Monday, April 27, 2015

Family Game Night

I love board games a lot. I have since I was a kid. We have a lot of board games but a lot of them just aren't very fun with just two people. So I've been waiting for Emily to be able to read well enough to play with us.

After asking on Facebook, I had a realization. Settlers of Catan doesn't involve a lot of reading and she could probably play that. So yesterday we had family game night.

We started with Chutes and Ladders at Emily's request. I hate Chutes and Ladders because it's boring and it can go on forever. But Emily likes it so I endured two games while Todd was off getting supper.

Once Todd got home, we had some food and then set up the game board for Settlers of Catan. It has been a couple of years since either Todd or I have played it so we had to re-read the rules. For this game, we did also forget some rules, but that was ok.

Emily did great! She had a lot of fun building her settlements and she really liked getting development cards. In the end, Todd won because he's great at strategy, but it was a fun time for all.

Emily wanted to play again but it was getting late at that point. But we will play again in the future!

Monday, April 13, 2015


Easter came early this year. I'm not super fond of it being at the end of March because it tends to be cold. Even though it was cold, we were up very early to see if the Easter Bunny had hopped into our house. He had and Emily was thrilled with what he got her. Mostly toys because she can be hyper enough without a lot of sugar.

After checking out what the bunny brought, it was time to get ready for church. Emily looked like a princess in her lovely yellow dress. We left to get to church early with Emily's new monster dolls in tow.

We got our normal seats which was nice though the church started filling up around us. Even for 8:30 service, most of the pews were filled. The service was lovely. Emily got to see her friends, and they were all lovely and cute. Especially at the children's message as Vicar Gregg asked the kids what their favorite holiday was. Emily is always very vocal during the children's message and it's always super cute.

At the end of the service, the choir and whoever wants to join in sang The Hallelujah Chorus. I love singing this! It's one of my favorite parts of Easter.

After church, we all piled into the car and started driving to GA. We don't have a lot of relatives around here. Todd's aunt lives two hours away. My aunt, uncle and my cousins live about three hours away. We try and visit when we can. 

All of my four cousins are married with kids. And quite of few of those kids are Emily's age. She
loves going to GA to play with her cousins. My aunt really went all out with a great meal - ham, of course. She also came up with a really creative Easter Egg hunt.

Instead of just looking for eggs around the house. She put the name of each kid on a series of eggs. They got a clue to look to begin with from her and then had to follow the clues around the house. Emily had a great time - though I had to run around with her since her reading levels aren't super great yet so I had to read the clues.

At the end, they had to give my aunt a hug and they got a small bag full of goodies. Emily got candy and a small cat stuffed animal that she loved! 

It was a nice gathering of family. I got to talk about Disney World since once of my cousin's is going next month and had some questions. So that was an extra treat.

Even though the ride is very long - three hours there and back. It's really worth it to be able to spend time with family for Easter.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Work Rivals

I binge watched Parks and Recreation last month, actually twice because it's a great show. Several of the episodes showed how the Parks and Rec department had a blood feud rivalry with the library. This makes me think about my own work rivalry.

I work from home but I still have coworkers. I'm on a team and we communicate via several chat rooms. We mostly talk about work stuff and there is a common dislike for customer service.

Customer service handles all account changes, billing as well as setting up new accounts. In tech support, we just troubleshoot issues once the service has been set up.

For some reason, customer service seems to be extremely lazy. I'm sure they aren't all like that but we get a lot of customers who have been seriously screwed over by our customer service department. I got screamed at by a guy today who should have been sent a new modem but customer service was too careless to do their jobs correctly.

It drives me crazy and I know my coworkers feel the same way. We try to do our jobs as well as we can, but we can't make account changes or get service turned on.

So while I work here, customer service will be my library. My coworkers will bond by complaining about their poor work.

Do you have a work rival?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Know We Are Christians By Our Love

There has been a hymn that has been running through my head for a while now. It's a beautiful hymn that I sang in church many times as a child.

“They will know we are Christians by our love...”

Sadly it seems in this world, people know Christians not by our love but by our intolerance. I'm very thankful that my church which is a member of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is very tolerant. ELCA by a whole is welcoming to LGBTQ people. Each church has to decide on their own if they want to perform same sex marriages, a vote that overwhelming passed in favor of at a meeting not that long ago in my congregation.

With the decision out of Indiana this week, it seems like intolerance is still alive and well. Against gay and trans people, against people of color and of women. As same sex marriage is sweeping the nation, some people seem to want to hold on to their prejudices. I don't think that is what Jesus wanted us to do.

Right before the school year started, our church gave all the kids going into Kindergarten a story Bible, including Emily. We've been reading a story or two out of it nearly every night since she got it. We actually finished the Bible last night and are going to start from the beginning at Emily's request.

As I have been reading these stories with her, I'm stuck by the kind of person Jesus is. He hung out with people who many thought were undesirable. And he showed them love. Being loving and kind and caring is what Jesus and God want us to do.

People are people, and they should be treated with respect. Some people might live their lives in a way you don't agree with, but we aren't here to judge other people. Yes, we may judge other people but that's because we are all flawed humans. We are all sinners – something I think some Christians forget.

I have friends of all types and I love them all. We are friends because of similar interests and I'm not going to judge them or think they are wrong for living their lives they way they do. I feel as long as you aren't an axe murderer or abusive, you are good. Yes, some people are different religions or don't have a religion at all. Some have differences in sexual orientation or don't fit with the gender they were born with. None of these things make someone a bad person or in the need of saving. We just need to love them as Jesus loves us. 

Today is Maundy Thursday, the day of the Last Supper. Tomorrow is Good Friday, the day Jesus died for us. I feel like he would open his arms and love everyone. A lot of so called Christians out there remind me of the Priests and Pharisees who ended up killing Jesus.

As I finish my personal walk through holy week, I pray that tolerance can become the norm someday. People can get so caught up in hate for some reason, but love can be so much more powerful and so much more rewarding. And maybe someday again people will know Christians for our love.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fools

I'm not a big fan of today's 'holiday'. I don't like pranks. Even though some are innocent, a lot are mean spirited. Since the advent of the internet and especially social media, April Fools Day has taken on a whole new meaning.

We now get fake pregnancy announcements and posts about how beloved shows are coming back for new seasons. It's basically become "Don't Believe Anything Posted On The Internet" Day.

For me, it just isn't fun. I may be being a wet blanket but it's just not something I'm into. For me, I'm more into thinking about Easter. It's Holy Week and I've been thinking a lot about Jesus' sacrifice and what it means to be a Christian (which will be a whole other post).

If you want to prank someone, please be kind. Otherwise, good luck to everyone today!