19 August 2008

Seamless Transition

Heard from my four-year old this morning as I was putting up her hair.
(The tune sounded similar to "Let's Go Fly a Kite" from Mary Poppins, but I'm sure it was her own concoction.)

How do you trust in Jesus?
Tell me if you know.
My hair looks better when it's down.
We don't worship anyone but God.
Please don't worship your dad.
Only God, only God, only God
Only God.
Tell me if you know.


16 August 2008


- On my last few trips into the mall, I've noticed the juniors section of some dept. stores hosting an "eco-friendly" line of clothing. I've not stopped to examine the makers labels, so I don't know if these things are made of bamboo or recycled tires or what, but the slogans emblazoned across the fronts leave me scratching my head.
"Eco-Friendly", "I Recycle" ,"Go Green!", "This Shirt Made From Recycled Fibers", "Green is the New Gold", "Run, Forests, Run!"

If I really wanted to be "green" why not save the $20 I'd spend on that brand new T-shirt, and instead pop into my local Goodwill to buy someone's perfectly good, cast-off T-shirt for $1.68? Shoot, I can buy fiveT-shirts and quietly go on with my life knowing that I did something nice for the earth.

(I especially find it odd to see these cute little numbers displayed directly beside T-shirts boldly stating, "It's All About Me," "Queen Bee," "I'm Really Kind of a BIG Deal," and "This is What COOL Looks Like."
Are we loving the planet or loving ourselves? Mixed messages in the coolness department.)

- We've been watching bits and pieces of the Olympic games on the Internet.

What is the Olympics about?
Sports. Right?

Imagine my surprise when the one thing my children would not let me turn off was the parade of nations. You know, it's that rather boring part of the opening ceremonies that comes after all the pizazz of the laser light show, after the wow factor of the acrobatic calligraphers and the amazing feats of 2,008 synchronized Chinese drummers.

This is the part where the athletes follow behind a Chinese escort and wave to the crowd. Usually wearing panama hats and blazers. Or baggy track suits. They murmur to each other. They wave to the crowd and snap a few pictures. They walk one lap around the track and exit. I yawn.

My kids would NOT let me turn it OFF! I couldn't believe it.

They were fascinated to see the faces of each tribe and tongue. To see the waving flags representing each language and nation. To watch the athletes joyful faces marching together in harmony down a path meant expressly for goodwill toward fellow men.

The Olympics is not about sports. Is it?

-Last night I read an article about a local couple who met and recently got married AT Goodwill Industries. Becky, 76, is a cashier. Tom, 62, is a facilities technician. They held their ceremony in one of the on-site conference rooms and timed it right in between the shift change so all their fellow Goodwill employees could attend. That made me smile.

Becky and Tom, you have my goodwill!

- I am sewing a couple of things for Christmas (already? I know, how weird) and have been contemplating the ways in which we celebrate the goodwill of the Lord toward humankind. "Goodwill" is one of those words that I've spent my life glazing over in the Christmas hymns and carols. I want to spend some time this year exploring what it means that the holy God of the universe held only GOOD will toward those who offended Him.
We're still offending Him to this day. And yet, there's no ill will to be found. Simply GOOD will toward man.

I've only grasped a thread of it.


12 August 2008

Fieldtrip: Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

My family has been going to The Outer Banks since 1986. It never ceases to amaze me how many things I find to do there. Every time we go, I find something new. Not that the activities are new- they've been there all along- but I just didn't know about it before now.

Lighthouses and lifesaving stations dot the coastline. Pirates harbored their ships and laid traps for unsuspecting fleets laden with cargo. The Wright Brothers made their historical first flight on the beach sands, harnessing the ocean breezes for lift. English colonists, even before the days of Jamestown and Plymouth, settled under the trees on Roanoke Island. There are ferry rides, historic houses, and nature walks. Deep sea fishing, small airplane tours, windsurfing, kite surfing, surfing surfing, hang gliding, parasailing, surf fishing. Sandcastles, kite flying, boogie boarding, pick up volleyball games. And then, of course, there's always sitting on the beach and soaking in the sun's rays with a good book on your lap. Or just taking a nap.
I really do love this place.

This year, I learned that the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge offers guided canoe tours. For all these years, I have never been to the refuge, never knew I could be guided around on the water by someone who knows what he's talking about. So obviously, this homeschooling crew had to check it out and bring along as many family members as possible. (All of whom were graciously given the educational discount just for being associated with us. Thanks, Pea Island!*)
The Canoe Crew
(minus photographer mommy)

Heading out to the wetlands for a two-hour nature paddle.
We barely scratched the surface of this 30,000+ acre wildlife preserve.

Passing these old pylons for a Hatteras Island bridge, our guide, Will, told us the wooden bridges were in use between 1920 and the late 1940's when these islands were still a disjointed smattering of barrier sandbars. In the years that followed, the sandbars built up enough to construct Hwy 12, so the bridges are no longer used. Except by pelicans and cormorants, that is.

Scaring up a pelican

The kids armed themselves with fishing nets to see what sorts of nature could be nabbed before tipping the canoe.
We spotted a skate and some finger mullets, but never managed to capture one for closer study.

Will says we can tell this island is older than the others because of the cedar trees growing on it. Oh right, makes sense. It takes a fair amount of time for ground to become fertile enough to support trees. He estimated it's been here for 150 years or so.

Halfway through the tour we stopped to do some wading and watching.
There are areas of the Oregon Inlet that are only knee-deep, even a half-mile out. A wading wonderland!

Will told us the early inhabitants of the Outer Banks prided themselves on their ability to harvest everything from the islands that they needed to survive, even seasonings for food. On the left is Sea Asparagus- used as salt. On the right is Sea Ox Eye Daisy- used as pepper.
We tried them ourselves, and amazingly, they're dead on!

Anna and her Uncle Jason- wading buddies.

* Many national parks in the US offer discounted rates for "educational institutions." Read that, homeschools. Typically, all I've had to present as proof that my school exists and is legit, is our school letterhead.
Several years ago we made up a name for our homeschool, typed it in a fancy font in Microsoft Word, added a clipart logo for some flair, put it on the top of a document and saved it for anytime we're heading to a national park and need letterhead.
Pea Island asked me for even less.
Significant discounts await.

Labels: , ,

07 August 2008

Recent Sabbath












06 August 2008

Salami Funk

I went on a week's vacation to the beach and came back to a kitchen that smells like salami.

I have not bought salami in all the 13 1/2 years that we've been married!

Calling Nancy Drew. I have a potential case.

The Salami Funk Mystery.