Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Good, The Bat, and The Babies

My ever-amusing life.

The Good: Lollipop Lake outside Denver.
FABULOUS way to begin a morning.

The Good: our next Half-Marathon
is coming up on August 14th. BOOYA!

The Good: I'm not telling anyone where I parked the Santa Fe to get this view. I've found that if you put the seats down in my new vehicle, it's a lovely area to read. My very own portable book nook. With a view. Mine.

The Bat: He's hanging out right outside my door.
Not cool. Shoo, shoo, SHOO!
He actually looks like a hanging hamster,
which makes things even more ridiculous.

The Babies: pretty sure you're not supposed to hide your purse in the manger. (What can I seemed like the safest spot at the moment...thanks, Baby J!)

The Babies: Sweet pea Katie's baptism! I ADORE this photo! She's so serene, and the Christian boys are watching with awe! (That's their last name - Christian. Which makes them the Christian Christian Boys. Christian squared.) Children of God!

The Babies: Jack Jack visiting from Wisconsin!
Kathy's little one and I had a blast!
They simply need to move closer to Colorado.

The Babies: Miss Emma came to visit this past week.
Doesn't get any better than itty, bitty baby toes.

Joy to the World!

It's Christmas in July at Bethany Lutheran!
Congregants brought in food for Metro CareRing
and for Kids in Kandahar! JOY!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come.

Let earth receive her king.

Let every heart prepare him room,

And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,

And heaven and heaven and nature SING!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Human Compromise for a Holy Commandment

We're busy preparing for "Back to Church Sunday", a global campaign that encourages people to invite others to worship. Sunday, September 12th is the date, and I'm excited about the possibility of welcoming people, old faces and new, into the worship space.

The Church Council is reading the text, "reDiscover church: Ten Reasons Why People Leave, and Why They're Coming Back", from by Outreach Publishing. To the point, rather engaging, and certainly meant to stir up some conversation! I was assigned Reason #6:

Reason #6: I’m too busy,

and Sundays are my only time to rest.

Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.

Thoughts from the book….

  • Recharging your spiritual battery is just as important as recharging your mental and physical batteries – thanking God is important!
  • Reflecting on what God has done in your life, praying about issues of the heart
  • Sabbath – a time to rest, abide, worship, study, enjoy the company of others who love Him
  • What if church became something to look forward to as much as social events with others?

Thoughts from Brenda…

Rest? REST? Anyone who has ever talked to a Pastor or worship leader would know that Sunday is far from a day of rest! A worship service that is meaningful for the congregation as a whole requires lots of dedication, planning, and WORK! Balancing the deeper meaning of worship with the tasks behind the scenes is a continual process in one’s own heart.

I would also acknowledge and endorse the holiness of a Sunday worship experience, where we set aside an hour to focus on the Word and the Meal. Throw in the power of music and community, and you have an experience that you can’t replicate by yourself at home.

So where does that leave us?

With a daily observance of the Sabbath.

I wrestle with what feels like a human compromise for a holy commandment: if the 7th day of the week is meant to be kept holy, I can whole-heartedly embrace that. Sunday worship services deeply strengthen my faith. If the 7th day of the week is meant to be kept work-less, however, that’s a different matter. Thus, I’m largely in favor of spreading out the Sabbath, be it passing the faith while passing the ball at soccer practice, or remembering one’s Baptism while bathing a child. (See below for other ideas). I can’t believe that if those events happen to fall on a Monday or a Friday that they are any less holy. If I take time to purposefully and intentionally remember my Maker, I’m going to do that on-the-spot, be it a Thursday afternoon or a Saturday evening.

My relationship with God is free from the confines of a calendar, and, while certainly enhanced and strengthened by corporate worship, continues to grow beyond the 8:00 hour on Sunday mornings.

- -- -- -- - -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -

Since I'll be in Alabama when we have our Council meeting, I've prepared the thoughts you've read above, as well as a poster board (like you didn't see that coming) with some visuals.

Scrapbooking the Sabbath...

Sabbath could be found in the middle of the North Woods.
Who's to say the Holy Spirit isn't dancing in those flames.

Ever see a coach lead a team in a prayer before playing?
Or explored a new church or worship space while out of town?

Child of God.
Even if you have a carrot for a nose.

Quiet, contemplative work in the garden.
Prime time for prayer time.
Imagine remembering your baptismal calling
every time you gave a bath to a child!

I seem to recall a story or two about being fishers of men...

Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Choice B

I should be preparing for my next Kagan training.
OR...I should be enjoying my summer vacation.

Choice B, thank you very much.

Greetings. I am the mountain goat that obviously had a
run-in with a weedwhacker

on the way over to this viewing area.
I'm not very fluffy. Please love me anyways.

Sweet peas and penguins.

Oh, to be a carefree penguin.

Note to self: the Denver Zoo randomly allows Flamingos to take a WALK around the zoo. Technically, they are being guided by zoo staff. Realistically, these things squawk and flap wherever they darn well please.

Lady, I can totally see you taking my picture.
Please step back.

BONGOS with the BABES!
(you get the point)

Pretty good...for an ELEPHANT!
(no really - an elephant painted this)

Here's the gang in 2007....

...and here we are in 2010!

P.S. Another potty training device I found this week.
He he he he...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cheer for Me

Alternate titles for this blog post:
"Deflector Shield Included"
"Realistic Elements of Potty"
"Contributions that Count"

Oh, to be a mother of an almost two year old. I'm happily watching (from a safe, dry distance) a friend embark on the ever-frustrating process of potty-training her daughter. Imagine my delight at finding this plastic piece of joy in her living room (yes, it travels).

I could write an entire chapter on the details of this singing toilet, but I'll let the product description do the work for me:

Cheer for Me Potty by Fisher Price

The potty responds to the child’s actions in many ways with phrases, music, and sound effects. Realistic elements of potty encourage transition to grown-up toilet. Your child will hear a response or encouragement when:

* the seat lid is opened and closed * the flusher is pulled * the toilet paper roll is spun * when the child sits * and most importantly when the child makes a “contribution.”

There are three stages of use:

(1) The full potty on the floor for the beginner, (2) the seat and back of the potty comes off with the electronics and snaps onto the adult toilet for the intermediary stages, and (3) the seat and lid come off and snap onto the adult seat.

Bowl removes easily for cleanup. Deflector shield included.


Hmm...need I say more!? Too funny! (I do realize this is only

funny until I have to start potty training a little one of my own...


Two final options:

Precious Planet Froggy Friend Potty
(PPFFP for short)

My personal favorite.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

La Vida Bonita

The Santa Fe and I are getting to know each other quite well.
Put 164 miles on her today. Booya.
I have almost settled on a the end of the week for sure.

In the mean time, my zooming travels
up and down I-25 brought me a day full of joy!

Shut the front door.
Sarah's wearing a DRESS!
Brenda's wearing a DRESS!
It was a photo opportunity, people.
Doesn't happen everyday.

Church was a whirlwind today: duet at the piano with Andrea, we welcomed our new organist, Rick Seaton (check out his website), baby Katie was baptized, communion, VBS with the summer crew, and finally, a little Gershwin on the piano during Rick's reception. All of this before 1pm! Here's today's awesome sermon, too. A little bit Mary, a little bit Martha.

Zoomed over to Arvada for a baby shower for Corrina, a pal from Regis. Need to see these people more often. Marcia (that's mar-see-ah) and I were simply tickled by this crazy looking turtle. Not sure if the eyes are darling or demented...we're going to go with darling, as it's for a small baby!

Looking better from this angle.
(Although Marcia (that's mar-sha) in the back ground isn't so sure...)

Giraffe wrapping paper.
Coolest wrapping paper ever.

Why is that baby on the box looking at me?

Brennan's toy before Brenda...

Brennan's toy after Brenda.

Zoomed back home for a bit, then turned around and headed to Casa Bonita (I know, I know) to meet a high school pal who was riding through the state with her family. Once again, thank you Facebook for making this meeting possible. Liam's loving the fountains outside!

For those who sadly haven't experienced this fine dining establishment (I hadn't been there in the 9 years I've lived here), it's kind of like Pirates of the Caribbean meets a kitschy Chili's. Very odd place, full of activity, diving people, loud mariachi bands, bright lights, and lonely waiters. And a wandering gorilla. Did I mention the gorilla?

Such a crazy fun day! Such amazing people!

Such a day filled with blessings!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It Moved

The thought of getting my classroom into shape for the upcoming school year was gnawing at my subconscious all night. So, I headed to Flagstone in full-on attack mode, ready to chip away at whatever I possibly could today. GAME ON.

Oy. It always gets worse before it gets bettter, right?

Mother of Pearl. I forgot about the closet.

Ok, so YOU might be able to quickly realize this wasn't an animal, but it MOVED when I pulled the drawers forward, costing me a good 15 minutes as I squealed and jumped up onto my desk. Could have been a mouse hiding in the corner, just waiting to attack. Or even worse, a sn***.

Uh, yeah. Turned out to be pretty harmless.
Plastic dog tags on a string.
It COULD have been something else...

Felt the need to get the instruments OUT more this year. I need them to be in kids' hands, not in drawers/closets. They need to be in sight!

Ah....starting to look like a learning environment!
I'll sleep well tonight.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

By the Way

By the way, the book I always thought
was a Bible was actually a story book!

By the way, there is a 2 foot tall kangaroo in my parents living room. And it holds plants. You should see the look a one year old gives you when he peeks around the chair and sees this!

By the way, the limbo flamingo
accompanied us to the airport. Seatbelt and all.

By the way, my new Santa Fe can successfully
display three digit temperatures.
And that's just wrong.

By the way, this much smoke can't be good for the air.

By the way, the sky was extra creepy tonight.

Death star creepy.

By the way, the view from Target is awesome at sunset.