Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Five--Olympic Edition

Songbird at RevGalBlogPals says:
It's been two weeks of snow, or not enough snow, of heartbreak before the action even began, of snowboards and skis and skates, of joy and sorrow. At our house, we've stayed up too late, and we don't even watch sports any other time!

1) Which of the Winter Olympic sports is your favorite to watch?
Ice Skating has been my favorite, especially Ice Dancing...though I tend to watch it with the sound muted. I get too nervous for the competitors listening to all the commentators, and a little annoyed.

2) Some of the uniforms have attracted attention this year, such as the US Snowboarders' pseudo-flannel shirts

and the Norwegian Curling team's -- ahem -- pants.

Who do you think had the best-looking uniforms?
I honestly haven't paid attention. Shows what a fashionista I am. Though I do have to say I like the blue jackets USA team members are wearing. They look comfy and like something I would want to wear in the cold.

3) And Curling. Really? What's up with that?
I've been fascinated with curling this year! The whole scoring thing is beyond me and the way the commentators analyze every detail is just amazing. I don't get it. And don't tell me that the scoring system is just like shuffleboard, that doesn't help. There may be a shuffleboard pattern on the youth room floor, but I've never played it.

4) Define Nordic Combined. Don't look it up. Take a guess if you must.

Definitely a ridiculously long cross-country skiing event...that makes me ever so aware that should I ever return to skiing, I would much rather ride a chair to the top of a hill and ski down that hill at a leisurely rate than ski across flat land in a kind of walking pattern with really long sticks attached to my feet...combined with some other event that eludes me right now.

(There will be a prize for the best answer, but be aware, this is a judged sport.)

5) If you could be a Winter Olympics Champion just by wishing for it, which sport would you choose for winning your Gold Medal?
Hmmmmm.....It's my favorite, Ice Dancing. Seeing as how I'm not a skater or a dancer, the just by wishing it part is most important.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Brown paper bag

Every so often I arrive at church to find a brown paper bag sitting in the work room with my name on it. I love brown paper bag days. What's inside is always a surprise but a good surprise.

One of the church members is a master shopper/coupon clipper and she keeps us supplied with candy. Loads and loads of candy. I haven't had to buy gum for a youth group event in years.

Today there was a bag waiting for me. We received a bag last week, so I was a little surprised. I waited until I got to my office to open it and when I did I laughed out loud. Inside was chocolate and this...Oh she knows youth ministry well. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Okay, well then

That whole phone call from the local TV station was about this: The Jefferson Awards. Seems that there has been a little campaign going around here and that I was nominated for the award in my local area. It also seems like I'm one of the 6 honorees in our area. Yikes.

To the many who I'm finding out knew about this, thanks. I'm not sure how worthy I am, but I'm very honored to be loved by y'all.

Monday, February 22, 2010


  • Train Guy and Adventure Boy spent the weekend with me. Two nights before they arrived, I was watching some show on TV and said to God as I feel asleep, if I ever get married and get pregnant, I want twins. I rescind that statement. I may even rescind the whole kids thing. NOT that Train Guy and Adventure Boy are wonderful, they are, I just like sleep way too much. My "mom radar" was in high gear all weekend. We had a great time, went to the big zoo, played, had movie night, did a project together and more. My warm fuzzy moment of the weekend was Sunday morning, as I was leaving for church and the boys were hanging in my bed watching cartoons. Yo Momma had volunteered to take them to church later, so I gathered my things and said "Goodbye, see you in an hour and a half, love you!" Adventure Boy looked at me said "love you too". Agh, heart melting!
  • The lack of sleep will not stop me from having them spend the night again. It was fun and it was really good for K and N to get away. My next sleepover will be Miss Payten, if Lil Bro and New Sis are serious. It is fun to be with them and wonderful to send them home! :)
  • The Olympics aren't helping with the whole sleep thing either. Why do they insist on putting the ice skating on late at night? My eyes feel gritty every morning.
  • And speaking of Olympics, what is the deal with curling? I can not figure that sport out. I've been getting sucked in every morning as I get ready to leave. I think I know why they use the brooms and I FINALLY understood why they call it curling (that happened this morning) but what I don't get is how it's scored. I just don't get it.
  • And for the record, I'm still not happy with the ice skating TV commentators. Whatever they have to say could wait until after the performance is done. I'm looking forward to the night where all the skaters perform just for the sake of performing just so I can watch them and listen to their music without interruptions.
  • This afternoon I got a strange email. Local TV station person asking me to call them. I thought maybe it was false and then I got home and there was a message on the answering machine from the same person. Curious. Will keep you informed!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday night was the Ash Wednesday service at Church. Seeing as how it's a Wednesday night, the High School youth go to this service every year. It's always a little stressful for me, standing at the front of the sanctuary leading music all the while watching the youth text, chatter and just in general look very bored. Sigh. Tonight I decided to take a stand on the whole texting cell phones! And then just relaxed, let them be youth and tried to look at the whole thing from their point of view.

It was fascinating. Looking at the youth that were with me, only two of them had been in any kind of church service before. The Pastor at one point was talking about communion being the body and blood of Christ and then jumped into talking about the ashes and how we come from dust and return to dust. It was then stated that as people left the building they would receive the ashes in a cross on their foreheads and then moved on to something else. One of the young men in front of me turned around and said "Wait, are the ashes human ashes?" Totally legitimate question. No, they aren't human ashes (they are actually palm branches from last Easter).

Communion had no explanations. There was no mention of how to take communion (tearing off a piece of the bread, dipping it into the juice), there was no clarification of how open the table was (believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, you are welcome to the table), just here's the body and blood of Jesus come and take it. (To be completely transparent, this has been an issue for me for awhile.)

One of the young ladies took her little piece of paper that said "Lord, I confess" on it and was heading to the coals to burn her confession when she stopped me on the way, "Brittany, I drew on this, is that okay?" It was her confession, it was going to burn in the coals but she was concerned that she had done something wrong. I have to say, it made me sad. Not that she drew on the paper or asked the question but that she thought she had done something wrong.

And that's where my eyes were opened the most. There's a lot of talk about wanting younger people to be a part of the church. There's a lot of pressure on bringing in new believers and yet, how user friendly do we make the church? How comfortable do they feel when they walk through the doors? And how relevant is what we are doing inside the doors? What is gained by their sitting in the pews, filling seats, but also lost and confused about what is happening?

I came away with a lot to ponder from Ash Wednesday and, I will admit, some frustration at the church in general...but then, I went into the night with that frustration.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's not just me

Two articles that are speaking to my soul right now...and I'm not even in the generation they refer too!

Youth Ministry Today article

PC(USA) News article

Monday, February 15, 2010

Things going through my mind today

  • Friends are good. Especially friends who don't mind if the lava cake one bakes is more lava-y than cake.
  • Speaking of cakes...I watch those TV shows that have the cake dudes on them. I like them but something is bugging me. Do rice crispy treats count as cake? I see an awful lot of "cakes" made out of rice crispy treats. I get that it's a whole art form thing and that cake can't do some of the things they want, but does that make it cake or a big marshmallow cereal treat?
  • One thing that always bugs me about the Olympics is the constant commentary from the so-called experts. Just hush already!!!!
  • Speaking of the Olympics. Friday night we had an Olympic opening ceremony party with the young adult cake. I made cupcake torches, cake in ice cream cones. They kind of spilled over the edges and weren't perfect, which seemed fitting as things had gotten off to a less than stellar start to the Olympics. Then there was the mechanical failure with lighting the Olympic flame and, well, my torch cupcakes seemed pretty appropriate!
  • I've been working on choosing music for Sunday mornings worship weeks in advance. We have a huge list of songs to choose from and I try not to repeat songs too often. I'm often amazed at how God weaves the songs together, even when I'm not fully aware of what's happening. Tonight we rehearsed for next Sunday. The first set of songs weave together so well, I can't believe it. Not just in the matter of the key and tempo but in theme. If it goes along well with the sermon on Sunday, well then God really is awesome! :)
  • Many times Monday night rehearsals are a kind of therapy for me. Tonight especially. Music soothes my soul.
  • I've been a church-girl my whole life but lately I'm really struggling with church. Lots of emotions and thoughts twirling through my head and many reasons for that struggle. Not sure I'm ready to share just needed to write those words down.
  • Going back to Mississippi in 36 days. YES!!!!!
  • There are a stack of books by my bed that I want to read. None of them, however are the fluff kind of book that my mind can handle. Lots of big thinking books, nothing fluffy. Bummer.
  • Not that I should be reading books right now anyway! Time for bed. Nighty-night.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Trinity's going to Haiti

My friend Trinity (who has an alternate blog name here but I'm using her real one for now) has answered a call by God to head to Haiti. It's a detour for her, she's been raising support this last year answering another call by God to be a long-term missionary in Rome. I tend to be of the mind that God will use any situation for good and I know that Trinity has been put in this place at this time for good.

Anyway, Trinity heads to Haiti this week and I'm inviting you to join her. I'm pretty sure she will be posting on her blog All Roads Lead to Rome. I'm proud to call her my friend and certain that God will use her to help others in amazing ways.

There is another group of Youth Ministry people in Haiti right now. I've been praying for the group and keeping up with their blogs. If you're interested in hearing the good that is coming out of the devastation in Haiti check in with Marko or Adam or Lars (there are others but these are the blogs I follow). Lots of heartache but lots of hope as well!

Monday, February 8, 2010

State travels

A week ago Sunday G.G. and I loaded up the car and headed for the snow covered mountains up North Our destination was a couple of days with Miss Payten. It was so good. She's getting big, is getting quite the personality and is such a happy baby. We laughed and giggled, ate and napped. It was lovely. We took our self-portraits again. I love this pic of G.G. and Payten. Love my Payten!

We got home on Tuesday night. I went to work on Wednesday and Thursday morning. On Thursday afternoon I hopped in another car and headed South with N, Grammie B, Train Guy and Adventure Boy. Our destination was the house of the mouse, D-Land. Friday Grammie B and I took the boys for their first experience of D-land. It rained. But it was fun! We rode Small World twice, visited Mickey in his movie barn, sang along with the birds in the Tiki Room and more. Goofy's house was a big hit.
Saturday K & N joined us for the day. Luckily the rain stayed away for the most of the day. The highlights of the day included Buzz Blasters, Autopia and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride...oh and Small World take three. :) Watching N in the Rocket Blasters with the boys was fun too!
Train Guy got to meet Mickey. Mickey was very impressed with Train Guy's fire jacket rain coat and showed Train Guy the fire bucket that Mickey kept close by just in case! It was cute.Adventure Boy met Minnie. K tells me it was the highlight of the day for him. (I had to leave early to fly home for Sunday and didn't get to see it myself.)I got to met Goofy...who was a little flirty. It was pretty funny. Never been hip-bumped by a Disney character before!A lot of traveling in a week but what a fun week to be Auntie B!