Saturday, May 26, 2007

Quote of the Day

"I hurt my elbow, but I'm annoying it right now."

Soapy Soap Suds--aged six

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Getting Tagged

Mammy tagged me several days ago, and said I should share seven things I've learned in life. I'm also supposed to "tag" five more people.

1. Whatever you do to the top of the fraction, you have to do to the bottom of the fraction.

2. Don't take your Suburban to Florida during love bug season.

3. The cat always throws up on the rug. They will leave the linoleum in search of carpeting in order to puke.

4. Men don't think like women do.

5. How to make a roaring fire with one match and no accelerant.

6. Don't ask why the computer just did that...just hit restart.

7. I like to think I have choices. I do. Two choices...obey or disobey.

P.S. I don't pass along forwards, or tag people. Not that I mind getting them, or being tagged. I don't's just not "me". I don't worry much about curses for stopping chain letters, either snail mail or the electronic kind. And I certainly don't feel as though I am less committed as a Christian, or less patriotic, or what have you, if I don't pass along a particular heart warming tale. I don't buy Girl Scout cookies, but I'll eat yours if you leave them unattended. I'd rather just donate a buck or two. I don't lend money to folks in need. I give them whatever I can. I guess I'm just weird that way.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Do You Have Your Radio On?

Here's a pic of one of the fun things we do at camp. Out in the woods we have a zip line, suspended about 25 feet or so above the ground. To ride it, you must strap yourself into a climbing harness, clip into a safety line, and climb up the trunk of a tree (line worker style), and onto a tiny platform. It is here that you are attached to the zip line, and detached from your safety line. Then it's heave ho, and AWAY! Although it feels dangerous and daring, it really isn't. Once you've done it a time or two, your realize that the platform isn't really THAT high, and the ride isn't really THAT fast. And all the while you are being supported and encouraged by three trained staff members and your trusty gear. On the ground is one staff member, also wearing a harness and strapped to the ground, who is your safety line in case you should fall on your way up the tree. At the top is another staff person, cheering you on and ready to assist as you pull yourself onto the impossibly little platform. They then explain as they attach you to the zip line, and get you ready for your ride. If you are nervous, they'll talk you through it, and even pray with you if you want. But they will never push you off. You must do that yourself. They might explain to you that climbing back down the tree is much scarier than taking the ride, but they won't make you do it. Finally you jump off into space, and glide through the trees, to arrive too quickly at the other end. Here, another staff member helps extract you from the line where you dangle like a fish on a hook. They cheer you for your great ride, and carefully reel you in and get you onto solid ground again.

A couple of years ago, our youngest son decided that it was time to try it. His older brother regularly went up like a spider monkey and launched himself off with a whoop. It was a rite of passage for a nine year old. The day he decided to try, he was surely set up for success. On the ground were two staff members. The one strapped to his safety line was none other than Mom! Also standing by to encourage was a very close and trusted family friend. He began the climb, and although he was determined, his fear got the better of him, and he just could not climb any higher than about ten feet. He tried and tried, but there was no way to force himself. He walked away in tears...feeling like a failure.

The next day Mom was busy elsewhere, and was not at the course, strapped to the tree, so got to hear about this with everyone else. Again, our son came to the zip line, determined to conquer his fear. He began his climb, and this time he managed to drag his trembling limbs up that tree trunk. He was poised on the platform. On the ground below the staff member with his safety line said, "You can do it buddy!" On the platform another trusted friend and staff member said, "You can do it buddy!" From far off in the trees, the unloading staff member saw what was happening, and picked up his radio. It was tuned to the radio on the platform. "You can do it buddy." A half a mile away, at the pool, the lifeguard heard the call and also knew what was happening. He picked up his radio, "You can do it buddy!" From a ball field in the distance, the program staff heard the call too. They picked up their radio and called, "You can do it buddy!" With every ounce of bravery he could muster, our son took the leap...and loved every second of it! It was one of his proudest moments that summer.

My question is this: Do you have your radio on?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Terrible Teens

I needed to use the bathroom this evening. I thought it might be occupied as the door was shut tight. I knocked. A quiet voice on the other side of the door said,
"This waste removal station is in use. There are similar waste removal stations nearby."
Yes. That would be my thirteen year old son. He is nothing, if not entertaining. He actually confessed that he was in there sitting on the pot, cooking up better responses than "I'm in here" or "Occupied". I'm not sure I know very many people whose minds work like his. I have to confess that mine does at times, but I am nowhere near as brilliantly intelligent as he is.

Now that his big sis is gone...all grown up and married, he is a bit of bright light in my day. True, it is often something like having a flashlight pointed directly in my eyes, but light is light. I don't seem to fit the Mom mold. I feel as though I tolerate my children until they become teens, and then I fall in love with them. It was the same with my eldest Magnum opus, my great work. It seems as though every year that passes, cements our friendship, and makes me just about bust with pride. I will most certainly be a sickening Grandmother.

My youngest son is eleven, and still more baby than adolescent. But he has shades of his father in him, and I can sometimes catch glimpses of the cocky, pain-in-the-neck I will grow to adore. The girls are a whole different story. They are still more baby than, well, just about anything. I am fond of them, but I find it hard to envision them as young adults, even though some of them are balancing on the edge of their teen years. I suppose it will come in time. I remember asking myself, "Who is this stranger?" I asked all through the baby years of my bio children. So really there is nothing new about this feeling. I am aiming for Magna opera.

More Images of Camp

Fun in the kitchen. The goofy glasses were leftovers from a camp skit. I think there were electronic whoopie cushions involved as well. That was a few years ago. Not much has changed, except we have a new audience for our antics.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Views of Camp

This was one of our first views of camp, over four years ago, when we first came to interview for the job. I am still amazed at what a beautiful place God has given us to live and work and play. Of course I must dispel the myths that we sit around the campfire singing "Kumbaya" and eating S'mores every night! Still it is pretty cool to live at camp.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Sunday, May 6, 2007

A Beautiful Day for a Baptism

Four sisters and one brother, baptized today, and welcomed into the family of God.