Jenster's Musings

Saturday, June 27, 2009

TTTB - Genesis 4

Trippin' Through The Bible has a new home. Now that I finally have said home set up the way I like it (for now, anyway) I hope to be more consistent in posting. If not it will take several years to get through the entire Bible!

You can click on the button for a quick trip over there.

TTTB


Please stop by if you have a minute, look around, answer a discussion question or just say hello. I'd love a visit!

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Mused by Jenster :: 10:13 PM :: 0 People musing:

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How Do I Love Thee, Church? Let Me Count The Ways...

Now that school is out we're gearing up for Kids' Camp and Stretch at CCV. Kids' Camp is for kids 4-years-old through 6th grade and Stretch is for 6th through 8th graders.

There's a lot I could say about these events; how much fun the kids have, what great lessons they learn, all the work that goes on behind the scenes to make them excellent, the awesome volunteers, the incredible creativity -- but instead I'll just show you. These are videos from last summer's Kids' Camp and Stretch. Enjoy!


2008 Kids' Camp BIG Top from CHRIST'S CHURCH OF THE VALLEY on Vimeo.




2008 STRETCH Full Circle from CHRIST'S CHURCH OF THE VALLEY on Vimeo.

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Mused by Jenster :: 9:55 PM :: 2 People musing:

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Making Memories

Friday was one of those days I'll remember for a very long time. The kind of day that wasn't terribly uncommon when the kids were younger - back when we could say, We're going to go see this movie or hike that trail or go on a picnic, or whatever and the announcement would be met with enthusiasm and anticipation. These days, however, trying to find a movie or an activity we can all agree on has proven nearly impossible. Turns out 17-year-old boys don't like the same things 14-year-old girls like and neither of them care for what mom and dad prefer.

Todd and I both had Friday off and the forecast didn't call for a speck of rain, a rarity these days. So we jumped in the car and took off for North Wales where we started our adventure with a great lunch at Chili's - the kids' choice. Down the street from the restaurant we played miniature golf, swung bats in the batting cages, raced each other on the Go-Kart track and just generally had a ton of fun.

In fact the good times started on Thursday. Just hanging out together, eating together, playing together, watching movies together. A lot of "together". And I've cherished every second of it. Today after church the kids left for a Christian teen conference for a week.

How is it Taylor only has one year of high school left? He's much closer to being a man than a kid. When did that happen? And why does Katie have to be a freshman in the fall? My baby will be in the same place as my firstborn before I've had a chance to catch my breath. And then what?

It used to be they were dependent on me for their fun. I was at home with them from the time they were very small and I enjoyed playing with them. The pool, the zoo, an easy hiking trail, the water park, etc. In fact, sometimes they were my excuse to get to do something fun like the science museum or the newest Disney movie.

When the weather was cold I would brew a pot of tea, make some shortbread and set the table nicely for an after school snack. During summer rains we would camp in the living room, eat Popsicles on the front porch and sometimes even play in the rain. One year we had a pretty good snow, but both kids were sick and couldn't get out to play in it. So Todd and I loaded up a big bowl with snow and let the kids build little igloos and castles on cookie sheets in the kitchen.

Trips to the park, swinging into the swimming hole on an old rope, the weekly stop at the library, camping with just us or friends, pulling them in the double wagon, reading in the hallway while a storm raged outside, cuddling on the couch and watching the latest Disney release...

My mind has been filled with these precious memories and my heart with a mixture of sadness that those days are long gone and a joy at the prospect of what these children are becoming. Sometimes I wish we could jump in a time machine and go back to those treasured moments. But at the same time I love the people they're growing into and enjoy when we do get to hang out together.

I am thankful to God beyond measure that Todd and I have good relationships with our teenagers and that sometimes they like spending time with us. I'm also thankful for the friendships they have with other great teenagers, the majority of whom share the same values, morals and take their faith seriously. It's no myth that friends make the person.

There is almost an urgency to spend as much time with them as I possibly can because it seems very limited. At the same time, however, I'm thrilled they both have the opportunity to go away this week and pray not only for their safety, but also for their spiritual growth.

When your kids are little you hear time and time again, "Enjoy them while you can because they're grown in the blink of an eye." Well I have enjoyed them from the very beginning and it does seem as though I've just blinked. The night before Taylor started kindergarten I laid in bed and cried because, "Tomorrow is kindergarten, then it will be college and before you know it he'll be married and living somewhere else." A little dramatic, yes (and Todd does still tease me about it) but not so far fetched.

This evening we had another break in the rain so I took Sookie to the park for a long walk. Families with little ones were out in abundance, making those bittersweet memories even sharper. I wanted to call out the above cliche to make those parents understand how fleeting this beautiful part of life is. But it's not something you can truly grasp until you're at the other end.

So Friday we played miniature golf and stopped keeping score after the 12th hole. We swung bats in the batting cages - my first time since the great breast cancer debacle of '05 (and I can still smack a ball). We drove Go-Karts and I managed to spin Taylor, run him into a wall and stall him. But mostly we just had fun and made a few more memories to add to the stack.

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Mused by Jenster :: 1:04 PM :: 6 People musing:

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Smooth Talkin' Brady

This is what happens when you leave your puppy at her BFF's while you're gone.





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Mused by Jenster :: 9:02 PM :: 10 People musing:

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Losing Weight And Other Inconveniences


As you might know, I've been on Weight Watchers for a month or so now and I'm having success. Very sssslllloooowwwww success, but success nonetheless. I'll do really well counting my points for a week or so and then there's this party and that picnic and another get together and the points go to pot. But the weight is still on it's way down and not up - so while I prefer the 1.5 pound a week loss, I'll take .5 over nothing.

I'm in a bit of a pickle right now, though. My pants are starting to get a tad bit big. Which is great! But the next size down (and I have a closet full) is still more tight than I'm comfortable with. Which means I really need to watch the points and be sure to get my exercising in so I can get back into the next size down. Which also means Katie needs to stop baking yummables like the french vanilla cupcakes with double chocolate chip frosting she made tonight. So what if I bought the stuff for her to make it? I thought I had more willpower, but the smell was so delicious I couldn't stop myself from eating one very small cupcake. Or maybe two. But they were small!

Yesterday was a joyous food day for me. You know how I was late getting to work because of all the running around I had to do before my morning really even started, right? Well I grabbed a Fiber One bar and my coffee on the way out, but totally forgot to take something for lunch. Since I was late getting in I didn't really feel like leaving to get something and I just worked through lunch. Katie was on her field trip and Todd was in Tulsa so it was only Taylor and me for dinner. At 3:00 I texted him and asked what he wanted for dinner. He said Chick-Fil-A. For myself I ordered a charcoal grilled chicken wrap with fat free honey mustard and a small Cookies N' Cream milkshake. And I went to bed with two points to spare! I don't recommend foregoing lunch all the time, but it's worth it for one of those treats every now and again!!

Today I did okay - not great, but not terrible. And I did get a fairly decent walk in. Tomorrow, however, is another day. Another chance for me to do great! I WILL be in that next size by the end of June! Oh wait. That's only two more weeks. Hmph. That might be pushing it. How about by the end of July!! Yeah. That's the ticket!

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Mused by Jenster :: 9:21 PM :: 10 People musing:

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Blame It On The Rain

Or O' What A Terrible Morning.

O' what a terrible morning
O' what a horrible day
I've got a wonderful feeling
Nothing is going my way
[An appropriate song considering Todd is in Tulsa. If you don't get the connection then you either: One) don't live in America; B) have not been exposed to the great musical classics; or THIRD) ...I got nuthin. Just One or B.]

The morning started out pretty good. I got up around 6:35 so I could hang out with Taylor for about ten minutes, give or take, before he left for school. Katie made a small pot of coffee for me and we turned on the news to catch the weather. The entire eighth grade had a field trip to Dorney Park - an amusement/water park in Allentown - and yesterday's news forecasted some pretty wild stuff today.

Taylor left for the bus stop and it was pretty cloudy out, but no sign of precipitation. I figured I could jump in the shower after he left and be out in time to drive Katie and Shelby to the corner if the storm hit. But just then the jovial meteorologist came on and showed the line of severe thunderstorms with almost constant lightening strikes headed our way - the worst of which was scheduled to hit our area in four more minutes.

Now, as you all know, I lived in the South for 18 years. I don't mind a good thunderstorm now and then. In fact I kind of like them. But there are two things I won't do when we're in the middle of a cluster of lightening. I won't talk on the phone and I won't do anything with water. And I AM a girl which means my showers last more than four minutes. So I decided I'd wait to take my shower until after I took the girls to the bus stop.

The weatherman was true to his word and at 6:52 the skies opened up, complete with a spectacular fireworks display and a grand bass drum concert. I had my coffee and was snuggled into the oversized chair while we watched the weather when Katie decided she needed to sit with me. So there we both were, stuffed into the chair while Sookie wandered around the living room anxiously. Finally she just sank down in her crate, watching Katie and me from her safe place.

We sat like that for nearly 30 minutes until it was time to go get Shelby and wait for the bus. Thankfully by then the storm had settled down some - no lightening right overhead, anyway. The bus was late and when it showed up the girls jumped out of the car and I sped the half a block home so I could hit the shower.

But before I could get in the shower Katie texted me because I forgot to give her the money I told her I would. It wasn't like I could just drop it off on my way to work because they would be leaving for Dorney Park before I could get there. *sigh* My shower was going to have to be put on hold again. Then I got another text, this time from Taylor, asking if I could bring him a t-shirt, socks and another pair of shoes because he was drenched. Apparently he had gotten a ride from his friend, Josh, up the street. That was really nice. Except for the fact that Josh's parking space (they're assigned) is across the street from the high school - almost to Katie's school. They had to run from there to the high school in the pouring rain, hence the soaked clothing.

Off came my jammy bottoms and on came a pair of knit exercise Capri's. I kept the tank top and light sweatshirt on, slipped on my flip flops, ran a hand through my hair and took off. First to drop off Katie's money and then to drop off dry clothes for Taylor. I was looking hawt! Really. I'm sure the kids are glad none of the students who saw me associated me with my offspring.

I got home, let out the dog and sent an email to my ladies at work so they would know I was going to be late. Sookie came in and followed me upstairs - me into the bathroom and she into my sitting room to sniff around. Except when I then walked into the sitting room I saw that she hadn't been sniffing around. She'd been peeing! On my carpet! That's just weird. She never pees in the house. What's up with that??? I obviously had to clean it up before I could get in the shower and I began to question if I'd ever make it to work. My enjoyable morning had quickly slid downhill.

But I did make it to work and it was delightful. The last couple of weeks have been crazy hectic - I'll have to tell you about it in the next day or two. Today, however, was great. I had plenty to do, but I wasn't running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I feel like I accomplished more today than I have in a while - probably because it was a lot of little things that I could check off my list. Ahhhh...

I just hope tomorrow morning runs a little smoother.

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Mused by Jenster :: 5:43 PM :: 2 People musing:

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Monday, June 08, 2009

The Evolution of Sookie








Friday was a cool and rainy day. I spent the day doing work work and house work and drying off Sookie after she'd spent ten minutes or so outside in the wet and muddy yard. As I came out of the laundry room this is where I found her.



She was just chillin in one of her favorite spots where she can survey all her minions. Trying to look all nonchalant and all, I could tell there was something going on in that puppy brain of hers.






What?








That's an interesting spot on the floor down there.












Later she followed me into my room while I dumped a basket of clean towels onto the bed and filled it with the next load to be washed. Usually she follows me back out, but after I'd gone downstairs and filled the washer I realized she wasn't there. So I went back upstairs to my room.




Did I mention it was a rainy day?



Or that our yard was wet and muddy?



Or even that the towels were clean?



Apparently my less than gentle rebuke and the photo session wore her out. Because this is where she ended up after I chased her out of my room.





It's a rough life.

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Mused by Jenster :: 8:39 PM :: 10 People musing:

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Turning a Corner

It's nearly 11:00 and I really should be in bed, but I had to tell you this!

After about a week of restless sleeping, last night was great. I slept like a rock! But it made it very difficult to get up this morning. A couple hours of consciousness and two cups of coffee didn't make much of a dent in the heavy fog that enveloped me.

As I went about my day I kept thinking there was something significant about today - June 2nd. A tickle in the back of my mind which I just attributed to the mental sludge I waded though. There's a lot going on at work right now - two weeks of preschool camps; gearing up for Kids' Camp; services starting up in the new building this Sunday - I decided it was the organized chaos of the many activities.

And then I received the following text message from my friend, Beth:

Cancer sucks. Remembering your first chemo tx. I'm so glad it's behind you. You are a champion, my friend... Love you bunches.

That was it!! That's what I was forgetting to remember. Four years ago today I had my first chemotherapy treatment. This is the first time in that four years I haven't thought about or even remembered what was then a myriad of significant dates related to my cancer.

It may not seem like a big thing, but to me it's huge. Poor Beth felt bad for reminding me, but I'm glad she did. It felt good to realize I had forgotten just why June 2nd was significant. I'm no longer a cancer patient, I haven't been for a long time. But it's only been the last nine months or so that I've actually felt like something other than a breast cancer survivor. Today only served to prove to myself I'm really moving on.

Oh, and Beth. I love you bunches, too!!

Cross-posted at Mothers with Cancer

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Mused by Jenster :: 10:48 PM :: 12 People musing:

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