who would it be and how would you do it?

Hmmm, either Niki/Jessica or Mr. Bennett's boss.

14. If you got the chance to visit the set for either show #3 or show #5, which would you choose?


15. If you could date anyone from any of these shows, which show and which person?

I’m married.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Our Easter and Spring Reading update

We had a very nice day yesterday.... my day began around 4am, when my stinkin' indispensable internal alarm woke me up. Afraid I wouldn't wake up in time if I went back to sleep, I flipped channels on the television for a couple of hours before heading downstairs to set out the kids' Easter goodies. Brian came downstairs around 6:30 or so and we hid eggs in the house for the 3 younger ones to hunt. I popped some Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls (Now with cream cheese icing!) into the oven and we woke the kids up shortly after those came out.

I managed to get pictures of the younger kids in their Easter duds (Emily didn't want her picture taken) before we left for church. After church, we went to Olive Garden for lunch. They weren't busy, but from the service we got, you would have thought they were. It took half an hour from placing our orders to get our breadsticks. We even got our soups and salads before our drinks, and the appetizer arrived less than 1 minute before the main courses. Ah well.... at least it tasted good!

I came home and headed straight for bed at the express command of my husband. I definitely needed the sleep; I didn't get up until around 4. While I was asleep, Brian had commandeered the kids into cleaning up the boys' bedroom. They threw out 2 kitchen trash bags of junk. Now we can actually see the floor again! Before I could be roped into manual labor was able to offer my assistance, I got a phone call from a friend back in Omaha (Thank you, Grace!!). We chatted for an hour and a half (I was amazed when I saw the call timer at the end... it certainly didn't seem that long!).


So here's how the Spring Reading Thing is going:

I've managed to read 8 of the 9 books from my fiction list. That would be all of them but The Ultimate Gift. In addition, I've read 2 Terri Blackstock novels (Private Justice and Shadow of Doubt), and SAHM I Am, by Meredith Efken. I wholeheartedly recommend that last one; boy, could I relate to a lot of stuff in it! I'll be looking for the sequel to it. If you enjoy suspense/mystery, Terri Blackstock's books are good, too.

As far as the nonfiction goes, I gave up on Where God Was Born. I just could not get drawn into it. I've picked up a copy of Yancey's Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference as a replacement, but haven't started it. I still have all 5 books to go on that list.

Out of the 5 books on the list to read with the kids, we are still on the first one, The Twenty-One Balloons. I guess I'm not doing too bad with the list, considering there's a little over 2 months left in the challenge.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter

The Easter Song, Glad

Friday, April 06, 2007

Spring break has broken

Our spring break begins today. Emily is out of school until the 16th. Unfortunately, we won't be going anywhere. Brian just got back from a 3-day trip back to MO to visit his mom in her new nursing home (see story on that here and here). He got home after midnight last night and was up and off to work before 7 this morning (a bit later than usual, but he isn't in the O.R. today). He and Noah will be ferrying over to San Francisco to see the Giants take on the Dodgers this evening. Emily's school choir is singing for the Good Friday service at the church we've been attending tonight. Then tomorrow is a pancake breakfast and Easter egg hunt there. The calendar for next week is blank, other than gymnastics on Monday and Brian's moonlighting in Sac on the weekend. I suppose I could be thankful for that.

I've been saving up links for today, so enjoy:

99 Balloons: Go watch this Igniter video about one family's experience with a special baby.

My pal Thumper is known for her unsent letters she posts at her place. Now she's created a place for the rest of us. I can't describe its meaning or purpose better than she can:

It's anger bubbling just under the surface. That guy who cut you off in the parking lot or the idiot who deliberately threw a fist full of french fries out his car window, laughing as they stuck to the face shield of your helmet as you wrestled to keep your motorcycle upright. The Woman in McDonald's screaming at her teary-eyed two year old. The talking head on TV seemingly in need of a proctologist to find his remaining gray matter.

It's grief puddling do deeply you're about to drown. The father you didn't get to say goodbye to. The grandparent whose love you miss in tanglible ways. The pet who was happy to see you, loved you unconditionally, no matter how bad your mood.

It's a missed friend. A lost love. A secret you need to share with someone, even anonymous strangers online.

It's the letters you've always wanted to write, but had no where to send them to. Dear So and So... unsent letters, finally sent.

Have you played Snipe yet? It's addictive.

Amy at Whole Hearted Life posted Five Things I Learned by Friday. What have your kids taught you?

Have you seen the Jesus action figure?? Watch Dixon Kenser's thoughts on it.

The Television City Chronicle is a must-read for anyone who watches TV. Perhaps these posts will help Heroes fans pass the time until April 23rd. There's a little something there for everyone.

Google's latest product: GMail Paper. Be sure to click the "Learn more" link. (Yes, this was Google's April Fool's joke this year. Classic.)

And now for the YouTube submissions of the week....

Emily led me to this one... Blood. It's not funny! (Oh, yes it is.)

How to Paint the Mona Lisa with Microsoft Paint. 'Nuff said.

He was injured... injured bad:

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Doggone good

Firehouse Dog is something of a cross between a classic Lassie movie and Backdraft. If you've seen the previews, you know the premise: spoiled canine movie star gets lost and mistaken for your average mutt. He winds up being taken in by a firehouse captain and his son. But the previews don't give you a clue as to the rest of the story (the Backdraft part). Suffice it to say, there is a mystery to solve and bad guys to catch. Plenty of action for the kids, along with the requisite doggie flatulence jokes (if you have a dog, you know it happens). The little movie reviewers in my house gave it 2 paws up. We'll be adding this to our video library when it is released on DVD.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

In which I get all serious for a change

I know I spend a lot of time writing about everyday and trivial things (books, movies, memes, what the kids ate for dinner...). Those of you who know me only through my blog don't know that there is actually a deeper side to me (and those of you that know me in real life might be singing "Deep and Wide" about now... at least that's what came to my twisted mind as I typed that last sentence). This week there was some strange convergence in the blogosphere that led several folks to write about some similar issues involving God, grace, and "doing church." These posts led to great comments, which led to new posts on other blogs.... I don't even remember where I started or where I ended up, I just know that I saved these places to share with my readers who are also concerned about these things.

So here goes... in no particular order:

Oldest post first: This is actually from last fall; someone today referred to it and I was just blown away. Brian Mashburn spoke of his "Secret Life of Discipleship" and so eloquently expressed the feelings of many folks I know from my church background (the Church of Christ).

Somewhere along the same lines, my dear friend Jim wrote about selective grace (or the absence of it).

Shaun Groves talked about "The Church I Want." I think it sounds like a place many people would opt for. I'm following the many comments there (Please do read the comments... especially Shaun's response at 8:51 pm.) and ran across Todd's blog (he is the one who led me to Brian Mashburn's post, above). Todd has 2 recent posts that I found very relevant: "Confessions of a lifetime coC'er" and "Church Clutter".

And finally, a post from Patrick Mead about the Palm Sunday service at his church this past weekend. Perhaps this is a concrete example of what some of these other folks have been thinking and dreaming of.

Hope you got something out of those. I'll be back with my usual mundane posts soon. (I'll try to post my review of Firehouse Dog by tomorrow.)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Music, music, music (or "I've been tagged")

Before I get to the real reason for the post, thanks to everyone who got a kick out of my little April Fool's post. Believe me, if it hadn't been a joke, I don't think I'd be in any shape to be writing blog posts. I'd probably be in a nice little padded room, pumped full of happy pills.

My favoritest Omaha preacherman, Jim, tagged me this morning with a music meme. He said that I'd "love it." He knows me pretty well. I'm supposed to list 7 songs I'm listening to these days. So here goes:

  1. You Never Let Go, Matt Redman: I love the reminder that God is holding onto us whether we are enjoying a time of peace or a painful time. The singer in me loves the harmonies in it.
  2. He's Always Been Faithful, Sara Groves or Zoe Group: I have both of these on my IPod and listen to both versions. Zoe's acappella track is mesmerizing. Like #1, it reminds me of God's faithfulness and helps me see past today's "light and momentary" troubles.
  3. I'll Join the Rocks, FFH: More great harmonies... and it talks about continuing to sing and praise God even when all the other singing stops.
  4. Blessed Be Your Name, Tree 63: I'm sensing a them here... praising God in any and all circumstances. And there's harmony! (We sang this one and #1 yesterday at church... I was definitely into it.)
  5. I Will Lift My Eyes, Bebo Norman: More harmony! I guess it goes with the theme of most of the other songs on my list right now, too.
  6. We Fall Down, Kutless: Probably about as rockin' as I get... has an awesome guitar part at the beginning. And has some cool harmony (as if you couldn't guess).
  7. Everlasting God, Lincoln Brewster: Part of me wants to say, "It has a good beat and you can dance to it." I just enjoy everything about this one... the music, harmonies, and words.
Funny, this was harder to do than I thought it would be. And I could probably pick a whole lot more, but then you'd get really bored.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

You might want to sit down... I did

Just when I thought the days of diapers and breastfeeding were over.... just when I was getting a handle on being a mom of 4... This:

There's a certain urologist Brian needs to speak with now... I am still in shock. I haven't told the kids yet. Emily will probably move out.More...

Happy April Fool's Day!

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