Friday, July 30, 2010

Lovin' the Technology

The times, they are truly wondrous...

Our church youth camp was this week; the kids are heading home today. We sponsor an event...'camp' really doesn't fit...that, between our church and about 8 other churches hailing from Florida to North Carolina to North Alabama, packs in about 400 kids to a resort in Sandestin, Florida (where, thankfully, the currents have been kind and there is no oil).

But- here's the cool thing - they live streamed the sessions on the church website.

So, do you know what that means?

It means there are a BUNCH of parents who sat up glued to their computer screens until midnight or better all week (if you're curious, the services are archived here). All four of my kids went; the two older ones were working in different capacities; the two younger ones were campers.

And, with all the things I planned to do with my quiet house, I was one of the glued-to-the-computer parents.

But I don't feel like I wasted my time; I honestly believe that, 20 years from now, a huge number of those kids will look back on this week and say 'that's when my life changed.'

But I *am* playing catch up today, and the dryer just buzzed... ;)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What He Does...

Oh me of little faith...who is so quick to judge...I have been reminded of something....

If you've followed the saga of the Honor Dress on the sewing blog, you know that I and my co-teacher took our teen girls classes to the state girls' ministry retreat at the end of last week; The Flute Player, being an honor graduate of her class, had to wear a white dress for the ceremony (and said dress was completed at about 10:30 the night before we left...).

Anyway, I won't go into details, but can I just share that there were three different events that I observed during the 2 days we were there that reminded me of a great truth:

God doesn't need us to be perfect in order for Him to work through us. He doesn't even need us to be 'good' by human standards. All He needs is for us to be willing to try and to give it the best we have in honor of Him. He'll take it from there.

And what He does with it from there is always amazing...

Monday, July 19, 2010

An Official Beau

The Princess has a Beau. Part of me is thinking, 'It's about time!'...after all, she's 24 1/2...but part of me is thinking, 'What, already?'

This is the first real interest she's had. Oh, there was the high school freshman thing, but that erupted into such drama when it turned out that one of her friends was sweet on the boy that the Princess decided to 'date God' through out her high school years (picture her parents pulling in a 'Yess!!!!' for that one!)

And there was the fellow who wanted to kindle a relationship when she was in her first year of Master's which dating is Not Allowed...that she discouraged until he gave up (bad timing, and she was convinced they had incompatible personalities).

But that, so far as we know, anyway, has been it.

Then suddenly the brother of a friend Noticed her. Whilst My Sweet Baboo and I and the two younger kids were visiting family in Hoosierland, The Princess and the Friend's Brother were taking baby steps towards a dating relationship.

Friday night (I should add that it was the FIRST available night after we got back), he came over for dinner and, before the night was over, officially asked for our blessing on said relationship, which they received.

The Princess posted the change in her relationship status on her Facebook account before she retired for the evening. So it is not only official, it is public. Both the Princess and her Beau are in their 20's; they are certainly old enough to know their own minds.

But this is new territory for us. The Flute Player's birthday was over the weekend; I didn't think about the Beau being included in family celebrations right off and had to make an extra grocery stop to pick up a tad more chow for dinner. Not that there's anything wrong with that...I just need to make the paradigm shift.

The times, they are a changin'.... ;)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Risk Assessment

One of the things we did while we were visiting with family last week was attempt to teach a few members of the next generation how to play Euchre, which is a four-person card game that is pretty much limited to the Midwest. I think I was something like 13 when I learned to play; it's a pretty quick game.

My brother's girls (age 15 and 14) wanted to learn, so we paired them with adults and began a learn-as-we-go game. Somehow, the Actor got involved, with me as his coach, despite the fact that he really didn't want to learn.

Euchre's a pretty simple trick-counting game; there's no bidding of numbers, just proclaiming trump, with the team that picks the trump suit for that hand obligated to take 3 of the 5 tricks for that hand. Failure to take those tricks results in 'getting Euchred' and the opposing team scoring two points.

In the course of the game, The Actor and his cousin had been Euchred once, but managed to scramble back into the lead. The score was 9 to 7 (10 points wins), and the offered suit had been declined by the his partner and the dealer's partner. The Actor had a passable hand, but I wasn't sure he could take 3 tricks in the offered suit...he was better in the other suit of that color.

'I don't want to risk it,' he said.

I agreed that it would be risky to order up the offered card (the dealer always picks up the card offered, and the dealer was on the other team). If the other team Euchred them again, it would be a tie, with the next team to score winning.

He repeated, 'I don't want to risk it,'...and ordered up the card, which made the offered suit trump.

As it happened, he hit his partner's hand well and they took all five tricks to earn two over what they needed to win.

But it struck me how odd it was that we had two different ideas of what it meant to 'risk' something undesirable.

My idea of 'risking it' was to order the card risk losing, going down in defeat, getting Euchred. My instinct was to play it safe and wait for the better opportunity...which might not come.

His idea of 'risking it' was to be passive and hope he got a chance to call the suit that was actually better in his hand. But he didn't want to be cut out of the action; he wanted to make things that he did count. He didn't want to risk being made ineffective.

Y'know, maybe the kid's gonna turn out ok eventually after all... ;)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Remembering Nora

I'll admit's my birthday.

I'm visiting family; we had a kind of short-notice family reunion today at a nearby park. Cousins I haven't seen in years were there. It wasn't a birthday party; it was purely coincidental that this was my birthday.

At some point My Sweet Baboo leaned over and said, "Happy Birthday!" I smiled at him, and thought, you know, there are lots worse things I could be doing on my birthday.

Then I remembered one birthday that will always be just a little painful to remember. The same set of aunts/uncles and cousins I was with today all met then, too.

It was the day of my grandmother's funeral.

As I recollected that, I did a bit of math and realized that today was the 25th anniversary of that gathering. Hard to believe it's been 25 years. She influenced every one of us cousins, worked hard all her life and set an incredible example for generations to follow. I still miss her.

But she would've been pleased to have seen us all together today. And I'm glad for the little nudge to think about her today.

Her [grand]children arise and call her blessed...