Geese in an Uneven V

A couple of weeks ago I was walking into church with the girls when one of our elders met us outside. He pointed to Babykins the flocks of geese flying north high above our heads. As Babykins excitedly watched the birds, the elder asked me, “You know how geese always fly in a “V” shape?”

“Oh, yes,” I replied.

The elder continued his question, “Have you ever noticed how one side of the “V” is always longer than the other?”

“I have, actually!” I said.

“Do you know why that is?” the elder asked in a tone that implied that he knew the answer.

“No, do you?” I asked, curious about the reason.

“Why, yes,” the elder gleefully stated, “It’s because one side has more geese than the other!”


I don’t know which is worse: The joke or the fact I found said joke genuinely funny. 


The Lyre Hymnal

It’s difficult juggling a toddler and a hymnal on Sunday mornings. If the toddler isn’t try to writhe out of your grasp, she is grasping for the hymnal in a desperate attempt to destroy look at it. Keeping the hymnal in hand–much less opened to the correct hymn–is a challenge.

That’s why I’m presenting the idea for the LSB: Lyre Edition. The idea is simple. Flutists and piccolo players in marching band have a lyre that straps onto their arms. Why not use a similar lyre on Sunday morning for those of us who need an extra hand free?

The LSB: Lyre Edition will provide small, printed sheets of hymns. Mothers can place in the lyre the hymns being sung that day prior to service (or another helpful member could do so for the members, because, let’s face it, many mothers come running into church as the service begins). LSB: Lyre Edition will provide better mobility for grabbing little ones than lugging a heavy hymnal. Likewise, LSB: Lyre Edition will be much quieter if it is dropped.

You may ask yourself, “Why wouldn’t churches just use projectors for the service?” First off, projector screens often don’t mix aesthetically with sanctuaries. They stick out like a proverbial sore thumb. Secondly, projectors rarely include the music of a hymn. Many of us mothers may not read music well, but we do rely on the hymnal to at least give us a guess where the next pitch should land.

LSB: Lyre Edition: Sing your favorite hymns while keeping your little ones corralled.

LSB Lyre

Okay, so this isn’t a perfect idea. First off, it would be difficult to keep the sheet music small enough for the lyre but big enough to read. Likewise, there’s a good chance the lyre will just wind up smacking a child in the face. But I’m just presenting the idea, I’ll leave wiser minds to perfect it. Not to mention that I’m mostly joking. 😉 



DIY Toddler Friendly Photobook

Babykins has recently become interested in looking at photographs. One of her favorite pastimes is pulling picture frames off our low bookshelves so she can inspect the photographs. She also loves looking at the Shutterfly photobook that sits on the end table in our living room.

Since I can’t let Babykins look at the photobook by herself since she has a tendency to rip paper, I wanted to make a toddler-friendly book that she could look at whenever she wanted. I decided to make a simple one myself since Shutterfly doesn’t have a board book option for its photobooks.

How to Make a Toddler-Friendly Photobook

1. Choose your photos. I decided to order 4×6 prints off of Shutterfly (yes, I really like Shutterfly. No, I am not getting paid to write this post. 😉 ). I order prints of Babykins’s grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and our cats. I had some leftover family photos from Christmas last year, so that print is for “Mommy” and “Daddy”.

2. Laminate your photos. You want your photos to be sturdy so they don’t get crushes in toddler hands. I have a personal laminator that I used, but you can also check with print shops to see if they laminate.

3. Punch a hole (or two) in your photos and attach together. I personally used a ribbon because that’s what I had on hand, but a snap ring would probably work better.

end result

Viola! The end result is a sturdy little booklet of pictures that your toddler can carry around without destroying (or if they do manage to destroy it, you didn’t spend much money on the book).

Thus far Babykins isn’t as impressed by her photobook as I was hoping. But I suppose that one of the the laws of child rearing: The more excited you are to give them something, the less they care about it.


March Comes in Like a Lion. . .

lion and lamb

There’s a saying that “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.”  A lion day is a cold and wintry day, a lamb day is a warm and spring-like day.  As a kid, my mom used to print off a March calendar and have us fill in each day whether it was a “lion” day or a “lamb” day.  As we grew older, we started adding our own variations to “lion” and “lamb” days.  Sometimes we would draw a lion with sunglasses or a lamb with a scarf (both meaning a sunny but cold day).  Since we lived in fickle-weather Iowa, I created my own saying of, “March comes in like a lamb and goes out like a lion” (which happened more often than we would have liked).

This year, March is certainly coming in like a lion.  It seems that the entire Midwest is facing snow and cold for this first week.  This leads to the question, will March go out like a lamb?  What do you think?

Personally, I’m thinking March is going to go out like a lion.  Then again, I’m a big ol’ pessimist.  🙂

P.S.–For those of you keeping track, yesterday marked 2 months until Call Night!  *cue dramatic music*

Our Book Table

table of books

My husband and I have a coffee table in our living room, but we never put coffee cups on it.  Instead, we use it as a bookshelf.  It started innocently enough–at first we only put books on there that we were currently reading.  However, as this year has gone on, we’ve started piling books on the coffee table that we are reading, think that we might like to read, or books that we have pulled out for reference.

Yesterday I realized that we had cluttered up the coffee table with a huge pile of books (again).  Likewise, I noticed that we had an interesting conglomeration of topics.  Consequently, I decided to note all the titles of all the books on our coffee table:

-The Highly Sensitive Person
-The Lutheran Service Book (Gift Edition)
-The Two Towers
-ESV Bible (Note taking edition)
-The Lord Will Answer: A Daily Prayer Catechism
-I Trust When Dark My Road: A Lutheran View of Depression 
-Cooking for Geeks
-And She Was Christian: Why Do Believers Commit Suicide?
-The Introvert Advantage
-The Introvert's Way
-Blogging for Dummies
-I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar
-The Silmarillian
-Broken: 7 "Christian" Rules that Every Christian Ought to Break as Often as Possible
-The Lutheran Study Bible

I didn’t even count the books that had piled up on our end tables.  Sheesh.  Anyway, as I put away some of our books, I decided that perhaps a better way of keeping books out is to have an empty bookshelf (or at least an empty shelf or two) in our living room.  That way we could put books were weren’t immediately reading on the empty shelves and not clutter up the coffee table.  There is a practical aspect to this solution as well–it’s easier to pull a book off a shelf than to move around piles of books to get to the one I want.  I would try to implement this system immediately, but it seems silly to rearrange our books since we’re moving in about a month.

And for those of you concerned that I don’t understand the joy of being surrounded by books, don’t worry–There are still six or seven books strewn across the coffee table (even after I “cleaned up”).  🙂

What do you use as a pseudo-bookshelf?  

And From Cross Bearer I Get. . .

On Sunday, one of my husband’s friends from seminary is getting ordained.  He asked my husband to help with his ordination and installation service.  Generally a good job to give a seminarian helping out with a service like this is crucifer (the guy who carries in the crucifix in the procession).  However, my husband’s friend’s new church doesn’t have a crucifix, they have a cross.  Consequently, my husband isn’t the crucifer, he’s the cross bearer.  But whenever I hear “cross bearer,” I think of this:

cross bear

It’s a cross bear. Get it? A bear who is cross!

Sometimes I’m Not a Very Good Wife

Yesterday, my husband and I were walking downtown when a big pile of melting snow slid off a rooftop and plopped on his head.  Other people who saw it gasped in surprised and gave him sympathetic looks; I was doubled over with laughter.  Sometimes I’m not a very good wife.

Why I Hate Shopping at Walmart

My shopping nemesis is Walmart.  My dislike of the store is immediately apparent.  I physically react to walking into a Walmart:  My eyes widen at the sight of the cavernous ceiling, my skin crawls when spotting the narrow aisles, and my head pounds as I observe all the people milling around.  I don’t have this reaction when I go to Target.  Unfortunately, the closest Walmart is only 5 minutes from our house and the closest Target is 40 minutes away.*  I simply cannot justify not shopping at Walmart this year.   

I may not be able to avoid Walmart, but I don’t have to like Walmart.  In fact, my shopping experience for the last nine months has solidified my disdain for the store.  Here are 5 reasons why I hate shopping at Walmart:
1.  I can never find anything.
I also can’t find things like popsicle sticks, sidewalk salt, coffee filters, and light bulbs. 
2.  Items I need to buy seem consistently out of stock.  Seriously, it’s like shopping at the seminary co-op (where you can’t assume that they are going to have what you need), only the co-op is free and I pay for things from Walmart!

Of course, this can be a problem because sometimes I’m uncertain if something isn’t
there or if I just can’t find it.
3.  I can never find an employee to ask for help.

This means I can’t figure out whether I just can’t find an item or if the store
doesn’t have it.
4.  Inevitably I forget something at the opposite end of the store, meaning I have to trek through the miles and miles of aisles to get what I need.

This always seems to happen when I’m in a hurry, hence the picture of me running.
5.  There are never enough cash registers open.
Who decided that “Speedy Checkout” should go up to 20 items?  That’s not speedy!
And no, I don’t want to use a self-checkout; I want the store to do its job!
Ugh, Walmart.  The store may have me in its clutches this year, but rest assured that when we go back to the seminary where there are a plethora of shopping choices, I will be taking my business to Target. 

*I know this could be worse, that I could have to drive 40 minutes to get to the closest Walmart and even further to get to the closest Target.  Still, it’s my blog and I’ll complain if I want to!  😉

The Start of a Stand-Up Routine for Sem. Families

The other night at dinner I was discussing with my husband the fact that Peter was married (Mark 1:29-31 talks about Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law).  This conversation then ensued:

Me:  Can you imagine Peter telling his wife that he was going to follow Jesus?  He would have been like, “Uh, honey, I’m going to quit my job and follow this Jesus fellow around,” and she would have been like, “What?!”

Husband:  Yeah, that would have been worse then telling your wife that you’re going to seminary!  

Okay, so this conversation didn’t translate very well into writing, but trust me, it was hilarious when it was happening!

Newest Bit of Happiness on the Internet

A couple of weeks ago, one of my high school/college friend/college roommate (what does it say about me if I have three people that fit into that category?) recommended that I watch a video blog (vlog) called “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.”  The idea behind the vlog is to make a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice.  Since I am a fan of Pride and Prejudice, I watched the first video.

It was AWESOME and I have been trying to catch up the last week and a half.  I’m about halfway through right now and I must admit, the vlog stays surprisingly true to the book.  So, if you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice or you enjoy a good romantic comedy, I highly recommend “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.”*

*My high school/college friend/college roommate did have a disclaimer about Lydia’s behavior at towards the end.  Knowing what I know about Lydia from the book, one can only imagine what she might do in a modern setting.