Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lock-In Review

Friday night was the third annual winter youth group all-nighter. These are my thoughts:

1) Staying up all night is harder now than during college, even harder when it was the second all-nighter of the week. Makes me feel old.

2) Choosing movies for youth events is super hard. I struggle against balancing what they would enjoy with what I feel is appropriate. 

3) Video games are an equally hard challenge. They wondered why I said no to GTA 5.

4) I love board games. I got to play Thur and Taxis

5) Group games are better when they involve a banana. We had a banana hunt, banana measuring scavenger hunt, banana dress up/fashion show, banana surgery with the need to reconstruct the dissected fruit, and my personal favourite banana rumble (which is steal the bacon with bananas). These events were my personal highlights.

There were some joys but it was a hard night. I had frustrations during the night. Youth who hated everything and just wanted to argue along with teenage angst and drama. Got me thinking, why do we plan these events? What are the positives because at the moment I can't see many. 


I forgot to share this earlier in the month.

I summed up my hopes for the new year with six C words: connecting, comunity, creativity, correspondence, challenges, and commitment. Only I never said what the challenges were. Here they are:

1) Memorize 12 verses
2) Invite people over once a month for coffee, games, movie night or other
3) Edit my nanowrimo story for 2008
4) Participate in nanowrimo 2009
5) Blog 15 posts a month
6) Create 12 (one a month) pieces of artwork in media of choice (sketching, paint, etc…)
7) Give homemade creations as Christmas gifts
8) Send a letter or card every two weeks
9) Read 6 ‘classical’ or literature works of fiction
10) Run 10km (does not have to be a race)
11) Be healthy-er
12) An overnight hike and sleep under the stars

I'm off to a poor start. I also gave myself a challenge for each month. January was all about schedules and organizing didn't happen (yet, hope springs eternal).

Friday, January 30, 2009

Classical Hopes and Stats

Last year I kept take of the books I read and the movies I saw. Making the lists and keeping track was eye opening in some ways. I read 66 books last year, 13 of which were non-fiction and only 31 were fantasy/sci-fi. I watched 104 movies…only 4 were second time watchings, so really I watched 100 and 4 twice.

This year I am keeping tack of my reading and watching again. So far I’ve read 10 books and watched 9 movies. I’ve set a challenge to read more classical novels this year. Since last year I only read an Austin novel I just need to read two more this year to win. I’m planning to read six, one every two months. January-February’s book is A Tale of Two Cities. I really like it but I’m only four chapters into it.

Crafting Joys

My new Stampin’ Up products just arrived. Both of the stamp sets were retired on the 18, gone for ever…unless you search on ebay. They are very pretty:

I am so excited to get crafting.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fringe Sweater

Astrid Farnsworth wore this great maroony-redish swear in Tuesday’s episode. I loved it. I want to make it. I can’t find a good image showing off the details. It has tiny cables and patterns and this neat asymmetrical button flap “collar” on the side.

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for…

...snow Days
...mail and packages from my Mom small group
...getting to know people
...plans working
...the Isnors. They let me sleep at their place and even feed me when the ice prevented me from getting into my own apartment’s driveway. The Isnors are good people.

Randomness from a Late Night

I was on Inn From the Cold last night. Today has been difficult. These are a few related or unrelated realizations:

  1. Lack of sleep causes temporary dumbness –I am dumb.
  2. The more tired you are the more inviting an uncomfortable sleeping space becomes.
  3. Ideas always come in groups like grapes but not always as green or tasty.
  4. Organization is not as overrated as I once thought. I kind of like it.
  5. Organization isn’t the creative killer I always thought it was. There is something to be said for having a tidy, clean space.
  6. Donairs before bed leads to strange, strange dreams.
  7. Epiphanies aren’t always that brilliant after a nap because lack of sleep causes temporary dumbness –I am dumb.
  8. Fringe is my new favourite show.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Speaking to Life

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” Ephesians 4:2

Our church is working through a series together called “Beefesians,” which is actually Kidmo curriculum we are using for everyone…sort of. The lessons are “B” thoughts from the book of Ephesians. We’ve gone through “Belong” and “Believe.” This week was “Be Patient.”

First, the fact that “patient” (verb) and “patient” (a person) are the same but “patience” and “patients” are spelt different is just cruel.
Second, it is so funny that this was the topic for youth tonight. You know the saying “don’t ask for patience…” yay its true. I was going through my message talking about how everyone is created uniquely by God. It is those differences that make us special. We need to allow for others differences and try to see their perspective out of love in order to live like Jesus. That was the whole thing “be patient with others in love.”

The whole time I was speaking (all five minutes) a group of guys were throwing paper and toothpicks at each other, someone was interrupting me to ask questions, a group of girls were gossiping about something at school, people were having staring contest, and one girls was yelling for everyone to stop staring at her. My patience was tested tonight.

For this Thursday I am thankful for my calm leaders and for surviving, and for the few who cared. Also glad this patience was this week’s message, I got to live it as I spoke it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday

"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations."

-Psalm 100:4-5

1) I am thankful for inspiration and motivation. This week has been filled with both. (And I found the missing journal.)

2) I am thankful for coffee time with Jon Dixion (I had Earl Grey tea). Jon is a youth and children's pastor in the area; I am always blessed by our chats. Today we shared about our holidays, the process of planning out the new year, and summer ministry ideas.

3) I am thankful that I am single. Not something I always see as a positive but I have this week and I think that that is a good thing. I would share the details but they are boring.

4) I am thankful for people who share there gifts and/or time to both the youth and children's ministry. I will be posting more specifics in the very near future.

5) I am thankful for community. I've been apart of a bi-weekly small group since last May. The time together this past week was exactly what I needed.

6) I am thankful I went to Tuesday's knitting group. There was one woman and to teenage girls. I was disappointed at first. It was not what I had feared or hoped but there is potential for friendship to grow and more people to join. And no matter what I'll get a few more projects finished.

Lost Plot

Saturday night I went to bed in a state of anticipation. We were getting reading to implant some minor changes to the children’s programs. I was beside myself giddy about a few. I had this strong impression that Sunday was going to be good.

I woke early (5ish), which is rare, surprisingly full of energy, which is rarer still, unable to sleep any longer. While waiting to leave for church I wrote down a number of ideas to write about this week in my journal. I was looking forward to sharing my thoughts. I haven’t been able to find my journal since and all my great blogging ideas are gone. It’s a bit frustrating.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Knitting Myself Out of a Bubble

My world is small and it is centered around my church family. Weekdays it working at the church; weekends are for the worship service and any special children or youth ministry events. My closest friends in the area are connected to the church. Games nights, coffee visits, and trips to the movies are with church friends. Any remaining free time goes to reading, crafting, watching TV at home with my cats.

I love my church family. The trouble is I have a handful of acquaintances and friends that do not attend my church. Of those, there are Christian leaders in the community and the remaining five or six were introduced to me through a church connection. My world is small or I live in a bubble or both.

Correction: During the Nanowrimo craze I organized three write-ins for local participants. Through these events I was able to meet a variety of people who do not attend my church. But since November ended I have had no contact with any of them.

Tonight, I am stepping out of my comfortable bubble and attending Knit One, Purl Two, a knitting club hosted at my local library. I enjoy knitting so it won't be horrible but nervous meet new people and excited at the same time. I need to dash home grab my knitting; the meeting…er club…um…group starts in 20 minutes. I hope this goes well.

There’s a Girl for Every Boy

So says nine year old Alex Greven, author of How to Talk to Girls, which he wrote when he was eight.

Theres are a few of his other tips:

  • Life is hard -- move on
  • Comb your hair and don't wear sweats
  • Control your hyperness (cut down on the sugar if you have to)
  • When you want to get a girl's attention you don't want to be flapping your arms like a crazy madman

He has also written How to Talk to Dads and How to Talk to Moms.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Winterpeg Fun

During my Christmas in Winnipeg, on a not as cold as normal night, Lee-Ann and I enjoyed sleding.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

C is for cookie and 2009

I like making resolutions. I like making lists, organizing my hopes, and setting tangible goals. I like the new beginnings and fresh starts that come with birthdays, brand new journals, changing seasons and especially New Years.

I started thinking about my hopes for 2009 during November. I want this year to be filled with purpose, adventure and change. But the list I created was too long to be rememeberable let alone possible. I was frustrated and without a resolution. While journaling December 31, I realized my list of challenges fit in themes that were expressed in the following six words:

Connecting –seeking God as fully as I can
Community –growing with friends and church family
Creativity –in writing, artwork, projects, and my space
Correspondence –sending letters, cards, and emails regularly
Challenges –finish 12 challenges and adventures for the year
Commitment –to personal growth, good habits, and the keeping of these 6 “Cs”

These are my resolutions for 2009 ~the Year of the Letter "C"

Friday, January 02, 2009

Games Galore*

Much has happened since the quest for a cookie recipe, which was successful. I made Mars Bars Squares thanks to a recipe Kristie Benson gave me when she was my D-group leader. The first half of December my computer decided to hate me the second half was all about family, Christmas, and board games. Almost every spare moment has been spent playing with a gaming marathon the past 24 hours.

For Christmas, Lee-Ann got Bakari, Mom got the bean game, Bohnanza and I got the Settlers of Catan Card Game and Thurn and Taxes. There was much playing from Christmas till my first yesterday morning with one final Bakari just before we went to airport.

Flight home was good. I might chronicle (blog) about the adventure to Winnipeg this weekend. That journey was not so… pleasant. This time there were no cancelations, only one minor delay, and all my luggage made it to Halifax on the same flight as me. The only mishap was at the Toronto airport. I had just bought my lunch, an slice of Hawaiian pizza that had sat under a hot lamp too long,, and was making my way to a sit. My hands were full and my backpack strap slipped off my shoulder to my elbow knocking me, my arm, and the plate holding the pizza off balance. It was one of those comic slow motion moments that would fit well in a movie. The slice flew up in the air. I tried to catch it on the plate which only helped it spin quicker till it landed on the carpet, the airport carpet, upside down followed by the thud of my backpack landing beside it.

I drove stright to the Van Meekeren’s (an amazing family) home to ring in the New Year. Thre was the countdown, sparkling grape juice, oliebol (I had my first one ever) and many more games. I arrived just into to jump into Shadows Over Camelot. This game is beyond awesome because it’s a cooperative. Everyone is a knight of the round table who work together to fulfill different quests to protect Camelot with their unique gift. The first time I was Sir Perceval and the second Sir Tristan. This was my third and forth time playing, I love the game, and yet none of those times have we won. Next was a huge, five person, two and a half hour game of Agricola, which knocked Puerto Rico as the top ranked game on It was after 3:30am when we finished. Everyone spent the night.

After a very late breakfast this morning we started a six person game of Settlers of Catan using the newest upgrade barbarians and traders that lasted too long. It was over three hours. I love fishes and the barbarians add a whole new dimension but by the time we were done no one cared who had won. Next was a round of the bean game with Mollie and Rebekkah before I drove over to Kim and Brent’s for supper. After there son was in bed we played Thurn and Taxes Power and Glory (dumb title) and two rounds of Agricola. Funny thing, the second game we all tied with a score of 33 –weird.

I love games -the playing and occasional winning but more time spent chatting, the in between snacking, and the growing a friendships. Games are great but I think I’m gamed out for the next little bit. Hope everyone’s had a good start to 2009…

Happy New Year and Happy Marriage Matthew Rose.

*I wrote this very late (its 3:15am) if there are any miskates or bad links I am sorry, comment and I’ll deal with them later.