Friday, June 29, 2007

My Husband, the Pastor

10 years ago today, David was ordained in his first parish in a small town in IL. Friends and family had gathered for the special service. The church people were welcoming and provided an excellent meal following. Following are some other memories.

We had two young daughters, one 20 months and one 2 months. After the service and festivities upon walking back to the parsonage, the oldest allowed her Grandpa M. to carry her for the first time ever. Grandpa S. (my dad) saw it, and wondered aloud when would be his turn. Not long afterward, Grandpa S. wouldn't mind so much as daughter #2 only wanted him when he was around.

What good food was served, that these ladies were excellent cooks, and how truly happy these people were to have a pastor to call their own.

But most vividly, I remember the look on David's face after the ordination service, a look of overwhelming, fear, care, and responsibility all-in-one. I realized then how serious this was. This wasn't just a job, it was more serious than that. He was responsible for these people, a shepherd and servant to them.

There are times over the last ten years I've seen that same look, maybe it only lasts for a meal, or a day, or maybe it lasts several days. I know then that some brother or sister in Christ is hurting, and all I can do to help is pray, for them even though I know no name, but especially for their pastor, my husband.

Soli Deo Gloria

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Father's Day

We spent Father's Day at my mom's in IN while on vacation. My own father was given the crown of life 7 years ago, but I was able to join him briefly with all the host of heaven while I was fed the very body and blood of my Lord Jesus Christ on this side of heaven, in the same church he brought me to faithfully each Sunday of my life I lived under his roof. I look forward to the day I will join him in the Feast that has no end.

Once back at my mom's after church and Bible Class, my mom made David's and Nathan's favorite brunch: biscuits and sausage gravy. Then the children were ready to shower Dad with presents. They had made him stationery for his office. What cute pieces of paper they cut in a uniform shape and then decorated the edges in various ways. Some had Viking colors and some said Go Twins, and others were simply various treasures glued on the edges.

Then David opened the gift from me and the kids:Home Improvement has always been one of his favorite shows and now we can enjoy the episodes of the 1st and 2nd seasons again and again and again.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Books while Traveling

When we travel as a family, even on our "short" trips for groceries, etc. the family expects me to continue reading aloud our current book selection. This started a few years ago with The Little House books, then we worked our way through The Series of Unfortunate Events, and now since last summer we've been working our way through Harry Potter.

While traveling on vacation I continued with Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix and we were able to finish it on my mom's back porch. We interspersed my reading aloud with listening to Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Vern. We borrowed it from the library, a most excellent find. Jim Dale, who also reads the Harry Potter books on audio, reads this unabridged version. The kids and I listened to this tape on our trip by ourselves in the spring. This time, we wanted Dad to hear it too. Oh how we all enjoyed listening to the stories and find out how our "friends" are doing. Aren't books great for that?!

I was also able to finish the book I was reading, Marriage is Like Dancing by Richard C. Eyer. Overall, I thought the book was good. My disappointment came in that I felt like Mr. Eyer talked with a lot of platitudes and not a lot of firm examples. For example, I have read before, and Mr. Eyer also writes, that one should learn to argue well to resolve problems in a marriage. After reading this I'm always left wondering, yes, but *how* does one argue well? Maybe it is something that can't be written, but learned by doing and hearing, but then how do I know I'm on the right track? I did enjoy Mr. Eyer's chapter on parenting. In this section, I enjoyed the concrete examples that helped me understand how to "re-parent" myself. Marriage is Like Dancing is a good book and I recommend it to you. It provided some good discussion between my husband and me and he has yet to finish the book. Maybe, upon a second reading, I'll find that I liked it more than I thought.


Our travel on vacation a couple weeks ago went the smoothest ever. With a 12 hour drive to visit my mother ahead of us, we planned the normal pass-time activities: books, books on tape, writing and coloring. We would also lose an hour upon entering Indiana, so we decided to get an early start and leave by 6am. I packed muffins and boiled eggs for our breakfast to be eaten as we rolled on down the road. I also packed sausage, cheese, grapes, and crackers for our lunch, plus other treats to munch.

We started out right on time and 10 and a half hours later we found ourselves pulling into my mother's driveway. Yes that's right - our normal 12 hour trip was cut 1 and a half hours short because I packed our food. Our only stops were for gas and restrooms. No one complained, everyone of us seemed delighted that the trip went smoothly and quickly.

So when it was time to leave after the Augsburger BBQ last Friday in WI, we did the same thing. Having just ate, we snacked our way home, only stopping to feed the van and visit the little girls' room or little boys' room.

Next time you face a long trip, try packing some of your food and drink, it saves time and money.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Fruits of our Labor

Monday's Work:60 lbs of berries picked,

mashed and stirred.

Winter's Reward:20 (2 pint) containers of whole berries
Recipe: Make 1 batch of Sure-Jell Strawberry Jelly and pour over cleaned and washed 18 cups of whole berries. Put into preferred containers, allow to sit out for 24 hours, then freeze.
Family Uses: Our favorite fruit salad - 1 container of strawberries, thawed, 1 can pineapple, cut bananas.
Adult Uses: In a blender filled with ice and desired amount of rum, add about half a container of strawberries, and about a third to a half jar of jelly. Blend, and enjoy an absolutely delicious daiquiri.24 and 1/2 pints of freezer jam
I have always made the regular sure-jell recipe and this year decided to try some of the less-sugar added sure-jell. The jars on the right (10 total) are the regular and the jars on the left (14 1/2 total) are the sure-jell in the pink box.

Tonight's Treat:
Need to learn to make your own crusts (absolutely worth it!)? Look here for a step by step pictorial lesson.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

First Time For Everything

Last Wednesday, David awoke having not slept the greatest and the feeling of a sore throat. By Saturday, it had settled in his voice, although he wasn't feeling much pain. He was able to make it through the 5pm worship service, but whispered to us the rest of the evening.

This morning, Sunday, he awoke to his voice having not improved at all. Oh dear, what to do? Service is at 8:30am. He walked next door to try and speak, but alas, the Word of the Lord would not be heard from his voice this morning. He came back home to ask me to call first the retired pastor in our congregation, who I found out, would already be subbing for a neighboring pastor. Next I tried the president of the congregation. Poor Mr. Scharfe, it was about 50 minutes prior to the start of the service when I called. He graciously agreed to read through the service and read David's sermon. Thanks be to God for a small town, where Mr. Scharfe was able to come quickly and go through what he was to do with David.

At the beginning of the service, David walked out in his clerical and suit and sat down in the front pew with us. One could almost hear the questions, rippling through behind us as Mr. Scharfe announced my husband's lack of voice and requested patience for him as he read through the service. Scharfe did a most excellent job given the situation. The service flowed relatively smoothly and for the first time I counted it a blessing that this church has yet to move to every Sunday communion. This was the non-communion Sunday and I think that gave Mr. Scharfe a bit more confidence.

I don't think I've ever sat through a lay-lead service before. It definitely made me appreciate the voice of my pastor even more. And I understand more fully how much vacant congregations go through during vacancies and how delighted they are when they have a new shepherd. This thought led way to thanking God that he has graciously given David's first congregation, a new shepherd, who will be ordained today.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Back Home Again...

Ahh, I don't know why, but being on vacation is a great thing, even better is coming back home. For some reason we sleep better - okay I know the reason for that, our Select Comfort has no match; and for some reason the shower seems to get me "cleaner" (and believe me it has nothing to do with the "cleanliness" of the shower).

Ahh, but then there is the reality: laundry, cooking meals, general cleaning. Oh well, vacation did refresh us. We had some great fun and I'll include different pictures and descriptions in future posts.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Joy of Teaching

I've written before about our science curriculum. We are still working our way through the book. We have hung several feeders, one right outside our dining room window. Over the past couple of days various finches are coming and enjoying the seed we provided. The kids are absolutely loving seeing the colors of the finches and are noticing the differences from "close-up". We've also put out grape jelly and oranges on a feeder for Baltimore Orioles. It has been hanging for a couple of weeks, and alas, not one has been spotted until yesterday at supper. Oh how excited everyone was as we realized it was a female oriole.

I also enjoy the excitement of the kids running to me and telling me they remember one of the types of feathers on a bird. Or telling me they just saw a bird turn in the air by flapping one wing faster than the other. I love to see the excitement on their faces.

This week I've also been teaching the stories in VBS. In this congregation, the children are divided into three groups - 3yr - K; 1st -3rd; and 4th-6th. The groups travel to the three sites (music, craft, and Bible lesson) in a different order. For the lesson portion, each of the groups are divided into two and the two teachers then teach the lesson to each of the three groups. This year, the Bd of Ed, along with Pastor, developed their own program; Heroes of the Bible covering David and Goliath, Elijah and the Prophets of Baal, Three Men in the Fiery Furnace and Daniel in the Lions' Den. Last night's lesson was Three Men in the Fiery Furnace.

I had found a felt board and felt pieces to use to tell the story to the youngest. How they enjoyed the figures as I told the story. And when I had all the people bow down to worship the idol, several said, "but what about them?" As they were pointing to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They knew right away something would happen.

And when I told the story to the second group, I began by holding an old picture published by CPH (similar to the new ones they are publishing for the SS curriculum) and a couple of them said, but wait there are 4 in the fire, not 3. I smiled and said they were right, that is just what the people there said and then made them wait to hear the story from the beginning. Then when the story was all told, one boy asked in amazement, "Is this true.?" When I said yes, his eyes stayed just as big, commenting, "wow."

These small moments keep me going in spite of days like yesterday.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


I should be teaching the kids, but now that the local public school's are out, neighborhood kids seem to show up at our door at regular intervals regardless of how many times I say "no, the kids can't play until later this afternoon."

I should be teaching the kids but now that we awake to sunny days, the kids are asking to go outside to play from the moment they dress and their little brains are having a hard time concentrating on math and reading.

I should be teaching the kids but this is VBS week and teaching was dropped in my lap due to the first teacher's summer work schedule interfering. Therefore, my brain is constantly thinking of how to teach the VBS kids the stories of David and Goliath, Elijah and the Prophets of Baal, Three men in the fiery furnace and Daniel in the Lion's Den.

I should be teaching the kids but the dirt in the house is knee deep, laundry is calling, dust bunnies are multiplying out of control, and bathrooms are closer to "outhouses" than "restrooms."

I should be teaching the kids but there's always tomorrow right?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Simple Sewing

If you have a clothesline and need a clothespin bag, let me suggest this:

It is really easy to make. Use an old kids button down shirt, stitch up the bottom, hang it on a hangar, insert clothespins and voila a neat-looking clothespin bag to hang on your line. Mine started out as a long-sleeve shirt, but snip, snip, sew, sew and short sleeves appeared.

Btw, all credit goes to my mom for sewing this for me. I had heard the idea and had the shirt, but never got around to doing it. While she was here helping me while I was sick, she sewed it for me. Thanks Mom, I think of you each time I use it!