Saturday, April 28, 2012

Raw Faith

I had the privilege of seeing this movie tonight at the CMwD District Assembly.  I had read about it in the UU World and was really looking forward to seeing it.  I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, but I found it really moving. I can't imagine opening my life to the degree that Rev. Dr. Sewell does. It was heartbreaking, touching and inspiring. It is a wonderful documentary that I hope all you get to see it someday.

Friday, April 27, 2012

CMwD

I am currently at the Central Midwest District - District Assembly in Chicago.  Tonight we heard an inspiring talk from UUSC director Bill Schulz.  Wow, he is a good speaker. I feel like I am still processing all that he had to say.  I volunteer as a Regional Coordinator for UUSC and he confirmed just how important human rights work is. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, don't pass it up.

Eight

How can that be?!  As my youngest, he will always be my baby, but he would emphatically disagree with that statement. He is my sunshine and rainbows child. Everyday is an adventure, full of possibilities. He wears his heart on his sleeve - there are no questions about what he is feeling.  His mind is full of sport statistics and when the next game is on. He would rather run then walk and play catch then sit around any day.  His smile and passion brighten my days. Happy Birthday, Lucky!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Baby Bird Season!

Every year I have a family of sparrows and doves nest next to my house.  The above is the sparrow's nest.  I finally realized (after several years), that the dove would continue to nest in my hanging plant (and eventually kill it) if I kept putting it out so early.  This year I was smart and the dove moved her nest to a large bush next to the house.  I have been watching both of these families for years and would be sad if they didn't come back.  Today I was watering the plants and I could hear all the babies squawking in the nest.  I can't wait for them to peak out and start learning to fly.  Yesterday, I watched my neighbor's baby robins finally take flight. I felt unreasonably proud of them. Yay Mother Nature!

Monday, April 23, 2012

I DID IT!

 It went great.  Despite the freezing cold nights and muddy days, it went as good as I dared hope.  It wasn't drama free: wasp nest in the girl's tent, co-leader needing to go the hospital due to a severe migraine, big hole in our tent, some internal bickering... But really, it was fantastic!  We got to do some archery (there are a lot of Katniss wannabees in the group), a night hike, star gazing, nature center, solar oven s'mores and had plenty of time just to hang out with the crazy amount of caterpillars.  On a whim, I brought a bunch of watercolor paints and paper.  The girls spent hours drawing nature scenes.  I almost wished I had brought a book to read ;-) it was so relaxing.  I am incredibly thankful that it went this well. I may have just enough confidence to do another trip in the fall!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Multi-Media Poll

We have been having lengthy discussions within the Religious Education Committee on whether or not to have good-sized flat screen monitors in all education rooms.  They would be connected to dvd players/computers to help illustrate lesson plans.  They are not intended to be used all the time, but for special instances or programs.  I am torn on this.  I am not against well managed screen time.  My kids work on the computer and watch TV, so it isn't that I am against screens - I am just not sure about them in the classroom.  We are also not a wealthy congregation and I am reluctant to use much of our RE budget towards this expense.  I have heard, though, many UU congregations are jumping on the high-tech multi-media bandwagon and have some pretty snazzy RE rooms. I have also heard that a lot of UUA curriculum will be in this format.  I would love to hear some of your thoughts on this. What is your congregation doing?  Have you had these talks? Is this the future of RE and I need to get on board?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Trying not to freak out

I am taking my Girl Scout troop camping this weekend.  I am totally stressing about it.  This will be the first time we have gone where I am the one completely in charge.  Previously, we went with the other troop at school and their leaders are camping Rock Stars.  I am completely opposite that.  I am trying not to lose it (it doesn't help that I have a TON of schoolwork, too), but I will be so glad when this weekend is over.  While I do have a co-leader, it really is on me to get everything together, shopped for and planned. I am feeling overwhelmed and out of my element.  I keep trying to tell myself it will be ok.  The girls are 6th graders and it isn't their first time camping.  The two parents coming with me are great, but I know I won't relax until we are all home Sunday.  If you all want to say some prayers or send some positive energy our way, I would totally appreciate it!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

If I Could Turn Back Time...

One of the classes I am taking is Engineering a Sustainable World.  It is taught by four different professors, each discussing a various aspect of engineering and how it applies to sustainability.  By far, my favorite as been sustainable product design. We had a sneak peak at this class last summer, but have now gotten a much larger perspective.  I wish I could go back in time and tell my 17 year old self that engineering is actually interesting and that there are a ton of cool things you can do with it. Of course, my dad (the engineer) was telling me this constantly, but he needed a much better marketing strategy!  If I had known all the cool/sustainable products I could have helped develop, I would have been a lot more interested.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Two Books That Rocked my Spiritual World

In honor of Easter, Husband and I decided to watch The Passion. You may remember this as the controversial Mel Gibson movie that came out a few years ago.  As we had never seen it and it was on instant watch from Netflix, we thought: why not? This got me to thinking about "controversial" theological books that really shook my then, Catholic, beliefs. The following two, read in high school, really shaped my future theology:
1. Damian by Hermann Hesse
2. Barabbas by Par Lindkvist
I don't know if I read them at a particular impressionable time, but they have stuck with me for years. I would love to know what books rocked your spiritual world!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Jury Duty - Again!!

I swear I must be called for Jury Duty more then ANYBODY else I know.  This time it is in May, right near my birthday - yay.  I just had it in 2009!  Remember this awful experience?  I just don't understand why I am called so much.