Archive for November, 2008

Photo by ManonManon

Remember when you were little and your parents made you go to church? I grew up in a Lutheran family and attended a Lutheran school, from kindergarten through 12th grade. I was probably an oddball, because I actually enjoyed going to church, and can’t honestly remember ever putting up a fight about it. But, then I went to college at a state school, and put church on the back burner….actually, it was in the fridge…nowhere near any kind of burner at all.

Then I met Brian, and we both transferred to a different school. We got involved with Campus Crusade for Christ. Actually, Brian was WAY more involved than I was. I did not particularly care for the people in the group. But, I did start going to the Lutheran church on campus every so often. At the time, Brian attended a local church called “Young Church”. I didn’t really care for that either because they were very non-traditional (no communion, rock bands, you get the picture).

Then we got married and our church-going waxed and waned. We finally found a church that we both liked, which was a perfect mix of tradition (communion, hymns that I knew growing up, litanies) and non-traditional (rock band, drama club). We joined that church, and were members for about 2 years or so.

Then we moved to LA. We tried the local Lutheran church, but it just didn’t do it for us. Then Brian was working weekends, so we didn’t go to church at all for a while. Then I met a girl at work, who told me about the church that she attends. We talked about it a few times, but it was only after I became her boss that I finally got around to going. I thought at first that it would be weird for her to have her boss at church, but really, we don’t really see that much of each other when we are there, so it’s not a big deal.

That being said, I really like this church. It’s very non-traditional. I mean, REALLY non-traditional. There is no communion. There are no litanies. There is an actual rock band, and dancers, and professional stage lighting. The first time we went, the kids did not like the noise, so I told them that it’s like a concert for God. And that is exactly what is like. But, it’s so much more genuine than the church Brian went to back in college. These are real people, many of them who came to LA to be performers, performing for God. It’s fantastic. And the pastor’s message always hits home, and he makes the Bible so relevant for today’s times. It’s really great.

And the kids really like it too. The Boy loves to go to Kids Church (that’s what they call Sunday School) because there is a slide, and playdoh, and he learns about God. The Girl pretends to be shy, but when we pick her up from Kids Church, she always tells us what a great time she had and what she learned.

There are also a lot of ways to volunteer or otherwise get involved at this church. I am not ready for that level of commitment yet. It will take me a while to get there, if I ever do. But, I am happy to know that the opportunity is there if and when I am ready.

So, thanks to Teresa for introducing us to this church. There is really no way to thank someone for bringing faith back into your life, but I want you to know that we truly do appreciate it.


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I don’t regularly get comments that require a detailed response. I’m excited to have someone ask for further information on my post, because it means people are reading it! Anne Marie wrote the following in response to my post on President Elect Barack Obama:

You have an interesting view point but your post does not cover the reasons WHY you feel the way you do. I’m on the opposite side of the fence so I’m interested in the whys of how you came to your conclusions. I’d be interested if it’s something you would care to post on.

And here is my reply:

Anne Marie,

Basically, McCain’s campaign left an extremely sour taste in my mouth. From his negative campaign ads to his admittance (and dare I say, flaunting) of the fact that he voted WITH Bush 90% of the time, I couldn’t bring myself to trust him. Bush put this country in the toilet, so why would that be a selling point?

As for Palin, for lack of a better term, I just think she’s an idiot. I mean, she actually said that she had foreign policy experience because she’s close to Russia! I lived within 30 minutes of Canada, and my husband lived IN Germany, and we don’t claim to have foreign policy experience!

Overall, my biggest fear during the entire campaign was that McCain would die and Palin would be forced to lead the country. I have nothing against hockey moms, but I don’t want them leading us in a time of economic turmoil, not to mention war.

As for Obama, he seems to have been upfront about everything, even when McCain brought up things that were negetive. Obama addressed what needed to be addressed, and moved on. And I think that he has interesting perspectives on things, that differ greatly from McCain and Bush. And frankly, I will side with just about anything that Bush did NOT say. Lastly, because of my occupation in social services, I strongly agree with Obama’s economic policies.

Thank you for reading my blog, Anne Marie, and I hope that this helped you understand my point of view. In addition, I would love to hear yours! Please feel free to leave more comments!

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted some links.  It’s not because I haven’t read any good blogs lately.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Let’s just say, I’ve been busy.  Also, I’m not very good at keeping my thoughts organized enough to actually get all of them in one place so that I can post them, and then I forget which ones I wanted to post, and, well, you get the picture.  Anyway, here are some good ones that I’ve come across in the past 2 weeks or so.  Hope you like ’em!

The first is kind of a plug for a friend of mine.  Technically, she’s my subordinate, but I don’t like that word.  Let’s just say that we work together.  And I’m her boss.  Like, the best boss EVER!  Anyway, she started writing her own blog to keep in touch with her friends and family back east.  It’s the Greider Gauge, and you should read it.

Next, is a blog that I don’t read regularly (though I might start). I ran across it while reading Whiskey In My Sippy Cup and it made me cry. So go grab your tissues, and read this heartbreaking story. And then go hug your kids. And if you don’t have kids, find some, and hug them, and then hug their parents and tell them to go read it.

Remodeling This Life talks about autumn in a place where the leaves don’t change colors. She’s in Florida (I think), but the pictures she shows are very similar to what autumn looks like here in California. Except we have a lovely tree right outside of our window that changed to a beautiful red, so I didn’t really miss autumn that much. I definitely don’t miss the smell of rotting leaves….blech!

Rocks In My Dryer discusses the many uses for a dishwasher. My personal trick is that I fill a coffee cup about half full of vinegar, and put it on the top rack. It totally gets rid of all the white powdery crap my eco-friendly dishwasher soap leaves behind! On a different note, I recently started using vinegar to clean EVERYTHING. The only drawback is that I constantly crave salt and vinegar potato chips.

At Blogging Away Debt, she talks about her new favorite place. We go to this place on at least a monthly basis…it might be more often now that the kids are getting bigger and we are cutting cable. It’s one of my favorite family activities.

So, while that is not nearly all of the great blogs I’ve read this week, it is a pretty good list of the ones that I remembered to remember. I hope you enjoy them!

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My Take On Politics

photo by jmtimages

Well, now that the election is over, I figure I can give my opinion on politics now. Brian usually handles the political posts, but today I’m going to give it a whirl. Bear with me.

Let me begin by saying that this is the first election that I have ever voted in. Ever. I’m 31 years old, so it’s not because I couldn’t. I had that “Generation X Apathy”. I didn’t care about politics, I didn’t follow politics, and I truly believed that if I wasn’t informed, I shouldn’t vote. To be honest, I still believe that if a person isn’t informed, they shouldn’t vote, but I have come to the conclusion that it is our responsibility as US citizens to at least make an effort to be informed.

That being said, I beg for forgiveness for my previous apathy. This election has changed me. I have never felt more confident in a candidate than I do in our newly elected President. And, conversely, I have never feared someone as much as I did McCain. And, I have never had more sour feelings for a vice presidential candidate than I do for Palin.

I won’t go into why I believe in Obama, but I will say this: I am inspired by him. I am inspired by his story. And I can’t wait for to see what he’s going to do to change this country.

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Farms for City Folk

photo by Völundur Jónsson

The Girl’s class went on a field trip to a farm today. Now, mind you, we live in suburbia, which is just about 20 to 30 miles north of Los Angeles. Many of these kids probably haven’t ever seen a real working farm. My kids have, because we’re from Michigan, and there are farms all over the place, but I digress.

Part of the farm experience started before the field trip. The students were asked to do chores around the house to earn money ($6) for the trip. I thought this was a pretty good idea at the time, but now my kids ask me how much I’m going to pay them before they do any chore. I guess we’ll be starting allowances!

The field trip was today, and they got to feed animals and all of that farm stuff. They also got to pick vegetables. Now, when I heard they would be doing this, I got excited! I thought she’d bring home a few green beans, maybe some tomatoes or peppers, perhaps a carrot or two. A few items that most kids like, and that they might actually be willing to try since they picked it themselves.

Boy, was I wrong! She came home with a huge bag. Inside the bag was: An entire head of red leaf lettuce, a small thing of bok choy, some spinach leaves, 3 of the tiniest carrots I’ve ever seen, some parsley, 2 Japanese turnips (what???), and 2 beets. Of those things, the only things she’ll eat are the itty bitty carrots and the parsley…I know, weird. After a quick internet search, it seems the guinea pig can’t have the turnips or the beets. And I’m certainly not going to eat any of that stuff! So, I guess I’ll try to give it away…..

I wonder if anyone in a rural area ever took the farm kids to the city for a field trip….you know, to see how the other half lives…and maybe to pick up a hooker or some meth or something…. What? It’s only fair! The city kids got to bring stuff home!

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I sorta forgot about daylight savings time.  I made Brian get out of bed a full hour before he needed to.  Sorry, Babe!

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Um…..yeah…..I had a bad week.  I don’t want to talk about it.  I’m pretty sure Trick-or-Treating doesn’t count….although I did walk uphill.  I started physical therapy this week, and my knees hurt.  I’m using that as my excuse…

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