Saturday, June 21, 2008

Advice for Baby

Yesterday was the last day of Vacation Bible School (see previous post-- it's been an awesome week!) and as a surprise "thank you" for me, the 3rd & 4th grade class wrote some letters to me, with their best advice for my soon-to-be-born baby girl. I wanted to share these with you (spelled exactly as the kids spelled everything) in hopes that, like me, you will laugh, smile, and be blessed!

"My advice for your baby":

- When she crys, give her a bottle. Or change her diaper.
- Get it a stuffed animal or a blankeet that it loves.
- have plenty of diapers
- give her good baby food. And fead her a lot of ice cream.
- You can keep a bottle of milk ready in the frige. Stay at the most 2 rooms away from the baby!
- Feed the baby veggies. Change its diper. If it's a girl, name it Sally Kaley.
- Only get it baby toys, get baby food, get a baby crib, get it a hi-chair
- You will need clothes, baby bed, baby room, dipers, and a stroller. Take your baby lots of places. Love your baby. Feed baby food.
- You should have it at Saint Joseph East. Over 1,000 wimen go there to have their baby. That's my advice. (Coincidentally, this IS where we'll be having the baby-- I thought it was very interesting that this child would be offering advice on a certain hospital!)
- Feed it candy!
- Don't shake the baby
- Eat your vechtables
- Tech it how to read.
- Take your babby to see grandma and grandpa. Burp it lots of times. Treat your babby very nice.
- Teach her how to roller skate and tell her about God.
- Allways burp it after feeding
- Teach her how to sing the ABCs and how to count to 10.
- Let her play out of a playpen so she can learn to crawl.
- Teach her how to skip rocks (I would do this, if I myself knew how!!)
- Hold her whenever she wants
- Bottle, crib, and pink pink pink!
- Teach her how to walk.
- Teich your baby to be nice.

Some good advice, here. :) All of these sweet mementos from VBS 2008 will definitely be finding their way into little girl's baby book!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Vacation Bible School

In my job as a Children's Pastor, there are some weeks and seasons of the year that are busier than others. The absolute busiest week of the entire year is Vacation Bible School week. This week. This week I've been on a journey with more than 100 kids, learning about and discovering Jesus' miraculous power. We've been in the "Power Lab"-- learning that Jesus gives us the power to be thankful, brave, to serve others, to live forever, and to tell other people about God. It's been a great week.

The kids delight me. They are precious and fun and cute. They ask wonderful questions, and they offer great insights about Jesus. I love to worship with them each morning (with GREAT energy, I might add!) and I love to see them jumping and dancing around doing all of the silly motions to the songs. It is a joy and a challenge to share the gospel with kids in new and fresh ways. For some of them, I'll never know if our "efforts" this week have made an impact. But I am trusting the Holy Spirit to dwell among them and around them and continue to work in their lives.

It's wild to think about being here, on the eve of our last day of yet another VBS. This is my third VBS as the Children's Pastor of this church. The other day, I was thinking back to my first VBS experience here-- I was SO nervous. On Day 1, I was a nervous wreck! I was worried about all of the things that could go wrong and all of the things that would go wrong. I would call my mother-in-law every evening and discuss the bible story for the next day and talk about how to best present it.

This year, I still have had a certain nervousness each day... but of a different kind. Not really nervousness, but just an overwhelming awareness of the responsibility I have as the shepherd to this flock of children-- it's a big deal to tell others about Jesus. It's a big deal to represent him well. It's a big deal-- the words I share with these precious children of His.

It's been a super week! I'm grateful for another successful VBS experience. I must have given out and received 300 hugs this week. I'm sure at least 75 of the kids have patted my belly and asked if they can hold my baby girl when she gets here. And hopefully all of the kids have grown somehow in their thirst for more of God.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Classic Rock: Not so Classy

I have 1,000 other things I should be doing right now besides blogging. VBS work is in very full swing right now as it actually kicks off Monday morning. I've been at the church for some VERY long days this week in preparation and the weekend will offer no rest, either. But alas, when I'm busy, it's therapeutic to write. So here I am.

I don't like the radio. I hardly EVER listen to it. I don't like the commercials, and I can't stand most of the music that's out there right now. And then there's the DJs. Morning radio is the worst, as I get incredibly irritated by the mindless chatter offered by the morning hosts. I usually have the iPod plugged into the car, and that way, I am in control of what I listen to on my 25 minute drive to work or my (yikes) 30 minute drive to the doctors' office. The fact that I am going broke because of the amount of gasoline I am using up right now is a different blog for a different day.

Back to the topic at-hand.

Yesterday, the batteries died on the iPod mid-jam session. I don't have a car charger for it yet, so I had to go all day yesterday without it. And last night I forgot to charge it, so I am iPod-less today as well. Which forced me to listen to the radio. Yuck. Now, when I DO listen to the radio, I always tune in to a classic rock station. I love classic rock. Great tunes. And great guitar solos.

But what IS it about classic rock radio stations? There's just something offensive about the words the come out of the DJs mouths-- and the assumptions they make (and stereotypes they perpetuate) about the particular demographic they try to reach. I've been bothered by this before, but today I was especially bothered. I've never listened to a classic rock station without noticing the (not at all hidden) overtones of the objectification of women. There are countless ads for "ladies night" at the bars. And bikini contests... and I quote, "Ladies, you don't have to bare it all. You just have to wear it WELL!" This same ad to which I refer was for 1/2 price admission for men in the "service industries" to come and see. Oh, and of course there are the wet t-shirt contests.

Today I heard one of these classy radio guys say this (and I came into this mid-conversation, so I don't know what led up to this statement): I don't need the naked women I oogle to have a face. In fact, I prefer to just look at their body anyway. Who cares about their face?"

Well... that was enough for me. I changed the radio to the OTHER local classic rock station in town and jammed out to some Kansas. Until, of course, THEIR ads for "ladies night" came on and I just had to turn the whole thing off altogether.

Since when I listen to the radio, classic rock stations are all I tune in to, I may be making an unfair assumption about this genre of station. Do the other radio stations do this, too? CONSTANTLY, as it seems these classic rock stations do? I've just noticed that classic rock radio and lusting after a particular type of woman (who is most assuredly naked or scantily-clad) often seem to go hand-in-hand.

Sure. There are other issues to be discussed here, that I have not addressed. For example, what about the women who choose to be a part of such a culture? Or, what about the lyrics of music played on these radio stations? It's all sending the same message. I actually happen to disagree. Not all the songs getting radio play objectify women. Or what about the culture and time during which these songs were written? Maybe they're just playing into that. Maybe so. Maybe there are other things I'm not seeing here.

But I do know one thing-- I'm pretty sure I won't forget to charge my iPod anymore.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I take it back!

In my previous post, where I wrote lovingly about the cicadas that have invaded our yard, I might have made a mistake. I wrote one tiny sentence that I wish I could take back.

I was talking about how the cicadas have taken over the tree in our front yard. And then I said this about our tree: I wish it would get struck by lightning.

Well, our tree did not get struck by lightning. But last night, in a terrible storm, our pretty little tree snapped. Blew over. It's gone. It is a sad day for us here at home. There apparently used to be TWO trees in our front yard, but the other one DID get struck by lightning some time before we moved in. And now, our one and only source of shade at our house is gone. It really was a lovely tree-- you know, when it wasn't infested with cicadas.

Here are a couple of pictures of what we woke to this morning.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I'm Scared for My Life

Here in Kentucky, it is cicada season. Think of those plagues of locusts that you've read about in the Old Testament. The Year of the Cicada here in Wilmore is an actual representation of what I've often pictured the plagues of locusts being like.

This morning I left my house and had to make a mad dash for my car so that they wouldn't attach themselves to me. Seriously. One cicada literally CHASED me to my car. I think Alfred Hitchcock could have made a great movie about this. Forget about birds. "The Cicadas" would have made for a much better film. They're gross. They're in large numbers. They literally fall from the sky. And they scream. Right now I'm all closed up in my house with the TV on. I can hear the cicadas screaming in my front yard. It's insane.

My friend Lindsay did some research on these little creatures. Their story is below. But before you get to the story, I'll include a photo of these critters so that you can picture them as you read about them.

These cicadas do not emerge every year, apparently. They emerge in 13 to 17 year cycles- When they do emerge, it is in huge numbers. They are sometimes called "17 Year Locusts". Although, they are not related to locusts.

While the Cicada life span may be as long as 17 years, they spend almost all of their lives underground. Cicada nymphs emerge from the ground in periodic cycles. They climb up trees and quickly shed their skins(molt). An adult, flying cicada emerges. The adult Cicadas' entire purpose in life is to mate and produce offspring. You can hear the males' mating "song" from early morning to nightfall. In heavily infested areas, the noise can be quite disturbing. About five to ten days after mating, the female lands on twigs of deciduous trees, cuts slits in them, and lays her eggs in the slit.

Adults do not eat. Rather, damage to trees is caused by the adult female as she cuts slices into twigs to lay her eggs. Shortly after mating, the male Cicada dies.

The eggs hatch, producing tiny nymphs that fall to the ground. These nymphs burrow into the soil and feast on underground roots. They remain there for years, slowly growing, until their periodic cycle calls them to emerge again as adults.

Gross, right? Well, apparently, we have the perfect cicada tree in our front yard. I wish it would get struck by lightning. Here is a photo that Billy just took of the trunk of the tree in our front yard. If you don't see me for a few days, or notice that I haven't emerged from my house, you now know why. I'm in hiding. Until every last cicada is gone. 17 years from now, I won't be living in Kentucky. So I figure if I survive this summer, we're in good shape.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Baby Update

Well, my world is consumed with thoughts of all things "baby" right now. So I apologize for the lack of posts on other topics lately. But here's another update...

I'm almost 31 weeks-- so we've got 9 or so weeks left! I can hardly believe we are in the single-digit countdown mode.

I went last Wednesday to meet with the dietitian and diabetes consultant to get a diet plan for my gestational diabetes and to learn how to check my blood sugar, etc. So I've had one week of checking my blood sugar several times a day. It hasn't been a good week. My blood sugar levels have been all over the place, even though I've been very closely following my suggested diet and I've really been counting my carbohydrate intake. But alas, there are more factors that contribute to my blood sugar levels besides carbs-- stress level, activity level, pregnancy hormones, etc. And some things that are just beyond my control.

I went to the doctor yesterday and showed him the logbook I have been keeping. He was extremely encouraging. Though my levels have not been great, he was just very affirming and ended up giving me a prescription of a once-daily pill that should help tighten up the numbers some. It's not insulin-- insulin would be the next step, should this pill not help. As I sat in the exam room, crying and feeling frustrated, my doctor and his nurse were just GREAT. It made me feel very good about the choice I have made in choosing this particular doctor. He's personable, friendly, and very open about his Christian faith. He has some good things to say.

After my appointment yesterday, I met Billy for dinner (he couldn't come to the appointment because of his work schedule, but my friend Carissa actually went with me, and we also ran into Jeremiah & Lindsay there, who had an appointment at the same time).

After dinner, Billy and I went to our first childbirth class at the hospital! It was a little overwhelming, but certainly informative and actually kind of fun. We met several other expecting couples that were young and friendly and fun. And we got to go on a tour of the maternity wing of the hospital-- I was very impressed with the facility. I don't have many labor halls to compare this to, as I have only visited friends and family in other hospitals just a few times. But our hospital is very nice-- the delivery rooms seem very homey and comfortable and spacious. The postpartum rooms (where we'll stay for however long we are in the hospital) are also homey feeling and equipped with wireless internet-- so no worries-- we'll be able to post pictures of our baby girl as soon as she arrives.

And while we wait for her arrival-- there are many things yet to be done. We've got to paint the nursery and get furniture. We've got a baby shower at our church on June 22nd and one in Texas on the 28th of June. And one here in Wilmore in July. We have already been incredibly blessed with so many wonderful gifts. We are overwhelmed and blessed by how many people are taking part in the excitement of our little girl's coming arrival into the world and into our family. I know these weeks are sure to fly by-- I'll try to keep you all posted.

Have a great day!