Sunday, December 30, 2007


The fifth Sunday of the month we have joint worship
with the Lutheran congregation in town...its actually walking distance from our home.
So we were visitors, with part of our congregation in another house of worship.
Flash said that it couldn't be a church because churches are "big big tall".
They are all on one floor and had a beautiful facility. The hallway from the sanctuary to the fellowship hall has a bookcase running the length of it and its their library!
Brilliant use of space. Yet another church though, that doesn't have an approach to child care
so I stayed with Flash in the nursery. Yes, there were other children in worship,
yes they have the bags with crayons and coloring books. And they say "oh, it'll be fine".
No, it won't. He'll run and talk and well, anyhow...he's just not ready yet.
As it was we broke Joseph's arm in their nativity set. Sigh.

Also a dear friend from seminary came to visit us.
She's on vacation from big huge suburban church near Philly, visiting family.
She saw the service, our town, our church and home.
And it was wonderful to have a visitor, and to be one.

On Tuesday, New Years day, we'll have our Open House.
Opening our new home to the congregation and neighbors to "drop in" from 1-3.
Some I know panic at such things but I have to say that I really like a little entertaining, and it'll be casual.
I am not and will never be Martha Stewart and I never shoot for her standards.
The house will be reasonably clean with attention paid to bathrooms, vacuuming the floor and toys.
There will be lots of food of the self-serve variety...finger foods and chips and such.
And that will be that. Really.
My mother is very stressed about this "do" for me. She wants it to be more "elegant", keeps talking about our stature in the community.
She's suggested quiche and shrimp. Hmmm.
I guess I understand her thoughts, but I am more comfortable doing this our way.
Cookies, meatballs, little sandwiches and such.
And I think, I hope, our visitors will be just fine.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday5: Memorable Moments of 2007

1. Hubby's graduation, ordination, installation
2. Moving day and our friend's moving day :(
3. Finding our new church, town and home
4. no pacifier, toilet training, recognizing his name written out, becoming high speed wild child
5. Driving from PA out here with Flash in a packed van by myself 13 hours. Whoa.
and God was with us at each of these points and all the unmemorable ones too. The highs and lows and in-the-middles.
It has been a packed year. We'll see what 2008 brings.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thankful Thursady

Ha! spellcheck
mostly potty trained!
excellent dogs
nice calm town
time to settle in
two interviews in January
warm dry house, full pantry
toys, probably too many
health, happiness, safety
family, friends
a great babysitter
and 11 years of marriage!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Boxing Day!

Flash and I did not attend Christmas Eve service at 7 pm.
He was asleep in the Dash PJs by 7:30. We'd already put out cookies, peanuts and carrots for Santa and the reindeer.
Hubby said the service went very nnicely, there were quite a few kids and 95 people total!
Thats quite good for us.

Santa and family and friends were very kind and yesterday we had a whole lot of Rescue Heroes and other toys to open and play with, all day. Hubby went to the office today (and a pastoral visit) and we're still playing!

1 pm is the community hike, and we're still planning on doing it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Almost Christmas Friday5

Tell some about your favorite Christmas memories.

What was one of your favorite childhood gifts that you gave?

I remember getting my sister a "pound puppy doll" when they were so hot. The cool part about it was my friend Barb and I were allowed to go shopping for it alone. Christmas shopping alone! at the Mall! Very exciting to us.

Recipe I can't do without: Candy Cane Coffee Cake

My sister actually called me for a clarification of the recipe this week. It is shaped like a candy doesn't taste like one. We had it every Christmas for breakfast with cocoa. I have cheated on the recipe for about 7 years now. My sister is appalled.

Candy Cane Coffee Cake (the cheatin kind)
1 can refrigerated dough (not the yeast, sour cream and flour mess everywhere, and hour to rise, blah blah) I have been using the can of roll out Pizza crust actually.
chopped nuts
brown sugar
Candied cherries for food coloring perhaps.

Preheat to 400
Spray cookie sheet with Pam
Lay out the dough lengthwise on a cookie sheet
Use a sharp knife to cut a "fringe" on each side of the dough
Each cut should be about 3/4 of an inch from the next and you must leave a 2.5 inch channel in the middle for the filling. This is all rough measurements.
In a bowl, mix the nuts sugar and cinnamon with a little bit of melted butter , a tablespoon maybe. Lay that in the channel.
Now "braid the fringe across the channel, making sure that no filling can leak. Good luck with that by the way...mine always leak.
When you've finished braiding, carefully curve the top so it looks like a candy cane.
You can brush the top with butter or egg if you like.
You could use some colored sugar, food coloring or, as we do, stud it with candies cherries.
Bake for 8-10 minutes and check it until its a lovely brown color.

Tradition we can't do without.

Hmmm. So many traditions have changed and changed over the years, but Hubby and I were talking today about how Santa's presents were always wrapped in different paper, and in Hubby's family it was Santa themed paper. I went hunting for more gift wrap today. Hubby's family also had a present you opened on Christmas eve, and it was always new pajamas. We never had any presents under the tree until Christmas morning. There's always practical things in stockings, and always a new toothbrush.

Pastors and other church folk often have very strange traditions dictated by the "work" of the holidays. What happens at your place?

I guess we'll see. Hubby and I are talking about Flash and I not being at church on Christmas Eve. Our service is at 7 p.m. We won't be out before 8:30. So, we'll be in the nursery the whole time, and unhappy and it will be hard to get him to bed before Santa arrives. I know we're the pastor's family but, I think everyone will be happier if we aren't there.

If you could just ditch all the traditions and do something unexpected... what would it be?

Well, as I've said things have changed and changed again. Not sure what I can drop at this point. How about dropping Christmas dinner? Who wants to cook it, really? And it seems a bit like Thanksgiving redux. How about a lasagna? Its the right colors.

Bonus idea!
I was so excited that our town has planned a hike (on the miles of walking trails) for Dec 26. Weather permitting!
I am thinking of making that a tradition, weather permitting.

Clash of the Choirs ep 4

Team Lachey won and I really think they were surprised.
250,000 for the Cinncinatti Children's Hospital.
Woo Hoo!
And 50,000 for the other choirs' charities
It was a really nice reality show with talent, stars and charity.
Well done.

Career Update

Well, I have applied to all of the library jobs in the area.
So, I guess I am officially waiting-to hear.
Its actually very nice to know that there isn't anything more I can do,
especially this time of the year.
The waiting time of the year, advent.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Clash of the Choir ep 3

As I predicted Micheal Bolton's choir went home, sorta. So its down to Patti LaBelle, Nick Lachey and Blake Shelton. And they were all amazing. Really.

My voting is based on whose choir is used as a choir. Patti La Belle's choir is fantastic but they really overuse solos in my eyes. Nick Lachey's choir did an amazing a capella version of "Flight of the Bumblebee" of all things! Bobby McFerrin had a version of that once upon a time and it was mind-blowing, as a choir piece it was amazing and strange to watch. Still love Blake Shelton's choir, they did a fantastic version of "Joy to the World". Again, not so much solos, choir teamwork stuff.

The last song each choir performed was as backup to their choir director on one of their hit songs. Patti LaBelle seemed to channel James Brown with "Somewhere over the Rainbow", and kicked off her shoes at the end. This started a mass shoe-shucking throughout. Then Lachey did "What's Left of Me", not a favorite song, but they all sang well. Blake Shelton was probably not allowed to sing his new radio favorite "The More I Drink", so they sang "That can't be Good" which has a story to it about a late night party that gets out of hand. I'm not sure that translated into a choir song, but they all looked like they were having a ball.

Another enjoyable night. Tomorrow is the last night and they say there will be lots of surprises...I'm thinking that all of the charities get something in the end.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Clash of the Choirs ep 2

Kelly Rowland's choir was sent home to Houston. I can't remember what they sang, so maybe thats why. Their charity was a shelter/soup kitchen facility called Bread of Life in Houston.

Tonights performances were very good. I enjoyed Nick Lachey's group most, they sang Low Places by Garth Brooks. My prediction is that Michael Bolton's choir goes home tomorrow. they weren't bad, just not memorable enough. His charity is Domestic Violence Prevention service of Greater New Haven.

Tomorrow night they'll all sing holiday classics.

Clash of the Choir ep 1

Well, it wasn't what I'd thought.
First of all no robes.
Only one song that was a choir staple.
But, its for charity and sponsored by a movie thats coming out sometime called First Sunday.
The premise is five famous singers pick and lead a choir of twenty singers from their hometowns. Nick Lachey, Cinncinatti. Kelly Rowland, Houston. Blake Shelton, Oklahoma City. Michael Bolton, New Haven, CT. Patti LaBelle, Philadelphia.

Ms. LaBelle's choir (He's got the whole World in his Hands) was awesome, although Hubby didn't like them best. Nick Lachey's choir (Unwritten) was fantastic and they worked very well together. Some of the choirs had extensive solo parts, which didn't seem very choir-ish to me and Hubby.
So the show is on again tonight and we'll see who's choir goes home.

7 random things about me

RevHipChick has tagged me for this meme...

1. Um, toenails are still OPI Cha-ching Cherry. A present from my sister in law.

2. I can juggle and was president of my college juggling club for two years.

3. Go Heels!

4. I name my cars. ancient blue Honda Civic: Trudy, red sedan: Ruby, green Ford wagon: Fern, current blue minivan: Hank the Tank
5. I unpacked another 5 boxes today...mostly boy clothes he's outgrown. So from box into bag into car to the Clothes closet! Also found more toys. Sigh.

6. I like to listen to the Harry Potter books on CD while I do housework. That is why I know the books really well. Too well maybe.

7. I'm having a really hard time coming up with these. Will 6 do for now?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Snow Day 2

Its our second snow day. We got about 8 inches but it drifts. About 25 degrees outside. Hubby went to the church and took the more reliable car so we are semi-officially "snowed in". Scoobydoo and Tom&Jerry seem to be our pals for the day. Flash is also entering the second week of wearing only the Dash Incredible PJs. On a few occasions he's worn a "disguise" on top of them. And yes they've been washed, but he practically sat by the laundry machines waiting for them.

Making some apple butter for gifts, so the house smells fantastic. I made pizzelles over the weekend, but ran out of eggs. And soon we'll run out of the pizzelles we made!

If you don't know Pizzelles they are a wonderful flat cookie, a bit like a ice cream waffle cone. My mother had a dear friend, Elaine, who would have my sister and I over for an afternoon of cookie baking with her some Saturday in December. I think that was my mother's Christmas shopping or wrapping day. Elaine always made hers lemon and anise flavored. Mine are orange flavored. Hubby bought me my own pizzelle iron for Christmas a few years back. I'll start on another batch tonight, when Hubby brings home more eggs. My recipe has 9 eggs!

Oh and tonight is the first episode of Clash of the Choirs. I'll report on that tomorrow.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Snowstorm 2007

Well its snowing.
a lot.
Gonna get something like 8-15 inches.
and wind.
Well, um, yeah.
Its December, its winter.
Snow is expected, right?
Why are there "snow-watches" on the TV weather shows?
Worse yet, why am I watching the TV for weather news
when I know what's supposed to happen?

I've never been such a part of the church equation though.
If I deemed it "too snowy" or too sunny or something...
I just didn't go.
But now, if church is happening I'll be there.
They are thinking of canceling church though.
I imagine the phone will ring early.
I wonder if the phone will beat the dogs or the boy?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday 5 Advent

Can you believe that in two days we'll be halfway through Advent?
Gaudete Sunday: pink candle on the advent wreath,
rose vestments for those who have them,
concerts and pageants in many congregations. Time to rejoice!

Rejoice in the nearness of Christ's coming, yes,
but also in the many gifts of the pregnant waiting time when the world
(in the northern hemisphere, at least) spins ever deeper into sweet, fertile darkness.

What makes you rejoice about:

1. Waiting? The anticipation of Christmas, the preparation, the decorating and baking

2. Darkness? I wake up in the dark now. This time of year is so hard on people, the darkness, the stress, the grey skies. But soon, Christmas!

3. Winter? White snow, the joy of children and dogs out playing in it. Cozy nights in our home, knitting, watching movies.

4. Advent?a way of celebrating the waiting time, measuring it out so the business and busyness of the season doesn't overtake us.

5. Jesus' coming? Yes! and um Santa too.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bible study question

Hubby had a bible study group the other night. They are thinking about what to study next year, as well as doing an advent study now. He asked the participants what their favorite book of the Bible was. I thought that a very funny question at the time. First of all, I'm not sure that average people have "favorite" books of the bible and secondly, how intimidating for those who are

I asked what the answers had been. Luke, Acts, anything but Revelation, and Hubby's answer - Leviticus. Also very funny. He didn't think my laughter very funny and asked what mine was. Ruth, I answered. Its only 4 chapters long and there's quite a good story there. Hubby started in on the significance of Ruth but, I continued thinking that several years ago I would have had no answer for a question like that. No idea what to say. And I'd have been very embarrassed about it.

So, What is your favorite book of the Bible...if the question doesn't stump you.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Hubby was installed yesterday!
It was very nice and I was able to watch most of it.
So nice to see all those pastors in black robes with red stoles.
Hubby wore his red-based ugly-tie-stole.
The moderator gave a wonderful charge.
The sermon, by our good friend Robbie was very nice...telling us to let go of the past.
This was applicable to everyone I think.
I thought of the move, former jobs, the comfort of living near family and friends.
The congregation were reminded, surely, of their former pastor.
The recent interim pastor gave the charge to the congregation.
We met a local pastor who went to our seminary, and we have a good friend in common. His wife and son were lovely.

Flash didn't have a good day though.
The excitement of Grandparents,
going to church twice, opening Christmas presents from the grandparents,
and hunger meant that he was a mess.

The bulletin asked that parents keep their children with them during communion
and I thought it wouldn't look right if my Hubby's son stayed in the nursery.
So I brought him into the service. And he fell apart.
Yelling "but I'm hungry!" really loud.
Oh, Installation was at 4:oo
so, by the time communion rolled around it was about 5ish.
I had to carry him out screaming in the middle of communion, Hubby's installation.
Oh my.
And then the reception afterwards
where he ran full-speed around the dining room
and filled his hunger with cake, fruit and crackers with cheese.
Oh my.

Very embarrassing.
He hasn't been very well behaved recently anyway, but whoa!
in front of the church,
the guests, the grandparents.

And, when we got home
the dogs had overturned the trash can
and strewn trash all over the kitchen,
knocked over the christmas tree and soiled the tree skirt.

And I had the grandparents and our friends from South Bend right behind me.
I am not sure how I kept my temper.
With the Grandparents I always feel like they disapprove because I don't "discipline" in these circumstances. But they would be acutely uncomfortable if I did!

So, it was a disaster (not a tragedy or a crisis, just a disaster) but he is installed and after my in-laws go home, we'll try, again, to go back to normal.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Friday5: Preparation

1. You have a busy week, pushing out all time for preparing worship/ Sunday School lessons/ being ready for an important meeting ( or whatever equivalent your profession demands)- how do you cope?
Let's see...a busy stressful week will be hard on the whole family
as I abandon housekeeping tasks and yell at those who don't pick up my slack.
Their compensation will be in frozen pizza and ice cream.
I will need a "time out". .

2. You have unexpected visitors, and need to provide them with a meal- what do you do?
Spaghetti or if I have some time chili.
When we had a grill, we'd do hot dogs or burgers.
Some of you are saying "When you had a grill???"
We left it at seminary and will get another in the spring I hope.
It just won't be Thursady without a cookout,
but as I am relearning, the outside world isn't like seminary.

Three discussion topics:

3. Thinking along the lines of this weeks advent theme; repentance is an important but often neglected aspect of advent preparations.....
Yes this is probably true.
Especially because I've never thought
of repentance as a part of advent and Christmas
...repentance is for Easter, right?

4. Some of the best experiences in life occur when you simply go with the flow.....
Yes, so long as it doesn't get out of hand.
I am not terribly spontaneous, and a bit of a homebody
so the flow doesn't flow far.

5. Details are everything, attention to the small things enables a plan to roll forward smoothly...
Leaves? What leaves? I only see this big forest!
Very much a big picture person, which is unusual for a librarian, frankly.
Yes, details are important, but detail for detail sake is boring.
As someone said "You gotta leave room for the holy spirit."

Bonus if you dare- how well prepared are you for Christmas this year?
Better than many years.
We have our decorations up.
I have most of the shopping done.
No cards sent yet. No packages sent yet.
But its still too early for Flash. He expects Santa every day.
The advent calendar makes little sense to him I think.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Thankful Thursday

So much to be thankful for...
A warm home
Family and friends
more than enough...
healthy and happiness, safety and strength.
sleeping pets on the floor.

Flash wanted company tonight so Hubby is sleeping on his floor.
He had a good day at school today.
He and Robert (aha! a name!) made transformers out of blocks.
And he asked me how a grandma could be run over by a reindeer.

Hubby and Flash got their haircut
our first haircut in our new town and met an interesting barber.
He used to have a big barber shop in Chicago with 9 employees,
but the stress became too much so he bought the little barber shop in our town
(former proprietor is still fighting lung cancer)
and moved his family to little canal town in the country.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Snow Day.
Hip Hip Hooray!
Cold nose,
Wind blows
Why not prose?
Who knows?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Recipe for a crowd

Its the holidays
and you may have a crowd for breakfast.
This is cheap, easy and requires your crockpot.

The ratio is 1 to 3
1 cup of oats to 3 cups of water
2 cups of oats to 6 cups of water
(the 2 to 6 feeds at least 5)

Put in the oats and water at bedtime.
Put the crockpot on Low.
Plug it in (this is key)
Wake up in the morning and stir.
Set out bowls, spoons, milk, raisins, syrup, butter or whatever your guests/crowd may like.
Go back to bed.

I made this last night for just our family of three.
Forgetting that Flash would want "the usual": Graham crackers and milk
and that we've discovered that Hubby breaks out in hives when he eats oats.
Oh well.
Maybe this recipe will help you.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Bedtime stuff

OK I know he's three and really tired...
but its bad when the pastor's boy starts insisting that Jesus was a girl, right?

And he's decided that everyone we know should get their very own magic eraser sponge for Christmas from us. Because they are fun, and magic and he doesn't want to share his.

Pancake breakfast was delicious. Hubby had a funeral, which went fine (his first) and a prayer to give at the dedication and lighting of a special Cancer victim tree. And then, the parade which was thankfully only a half-hour long, My blood needs to thicken some I think, cause it was bitter cold and threatening snow. We only got some freezing rain. So far.