Thursday, January 31, 2008

Kid funnies

Eli's been really been praying a lot lately about a good friend at school who doesn't believe in God. One discussion led to Eli telling Jason:
"You know, some people say apes built the world."
Jason: "Yeah, but you know that's not true, right? We go see apes all the time at the zoo - and they don't build anything like that.
Eli: "Yeah. Apes are interesting. And we can read about them....
But they can't read about us!"

Somehow I thought that was the simplest refutation of evolution I'd ever heard.

Julia prayed tonight: "God, thank you for making my mom good at aiming for the trash. Please help me be as good as her one day. "

Friday, January 25, 2008

Tagged again-

Thank you VANESSA!

The Rules: Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
Share 5 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog, OR
Share the 5 top places on your “want to see or want to see again” list, OR
Share 5 things you never pictured being in your future when you were 25 years old.

Tag a minimum of 5, maximum of 10 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. The tagees have a choice of which they want to do.

I've shared random facts about myself before, but I like the "5 things you never pictured being in your future when you were 25" idea - and since that was only 7 years ago, I can mostly remember.....:-)

1. I never EVER dreamed of living in Oklahoma. It's still a little weird when I say it out loud. "Ok-la-hom-a." See what I mean? Even now I think I should have a pilgrim dress on when I say it.

2. I never thought I would raise my hands in worship. (Don't tell my grandparents.) :-)

3. I never thought I would have gone away on a weekend trip with girlfriends -and genuinely had the time of my life. I grew up generally enjoying friendships with guys more, just because they were less complicated. But I've got some friendships formed with ladies I adore -and who love God deeply, and I'm loving that change.

4. I never thought my kids and husband would bring me THIS much joy. I mean, you always hope, but then one day you look around at reality and realize just how good you have it, and know you were too stupid to have arranged it yourself, so you just thank God for His blessing - and try to honor them as such.

5. I never thought I'd write a blog. In fact, if you had suggested the possibility, the name alone would have made me think it was immature or goofy. :-)

I tag Lindsay, Wendy!!, Terry, Jill, and Cindy!

Bye bye Mario. Hello Little House on the Prairie.

A few nights ago, we packed up all the game systems in our house. Including the DS Eli just got for Christmas. It was a long time coming, really. But games have been Eli's FAVORITE thing to do. It's how we kept him drinking water when he was on the verge of being admitted to the hospital once. ("Drink 3 sips and you can play for 5 more minutes..." ) It's how we potty-trained him. (Yeah, he's gonna love that I shared this when he can read.) So you can understand, that when he loves something that much, I felt guilty taking it away. But limiting time, and limiting games, and trying different tactics wasn't enough. His mind just gravitates to it. And if he gravitates to it, he'll obsess over it. His game skills are far more honed than his people skills, and that's not what we're about.

Some incidents occurred that led to taking the games away, so he didn't complain at the time. The amazing thing? He hasn't complained since. We're only two days and counting -but I'm amazed. And relieved. And I think he is too.

We had been planning an indoor camp out night this weekend. This morning, Eli decided he wanted to ask his 2nd grade teacher to borrow her DVD Season 1 of Little House on the Prairie. (She's awesome - and has been reading it to them at school - which I LOVE her for!) She said yes - and so he came home saying "It will only take us 16 hours to watch the whole thing!" Well, we're not doing that, but the campout theme turned into a "Little House" theme. I had to run to get groceries, and when I came back - they'd built a little house in the living room - complete with loft and ladder. We had eggs and toast and sausage on tin plates, and ate by candlelight, and "Jack" (a wooden toy dog that was Jason's when he was little) guarded the house.

And Julia and Eli informed us that for the rest of the night, we were to be referred to as "Ma and Pa".

I could totally get used to this. :-)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

All the bones we’ve thrown out…..

I can’t remember who first said it, or how often it was repeated, but I remember growing up with a conscientious conflict about reading anything that by an author with my religious background. And I remember having the feeling that if I did attempt such an unwise action, I should do so with suspicion and at the minimum be prepared to “eat the fish, but throw away the bones”.

I don’t carry the same conflict I grew up with, and I’ll admit, nowadays I may read authors within my faith with as much discernment as I do any author. God seemed to make it clear that His words were the standard by which we compare anything “new” that comes our way, and it’s infallibility over the centuries has been impressively consistent.

Recently, I picked up a book called “girl meets God”, by Lauren F. Winner.

If any book is completely out of my realm of experience or background, this one’s it. A memoir on her personal journey from Orthodox Judaism to Christianity, the brand of Christianity she enters into is almost as foreign to me as the Judaism is. I find myself reading chapters on liturgy, lent, the Eucharist, Sabbath, and Sukkot. (Words about which I had already made up my mind, while ironically knowing little about.) But what I love is that she gives flesh and bones, and a real humanity to some of the traditions I grew up being suspicious of -and meaning to some of my own convictions & traditions that I didn’t know existed.

I may not subscribe to every conclusion she has – but I’m learning the value of not throwing out her conviction as “bones” for she has, in fact, enlightened some parts of my own beliefs that for a lack of understanding had formed more skeleton-like in me than I myself had ever realized. She opens her mind & heart, good and bad, flattering and unflattering, to the reader, about her journey – and I find myself highlighting and cheering at the end of each chapter. I have about 93 pages to go – and anticipate it like meeting a refreshing, genuine and honest friend who is both like me, and challenges me, while being entirely different.

I’ve included a sample below – and encourage you, if your needing an amazingly simple yet profound and encouraging read… this ones worth it.

“Holy Communion is another name, and there are good reasons to speak of taking communion. Those words remind us that we are not only drawing near to God, but that we are doing that most basic and social thing, we are eating together, we are drawing near to one another. This has been a long, slow lesson for me. I am just starting to learn that the people I take Communion with are the people who count.
I didn’t like most of the people at Clare College chapel. I loved my priest. And I loved Becky, my godmother; Anna; the ordinand sent over by her seminary to be our priest in training; and Helen and Olivia, two short haired eighteen-year-olds with lively minds and brassy giggles. . Other than those few, the people at chapel weren’t people I would have chosen to socialize with. They weren’t up to my standards. I didn’t think them clever enough, entertaining enough, whole enough. Mostly, at the Clare Chapel, I met broken people, needy people, people who were in church for a reason.
In fact, some people of the chapel repelled me. They were pale and pasty and watery drips of people, inarticulate and shy and nerdy and downright tedious. I had nothing to talk about with any of them, though Lord knows I tried, not even theology, a concept that seemed foreign to these students, students for whom everything about Jesus was perfectly clear-cut. “These are not,” I sniffed to Jo, “people I would ever invite to a dinner party.”
Jo, in her wisdom, didn’t point out the obvious fact that I was, indeed, having a dinner party with them every Sunday morning. She pretended to sympathize. She pretended to be every bit the snob that I was. She said whole days elapsed where she had to speak, hour after pastoral hour, to people she did not like very much or find terrible interesting. “There aren’t too many people around here like you,” she admitted conspiratorially, as though it were just us two charming and sophisticated Christians pitted against the rest of the sorry, benighted church. Then she sighed and said, “But I realized awhile back that if I built a church filled with my friends, it would be a rather small and homogenous church.” I blinked. “Dull, really,” said Jo.
So much for sympathy.
The day before I left Cambridge for good, I saw Paul and Gillian, two of the most annoying of the annoying Christians, on Clare bridge, and I hugged them. I said I would miss them. I thought I was lying, to be polite. But I wasn’t. I have missed them. I do. No one else I ever meet will have pledged to support me in my life of Christ, which is exactly what Paul and Gillian pledged at my baptism. My friends at Columbia, the friends I meet for drinks at trendy bards in the Village, the friends with whom I chat about post-structuralism and Derrida- those people didn’t witness my baptism. They didn’t cheer at my confirmation , they didn’t pray with me every Sunday for two years, they didn’t hand me Kleenex when I burst into inexplicable tears in the middle of the Lord’s Prayer. They aren’t my brothers and sisters in Christ. They are merely my friends.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

For my best friend, Wendy.

Dear Wendy,
Thank you for your comment-pliment. (Haha!Some how that word seems like it should have come from your dad.) I've been feeling guilty about not blogging for about 3 weeks, (not consecutively, but all together) - so your encouragement (or discouragement?) inspires the approval addict in me, hence my post, just for you.

I am wondering, however, what it would take to do the same for you and get you to START a blog?

Well, from the last writing until now, we have been busy with having non-stop visits or traveling out of town ourselves, and catching up or regular life in between. I have some AWESOME books to blog about. I also have some funny stories to tell - but since I'm trying to think of one right now, I can't... :-)

So many of my funny stories are not really mine - but Eli's. 2nd grade continues to be a growing experience. Last week we had been talking about respecting authority at home, and so I challenged him to find unique ways to show respect to the people at school who were in authority over him, and to come home and tell me what he did. I encouraged him, then, each day afterwards to do not only the things he did the day before, but to add a new attempt each day to build on the others and I would be thinking of a reward for him. In my attempts to be very concrete and specific, I said I wanted his actions to be something that was obvious enough to those around him that they would notice a difference, even if I called his teacher to check on his behavior. He seemed to respond to this challenge, and reported something simple each day. I was excited!
It was ironic then, when a few days later, word made it back to us that he was driving his teacher nuts. When I finally checked on it, I found that my instructions had translated to him having a tally sheet on his desk to mark every time he said "yes ma'am" to his teacher, and that he'd told her that he needed to say this "two-hundred times" so his mom would give him a prize. And apparently, he made sure to check with her every time he said it, (just in case I called and asked.)

My next book will be called "Social Skills Suicide: How to set your child up for failure every time....".