Answer Me This: 4th of July Edition

Answer Me This

Once you’re done here, go see Kendra and the other lovelies that have answered the questions!

1. How did you celebrate the 4th of July?

My in-laws had some neighbors over for lunch in our lovely air-conditioned living room. Lots of food and lots of fabulous conversation. Later, we went to go see Jon and Daniel march in the Claremont Fourth of July Parade. (Anyone that wants to can march in it so you end up with some pretty interesting groups… including the local Buddhist monastery. It’s also a *VERY* heavily Democratic town so the local Democratic royalty get convertibles.) That night after Daniel and Jon fell asleep, we sat out on the cul-de-sac and watched the firework display from one of the local high schools.

2. Do you sunburn easily?

Oh yes. It’s pretty normal for me to turn into a tomato with hair if I’m out for a long period during the summer. Thankfully, my daily moisturizer has SPF 15 sunscreen in it which helps keep me from burning too badly while I’m out doing errands.

3. Hot dogs. Yay or nay?

Yay! If I want them, I have to cook them myself and as my George Forman grill is in storage, I don’t have them all that often these days.

4. Have you ever personally set off fireworks?

Yep, we got them from out-of-state a couple times growing up and then, I lived in places where they weren’t illegal… though they probably should have been in Montana considering how fire-prone the prairie was! Nine years ago, we and the other people in town were sitting on a parishioner’s porch (because this was a town of 12 people); and while they were setting them off, they set off some old ones that didn’t get enough height before exploding. Lo didst sparks come raining down from the sky and people start scrambling for cover!

I think the last time people set them off where I was physically present was in Jon’s last parish when the drug users living across the street decided to launch them at our tree. They got a bit pissy when I called 911 about it.

5. Have you ever jumped off the high dive?

Yeah, no. Serious fear of heights here.

6. Do you do anything weird in your sleep?

I talk in my sleep and I’m pretty sure one of my college roommate and I had some interesting conversations some nights when we were both asleep and talking to each other.

The VBS version of “Earth and All Stars”

Here is the version of “Earth and All Stars” that Margaret put together from the list of things that the kids gave us that can praise God. This is the tune.

1. Rainbows and dirt,
Girl scouts and campers,
Sing to the Lord a new song!
Dinosaurs and sheep,
polar bears and penguins,
Sing to the Lord a new song!
He has done marvelous things;
I too shall praise him with a new song.

2. Tacos and fries
and people who love Jesus,
Sing to the Lord a new song!
Cupcakes and trains,
trucks and school buses,
Sing to the Lord a new song!
He has done marvelous things;
I too shall praise him with a new song.

3. Sunsets and space,
drums and princess Leia,
Sing to the Lord a new song!
Electric guitars,
trombones and clarinets,
Sing to the Lord a new song!
He has done marvelous things;
I too shall praise him with a new song.

7 Quick Takes: VBS Week

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Most *interesting* thing I heard at VBS tonight. I had to run Daniel home during my free period (he was in a mood and starting to melt down) so I was a couple minutes late getting back to start music with my oldest group. When I walked in, one of the boys said, “Oh good, you’re here. The Hippo Song isn’t the same without you… not that you’re fat or anything.” Ummm… thanks?

— 2 —

Best mommy line. From one of the teachers of the youngest group (preschoolers and kindergarten): “Hey! Arms and mouths to yourselves!” (I find it actually kind of funny that all three of the teachers for that group are moms with all boys.)

— 3 —

Speaking of that youngest group… I can’t remember which song precipitated it but they started all linking hands and dancing in a circle. (I think it was “Earth and All Stars”?) Margaret (the other young woman doing music with me and the lead on our team) and I were busting up laughing.

— 4 —

All the things that can praise God… We were trying to teach the kids some “adult music” this week and one of the things we did with each group was to get a list of things that could praise God so we could improvise some verses based on the suggestions. Some of the answers: tacos & fries, Dr. Who & Tardis, space, trombones, Princess Leia, jingle bells (one of our preschoolers wanted sing the song every day), dinosaurs, sheep, cupcakes, dirt, mac n’cheese, dirt, trains, and school buses. If I can get Margaret’s permission, I’ll post the verses that resulted.

**UPDATE** Margaret was chill with it so this is the link.

— 5 —

Mission accomplished! The two most popular songs this week were the two that I taught the kids: the Hippo Song and the Penguin Song. Apparently, my kids are going home and singing those songs every night… as are some of the VBS staff people because they have them stuck in their heads. In other words, I’ve managed to teach them that God made hippos and that penguins drink tea. My work here is done!

— 6 —

We need to invest in a church-owned selfie stick. Mother Kelli Grace (our vicar) had all the kiddos and staff crowd into two rows in the church so she could do a VBS selfie. Someone commented that we need a church selfie stick and I guess one of the men offered to bring his tomorrow. I remarked that one of our bishops has one and we should just borrow hers! Still, this is a church where worship selfies are normal so maybe we need acquire one for church purposes. (I’d pot the one from today but it would involve getting permission from all the parents of the kiddos.)

— 7 —

Totally over this freaking cough! Apparently, I’m coughing so loudly that I’m waking my mother-in-law up and likely to wake up my father-in-law down the hall. Oops! I’m thinking the M&M’s in the trail mix tonight were a bad idea? At least I didn’t try doing the popcorn!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

#FiveFaves: Vacation Bible School Edition



Getting to help with VBS. I seriously love Vacation Bible School and am super excited that I get to help with it this week! We have a Lego theme this year and are creating the whole curriculum from scratch. I’m a music person and have enjoyed being silly with my kids. The first two songs they asked for today (the Hippo Song and the Penguin Song) are the two most likely to cause me vertigo. Oh well!


Robitussin. I’m dealing with serious allergy issues and have been taking shots of Robitussin to deal with the crud in my throat and chest. Today I was contending with my voice being almost gone from all the junk dripping out of my sinuses.


My parish. They found someone to go one-on-one with Daniel for VBS and they’ve been telling me how happy they are to finally meet him. *melts* They also *REALLY* love their kids, so much so that they put youth ministry as a priority and fundraise for their young adults to make voyages to the Holy Land.


Our VBS chef. She had no idea that she was signing up for dinner + snack every night and she has managed to make some of the most interesting and creative things for us. We’ve had taco bags (I know them as “walking tacos”), build-your-own salads (there were kids actually eating their vegetables!), jello lego bricks, and build-your-own trail mix. I’ve heard about kids asking their parents to make them the food that she’s putting together for VBS and I think that’s definitely a good sign.


My music team. I’m working with three other people on music (I’m not the lead person) and it has been absolutely wonderful to get to collaborate with all of them. All of them are creative people, which is good considering that we’ve had to improvise on a lot this week as two of us (the two who are doing most of the teaching) have less of our normal voices than we’d like. The kiddos are responding well and we’re all playing off each other in good ways.

Go love up Jenna and the others.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: June 29, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY June 29, 2015

Outside my window… dark. It was hot and humid today, humid enough that we were getting drops of water from condensation. I haven’t been in humidity like this since I lived in Ohio!

I am thinking… about plans for tomorrow and everything going on, especially getting my rental car if I can.

I am thankful… that we had a good first night of VBS and that Daniel gets to come with me tomorrow.

In the kitchen… we had pizza and build-your-own salad tonight at VBS. Tomorrow will be walking tacos and fruit kebabs.

I am wearing… my Momcat shirt and capri sweats.

I am praying for… a call for Jon, for my friend Krystin’s baby to be released from the NICU, for Krystin’s healing after emergency surgery, and for a bunch of special intentions. Oh yes… also for VBS to go well for Daniel.

I am going… to physical therapy tomorrow.

I am wondering… if I’ll have my rental car by tomorrow. (I kind of need it PDQ for VBS.)

I am reading… Ming Tea Murder by Laura Childs. I just finished up the Classic Diner Mystery Series by Jessica Beck.

I am hoping… I sleep OK tonight with all the congestion in my face!

I am looking forward to… singing with the kiddos at VBS.

I am hearing… various silly songs I’m checking out for VBS tomorrow.

Crocheting… Daniel’s big boy blankie and the amigurumi stuffed animal for my friend.

Around the house… silence. I’m loving it.

A favorite quote for today… “”When I pray for another person, I am praying for God to open my eyes so that I can see that person as God does, and then enter into the stream of love that God already directs toward that person.” — Philip Yancey

One of my favorite things… my kids laughing and getting silly.

A few plans for the rest of the week: VBS every night, PT tomorrow morning, and a special lunch on Saturday.

A peek into my day… One of the songs we did with the kids!

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

Answer Me This: Home Sweet Home Edition

Answer Me This at CatholicAllYear.Com

When you are done reading my answers, go read what other people have to say on Kendra’s blog.

1. How long have you lived in your current home?

We’re living with in-laws and what we thought was going to be two months with them has stretched into a year while we’re in between pastoral calls.

2. How do you find out about news and current events?

Usually via Facebook and Twitter. :) If I see or hear something that piques my curiousity, I’ll sometimes go to other news sites. We don’t have TV so that’s not usually an option and I don’t listen to any local radio stations.

3. Would you be able to make change for a twenty right now? For a dollar?

Nope. I keep very little cash on me out of habit more than anything else.

4. What’s the craziest food you’ve ever eaten?

Probably sea cucumber at a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco. The weirdest to a lot of people would be bison (it tastes like gamey beef) or sushi (I grew up in California so it’s a taste I acquired 25 years ago).

5. Which of the commonly removed parts have you had removed? (tonsils, wisdom teeth, appendix, etc.)

I’ve had my adnoids (1986), wisdom teeth (1998), and gallbladder removed (2005).

6. What’s your favorite sport to watch on TV?

Definitely baseball. Go Giants!

7 Quick Takes: Seriously Wanting Friday to Come Soon!

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Sadness. We had to put my in-laws’ cat Nicholas to sleep today. We brought him into the vet for what we thought would be an antibiotic shot and they found a tumor in his abdomen. Given that he had lost something like 2 lbs in the last month and was very noticably in pain, it was actually not a hard decision. I am sad for my in-laws though and we seem to lose at least 1 cat per year and the rest of the cats in the house are relatively young — I think the oldest one now is maybe 13 years old and the second oldest is 12 with the rest being between the ages of 6-8. (Nick was 15.5 years old.)

— 2 —

Seriously?!?!?!?!? We were leaving the $tarbux parking lot today when my battery light flashed on and I couldn’t restart the car. Daniel commenced having a meltdown as I tried to find a tow truck company that we could afford. (Thankfully, my auto insurance comes with Roadside Assistance so we didn’t have to mortgage anything to get towed to my mechanic.) Jon came and got Daniel and I settled in to wait for the towing company. Apparently, I was blocking the way for a delivery driver because he told me he was going to give me a push aside. Well, I was suddenly in the bushes in the parking lot of the Chevron station next door. The delivery driver didn’t speak much English and I had to tell him to leave me alone to keep him from pushing me out and messing my bumper up more. Thankfully, I managed to get the information off of his truck while he was making deliveries so my insurance company is pursuing the claim and I will have a rental car while they fix mine. (I’m pretty sure the underside of my car has some damage as a result of the push and my bumper has a new dent.) Not the best day by far!

— 3 —

A good reason for the rules prohibiting the marriage of two people if one (or both) are intoxicated. A few people here know that my husband is a pastor who performs weddings as a way of paying the bills. When I saw this article, I had to send it to him. I don’t think either the bride or groom was intoxicated while the wedding was performed but they sure were after! It’s probably not a good thing to leave your wedding in police-issued handcuffs or in an ambulance to the hospital with alcohol poisoning.

— 4 —

Joy joy joy! My in-laws have been singing “I’ve Got the Joy Joy Joy” to Daniel every day to teach him about God (because his mother totally doesn’t listen to *ANY* Christian music in the car EVER) and a few days ago, he said “joy joy joy!” so they sang to him. He now requests the song every day and I told him that we would sing it at VBS next week… which led to him starting to sing it (or at least try). It was seriously cute but that’s normal for my seriously cute boy.

— 5 —

Daniel and VBS. At the VBS meeting on Monday, I asked my priest if there was any way that Daniel could attend because we’d need someone to shadow him and I didn’t know if we had enough people. It turns out that one of the dads can do it… and the woman running VBS is also willing to have him be her “helper” if need be. (Daniel likes to help.) I also have some church members who are former special ed teachers who will be there and others who are totally excited about finally meeting Daniel. (He goes to a church closer to the house for Sunday school because my mother-in-law is the one who takes him most of the time.) I am so thankful to be part of a church which really wants to make it so that EVERYONE can participate and has clergy who absolutely love my kiddo.

— 6 —

We are family. Some of Jon’s relatives on his dad’s side are in town for a wedding this weekend (including his aunt who reads my blog — HI AUNT JANICE!!!!! *waves*) so we all had lunch on Wednesday. It was the first time meeting a couple of them for Daniel and the first time seeing others in a few years. He came home to a house with 10 people when he got off the bus and he did extremely well at eating at the table (better than many adults) and he was pretty calm the whole time. He did love it when we sang “I’ve Got the Joy Joy Joy” to him and started banging the table in rhythm.

— 7 —

Prayer request. If you could pray for a special intention for Jon and me, I would greatly appreciate it. Please and thank you!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.