Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Five: Gifts and Talents

Posted at RevGalBlogPals by Sally

Our Circuit (Methodist) is having a "Gifts and talents day" tomorrow- we have a minister visiting from another circuit who has modified the Myers Briggs personality test and added a few things of his own to run a day where we get to look at ourselves in the light of giftings and of the whole church. The idea is to encourage everyone with the news that there is room for you in the ministry of the church- and perhaps to discover where that ministry might be.....
It should be an interesting day, and one where I hope people will leave feeling encouraged and challenged...
So with gifts and talents in mind here is todays Friday 5;

1. Personality tests; love them or hate them?

I think they're fun, as long as they don't get too bogged down. I don't take them particularly seriously though. I also think most of them are a little too easy to manipulate.

2. Would you describe yourself as practical, creative, intellectual or a mixture ?

Definitely a mixture. Very creative, certainly intellectual in the sense that I love learning. I could easily become a perpetual student. And a little bit practical-mostly because I'm the one who has to take care of the household: bills, child, animals, meals, shopping, etc. If I didn't have all that, I'd certainly be less so, wanting to take off and be impulsive, doing things like eating out all the time, buying lots of gadgets and shoes I don't need, being a lot more selfish.

3. It is said that everyone has their 15 minutes of fame; have you had yours yet? If so what was it? If not, dream away; what would you like it to be?

I'm not sure. I did get my face up on the big screens at a General Assembly way back when I was about 17. I did have a few strangers recognize me afterwards. But really, I'd like to publish some day. I'm not sure in what genre though. I always wanted to write and illustrate my own children's book. There are so few good children's religious books that aren't just retelling Bible stories. (If you are looking for some though, Jewish Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso has written several that are wonderful!)

4. If you were given a 2 year sabatical ( oh the dream of it) to create something, would it be music, literature, art.....something completely different...share your dream with us...

Oh! It would be art. I have just picked up my sketching and watercolors again. I just finished a pencil sketch of a photo of P and L taking a nap together. I would love to travel and sketch and paint all the places I go. I'd love to take some lessons to learn more and maybe pick up another medium-I'd love to learn to throw pottery!

5. Describe a talent you would like to develop, but that seems completely beyond you.

I would love to be a really great photographer. I take good pictures now, but I just don't have the "eye" for great photos. I also get really confused with all of the shutter speed and aperature settings and the little things that make for really great pictures. Not to metion, I don't have the $$$ to get a good camera and lenses right now. (I'd love one of those relatively new Nikon D40 DSLRs.)

Bonus question: Back to the church- what does every member ministry mean to you? Is it truly possible to encourage/ implement?

I totally think it's possible. I absolutely believe in "the priesthood of all believers." I think one of the biggest parts of my job as a minster is to facilitate congregation members in discovering and using their particular gifts and talents to better serve Christ and the world. When people learn where their talents lie and how to best put them to use, they often are infused with that passion that makes them actually want to serve.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Ah, this weekend begins the marathon vaction spree. We leave early, and I mean early, on Saturday to drive all the way to MD to see the in-laws. My darling P is what I like to call a "trip Nazi." There is a schedule, it must be adhered to at most, if not all, costs. Grumpiness and surliness ensue if this does not occur. I believe he intends to make the 14+ hour trip in one day. Did I mention our daughter is in the midst of potty training? I have a feeling this is going to be a rather tense trip. We will return, also in one day, one week later. Six days after we return, P working a full work week, we will begin our trek to my parents' place where we will all rent a minivan and begin our 2-day trip to Canada. We will spend those 5 days trying to recover from said trip, which usually takes till day 3 or 4, and then we will actually be relaxed for one or two days, and then make the trip back again. All with a potty-training almost-three-year-old. Thank God there will be family around to help! Am I looking forward to it? Sure, most of it anyway. I am very lucky to have wonderful relationships with both my own family and my in-laws. Will MIL hover and ask me a hundred times a day if I'm all right or if I'm sure of whatever decision I've recently made? Sure! But she means well and just wants everyone to be happy and she likes me and doesn't mind that I've married her son. And for that, I'm very grateful.
Well, I need to start preparing, at least mentally, for the trip. Ciao for now!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Five: Hot Town, Summer in the City...

...or town, or suburb, or hamlet, or burg, or unincorporated zone, or rural area of your choice---pretty much anywhere but the southern hemisphere, it's summer. (Australians and others, consider this an invitation to take a break from winter for a while.)

1. Favorite summer food(s) and beverage(s)
Mmmmm, sweet corn, strawberries and tomatoes, all fresh picked. Also freezer pops, you know, the ones in the skinny plastic tubes in all kinds of colors. Home-made ice cream. Sangria and a frozen drink that my granddad was famous for called a peach pousee (sp?) made with frozen peaches, frozen o.j. concentrate and vodka (I switch that for rum, personal preference).

2. Song that "says" summer to you. (Need not be about summer explicitly.)
For some reason, the Top Gun soundtrack comes to mind.

3. A childhood summer memory
When I was a kid, my mom wasn't working and we would go spend pretty much the entire summer at her parents' home in Dallas. We'd take swimming lessons in the morning at the Y and swim in their pool all afternoon. Poppy would take us to the local library. There were usually grown-up parties once or twice in the summer and we'd get to stay up late and "attend" thinking how grown-up we were.
I also remember picking wild blueberries up in Canada and my great-aunt Helen gamely making blueberry pancakes with the 1/2 c. we'd manage to find. And my great-uncle Joe fileting the tiny little sun perch we'd catch off the dock and Marm making bite-sized fish nuggets with them.

4. An adult summer memory
Playing with L in the sprinkler and her little porch pool. Also, during one of our (almost) annual trips to Canada, watching the Leonid metor shower from the boat during a blackout from a recent storm; the sky was amazing!!

5. Describe a wonderful summer day you'd like to have in the near future. (weather, location, activities)
We're taking our trip to Canada soon, and I'd really love to see the Northern lights. That would be such a treat! But as for a whole day, it'd would start with waking up early and visiting with mom since we're the only early risers, having someone else care for L and not having to change diapers. Canoeing with P, maybe boating over to the swimming hole at great aunt Helen's and catching frogs with L. There'd be great food, maybe burgers and sweet corn and tomatoes for dinner and for sure, butter tarts!

Optional: Does your place of worship do anything differently in the summer? (Fewer services, casual dress, etc.)
We used to bump the service back half an hour and cancel SS for the season. But a few years ago they kept the worship time a half hour earlier year round, so now some of the classes, especially the children's and teens', don't meet for the summer.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

one down...

Well, I had phone interview one of two. This was the one with Church Much Nearer to My Family and I think it went well. I'm never sure about how I come across since I know I tend to ramble a little when I'm nervous. I did wonder how they would feel if they knew I was sipping a gin-n-tonic while I was talking to them. Just to calm the nerves. Probably bad form, but it did help. I felt like I asked good questions (some serious thanks go to previous RevGals "Ask the Matriarch" posts), but I actually wish they'd asked better ones. I got the oh-so-typical, where do you see yourself in 5-10 years, what are your strenghs/weaknesses, etc. I do so wish they'd get a little more creative. I think for the next one I'll write down some responses to these typical questions since, as I said, I tend to babble when I'm nervous. If I have something to look at, I can keep myself on track better, I hope.
But on the other hand, it seemed to go well, and I hope to hear from them again. They are a relatively young congregation, about 30 years old, I think, and seem to be pretty forward thinking and open-minded. I think we'd do well together. Plus, I think it'd be a great place for our family (yeah, I know, I've said that before).
The next one I'm actually having to do while I'm on vacation. Oh well, it's better to interupt 30 minutes of vacation than risk not having a job. At least there'll be lots of in-laws to help care for L while I'm on the phone. That call will be in the next couple weeks and I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Finally Some Good News

I finally heard back from Church Much Nearer to My Family. You know, the one that asked for that infernal video? Well, they want a phone interview- a very positive step. And of course, out of the blue, I get contacted by another church in Mid-Atlantic East Coast state who found me through the CLC website. (That's Church Leadership Connection for all you non-presbys.) And I've still got a few out there in limbo. But it's nice to finally have someone want to speak with me, and not just one someone either. I try not to get too excited, but it's certainly much better than nothing at all which is what I've been hearing a lot of lately. So I'm having a little mini-celebration over here if any of you want to join me. No cake or anything, but maybe a bloody mary later in the day.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Friday Five: Getaway Island Edition

Posted by Cathy at RGBP:
We snitched a bit of time on a quiet island nearby this week. It was a last minute plan, escaping with a minimal amount of preparation. One must have essentials that make it a relaxing time. Perhaps you have had this opportunity to escape, or maybe it's only been a thought to get away. However, suppose you were told to pack some essentials for a trip to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Describe your location, in general or specific terms and....

Generally, it has to be next to water. My two favorite places I've vacationed were the Outer Banks, and the family 'cottage' in Canada (see previous posts). One is lake, one is ocean, so I'm not picky. Both have their different benefits. Quiet is a must. I love hearing the loons at the lake and the waves at the beach. Family and friends are a bonus. I don't much like being alone, even on vacation. What fun is fun if you can't share it? (That's just me.) But specifically, we are going to the 'cottage' in July so that is what I'll be referring to.

1) What book(s) will you bring?

Probably a couple of mysteries and, ok, maybe a 'trashy' romance (I'll be ordering an Amanda Quick from Paperback Swap soon). Oh, and word puzzle books! Especially since mom and sis will be there.

2) What music accompanies you?

Well, since we've got an IPod, lots. Favorites? Gaelic Storm and Matchobox 20 (for me), Indigo Girls and various classic rock (for P), Backyardigans (for L). We also have XM radio, so we'll listen to lots of other various stuff on the way. We have very wide and ecclectic tastes.

3) What essentials of everyday living must you take (as in the health and beauty aids aisle variety)?

The necessities are shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, razor, body wash (you know, hygene stuff). The rest (as in, could probably live without but why would I want to): Sunscreen, SPF 30 face moisturizer, bug spray, maybe a hair dryer, but that depends on how much room I have left in the suitcase. Make-up? Well, ok, probably my concealer, mascara and some blush, just in case we go out to dinner one night.

4) What technological gadgets if any, will you take with you or do you leave it all behind?

P has to have the IPod, especially in the car. I will leave the laptop, but I doubt P will be able to leave his behind. (He's just sure his office can't function without his input. Not good with work/family boundaries, is P.) We'll take the cell phones, but mostly just for on-the-road safety. XM radio for in the car.
I mostly read and knit on vacation. Nothing digital there.

5) What culinary delights will you partake in while there?

Well, we usually go to the local farmer's stands and see what's fresh. It depends on what's in season; In July it's usually strawberries and early corn. We also usually go to the little fish and chips restaurant in a neighboring town. It's called "Just for the Hallibut." Get it? :)

As a bonus question, what makes for a perfect day on vacation for you?

Having someone else change dirty diapers. 'Nuf said.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Adventures in Knitting

For those of you who are just sure that there could not possibly be anything adventurous about knitting, well, you're probably right, but it has its interesting moments at least.
So the adventure part is, I've been teaching P to knit, hoping that he can use it to tame his stress monster. Though at this stage I just hear him cursing at it a lot-not very stress taming it would seem. Hopefully he'll keep practicing and get better. I got him a great book, Knitting With Balls: A Hands-On Guide to Knitting for the Modern Man. Lots of fun stuff that men might actually wear or use. At this point though, he's still working on the practice square.
Me, I'm knitting hats and gloves for the friends moving from AZ to MI. I'm pretty certain that no one in their family has ever lived north of the Mason-Dixon line. And while I've done the majority of my living in the south, I did spend 8 years in northern IN, so I have a pretty good idea of how cold it's gonna get up there. They're going to have to get very familiar with down and wool. Hopefully no one's allergic!
I've never knit gloves before. That's my other adventure. Socks are one thing, but the half-fingers on the glove are going to be a challenge. The ones I'm knitting are those convertible fingerless glove/mitten things. I'm also about three iches away from finishing P's socks. Hopefully I'll get those done today or tomorrow. Then I can post a new picture of the next project!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday Five: Hopes, Visions, and Dreams

Wow this is my first ever Friday 5.....and I hope you'll like it...

My house has been full of young people all week, young people who have just left school, young people with an eye on the future. Their laughter energy, and hope are infectious, so with that in mind- this Friday 5 is about hopes, visions and dreams; by Sally at RGBP

1. Think back to the time you left High School, what were your hopes visions and dreams for your life/ for the world?

I don't really remember what I was dreaming when I left high school, but my oldest and fondest childhood dream was to be a great ballet dancer. Shoulda realized that that was gonna be out when I had to special order my shoes 'cuz my feet were too big. Oh, and I have all the grace of a charging rhino.

2. Have those hopes visions and dreams changed a lot, or are some of them still alive and kicking? (share one if you can)

Hmm, I think that dreams change as circumstances change, and certainly things have changed since high school. I don't really remember having anything but childish dreams (cute boyfriend, new car, better wardrobe, etc.) Now I'm happy to be a mom, drive a car with enough room for kid and kid stuff, clothes that don't wrinkle or stain easily, and having the AC work this summer.
3. Hebrews 11:1 " Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. " Comforting, challenging or frustrating?

Some of each. I have felt each of those at times with this idea. Course, I don't think the author of Hebrews was thinking of the kind of hopes that most high schoolers are hoping- like no zits on prom day and that mom and dad won't find out about that night you snuck out. That doesn't seem to have much to do with faith.

4. If resources were unlimited, and you had free reign to pursue a vision what would it be?

I desperately want some art training. Painting and pottery are my top two picks. I have dabbled in watercolor, oils and some slab pottery. At this point I just don't have room, time, or money to really work on any projects.

5. Finally with summer upon us- and not to make this too heavy- share your dream holiday....where, when and who with...

We're going up to Canada for a week with my family. My grandmother, Marm, as we call her, has a lake 'cottage' (cottage is in quotes because it's a 6 bedroom, two story, 4-season home that only gets used in summer) that we will all descend upon in mid-July. We'll canoe, hear loons call, catch frogs, go visit Marm's sister on the other side of the lake in their 'cottage,' and generally be lazy. It's on a beautiful lake in Ontario full of little rocky outcroppings and islands, smartly named Stoney Lake. Our family has been vacationing there since my dad was a kid. I took sailing lessons there... sorry, I'm reminiscing here. Lots and lots of fond memories. I love it there, so it's a dream come true for sure.
I would also love to take my mom and sister to Italy, where I spent three weeks during a spring term course in college and show them the places there I fell in love with. Also, I miss our trips to the Outer Banks that we did with P's family and some family friends a couple of times.

So take some time out re-visit you hope and visions...

Oddly Accurate...

Your Dominant Intelligence is Interpersonal Intelligence

You shine in your ability to realate to and understand others.
Good at seeing others' points of view, you get how people think and feel.
You have an uncanny ability to sense true feelings, intentions, and motivations.
A natural born leader, you are great at teaching and mediating conflict.

You would make a good counselor, salesperson, politician, or business person.