End of Summer

As the end of summer approaches I am busy with 100 things going on. We are leaving for New Hampshire (yes I was just up there) to see Katie’s Dad. It will be a fun trip. I hope I can relax some. I am in the midst of getting ready for my senior year, finishing papers that I did not finish this summer, cleaning up and just trying to gear myself up for another academic year.
With that being said, I have so many things going around in my head right now I don’t know what to write. So I stole a small questionnaire from RevHrod to tide everyone over until I get back:

1. a highlight from this summer: Well that is hard to say, I think I have three. 1- finishing internship 2- getting Addyson baptized and 3- spending last week at Calumet.

2.Are you glad to see this summer end? Why or why not? : I am glad the summer is over because it means that I am one step closer to finishing seminary! But like most people, I did not get everything done that I wanted to get done and I am playing catchup. But I did get a chance to relax some which was one of the biggest things I needed to do.

3. Name one or two things you’re looking forward to this fall: Getting back into the swing of things with school — Also I am very excited to start my independent study. I think I am going to learn a tons and it will help me with my disernment about future ministry.

4. Do you have any special preparations or activities to mark the transition from one season to another: Not really, I would love to start one. I guess from the summer into fall is labor day, fall to winter you can say is advent, winter to spring is Easter, and spring to summer is memorial day….I should think about that one.

5. I’ll know that fall is really here when the NFL season begins!!! I can’t wait until football starts!

No Cell Phone for you!!

Parents are outraged by the school system for banning cellphones. I also saw a report on the Today show where they are going nuts because the parents want to be in touch with the kids at all times (because of 9/11) and the kids want to text message their friends, but schools don’t want kids to have cell phones because it can be a distraction. This morning they were saying that kids are getting so good at texting they don’t need to look at the phone to do it. They can text message through their clothes or even while their hands are in their pockets!!! I don’t know if they are worried more about the distraction that it causes or about how kids can “cheat” by texting answers to one another.
I think text messaging is here to stay and cell phones are becoming more and more prevalent with kids. It is hard to imagine a 6 or 7 year old taking a cell phone to first grade but I am sure we will get to that point. I have seen kids as young as 4th grade with cell phones and they all think that they “need” it. Of course I want and “need” the latest and greatest cell phone. My treo is broken and I don’t know what to do. I feel lost without having my schedule right there with me. I transferred everything to ical on my Mac but I can’t carry that around with me all the time. I think I will have it more and more often once school starts but those times when I need to schedule something quick I will want my palm. I think I am going to hold out on getting a new smart phone until I save enough money for an iphone. That’s the next unit I want to get. So I hope that I can get a $30 phone with no bells and whistles and I will use paper scheduling or find a really cheap palm until the beauteous iphone will be mine.

I have not seen this but I would not be surprised if there are a number of people text messaging in church. If the sermon goes too long and they lose interest they could zone out and instead of counting the ceiling tiles like I use to do, they can talk with their friends. But who knows they could be having a theological discussion “omg this srmen iz kol, petr iz te man, baptiz iz gud” I don’t know if that is right in textize but I wrote – “oh my goodness (because using God there in a text in church would not be good) this sermon is so cool, peter is the man, baptism is good” I doubt that’s what their conversation would consist of but who knows.

Using cell phone in your ministry might not be too far off. We could text people if church is cancelled on a snowy Sunday morning, or remind our council members that there is a meeting that night. Or we could do like the Pope and send a daily text message to the people of the church.
I know embarrassing technology is something we are all going to have to come to terms with. It is here and it is not going anywhere. We cannot expect the church to do the same thing as it has done for the last fifty years and expect to grow. Accessing your schedule, phone, Bible, mp3’s movies, sermon notes, address book, directions, reminders, to do list all on one device is not such a bad thing and for people like me it helps keep me organized. I think that is one of my biggest frustrations with having my treo go bad. I, for the first time in my life was semi-organized. I did not miss an appointment all year during internship and if I was late for something it was because I did not look at my device not because I did not have it in there.

So how do we take advantage about this ever changing technology? Are we ready to do it?

100 Things to do before I die

I added a new page to my blog – I want to keep this list at the forefront of everything. These are 100 things I want to do before I die. Throughtout the years I will do some of these things and I will add more. I think I would like to keep track of them throughout the years. I think it can be fun. If there are things that I don’t have on here let me know so I can add them.

1 Attend at least one major sporting event: the Super Bowl, world series, ect

2 Throw a huge party and invite every one of my friends.

3 Swim with a dolphin.

4 Skydive.

5 Have my portrait painted.

6 Learn to speak a foreign language

7 Go skinny-dipping at midnight in the South of France.

8 Watch the launch of the space shuttle in person.

9 Spend a whole day eating junk food without feeling guilty.

10 Be an extra in a film.

11 Learn to rollerblade.

12 Own a room with a view.

13 Brew my own beer.

14 Participate in a Triathlon

15 Ride in a blimp

16 Drive the Extraterrestrial Highway in Nevada and see Area 51

17 Kick a field goal from the 30-yard line

18 Buy a round-the-world air ticket use it.

19 Visit the northernmost, southernmost, easternmost, and westernmost points in
the United States

20 Give my mother a dozen red roses and tell her you love her for no reason.

21 Be a member of the audience in a TV show.

22 Visit every national park in the United States. There are 56 of them.

23 Send a message in a bottle.

24 Ride a camel into the desert.

25 Get to know my neighbors.

26 Plant a tree.

27 Learn not to say yes when you really mean no.

28 Write a fan letter to my all-time favorite hero

29 Visit the Senate and the House of Representatives to see how Congress really works.

30 Learn to ballroom dance properly.

31 Learn to cook a gormet meal

32 Be the boss.

33 Fall deeply in love — helplessly and unconditionally.

34 Ride the Trans-Siberian Express across Asia.

35 Sit on a jury.

36 Write the novel

37 Ride a cable car in San Francisco

38 Stay out all night dancing and go to work the next day without having gone home

39 Drink beer at Oktoberfest in Munich.

40 Be someone’s mentor.

41 Shower in a waterfall.

42 Ask for a raise.

43 Invent something useful and patent it

44 Teach someone illiterate to read.

45 Earn, save, and invest enough money to retire comfortably by age 55

46 Spend a night in a haunted house — by myself.

47 Write down your personal mission statement, follow it, and revise it from time to time.

48 See a lunar eclipse.

49 Spend New Year’s in an exotic location.

50 Get passionate about a cause and spend time helping it, instead of just thinking about it.

51 Experience weightlessness.

52 Give blood

53 Fly first class

54 Camp across America from coast to coast.

55 Own a dog. Teach it cool tricks

56 Own one very expensive but absolutely wonderful business suit.

57 Write my will.

58 Sleep under the stars.

59 Take a ride on the highest roller coaster in the country.

60 Learn to play classical piano

61 Go wild in Rio during Carnival.

62 Spend a whole day reading a great novel.

63 Scuba Dive

64 Learn to juggle with three balls.

65 Drive the Autobahn.

66 Make Master Coordinator with Shaklee

67 Spend Christmas on the beach drinking pina coladas.

68 Go to the top of the Sears Tower

69 Raft through the Grand Canyon.

70 Donate money and put my name on something

71 Buy my own house and then spend time making it into exactly what I want.

72 Grow a garden.

73 Spend three months getting my body into optimum shape.

74 Drive a convertible with the top down and music blaring.

75 Accept myself for who I am

76 Learn to use a microphone and give a speech in public.

77 Scuba dive off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

78 Go up in a hot-air balloon.

79 Attend one really huge rock concert.

80 Go to the pro football hall of fame

81 Be able to handle: your tax forms, Jehovah’s Witnesses, your banker, telephone solicitors.

82 Give to a charity — anonymously.

83 Lose more money than you can afford in Vegas.

84 Let someone feed you peeled, seedless grapes.

85 Visit Graceland

86 Go to a Patriots Game

87 Go to a concert at Carnegie Hall

88 Go deep sea fishing and eat my catch.

89 Understand the stock market

90 Visit the Holy Land.

91 Take a cruise

92 Run to the top of the Statue of Liberty.

93 Create my Family Tree.

94 Catch a ball in the stands of a major league baseball stadium.

95 Make a hole-in-one.

96 Ski a double-black diamond run.

97 Learn to bartend.

98 Ride a mechanical bull

99 Hike at least part of the Appalachian Trail

100 Cross 5 things off this list every year. Add 10 new ones.

Who are the people in your Neighborhood?

It has been a great few days. Only if Katie and Logan were with then it would be perfect. But alas, I am having a great time with my daughter. It still feels weird to say daughter, I am getting use to that. But on the other hand it is great to say it too.

I have met some wonderful people on my trip and I am getting to know old friends again. I wanted to talk about some of the people I have come across along the way.

First there is Wiley — Wiley actually goes to the Y that I go too. On Thursday last week I met Wiley – he never told me his name but he did have his name in big capitol letters WILEY. Anyway, I got done swimming and Wiley was there. He asked if I had good time and I said yes. Our lockers were next to one another so it is not uncommon to have uncomfortable small talk in the locker room following a locker encounter. But Wiley did not want to stop, he was asking what I was doing in the pool and then we continued to talk. He did the most talking at first. He was telling me about him coming to America from the Czech Republic as a little boy and how he always yerned to go back, but he is not sure he can since he is so old now (he looked in his 80’s). Then he changed the subject and he asked what I do for a living. Now I don’t always delvuge that information at first because of people’s reactions. I honestly try and not mention it until I get a good read on a person. Well I could not get a read on Wiley and I was not going to lie so I told him I am in seminary studying to be a minister. Wiley then started to say “praise God, oh thank you jesus” — he did this for about 2-3 min and he said may you be blessed in your ministry. That is the best thing you can ever do with your life. I said thank you and I turned it on him, and I asked what he did and he said “I don’t work anymore but I did work for the Government and I can’t say anymore.” What?!? What did he do? Why coudlent he tell me? by this time Wiley was done getting dressed and he ended the conversation quickley and left. Maybe Iwill see Wiley again and get to learn more about his secret Govenment job.

The Ruso Family–
Needing dinner on our way up to Vermont, Addy and I stoped at a Chili’s. We grabbed our seats and I fed Addyson her dinner of mushed carrots, rice stuff and Children’s Vita-Lea. About half way through dinner the people next to us started talking with me. It was a family with three girls ages ranging from 6 years to 12 years. They seemed nice and they thought Addy and I were on a “date” but I told them we were on a trip from Vermont. They told me about themselves and that they were coming back from a vacation from North Carolina. Very nice family and the girls loved Addyson.

The people at Camp —

I have loved being back here at Camp and I have realized more and more how I have missed it and how much I want to spend more time here. There are people who I have not seen in 4 or 5 years and I love remaking those connections. I have seen kids where the last time I saw them they were 3-6 years old and now they are 8-11 years old and it is crazy how much they have changed. The funny thing is that they still remember me and they still want to see how I am doing. I love that feeling and it makes me feel like my 10 summers here and three years on the year round staff was good ministry even though I was not “seminary trained” and I realize that I was making a difference in the world. I never thought that I was going to never do outdoor ministry again but I realize now that I am going to try and make a more concious effort to get back here more often. Some friends and I were talking about picking a week as “Vacation” together. I love that idea and I would love to perhaps be a chaplain once I come back to New England.

I think one of the great things about my future occupation is that I am going to be paid to talk with people about life and about faith. I am going to be able to be there for them in their high times and low times. I thhink that is one of my favorite things about being in the position that I am going to be in and I thank God for that.

To Sleep or Not to Sleep

Tuesday Thoughts

This has been the question I have been asking myself every night this week. Should I sleep or should I stay awake? Not because I don’t want to go to bed, but I have gotten a job a Dunkin Donuts. I am a driver, where I go to the Dunkin Donuts in Pennsburg, PA. I go up to Pennsburg and I get their big trunk, I drive it 45 min to another Dunkin Donuts where I pick up all the Donuts for the store in Pennsburg and drive back and drop them off. Sounds simple enough, however the trouble is that the hours are terrible. I have to be there at midnight and I don’t return home until 2:30 am. I usually go to bed around 10:00-10:30 pm and I get up between 6:30-7:00am – now I am not going to bed until 2:30 and I am up between 7:00-8:00am. Therefore I am losing sleep, and I have been tired all week.

Now I am just a sub at this job. They have a guy to do it on weekends and another guy to do it during the week. But they like 3 guys on rotation. But the guy who does it during the week just had back surgery so I am filling in. I have realized doing this that I am NOT going to be able to do this on a regular basis once school starts. I just won’t function especially when I have class during the day. The pay is nice so the extra income will help, but I don’t think it will be worth it in the end.

Now the question I ask myself, is if I should go to bed early and sleep for 2-3 hours before I go to my job, part of me thinks that will help and part of me thinks I will be more tired in the end. I have done both and I don’t know which is best.

In other news

Today is Katie’s Birthday, she turns the big 24 today. We were not able to do much – we had Chinese food for dinner and watched a movie as a family. I wanted to get her a nice gift certificate for a few hours at the spa. But things have been hectic this week so I made my own and she was excited about that. I think it will be good for her to relax like that.

I am Looking forward to my mini vacation next week. I will be spending two days at my parents place in Vermont and then 3 days at Calumet. I will have Addyson with me, which will be fun. I am especially excited to spend time with Gary, Piper and Sara. I really need that time to rest and relax. I hope to have my approval essay done by then so I won’t have that hanging over my head but we will see.

Well I think I will take a catnap before I drive. Night!

Veggie Meatloaf

Tuesday Thoughts

We took the dive last night. We started our journey to vegetarianism– well perhaps not total vegetarianism, but now we are going to try and have one dinner a week (the only meal we eat together) where we will not eat meat. I don’t want to give up that protein so we will find other alternatives. Now in the grand scheme of things we do that from time to time. It happens around pasta — where we will eat Spaghetti and we don’t always need meat with that, but this will be more intentional and I hope that better eating habits will come out of it.

So last night I made veggie meatloaf. It was actually pretty good.

Here is the recipe:
1C Sliced carrots
3/4 onion
garlic
3/4 c catsup
1/3 C breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
2 12 oz package of meatless ground burger

I basically put the carrots, onion and garlic in the magic bullet and then combined everything else and put it in the oven. I cooked it for 45 min at 350.

Now it turned out good (even though I was told that the meatless ground burger was gross) 🙂 and we liked it. We had mashed potatoes with it and corn. Granted it finished cooking at 7:45 and I was at a church council meeting. So Katie took it out of the oven and I ate when I came home. But I liked it a lot and Katie was very surprised because she liked it too. So I hope to keep this up, so we need something else that has been time tested so please let me know if you have something for us to try.

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I want an iphone more now than ever. I think my Treo 650 is dying. A few days ago my screen went blank on my Treo – I had to restart it a few times before it came back on. I was nervous but then I was okay. I took it to the AT&T store and they said unless I brought it in with it not working there was nothing the could do. I left a little frustrated but feeling okay (on top of everything else my 1 year warranty is gone). Well yesterday, I did not charge my phone overnight. So it was running out of battery power, I tried to charge it in the car but it would not charge – so my phone “died” — again I did not know what to do with myself, I could not check my e-mail (I was expecting some) and I could not make phone calls (which I needed to do) I felt hopeless, lost and I was devastated. (Okay maybe I am overreacting a bit). I decided to come home, charge it and the world would be right again. Well it would not charge at home either!!! I tried and tried but there was nothing I could do to charge it. I was even more frustrated and I was planning on going back to the AT&T store to see what I can do. I don’t know if it is my battery (I have the original) or my Treo or what. All I know is that I feel that my days are somewhat limited with my Treo and I need a plan.
I would love to get the iphone, but I know we don’t have the money for that and I even though there are plenty of people happy with the first version of the iphone I want to wait to see when version 2 comes out (I am thinking close to Christmas time) or at least when the first update for the iphone comes out and I want to see what they add.

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I have been making progress on my Approval Essay. I think I have 2 out of the 5 sections done. I still have a lot of work, but I am working at D&D the rest of the week so I can work up to midnight before I go drive and that will give me a solid 4 hours a night to work on it. If I get one section done a night I will get everything done to send to Tom by Saturday. Then I can finish my other paper over the weekend and I will be good for my trip. I will bring them with me to read and go over but I won’t worry about bringing resources to write.

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Well this is a good place to stop – off to the gym!!