7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 4)

I feel a little guilty participating in the carnival this week. Jennifer at Conversion Diary is hosting, as usual, but she had a baby on Monday, and for crying out loud, shouldn't the woman be in bed, sleeping or something? I hope the fact that I'm playing doesn't encourage this type of crazy behavior on her part.

Now that I've confessed my misgivings, here's 7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 4).

------ 1 ------
I've backed off the blog a little this week. Maybe you've noticed? It's a conscious decision. I need the blog to move down my list of priorities a smidge.

I toyed with the idea of shutting it down completely for Lent, as some have done. But in the end, God seemed to ixnay that idea as being too easy; I need to learn to balance this blog with my life, not how to run from one extreme to the other. (I do that very well without practice, thank you.) (Of course, in saying that, I'm not judging anyone else who's walked away from their blog or closed their comments or turned off their stat counter for Lent. This is just my story.)

So here I am. This week, I haven't had the energy to post. It's been more relaxing to spend my free time -- all 38 minutes of it -- visiting your blogs and leaving comments as I used to in the days of yore. Next week, maybe I'll write more. We'll see.

------ 2 ------
Corey is teaching through the life of Elijah at our church on Wednesday nights right now, and if I do say so myself, that boy is rocking the prophet.

(Which would make a kick butt name for a punk group, wouldn't it? Rocking the prophet, tonight at the Casbah.)

Anyway. This week, we covered the story of Elijah raising the widow's son from the dead. It's a heart-wrenching portrait of grief and guilt. Check out the verse where the widow asks Elijah why he has come to "remind her of her sin and kill her son." Surely she was sobbing as she said that. Her son, her little boy, the last thing she had on this earth that was precious to her, had just died. Her grief was limitless, and it was made more bitter by the thought that God must be punishing her for some secret sin by taking away her child.

Then the most amazing thing happens. Elijah takes the boy to his own room and begs God to bring the child back to life. Where, in the world, did Elijah get the idea to make such an audacious request? God had never raised a person from the dead up to that point in recorded history. There is no precedent for such a prayer. Yet Elijah asks anyway. That's stunning to me.

That is a man who knows his God. He asks the impossible -- and he gets it.

Lord, increase my faith.

------ 3 ------
I'm making dinner tomorrow night for a family in our church; the wife, who is about my age and has kids the same ages as mine, was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer a few months ago. Yesterday, she had reconstructive surgery to follow the radial mastectomy forced on her by the disease.

I don't know this family (yet), and if I'm brutally honest with you, that's allowed me to shrug off helping them until now. But this week, God messed up my junk and asked me point-blank why I needed to know my sister-in-Christ to minister to her.

I've been feeling so called to the poor lately that I've shirked my duty to love the people around me.

Ouch. My toes are sore.

But my oven is warm. I'm thinking I'm going to make stew and cornbread, because it transports well. What do you make when you deliver a hot meal to a family in need? I don't have a go-to recipe, and that annoys me, a little. With as much as I love to cook, this should not be an issue.

------ 4 ------
I am not a morning person. During my working years (in contrast to the years now, when I do nothing but eat coffee cake and read blogs), I rarely worked a shift that required me to be upright before 9:00 AM.

Understandably, it's been an adjustment to get used to the school schedule. Compounding matters -- I drive Natalie to school, so not only do I have to get up Monday through Friday, but I also have to get ready, because she wants me to walk her into her classroom, and I don't think my pajamas would pass Christian school dress code. (Not because they are sleazy. Because they are slouchy.)

But this new way of life, this getting up with the sun every morning and getting ready to meet the day, is slowly growing on me. I'm finding that I actually love walking the school corridors each morning; I like watching the kids greet each other as they shed heavy winter coats, I enjoy perusing the new school projects decorating the hall. It's a colorful, happy, ordered place that recalls the best days of school from my youth.

Coffee helps too.

------ 5 -----
Natalie's spelling words this week focus on "au" and "aw" and "aught" words. Hence, she is trying to learn to spell words like caught and taught, and saw and draw, and paws and pause, and because and bought. They are HARD words for a second grader (at least my second grader) because they make no sense. Bought sounds just like caught, only with a "b." But that's not how they are spelled.

Any hints on teaching kids to spell these words? Is there a rule she can follow that will help her make sense of it all? English is so confusing.

Also, Spellcheck is my friend.

------ 6 ------
Earlier this week, on a particularly sloppy day, I was driving out of our complex, on my way to pick up Natalie from school, when I stopped to get the mail. I started to drive away from the mailbox, tugging at the button that automatically raises my window, when another car drove by, spraying slush at my car. Since my window was down, a huge wave of slush hit me in the face. Since I was driving away the time, an even bigger wave of slush flew into the backseat, due to the miracle of momentum, and splattered Connor and Teyla. The poor baby looked like she had gotten hit in the head with a dirty, half-melted snowball. She was so surprised, she was sputtering.

In all my years of living in Minnesota, I've never had slush come into my window before, much less hit the passengers in the backseat. Who knew this could be a hazard?

------ 7 ------
I've never really mentioned this, but did you know you can subscribe to me even if you don't use a feed reader? Just click here, enter your e-mail address, and when I publish a new post, it will automatically be sent to your In Box.

You can also follow me on Twitter -- so you can learn the really exciting stuff about me, like what I'm eating for lunch or what new product I bought from Trader Joe's that is a must have -- or, if you're a Google-head, you can follow me using the little widget in the left-hand column provided by Google.

Technology. Gotta love it.


  1. I have 6 kids, 5 of them reading, and I've never taught them to spell. I make sure they read a lot, though; for most kids, that is enough to make sure they are good spellers by age 9 or 10.

  2. Yep, reading helps with the spelling for sure. Although pronunciation can be a little tricky. For years I thought Nancy Drew was in-tri-gooed (intrigued). And who knew the meringue on a pie was spelled that way? WHen I read the word I thought it was mer-in-goo. I guess when I said it I thought it was ma-rang!

    Down here in Texas we never have to worry about the slush flying through the window. Although I've heard a few stories about someone spitting out the front window and the person in the back seat by the open window isn't too happy. . . .

  3. This is my go-to recipe for taking to people. I often double or triple it and freeze several so I have one on hand to take when someone needs a meal.


  4. I took some of this potato soup to some family members recently and they loved it:


  5. God has been dealing with me in the area of hospitality. Unfortunately at the moment we don't have a home to be hospitable in! I have a friend who does all of her grocery shopping (besides fresh produce) once a month to save money AND to be prepared just in case something comes up (someone sick and needs a meal, last minute dinner guests, etc).In other words she always has a meal on hand that she can quickly prepare for someone else! I think that's a great idea!

  6. For the spelling words:
    Try doing a word sort. Write each word on an index card. Make a card for each of the spelling patterns as well. Sort the words into rows based on the spelling pattern. As she sorts them, have her say the word and spell it. There is research to support word sorts to help with spelling patterns. Good luck!

  7. Funny that even though I know the difference between all those words and their annoying spellings, I have no idea how I learned to spell them!

    I don't have a go-to meal either...usually I try to do something that freezes well, like a casserole (ahem, hotdish!) or a lasagna, just in case they have received other meals that day or are eating leftovers.

    And slush in the window--I've lived here pretty much my whole life and it's never happened to me. Poor you! Poor kids!

  8. The Schoebs are meal makers. Stew is one I often bring because it freezes well. I don't bring itallian because everyone brings itallian and you can only eat noodles in so many forms. Also, I make sure I bring some kind of fruit plate or basket of fruit. When we have gotten meals in the past, the best ones always came with fresh fruit! Once, when I was getting meals after H, someone delivered chinese food from our favorite resturant. THAT was yummy too!
    As for the spelling, I'm a horrible speller. To remember a word, I make up funny little sentences about it: "O U bought a puppy today." and "A U got caught in the net." Hope it helps! OH, and thanks for the heart attack...er...message you left the other day. I am SO not pregnant! :)

  9. Spelling in English is just horrible. Sample number one: tough cough plough dough. Four ways to pronounce the combo "ough." But at least our grammar is easy. With French, both grammar and spelling are atrocious.

    I don't do mornings either. How fun that you're changing. I've been known to enjoy a sunrise if I happen to catch it, but overall my body isn't morphing to morning person. Still, there's always old age--it could happen.

  10. Hi! I'm here from Sarah's mention of your blog over at Life in the parsonage. I loved it...and read down to this one.

    3 things really caught my eye :)

    "I need to learn to balance this blog with my life"...very wise perspective and I think much healthier than just shutting down comments, etc.

    "That is a man who knows his God. He asks the impossible -- and he gets it." Ahh...but what of the woman? She asked advice from the man of God and she did what he told her to do and God provided for her in a miraculous way...for the 2nd time.

    "I've been feeling so called to the poor lately that I've shirked my duty to love the people around me." I told this to my husband this morning...and he said I just need to do it. I do like to make things more difficult than they really are :)

    Thanks for your honest and moving posts!

  11. My kids learned a phonics chart type thing. That taught special sounds in different words, maybe that would help?

    I could type it out & email it to you or scan it & email or snail mail whatever if you'd like to have a copy let me know!!