Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cluck, Cluck, Cluck

Just because Husband doesn't want backyard chickens, doesn't mean I can't have some sort of chickens! Meet Clementine and her chicks, Henry and Henrietta. As much as I love them, they are headed to a very special little girls house. We will need to quickly acquire some more.

If you want your own chickens, I used the FREE pattern from ikatbag.

I just realized this is my 300th post! That is a whole lot of navel gazing ;-)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Don't Be Tempted

This past weekend we were up in my hometown (Cedar Falls, Iowa - totally awesome place) for their town celebration. I really like going there for it because we get to visit my mom and they have a great parade. Like all town parties, there was a plethora of food booths. I usually go for the funnel cake or mini donuts, but this year Husband spotted fried Snickers*. Very intriguing. I could tell Husband wanted to try them, but was being too practical to spend the three bucks. I have no problem with that, so I bought a couple. It looks like a rectangle corndog on a stick. I took a bite and was completely disappointed. It was basically a chocolatey, peanuty, breaded melty mess. Next time I want a melted snickers I will just hold it in the sun and then eat it. So I warned you all! Spend the three dollars on the funnel cake - they never disappoint.

*At first I thought he said "stickers" and I could not understand why anyone would want to eat fried stickers. Who would even think of that?

Friday, June 25, 2010


We are officially free from school loans! And car payments! Yay! Of course, now that money is going elsewhere, but it is nice to know that we no longer have to budget those items. It feels good.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wishing Again..

Once again I am wishing I was at General Assembly (GA). It is hard to know that it is within a days drive and I am NOT THERE! I always told myself I would go when it was in Minneapolis, but here I sit, not there. I am disappointed. I just couldn't justify spending the money. It is amazing how much money it costs to raise three kids! I am also not a great planner and need to realize that I have to start saving money a year ahead of time. Even then, though, it is hard to lay it all out just for myself. I will watch it online, but there were several speakers I wanted to hear and am wishing I could be part of it "live". Someday....

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In The Pulpit

I am starting to get nervous. I have to give the sermon in a couple of weeks at our new UU church. Last night, I stayed up late (for me) to try to get a rough draft done. I am afraid that it is a little too rambly with not enough substance. I very much want to make sure that those who come to hear it, walk away pondering and growing from what I say. I just don't want them to feel like they have wasted their time. It is a lot of pressure. I am glad I only have to write one, I can't imagine how hard it must be to write meaningful sermons week after week! I also need to get the readings together and something to say during the children's time. And the music! So much to plan. Please send some positive energy my way - I could use it!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Two Digits

Today she is ten. It is hard to believe I have been graced with her presence for a whole decade. I love this little girl. She is smart, compassionate, a bookworm and has a thirst for knowledge that knows no bounds. I look at her and wonder how I got so lucky! She is really everything I could have hoped for in a daughter. These last ten years have been wonderful and I look forward to seeing where life takes her. I am so glad I get to be on the journey with her. Her creativity and thoughtfulness amaze me daily. Happy Birthday, M! You will always be my shining star.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Baking Bread

Breaking Bread With Father Dominic

Today I took the kids to a baking class with Fr. Dominic Garramone. You may remember him from the PBS series "Breaking Bread with Father Dominic". We make his pizza crust almost every Friday. He was giving a week long course at the Aquinas Institute in St. Louis. I wish I could have taken the whole series, but am so glad that we made it to the kids class. We had a blast! I didn't realize how funny he is. I was nervous about taking the kids, mostly because I had no idea what to expect. I needn't have worried. He had the kids laughing and helping right away. He was very approachable and made sure every child was included. They made peanut butter bread and mini pizzas. It was all super yummy. If he comes back next year, the kids have already said they want to go back (even if we make the same thing!). It has inspired all of us to get back into the kitchen.

We then headed over to the Art Museum. One of the things I love about St. Louis is that the museums are FREE! You can just go for an hour and not feel like you have spent a ton of money and then left early. We have our favorite exhibits (knights, mummies, and modern art) that we always head to. The rest is just as we feel like. Since it still hadn't started raining, we walked around Art Hill and the reflection pool in front of it. A very good day. Now I am exhausted and ready for a quiet night.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Still Around

I came down with the flu(!). I am very annoyed because it is way too late in the season to get it. I am slowly getting better. Therefore, not a lot of theological thinking has gone on. I want to thank everyone, though, for their perspectives. It has given me a broader way to think about things, and I appreciate that. It is so easy to get pigeonholed into my one way of viewing things. So thank you! I will be back when I am not feeling so yucky and grumpy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Religious Culture

Like a great swath of Americans, I headed home to rendezvous with some family. For us, we headed north to meet up with my dad, his wife, my sister and her family, and my four step brother/sisters and their families. All totalled, we were 27 people staying at my dads. This is a yearly event, and honestly, without it, I would probably only get to see my step-siblings (who all live in South Dakota) every few years. Soon my dad and his wife will also be moving back there, so I appreciate the short drive while I have it! We have had chaotic reunions, but this one went really well. All fifteen grandkids did great. All kids (my generation) had a fun time bonding and reconnecting with each other. It was exhausting, but fun.

My dad and his wife, E., have only been married a few years. It could have been strange inheriting this large family, but it really isn't. I like her family very much and have enjoyed getting to know them. I feel lucky that they are part of our lives. One thing that you notice quickly, is that they are really religious. Not in a creepy, evangelical way, but in a reserved deeply meaningful way. They are Catholic. So much so, that my father had an annulment from my mom (whom he was married to for 25 years), so they could be married in the church. When we visit, there is never any question about attending services. We will be going.

Honestly, I like it. I like that my kids are being exposed to part of my past and are interested in learning more about it. We talked about the church and what all the different parts of the church symbolized. We looked at the stations of the cross and the statue of Mary. I explained what it means to say the Rosary and what the little bowls of Holy Water are for. I have to admit it, I was a little sad to realize that my kids are missing out on this shared experience. There is a cultural legacy in being Catholic (as with many other religions) that my kids are not going to have. I don't know why, but it really hit me this past weekend. Whenever we visit, my kids will not be "in the know".

Being members of a religion affords you to partake in certain right or traditions. My kids will never be able to take communion. I can, but they will always have to pass. They won't grow up knowing all the awesome nuns I encountered. I am not sure they really even understand what it means to be a nun. They won't have first communion or be confirmed and understand the religious milestones it is to their extended family. They won't really understand our family's religious history. Of course, you can say "well, they do know about all the world religions and can discover their own path when they are older." Sure... but have I denied them a grounding in something that connects them with our larger family? I worry that they will end up being adrift with so many options that they will never really feel home anywhere. I see how centering it is for E.'s family and I want something like that for my family, too. I guess I am processing a lot right now.