Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Spotting the Sacred

My newest book recommendation is a book I picked up off the free table at work called "Spotting the Sacred" by Bruce Main. I'm not sure why it ended up on the free table because it is a great book! I was pretty skeptical when I picked it up...but it's honesty and simplicity is pretty powerful stuff. It's mainly a collection of stories from Bruce of the way's he's spotted the sacred in his every day life as a minister within an urban context. Bruce is a great story teller and had me almost in tears by the end of the first chapter chapter. Which either that means I'm pretty stressed out or he's a really good writer. I'm going to go with the good writing.

Anyways, it's been a good reminded to watch for the ways every day things such as a sack of potatoes or random conversations can become "sacred". (It's also made me think that I'm becoming to much like my father who I've watched tear up over simple yet profound stories like these.'d love this book :))

Monday, July 27, 2009

Knowing When to Stop

I wonder if learning "when to stop" is a skill that becomes easier over time? Like learning when to stop pestering someone...or tinkering with recipes...or take time away from work....

My recent frustrations have been over a quilt design. Last year I had (what I thought) was a brilliant design. I have started this thing about 3 times now and it no longer looks anything like what I had down on paper. I'm at the point where I could stop now and just be done with it and it would look great. But a part of me is still frustrated that it's only 1/2 the size of my original plan and so I keep tinkering with it to try and make it work. After 2 days of's now larger and looks even better...but now I'm back to the same question. Do I stop now? Or keep tinkering. The never ending struggle!

In other news...Japanese beetles are attacking my giant marigolds. I guess there is not much that stops these little I think I might have to resort to plucking them off by hand and putting them into soap water which supposedly kills them. Someone suggested hand picking 10 to 15 of them, depositing them in a blender and blending them up...the blended mixture then gets mixed with water and sprayed on plants and supposedly the smell of their dead relatives keeps them away. I think I'll pass on that one.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Thailand Missionaries

They just uploaded the newest Urbana Promotional Video that Matt helped get footage for. Enjoy! (And come to Urbana :)).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


After 3 weeks of staffing conferences, we headed out on a much anticipated camping trip to Gov. Dodge State Park. It was even more fun than we anticipated. The best part of the trip for me at least was walking about 1/3 mile out from camp around 11:00 at night and seeing lightning in the distance to the right, a full moon to the left and fireflies everywhere else. (who cares that we were carrying trash and could have been mauled by ravenous bears or raccoons). Very dynamic.

Other than that, we had a great time with friends from church who came with us and got to do some great hiking, canoeing and water coloring (for Sarah)/photo taking (for Matt).

The only bummer about the whole trip was coming home to find that we left our refrigerator slightly ajar. Luckily we didn't have a whole lot of food in the fridge. Oh well.

Some of the pics from the trip are here:

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

My Zucchini Plant the Eunuch

As I've continued on in my gardening adventures, I've been very hopeful about a zucchini plant that's been growing on my balcony. I had lost the battle for zucchini in my community garden plot to some cucumber beetles, so I've had all my hopes riding on this one plant. To my dismay, half of the flowers that bloom have had no fruit on them so I've been cutting them off thinking this would allow the plant to put all it's energy into the flowers with fruit on them. However after about a week, the small zucchini fruit starts to wither and die.

Completely frustrated that I can't seem to grow what is the easiest plant to grow, I started asking around to see if I could figure out what I've been doing wrong. And I discovered I've been castrating my plant! Who knew that a zucchini plant actually puts out two flowers. One flower has all the female parts and ultimately produces the fruit and the other flower has the male parts and really is only good for pollinating the female flower (unless of course you like to fry the flower and eat it). So in other words, I've totally been castrating my plants...and my husband upon learning this has become quite concerned.

All is well now though and I have learned my lesson. Never cut off flowers from a zucchini plant. Luckily zucchini's are quite forgiving.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Barbie Rapunzel

So I've been watching about 11 InterVarsity Staff children this past week during InterVarsity's National Staff Orientation. The highlights from the week you may ask?
1) Watching Barbie Rapunzel 5 times (I think I can quote it and I definately have had the sound track in my head the whole week)
2) Going down to the lake and watching people fish (these city kids were mezmorized and they could have spent the whole day watching these poor fish in buckets die and pestering the poor fishermen with questions like "Can you catch a fish for me to take home?")