Saturday, 29 August 2009

The Crayon Mystery

Once there were 6 boxes of crayons. They were well used and greatly enjoyed by a group of Junior Church children. Last week I noticed that some children had 3 or 4 of one colour and none of certain other colours so today I sorted out the crayons.

There are now 4 boxes with 23 crayons, one box with 21 crayons, and a handful of broken crayon bits. In all it adds up to about 5 full boxes and at best 2 extra crayons. And one of the boxes has 2 of a few colours.

What, exactly, do you suppose happened to rest of the crayons?

Things Coming to an End

I know it isn't really the end of summer; after all, next week is supposed to be HOT. Still, it feels like the end of summer and such.

Summer classes have ended at work. On Monday we switch to fall hours (and since most schools go back Tuesday and Wednesday, any bets on how many children show up anyway?). I'm always happy when summer classes end and things go back to normal. People wonder what I do all day now: catch up on everything that got neglected all summer and keep up. There's always a pile of paperwork and new kids and parents and all sorts of stuff going on.

I wrote an exam today and I'm glad that's over! There were 7 essay questions and 2 hours to answer them. After I'd answered 5 questions I thought I'd better hit the "save without submitting" button just in case, then answered the 6th question. Then I went up to the first question to add in some things I'd forgotten before I answered the 7th question (which was really the 4th question but I'd skipped it)....only to find that the my answer to the 1st question had vanished! There was nothing we could do to get it back and the elder (who was proctoring) assured me that he would email them and say that I had answered it. After answering the last question, though, I saved again and the answer reappeared. I still don't know what had happened, but I had just enough time to add in the extra bits I'd remembered. I'm glad, because I didn't do well on that last question; it was to briefly discuss the Herods in the Bible. I had a Bible with me and I still only came up with 3 (it seems there were 5; I turned 2 of them into 1 person and I still don't know who Herod Philip is....anyone?). Oh, well, the other questions weren't so bad.

And last of all....this week marks my last week teaching Junior Church. I'll still run the program and I might fill in once in a while but I'm encouraging the teachers to trade with each other when they can't teach. I've been teaching this age (3-6 year olds) for 6 1/2 years now and I love them dearly. They're my babies! But in the spring I asked the elders if there was any way I could teach an older class for a change. I just wanted a break from the small ones and I like teaching older kids too. The elders were delighted to have me teaching Sunday School this fall (especially since I convinced them I didn't want to give up Junior Church altogether; I still have plans and a vision for that ministry) since the pastor's wife had been teaching the grade 4-6 Sunday School class and she needed a break. I think they had tried to get her off the previous fall but her replacement hadn't worked out so she had been teaching all year. Granted it's a pair of teachers and they take turns actually teaching but she has a lot of other stuff to take care of. So in September I switch classes and everyone is happy.

So there you go....I always think the new year should be in September!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

From the Kids

One of the 7 year old boys at work was question one of the 17 year old girls about whether or not she has a boyfriend. After she told him she does not have one he asked:

"Did you always not have one......or am I a ninja?"

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Language and Evolution

The point to evolution is that we are getting better, more improved, more complex in our thinking and doing. People (and cultures) start off primative and move up from there.

Language is said to work the same way. We started off with noises, then words, then complex means of communication.

Except: the most complex languages are found in the most primitive tribes. Our language is very simple compared to theirs.

Anyone want to explain that?

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Sometimes Being Spontaneous is Good

I like plans. I like to know how my day will go and what will happen. I do not do well with large blocks of unplanned time; I crave structure.

So maybe someone can explain the small sleepover that happened here Friday night. I can't. Usually I plan these a week or two in advance, not the night they happen. But, Friday night we had a wedding shower for a young couple from our church (who got married in December and then spent the semester in Israel, so this was as soon as we could have it). Near the end, as people were cleaning up and heading out, two of the girls from church cornered me and asked if they could sleep over that night (they had missed the last official sleepover). Every instinct said no, but what came out was "ask your dad." Silly me; what dad wouldn't say yes to having half his children taken off his hands for a while! Then they convinced a third girl's mom to say yes too (because they knew that I wouldn't object; I'm such a sucker).

And so I had 3 preteens sleeping on my living room floor that night. They ate a pile of popcorn and some Popsicles and whatever else I had in the kitchen, played some games, and watched The Sound of Music. And, sweet things that they are, slept until almost 9:00 the next morning.

And it was fun. There was no planning, no stress, no worries. They ate and watched whatever I had and it was good. We laughed a lot and played games and talked and had fun.

That was my foray into spontaneity. I should plan to do it again some day!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

What I Have Been Reading

I thought, to counteract the last post, I'd give you good book suggestions!

The Savage my Kinsman by Elisabeth Elliot

In 1956 Elisabeth Elliot's husband, Jim Elliot, and four other missionaries were speared to death by the Auca Indians in Ecuador. In this book, Elisabeth tells of her response to the killings and of her eventual venture into Auca territory three years later (along with her daughter and Rachel Saint, the sister of one of the other men). It's an interesting read and a good look at what it is to be a missionary to a people whose language and customs you do not understand and who know nothing about the outside world.

Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God by Noel Piper

Here Noel Piper looks at five women: Sarah Edwards, Lilias Trotter, Gladys Alward, Esther Ahn Kim, and Helen Roseveare. She gives short biographies of each and shows how they lived for God in the toughest times. What I liked best is that she wrote about missionaries who were real people; not perfect Christians, but people who struggled and wondered and made mistakes... but without excusing or justifying their sins. It was very encouraging.

There you go; two books to go read!