Tuesday, June 29, 2010


70 Days

Sunday we had the closing of Vacation Bible School.  Nine of the 12 kids were in church to sing the song my helper Lisa Krause created.  I just spent about an hour trying to get a clip from the service DVD, but I have to buy software to do that. :(  So, no clip today.

I haven't taught Sunday School or VBS for many years.  So I wasn't exactly nervous, but I was unsure how I would relate to the kids.  First, I am new at the church so the kids don't know me.  Second, kids are different than the last time I taught (or so I thought).  Finally, I am significantly older than the last time I taught.  Would that be a problem?  After all, these kids are from 3rd to 6th grade.
Our lessons this week were about God's Heroes.  Now you'd think that would be Paul, Noah, Elijah, or Moses but no our heroes were generally unsung characters making things happen.  In our lesson one night we talked about God's plans and how often we don't see the whole picture.  As an example, I cut a small hole in the face of a file folder.  I placed a picture of something inside the folder so that all you could see of the picture was through the small hole cut in the front.  They were to guess what the picture was.  So some pictures were easy to guess, some were impossible and some were just a small view of a whole wonderful view. 

Also that night was a story about a teenager who befriended a poor girl.  Through her friendship, the poor girl got help she needed and other good things happened.  This is the kind of "quiet hero" story we taught about all week.  Encouraging each person to make a difference in some life.

Before we left that night, Lisa confided in me that the story about the teenager really hit home to her.   Her daughter did step up and defend a boy with cerebral palsy that kids were harassing and making fun.  Her "reward" was being physically attacked by 5 girls.  This was two years ago when she was in fourth grade.  She has been through counselling since and has come to terms with it.  She is coming out of a shell.  As I understand it, significant changes occurred in the school as well.

So I am driving home and thinking about the evening.  Lisa's daughter had been acting up a bit - not in a nasty way, but a bit disruptive. I was trying to decide what to do about it, if anything.  Here is my "AH HA" moment. I suddenly remembered the file folders.   We really can't see the whole picture, can we?  You never really know what is around the corner, or what someone else had lived through.  Here I was thinking about separating the giggling group, when it was a healthy sign for her to be acting up a bit.

Well the whole week was good.  I'm glad I did it.  Kids are kids but I must admit, some things they had to explain to me.  For example, I couldn't remember kick-ball rules or how to play it at all!  Amazing because we used to play it all the time.  The rules: The tree stump was first base, giant tombstone was second, flag was third and the flip flop was home.  If you kicked the ball into the street or if you hit a headstone it was an automatic out.  Most interesting to me - we didn't keep score!

So my days of studying and preparing the lesson are done for now.  I think I'll do it again next year.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This and That

89 Days Left.

Less than three months to 60 - but the more surprising thing about it is that when I turn 60 all the kids will be back in school after their summer vacation.  Most around here aren't yet done with school. 

My garden and bushes and trees have had no attention from me this year - yet.  We got the outside of our house painted which I used as an excuse to not do gardening.  It actually was a good reason, but now I have to get cracking. I am annoyed how quickly the weeds take over.  My rhododendron, azalea and iris flowers were still beautiful a week ago and now are shriveled, brown and icky. 

My/our biggest problem is spots.  These little black spots appeared last year at the end of the season.  They are on the deck, plastic hose box, my herbs, flowers etc.  I tried an assortment of chemicals to get rid of them to no avail.  So, I wrote to the Penn State extension.  These are called artillery mold.  Called so because they can shoot spores over very loong distances.  They can last years protected in the spots.   AND IT COMES FROM WOOD MULCH!  Probably most distressing - your best bet is to scrape them off - chemical cleaners have little or no affect on the spores.  ARGH!

So think of me sitting out there scraping dots off the stuff on my deck.  Of course, Homer will be watching.