Friday, March 1, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Lenten love, beans for good and joblessness

--- 1 ---
Decorating for Lent. Not an oxymoron, exactly...just kind of tricky. I loved this idea to put purple fabric on our crosses and crucifixes, so SuperSam and I went on a hunt through the house and draped them all. We have a lot. I guess that's a side effect of having a husband who worked as a pastor for so long - people give you crosses as gifts.   

Hmm...what could we get George and Abbey for Christmas? Oh, I know! He's a pastor...they must like crosses a lot, right? Let's give them one of those.

(If any of you have ever given us a cross, we reallyreallyreally love it. Seriously.)

In addition to the cross-decorating, I made a new wreath for the front door and put a piece of burlap on the table with some votive candles, one to light each week of Lent until we get to Holy Week.

--- 2 ---
The Bean Jar: Thanks to an idea from Karen Edmisten, we have been putting beans in a big jar on the kitchen table for small acts of sacrifice. Anytime one of us does something in a loving way for another (or notices someone else doing something loving as an act of sacrifice), a bean goes in the jar.

I like being able to call attention to the ways I see SuperSam and George (and even the Sisters) being loving and helpful to each other. It's also improved my attitude to be able to see menial tasks like unloading the dishwasher, wiping a nose or rinsing out a poopy diaper as acts of loving service to my family. I get to put a lot of beans in the jar during the day. (I don't give myself any beans for doing things in a non-loving way. Grumpy cabinet slamming? No bean! Irritated eye-rolling when asked to snap SuperSam's pants for the nineteenth time? No bean!)  

At Easter, the beans will be replaced by brightly colored jelly beans (or maybe M&Ms...haven't decided yet). No matter how many beans we have accumulated by Easter, the jar will be overflowing with candy on Easter morning...because, as the aforementioned Karen Edmisten so wisely said, "God's grace is like that, no?".

I just love that woman's wise words.

--- 3 ---
Job Update: George has been tirelessly (tiredly?) going to his old job and faithfully doing his work while applying for and interviewing for new jobs all over the place. There seem to be some good possibilities...he is hopeful, which means I am hopeful. Thank you for your prayers - please keep them coming. We have every reason to believe something is going to work out soon.

In the meantime, George is going to have a little time off beginning tomorrow. SuperSam has already solicited his help with building his aqueducts (not sure where this latest project came from, but we need more empty toilet paper rolls...more on that soon). I have a little list of projects I could use some help on, too. There's also the big race coming up (George is running the marathon and I'm running the half-marathon in just three weeks). Then, there's the funk band...and the little jazz project George is doing on the side. Really, the man barely has time to have a job.

--- 4 --- 
Speaking of men recently without jobs, Pope Benedict XVI is probably comfortably settled at Castel Gandolfo by now, wearing his brown shoes from Mexico instead of his traditional red papal ones. If you have questions about the conclave or the papacy or which color smoke means what, or if you just find the whole process intriguing, I have good news for you! There is a place where you can feast on papal election trivia and information to your heart's content. You can submit questions to be answered by a panel of writers or just browse the questions that others have submitted. I'm proud to be a contributing writer for this project and am enjoying learning more about the rich traditions surrounding papal transition. Come visit!

--- 5 ---
We made sushi this week. It was pretty successful, believe it or not. We used veggies (carrots, cucumber, avocado) and some canned salmon, and I made the rice from this recipe. The first roll completely fell apart when I went to cut it, but the second and third were better. Although he was totally excited to help make the sushi and to try it, SuperSam licked his first piece and then refused to eat any. The Sisters ate four pieces...each. (SuperSam did have a really great time wrapping himself up from head to toe in blankets and pretending to be sushi...which was all fine and well until he tried to do it to a Sister.)

--- 6 ---
SuperSam's follow up visit to the pediatric neurologist is on Monday. Not that we want to totally overtake your prayer list, but if you have room to add us again, we'd love to have your support. It should be pretty routine...some additional information on the MRI they did in the fall, and hopefully some adjustments to his medication that will help with the extreme sleepiness we have been seeing.

--- 7 ---
My blog has just turned one year old, and I've just recently published my 100th post. At the risk of being self-congratulatory, I'm going to have a little party with a small giveaway. Stay tuned for more on that next week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!