Monday, July 31, 2006

Sometimes it's scary

Today while I was driving home from shopping with my friend Jacqui, I was mulling over what I could put on my blog today. Since I'm busy shopping and packing for an out-of-town trip I thought, "I'm just going to be frivolous and blog about my new shoes."

When I got home I ran upstairs to see Bethany, and she was blogging. I couldn't believe my eyes.

So, anyway, I'm still going to blog about my new shoes.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Read this comment

I don't think I've ever linked directly to a comment on someone else's blog, but Rebecca's comment on Cyberstones begs to be linked to. (The original post was really good, too.)

The great outdoors

What a great trip!

I was not looking forward all that much to accompanying our youth to Turkey Run this week. Not because I didn't want to be with them, but I am still having trouble with my cartwheeling injury--torn ligament at the top of my hamstring--so I really couldn't hike or ride horses. I probably could have canoed, but I didn't want to take a chance since a canoeing accident was the cause of my first ankle injury over 30 years ago. I don't particularly like bugs, dirt, or being hot and sweaty, especially if I'm not doing anything fun while encountering them.

On top of that, I was doing the meals for 30+ people, which in itself is no big deal, but I haven't cooked over a fire since my girl scout days, and that was just cooking my own. I was really worried that everyone would either starve or get food poisoning.
And then of course there were all of the tasks calling my name at home.

But I had a fantastic time. We had matins in the mornings and had vespers in the afternoon/evening. We were blessed with preaching by three different pastors and some very interesting Bible study. Thursday evening the moms played Mexican train dominos, joined by Bethany and Thomas, and we had a great time. Pastor Fickel kept a running commentary while he was around and had me laughing so hard that I was crying. (By the way--if you know him--tell him he needs a blog.) Spending time with friends makes the bugs and dirt worthwhile. And cooking for everyone over the fire was awesome. I love to feed people, and it's amazing how good food cooked in a huge cast-iron skillet over a fire tastes!

I was so proud of all of our kids. From the youngest to the oldest they were cooperative, pleasant to be around, helpful, and polite. Deedle has a bit about it here, plus some more pictures.

I love it that this was a multi-age trip. Homeschooling has made us very aware of the way that people are segregated by age in our society. There is as much benefit to the teen who helps the six year old follow along in the hymnal, play in the pool, or make a rugged hike as there is to the younger child.

We're already talking about next summer.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

For your reading pleasure

I am leaving again in the morning and will be computerless until Friday evening. We're going to Turkey Run Sate park for a youth trip. There will be lots of fun, a Bible study on Law & Gospel with the three pastors that are going, and Matins & Vespers each day.

While I'm gone, Cyberstones has a great post that you should read if you haven't yet.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Home Education Magazine Interview

A couple of months ago several of us from the Indiana Home Educators Network did an online interview with a writer from Home Education Magazine. It is now posted here.

Online connections have been the vast majority of my homeschooling support, and I'm happy to be a part of providing a place for others to connect.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Spinning my wheels

I don't feel like I'm making much progress right now. I have so many things that I need to be doing and none of them are getting the attention that they deserve. I'm trying to get our house ready to sell before someone buys the house we want. I'm trying to spend some time on my business so that we can afford to fix up that house if we buy it. The new school year is coming and I am making some changes in our homeschooling routine, but I haven't planned out exactly what those are. (I just know that my boys aren't going to know what hit them!)

I'm trying to learn how to knit before my company's convention and the hours that I'll spend on the airplane and in sessions listening to speakers. (I listen better if my hands are engaged.) HELP me Lora!!

Yes, The Feast consumed a chunk of time and it's over so I should have that time back. Unfortunately, instead my mind just keeps mulling over Higher Things-related thoughts. (This may be a later blog entry.) Our youth are going on a camping trip this week for three days and I'm in charge of the food. I am a total non-camper, so this is a challenge, but it's cooking, so I'm happy to learn.

I need to just stop worrying about making much progress until I get back from all of my trips, but I'm not a patient person and I want everything done yesterday.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Why it matters

Father Hollywood has an excellent post about diversity of worship styles in our congregations. This is followed up by another post about true diversity.

This is part of the reason why what is happening at The Feast is so important.

Hot time in Colorado Springs

I want to capture the high points of The Feast from my point of view which is a bit skewed for several reasons. First, I was on the planning committee, so my view in many ways is effected by the months of preparation and the fact that as it started up I was still in work mode. Second, I attended this conference without youth, something I hope never to do again. And third, and probably most significant, I had to leave early so I only saw the pre-conference happenings and the first day, leaving at noon on the second day.

For those who are reading this who may not be familiar with Higher Things, it is unlike any other "youth ministry" organization that I have ever seen. (I place youth ministry in quotation marks, because I believe that it is generally seen as too distinct from the rest of the life of the congregation.) The focus is not on entertainment, although we do have fun. The conferences mix serious catechesis, reverent liturgical worship, and just plain fun. Each of these is kept distinct; you won't see anyone tossing beach balls at a Higher Things worship service.

If there is any doubt that this is something that teens want, the overflowing conference registration, the long waiting list, and the split into two conference sites for next summer should dispel any doubts.

As I write this the final in-depth sectionals are winding up. In two hours everyone will gather for the final Divine Service. If you have never had the privilege of singing wonderful hymns in the company of 1200+ Lutherans--mostly youth--you are really missing out. They will sing the conference hymn, Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands, one final time. They will share in the feast of Holy Communion.

Then they will return home, catechized, and--we hope--refreshed by The Feast.

And in this mountain
The Lord of hosts will make for all people
A feast of choice pieces,
A feast of wines on the lees,
Of fat things full of marrow,
Of well-refined wines on the lees.
Isaiah 25:6

Oh, by the way, it does get that hot in Colorado Springs in July!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Woe is me!

I just spent an hour writing a post--with many links--about my trip to Colorado and The Feast.

My browser then froze up when I visited the synod's youth ministry page and I lost everything. I think I'll take that as a sign.

I may try to recreate it later.

Yes, I've been absent

When I found out that some people actually noticed that I was gone, I decided that I'd better come back.

Really, life just got really out-of-control busy for a couple of weeks. Explanation to come.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Truncated celebration

Unfortunately our trip to the symphony was cut short by the threat of storms, which, as expected, never materialized. We got to hear some of our favorites: Theme from Gettysburg, which always gives me goosebumps, (scroll down to listen,) and the 1812 Overture, but we didn't get to recognize those who have served in the armed forces in Aaron Copland's Servicemen on Parade. We have always loved watching as the members of each branch of service stood while their song was being played and received the grateful ovation of a Red State audience.

We can't complain. We have been blessed by good weather. Before last night we made it 19 years without a storm and only had sprinkles twice.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Hooray for the red, white, & blue

I love the fourth of July. In fact, I love the whole weekend.

Today we'll be doing yard work. We need to make tracks to get this house ready to sell!

Tomorrow is the really exciting day. After church we'll come home, load up the van, and head for Conner Prairie Farm. We'll be among the first two or three groups waiting at the gate when they open for the Indianapolis Symphony's Patriotic Pops Concert. This is our longest standing family tradition. We have attended every summer since 1986 with only one exception in 1990 when I was eight months pregnant and 400 miles away.

My mom will bring her fried chicken and we'll spread out across the blankets in the perfect spot that Colin and I and our kids arrived ahead of the crowd to stake out. We'll feast on fried chicken, bing cherries and grapes, cheese and crackers, veggies, cookies and brownies, and if we're lucky, my sister-in-law Kim's chocolate covered strawberries. And we'll drink plenty of wine.

When the music starts even my three year old twin nephews and two and five year old nieces will be completely absorbed. In fact, many years our little children behave better during the music than many of the adults surrounding us. Because the program varies little from year to year we can all look forward to certain favorites. Symphony on the Prairie is certainly a highlight of our summer!

Another highlight happens Tuesday when we head to Colin's parents. Sean and Anne will be making their annual visit from Australia. We all look forward to their visit tremendously, and it's always too short.