I love it when improvised teaching methods succeed!

At St. Julian’s, we’ve divided the kids for Sunday School now. I have first through fifth graders with me for Godly Play, and the preschoolers are in another classroom with another curriculum. That means I have a more mature audience of kids who have heard the core GP stories once or twice. I decided to offer Old Testament enrichment stories for the fall. I am really enjoying (and learning) about the major players in the Old Testament. We’ve studied Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses. These next weeks, until Advent, we’ll learn about Samuel, King David, and Isaiah. The lessons have helped me with my OT chronology. The struggle has been gathering pieces to show the story each week. We have a beautiful collection of the core stories, but I didn’t want to invest in the story sets for the enrichment stories as they seemed easy enough to put together from supplies I had or could pick up. Last week, though, I just didn’t get to it in time. Saturday night, I though, I could just draw pictures of what I need. Sunday morning, not having drawn the items, I thought, I could have the kids draw them before I tell the story. And when I arrived at church, I knew how to do it and was exited! Thank you, Holy Spirit!

After the kids arrived, as we shared our feast, I explained that I needed their help with the day’s story. I gave each kid a slip of paper with an element from the story on it and directed them to create the object however they chose — as a paper drawing, with clay, with Legos, with any materials in the room.

I was amazed at what they created! And then, as I told the story, they were able to place their creation onto the underlay. They were proud of their creations, and I was proud of them. I think they will have a special understanding of Moses’s life (or at least the part they commemorated) thanks to my spur-of-the-moment, Spirit-led improvisation.

I think we’ll do it again!

The amazing Kitchen-Aid

I didn’t get my favorite kitchen appliance as a wedding gift. My favorite kitchen gadget (v1) was actually my husband’s first Father’s Day gift–after we’d been married for ten years! He was the baker then, experimenting with baking bread and treating his then-pregnant wife to chocolate chip cookies. I thought it would be perfect to get him a Kitchen Aid stand mixer for Father’s Day, which was to fall about ten days after our baby was due. Being the planner I am, I ordered it online and planned to stash it away until Father’s Day. I was already in bed one evening when the doorbell rang and John answered. He carried it the package that wasn’t even wrapped or boxed. Kitchen Aid in big letters with a picture right on the box! Tired and pregnant, I grinned and said “Happy early Father’s Day!” I couldn’t hide it at that point. Well, that stand mixer served us well for a few years, and then John has some company reward points to spend and saw an fancier one in his point range. So we passed our white stand mixer on and got the one we use now.

I love it! I don’t like to cook or bake at other people’s homes because I rely on my so much, which brings me to my tip for today.

Use your stand mixer to shred cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts. I pop it right in, still too hot for my little fingers to touch, and give it a few spins on a medium setting to get nicely shredded chicken for casseroles or soups or whatever. I find that I shred chicken quite often. Tonight (it’s still hot here!) I made chicken and tortellini in pesto and used the Kitchen Aid to shred the chicken. Easy peasy!


What’s up Wednesday

What’s going on? I never really know how to answer that question. I’m just not that good at small talk. I enjoy talking to people, but it doesn’t come easily or naturally. I realize that I benefit from wine in social gatherings as it loosens me up a bit, letting the conversation flow a bit more. Now, once I know someone, conversation flows without wine and without ceasing, as I realized last night when I met friends for dinner and, without wine or margarita, I jumped right in to conversation. I don’t have social anxiety or anything. I enjoy being around other people. I just find that initial how-friendly-are-we-period difficult. I like to jump right in to deep, personal best friend conversations. Small talk is a waste of time. But, eh, it’s necessary.

In an effort to trim down, I am cutting back on the wine and margaritas and I rejoined the YMCA. Elizabeth and I are figuring out the routine now. She loves the play area and all her friends there. That is a girl who has no trouble whatsoever making small talk with people. I watch her in amazement as she strikes up and carries on conversations with people. How does she know how to do that? I’m not modeling it!

The girls have great costumes! Elizabeth will be a unicorn (or a person / princess riding a unicorn, actually). Caroline will be Cleopatra. Both are lately fascinated by the subjects of their choices. Elizabeth asked me the other day if we could get a unicorn to keep as a pet. “It can pee and poop in the kitty litter box,” she told me. She’d dump it, she said. I had to break it to her that the suckers don’t even actually exist! Caroline has immersed herself in the study of all things Egyptian. She has her first and last name memorized in hieroglyphics. She’s actually moved on to the Greek alphabet, too. I’m excited to move into the busy fall season! Halloween, followed by great weather and good food, Thanksgiving and lots of time with family, then Advent and the business of the season, and Christmas! The wish lists have started in earnest.

I’m still editing for Musa, the new e-book publisher. My first book with them releases Friday! And I’m planning to jump back in to blogging more and have a few posts and topics planned out.

I hope I can keep up the workout energy and the blogging routine!