Monday, December 31, 2007

A Letter from the Editor

Dear World of Bloggers;

My name is Amy. I am a friend of Liz's. Today is the day I learned to play the game, "Settlers of Catan", a board game type of deal. It was actually quite enjoyable for a board game... type of thing. I'm not a fan of board game type of things because they take too much attention and many people become too aggressive and change their personalities so it becomes un-enjoyable. However, this was a rather pleasant experience for your's truly. Probably because the people I was playing with were awesome. The famous, Liz and Gina and Kelly. They're pretty cool folks. A few people in the world who help it seem brighter.
Friends; what would this place be without them?

Love, peace and happiness!

Sincerely,

Amy

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Five Days in Review

The time home was good but fast. Here is an account of each day’s major events:

Monday (Christmas Eve)
-Shopping, surprisingly the malls were empty
-Christmas Eve service
-Wrap Gifts/Watch It’s A Wonderful Life

Tuesday (Christmas)
-Open Gifts after Lee-Ann and I woke the parents
-Christmas Dinner with Relatives
-We returned home to play Settlers of Catan

Wednesday (Boxing Day)
-Lee-Ann and I built our gingerbread train
-Mommy and I went to see August Rush
-Drive around looking at lights
-Two more games of Settlers

Thursday
-Shopping at the Forks
-Visit to the Train Club
-Dad and I had a date to see Beowulf in Imax 3D

Friday
-Mom and I went shopping
-Last game of Settlers
-Family supper out
-The ballet

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Girlie Night

Dad took his three girls (Mom, Lee-Ann and me) to see the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s The Nutcracker this evening. I knew the story but this was the first time actually seeing it, unless you count the Barbie Nutcracker movie.

We loved it. The few times I looked over Lee-Ann was on the edge of her seat delighted in the story. At the intermission I joked with her that it was time to go home and she was very upset that it was over till I let her know that it was only a short break. So she asked if she could get something to eat. We explained that there were only drinks available. To which she responded with this:

“I think I saw a hot dog stand.”
She was right, sort of, in the lobby there was a hot dog like cart serving coffee. Thankfully they also sold giant cookies to satisfy a little girl's rumbling tummy. It was a wonderful last night with my family. I am flying home tomorrow at 11am so I am off. Night.

Friday, December 28, 2007

All Aboard!

Tonight’s family adventure was a ride on a miniature train to see a local train club’s Christmas lights. The club has these two tiny engines that can pull cars big enough to carry people. There are different tracks for the trains to fallow and more that 300,000 lights set up on the club’s property. It was a chilly night but full of fun.

The engine that pulled us.


Complete strangers,
But it gives you a picture of what the ride was like.


“Christ is Born”
One of the lights displays

Mummy and Me

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

First Day Of Christmas

It might have been the time different or just excitement but I woke up a few times last night before I ventured upstairs to find out if anyone else was awake. Lee-Ann joined me. Together we creped into Mom and Dad’s room and jumped on them at 7:10am. Took us a few more minutes to convince them it was time to open the gifts. This is the only picture of the unwrapping party that didn’t have us looking like aliens or living dead:

With out a lover I did not recieve the traditional partridge in a pear tree. However my family did bless me with the gifts I had really hoped for and a few very nice surprises. I love my presents but I was more excited watching my family open their gifts, weird how things change.

Once everything was open I went back to bed. Lee-Ann woke me a little later to show me that her wiggly tooth had come out. I think the tooth fairy might be visiting tonight. I am trying not to be jealous but when I was little the tooth fairy skipped out house and yet my sister is in the fairy’s database? Doesn’t seem fair. The rest of the day was spent in phone calls to family, then Christmas dinner with relatives in Winnipeg, and a game of Settlers of Catan (which I was heralded the great benevolent rule…the peasants rejoiced.) Aaron shared this with me:


Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 24, 2007

All I Want For Christmas is My Four Front Teeth?

A very excited little girl jumped on me this morning. You would have thought it was Christmas but she just wanted to wake me up. It is nice being loved. She also wanted to show me her very wiggly front tooth. It seemed like it would come out all day but is still holding on. She already has three front teeth missing. Eating will be interesting when this one is gone.

I love being home with my sister. Sister comments from today:

“I want to follow my sister everywhere…except not in the bathroom.”
In the midst of a conversation about the cost of a mission I may possibly be a part of this summer Lee-Ann cut in with,

Lee-Ann: “I’m not giving Zizzy any of my allowence!”
Dad: “Why not Honey?”
Lee-Ann: “It sounds like too much money.”

The Eve of Christmas Eve

I'm in Winnipeg.

The flights were good. I got bumped in Toronto which had me thinking nasty words but they were able to put me on the next flight and because of my first flights delays it just gave me enough time to get to the terminal.

I got in an hour later than planned but I was still was able to hug my family tonight. We had a Christmasy Eve of Christmas Eve Feast to celebrate.

Now I am off to bed, my arms are tired after all that flying.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Memories

***December 22, 2007 @ 11:19 –I just last yesterdays late night post and it confused me. If the wording confused the author I am sure not one else got much out of it. So I’ve tried to fix it. I hope this helps...***

I arrived in Moncton late this afternoon to see Steph, Ben, and baby Hana. The plan was after supper Steph and I were going to brave the malls for some last minute shopping while Ben and Baby watched "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." I think the movie choice is what got us reminiscing about the Christmas specials we watched as kids. The classics were mentioned like Rudolph and Frosty. Then I tried to describe four shows I vaguely remember watching but didn’t know the names. The first was about elves and they were working in New York. The second a brother and sister move to the North because there mother is a scientist, and I think one is angry and gets lost and discovers Santa’s village, and then for some reason someone is going to find out and they have to help Santa. The third is a with puppets or stop motion and it starts with a counsil of eternal beings deciding if they should make Santa who is near death or dead immortal and they review his life. And the last show memory was of a claymation sining of different Christmas carols. The only parts I remembers was between songs different groups tried to sing the song here we come a wassailing but they always got it wrong like "waffleing" and the camels singing we three kings.

Of those four memories Steph and Ben only knew of the last one. We laughted at the memories and they Steph and I went to out to spend money. While we were out Ben had found the claymation special on youtube:


Part 2

Part 3

What are your all time favourite Christmas specials?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thankful Thursday #41

I am thankful for

-a good night at youth
-for our guest speaker who just returned from a semester at BBC
-friends
-things coming to an end
-creative outlets
-movie nights
-thirft stores
-the frozen food section
-sushi
-laughter
-good books
-life

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Movie Night: The Golden Compass

After months of waiting, schedule shuffling, and rain checks Shari and I finally had the movie night we first planned back in June. It wasn’t hard to decide what to see, since watching the first previews we had agreed to see The Golden Compass together. This was long beforethe current hot controversy surrounding the movie, books, and author. This is my take on what I saw the good, the bad, and the not as ugly as expected.

The story is fantasy. If you don’t like the genre in general you won’t like this one either. There are talking animals and witches and a whole world operating with it’s own rules. Fantasy is normally enough to get Christian groups riled up.

From what I understand the author Phillip Pullman’s trilogy is to Atheism what Narina is to Christianity, which has been like adding gas to a burning fire. Pullman is quoted as saying, "I'm trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief…" in the Washington Post back in 2001, I couldn’t find the original article just many that site it. But Pullman also recently said in an interview on Today, "Well, you know, I always mistrust people who tell us how we should understand something. They know better than we do what the book means or what this means and how we should read it and whether we should read it or not." I found this quote here.

I found a decent review of the movie on Kidology’s site. They also have a forum discussing the movie and whether Christians should see it. What I found refreshing about the article was that it did not tell you not to see the movie, it goes over the plot, gives four areas to be aware of, and three teachable themes with biblical references to enrich a discussion. I also liked that it was written to help pastors, teachers, and parents to engage in those who have seen the movie. The article is good stuff.

Back to the movie. The Magistrate, which I understand in the books symbolizes organized religion or the Catholic Church, is more like a corrupt government. It could be compared to the ruling powers in Animal Farm, Brave New World, or V for Vendetta. They want to dictate what people think and do and stop free will. The heroin and friends set out to discover truth and defend free-will. I didn't mind not liking them. They were evil, but I didn't feel like I as a pastor was being attacked. I hear the anti-church theme was watered down for the movie, that could be the reason the anti theme wasn’t as noticeable.

One of my bigger issues is that it is not a children’s movie. We saw parents taking young ones to see it. The Canadian rating is PG, but I agree more with the PG-13 rating the US gave. The Golden Compass is filled with frightening concepts (Gobblers stealing children in the night), suspenseful moments, violence, and death. Even the lighting was dark and spooky, if I were a child I would be up all night with fear. Not a kid's flick!

So, yes, I did enjoy the story and all the subplots. The characters were introduced and developed well and I became increasingly drawn into the tale. The most frustrating thing was the conclusion. It had that same let down as the end of the Fellowship of the Ring, when you realize the two hours you just watched was really just an introduction. The ending can only mean they plan to make the next two.


Also I got really excited to see the new Narina trailer…May 2008=Prince Caspian!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Cat Tales


You would not believe how difficult it was to get that picture. Both Inu and Kima thought of the reindeer ears as toys…I think it was the bells. An early attempt:
Well, Merry Christmas from my kitties.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Angels Aware!

The musical's story takes place in heaven with the angels gathering for a meeting called by Michael, who is sharing with them God’s plan to go to earth for the first time. There was a short break in the middle for the preschool children to sing which ended up being more clapping than singing...they stole the show. I apologies for my off key voice at the beginning. I was trying to encourage them to sing…not thinking that it would also be picked up on the video.



These were the angel delegations (and the prophets Moses and Isaiah) at Michael's meeting.

The two angels in this picture are Gabriel and Michael. Michael has the sword.


Opening Night...er...Morning

After three months of preparation and days of anticipation the children’s Christmas musical has come and gone. I feel like a huge weight is gone, only I also don’t know what to do with myself. The kid’s did a great job, songs were sung loud and clear (most of the time) and lines were said (most of the time) and they looked like they were having fun. I’ll have some pictures and maybe a video clip tomorrow. To celebrate some friends went out for lunch and then I came home and napped…but now what? The play has been a huge responsibility and focus the last bit. It’s amazing to me how much effort we put into an event that ends so quickly. It almost makes me doubt if it was worth it but from the feedback I received this morning I think it was. Someone even made the comment that it will be hard to top next year. I’ll wait to tomorrow to begin worrying about that.

One of the boys knew the whole musical inside and out. His father told me he would listen to the practice CD every night with his script. There were even a few times they came in to say goodnight and he had fallen asleep with the book open. He was hilarious to watch this morning. Any time some one was lost or forgot their line he would cue them. My favourite moment happened at the end, I was standing in the back of the sanctuary ready to give a cue when I heard one of the guys lean over and whisper to boy "hey what’s my next line." I had to hold in the laughter; for me it was everything a kid’s play should be.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Festive Frenzy

I know that December days brag about having the least amount of hours of light but I think the shortest days title also means that there are less minutes in December’s hours and therefore less hours in the days. I support my theory with the well known fact it is harder to get everything done in December. There just isn’t enough time.

Maybe I am just be overwhelmed after today’s dress rehearsal. There were sound check issues, costume chaos, two really good temper tantrums (I though for sure someone was going to be punched but thankfully only a chair was hit. Poor chair didn’t hurt anyone), and just general pandemonium. I am amazed that we actually finished the two hour practice on time. I am taking comfort in the fact that bad dress rehearsals equal good performances and hope that isn’t just an ol’wives tail.

Christmas Countdown Update:
The annual church board Christmas party on Monday and last night’s youth Christmas party were great. We had the youth party at a game room that just opened up. It had two Wii’s and four Xbox 360’s. The kids (and me) had a blast with Guitar Hero, Wii Sports and a few others. I also learned I am just as bad at Halo 3 and I am at original Halo. We played two teams of team, my team lost 50 kills to 35….I didn’t have a single kill. I hang my head in shame. The only thing that redeemed me was winning Wii Bowling.

The children’s Christmas musical is tomorrow.
5 days till the year’s last youth night
8 days till I am in Winnipeg with my family
10 days to Christmas.
And 2 weeks till Robin's in Japan.

Well, I’ve been at the church for ten hours and it just hit me that all I’ve eaten today are two two-bite cupcakes and a timbit. I think I am going to take my last minute list of to do’s home, eat left over pizza from last night’s party, and hope to sleep some time before tomorrow’s service.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Movie Night

A family in the church spontaneously invited me over for dinner last Saturday. I was very thankful because it meant that I didn’t have to eat another microwaveable meal. The food was great and the company was wonderful and for an added bonus they invited me to stay and watch Meet the Robinsons, which was better than I had expected. It was cute and family friendly, which meant very predictable but surprisingly enjoyable.

The best part was the T-Rex answering Bowler Hat Guy’s question on why the boy had not been caught, "'Cause I have a big head and little arms, and I'm just not sure how well this plan was thought through. [the pause in which Bowler Hat Guy stares angrily into handheld mind control device. T-Rex give a cute face] Master?"

The storyline was decent and the characters likeable. I give the flick two "little arm" thumbs up. It's a good one to watch over Christmas break.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thankful Thursdays #40

Why is it when there are less people than expected we focus on the ones missing not the ones present? Tonight I am thankful for the seven students who did come to youth group. I am thankful for my youth leaders who come even though one had his wisdom teeth out yesterday.

Other thankful things from this week are:

-unexpected discounts at two different stores on Saturday
-letters in my mail boxes…not just bills
-yummy cookies
-good books
-new projects
-my friend Amy and Gina
-an upcoming movie date (it’s with Sheri so not a "date" date) we’ve been trying to get together since the summer and our schedules always has us busy when the other is free, but it looks like this Saturday we’re going
-life…I am thankful for my life.

Yay God!

Rediscovery

Do you ever think that in the process of growing up something was lost? I am not thinking of the loss innocence, or the essences of childhood, or something expressed in Peter Pan…or maybe I am. I was a seamstress today for the first in years. I needed to create two prophet costumes out of burlaps for the up coming kid’s Christmas play (only four days away). The pattern was simple enough to make. When I was in grade four my mom put me in sewing classes, which I loved, but it has been a long time since I actually made anything.

Why do we stop discovering the world in the ways we enjoyed as kids? There are tons of classes and workshops for kids...not as many for adults. My cousins use to go to these cool summer programs, one learned to do magic shows and the other tried claymation. I am jealous of the opportunities and freedom children have to express. There were things that I tried once or twice as a kid that I enjoyed but I was only average (or horrible at) it wouldn’t be profitable to invest in the activity. I miss the freedom to try new things.

As I was picking up thread for prophet costumes I also purchased a meter of stripped fabric I liked. I am going to make something from an original "Liz pattern" (not sure what it is yet but I am excited). I don’t expect to make it on Project Runway but I hope I can rediscover a dormant love. My creative buds are tingling with anticipation…this could be fun or a horrible failure.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cat Tales

The cats have discovered the kitchen counter; I am not impressed. Sunday morning I washed a glass casserole dish to take to church for bible study. Becca was holding the dish in the passenger seat. She gave me a look. I told her I had washed it. She said something like, "oh really?" We held the dish to the light to discover dirt cat prints running across the dish. Someone suggested I could make a large pot of Chicken Chow Meow…tempting.

Any cat lovers have suggestions how I can keep the felines from jumping up on the counter I would love the advice. I’ve tried splashing them with water but it hasn’t helped. I’m going to try orange peels next.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Countdown

Christmas is coming. Kids only have 15 more days to wait. While I understand this is what most people are counting down to there are a few other events that have my attention:

1 hour till the church board annual Christmas party
4 days till the youth Christmas party
6 days till the children’s Christmas pageant
10 days till the year’s last youth nightand

13 days before I fly to Winnipeg and hug my sister and mommy and daddy.

I am going 'home'. This is truly the most wonderful time of the year.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Questions Discussed Over Chicken Fingers and French Fries

You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone…As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
James 2:24 & 26
A few of the youth have been meeting with me Sunday’s after the morning service for lunch and a bible study on James. Today’s passage was James 2:14-26. There was some good discussion going on the relationship between faith and deeds. The questions the kids struggled to answer was, “if you say you are a Christian, but your life doesn’t show it, you might not really be a Christian.” Is this a true statement and if so, why?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Bookworm

Mid-morning I read the final chapter of Sidney Poittier’s Measure of a Man. I was disappointed; I think the reason was I had an impression of what the content would be from reviews and a “Dinner with Sidney Poittier” special on Oprah and it didn’t match the actual book. There were a few parts I enjoyed but overall I was unsatisfied. I’m glad I got it finished because there were more books waiting for me at the library. I currently have the following signed out:

Due Dec 20th
Infidel –Ayaan Hirsi Ali
The God Delusion –Richard Dawkins

Due Dec 29th
A Long Way Gone –Ishmael Beah
God is Not Great –Christopher Hitchens

Due Jan 10th
I Heard that Song
Before –Mary Higgins Clark

Why do all the books on my reading wish list become available at the same time? I am not sure how/if I’ll be able to get all these read before their due dates but at least they waited till after November before coming in. In my favour there are only three chapters left in Captivating and five to go in Disappointed with God. I’ve temporary stopped reading Doug Fields’ Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry (the youth leadership team is going to read it together in the new year). Still there will be much reading in the days ahead.

Lessons From A Month of Novelizing

It seems like NaNoWriMo end months ago, reality (and my calendar) says it has only been a week. I have given myself a chance to breath. In the past seven days I have enjoyed sleeping in, bowling with friends, pie and chai lattes, reading books, and watching movies. And today I realized I miss my story and writing in general. I also found there are two other stories in me wanting to be written. These were a few other lessons I realized because of the writing challenge:

-I love to write.
-Writing never follows the outline.
-Stories write best when ideas are written out fresh, opposed to shared with friends then trying to recover the momentum of the brilliant idea to capture on paper.
-I will participate in NaNoWriMo again next year.
-Rough drafts are always bad.
-Bathtubs are giant sinks. Jeff passed that advice on to me. Thanks Jeff.

I think I am either going to start revising the story I just finished or start one of my ideas after the Children’s Christmas pageant.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Thankful Thursday #39

I am thankful for

-finishing NaNoWriMo
-pie
-invitations
-snow days
-cheap chai lattes
-clean, I like clean
-TV nights with Gina and Amy
-good long distance plans
-homemade cookies
-those who help weekly with the church ministries

Movie Night: Enchanted

Saturday night the girls and I went to see Enchanted. I absolutely loved it. It was cheesy and it knew it but that was half of the charm. I loved the group house clean up (and wished that would really work), the singing in the park, and the girl’s shopping conversation. If you have ever enjoyed a Disney princess movie than this is a perfect movie…go see it right now!

Now I realize this isn’t for everyone. Scott’s family went to see it last Tuesday. As the credits began he and Sheri both turned to say how cute it was but before they could their youngest boy stood up, let out a huge sigh and said very loudly, “Well, I am glad that is over. That was the longest movie ever.” He wasn’t into the mushy lovely dovely kissing stuff. So be warned it is a modern girlie fairy tale.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Snowbound and Cat Tales

I was running late for everything last month, I blame the novel, so this morning I went out early to clean off the car. The plan was to be early or at least on time…neither happened. Ten minutes early I backed out of my spot down the long driveway, backed in where I always back in to before getting to the drive way enterence and my car was stuck. Both my neighbors did the exact same thing as me and were fine but no no not me. My car wouldn’t move. Dug myself out, tried backing up again, went forward a little only to slide and get more stuck. I gave up and called Scott letting him know I was snowbound.

Turned out to be a good thing not only did I get caught up on a the cleaning I put off last month, I got half way through Measure of a Man, started a puzzle mom gave me last Christmas, and rearranged my room the plow didn’t get to our road till after 2pm so even if I could have got out of the driveway this morning I wouldn’t have gotten very far.

Inu has recently gotten in the habit of sitting on the back of the couch right behind me. Most of the time he just sits and flicks his tale against my neck, which is annoying but livable. The other day, while writing, his little paw touched the top of my head (no claws) and he ran it down to my neck. He then repeated the action a few more times. I had to shake my head, I was being pet by the pet. I think he was just trying to lull me into a false sense of security because now he waits till I least expect it and pounces on my head –no cool.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Off

Everything I did yesterday seemed off or flat. My actions were the same as any other Sunday but something was missing. Nothing felt right, I noticed it during the children’s moment and it was downhill from there. I just didn’t seem to be connecting. I even had two different people ask if everything was okay. The problem was everything was fine. I have no idea what made it off it just was. Driving home after it was over I just had one of those “I wish I wasn’t me” moments…but that was about it.

I’m not looking for validation or complements but I am wondering how do you deal with “off” days especially in ministry?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Final Hour

"You think everyone should agree with your perfect knowledge. While knowledge makes us feel important, it’s love that really builds up the church."
1 Corinthians 8:1 (NLT)

Bevere was good tonight! The final hour on "the eternal importance of humility, the supreme importance of walking in love, and the immeasurable value of your influence." It was a closer look out our own personal influence. I loved what he said about love and humility.

John shared out of his own life how God gave him freedom for pride. While feeling good about himself after overhearing some say how loving and kind he was God said "You don’t love the people in your church." John was, "yes I do. God didn’t you hear what they say about me." The God explained that it was selfishness masked by niceness. He was saying kind things even if they weren’t true because he was afraid of the confrontation. It was the love of self and the fear of rejection that motivated his words. John then went to the opposite extreme for awhile where he’d "fry Christians" with hard messages with out compassion and love. He finished by saying how God brought spiritual freedom from his selfishness into his life.

Other things that stood out to me were, "If we see people below us, we’ll teat them as such. We will take their needs lightly and we’ll speak down to them…If we value individuals, we’ll seek to build and strengthen their lives out of a heart of compassion and love." His given me a lot to think about and more than that there are a few major areas that God pointed at that he wants to deal with, which was painful and good. These are exciting days.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

YAY!

I am still giddy about finishing NaNoWriMo. To celebrate I did not have a slice of pie…I bought a whole pie and went bowling with Gina and Amy. I am really bad at bowling, but it was fun. I am letting the novel sit for awhile, I am going to pick it up in the new year for editing and revisions. If you are interested in reading Lemon Lime: The Adventures of College Roommates (the title may change) it should be available at the end of April 2008. Just let me know that you’re interested. Here’s the super sweet certificate Wrimo winner receive:

Congratulations goes out to Jessica who also reached the 50,000 word count goal. She made some incredible writing leaps the last week making her my NaNoHero. Thanks Jessica for not letting me finish alone.

Friday, November 30, 2007

52,495 Words Later...

Over the past 30 days I have watched my blue profile bar gradually grow, till this beautiful day when it went blue to green to purple with victory.


I have successful finished the NaNoWriMo challenge of writing a novel (of 50,000 words) in 30 days and will never do something so crazy (till next November).

I am now off to celebrate, sleep, do laundry and all the other house work I’ve ignored this month, drink a chai latte and enjoy a slice of cheesecake or…pie (mmm pie), not necessarily in that order.

The months progress:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thankful Thursdays #38

Life is good. I am thankful for…

-phone calls with my family. Today I had an hour talk with my mom and Tuesday I got to my dad and Lee-Ann, both calls were wonderful
-plane tickets, I’m going to see my family for Christmas!
-friends who listen to me vent late into the night
-chai lattes
-lunches with Sheri
-delegation
-moments when the writing just flows
-"author" sweaters
-TV nights with Amy and Gina, they make me smile
-deadlines, NaNoWriMo is almost over which is stressful right now but very good because I would never complete a story without a deadline
-the anticipation for completing NaNoWriMo and having another chai latte and maybe a slice of cheesecake or….pie. mmmm pie
-my church

Wrimo Word Count: 46,725 only 3,275 words left to write.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Why Wait?

I like new things. In elementary school I loved the first week when the brand new pencil crayons were still sharp. I love writing on the first page of a new journal. I love January 1st because it feels like a chance for a new start. I like making the resolutions and a list of goals. I like all these things till the newness wears off, the lead breaks, the pages wrinkle and ripe, and the desired change is forgotten.

Only I realized recently that I did make three of my resolutions a reality this year. I have stopped biting my nails, I’ve posted more frequently (in fact I have blogged more this year that the pervious two years combined) and I’ve nearly finished writing a novel. It got me thinking, why wait till the first to make a New Year’s resolution? Why not start the change today? So I’ve decided this week to work on one area of my life. I want to be a better grocery shopper. So my plan is two fold, I am going to keep a food log that tracks the cost of items I buy so I will know what a good deal is and I am going to make weekly menu plans and sick to them.

Wrimo word count: 45,872

I feel like an author tonight and it is not because I am about to post or that my novel is almost done (4000 words to go). No, tonight I feel like an author because of the sweater I am wearing. It’s a brown thick knit sweater with large wooden buttons. The sleeves cover the my palms so all I can see are my fingers as I type and it just gives me the feeling of a writer.

Cat Tales

You know those cute commercials with the white kittens gently play with balls of soft toilet papers rolls that is not reality. Older kittens alone with that much toilet paper does not equal cute; it only leads to a gigantic shredded mess.

One night about two weeks ago, I was madly writing when I realised that I was able to write without interruptions. Normally when I get into a writing zone Inu and Kima decided that is the best moment to sit on my lap regardless if there is a laptop there or not. But they were no where to be found. Turns out they had gone into the bathroom, batted about the door, it closed and they were trapped. They’ve done this to themselves a few times but I’ve also encouraged them to hide out in there so I could work on the novel.

The downside of their time alone is that they have discovered the shelf that stores the rolls of toilet paper. I had a mess to clean up last night and this evening. I some times wonder why I have cats…then I remember there are no mice in the apartment this fall, which is a very good thing.

Wrimo New: three days left in the nanowrimo challenge and just under 5,000 words to go.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ministry Monday: The Cereal Bowl

November 10th the youth group had it’s first ever Cereal Bowl. I was thinking about sharing about it right after it happened but better three weeks after the fact then never?

The idea came from Egad! where I get most of my crazy game ideas from. The premise is there is bowling followed by a breakfast cereal pot-luck. Joined together they make a cereal-bowl. I love the cheesy punny event name. To add to the fun I invited anyone willing to wear appropriate pajamas keeping with the morning theme.

The night went really well. Bethany’s Testify team was visiting for the next days service and joined in the bowling fun. Four of the members shared about their relationship with God to close out the night. The night went better than I could of hoped for. Only downside was the first snow had caused bad roads on the mountains keeping a few of the teens away. An added join Gina, Kelly, and Cale came. Yay for bowling fun and yummy sugary goodness!

I have to ministry related questions this week:

1) I am working on the youth Christmas party. We wanted to rent lazer tag gear but the cost is just too much. Any other suggestions of what we could do?

2) I want to make Advent calendars with the children this Sunday but the best Nativity craft I’ve been able to find is from the Latter Day Saints. It is almost exactly what I want. I might try and adapt it but I would prefer something different. Does anyone have a suggestion or a site that might help?
Wrimo Word Count: 45,116 -almost done!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hour Eleven

I felt like I had missed the boat for the first part of tonight’s Driven by Eternity. It was part two of Bevere’s messed titled Multiplication. I missed last weeks study because of RITV and they did two lessons that night in order for us to finish next week.

He did a quick review then began to give areas where grace can be multiplied in our lives. They were giving, prayer, and serving in ministries. Like the past weeks nothing he said was new to me but the topics felt more concentrated. It was one of the best teachings I’ve heard on giving money. I felt challenged but not like he was begging.

The two big take things that hit home to me was when we partner with a ministry by giving, prayer, or serving (even if it is something small that goes unnoticed) we are credited/rewarded for the good they do in Heaven. Made me think of that Ray Boltz song "Thank You". The second thing was that our attitude and motivation also affects our reward. If we do grudgingly it is nothing but cheerful giving is honored and rewarded. I think I need to let the message marinate in my mind a bit longer.

Wrimo Word Count: 41,643

Movie Night: Paris When It Sizzles

On the suggestion of a movie buff, whose pass recommendations have always enjoyed, I rented Paris When It Sizzles a few weeks ago. I thought it was fitting to do a review since the story is all about writing and this is novel writing month. The movie is a classic Audrey Hepburn love story. It was unpredictably predictable. If you like old movies and chick flicks it’s a good one to rent.

The basic story is a scriptwriter who has been prepaid for a movie script but wasted the months and only has three days to come up with the idea. He hires Hepburn to be his typist to help finish the story. Alex and Emma is very similar, like a modern retelling. Both have their own unique qualities. I wish I could write whole stories in the time periods the writers are give, NaNoWriMo would be done for me.

Wrimo Word Count: 40,190

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Writer's Night



This is where I am at with the story...only without the mad writing at the end. I sit in front of my computer and my head (and subsequently the story) is goo or maybe a word that rhythms with goo…

I am trying to remind myself this challenge is all about quantity not quality but it’s difficult. Even when I tell my inner editor that this is just a pre-pre rough draft the nagging voice says "give up" but I won’t. At this point I know I am going to finish nanowrimo; I’ve come too far not to. It's just a mystery what the final 15,000 words will be…. maybe drinking Amp will increase my word count, that's what the commercial seems to say.

Wrimo Word Count: 36,293
My goal for today is another 4,000 words

My thoughts are with the other nano writers. We can do this. Don’t give up!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful Thursdays #38

I am thankful for:

-God bringing everything together because I just couldn’t
-pretty year plans that seem to fit
-my vacuum cleaner and a clean living room floor
-last night’s kid’s Christmas practice not ending with another flooded bathroom floor
-painting finished
-my church family
-being rescued when I forget to put gas in my car (Gina you are my hero)
-movie nights and just hanging out friends (Gina, Amy, and Kelly this is you)
-phone calls with friends who live too far away to visit (Steph and Aaron this is you)
-story help (thanks Jeff!)
-and last but not least…I am thankful for my American friends.

Happy (American) Thanksgiving, eat turkey and a slice pumpkin pie for me!
Wrimo Word Count: 34,049

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Talking With Strangers, Movie Night, and Word Count

Funny conversation from a few days ago with a woman I randomly met:


Stranger: Where’s your hometown?

Liz: I am a Nomad

Stranger: Where is Nomad?


I waited till I was alone before I giggled. The conversation still makes me smile.

Last night the girls and I went to see Mr. Magorium Wonder Emporium. It was fun. It brought out the seven-year-old in me. There was bright colours, magical toys, a world of imagination and they called Jason Bateman "Mutant" because Mr. Magorium misunderstood the term accountant and thought it meant a mutant who counts. There were a few minor things I didn’t care for they can be over looked. Has anyone noticed the not so subtle hints of worldviews in movies?

I added a countdown to the end of nanowrimo on the sidebar yesterday. It makes the pressure seem more real. I get overwhelmed but the challenge still. The goal is still obtainable if I write 2000 words every day till the end of the month. Sounds easy actually doing it will be much more challenging. I haven’t even started writing today’s quota yet. I should get on that.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cat Tales


Wrimo Word Count: 32,064

Monday, November 19, 2007

Meanwhile Back on the Farm

In January the church began Hope Farm during the Sunday service for children ages 3-5. At the same time we were laying title and painting the walls of the whole lower level to be welcoming and fun for children. I had this vision of how the space would look when it was done. People were unsure about my ideas at first (I think some still are) but getting approval for my crazy ideas happened faster than I expected. Right from the beginning I had Scott and the boards support even when they couldn’t totally picture it. A month ago we began the final phase, hiring an artist to do wall murals. And I am very excited to say…

Hope Farm is finished! And all the children yelled for joy. Yesterday morning we let the 3, 4, and 5 year olds into the room for the first time in five weeks. This little guy stopped and said, “Wow, this place is awesome!” It made me smile.

The video is a clip of the whole room. I suggest muteing the sound because the mic picked up the loud furnace rumbling in the next room. The hum bothers me to listen to. I am not talented enough to make it quiet or put music over it.

One room done…four to go.
Word Count: same as Saturday

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Red Iguana TV

The third Sunday of the month is always Rally In The Valley, an interdenominational worship service for the students in the area. Three months ago I was asked to speak at tonight’s on James 1:19-27. Everything about the pre-service was scary and bizarre. I don’t think of myself as a "youth speaker" and I was worried about not connecting with the audience. I have no sense of humour. Normally, everything clicks and I have these images and connections and it is a beautiful mosaic mess that becomes a sermon. It has always been the "big idea" and application that took the longest and most thought. This message I had the main idea which was the also application before I finished praying for God’s guidance as I prepared, but then nothing else came. NOTHING. We were in pre-service prayer and I had four thoughts in my head of possible introductions and none seemed to fit.

I saw Sheri Horsman as the worship band started to play. She prayed for me and that made all the difference. God showed up and it just happened. I had an intro that connected, I even got a few laughs, there was also a middle and an end. Message in a nutshell: Know the Word – Live the Word. It was all God; I couldn't repreach the message if I wanted to. After the service a few kids came to thank me. The best conversation for me was with this one guy who told me that God used the message to deal with him, only the thing God had done was only a very minor part of the message. I totally know it was a God-think not a me-thing. That makes me happy.

Each month RITV is at a different location. Tonight we met at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Why are Catholic churches so much more beautiful than our sanctuaries? We met in the church’s gym but before the service they let me into the main chapel/sanctuary to pray, read my notes, and deal with pre-service jitters. The room and its imagery blessed me. I love visual forms of worship.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

And the Winner Is…

That band’s name is –Now Till Sunday. Kudos to Nata (who rocks in my group) for the suggestion and thank you to everyone who voted or made suggestions.

I’ve discovered reading and writing don’t mix. I returned The God Delusion to the library today. It was three weeks over due and I was only 40 pages into it. I might try to read it again in the new year or some time after nanowrimo is done. The trip to the library also had me signing out A measure of a Man again. I have three weeks to finish it, not sure if it will happen.

In other wrimo news: I went to the Coffee Merchant this afternoon, there is a coffee shop in my story that is surprisingly similar, for my well earned chai latte. It was simply wonderful. I had it with a tastily chicken and cranberry sandwich and even splurged a little and tried their pumpkin-ginger spice cheesecake. It was interesting and for the most part very enjoyable, it almost tasted like Christmas till I got a piece of real ginger that wasn’t chopped fine enough.

Word Count: 28,688

Friday, November 16, 2007

Half Way Point

It is really 4:41 in the morning and I just hit 25,012 words.

This means I get my chai latter later today when stores open and normal people live. Yay for words and chai lattes. If I had energy I would to a happy dance instead I think I am just going to go collapse on my bed.

Yay sleep!

--11:59pm--

The polls are closed with Viridian and Now Till Sunday tied for first, each with eight votes. Not sure which would be better take a second vote or just flipping a coin . Too bad it couldn’t be a game of rock, paper, scissors to finalise the winner.

Out of the two, Viridian or Now Till Sunday, which should be the band's name and why?

Word Count: 25,093

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thankful Thursdays #37

This is a day to be thankful. I love that "Thankful Thursdays" are on Thursday because most nights after youth I need to be reminded of all my blessings. Tonight was different. Youth was amazingly-awesome (not my doing). This is a day to be thankful for. God is good! I am very thankful for my life, for my church, and for sleep.

I am thankful that Matthew found a way to make the ***s work. I know it is just a little thing, but I like reading new posts on friends’ blogs and I like having my blog read. So yay for Matthew, hip hip horray!

I am thankful for Gina and Amy. I love spending Tuesdays and Wednesdays with them.
I am thankful for facebook cause it helps me stay in connect with friends and cool people far away, and I really enjoy the grow plant application.

I am thankful for goals. This writing challenge is very frustrating at times. But I have learned I love writing and I love having a goal to strive for. In fact, if I reach 25,000 before I go to bed tonight I am treating myself to a chai latte tomorrow.

I am thankful for the youth leaders who give their time each week. They come early, stay late, pour into the kids, care about what happens to the group, and they make me look good. They are an amazing team.

I am thankful for my Daddy and Mommy! They are good people!

I am thankful for everyone who has already voted for one of the ten band name nominations. The poll closes tomorrow at 11:59pm (Atlantic Time).

I am thankful for Steph and Jessica who have joined me on the NaNo adventure. They make attempting such a huge task less daungtings. I love you two!

I am thankful for my characters Lina and Lily. They surprise me every few thousand words by saying or doing something I hadn’t expected. And I am thankful for words. I am more thankful for words already written in my story. A story I should get back to.

Current Word Count: 20,304
Words needed before bed to earn a Chai Latte: 4,696

Walking Backwards?

My friend Jeff was asking me what I thought about the "black only" school idea. I don’t watch or keep up with the news; in fact I am pretty oblivious to what is going on in the world around me. I had no idea what he was talking about so I looked up what CTV and CBC had to say.

I can appreciate people wanting to group together. It is why cities have "Little Italy" and Christians have their own elementary schools. We humans like being in bubbles with those who are similar to us. It is comfortable, safe and we have the strength and support of a community but isn’t this separate school a real "nobly motivated" segregation? It seems like a step back. Isn’t this the very thing Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against? If it was a white group making the suggestion red flags would be raised. Why is this different? Just my first reaction, what do you think?.

NaNo Word Count: 18,227 hoping to be at 21,000 before I got to bed tonight.

I’ve added the poll box above to make it easier to find. If you haven’t voted your favourite band name vote now! The top suggestion at 11:59pm Friday night will be the group’s name in my story.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Cat Tales

I took Inu out for his first snow this morning. He hid under the neighbors steps at first and refused to come out. After a bit he timidly crawled out and tested the snow. For those who watch the clip below, my cat was not imbued with superhero powers allowing him to walk on the side of walls…I am just a horrible cameraman…woman…person. I had taken a picture with the camera tilted and forgot to turn it back to capture the video –sorry.

Inu in the snow:

NaNo Word Count: I haven't started writing yet today but my goal is 4,500 words. I'd like to be at 25,000 at the end of the 15th.

If you haven't selected a band name to be used in the WriMo story cast your vote in the poll below.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Polls Are Open


Which of the suggested band names should I use in my novel?
Viridian
Now Till Sunday
Disco is Dead
Get Friendly
Last Chance Marie
Ray's Band
Lavie
Mars Bars in the Basement
The Magdalenes
Charlotte's Spangled Web
Free polls from Pollhost.com



Thank you to everyone whose made a nomination.
Voting ends Friday.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hour Eight

Driven by Eternity was the best tonight, it was more of a sermon that a teaching time which was different from the pervious weeks. He said good stuff. I found myself nodding quite a bit, Amen-ing in more than a few places, and overall challenged. There was so much good said in the forty-five minutes that I am not really sure what to highlight. Three concepts/quotes that stood out to me where:

1) The Kingdom of God is not a democracy, it is a kingdom.
2) When we co-operate with God out of obedience that is true humility.
3) God prepared our assigned tasks in advance (Eph 2:10; Ps. 136:16; and Jer. 1:5) The question is will we fulfil what was planned for us?

Beyond the actual subject matter the two best things were: the return of the statement "I just preached myself happy" and second while talking about Joseph having a vision of leadership then being thrown into the pit he said, "and we know what P.I.T. stands for Pastors In Training." It made me laugh.

This is the last chance to make band name suggestions. Tomorrow night’s post will begin the voting.

NaNo Word Count: 13,107 out of a 50,000

Saturday, November 10, 2007

It’s a Marshmallow World in the Winter and I’m Ready for S’Mores

First real snow of the year started a half-hour before tonight's youth event. Thankfully Testify, the Bethany team that was joining us and leading the service tomorrow, had already arrived and set up safely and only one family couldn’t make it because of the roads.

When I left the church at 10:00pm power in town was gone. It was dark everywhere not even street lights, with the exception of Blockbuster which was open and running on generator lights. If there was no power who would rent a movie to watch on the TV that has no power to run it?

I’m still taking band name nominations…just leave a comment with your suggestions. My novel thanks you.

NaNo Word Count: 11,606 of 50,000

Friday, November 09, 2007

Writer’s World

This novel is consuming my life. I think about the plot even when I am not in front of my computer and when I am I visit facebook, blogs, or nanowrimo with guilt for procrastinating. I’ve spent the majority of today typing or thinking about typing. Leftover trunk or treat candy is keeping the blood sugar high and the creative juices flowing. I've made good progress and enjoyed listening to WriMo Radio’s podcast on love over lunch. It was worth listening to and I strongly suggest it to my fellow participants. They also had new word count widgets, which I have added to the sidebar. I am still enjoying the challenge but it is like having to write a major paper (2000 words) every day for thirty days on the same fictional subject.

The shoreline is coming along, I am satisfied with its development. A few unexpected things have happened, always fun when the author is surprised. I am looking for some reader participation. My character Lina is the lead singer in an indy band and I am at a lost on what to call it. How you can help is make any suggestions. My plan is to take nominations from now till Sunday. On Monday voting will begin based on the suggestion. The one with the most votes will be used in the novel, unless the name is horrid (bookshelf and my little pony are fine names for fish but not for bands). If it matters Lina has short spiky green hair.

NaNo Word Count: 11,046 out of 50,000

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Thankful Thursdays #36

It’s been such a wonderful week, full of joyful event and things all of which I’ve been thankful. Here are a few:

-Visual expressions of worship
-Encounter weekend and the road trip
-Loaned vehicles to drive to amazing youth events
-Children’s ministry workers
-Words coming out
-Friends and writing encouragement
-Getting together with another kid’s pastor to talk and be inspired

Mom, if you read this could you call me tomorrow?
NaNo Word Count: 7,000 of 50,000

A Lack of Words...

It’s not writer’s block, but I have stared at an almost blank word document since 8:30pm. I have the thought and the desire to write it just hasn’t translated into actual typing tonight, yet. The words that are in the document were all from previous days. A week into writing and I feel 7,000 words behind. It is pressure that is keeping my head numb. Though, I like my story and where it is going.

The setting is a Christian college campus (they say write what you know) and follows two roommates their freshmen year who are day and night opposites. The roommates are about to met for the first time and I am trying to think up real things that will drive them crazy about the other person. Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas they are willing to share (real or fictional) that I could adapt for my story?

NaNo Word Count: same as yesterday…

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Cat Tales

For those curious about the "crazy cat lady" results, of the 17 voters 47% believes that name can only be given when there is a minimum of four cats. One good friend challenged the accuracy of the poll since one cat wasn’t an option and anyone who wanted a cat in the first place needed to have their heads examined. Even without the poll proof I am not planning to get anymore cats, two is enough!

Inu and Kima have been great supporters of my writing ambitions. In the past when I want to type they seem to feel that is the best moment to seek my affection and undivided attention. But the last two nights they have managed to trap themselves in the bathroom. How I think it works they dash into the bathroom when I open the door and follow me in and when exit I leave the door open but I think they hit it thinking it’s a moving toy and it shuts them in. I don’t rush to rescue them because I am enjoying the writing freedom.

NaNo word count is slowly growing: word count 6,438/50,000

Monday, November 05, 2007

Ministry Monday: Flashback to the Weekend

Last night the family called because they weren’t satisfied with waiting till today to hear about my bruised ego, so I told them in advice. For everyone else the story starts in the midst of howling Noel, I was rushing from the cafe to JP. I was rushing mostly to get out of the rain but also because we were late for the last service. I am not sure how it happened, my best guess is that it was my shoes, but I completely lost my balance just at the curb before the JP sidewalk. My knees hit the concert first and then everything else. It happened so fast and all that my mind grasped was sheer pain but I think it would have been hilarious to watch, like something you might have seen on American’s Funniest Homevideos. I rolled over and sat up to catch my breath till the comfort of just sitting was cancelled out but the increasingly wet jeans at which point I stood up and turned to face JP. This is when I realised the entire wipe-out had been witnessed by a youth group filled fishbowl (the glassed entrance of the girl’s dorm). When I walked they all asked me if I was broken. I smiled-a grimace and said just my pride and walked up three flights of stairs only to realise that it wasn’t just my pride but my whole body from my neck down that was broken. Gina was very kind and let me wear her clothes. And that is my close encounter this weekend, it hurt but yet typing it out makes me giggle.

That wasn’t my only encounter of the weekend. As cheesy as it sounds I did encounter God at Encounter (or Booster…or boostounter). It was the not having to organize or leading that allowed me to focus my energy on just being in God’s presence. I like that, being with God not just doing for God.

Atlantic was amazing, it was all my group talked about when I asked them what they liked. I loved the visual connections especially of the enormous cross* hanging down from the sanctuary ceiling and the while paper "streamers" being shot over the cross/crowd during worship when "washed whiter than snow was sung." The three speaker thing was neat. I thought all three connected with the students.

Word Count: um...working on that now, currently 4,774 of 50,000.

*I found the picture on Jenn McCann's Facebook.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Seventh Hour

Driven by Eternity was looking on the believer’s judgment. Using Scripture he talked about how followers of Jesus build on the foundation of Christ and we can either build with gold, silver and precious stone or with hay, straw, and wood. And that God will be looking not just at words and works but our motives. He then went on to explain that we can’t judge our motives only God can but we are to keep a pure conscience before God. I think this is where the weekend caught up with me cause the two statements seemed to contradict each other. If we can’t know our motives how are we to keep pure motives? Maybe that is not what was being implied but that is what confused me.

The statement that stood out to me was that the believer’s judgment isn’t about where they will spend eternity but how they will spend it. I see that each will be blessed according to how they have lived on earth but with that affect their quality of life too? I might re-watch the lesson later this week when my brain is not thinking about how gloriously sweet sleep is. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s account of boostounter and my crushed ego.

Word Count: 4,315 of 50,000

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Movie Night: A Walk To Remember

The Booster activities are over. Are group is spending the night, didn’t want to get in at 2am. So we went to Tim’s for a bit, checked out the student centre, and now the girls and are back in JP just hanging out. I should be working on the novel but words just aren’t coming…oh procrastination how sweet is my bitter enemy. The girls put in A Walk To Remember. It seems weird that TVs are allowed in rooms now.

I forgot how good this movie is. I am really enjoying it. It is much more enjoyable than writing. This might be one of my top ten favourite movies or at least one of my top chick flicks. Definitely worth owning. There is a part near the beginning about knowing who you are that I think would fit with a talk we’re going to be having in the next few weeks. I’m glad to be right here, right now, with these girls, watching this movie.

Word Count: 4,217/50,000 only 45,783 words to go.

Friday, November 02, 2007

In To Deep To Turn Back

Second day into NaNoWriMo and so far so good. I was only able to add a few paragraphs early this morning before driving the youth group to Sussex or "boost-ounter". Not much help to the overall word count but every bit helps. I am thinking of blogging every day like Jessica in hopes that it keeps the creative juices flowing, the challenge from Kirk to step up the blog was the other motivation. Winning Matthew’s "Blogger of the Year" would be neat.

Last night I worked on the story at a local coffee shop, I have become a living cliché. The girl working was very kind; she filled my teacup up with hot water three times helped resolve a character/plot issue. With the problem behind me I should be able to plunk out a few thousand more words.

I’ve added a links list to the other two bloggers I knew participating. Did I miss anyone? If you are just comment and I’ll add you the list and my nano buddies (even though I am not sure how to do that yet).

Word Count: 3270/50,000

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thankful Thursdays #35

My screen mocks me. The flashing cursor lets me know I am not working on the NaNoWriMo Novel. While I wait for inspiration to hit again I’m going to work on Thankful Thursday. I am thankful for….

-my Mummy and Daddy. I love when I get phone calls from them. YAY for family!
-Watching TV with friends. YAY for Gina, Amy, and Danielle!
-that November is finally here. I’ve been anticipating the start of NaNoWritMo for weeks and it is here now. I am glad it’s begun even if I am not sure what to say next.
-friends also participating in NaNoWriMo. YAY for friends!
-the coffee shop I am currently sitting in while waiting for further inspiration to hit.
-my laptop. I’ve had it for awhile, it was a gift from my daddy just before my internship in 2004. I am so thankful for it. I use it everyday. Dad, if you read this THANK YOU!!!
-for successful events, last nights Trunk or Treat went better than I expected and all the feedback I have been hearing has been positive. A church member even told me today how our sign advertising the event had triggered a conversation with some quirious about what it was all about. Another girl had told her friends about last night and the friends response was "wow, that is a cool church" YAY for good things happening.
-for left over candy. mmm…chocolate
-everyone who participated in the Trunk or Treat from carving pumpkins to passing out candy especially those who set up or stayed to clean up.
-long drives
-people, books, and websites that get me excited about ministry and what is happening at our church
-for the opportunity to preach this past Sunday
-the NB Sunday School Conference and that I could participate even if I am from NS, that actually won me a prize.
-Steph and Ben Perry. YAY again for friends!

NaNoWriMo word count: 2703

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trunk or Treat

I was reminded this morning of a song Beautiful You. I think the lyrics went something like: "You may have dyed your hair a shade that freaks your mother out. It maybe green but it looks clean did you try to rinse it out?" The melody continued to play as I stared at my turquoise-greenish-not-really-blue hair in disappointment.

Last night we attempted to dye Mollies and my hair blue. It is now the colour of swamp sludge. I am a little worried that one friend didn’t even notice the change in colour.

Other big news today was the successful Trunk or Treat at the church. This was a first at our church and it went so well. I've been working on the plans all month and the youth group has been helping me set up the past four days.
Mollie and I went as Thing 1 and Thing 2…we found away around the lack of blue hair. Everything came together better than I had expected. The game stations went well. There was joy and laughter in all corners. And the best part children from the community came. One family with four children said they would be back on Sunday. These are exciting days.


Just 23 minutes till nanowrimo begins, you can still sign up.

Cat Tales

The other night Kima was sitting in front of the living room bay window on an end table. She was peacefully eating my poor plant when she noticed something on the other side of the glass just out of her reach. She began to swat at it in hopes, I assume, of catching it. She must have been getting frustrated because she tried a new tactic. She crouched down into the "I am a hunter about to pounce" position and leaped into the glass. I jumped at the loud thud she made and laughed as she shock herself off…and tried again. My cats are dumb.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ministry Monday

This morning a saint in the church saved my job. The supply closet/room recently had three new sets of shelves mounted. While the work was being done all the markets, crayons, papers, glue, and everything else was strewn across one of the classrooms. Before Scott left for the Ukraine we were talking about the different things that needed to be done. He asked about the resource closet. I promised that it would be organized before he got back. He then asked what if it wasn’t and I told him he could fire my butt. With five days to spare the closet was organized, my job was saved, and it was well with the world, all thanks to the hard work of one very wonderful servant.

She was amazing. Everything has a place and can easily be found. There were things in the closet I didn’t even know we had like frog costumes, seashells, and a cloth nativity that I thought was lost. She also found boxes and boxes of old Sunday school curriculum, dated lessons, and old clubhouse programs. What do you do with material once it has served it purpose or is out dated?

Sixth Hour

It has been a good day. I preached this morning, had lunch and a study with some teens, and tonight was Driven by Eternity. The video’s subject was Heaven. My favourite part was right near the beginning. It wasn’t a thought or anything deep but rather just an odd quote. Bevere was speaking about the beautiful of heaven and said, "I just preached myself happy."

Heaven is always an interesting subject. I found myself nodding in agreement most times but a few had me tilt my head to the side and think "interesting…" These are a few his interesting or new to me thoughts. (Paraphrased so I might have it wrong; he did have verses to back up his thoughts) In the final battle after the millennial reign there will be those who are neutral. They are not the saints but they are not in torment. They live outside the city after the judgment the saints will rule over them. Another is that saints will be able to travel about in an instance. The last was that in the land outside God’s city it will be possible to look down and see those suffering in torment as a deterrent from rebellion.

After we watch the videos we have a group discussion time, with Scott away I facilitated the questions. We had a guest visiting the study for the first time. She mentioned that she was confused by the fact that we could see the suffering and said that she was under the impression that Jesus’ death was for the salvation from everyone why was he sending people to hell. We asked her question which lead to more questions. After I closed in prayer a few woman gathered with the guest to talk with her some more. They came over twenty minutes later to tell me she had excepted Christ into her life.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

What a Wonderful Whoopah Wahey Weekend

Main Street Baptist (St. John) was hosting this year’s NB Sunday School Conference last night and today. I spent Friday before the conference started with my dear friend Steph then crashed on her couch last night (while she hijacked my blog). Whirlwind would be another good description of the past two days. There was much driving, hugs, apple cinnamon tea, meeting of new people, free samples, resources bought (3 CDs, 2 books, and a DVD) and crazy kid action songs….oh and I won a DVD for traveling the furthest. Bigger news would be that I drove in St. John for the first time…and didn’t get lost. Credit should go to the high quality directions I was given.

I love kid’s ministry and connecting with others but the draw to this conference was Doug Horley. He lead worship. I was introduced to his CD, Whoopah Wahey! while at Bethany. I am so glad I went. Everything was...whoopah wahey, and I got close to Jesus. Only downside: I can’t get the Okey Dokey song out of my head.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Liz's 26th and a Half Birthday

This is Steph. Liz doesn't know what to blog, so I'm going to help her.

10 Wonderful things about Liz

1. she's so sweet she doesn't think there should be "10 wonderful things about Liz" on her own blog.

2. She as driven 6 hours on three different occasions to come see me.

3. She's beautiful.

4. She knows how to laugh and have fun in any circumstance.

5. She reads intersting books.

6. She knows how to listen and respond.

7. She's more creative in discussions than just saying "that's stupid and you're wrong".

8. She happily changed a wet diaper for me, even tho she had never used cloth diapers.

9. She tells people wonderful things because she really loves them and means what she says.

10. She's letting me blog this anyway.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thankful Thursdays #34

This week was full of blessings and joy. My heart is truly thankful for

-My church family that appreciates me
-Pink roses
-My mummy
-Pastor Scott and his family
-For the youth groups parents
-My AMAZING youth leaders
-Good friends
-That I am seeing Steph tomorrow
-Old movies, I watched "Paris When It Sizzles" last night. It was very enjoyable
-Sleep
-A clean apartment, even if I am the one who has to clean it

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ministry Moments

Tonight was the second practice for the Christmas children musical. A few days back I was worried that I’d end up being the choir director. The very thought scared me. I may have taken Music for Children at college but I don’t think I have the first clue about the subject. As it was I ended up being a human metronome clapping the beats for one song. Those who know my un-giftedness with music and rhythm will be amazed to know that I actually did keep the beat…for the whole song.

October 31st is just a week away (eight days till the start of nanowrimo). The church is hosting it’s first ever trunk or treat Halloween night as a "safe fun alternative to traditional festivities". I am really excited but at the same time really nervous it is going to flop. There is still so much to prepare and I am not sure we have enough people signed up to help and there are a few programming issues. I’m also looking for some fun site/carnival game ideas…any suggestions?

Cat Tales

My cats are jealous of the laptop.

This has been an on going issue the last few weeks. I sit down to blog and they suddenly want to be affectionate and the only suitable place to sit is on the keyboard. This affectivity blocks my sight of the screen and the ability to type. Then they try make up for it by be all cute and loving -rubbing my cheek and licking my nose. If I put the computer down to pet them the jump off till I pick it up again to try and type. It’s been frustration but I never expected it to get worst.

I was wrong. Inu managed to pulled out the cable connecting me to the internet. Not once but twice, with a few failed attempts. He is now hiding in the other room because the last attempted gave him a squirt of water in the face.

In unrelated news, this is bowl of stew(art)’s 300th post, maybe that's why the cats are jealous.

Monday, October 22, 2007

This Day

Nothing went as expected today. When does life ever go as planned? It’s been a normal week of ups and downs but for whatever reason the downs have been holding a firmer grasp in my memory and setting the tone for all other things that might go wrong.

This morning I overslept, it was a case of last night thinking I was turning on the alarm while I was actually turning it off. It made getting out the door looking presentable a hectic task. And then I remembered the youth were coming to my house after church and nothing was ready, there were dishes in the sink, the litter box wasn’t changed because the store I buy litter from closed early last night, there was nothing to feed the youth because the same store closed early last night, and the cats had knocked over a plant while I was sleeping. How was everything going to get done? There were tears and prayer followed by almost tears and desperate pleas to God. Even when I made it to the church and wonderful people were helping set up I felt like I was behind and messing up. Everything in my head kept rushing around causing traffic jams of thoughts. The thinking dug up the inadequacy I felt Thursday night and built on it. The end result was doubt and frustration. Seemed the day couldn’t get any worst….

…and it didn’t. Somewhere from the moment I told God I can’t do this to the start of the service everything changed or at least things in my head did and if that was all that change it was enough. The day was good. And this is when the unexpected surprise came in. It’s Pastor Appreciation Sunday, which is connected with Pastor Appreciation Month. I had expected a finger food type fellowship after the service and maybe a card. I was surprised. Speechless. Wow. The congregation had given gift baskets to Scott’s family and me. Shari (Sr. Pastor’s wife) and I both were given a dozen roses…I got roses. Beautiful pink ROSES! And the best was the cards of encouragement from the church family included in the gift. I counted 22 cards. In a week when I was discouraged God provided away to be pulled out of it. It was not the day I expected.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Movie Night: Pan’s Labyrinth

Since it came out I’ve wanted to see Pan’s Labyrinth yet I avoided renting it. After reading Steph’s review I didn’t want to watch it lightly. I kept passing it over for lighter subjects and predictable plots till tonight. Tonight I finally watched Pan’s Labyrinth. It carried me away from the first note of its eerie lullaby till the closing credits. It was breathtaking and horrible and depressing and scary and wonderful. Nothing happened as I expected and that was a good thing. The evil was dark and the good struggled. There was hopelessness and joy. It brought me into the story so much I forgot I was reading subtitles. And there were so many beautiful visual concepts. I loved the chalk doors. I will watch it again before it has to go back. Take the time to see it.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Thankful Thursdays #33

I drove home tonight anything but thankful. I was talking to God about it and searching for the joys of the week through tainted glass, upset by a minor thing that felt major. The idea came that it might be a case of faking till it was true. I didn’t want my thanksgiving just reason. I wondered if this was one of those times you need to be thankful even in the wasteland. I was just asking God that question when I saw the smoke of a warehouse just a km from my place. The closer the more noticeable the blaze became. The fire changed my thoughts.

Tonight I have a place to sleep, food to eat, friends to visit with, a job I love. The things I forget to notice matter the most. Today I am thankful that God is in my life. Everything good comes from him.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Message From Myself (Or At Least My Imagination)

I got an email from my imagination the other day. Actually it was misdirected to NaNoWriMo, they passed it on to me. It went like this:


This is your imagination. I know work, school, and general craziness have been keeping us apart lately. But there's something we need to do together this November. It's called National Novel Writing Month. For it, we'll bash out a
50,000-word novel, from scratch, in 30 days.

You and me. Writing a book. Together. I need you to sign us up. Because I don't have any arms.

Love,
Your
imagination


Anyone else interested in signing up? Just fourteen days till the mad writing begins. I have a vague forming of a characters, crisis, and plot. I hope the details don’t get lost before I am officially allowed to start writing

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cat Tales

I got into a mini debate with my dear friend Gina this afternoon. We need your help to determine who is right or at least who the majority agrees with. The following poll has each of our thoughts plus two other options that people have given me. Please help us end the dispute. If you want to suggest a different number just make a comment.


How many cats does it take to be a 'crazy' cat lady?
Three
Four
Eight
Ten
Free polls from Pollhost.com

In other news, Inu and Kima are loving their new scratching post. I like it because it means I am 48% less likely to be used as a scratching post and the furniture has 23% less clawing appeal.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Nursery Notes

Weeks back the church was launching a new nursery ministry. I asked about nursery sign in systems to help formulate one for our church. The suggestions I got from the blog and a few other sources helped shape our current system. The magnetic white board picture is what we are using. The clips hold the child’s information and the parent gets the card with the matching number. Right now only a few families use the nursery but when it grows we will also have stickers for dipper bags and bottles with the same number.

In other ministry news, a local artist began painting our preschool classroom. The murals are the finishing touches too a project we started in January. I loved the storybook sketches Moni showed me I can’t wait till the walls are done.

Moni at work

Rough sketch


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hours Three and Four

Sitting through two back to back sessions of Bevere’s Driven By Eternity tonight was intense. We were playing catch-up from last weekend’s Thanksgiving celebrations (a happy belated Canadian Thanksgiving). The stuff was good but there was a lot to take in…my mind is the consistency of oatmeal.

Hour Three was on those who have been deceived. They believe that they are going to heaven, but are found amongst those that Jesus says, "away from me, I never knew you." Much was said, it is a 45 minute video, different reasons were given. He came down hard on seeker-sensitive churches for making it too easy to join the "born-again-club" and not explaining the call of Christ to come die and take up your cross. Hour Four Bevere walked through Scriptures warning that believers can lose their salvation.

During both I remember thinking "good word, good word" but none of those instances stand out right now. After the second video a lady I was talking to said, "He’s saying the things I think better than I can." I agree, nothing he is saying is new, but it is all concentrated with an eternal focus. It’s like I’ve been looking at an art book full of studies, a snip it here or a section there, but here’s a large picture. The subject tonight rubbed a few people the wrong way, the discussion time was good. I am glad we are doing this as a church. I am now off to bed in hopes that my gray matter with but less goo like tomorrow, I leave you with the passage that stood out and encouraged me the most tonight:

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
Jude 24-25

The Pursuit of the Golden Elephant

This has nothing to do with cult and everything to do with the success of today’s ultimate scavenger hunt. It was good even when nothing went as expected. The biggest disappointment was the turnout, eight students and four drivers showed up. Based on the sign up sheet I was expecting 12-15. The extra driver wanted to play and willingly joined a team, making three teams of three. The other was the delay in teams getting back. Turned out to be a good thing because we were able to get a game of Settlers in.

How the hunt worked: Each team was given a bag with a mascot (I love the dollar store), a disposable camera, game instructions and rules, and a list of 50 items to photograph; they could double up items they wanted. Thank you to everyone who gave suggests, it made the list of 50 possible! They then dropped off the cameras for one hour photo developing and I picked up after the event. I couldn’t wait so I took a peek right in the store. Hilarious, the teams did wonderful. I earned a few weird looks due to my great laughter.

Some of the fun things gathered that got me giggling:
-helping an old lady cross the street
-rolling down a hill
-eating ice cream
-a pink car
-dinosaur eggs…the group that got this went to a grocery store and took a picture of a box with cartoon dinosaur eggs

My favourite picture was the whole team in the library with their frog mascot and a librarian holding 26 books, each of the books starting with a different letter. I’ll be announcing the winner in church today. The winning team claims bragging rights, heralded as mayor of Catan…wait wrong game, and earns the golden elephant (an elephant figure glued to a upside down plant pot painted gold. I love the dollar store). Happy Days!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thankful Thursdays #31

I am thankful for…

Everyone’s scavenger hunt suggestions. If you have an idea to add please leave a comment
Those who are willing and able to do the things I am weak at like budgets and accounting
Invitations
Encouragement from unexpected places
My friends
Long talks and phone calls from family
This day.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Advice Request

This Saturday the teens are gathering at the church for the Ultimate Scavenger Hunt. The idea is for them to be divided into groups based on the number of drivers. Each group will be given a disposable camera, a team mascot, and a list of things to capture on film.

I’m struggling to come up with a picture list. If you have any suggestions funny, practical, impossible, out of this world, or realistic that could make for interesting pictures or interesting adventures trying to take the picture please leave a comment. Thank you.