Saturday, 20 September 2014


The other day I was going through some old notebooks (I have a lot of them) and I found one from several years back. It was mostly used for sermon/Sunday School/Bible study notes, dated August 2003-June 2004. There are other notes and stuff scattered through it, and I bring you some of those now....

From Beanstalk Bistro, Children's Market, Granville Island, Vancouver: "He uses name brand ketchup bottles - the cool ones you use to make ketchup designs, but I watched him fill them with no-name ketchup!"

It looks like there was the possibility of being sent to run another centre back then. I have pros and cons for Yellowknife, Camrose, Maple Ridge, and Edmonton. I don't remember thinking through this, but I'm glad I stayed in Edmonton (especially since Camrose and Yellowknife centres have long since shut down). My conclusion at the time was that I wasn't ready to move and I did not want to be a director right away; also, I figured that eventually, someone would need me (both as a Director of Education and then a director). I was right.

There is, for some reason, an alphabetical list of animals. I'm sure I had a reason. I think I was making up animal rhymes (one of the many children's books I never wrote).

Later there is a list of authors of children's books, including Zilpha Keatly Snyder, Kit Pearson, Jean Little, and Julie Lawson. I'm not sure why they're there.

I have a page of math. I think I was figuring out how much money I needed to pay student loans for a year (based on the monthly payments) and how long it was going to take to pay them off.

Very random, on one page:
Rodman Philbrick
Drawing cartoon animals, people, etc.

On another page:
Old-fashioned Christmas
"Did-you=know" about Christianity
Plastic Canvas Christmas circles
If the 3 wise men were 3 wise women

My personal favourite: "Do you bear fruit? Do you bore fruit?"

And it goes on! Eventually it settles into mostly sermon/Sunday School/Bible study notes, but even then there are bits of stories and poems scattered here and there. Next time, I'll write out some of my observations from that time (I occasionally write down what I can see or hear around me as writing practice; I also write down overheard conversations) for your entertainment.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Church Stuff

It's September and that means everything is starting up again in church. For me, the main things are Junior Church and Sunday School.

Junior Church started this week. For the first time, I asked the parents to come down with their children to register them (it was a very short registration form) and everyone complied. I had 10 children (there may be a few more) and we had a pretty good class. The best part was when we were taking prayer requests and one student wanted to pray for his friend Levi who had hurt his arm (he fell in the fire pit and had some burns, although his dad grabbed him out so quickly it wasn't as bad as it should be). The problem was, he kept calling the poor kid "Violet" and it took a while to figure out who he was talking about!

Sunday School starts next week. Yesterday we had registration (with much longer forms) after church. Almost everyone came (I think only one family forgot), and only one person complained about having to fill out the form for each child (and she only has 3 children; families with 5 didn't complain). It went remarkably well given that we've never done pre-registration or had parents fill out forms before. Now we actually have contact information for everyone and I know how many children will be in each class.

I'm feeling remarkably organized this year. I have a class list (and a huge class, since most of the grade 7 students asked to stay with me for an extra year). I have lessons ready through Christmas (and the rest are planned, just not written). All I need to do is determine memory work and I'm ready to go!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Students and Church

I have a little guy at work; he's 5 and going into kindergarten and full of energy. Getting him to sit still and print letters is a very challenging task, although he will sit still when being read to. He loves stories.

The most common words from him:
"When me and mine stuffies take over the world..."
When this happens, he's going to make the clouds more colourful. First, though he has to bring his stuffies to life with the box. If you push the middle button, there will be lightning and it will go into his stuffies. If you push the other buttons, there will be food and drink.

Best conversation starter from him:
"What do you think it would be like if the world was full of marshmallows?"

I met a couple new kids at church yesterday (at least they were new to me, although I guess they may have been in the overflow room and I've never seen them). I don't know who they are. They seemed to be around 5 and 3 and they came into the library when I was working on the computer.
One of them asked: "Are you working in the Grace Church library?"
He's either very perceptive, not sure what work looks like, or he was lost and trying to get his bearings. They're nice boys, though; when I told them they couldn't play in the mess of stuff on the other side of the room, they came away from it right away.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

What I'm Thankful For

my family

my church family

my pastor's willingness to preach direct sermons on tough issues without worrying about making people feel bad

my pastor's love for God, the Bible, and the church family

my Sunday School class




Sunday afternoons

my job


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Banana Muffins

Today is not insanely hot and I'm not working, a rare combination in the summer. I'm taking advantage of this mix to make muffins. I don't often cook in the summer because the oven heats up my apartment too much, so today is nice.

For your cooking pleasure, I present my banana muffin recipe:

3 bananas (well, 3-ish; if you have 4, by all means use all four, especially if they're small)
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
a small container of yogurt (the size you pack in lunches) or the rough equivalent*
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup flour

Mash up the bananas, add the egg, oil, yogurt, and sugar, and mix well. Add the baking soda and flour** and mix just until everything is wet and mushy; do not over-mix.

Fill your muffin cups and bake at 350 for around 30 minutes (maybe a bit less, maybe a bit more; it depends on your oven). You should get 12 muffins.

*About the yogurt: it's optional. The original recipe didn't call for yogurt, but one day I was making muffins and discovered that I didn't have any eggs. I searched on-line for a solution and discovered that yogurt can replace eggs when making muffins (although not for everything), so I threw in a small container of vanilla yogurt. I liked the texture, so now I add it all the time, even when I have eggs. The muffins are moister and the vanilla flavor is nice. You can leave out the yogurt or try different flavors.

**Okay, true baking confession time: I know I'm supposed to mix the dry ingredients separately and then add them. I don't. I add the baking soda and get it all mixed in, and then I add the flour. I see no reason to dirty another bowl for baking soda and flour.

Saturday, 12 July 2014


This is the first summer in years that I haven't been heading off to school for a week. I miss it. I really liked being around other students and getting to learn all week. Finishing my degree was a great moment and a complete relief; I do not miss having deadlines and papers to write.

I miss the learning. I miss the friendships. I miss the laughter and fun.

I miss having a week where I could relax and be a student again. It was a vacation from real life.

I don't miss it enough to start another degree. I just miss it enough to be a little bit sad today.

I have a friend heading down to Masters next week for his last week of classes. I'm a bit envious. I wish I was going too.