Saturday, November 29, 2008

I saw this over at AmusedMomma's, and thought it fun to try. You are free to read it and see if you think this sums me up or not.

What's Your Name's Hidden Meaning?

What Glenda Means
You are deeply philosophical and thoughtful. You tend to analyze every aspect of your life.
You are intuitive, brilliant, and quite introverted. You value your time alone.
Often times, you are grumpy with other people. You don't appreciate them trying to interfere in your affairs.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.
You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.
Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.
You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.
People can see you as stubborn and headstrong. You definitely have a dominant personality.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic “Type A” personality.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Post-Turkey Day Post

Does it still count as Thanksgiving dinner if you eat off Styrofoam plates using real silverware and have no wine? My husband would argue vehemently "NO!" and I tend I agree, although I totally understand the reasoning behind such decisions.

This is the first year we are way ahead on all our Christmas shopping. Our kids receive two gifts, one from us and one from Santa - those are purchased, some, though, are still en route. I still need to buy a few more stocking stuffers (they get one each day for the 12 days of Christmas), gifts for my mom and my in-laws and help three of the children buy a gift for their sibling (they draw names).

I finished my scrapbook of Germany -yee haw! It is so nice to have it complete. In reading over it, I noticed I made several grammar mistakes; I have a tendency to write where for were. I must not notice it when I'm in the middle of writing, but boy of boy it sure reads funny later. Any bets on how long it will take me to correct them? Or does it add character to the book to leave them in?

It was neat to see the joy of a neighborhood boy who came to service with us on Thanksgiving Eve. He said, "I"ve not been to church since I was a little boy." He was well-behaved and quite courteous.

Reading the lessons prior to the start of service always helps me to listen more closely during the service when Pastor reads them. At the Thanksgiving Eve service I was struck by the words in the epistle, "In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4) I was pondering on those words "the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need" that I didn't realize came before the more popular and oft-quoted passage of "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Then lo and behold, Pastor preached on those words. I really learned from that text and sermon where I sin much in worrying about needs, when I already have an abundance I don't see clearly.

Even though most are taking a day to shop or hang Christmas decorations, or lounge around, MLLA is back in session and David is at work with a funeral this morning and other pastoral responsibilities this afternoon.

Hope you're enjoying your post-turkey day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

If you were a mouse

and were in our house over the noon hour the last two days you would have heard:

Thursday Noon after the meal and during devotions:
Dad after finishing reading from Genesis 44 looked up and said "yes Nathan" because he had raised his hand to ask a question.

Nathan: "Why did Jacob love two sons and not the others?"
Dad: "He did love all the rest, but apparently he loved Jacob and Benjamin more because they were the two sons of his favorite wife, Rachel. Remember Jacob had 4 wives with sons from each."
Nathan: "oh."
Dad, speaking to all the kids: "You all are lucky, because you are all children of my favorite wife."

Friday Noon after the meal:
Hannah: "Aren't there Advent services?"
Dad: "Yes and go ahead and ask me what I'm going to preach on."
Ellie: "What are you going to preach on?"
Dad: "I have absolutely no clue."
Ellie: "Well couldn't you just preach on Christ's coming and Christmas?"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why is it....

....that if I have an appointment in the morning, I can't get back home in the afternoon and jump back into the school schedule mode?

....that I'm so lazy in the morning to get out of bed and then kick myself later for not getting out of bed and on with the day?

....that everything seems to happen in the months of November and December and school work always gets pushed back, even though I try *every year* to plan for the chaos?

....that I always want to be liked by everyone? (I really am an Emma.)

....that there is always one child I have no idea what to get them for Christmas?

....that I'm sitting here doing this when I have laundry to finish, granola to make, schoolwork to do, supper to start, a possibly sick kid to look after, and many other things patiently awaiting my doing?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Worthy of what it contains

Last spring a faithful member of our congregation was called home. It was unexpected even though he had undergone surgery the day before. His wife and family donated his memorial money to purchase new sacred vessels. After my husband had many discussions with various fellow pastors, the widow, and searched endless catalogs, the set was chosen and arrived.

It is simply beautiful. (The picture does not do justice to its beauty.)

A new silver chalice with engraved vines and grapes on the outside and gold-plate on the inside. A matching ciborium with engraved wheat.
New individual trays and glass individual cups (no more plastic).
New glass cruets.
New credence table.

Now my husband has the altar guild set up in such a way that he can use all of the elements during a service and consume what is left. That makes it so much easier for the Altar Guild to clean after the service.

I love nice things. But I especially love that the precious gift of forgiveness, life and salvation found in Christ's body and blood are now served in such beautiful vessels.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008


A year ago today our trip to Germany was to its last day. We spent the morning on a two-hour bus-ride tour of Munich ending at the Glockenspiel. Unfortunately for us, the chimes we're out being fixed, so we saw the life-sized figurines dancing, but to no music. (the first six pictures in this post are from my bil Mark)

Then we were free to walk around Munch. We simply were amazed at the outdoor market.

The first time we heard a polizei siren, both David and I turned to each other and wondered where Jason Bourne was, but confident he would narrowly miss being caught.

David and I joined Paul and Lori for an Avantinis (Paul's all-time favorite) at the brewery right off the Marienplatz.

Then David and I walked to the Augustiner brewey and enjoyed another delicious beer.

Then we walked back to our hotel, and enjoyed some snacks we bought at the Aldi store and Rewe store right across the street.

After a rest, we walked on to the Lowenbrau brewery and yes, sampled yet another delicious beer.

Finally, for supper we walked along with about 30 of our group back to the Augustiner brewery for our last meal in Germany (this picture from my sil, Mary)

and of course, more delicious beer.

Oh yes, we had a wonderful day.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau and the Weiskirche

A year ago today we toured Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles and the Weiskirche before driving on to our hotel in Munich. I've already posted on them before. Below are those posts republished with minor editing.

Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwnagau (originally published here).

Here are some of the pictures of Mad King Ludwig's boyhood home and his famous castle. It began snowing while we were there and it added to the experience.Some of the older people chose to ride up in the horse-drawn carriage, instead of walk all the way up and back down.

Once at the top, the view, even amidst the snow-fall was breath-taking.

On the way up and down we saw views like this lovely fresh mountain spring.

At the top you're greeted with amazing views of the castle itself.

They don't allow pictures taken inside so I bought an inexpensive guide book that has all the pictures of the inside rooms and the descriptions. Well worth the cost.

Back down in the valley we had time to get a bite to eat. Unfortunately everything was closed except for one or two very expensive restaurants. We didn't choose that option because a. we didn't want to spend the money and b. we didn't want to spend the time it takes to eat a restaurant meal.

But do you see that white building down the way? There, just beyond the yellow building? That is where you buy your tickets; inside was a pretzel case, we bought one of those and ate it. That was enough to keep us going until supper. If you were to look right while standing here you'd see Neuschwanstein, and if you would look left, Hohenschwangau.

Here is Hohenschwangau. We didn't tour it but the parking lot where our bus had to park was right below it. Beautiful places these were.

Ad this is one of my my favorite pictures. There were still roses blooming and then the snowfall on top was simply beautiful.

And here is the post on the Weiskirche (originally posted here)

The Church in the Meadow:

It is in the middle of the countryside of Germany near Neuschwanstein Castle. We had a brief stop to visit this church after visiting Newuschwanstein on our way to Munich. It was a cold day, and being a very big, stone church, it was quite cold inside too.

The inside was quite over-the-top I thought. Very, very ornate and busy, everything was painted, even the ceiling. I didn't even desire to take any pictures as this was my least favorite church in Germany. (Here is my favorite church.) This picture (above) of the outside was taken by my brother-in-law Mark. But if you want to see a picture of the inside then pull out your current Gottesdienst issue (Trinity 2008). The cover picture is from the inside of the Wieskirche.

What? You don't subscribe to Gottesdienst? Then go here, and and do so. If you can't wait that long, then find someone who does subscribe and borrow their issue. Besides the beautiful cover art, the articles on the inside are absolutely superb. I always learn a thing or two from them.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Innsbruck and Oberammergau

Are you tired of reliving my trip from a year ago? If so, run along to the next blog, because I'm not done yet. I'm having fun thinking back to our wonderful trip and I hope you'll indulge me a few more days.

One year ago today we spent the morning in Innsbruck, Austria.

Oh wow - the beautiful snow-topped mountains with the city nestled below. It was so pretty.

We walked all around and through many neat shops. I bought a beautiful Christmas table linen for my side table, and in that same shop we loved seeing the thousands upon thousands of eggs decorated in any way you can imagine.

We also enjoyed our first slice of mouth-watering pizza and glass of Coke since we had left the states. Yum Yum! Then we found a neat candy shop, Barenland. It was full of various flavors and shapes of marshmallows. The nice lady at the counter offered us samples, we gladly accepted. We then bought a bag of Christmas tree and snowman shaped marshmallows for our children to enjoy in their hot chocolate. They loved them all winter-long.

We also saw the golden roof (and I don't remember now why it is famous) and then headed back to Oberammergau for the afternoon.

On the way back we stopped in order for everyone to have an opportunity to take some pictures of the beautiful mountains.

We spent the afternoon walking around Oberammergau, admiring the murals on the buildings, (picture from my bil, Mark)

the many wood carvings, (picture from my sister-in-law, Mary)

and the other beautiful things offered. Our youngest son's birthday was the day we were flying home, so we brought him a gift from Oberammergau - a wooden walking stick just his size. He loves it and plays with it every day.

At one point in the afternoon while David and I were walking around, the sun peaked through, shining on the hillside. It was a beautiful sight.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Rothenburg and Dachau

A year ago today we bought our one big souvenir we had planned before our trip. It is something we use every day and I love it.

We bought it from Anneliese Friese and her son in their shop, The Cuckoo Clock Store, off the Rothenburg city square.

We picked this shop based on the recommendation of Rick Steves in his travel guide book. We even got a discount because of his book. They were so nice and helpful. We even bought my mom's gift (a big nut-cracker, something she likes to collect) and our children's Christmas ornaments (nutcrackers whose arms and legs "dance" when the string is pulled).

We walked around the medieval town a bit before enjoying a delicious lunch, boarding the bus and driving to Dachau Concentration Camp.

Here is a view of part of the city and the wall.

Here are some views of the city square. (note the second picture is from my brother-in-law Mark)

Here is one of the gates to the city. The face is where they would pour hot tar out of the mouth at any intruders and invaders.

By the time we arrived at the Dachau Concentration Camp, it was nearing dark, drizzling, and the cold and damp weren't comfortable for us in clothes and jackets and full stomachs; we could only imagine how much worse it was for all those prisoners wearing so little and being so malnourished.

To get into the camp we all walked through the same iron gate the prisoners once did with the words, "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work will set you free).

The memorial

It is hard to imagine what all took place. Reading the descriptions and seeing some of the things used was eye-opening. May God graciously spare us from such atrocities in the future.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Last Day in Lutherland

A year ago today we ended our visit to Lutherland by touring Lutherhalle, the house where Luther and his family lived in Wittenberg.

(Note: the first three pictures were taken by my bil Mark)

I had no idea it was that big! It is now full of all sorts of artifacts and books from the time of the Reformation, including first editions of many of Luther's books, Luther's desk, the mask made of his face on the day of his death, the pulpit he preached from at the city church, St. Mary's:

and the "chest with three keys."This chest Luther intended as a parish chest set-up in the church with the money received to be used to help the needy in the congregation.

In the basement we saw some of the barrels where Katie stored the beer.

Of course Katie was a hard-working woman, but she had time to take a walk with me.

Shortly after noon after most had grabbed a bite to eat (David and I opted for one more delicious apple strudel fresh from the bakery), we loaded the bus and drove to Rothenburg in time for a nice evening meal.

At each hotel, I would take a picture of our room and the view out our window. Here is our room in Rotenburg.This one, like all of them, were nice, clean, and comfortable. By this time we were use to twin beds pushed together, no top sheet only a down comforter to cover up, and fluffy, though not necessarily all night, down pillows.

There were some differences in each room as can be expected. This one we had to put the key into the switch in order to turn on the lights.

And the bathroom had the first glass door and half glass shower door which I had never encountered before.

But the best was the view from our window. It was fun for me to swing open the curtains in each hotel and look out the window at our view. Being that Rothenburg is a medieval town and we were staying in the heart of the city, I expected to see lots of old charm. And that is what I got. Part of the medieval wall!