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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Doing Our Homework

Ever since returning from the Awakening, I have been deeply immersed in The World We Created at Hamilton High, a 250+ page book which I need to read and write a critical analysis (my last one was 13 pages) of by tomorrow night at 6:00. The book was actually really interesting for about the first 100 pages when it was talking about how life at the school developed over the years, but now we're into the theoretical stuff, so it's going much slower. Anyway, lately Bryn's favorite passtime has been do to whatever Mama is doing, so she has spent many hours by my side on the couch with highlighter and textbook in hand. Here she is seen perusing Bowling Alone, which is the last text I had to read for this class. At this rate, she'll be ready to earn her own master's degree before she starts preschool!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Awakening

I'm just back from a truly fabulous weekend serving on the Awakening team at Zionsville Presbyterian Church. The Awakening is a retreat for teenagers, modeled after the Great Banquet, which I went through two years ago. I also served on an Awakening team two years ago, as a table leader, and I gave a talk. This year I was on the kitchen team, which was a whole different experience. We didn't see as much of the girls going through the retreat, but we were overwhelmed with community volunteers who came in to serve. I was so touched by all the love in the community and really enjoyed getting to spend time working with people I hadn't seen in quite a while.

As I'm sure you can tell by the pictures, the kitchen team did display a certain amount of craziness. We had a theme for every meal and dressed accordingly, and the tables were decorated in kind. Here you can see the Western theme of Friday's dinner, the pirate theme of Saturday's lunch, the princess theme of Saturday's dinner, and the 50's diner theme of Sunday's breakfast. Missing are the comic/cartoon theme of Saturday's breakfast and the tailgate/Colts theme of Sunday's lunch, but let me assure you, they were just as impressive.

And the food..... For those of you who are impressed by the menu and desserts of Game Night, you would have been blown away by this. Every meal was gourmet fare, all prepared by hand with fresh ingredients for 100 people. Such as a cornbread recipe, involving 4 1/2 cups of flour, 3 cups of cornbread, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, etc..... prepared 6 times over. We chopped endless fresh fruit, used up 15 dozen eggs, served 50 pounds of potatoes, and had to send volunteers to the store to get more of various items. Not to mention the endless dirty dishes....

Lest you think that I'm complaining, let me assure you, this was the best weekend I've had in ages. I came back exhausted, yes, but also completely rejuvenated and revitalized. Four of the girls who went through the retreat accepted Christ for the first time, and I think all of us came away rededicated. What an amazing weekend! I highly recommend that everyone experience a weekend like this at some point in their lives. Let me sign off for today with a nod to those who have already done so--De Colores!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Snowed In

As all of you located in the Midwest know, the past few days have been nothing but snow. It started on Monday night--although it held off long enough that I still had to go to class! By Tuesday morning, Ben had to dig himself out of the driveway, and the roads were bad enough that he felt the need to take the Jeep with its 4-wheel drive to work, thus stranding Brynie and me at home, since Iris the Honda Insight has no backseat and thus cannot have a carseat. But never fear, Ben was back home about three hours later, since so few people had showed up for work that those who were there got sent home. Nice. His company was a little more efficient on Wednesday, when he received a call from his boss at 6:00 a.m. telling him that work was cancelled and he should just stay home. "Best Valentine's Day ever!!" he exclaimed, right before falling back asleep for about four hours.

As of right now, I have not left the house in 60 hours. Yesterday the roads were so bad that most counties issued emergency weather conditions, meaning that no one was allowed to be out driving on the roads unless it was an absolute emergency. To keep from going completely stir crazy, we had two sets of neighbors over to visit yesterday, and I baked some Valentine's cookies to keep myself busy. Beyond that, we watched a lot of DVDs, worked on craft projects, read, and tried to neutralize the fussy Bryn. Ben is at work today, although he said it took him a long time to get there, and I hope to be brave enough to venture out to the grocery store at some point, as we are running dangerously low on Bryn-friendly foods.

This picture should give you an idea of the amount of snow we got. It was 18 inches and deeper in some places. As you can see, our neighbor across the street was extremely vigilant about shoveling his driveway.... he was out there about every half hour for the entire ordeal, exclaiming that winter is his favorite season and that he LOVES to shovel. As I said, Ben dug us out on Monday morning, so everything you see here accumulated after that. I realize you can't tell from the picture, but you are looking straight at our driveway. Ben had some very sore muscles after freeing us from this mess!

This picture is so funny to us that I just had to post it, although I realize that it would be funnier to all of you if I had a "before" shot as well. Look at the two pieces of wood sticking out of the snowdrift. Those are the full-length broomstick arms of a human-sized snowman that was sitting on top of our neighbors' picnic table. We think it looks like the snowman is drowning. As you can tell, the snow was pretty deep! Melissa, Rob, aren't you glad you're not here??

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

15 Months

Just a quick update: Yesterday, Bryn's brave daddy took her to the health center for her 15 month immunization shots, as the 12 month shots were almost enough to do me in (since needles are my greatest fear). Then I cuddled and Tylenoled her all day, and she seemed fine, if sore, by bedtime.

Today, mean mama that I am, I forced Bryn to go back to the doctor's office--this time, to our local pediatrician (we have finally found one that we like). As a side note, I am thrilled to report that due to a change in insurance, from this point on, we will be able to get Bryn's shots at the regular doctor's office instead of having to go two separate places.

Anyway... for those who are interested in such things (grandparents!), Bryn now weighs 23 1/2 pounds, which puts her almost in the 50th percentile for her age. Who would have guessed that her cute chubby round belly and constant eating actually put her slightly below average?!?! She is 31 inches long, which puts her in the 75th percentile for height.... which leads me to ask, why are all her pants too long?? Her head circumference is 19 centimeters, which puts her in the 90th percentile there. Looks like she is following in her daddy's huge-head footsteps. Just means there are a lot of brains in there, right?

After watching her pull herself up on a chair, Dr. Z said, "So, looks like she's walking well all by herself now," to which I just laughed, since she still refuses to even attempt this feat. Dr. Z, like everyone else who has seen Bryn in action lately, informed me that she is fully physically capable of walking on her own and isn't simply because she doesn't feel like it. He said that I have nothing to worry about physically with her late walking, but that I might want to be concerned that it seems we have a very stubborn little girl on our hands. :) So all in all, she's happy and healthy and getting to be quite the big girl!