Tuesday Ten: Ten Things About Sam

SamWe received some bad news about our dear, sweet retriever Samson on Friday. A rapidly increasing growth in his mouth is most likely (the vet is very certain, but there’s not been a biopsy yet) jaw cancer (osteosarcoma). We are heartbroken, but will work with our vet to give Sam the most pain-free, comfortable, joy-filled end of life possible. The treatment available is jaw removal, which is very painful and would extend his life 6-12 months. We’ve decided to forgo treatment. We’re not so sure about a time frame, although we’ve heard 1-6 months. For now, twelve year-old Sam is energetic and active, not skipping any meals and still hopefully trailing Jason to the kitchen in case some food might fall his way. He raced to the fence this morning to bark at the neighbor dogs and rolled around in the wet grass before he came inside. So, although this post may invite your sympathy, it’s not quite time yet. Know we appreciate it if you choose to pray or think good thoughts for Sam and for us, but also know that we’re still scratching ears and rubbing his belly and feeling grateful for his still wagging tail.

The Tuesday Ten today is a re-post from October of 2010. There are things I could add or change, but I’ll just leave it as it is.

At Jason’s request, ten things about our dear dog, Sam (who by the way is feeling under the weather today).

1. “Sam” is short for “Samson.”

2. Sam is the only suriviving dog from his litter (we had his sister, Lilah, for two years before she got a nasty infection and died). He was the runt of his litter.

3. We got Sam after we bought our house and before we got married (June 2002).

4. Sam loves bread. He loves it so much, we have to keep the bread in a plastic, lidded container on the kitchen counter. He’s eaten whole loaves. He’s also eaten refrigerated biscuit dough.

5. Sam walks backwards in order to keep us in his sights. Like, he’ll walk backwards down the hall just so he doesn’t have to turn his tail to us. Trust issues, maybe?

6. Sam will be perfectly well-behaved and quiet…until I get home. Then he barks when he can’t see me and follows me from room to room, needing to be in on whatever I’m doing.

7. When Jonas was smaller, he and Jason (and probably Sam) looked forward to good snowfalls. Jason would put Jonas in a sled and Jonas would hold Sam’s leash and Sam would slide Jonas all around the neighborhood. We have hours of video of this.

8. Sam is terrified of fireworks and thunderstorms and vacuum cleaners and tile floors and when people wave their hands in his face and about a million other things.

9. Sam can catch and kill mice. He can catch bugs in his mouth as they fly by (like a frog).

10. Sam is not entirely obedient, does not know a bunch of tricks, and in general is kind of on the less smart side of things. He is loyal and friendly and snuggly and gentle and pretty/handsome (which is all better than obedient and smart, I think).

Tuesday Ten: If You Take Your Kids To Worship

baptismAt The Presbyterian Church of Henderson KY,  we just celebrated our Kids’ Communion Sunday. At our church, children take communion and celebrate in worship on a regular basis, but one Sunday a year, they prepare the Table liturgy, do the Scripture readings, create new communion tableware, help serve and lead us in worship and celebration. It’s a beautiful day and it reminds me of why it’s important to have children in worship with us. If you welcome children into your worship space, here are ten things that will probably happen.

1. They will get up and wander around. They might wander in the center aisle or they might wander right up to the pastor and try to see what he’s reading. You could try to stop them and make them sit still, but then they’ll just wiggle. I imagine Jesus didn’t sit still for long himself.

2. When they read out loud, they will read slowly and they might read the words wrong. This means that you will have to listen more carefully and consider the worlds words that are being read.

3. When someone is being baptized, they will want to touch the water too. They might even be so excited that when the person being baptized (often in the arms of his or her family) goes forward for the baptism, they will try to go too just to get as close to the water and the baptism action as possible. You might get excited and wish you could splash in the water and be closer, too.

4. When the pastor asks a rhetorical question during the sermon, they will raise their hands with an answer. If the pastor (hopefully) calls on them to answer, their answers will possibly be right or wrong or completely off subject.

5. They will care about the communion elements. It will take them forever to pick out or tear off their piece of bread because they want it to be the biggest right piece. They will make sure they get every drop of grape juice out of their communion cup. You’ll look over and they’ll have their heads thrown back and all you’ll see are their tongues sticking up into their communion cups. You might be reminded that the sacrament is actually a celebration.

6. They will start dancing or bouncing in their pews or singing along while the choir sings or the organ/piano/band plays. Good music does that to all of us, at least on the inside.

7. When they are called on to offer prayer requests, you will have to start praying for goldfish, recess and Jesus (kids always want to remember Jesus in prayer–I mean, he seems like an awfully busy guy and the whole Jesus is God connection is tricky for awhile).

8. They will whisper or speak questions loudly. You may even hear them ask a question you’ve wanted to ask. Maybe their parents or grandparents will reply loudly enough that you can hear the answer, too.

9. They will want their own bulletins even if they cannot read yet. They will want to hold the hymnal or the Bible even if they cannot read yet. They will want to be included and follow along even if they aren’t sure what it is that is happening. In helping them follow along, you might become more aware of the order of worship and the flow of the service.

10. They will bring life, joy, chaos, wonder, germs, laughter, movement, noise and hope into your church sanctuary.

What would you add? How have your children or neighboring children led you in worship?

Tuesday Ten: People to Thank

thank yousIt’s Thanks Week during Lent (Don’t panic if you didn’t know.  I made that up.) and I’m writing 7 thank you notes each day, Being thankful will cause you to be happier and more satisfied with your life. Writing thank you notes will brighten the days of people you love or people who have gone above and beyond, but weren’t really expecting any thanks.

Here are ten people you can go out of your way to thank this week! I recommend notes, but an email or phone call or text or face to face will work, too.

1. A teacher who made an impact in your life or is making an impact in the lives of your children.

2. A coach, scout leader or mentor to your or your children.

3. A young person who volunteers in your community.

4. Your pastor, youth minister, or any member of your church staff.

5. A friend who gave you a gift.

6. Someone in the healthcare field who went above and beyond for you or a loved one.

7. A person who loves you and is important in your life, but you never think to thank him or her (like a spouse or a parent).

8. A person who has made a difference in your life or the life of one of your children.

9. A co-worker (or in my case church member) who helped you do your job or filled in for you while you were away.

10. God (as in a written prayer of thanks).

Tuesday Ten: What To Donate

K TP DonationThis week, my challenge is to donate seven things each day (or to collect seven things to donate each day. I did not actually donate the things I collected yesterday–yet. I will.). Here are some suggestions if you’re looking to lighten your life a little bit.

1. Donate old towels to an animal rescue (In Henderson, New Hope Animal Rescue).

2. Take excess blankets to a local homeless shelter.

3. Donate books to a drug or alcohol treatment facility (in Henderson, WARM).

4. Donate toys to a local Children’s Advocacy Center.

5. Donate new stuffed animals, toys, blankets, pillows to an organization that helps children transition to foster care (in Henderson, Bags of Love).

6. Donate magazines to your local library (the Henderson County Public Library will sell them).

7. Donate non-perishable food to a local food pantry (in Henderson, Christian Community Outreach).

8. Donate eye glasses you no longer wear to your local Lion’s Club..

9. Donate household items to a Habitat for Humanity Restore.

10. Donate toilet paper, feminine products or personal items like soap, shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant to an organization that provides monthly care to families and individuals in need or senior citizens on fixed incomes (in Henderson, that’s also Christian Community Outreach).

What would you add to this list?

Tuesday Ten Retro: Things I Wear

I remembered this post yesterday as I was thinking about my clothing challenge this week. Thought I’d update it for this week’s Ten.

[orignally published on March 21, 2011]

Ten things I wear on a regular basis

1. Sneakers

2. Contact Lenses

3. My Wedding and Engagement rings

4. Jeans

5. A Smile

6. Lip Gloss

7. Hair tie (on my wrist or in my hair)

8. Undergarments

9. Jacket/Sweatshirt/Fleece

10. My Fit Bit

Tuesday Ten: Things I Could Minimalize

glossFor the past few years, Jason has followed the Minimalist movement. He may not practice it to extremes, but he has learned to appreciate having less and getting rid of things that are not needed. His wife (yours truly) has watched from distance, patting herself on the back when she makes a slight reduction somewhere and enjoying the parts of the house (the ones that are not my own spaces) that are uncluttered and easy to move through due to lack of stuff.

I have a problem and I’m confronting it this Lenten season. Here are ten areas that I could reduce the stuff I own or keep:

1. Clothing. My closet is packed and I’ve never had enough hangers.

2. Beauty products. Of all kinds and specifically…

3. Lip Glosses and lip sticks.

4. Books. It’s madness.

5. Thank You Cards (but fear not–the week where I’ll write 49 thank you cards will help decrease this).

6. TV Seasons on DVD. I mean, I got most of them pre-Netflix, but it’s ridiculous.

7. T-shirts. Yes, I’ve already mentioned clothing, but I have boxes of event and activity t-shirts in my closet.

8. Scentsy Bars.

9. Sock monkeys. Just kidding. I can’t won’t minimalize my sock monkeys.

10. Chargers to my various electronic devices. Like, at least 2 per device. It’s a bit ridiculous over there in the corner where I charge stuff.

Fat Tuesday Ten: Skip These Things

tofuLast year for Fat Tuesday, I posted a list of ten indulgences.

Today, I bring you ten thing not to bother with on the day when you’re supposed to wallow in decadence and celebrate enormously.

1. Tofu

2. Kale

3. Rice Cakes

4. Fat free yogurt

5. Decaffeinated coffee

6. Grape Nuts cereal

7. Unsalted peanuts

8. Canned spinach

9. Chicken broth

10. Skim milk


Tuesday Ten: Ways I’m Spending My Time Lately

walking deadThe good, the bad and the downright stupid:

1. Preparing my speech for Toastmasters tomorrow.

2. Binge watching “The Walking Dead.”

3. Searching for new crock pot recipes my family will eat.

4. Helping my mom get her house ready to sell.

5. Selling Girl Scout Cookies, delivering Girl Scout Cookies, collecting cash for Girl Scout Cookies.

6. Reading 3 books (“Super Freakonomics,” “Imperfect Birds” and “The Giver.”).

7. Candy Crush Saga. Yes, still.

8. Preparing two lessons on John 3 (one for a middle school small group; one for our high school youth group).

9. Reorganizing Children’s Church curriculum in preparation for Lent.

10. Scholarship applications!

Tuesday Ten: Kids’ Art Supplies That Never Get Old

Even labels cause creativity! Last week, some of our elementary kids labeled the supplies  in one corner of our art room!
Even labels cause creativity! Last week, some of our elementary kids labeled the supplies in one corner of our art room!

At our church, we are blessed to have an entire room devoted to art. Countertop, cabinets and bookshelves are devoted to art supplies and items kids can reach to be creative. Yes, our art room has cabinets with closed doors and signs that say “STOP” on them, reminding kids to ask permission, but there are supplies we also keep out for kids to use whenever they want to use them. Kids are naturally creative and artistic (you are, too, by the way. It’s just that as you got older, you probably started to doubt that about yourself and it’s likely you’ve convinced yourself you’re terrible at art), so letting them have space and supplies to create often yields exciting results.

Here are ten art supplies that our kids are always reaching for:

1. Markers (and crayons…but kids almost always choose markers)

2. Hole Punches (we have various sizes and shapes)

3. Chalk

4. Yarn

5. Popsicle Sticks

6. Play Doh (Confession: This item is kept behind closed doors, but we do try to get it out regularly!)

7. Foam shapes and letters

8. Stencils for tracing

9. Perler Beads (Probably the best supply investment we make. We’ve ironed approximately 3,843 bead projects in our art room.)

10. Paper of various weights and types

Add to this list glue, scissors, tape and an iron (for the Perler Beads), and you have a fun afternoon!

Now I wonder, what’s the last thing you created?

Tuesday Ten: Things That Are Happening Today

calendar februaryIt’s Tuesday! And It’s a busy day! Here’s why:

1. It’s our first day back to school in Henderson since last Tuesday. The snow has kept coming steadily all week…but it looks like we get a break for a bit.

2. It’s the 42nd day of the year!

3. It’s Girl Scout Cookie Delivery day in Henderson! We’ll be receiving tens of thousands of boxes of cookies into the gym at Presbyterian Church this morning. This means that pretty soon, the Girl Scouts you love will be dispatched to deliver tens of thousands of boxes of cookies all over Henderson! If you live in the 42420, get excited!

4. ACT Club meets at South Middle School this morning at 7:30.

5. Two Zumba classes tonight at Presbyterian Church! Pick one: 5:30 or 6:35.

6. I’m trying a new breakfast casserole recipe.

7. It’s “Make A Friend” Day…which seems perfect for a day we are celebrating Girl Scouting.

8. It’s “Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk” Day…which seems perfect for the day we receive Girl Scout Cookies.

9. Remember when my Girl Scout troop Never, Never, Never Gave Up? They’re meeting with a reporter from the local newspaper this afternoon to talk about that.

10. You get the chance to make a fresh start, seek a new calling, and live with purpose and grace.

Happy Tuesday! What are you doing today?