Monday, May 28, 2007

Taylor's Wedding Weekend

I am guilty of drinking a Dr. Pepper tonight. And, as is usually the case when I drink caffeine after 5, I am unable to sleep. Sigh...

I have already prayed, planned for tomorrow, and thought about things, so I figured I might as well blog about this weekend's events...

My sister, Taylor, got married this weekend.

Here are some of the highlights and things that stood out:

1. The highly entertaining Marie Antoinette bachelorette party planned by Taylor's friends from college

2. Hannah's costume for the bachelorette party

3. Meeting Kelli and Kristi, close friends of my sister, Tessa
(These girls came down from Harding to help get ready for the wedding. These girls worked their fingers to the bone for about two weeks. It was fun to get to know them better. Awesome girls...)

4. Finishing the sewing of the 33+ !!! dupioni silk rose bouquets that were on the reception tables
(This may not sound like a highlight... Trust me, it was.)

5. Getting to know Shannon, the intriguing family friend who fixed the bridesmaids' hair for the wedding. She was such an interesting person to talk with. I found her fascinating!!! A few facts about Shannon...She makes her own cheese, can do origami (quite well I might add), was a childhood beauty pageant winner, and sings like an angel. I could write an entire blog all on the interesting life of Shannon.

6. The fabulous photographer who is a full time missionary in Thailand, but takes wedding pictures in the summer to help pay for his expenses during the year. My sister, Taylor, is also a photographer and was extremely picky about who was going to shoot her wedding. I haven't seen the wedding pictures yet, but her bridal portraits were unbelievable!!! Might I interest you in Paul's World? He work is amazing!!! And...on top of it all...he was a really neat guy!

7. Getting a pedicure.

8. This is the only downer, but I had to include it because it was such a memorable part of Scot and Taylor's wedding weekend... The PREACHER showing up AN HOUR late for the wedding rehearsal and several key members not showing up at all. Something about someone (or three) being stuck in traffic? This was a huge bummer and time waster for everyone. Thankfully, it all worked out in the end, despite these missing persons.

9. Taylor's choice of wedding music... The wedding music was very important to Taylor. She is very musical, has sung in countless choral groups. My brother, Ben, played the piano. One of Taylor's good friends sang beautifully. Another family friend played the cello. (Beautiful!!!) She had congregational singing of The Lord Bless You and Keep You (sung acapella)...which sounded surprisingly wonderful. She went down the aisle to her favorite hymn, Christ We Do All Adore Thee. far my favorite music of all, was Taylor's choice to have Mary Alice sing He Leadeth Me. Of course it was adorable! :) I'm a little biased.

10. The cousins, Major and Landon, ringing bells just before Taylor entered (Major rang the bell with his usual energy and enthusiasm. He is such a boy!)

11. Mary Alice as the flower girl. Taylor chose a very non-traditional flower girl dress. Mary Alice was presh!

12. Watching Taylor and Scot trying not to cry, but crying a little bit anyway... Sweet emotion...

13. Mary Alice started crying during the wedding, just before the recessional. When we walked back down the aisle, I asked her why she was crying?? She looked at me with big tears in her eyes and said, "Everything was just so happy. I just had to cry!" I thought it cute that Taylor's wedding moved her to tears. I know she got that crying gene from her mother. She is my tenderhearted girl.

14. Major and Landon hiding under the kid's table eating gummy bears. I didn't actually see this one. Major told on himself.

15. Seeing my cousins and actually getting to talk with them for a few minutes...

16. Getting to catch up with a childhood friend that I never ever call. :)

17. The food! When I take Mary Alice to play practice tomorrow, I will be sure to swing by my parents' refrigerator for LEFTOVERS!!!

18. My mom in her beautiful dress... My mom was not adorned in the typical frumpy mother of the bride attire. She looked absolutely stunning. The woman is HOT! I need to brag on the endless amounts of time she spent on the wedding. She worked night and day for months to make Taylor's day perfect. And it was.

19. One other small bummer that didn't turn out to be such a big deal after all... The rain... After a downpour that lasted nearly a week, the outdoor reception had to be cancelled. The reception was held inside the church building instead. It turned out great! Everything was gorgeous. And as an added bonus...We all stayed dry. :)

20. Some Taco Bell sauce packets that said "Will you marry me?" on them. They were supposed to be put on one of the reception tables. I never saw those out anywhere. Perhaps they were misplaced? Oops.

21. One very funny impression done for us by my brother in law, Chad. Chad is some funny stuff.

I can't wait to see Paul's pictures of the wedding! I didn't want to lug around my camera, so I didn't get any pictures of my own. I was much too worried about making sure that the kids were in their places and just enjoying the moment. The wedding was unbelievably beautiful and extremely sweet.

Monday, May 21, 2007

My little brother...already showing promise as a future community servant...

My little brother...excellence in cake baking...award winning Boy eye for detail...

My little brother...showing his ability to be flexible :)

My little brother...trying to fit in with the natives...Perhaps a future in missions?

My little his medical school graduation this weekend... Way to go Adam!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Home School Book Fair

This past weekend was one that I'd been anticipating for months now.....It was the weekend of the annual Home School Book Fair. I had been looking forward to purchasing Mary Alice's curriculum for next year. I thought I had prepared well by reading countless books on home school curriculums, visiting forums, and asking trusted home schooling friends for their advice. I even took a survey to determine my type of home school teaching style (whether I was Charlotte Mason, classical, etc.)

I came to the book fair, armed with my many lists in hand, confident that I would be able to choose the "best" curriculum for Mary Alice for next year. I was looking for a curriculum that would be both challenging and fun, one that would be a perfect fit for her. On Friday, I visited every booth of interest, feeling sure that I would find the books I needed within the day. When I left the book fair empty handed that afternoon, I found myself to be more confused than ever!!! There were SO MANY booths. At each booth, there were people who used their curriculum, convinced that it was better than "curriculum B", which was a terrible mistake for their child. The people at the booth for "curriculum B" were positive that their curriculum was the best, that they had found "curriculum A" to be too boring/hard/slow, etc. for their child. There was a repeat of this at many of the booths I visited. There were such a variety of resources out there (which is a good thing) that it made my head spin. I left early, very discouraged by the fact that I had gotten almost nothing accomplished.

On Saturday, Josh came with me to the conference. He is such a sweetie. He didn't complain once, even though I knew that the home school book fair was probably the last place that he wanted to spend his weekend. I think it surprised him that the women there weren't all denim-clad school marms. There were so many normal looking people there. The only people who looked odd were the employees of the book fair, whose work uniforms were bright blue jumpers popular circa 1980's. Their jumpers had these big white collars over the tops of them (much like what I wore to church when I was a very young girl). The collars were embroidered with bright balloons and read "Home School Book Fair". Those same dresses have been around for at least fifteen years. Maybe they'll be around forever? Homeschooling has changed so much in the last fifteen years. When I was a little girl, my mom pulled me out of the public school system when I was in the fifth grade. During those first few years, I remember having a fear that there would be a knock on our door, that some well-intentioned local authorities would try to drag my parents off to jail and put us back into the public school system. I remember feeling like a rebel, because we were doing something that was so foreign to everyone. Home schooling has come a long way... More and more people are choosing to jump onto the home schooling bandwagon. It doesn't seem so weird any more. Despite the growth and change associated with the home school movement, though, those bright blue jumpers sure have stayed the same! :)

Josh and I took time and looked at nearly every booth together. There was one booth that we visited where we saw a very young boy managing the cash register. He looked to be about 7-8 years old. He was very polite and knowledgeable. It was very cute. I got Josh to snap a picture of him with my cell phone. I'll see if I can post it later. His older brother (about 9-10) was rolling a huge dolly full of books and was in charge of re-stocking them. It was so neat to see this family working together at their little family business.

We did end up purchasing some curriculum. We purchased Spelling, Phonics, and Handwriting for Mary Alice. I'm still undecided on exactly what route I'm going to go for her Math. Like I said, each vendor had their own opinion about why their Math curriculum was the best and couldn't be beat. It was frustrating beyond belief! Who do you trust? Who is most like you, and, more importantly, whose child is most like yours? I still have a few more months to decide exactly which route to take. I'm not too worried about it.

I looked at several formal curriculums for Science and History. I was not very impressed. I felt like so many of the formal curriculums for Science and History below grade 2 were "fluff". While they taught a few meaningful concepts, I didn't feel that overall they were very interesting or educational. I felt like the concepts covered in one year's Science or History book could easily be taught in less than a month. After looking at all of the materials from the major publishing companies, I am leaning toward putting together my own "unit study" type curriculum for her Science and History. My favorite curriculum for Science and History (for those of you who know about this sort of thing) was Sonlight. I especially loved their Science curriculum. I just don't know if I want to purchase the whole thing...just for Science? Any of you Sonlight users have any recommendations? Also, Sonlight's History seemed intriguing. I'm just not sure that I want to start Mary Alice out with World History for Kindergarten. I think she would be much more interested in American History. Also, I loved Sonlight's geography program. Geography is definitely something that we could start this year. We'll just wait and see... I have a few more months to get my act together.

On Saturday night, Josh and I decided to stay in a hotel. It was so much fun getting to do this, something that we rarely take the time to do. The kids were with their grandparents, so we enjoyed some quality date time together. We went out to eat at our favorite restaurant, requested (and received!!!) our favorite off menu item. Yippee!!! It was great! On Sunday, we went to church with Josh's family. We got to spend some time with Josh's parents and with Chad and Miranda.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. The book fair, though overwhelming, was a positive experience. Even though my curriculum has not all been purchased, I definitely feel like I have a plan. Also..even if you are not planning on home schooling, I think you would really enjoy visiting the home school book fair. There is a fabulous selection of children's books, Christian books, educational resources, etc. And...if you come next'll probably even get to see those cute home school jumpers I talked about! :)

Have a great day!

Oh yes... I will try to post what I learned about Scripture memorization from the CDG conference soon. It is really great!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Strawberry Fields Forever

Yesterday, the kids and I drove out to a local pick-your-own strawberries farm. It is nearly the end of the strawberry season here. Most of the strawberries were extremely ripe, but very, very tasty! It was so much fun, especially because Mary Alice and Major's two cousins, Landon and Jonah, came along. Thought I'd share some pictures of our sweet faced strawberry pickers...

Monday, May 07, 2007

As Promised...The Pre-Conference Notes

Warning: Lengthy post ahead....

I promised to write about what I learned at that wonderful conference I attended a little over a week ago. There is just so much information!!!! I hardly know where to begin. This post is a compilation of my notes and a few of my own thoughts on the information presented at the preconference.

I'll start with just what makes this curriculum so special. I was first introduced to this way of teaching children a few years ago, while we were living in Dallas. My friends, Julie, Jenni, Tamra, and I began using it, working our way through the first of the preschool curriculum, He Has Established a Testimony with our kids. Every Friday, we would meet together at Julie's house and have a "preschool" for the kids. We did this throughout the year. At the end of the year, Julie proposed that we all go to Minnesota for the Children Desiring God conference. I went along, never suspecting how much I would learn, and just how much my views about teaching children about the Bible were going to change. So here's the deal, a little bit from the notes from the conference:

First of all, they stated that their aim in teaching children was to "spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ". They talked about the importance of we, as Christians, not merely knowing the truth, but also loving the truth that we teach. We should delight in telling them these truths. We are to tell these truths to the coming generation, the "glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, all of the wonders that He has done" Who, exactly, is the next generation? There are four spheres that we have influence upon: 1)our own children, 2)children in our local church, 3)children of this world, and 4)children of future generations. Just how do we pursue the joy of the next generation....with VISION!

We need a vision orientation, rather than an activity orientation.
So many times, there is an activity orientation that is aimed at getting families/children to be involved in a church. We've all heard it said, "We need to have something for the kids!" This is the usual vision for a children's ministry. SOMETHING??? We must have vision orientation in children's ministry so we will aim them intentionally, not just at "something."
(Ps. 127:4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children…) Arrows must be aimed intentionally, not just at "something". What is emphasized should not just be what we are "doing", as much as where we are "going". What is a result of this vision orientation? The result of this vision orientation will be intentionality about who they play with, what adults they are around, what TV shows they watch, where they go, what they do.... ALL of these must be decided with your vision in mind for your children!

What is the vision?

Ps. 78:1-11
1Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
2I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
3things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
4We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.

5He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
6that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
7so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;

8and that they should not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9The Ephraimites, armed with the bow,
turned back on the day of battle.
10They did not keep God's covenant,
but refused to walk according to his law.
11They forgot his works
and the wonders that he had shown them.

Why should we tell our children of the "glorious deeds of the Lord"? We are trying to have them know of the glorious deeds of the Lord so that these children will set their hope in God. Those who hope in God, will obey Him. We want them to know (and never forget) the wonderful things that God has done, of His faithfulness throughout history, so that they (and future generations) can put their confidence in God and not turn back! We are not just teaching knowledge and facts, we are teaching a PASSION! Not "Something" for the kids, but a "Vision" for the kids!!! Also...If God is not glorious in our eyes, we cannot impart a glorious vision of God to our children. He stressed the importance of us speaking and teaching of our Lord continually, recognizing Him at every task and situation, our thoughts and words constantly saturated with an awareness of God and His hand in our lives.

Okay, the next thing really was a big "Aha!" for me the first time I heard it! THE BIBLE IS ABOUT....GOD!!!!! We must teach our children through God-centered lenses. Many times, when teaching our children we make the mistake of hiding the main point of the story. The Bible is a way for us to know about God and his character. Many times we exchange the more important for the less important. Instead of.. "Brave Esther saves her people", a God centered way of teaching the Bible would be.. "God delivers His people" Not, "One brave little boy named David," but instead, "The Lord delivered Israel from the Philistines." To teach a story of God's preservation of his people in this way robs God of His glory. Esther's involvement was incidental. Children can learn to see the world through God centered lenses.

Another way that we hide these things from our children is by emphasizing self above God. For example:
God loves ME!
God will take care of ME!,
God hears ME when I pray!
Instead, how about,
"God is loving and gracious. He loves sinners like me."
"God is faithful to His children!"
"God is attentive."
By teaching the Bible in a God centered way , we produce God centered kids.

Another way we hide these truths from our children is by placing morality in a story above God. We are not trying to teach morality to our children. Good morals grow out of a great admiration for God.
Examples of this include:
1."Miriam helped her mother"- Miriam did not save Moses, but God fulfilling his promises to Abraham.

2.A Lesson about "Feeding the 5000" is turned into a lesson on sharing. "Five thousand people were fed, because a little boy shared his bread...." NO!!! Five thousand people were fed because Jesus is the Son of God! This story is not about sharing, but about Jesus Christ, who is all-powerful, meeting the needs of the people.

We need to give our children a picture of a BIG God!

Now... On to what I discussed a little bit in an earlier post:

We want to raise our children to be "BIBLE SATURATED". They gave three principles of how to raise our children to be Bible saturated.

1)Use the Bible in Bible teaching. (novel idea) Use the actual book, not just quotes. Kids should carry their Bibles and use them in class! Are our kids Bible literate? Can they use it? If you teach from notes, lay them inside your Bible so that they see the source of our teaching is the Bible. Are we teaching the Bible to our children.....or just lessons? Do we have a habit of going to the Bible ourselves when we are looking for answers.....or just other people? When we try to teach the Bible to our children, we find that they rise to the challenge. We assume too little of them and thus, don't teach them to open their eyes!!!

(On a side note: I totally agree with this point!!! I have found that much of the curriculum that I've seen simply does not challenge our kids! Much of this curriculum is watered down and filled with silliness and time-wasting activities. It is increasingly evident to me that our kids could be taught deep truths at such an early age....and just aren't. An example of this: I teach a combined class of kindergarten and first grade children on Wednesday nights. A few months ago, I said something in my class about tax collectors and sinners. I said something along the lines of "sinners?- Is that good or bad?" They all responded with "GOOD!" I thought, "Okay, I'll simplify this a little bit... Again I said, "Sinners???? That is good??? Sin??? Sin??? S-i-n?" Out of a group of around 15-20 children not one of them knew that sin was a bad thing, nor had any clue of what sin even was??? That is horrifyingly sad to me. These children, who are bright and well educated in other things, yet did not understand the word "sin" as being a bad thing. Their ignorance, I believe is because they have not been challenged to understand even the simplest of spiritual concepts. We must challenge our children!!! And to do that, we must be Bible-saturated ourselves!!!) Our children, if challenged, WILL rise to that challenge. Let's please give them something more than the bare minimum. Not just "something", but a "vision".

2)Another way to raise Bible-Saturated children is to teach them the whole counsel of God. While repetition is helpful, children should not be limited to only one story, but to the whole Bible. Repetition is good for toddlers. We should move away from too much repetition with preschoolers. When we limit the amount of Scripture a person is exposed to, we limit their view of God. While they need to know about Creation and Noah's Ark, we should be sure to teach them the many other stories, the "whole counsel of God".
Showing them all of the stories helps them to understand who God is, that He is faithful and never changes, etc.

3)We also need to give children a chronological Biblical foundation. When stories are not told in relation to each other, they are seen more like mythical stories, not letting children understand the BIG PICTURE. A Chronological approach demonstrates the conclusion of a matter, how things tie together, the them and overall message of the Bible. It helps children see that God's way is always best. They see consequences, causes and effects.

4)We also should teach children the truth. We need to give children a true picture of God. "You can be Jesus' helper" gives children the wrong idea about God. Weak doctrine produces weak faith produces weak Christians.

5)Inspire children to memorize the Bible. For better or for worse, what is memorized in childhood will be retained for a lifetime. They will either memorize nursery rhymes or Bible verses. We can’t expect kids to memorize when we do not. (This one really got me! I need to get better about this!)

Types of verses that are good to memorize:
-Verses that give big picture of who God is (His character, power…)
-Verses which give words to our prayers and praise to God
-Verses to help with a problem they are having or encourage growth in an area of immaturity
-Verses that reflect biblical wisdom
-Verses that help them fight the fight of faith or help others fight

They sell an excellent variety of memorization resources on their website. The Foundation Verses are a really good way to get your kids on the road to becoming Bible-saturated. I have the Fighter Verses as well, but haven't been so good about memorizing them this year. :(

About Memorization:
They said not to make Scripture memorization an option, just something that you do (like brushing your teeth). They said that you should know your child and give appropriate verses for them to memorize. It is important that the children know the meaning of each verse. Go through it with them word by word. Explain anything that they don't understand. "What does this verse mean in your life?" Help them understand how to find these verses in their Bibles. They talked about using verses in prayer and in conversation with your children. When teaching your Bible class (or own children at home), say, "Who knows a Bible verse that will prove this point?" Get those kids thinking....and using...the Bible in their everyday lives. One effective way to do this is by saturating them with the Scriptures.

The speakers also gave a response to negative feedback regarding Bible-Saturated children. Here is some of what they said:

1) "Children won't sit still and listen for a whole half hour! They need to be moving!"

Their response: Children will rise to the standard that you set for them. Set the bar high. They will sit still if they are interested. Don't underestimate the kids!!!

2)"The truths of the Bible are too difficult for children to understand!"

Their response: Profound truths can be explained, if we pray and wrestle with it. Children are matter of fact. The deep truths that are emotional for us, are not to the kids. They have no life experience/emotional baggage to confuse the issues. These deep truths will help to prepare the kids for hard times. These deep truths should be presented in an age appropriate way. For example: "David stole another man's wife."
Or: "Potiphar’s wife did not have a good heart. She wanted Joseph to do something bad, which would not please God. This is sin. Man is sinful. Potiphar’s wife also sinned by lying about Joseph and got Joseph in trouble. Joseph was sent to prison."

My favorite quote of the entire conference was this...
"You have to know your plight so you can recognize the rescue!"
We MUST teach children about these deep truths that are presented in the Bible. (concepts such as sin, hell, Satan's work in the world, etc.) Children CAN handle them, if presented in an age appropriate way.

3)"Sunday school should be fun. Otherwise, the kids will be bored!"

Their response: Our aim is to engage not to entertain. The children should be active, not passive learners. God is NOT boring! Why substitute HIM with games and activities?

My response: Preach on!

Lastly, they emphasized the importance of reaching the hearts of the children we are teaching. We must teach them not just to KNOW facts, but to think for themselves. If not, those facts can become a hollow belief that easily crumbles beneath their feet. It is your job as their teacher to show your child how to translate what you are teaching them. Translate it from the head to the lips, tongue, hands and heart. Aim for the heart when teaching, not just the head. We need to be praying for the hearts of the children we are teaching. Application is most effectively done through our questioning.

How do we present the word so that we aim for faith and not just for knowledge?
-Teach for response-don’t always tell.
-Ask questions, let them figure it out.
-Probe their hearts. Where is the Holy Spirit nudging their heart?
-“What would trusting God look like?” “What would trusting in yourself look
-This is hard – keep working on it!
-Apply the Bible to real life situations. Make it applicable.
-Ask God to help us know what response is needed from us.
-Model for our kids. They need to see God working in US.

When teaching to the heart, we should be alert to "heart indicators" in the children we are teaching. We should not scold children, but address the heart. Scolding comes from a heart of anger.

-prayer (in class time – listen to what/how they pray)
-observe the children – what does their behavior reveal?
-mingle with the kids – get to know them informally
-read body language- Pride? Rebellion? Disrespect? Shunning others? (Help
children understand what body language communicates)
-relate behavior to heart attitude - Luke 7:37-38
-Connect the heart issues with biblical truth. Your actions need to touch the
heart. “What does your action say about your heart condition?”
-don’t be passive- get involved and address issues
-commend a child when you see admirable heart attitude
-connect with parents (working on same issues at home & at SS)
-We should equip them for every good work, so that they are able to use what they have learned, so that they can take it and apply it!!

With Preschoolers:
-Much is setting groundwork

-Foundations of right from wrong
(Your heart said, “I want the toy” Your heart needs to say, “I want YOU to have the toy and enjoy it.” God can help you have a “You can have it” heart instead of a “I want it heart.” Pray with the child.)

-Equip them for every good work...right now.
Involve them in the church and ministry now. They have a purpose.
We want to move them from “being served” to “serving” others.
Areas that preschoolers can serve:
Prayer ministry
Evangelism/back yard Bible club
Visitations – nursing homes/ hospitals
Starting in Jr. High – transition into an adult world – don’t let them grow
up in just youth ministry... but let them start serving early

What is our role in Faith training?
-We should be disciple makers.
-We should help them to learn the truth for themselves.
-We should be godly role models.
-We should encourage them to trust in God in the big and small situations.

Also, in our preparation for our teaching we should remember that a lesson prepared in the head reaches the head, whereas a lesson prepared from the heart reaches the heart. They strongly encourage teachers to read their lesson (from the Bible) several times during the week, each time praying for the hearts of the students who will hear the message. Do I do this when I am preparing my Bible lessons? No. Not yet I don't. But it is certainly something to strive for.

This is just the first seminar I heard. I won't bore you with the details of all of the other ones, but I might include bits of a few others that I especially enjoyed. This is probably my most lengthy post ever. I guess it is rightfully so, since this is one of my soapboxes. Just think what an impact could be made not only now, but on future generations if children were taught this way, taught the deep truths of God, taught by teachers who were dedicated to passing on their hope in God to the children under their influence!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Little House Feast

So today we had a little feast... A Little House on the Prairie feast...

We are just finishing up the last book in the Little House series, and checked out a book called The Little House Cookbook from the library. Naturally, we had to try a few of the recipes. So today we had a little feast. Mary Alice ("Laura") wore my prairie dress from when I was a little girl and a bonnet that my mom had in her costume closet. Major ("Almanzo") wore a snake t-shirt (picked out by Mary Alice) and some overalls. Mary Alice said that because Almanzo was a farmer, he would probably wear a t-shirt with a snake on it. Major also wore a bucket hat and flip flops. :)

I was waiting on a package to be delivered and had planned to be at home all day. We spent the morning in the kitchen, getting ready for our little feast. Josh had to work through lunch, so the kids and I packed a mini-feast for him and took it up to his office. The kids were excited to show off their costumes to their Daddy. Josh was excited to see them. I wonder if he will be as excited to eat those mashed turnips we packed in his lunch? We'll wait and see.

Our menu consisted of items from the cookbook that were hand picked by the girl. We had mashed turnips (actually pretty good!), bean soup, cornbread with homemade butter, salt pork (ham), blueberry pudding, heart shaped cakes, and apple pie. The feast was full of fun and carbohydrates. We had a great time!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Seven Random Things

First of all, to those of you who have e-mailed or commented, I will be sure to post some notes detailing the Minnesota conference. It may take me a few posts, and a day or two. So...just be patient. I am in the middle of several little projects, and blogging is not top priority. I am SO EXCITED to eventually share with you all, though.

For now, I've been tagged by my friend, Kim, to list seven random facts about myself. Since the instructions were to list things that were random, I figured now is the time to come out with things that most people would never ever know about me. These things are just....random.

Here's how it goes:
Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their seven things, as well as these rules. You need to choose 7 people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog!

Here goes....

1) I love to play the piano. Perhaps one of my favorite things to do is to sit down at my keyboard and play hymns. Whenever I'm in an ugly mood, I find it helpful to play hymns and sing loudly. I hope to teach my kids a love for hymns/music too. We love to sit at the keyboard and sing together. To me, the best sound on earth is the sound of little voices praising God. This sound brings such joy to my heart.

2) When I was a little girl, I had extremely long hair (think Cousin It). It was parted down the middle and hung down to my hiney. It was ridiculous! Once, when I was in elementary school, I was at a birthday party and was playing "Who can hold your breath the longest?" in a hot tub. I submerged myself under the water until I could hold my breath no longer. When I tried to reemerge, I found that my ridiculously long hair was caught in the bottom of the hot tub. I yanked and yanked until my hair was ripped from my head. Thankfully I lived, but not without consequence. My head was very sore from where the hair had been pulled out. In a couple of years, my lovely hairstyle was made even better with the emerging trend of stick up bangs. For a few years, I had long, straight hair that hung down to my hiney with stick up, curly-permed bangs that were loaded with hairspray. Definitely not a natural look.... One that I do not plan to repeat...

3) I don't like to go with the flow. I don't really like to do things the way that they've always been done. I like to reinvent the wheel. (I know that there must be a better way to make a wheel than the way that it has already been made!!! :) This has been a source of stress for me, especially when I am working with a group. It would be so much easier if I were a person who didn't really care how things were done, and could just relax and be agreeable and easygoing. After all, the wheel works just fine, doesn't it? I struggle with being way too high strung about things. Thankfully, God paired me up with Josh, who is so very calm and agreeable, but not laid-back. So when I come in ranting about the newest "problem" that I have to solve, I can always count on Josh to bring me back to reality.

4) I think spit is extremely gross. It makes me ill to hear someone slurp or watch someone spit. I can handle being around blood, vomit, dirty diapers, but if I ever catch the sight of someone else brushing their teeth, toothpaste coming out of the corners of their mouth, it is enough to send me running! I once had this roommate who would slurp the spit out of her toothbrush each morning. Oh, the self-control it took for me not to cover my ears and eyes and run screaming out the door! If I think about it too much, I can gross myself out while brushing my own teeth, or the teeth of my children. And, please don't swish your mouthwash around me. I simply cannot handle it. Slosh, spit, slurp, UGH!!! Yucky!

5) I LOVE to eat food, all kinds of food. I like to eat just about anything, and can think of fewer than ten things that I just don't like to eat. It is very important to me that I not put my kids at a disadvantage by failing to expose them to the many wonderful foods that are out there. Just because I don't really care for radishes, doesn't mean that I won't buy them and try them with a big smile on my face, just so that Mary Alice and Major have the chance to decide whether or not they like them. If you invite me over for a meal, please DO NOT serve: sugar cookies, pretzels, liver, radishes, corned beef, fried vegetables (like okra), yams with marshmallows, coleslaw, or bologna. If you fix anything else, though, you're safe. BUT.....Even if you do fix bologna sandwiches with fried okra and sugar cookies for dessert, I will eat it all up with a pretend smile on my face.

6) I rarely follow a recipe. If I do use a recipe, I usually substitute my own "a little of this and a little of that" to make it "just right." Josh jokes with me all the time about this. Just last week, I made some pork chops. They had soy sauce, onions, wine, cream, a little of this, a little of that. When we sat down to eat and he first took a bite, he said, "These are really good! Too bad we'll never eat them again!" He said this because I rarely make a recipe the same way twice. It brings me joy to do reinvent the wheel....sometimes.

7) I am not an animal person. I am severely allergic to cats, and generally not fond of dogs. There are a few dogs that I think are moderately cute, but never want one of my own. Part of this may be due to the fact that I was bitten on the lip by a poodle at age three. My mother saw the whole thing unfold. She said that I was petting the poodle gently when it snapped out and bit me in the lip. I remember this traumatic experience vividly. My second experience with dogs was when my parents brought home a cocker spaniel, which Adam and I named T.J. I was in the second grade. T.J.'s endearing qualities and talents were few. The dog, for example, was able to bark almost continuously. (Our neighbors must have loved good ole T.J.) He would also jump up on every person who came near him. He had energy, I'll give him that much. My sister, Taylor, would not even go out into the back yard for at least a year or two, because she was so afraid of getting pounced by that crazy dog. Since T.J. was my dog, I was expected to feed him (which I enjoyed) and clean up his doggy droppings (which I did not enjoy). After about two years at our house, dear old T.J. hit the road and found a home with a man who could appreciate his unique talents. I feel like now one of the reasons that I do not really like dogs is because of my experience with T.J. Maybe one day, I will eat my words, but for now, I will just say no to getting a family pet.

Okay, so now you know 7 random things about me that you probably never wanted to know. I am tagging:

Miranda- (I am doing this as a favor to give her the topic that she's been needing to help her update her blog. :)

Holly G.
Mindy H.