Sunday, February 21, 2010

A FUN-draising Evening!

What. A. Night.  The Lasagna Dinner at Bethany tonight - a fundraiser for the youth - was a HOOT!  Oh, my goodness.  I needed to just laugh like this - enjoy some entertainment and just laugh.  Thanks to Sarah for all the great pics!

And the fun begins...Ruth Ann and I practicing our
  Joplin Jive.  Or just laughing.  A bit'o'both, I suppose!
This was just after we switched places on the bench.

McKenna and Chelsea, our Irish Dancers.
I can SO kick higher than both of them.  Not.

Lauren was a HOOT, singing "Taylor, the Latte Boy" - a song made popular by Kristin Chenoweth.  FUNNY!  All about a girl who comes into a coffee shops and adores the boy making her latte.  He does NOT return her affection - oh, Lauren was great!

Ah, Taylor, the Latte Boy himself.  Well, really 
this is Zach, and his rebuttal was hysterical!

Our table of fun, food and friends!  
Salad, bread, lasagna, brownies.  Awesome.

Hula Macarena.  I kid you not.  We all jumped up and tried to remember the moves none of us have done (much less in public) since the mid-1990s!  This little munchkin kept that thing swinging the entire song.  I SO could have done that.  While on stage.  NOT.

Is this not darling?!  Grandpa (our choir director) 
and his Grandson singing "High Hopes".

Ready, set...ACTION! We were laughing so hard...

"Go eat peas...serve some carrots!"  And this would be Pastor Ron, the Carrot. He calls me at 1:30 pm this afternoon and asks me to find "The Carrot Anthem" on the YesToCarrots website. (I can't make this stuff up!) Well, game on!  Found it, watched the YouTube video (you have to click on this link - hysterical) and he performs the song in full costume.  Always something amusing at Bethany!   

Love Me Tender

Once again, I'm in amazement of my kids. The latest: I had my guitar out from a previous class period, and of course, the kids come into the music room ooh and ahh and want to play it. I take a poll of who really plays the guitar, and (predictably so) the whole class is ready and able. Riiiight. This little guy, however, says he can 'pluck out a tune'. Now THOSE were the words I was listening for. Guitar words.

So, I hand over the guitar, let him sit in the blurple chair, and pray he really does have a song to offer. THAT's when I was stunned into silence: the little guy perfectly plucks out "Love Me Tender" on this instrument. I can play two chords on that thing, and he sits down and gently serenades his entire class. The kids could tell I was entranced - and quite frankly, a bit teary. What a wonderful way to end a crazy, hectic week!

Peaceful Light, Colors in Flight

If peace was a candle, this is what it would look like.

Check out the colors!  
Can you guess where I was when I snapped this pic?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

God's Work, Our Hands

Tonight's Ash Wednesday service allowed time to reflect on the days that will lead up to Easter. I remember so enjoying last year's service, and tonight left an even deeper impression on my soul

Sundays and Seasons, a publication of the ELCA that assists in the planning of worship, describes Ash Wednesday like this: "Lent begins with a solemn call to fasting and repentance as we begin our journey to the baptismal waters of Easter. As we hear in today's readings, now is the acceptable time to return to the Lord. During Lent the people of God will reflect on the meaning of their baptism into Christ's death and resurrection. The sign of ashes suggest our human mortality and frailty. What seems like an ending is really an invitation to make each day a new beginning, in which we are washed in God's mercy and forgiveness. With the cross on our brow, we long for the spiritual renewal that flows from the springtime Easter feast to come."

Communion was served tonight at the rail, Pastor Ruth Ann on my right, Pastor Ron on my left. I followed closely behind with the bread and the wine, watching them give the imposition of ashes. Looking up from their knees were the congregants of Bethany - I was taken aback by the outstretched hands of people seeking this Holy meal. I could truly serve Communion for hours, as each time I say the words "The body and blood of Christ, broken and shed for you" - EACH time - is an affirmation of my own belief. God's work, our hands.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

31 Years Young

Happy day!  Today, my 31st birthday, was pretty crazy.  It was my first day back to work in 3 weeks, which was an adjustment in and of itself.  The intercom went off a million times during the day, telling us the water pipes were broken...then fixed...then get the point.  Makes for a rather fragmented day!  Plus, I always forget just how exhausting that first day back really is.  And I'm always delighted to be reunited with the kiddos.  Always entertaining.  

Gosh, I feel so loved.  Thanks, Facebook buddies! 
Si!  Si!  ¡Tiempo del partido para todos!
Don't you feel happier just seeing this card?

My parents think I'm moo-ving on up in age...

Sweets from Wisconsin!  Woohoo!

Remember the mystery gift?  Well, ta-da!  It's a can full of candy!  Mom works for a cleaning company, and they made up these cool cans with fake labels and filled with goodies!  Sweet!

I'm all about instant joy!

"...on or around taste buds."  Love it.  


Peace.  Lots of fun phone calls throughout the day, great e-mails and e-cards from friends and family near and far, hugs from the kiddos, and dinner with a dear friend made the day just wonderful.  As was the news that the water pipe had officially NOT been fixed, and school was going to be closed tomorrow.  Works for me!

Monday, February 15, 2010

All You Need is...

...LOVE! (doot, doot, doo, doo, doo!)

All you need is...the awesome sign outside
my church this week! Love it!

All you need is...a guardian angel that keeps you from breaking your arm when you accidentally slip on the ice and slide your entire arm UNDER the guard rail near your apartment. Ho-ly mo-ly, I should be in a cast. Or still flat on the ground...

All you need is...a heart shaped bruise
on your leg near February 14th.

All you need is...a sweet little newborn named Greyson!
Here's Jamie and Luke's baby boy!

All you need is...those tiny hands and feet!

All you need is...a well-coordinated singing partner for Sunday morning services! Here's Abby and I on Transfiguration Sunday. And no, we did not plan to wear the same colors. We're just on the same wavelength - sang some tight harmonies for all three services!

All you need is...a little common sense when doing the laundry at the age of 30. Mother of Pearl, did I really do this!? HA! Washed the sweater I wore on Sunday and then forgot to take it out of the DRY load. Awesome. It is soooo tiny! Glad we captured the picture above - last time I'll be wearing this outfit!

All you need is...a mobile blood bank, willing to take your blood! After the services on Sunday, I headed over to a nearby church to donate some blood. NOT my favorite thing in the world to do, but really felt the need to give back. The irony of giving blood on Valentine's Day did not escape me...

All you need is...a squishy little heart to keep the blood moving. Unfortunately, my blood moved for the first 2 minutes, then stalled. That meant we got to rotate the needle. Try it sometime. Lovely.

All you need is...a little patience and the blood starts to eventually move. I was one of six people inside the bus, all of us hooked up to the blood bags we filled. Creepy and fascinating all at the same time.

All you need is...a well-painted, nicely heated, happy little bus filled with nice nurses and medical personnel who help make giving blood not that big of a deal, who answer all your questions, and who give you a nice juice box and crackers when you finish without panicking or passing out!

All you need is...some sky blue wrapping tape to cover
up the gaping wound...I mean...tiny little puncture wound.

All you need is...a little bit of time alone in the Sanctuary to play and sing through some songs, relax from a long week of computer work, and the chance to take this cool picture!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Floating and...Foam?

Check out my little floating friend!

Hey! My red fish has learned to float
on his side at the top of his tank!
Good job, little buddy...oh,, MAN!

Don't be alarmed! I simply blew in his tank,
and off he swam. Again. Tricky little bugger.

That's right, the birthday girl.
The big 31 on Tuesday. Booya!

Mystery packages from Mom and Dad.
Is this not the CUTEST paper?

Taking guesses on what on earth this could be.
It rattles, so it can't be air freshener.
Maybe it's a spray can of fake foam.
What do YOU think it is?

Valentine Bag from one of my kiddos.
LOVE the colors!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How to Kill Your Shredder

You at home might be wondering 
how you, too, can kill your shredder.
Well, the wait is over!  

Follow these steps for certain success:

Step 1:  Do not even out the distribution of paper and random items to shred.  Rather, be sure to jam as much of the material into one side of the shredder as possible.  This will allow the shredding mechanism inside the shredder to immediately choke, sputter, and clog.  This is an important first step in the killing of your shredder.  

Step 2:  When the shredder pretends to almost un-jam itself, simply remove the cover of your shredder, tip it on its side, and continue the shredding process as if nothing happened.  This will confuse the shredder, allow your half-shredded paper to colorfully display itself on your clean carpet, and guarantee that your shredder will start to shoot sparks from the engine inside.  Caution:  this step may involve tiny flames.   Keep away from all paper.  

Step 3:  You're almost there!  Finally, hit the reverse button on your shredder, completing what was clearly inevitable:  the death of your shredder.  Do not be alarmed at the loud chainsaw-like noise being emitted from your shredder.  These are its final, primal yelps before it lets go and dies on your office floor. 

Congratulations on successfully killing your shredder!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Family Faith Night

Family Faith Night is an evening where parents and children gather together to worship in a relaxed, comfortable, family setting.  They share a lesson, a meal, and then a worship service complete with song, communion, and a mini-sermon. Our focus tonight was LOVE!

Our Souper Bowl of Caring event is tomorrow, 
so the kids helped prepare the soup and baked biscuits.

Bless their hearts, the gloves were made to fit adults, so watching the kids try to fit their little fingers into the finger slots was a hoot!    The kids would just get the gloves on, and then the weight of the dough would make them slip off again!  HA!

Check out the little guy's face!  

Such an ooey, gooey joyful mess!

Again with those gloves!  HA!

We brought in cookie cutters of all shapes and sizes.  People are going to be eating biscuits tomorrow in the shapes of alphabet letters, numbers, Santas, snowflakes, acorns, gingerbread men, and lots and lots of hearts.  

Never can have enough CHEESE!  Go, Parker!

The mini-sermon on 1 John 4:12:  No one has even seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and God's love is made complete in us.  

Yes, this is me in pink.  Promised Mom I'd take a picture of me not only wearing bright pink, but with LOVE on the front.  So not the usual Brenda pic!  AND, what's really quite amusing is that I just set the camera on the counter and took the picture.  The flowers really were on the stove and the LOVE sign really was right there on the fridge.  LOVE it!