Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Asparagus, dressed up




mmmmm.... the asparagus at Publix today looked so good I couldn't resist it. really. i tried, but I honestly have no willpower when it comes to that sort of thing.

So I brought it home with me, just in time to scramble around for dinner. I washed and trimmed it, tossed with a generous amount of olive oil, and a splash of lemon juice, and then sprinkled it with some kosher salt, some garlic, and some parmesan cheese and broiled it for 5 little minutes. Voila!

Some leftover pork roast and a little mac and cheese later and what a yum dinner, in practically no time at all!


Which was good because it left me a few minutes to deal with the mountain of pillows and blankets that the boys had piled up in the room to make jumping off the top bunk "safe"....
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Christianity...but not the way you think.

Get ready people.

*she clears her throat and climbs Mt. Soapbox*

I think it's time for us to clear up a few things, but in order for us to do that we're gonna have to put on our big girl panties (or big boy pants - whatever. i don't judge.)

I have heard and read a lot of discussions about what it means to be a Christian in my lifetime. A lot of them. Many of the ones I've seen lately have centered on how bad we are, or how wrong we are, or how politically in one direction we are, or how hypocritical we are because our lives aren't perfect OR because we don't accept someone else's imperfections. And while I agree that SOME Christians are hypocritical to the extreme, and SOME Christians are extremely political, and SOME Christians... (insert offensive example here)... I certainly don't believe we can be all lumped together like one giant brain.

So... that said, there a few things I would like to say...

1. Christianity is not charm school, business school, marriage counseling, parenting classes or Gold's gym. We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world. We screw up. We cheat. We go bankrupt. We have imperfect relationships. This does not mean that we don't try. Christianity is not a magic pill of perfection. It is a lens through which we see the world, that colors our response to the way things are and our motivation to try and be better than we are. Are some of us more well behaved than others? Yes, but...

2. Christianity is not a get out of jail free card. Our lives do not instantly become perfect the moment we learn the secret handshake (ok. there is no secret handshake. but you want there to be one now don't you?). If you don't believe me, see number one, above. We are still responsible for our own actions. If I do something I know to be wrong, I still have to live with the consequences of my actions, and hopefully the people around me will lovingly hold me accountable. Let me say that again. Christians are supposed to hold each other lovingly accountable. That doesn't mean we don't screw up. It doesn't mean we don't have to live with the consequences of our bad actions. But it also means that we should love each other around those problems (or at least try!). That all people are worthy of our effort and love, whether they are capable of good choices or not. This is NOT EASY.

3. Faith does not equal religion. Religious people have faith (one would assume!), but faith is a belief while religion is more of a construct (I know someone is going to come along and tell me that I am not using this word correctly. I defer to your supreme intelligence and say that my only excuse is... well, it sounded good to me). The church at large (whatever that may look like to you) is not the full extent of what our Christianity can be. It is made up of imperfect people, therefore, must be limited as an imperfect grouping. However...

4. Faith does actually equal religion in some respects. Or perhaps they lead into one another? I know better than most, the imperfect nature of the church, and because it is full of imperfect folks, the priorities of many congregations/denominations/communities can become skewed, or misaligned with what others in the community might think is best. And that the church can sometimes be an "institution", with the same self-preserving concerns of other institutions. But I have been a witness to the power of the church community. Both on individual lives, and on the lives of communities. Churches provide community support, food, shelter, water, time, money, education, housing and so much more, to many, many people around the world. And we, as Christians, are supposed to be a part of that. If you are a Christian who snubs the church, then what are you doing to help your fellow man? How do you worship in community or educate yourself about your faith? You can do some of this on your own, but Christian community is one of the most powerful tools around. Think about it. As my, oh so wise husband once told me, "It much harder to change a thing from the outside, than it is from the inside."

5. All Christians are not members of the religious right. (Seriously people - did I really need to say this?) But even members of the religious right, or religious left or religious somewhere in-between(although that does NOT have the same ring to it!) have a right to be a part of the political process. We're trying to change the world, remember?

6. Why are you listening to me anyway? (We do have the best music, though, religionally speaking.... i'm just sayin'....)

play nice, people.

love,
thehecticeclecticgirl

Monday, August 10, 2009

Free Food!

ps. Speaking of giving away food, if you're like me and the camp guy and you love free stuff (well, who doesn't?), you may want to check out this offer from Schwans...

http://www.schwans.com/promos/freefood/freeFoodBegin.aspx

Food, Glorious Food

A few days ago I had the privelege of making a food delivery to The Good Neighbor Shelter. The camp guy and I had been cleaning out the lodge kitchen, and were trying to figure out what to do with the extra (and there was a good bit of extra!), and thought about them.

Now, I'll be honest people - I have been to the Open Door, and to MUST Ministries, but I had never bothered to find out much about the homeless shelter that's LESS THAN 10 MINUTES FROM MY OWN HOUSE! But we had all that food and it didn't seem right to drive right by it to get to one out of town.

So I called. After some discussion and directions, I loaded up the van with this...



....and headed over. The shelter is relatively new, built in the mid-nineties, and relatively small, but makes a big difference for those in this community that need it (and beyond - while I was there they had a call from someone on the other side of Atlanta). The fact that it looks like a house, and has a large eat-in kitchen makes it feel more like extended family area than "hotel" or "shelter". And of course, as so many important programs do, it needs donations. If you live in the metro-Atlanta area, I encourage you to look into the Good Neighbor Shelter, and see if you can help them in some way. Or for those of you farther away, look into the shelters in your area and lend them a hand, or some groceries. Even if it's just some extra bread and cereal from camp.

love,
thehecticeclecticgirl


Thursday, August 6, 2009

I have two frightening words for you - car pool! (Ok, i think that's one word but it sounds more dramatic with the pause in the middle). More specifically, first day carpool, but that's like 3 or 4 words- either way, it is scary!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The End of Summer

We had an event tonight that signals the official end of summer for us - dinner with the summer staff! They are headed home tomorrow, which means that the camp guy will be home a bit more often now - hooray! (Have I mentioned that I really like that man? All in all, it's been a good summer here.

Here's hoping that yours was a great one as well.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Weird Events...Big Changes

We had open house today, which is a nicer way of saying, we milled around in a school full of people, none of whom had a great deal of direction. I think the reason for this is that although everyone thinks that open house is a good idea, and wants it to happen (knowing who your child's teacher is going to be and starting a relationship with them is important, after all) - no one really knows what to do.

Or what to say.... *awkward silence*

But it's good to meet the teachers, and get information about other school stuff, so how about some open house mixers?

Like, "all the parents of a second grader in the middle!" or "if you did NOT go to the beach this summer, put your hand on your head?" Or even, "You put your right hand in...."

No? Too much?




On a more serious note, this child is starting Kindergarten THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW! He's so BIG. (Have you noticed I like WRITING IN CAPS TODAY FOR EMPHASIS?) When we were getting ready for open house, he put on a pair of jeans that fit him just right this spring and today they were at least an inch too short. Has he grown that much in just a few months? Oh, little man, I hope you love big school. Good luck, buddy. I love you.