Sunday, April 29, 2007

Long Weekend, Good Afternoon

Today we planted the tree. With special thanks to my sister for taking some really great pictures:









We thought for a two year old he did a really good job.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

4AM Friday Five

1. Wearing
17 year old Northwestern sweatshirt (no cuffs, no elbows), t-shirt, light flannel pajama bottoms

2. Pondering
Fajitas revenge!

3. Reading
Blogs, emails... magazines.

4. Dreaming
I was.

5. Eating
No. Thank. You.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Because I'm 12

So last night I was at a denominational meeting (Presbytery for you Presbyterians out there) and the agenda was full. Early on as part of a presentation a member of Presbytery threw balls out into the crowd attempting to make a point about something. I might have remembered if she had not ended her moment by saying, "Okay, those that have them need to grab their balls and stop throwing them around."




I think the world would be a better place, don't you?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

You Never Call, You Never Write


So I am innocently taking a break from the pile of piddly things to do on my desk by reading an article about Donny Osmond and nowhere in it does he mention that I handed him a sugar packet at the Marriott Grand Marquis last October.

Did our relationship mean NOTHING to him?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Notes to Nature and Self

Note to Nature: As I am trying to recover from being absolutely LAID OUT from strep throat I would appreciate it if you could ease up on the pollen count. And might I add that actually coating our vehicles with pollen is plain showboating and really not at all attractice on a woman such as yourself.

Note to Self: Next year plan a trip to the ocean in late April. You look like hell.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Paying Respects

Still reporting from sick bay...

As I prepare the names of the VT victims to be read in worship during the pastoral prayer I am reminded that I wanted to do that when the war in Iraq started but was met with VERY strong resistance - too political I was told.

With ALL respect given to the Virginia Tech victims, realizing the difference between those who are in the military deployed and those who are in French class on US soil, over 230 people were killed in one day this past week in Iraq.

Yet if I read their names during worship it would be seen as partisan agenda.

That sucks, I'm just saying.

It Figures

Thinking it would be a good idea to get some fresh air into the quarantine room, I opened the bedroom window only to return less than a minute later to close it again. The lawn guys are here and cut grass makes my allergies miserable.

When did i become such a pansy? (a hypo-allergenic pansy no less).

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bad Timing

At best, it's just a case of horrific timing.

The picture is the latest cover of one my denomination's weekly magazines. We received it in the mail Tuesday. The point of the cover and article is how a church has used paintball as a way to get kids interested in the church who otherwise might never have stepped into a church.

Of course, with the Virginia Tech tragedy very much fresh in our minds, prayers and tv screens all I saw was an adult and a child, both smiling - both holding guns.

What is it with our country's love affair with guns? This is nothing fresh or new. I am not taking on any kind of new angle into the debate. In fact, I think
Bowling for Columbine was largely about the roots of America's obsession with guns.

I'm afraid that this is not the place to read anything profound on the topic and certainly I have no solution but I just had to write SOMETHING since that magazine came in the mail - and I am sure they are going to take a LOT of heat for it - and I've been home sick and channel-surfing and been stunned by just how much gun violence is on television.

Misery Confirmed

I have strep throat.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech

Lord, hear our prayer...

From the Committee

Dear Will Smama -

We fear that we are going to have to rescind your Mother of the Year Award for your stunning inability to recognize that your two year old son is teething. Apparantly the classic signs of low-grade fever, excessive drooling, fingers in the mouth and a general droopy boy were not clear enough for you.

The only reason we are allowing you to keep him is because he seems incredibly attached to you for some odd reason and at least you did recognize that he wasn't feeling well.

We will be mailing you your Parental Duh Award shortly.

Sincerly,
The Judgmental Voice Committee in Your Head

Talk Amongst Yourselves While I Think....

At some point last night I had an idea for two separate posts....

Unfortunately now in morning's light that is all I have - the memory of ideas I once had.

You are dismissed.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Confessions of a Spring Killer

I will make this short so as to spare everyone the long drawn out details.

During the few early spring-like days we had in mid-March I was innocently driving my car down the main drag towards my house when a Robin Redbreast (is there another kind?) darted in front of my car.... and I hit it.

I remember wondering if there was some fable attached to hitting the regionally accepted sign of the beginning of spring and if everyone would suffer the reprecussions of me killing said symbol.

This Sunday - the 15th of April - our forecast is for snow.

Truly, I am sorry.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Revgalblogpal Friday Five: Dental Edition

Cheesehead and I (reverend mother) are both laid up this week with various tooth maladies. This one's in honor of us:

1. Are you a regular patron of dentists' offices? Or, do you go
a) faithfully, as long as you have insurance, or
b) every few years or so, whether you need it or not, or
c) dentist? what is this "dentist" thing you speak of?

a) but that is only because TDH is far more mature than I am. He drags me twice a year. It only makes me feel a little better that he has to have more cleaning done than I do... heh, heh, heh.

2. Whatever became of your wisdom teeth?
They gone.

3. Favorite thing to eat that's BAAAAAD for your teeth.
Christmas hard candy.

4. Ever had oral surgery? Commiserate with me.
Yes, my orthodontist had them place some miserable thing in the roof of my mouth - that HURT. When I returned to his chair he took one look at it and ripped it out because it "wasn't right".

5. "I'd rather have a root canal than _________________."
I was going to say go shopping with my sister (only because she is one who actually finds that activity fun - as in trying on things for fun; me not so much), but she reads this so instead I will say.... hmmm......

Bonus: Does your dentist recommend Trident?
Hee, hee. This question does remind me of when I became a Friends fan though.

The Ripple Effect

Currently I am serving on a committee in our denomination that is responsible for pastors and churches when one of them - usually the pastor - makes a bad decision. Yesterday as we heard from a member of a church whose pastor has made a bad decision - not the worst decision - but bad enough I was really struck about the ripple effects of these bad decisions. In this case, church members are displacing their anger at the pastor and their fears that the church will split on a vote of whether he should return or not on a young confirmand.

What should have been a joyful day of three generations worshiping under the same roof was marred when another member of the church told the 13 year old girl that her grandfather had rushed her confirmation just so he would have another vote on his side.

So over a year ago this pastor made a bad decision and eventually a ripple from that decision came and hurt a young confirmand.

This morning I saw that one of the headlines was that NJ governor John Corzine was critically injured in a car accident on the Garden State Parkway. He is going to be okay with some major rehab in his future. The word is that it will take months for him to walk 'normally'.

In light of my recent reflections on ripple effects though what really stuck out at me was that Governor John Corzine was on his way to moderate the meeting between Don Imus and the Rutgers' Women's basketball team.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Snowpea's Tree

Dear Friends-Who-Know-Who-You-Are:

A few years ago all of you went in on a gift for us to help us remember Baby Snowpea. We were really touched by such a gesture from all of you and looked forward to planting that tree. As Spring would come around each year, I was unable to follow through on that purchase. Even after (The Boy) arrived in our lives, I just really struggled at the end of March and into April when instead of a birthday we were marking another year farther away from holding our baby girl.

This year as part of a spiritual day to mark my own celebration of the Good News of the risen Christ I finally purchased the tree. It is a Japanese Maple - Acer palmatum, KATSURA - for all of you botanists out there. We chose this tree because of the many colors it shows off throughout the year. It also does not get too overwhelmingly big and so in my mind it will remain petite and feminine. Here is a link to see what the leaves will look like through the seasons: http://www.fujiyamagarden.com/Katsura.html
We are working with a few church folks who are 'in the know' about where the best place to plant it is.

Also, you should know that the gift certificate was still honored making the tree affordable for us and truly a gift to us and to Baby Snowpea from those who surrounded us with their love and support during those dark days.

Thank you for standing with us not only then but in your continued friendship.

Love,
TDH, Will Smama, & The Boy

Monday, April 9, 2007

Holy Week Awards

As you could probably guess by last week's pre-packaged posts it was a busy one. I knew it would be - and for a lot of you reading it was too - but there were a couple of things that helped the week really get away from me.


One, I had a funeral on Wednesday and two, I had no administrative assistant. Throw in a spouse who was also over-worked last week and you get quite the combination.



Now that I am standing at the platform of the Holy Week Survivor Awards Ceremony there are a few people I would like to thank:



First, my parents. Wow. None of this would have been possible without you. To my Dad who came over to the church office when he unwisely answered the question, "What are you doing right now" with the word, "Nothing." And then the very next day to come run errands with me and The Boy - even stopping to eat pizza with the youth group for lunch - and stay at my house while The Boy napped and I ran over to church to get more done. Thank you.


And Mom, thank you too. You helped get The Boy acclimated to the YMCA pool water so that there will be no public meltdown during his first swim lesson, you came to Good Friday service at the end of a very long and tiring week at work just so that the total amount of people 'served' would be sure to make it into the double digits and you then had The Boy over your house from early Saturday until church on Sunday morning, guiding him around the Easter egg hunt Sunday morning. Thank you both.





Thanks to those who came to the Good Friday service (3 churches, 43 people) especially the choir who really made the service with their beautiful music. Also to all who came and told me what a meaningful service it was rather than chastising me for spending so much time on a service that was not going to be well attended.




Thanks to the weather gods who turned down the wind machine during the sunrise service. It was cold, but bearable. Later on in the day, we could not have done it.




Speaking of sunrise service, thank you to Songbird who supplied me with the bulletin/liturgy for it and reminded me - gently - that the sunrise, being outside and the Scripture is really all you need - no sermon or brilliant monologue necessary.



Also, thank you Songbird for the hat you made me that I wore in your honor during the service.





Special Thanks...
To 'Always Formal, Sometimes Grumpy' church lady for understanding when she realized the church windows were wide open in the early morning hours of Easter morning in order to air out the lily smell so her pastor had a fighting chance of making it through the service.



To my throat for not closing from the Easter lily allergies until the very tail end of my benediction at the regular service. We have a brokered a 50 minute, highly medicated deal and I tried to push it to 51. My bad.



To the doctor's office for getting me in within the hour of my call on Thursday to give me eyedrops for pink eye because apparantly I am 12... and at summer camp.



To The Boy - wow, you were so amazing this past week. You really hung in there with both parents moving like whirlwinds around you and your reward is Mommy playing with you all day today... as soon as the Sesame Street trance is done.



And finally to the stow-away chocolate that was in the bottom of the Boy's Easter basket which he INSISTED come with him yesterday for nap. I went in to check on him and he was lying on his back, staring at the ceiling with chocolate EVERYWHERE - mouth, hands, sleeves, shirt, pants, sheets, blankets... It was funny and cute and made me laugh and that was what I needed more than anything.


Who do your awards go to?

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Things I Enjoy - the Weekend

Family, off-season, beach time.




Last year we went there on continuing ed time right after Easter - left Easter afternoon in fact. This year in order to conserve vacation and con. ed. for other things we didn't plan it and I could really use some fresh, salty air right now.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 6, 2007

The Things I Enjoy - Friday

Just a brief interruption to say that what I decidedly DON'T enjoy is an eye infection in the middle of my busiest. week. ever. Now back to our previously planned program...

After a really hard day of work - preferably physical work - there is nothing like an ice, cold beer.



Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Things I Enjoy - Thursday

Talented people who don't take themselves - or their genre - too seriously.

I present to you, Alanis Morrisette covering a Black Eyed Peas song.
I kid. you. not.

Even if you don't know why that would be funny just listen to the lyrics in comparison with the pace of the song.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Things I Enjoy - Wednesday

A nice cozy, satisfying nap.



My son must have those genes because he is the only 2 year old I have ever met who will actually tell the adults around that he needs a nap. 'Nap! Nap!' he yells as he grabs our hand and brings us over to the stairs.

Far be it for me to argue.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The Things I Enjoy - Tuesday

It's a busy week for me and for a lot of the folks who so graciously read my blog so I thought I would put up some pictures through the week of things I enjoy so that this blog is an easy read and an easy post.



Truly, ice cream in any form will do but anyone who had the genius of turning Cake Batter into an ice cream flavor and then lets me put whatever I want in it deserves a shout out. Special fun because this advertisement is actually for a store near friends of ours who I wish lived a lot closer than they do.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

April Fool 2

Well, the prank bulletin on the choir worked... sort of. I was given bad information on where they pick up the bulletins so when they came in they grabbed the real ones that the organist had brought in and not the fake ones. The whole thing rang more than a bit false as I came in and handed the silly ones out, but I think that will make it more likely that they won't seek revenge. And they loved them.

One of the women did spend some time sweating out that she thought I had handed them out to the congregation too including her husband who has a decided lack of humor about such things. She was quite relieved to hear that the congregation never saw them.

Another funny from this morning was an interaction with Random Thought Woman.

Bless her heart, today she brought an Easter basked for The Boy and sweet potatoes for us. Then right before Sunday School started she ran up to me and asked who was in charge of the refrigerator in the coffee felloship area. (The frig is one of those smaller ones that you have in college with the ice box right in it).
I said I wasn't sure, why?

"It needs defrosted."

This is what I said to her, I kid you not.

"Well, in my seminary class on refrigerator maintenance they told us to never fix a frig on Sunday but always wait until your next day off. Then it will be safe to unplug it and put it outside to properly defrost."

The best part is that she ate it all up, nodding her head and absolutely agreeing until when I had finished the woman next to her started to laugh and RTW waved her hand at me smiled and said, "Oh you're pulling my chain."

It took me over five years but I have finally figured out RTW... but don't kid yourself, my project list now includes 'defrost refrigerator'. And we all know she will check it.

April Fool

I am not a big April Fool's fan. I realize this is hard to believe but sophomoric pranks bore me... or maybe I just don't like to be a victim of them and the fewer you do, the higher the percentage chance of actually not having any done to you.

Sunday landing on April 1st was just too much to resist, but what to do.... what to do.

I didn't want to disrupt worship so I went with an obvious, harmless prank on the choir. They gather in a separate room to rehearse before worship and they have their own bulletins there. I redid our traditional front and back page to read like this (formatting has been lost and names have been changed to protect the innocent):

BACK PAGE

The Flowers in the Sanctuary
Are provided by Pastor Will Smama and the choir
In honor of Olaf Organist’s stunning physique and gentle manner.

Participating in Worship Today:
Ministers: All members of the congregation
Pastor:
Billy Graham, Al Sharpton, Jesus
Worship Assistant: You
Acolyte: son of Will Smama (he's 2, what's the worst that could happen?)
Greeters: Ronald McDonald/Rocky/Bullwinkle
A Moment With Our Children: We are just going to let them play tag
Nursery Attendants: Please see above
Organist: Olaf ‘Dead Sexy’ Organist

Hearing devices are available.
Please ask an usher if you need any assistance.
If they can’t hear you, then get two one for you and one for them.
~~~~
Please join us immediately following worship for Coffee Fellowship
in the Christian Education Building. What did you bring?
~~~~
The Friendship pad is our way of getting to know you better. It is a record of your attendance at worship today. We also keep close surveillance on your house so if you aren’t here we do know where you went. Don’t even try it. Jesus is watching…
~~~~
For more upcoming events, to view a new interactive calendar and to log on to our very own blog please look up www.notgonnatellyou.org on the internet. Or you can just ask Spence or June. They run everything anyway.
~~~~
The 2007 Flower Chart is posted on the bulletin board at the side entrance to the Education Building. We know that you like to buy flowers around a special date, but is it our fault that no one we know was born or married or did anything significant in mid-June or July? C’mon! Throw us a bone and buy some flowers!
~~~~
Children are welcome in worship.
This is so that when an adult drops a hymnal loudly on the floor they can glare at the nearest child.

FRONT PAGE
Gathering Around the Word
We yammer and talk until some pretty music is played.

Welcome & Announcements

Introit
Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go

Prelude

Call to Worship
Leader: I am always amazed about how people will read out loud
People: Anything they see written in bold in the bulletin.
Truly it is amazing, but I have never tested the theory until now:
Buffalo, library, Penelope, peace train, cantaloupe.
It’s downright scary, isn’t it.
Puppies are cute; Pastor Will Smama is da funny.

*Hymn #666 - SexyBack - TIMBERLAKE

*Prayer of Confession
Dear Lord, I have so much to do and yet I have spent time on this.
Forgive me for playing an April Fool’s joke on the unsuspecting choir. Please allow them to abide by the rules that no April Fool’s joke can be avenged on any day other than April 1st. Nor may an April Fool’s joke be avenged in worship. Thou shalt not be purposefully avenging in worship. It’s a rule. I saw it in Leviticus somewhere. Trust me, it’s there. (Time of silent confession).

* Assurance of Pardon
Hear the good news! Pastor Will Smama is forgiven!
Thanks be to God!

*Peace friends!

-----------------------
I printed it on bulletins left over from a few Advents ago when we were presenting different artwork of the nativity for each Sunday of Advent. the one I chose is one that most folks hated.

Anyway, should be fun... I just hope the reprecussions aren't too harsh.