Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Protest, part 6: Speaking Swahili and Chasing Rare Birds

Hodi! Which, is Swahili, for hello. So, for Vacation Bible School this year, my church did Kingdom of the Son, which was a safari-themed adventure focusing on the Lord's Prayer.
VBS is always an adventure, filled with all kinds of opportunities. Opportunities of all sorts. And, usually, it can go one of two ways. Each situation has two outcomes. You can either wind up feeling really good about yourself, or really really bad. I did my fair share of each, believe you me.
For most of each night, I was Miss Ella, crew leader to the first and second graders, along with Joy, Tori, a lady from our church, and Gabriel, a guy from the youth group. Gabriel was the afterthought. He, umm, wasn't thriving in his first job (read: sat there doing nothing), so the people in charge (read: my mom and Joy's) stuck him with us, knowing we wouldn't let him get away with stuff like that. So, he got the scare-your-pants-off, won't-take-no-for-an-answer, boys-beware crash course in working with children. It was fun. For us, at least. ;)
So our job was to shepherd those little ones entrusted to us from activity to activity. Craft, Bible, Snack, Games, was the order, if I remember correctly.
But for the first twenty minutes of each evening, I was Terry Jaywalker, oversolicitous, overcautious birdwatcher. Twin to Jerry Jaywalker, also oversolicitous, but extremely undercautious, adventure hound/photographer/videographer extraordinaire, played by my dear friend Joy. The two of us hired Ben Bakari (Safari guide/closet evil poacher) to lead us on an expedition into the African plains, in search of adventure (for Jerry) and the rare Blue-Cheeked Bee Eater (for me). But our jeep broke just miles away from the first stop on our safari, Dr. Doolot's Animal Hospital, on an unnamed animal reserve. So we spent the week helping the kind Dr. Doolots with her work, learning all sorts of lessons, embarrassing ourselves (there was that incident with the tranquilizer . . .), and chasing the elusive bird.
But, any more than that would be spoilers. Spoilers!!
It was a fantastic week. The good Lord moved like He always does (five or six salvations, I think). God always uses those little kids, and the lessons they learn, to teach me things I'm too hardheaded to learn any way else. Part of why I love working with kids.
But I'm glad it only happens once a year, because VBS is exhausting.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Protest, part 5: Bunnies

Well, this one kind of picks up where the last one left off, with Doctor Who.
It all started one evening while Andrew, Anne, Riley and myself were riding around on the golf cart. (Aside: the golf cart is a new addition to the family. Pawpaw picked it up somewhere as a freebie and got it into working order.) There was a guy over from church to talk to Daddy, and they were sitting in the back yard. And, of course, I was hyper. I mean HYPER. So we're dashing around on the golf cart, and feeling absolutely psychotic, and in a major Doctor Who mood. So we're quoting the show left and right, and I'm screaming "Dust off your converse!" at the top of my lungs. Just for fun, you know.
Then all of a sudden, this rabbit dashes across our path, and Carie screamed at him "Dust off your converse!!"
So I asked, "Why on earth would a bunny wear converse?"
"It would if it was a Time Lord bunny." she said.
So we followed the bunny, but it disappeared. And when I said "What happened to the converse-wearing bunny?"
"It used it's TARDIS to go back in time and steal all our radishes from our garden." Connor replied matter-of-factly.
And thus was born the Evil Converse-Wearing, Radish-Stealing Time Lord Bunny. The end.

The Protest, part 4: Matt Smith

Well, then. On the list of things on dear old Ella's mind, Matt Smith (a.k.a the 11th Doctor) is pretty high up there. Because, well, he's so cool. And when I say cool, I mean cool.
Here is a video of an interview, shortly after Matt got the news that he'd been chosen as the next doctor.
And, this is stupid. I know that just because something is part of my frame of reference doesn't mean that it's a part of everyones. I am most certainly my father's daughter. I've grown up on stuff like this. Which quite possibly makes me a nerd, 'cause I love it. But I don't know if it's something everyone would get, or knows about. Maybe I'm stupid for even wondering, maybe it's a big duh. Everybody knows about Doctor Who. Or maybe I'm being rude for thinking that everyone knows about it just because I do. I quite simply don't know.
So, just in case, Doctor Who is a British, a very British science fiction show. Kind of an iconic thing, over there, so I'm told. Watch the video.
And it's a show I've very recently fallen in love with. How do you not fall in love with such a fantastic show? And the Doctor is such a marvelous character. Very cool.
And as you may've picked up on, when I use the word cool, I mean it in a slightly different sense. Ever read The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald? "You look so cool. Yo always look so cool." Or, possibly, seen The Cat Returns? "Wow, you're cool." Anyway, I digress.
So, yeah, Matt Smith. Cool. And, I guess that's it! Talk to you soon. :)

The Protest, part 3: Llamas

Now that I'm here, I honestly don't remember what I was going to say about llamas. That's embarrassing. Ummmmm, let's see. There was the bit about the spitting llamas, with Cara. But I already told you about that.
There's also the happy llamas. Which are fun. It's a hand rhyme my little cousin Nikki taught me, which I then taught to all the girls at church, and my little cousin Haley.
But I don't think that was it either. So, umm, llamas?
Wikipedia defines a llama as "a South American camelid, widely used as a pack and meat animal by Andean cultures since pre-hispanic times."
But you didn't care to know that. And I can't think of anything else. So, I guess we'll be wrapping this one up. Ttfn! :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Protest, part 2: What's Happening in the Next Few Weeks

VBS. Dance camp. Set Me Free. Thaaaaaattt about sums it up.
VBS. Me, Joy, Tori, and a lady from our church are crew-leading (actually, I think we're Safari Guides this year) for the first and second graders. Which, is pretty much my job of choice. No stupid boy issues this year either, please. I would appreciate that. It has me kinda freaked that I'm working with an adult. Never done that before in all my (four?) years of VBS-ing. All of which have been in the same position, crew leader to first and second graders. And, it being my niche, I consider myself at the very least passable at it, if not by this time somewhat good? Can I say that? And I usually wind up in the position of leader. Not official, just in a group-dynamic kinda way. I don't like taking charge, but I am capable when necessary. So that's usually what I do. Not sure how that's gonna work with an adult in the picture. Am I working with/alongside her? Or am I working under her. Kinda apprehensive about that, but in all things, His will be done. Joy and myself also have another position, but, again, that's a story for another post.
Dance Camp. Five day day camp in Norfolk, all about praise dance. Being the age that I am, I'm 'volunteering' most of the time, while learning under experienced leaders how to lead. Which'll be nice, because that's pretty much the position me and Joy are in with the 'dance group' (we're not official, yet?) at church. So, in that sense, looking forward to it. But, there's the potential (pretty good potential) of running into people I knew growing up, which is always interesting, and I have very low belief in my ability as a dancer, and there'll be people there who've been at it longer than I have with more teaching than I have. I've been on my own as a dancer, without a teacher, for a very long time. Aaaand, I'm not exactly in ballet-dancer shape. So, yeah, the feelings are a little mixed there.
Set Me Free. Sunday, July 25th. The dance-group-ey-thingy at church is presenting a dance to the song Set Me Free by Casting Crowns. And that's the one thing that I'm NOT having mixed/apprehensive feelings about. It's ready. We're ready. God has had his hand on this thing since the beginning, and I couldn't be more proud of the girls. They are w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l wonderful. I'm excited!! Corine is dancing the main part, and she's wonderful. She has so much God-giving talent and ability for it, and she has really made this part her own. And, her dad gets to be here this time. He missed her last dance, and that was really sad, because he is her biggest supporter as a dancer, and one of the biggest supporters of the whole dance thing at our church. And he gets to be here this time, which makes me really happy.
Soooo, I guess thats it? Sweet. Jazzy. (lol, another story for another post). That's all folks! Ttfn! :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Protest, part 1: What I've Been Doing These Past Few Weeks

My last post was on June seventh. This means that 'catching up' is not going to be easy, so let me hit the high points.
Aunt Becky, Uncle Jared, and Cara Grace's visit came and went. It was fantastic, albeit far too short. You've noticed how when out-of-town relatives visit, you see your in-town relatives a lot more often? Yeah. That's kind of a cool side effect.
Funniest/Favorite highlights of the visit?
Dad and Calvin (age four) playing 'may I please have my brains back?' Dad pretended to pull Cal's brain out through his ear, then coached him in the correct way to stick his tongue out, drool, and slur "may I please have my brains back?" Which he continued to do for a solid week.
Cara's spitting llamas. She was sitting on the floor playing with Andrew's legos in our family room. They'd come over for dinner. I was sitting in a chair beside her, leaning over to play with her. I made what I thought was a very cute duck, and proceeded to make the duck 'quack' at her with it. She promptly informed me that it looked more like a llama than a duck. To which I replied "Well, I don't know what a llama says." So she told me, "They don't say nuffin', they 'pit (spit)!"
Standing in the kitchen, cooking side-by-side with Nana, Aunt Becky, and Mama. Peeling potatoes at Nana's kitchen table with Aunt Becky. All (*counts on fingers*) twelve? of us piling into the ten-by-ten family room to play music. Which is what we call it when Daddy and Andrew grab their guitars and Aunt Becky and Papaw grab their ukeleles and the rest of us sing along where we can and we play whatever song from the song book sounds best at the time. We managed a pretty decent He Knows My Name, if I do say so myself.
We got together for the last time Monday night. We did dinner, dessert, and music. Mom and Dad started giving each other the 'it's time to go' looks, then Nana says "Hey, don't we wanna look at pictures? So we all take turns putting our camera SD cards into the wii and we look at pictures. The looks begin again, then Nana produces a humongous watermelon and says "Does anybody want watermelon?" And even though we were all full as ticks, everybody did. And as Nana and I are in the kitchen cleaning up, I looked over at her and said, "We're stretching, aren't we?" We were, of course. Everybody knew it.
They left last Tuesday, the same day Grandma and Pawpaw came back from their vacation in Florida. Tuesday afternoon, Mom and I scooted down to NC to pick up Joy so we could go over to the CPC to volunteer, like we always do. We get there and up to the door and our 'boss' informs us (in a whisper) that she's with a client, and didn't need us that day. So I call daddy, and Joy and me wind up sitting in the kitchen at the office for an hour. Which, seeing as how it was us, was a blast.
And that's pretty much it for June. July is gonna have to be a story for another day. Au revoir!

Umm . . . ?

Bonjour. Comment vas tu? Moi, je vais bien. I think. Not so sure. I'll let you know when I figure out.
I kind of hate blogging. I mean, it's great and all. Cool for when you have a thought that won't fit into a facebook status update that you want to share, or when you're really busy and you need a place to make your schedule make sense in your own head, or for trading inside jokes with friends under false names, or when you've got something on your mind that you just HAVE to talk about, and that your family and friends will strangle you if you say another word about, or if you have a beloved aunt who wants to keep up with your life, but lives on the other side of the planet (Love you Aunt Becky!).
But it has its downsides, too. Like when you hate keeping anything like a journal, and are therefore awful at it. Or when you're super-duper busy. Or when the kind of thing you have on your mind isn't exactly the kind of thing you want to project into cyberspace.
That's probably the worst one. Because not everything is blogger-friendly. Some stuff is just . . . bigger . . . than that. But, when that's what you're thinking about, how can you NOT blog about it? And then I start feeling guilty (see Honesty, parts 1 and 2) about not sharing what's on your mind. And then, well, that's when I decide that the pros of blogging just don't outweigh the cons.
So I could tell you what I did over the past few weeks. Or I could tell you what's happening in the next few weeks. Or I could pick some random subject to ramble on about, like Llamas or Matt Smith or bunnies or speaking swahili and chasing rare birds. Okay, so there are ideas for five, no, six blog posts right there. And while I'm not particularly enthralled with any of them, why not? So, a protest against blogging, while being a good girl and posting on my blog, in six parts, coming right up. Well, seven if you count this one, the introduction.
Have a fantastic evening.