Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Fun

While Addie has been away at summer day camp, the babies and I have been trying all sorts of new experiences. Today we had a water day. Splish splash.

And of course, a visit from the daycare pet #2, Heidi the Nasty Mutt

Monday, July 22, 2013

More Messy Monsters

So this is a spoon?

Oh, I get it!

Ryleigh and McKenna must have learned spoon etiquette from the same person


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Walker Wannabes Prt 2

Hmmm, wonder what the babies will think of Mr. Handy Hand

Ryleigh goes right for the fingers

Yes, I think we definitely have a future walker on our hands. Buwahaha!

As a side note, how mean is it that I plan to bury Mr. Handy Hand in our backyard when we leave this rental house? I just wish I could see the tenants' faces when they unearth it!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Walker Wannabes

Mike says our kids look like they are preparing to be walkers on The Walking Dead.

I recently read that babies should start transitioning to table food around 9 mos, which leads to tonight's escapades with pasta.

Surprisingly, McKenna has taken to table food much easier than the other 2. She wolfs down boiled eggs, pasta, and just about anything else I put in front of her.

Josiah wears most of his food, as does Ryleigh. 

I would include a pic of Addie but she still is on an eating strike until PBS promises to stop killing off Downton Abbey characters.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Happy, happy Daycare

Some days I feel like I run a daycare for 1 very active (and loving toddler) and 3 very curious infants.

We have a ball pit for our sensory exploration and playtime. We also have 4 bouncy seats, 3 activity mats and a bagillion toys.

Ryleigh and McKenna

I love this photo, mainly because of the toppled baby in the background. I assure you, no babies were injured in the making of this post. All babies are carefully monitored at all times :)

Here is our class pet, Dora II, which was to replace Dora I that died 3 days ago. I think we should stop while we're ahead.

"I" is for ice and ice cream. I don't always get to go a letter craft with Addie but we try to do at least 3 a week. We also use to practice letter sounds, and make a game out of finding as many letters in our neighborhood as possible. So are we've covered D, G, O, P, T, I, A and S.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Re-Writing Our Words Part 2

In full disclosure, I thought I'd offer 2 personal examples of how words can easily erroneously re-label truths:

Example 1:

When someone tells you, "don't try to load that bike by yourself" and you insist on doing it solo, that is not called individuality or independent. It's called being stubborn.

Refusing to apply sunscreen during a 3-hr trip to the beach is not called getting a base tan. It's a guarantee to a sunburn.

Re-Writing our Words

Words oftentimes can bring more confusion than clarity. A single word can offer different meanings, or have different spellings, or different cultural baggage. And then there are times when we choose the wrong words, which leads to embarrassing faux pas (such as the time I announced I was my professor's progeny rather than prodigy).

It's this latest conundrum within the church that causes me to wish we could re-write our vocabulary in order to clarify and correct what we really mean.

1. Follow vs. Believe
Unless you are Davy Jones, you should not be seeking believers. Rather, you (and God and the church) needs followers. It may seem to be a minor difference in word choice but the implications are greater than we realize. A believer is someone who knows all about God and the Bible, believes all the things the Bible says and can even regurgitate spiritual truths. But they may still live according to their own rules and plans because they've never become a follower. It doesn't matter what you believe but who you follow. One involves knowledge, the other requires a humbling submission.

2. Cultural Exchange vs. Mission Trip
The day after I graduated from high school I hopped a plane for Russia. There, I spent a month with a teen mission organization performing dramas throughout St. Petersburg as we shared the gospel with people in the city. I honestly can't say a single person became a follower of Jesus through the performances, nor did I have a chance to converse with anyone on a deep spiritual level. We weren't there to build relationships. We were there to entertain and experience Russia. We called it a mission trip but in reality it was a cultural experience.

I think such trips are great for opening our eyes to other cultures and beliefs, whether we travel overseas or downtown to the inner-city. It remind us of how God's plan extends beyond our neighborhood/city/state/nation. But I don't think these trips are truly about doing missions that bring lasting change to another culture. Those types of trips and relationships are built through long-term involvement with people, as in a church sending a team to the same city year after year to build a deep partnership. Or when a church installs a team (or even a branch of the church) inside the inner-city to have a day-to-day influence rather than sending a group of kids to an inner-city for a week and think any change has been achieved. These popcorn type trips are not about missions or relationships or changing the location, but are cultural experiences that oftentimes change the participants most. Cultural exchanges are great and have their importance, but let's call them what they are.

3. Public Relations vs. Outreach
A sea of purple infiltrates a crowd as goods are handed out and smiles offered. Purple-clad volunteers distribute brochures, bracelets, postcards, etc touting their business. Everything is stamped with the church's name and address. At the end of the day, high-fives are exchanged and backs patted for another great outreach.

Um....what was shared? Who or what was promoted? Did anyone actually talk about Jesus, tell anyone about God's love, or at the very least have an actual conversation beyond niceties?

Such events are great and perhaps needed for the church to let neighbors know they are there in the community, but let's call them what they are. They are not outreach events; they are PR events. Outreach events, at least as most people in the church understand them, involve promoting Jesus and reaching out to offer hope, acceptance and God's love. The moment you replace Jesus' name with the church's, or when you begin bragging about your church and the change it has made in your life vs. talking about Jesus and the change He has made, when you can recite every program your church offers but can't talk about the latest thing God has impressed on your heart, you have moved from promoting God to promoting your church.