Brasil

I check my blog stats almost daily.

 

For the last several days, I see that I have readers in Brasil.  This make me happy for a couple reasons.

 

  1.  I spent 10 months in Brasil when I was in High School as a Rotary Exchange Student.
  2.  I can now wonder if those readers…. whoever they are… might contact me and help me find the family that I stayed with while I was there and lost touch with 25+ years ag0 – well before the internet era of ease of communication.

 

So… if you are one of those readers from Brasil… I lived in the state of Sao Paulo.  I was in the city of Araraquara.  My family’s last known address was in Sao Carlos.  I can give you full names for all the members of the family and approximate ages.

 

Thanks!!

Disney Recap Day 1

Well… we’ve been back for several days and I think I have fully recovered enough to tell you about the trip.

Of course, they had to practice a bit before loading the buses.  Gotta love a marching band in the snow in Ohio.   🙂

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The bus ride down was uneventful – that is after we got all the horns/drums loaded, all the uniforms stacked under the bus (that was fun because they kept slipping and had hats and shoes in the bags so they didn’t lay flat) and then all the luggage stowed as well.  Now really, tell me what do you really need to take that fills a LARGE suitcase when you are only going to be gone for 6 days and 2 of those will mostly be on a bus?  Oh My Goodness!  I have no idea what some of those kids (girls?) took but their suitcases where huge and heavy.

We did watch our share of movies on the way down: Pitch Perfect (I don’t ever need to see that one again), Batman Returns (eh… napped through most of that one), Elf (always a holiday goody),  The Croods, and Journey to the Center of the Earth.  Then there was much sleeping.  The bus drivers were going so fast that we ended up in Florida 3 hours ahead of schedule.  Yes, you read that right, 3 HOURS!!  So… we stopped at Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  Cracker Barrel was not prepared.  Thankfully we weren’t in a hurry.  They quickly called in other workers and made the best of it.  One of my children didn’t get what she ordered in all the confusion, but she lived.

Our first stop was Blizzard Beach.  On a 90º day it would be wonderful.  On a 70-something day not so much.  The kids played and swam and slid.  The directors napped.  The kids were told that this was their shower for the day.  LOL!

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Then we headed to Hollywood Studios for the afternoon/evening.   I saw a few shows and wandered around with some other chaperones.  We did not ride either the roller coaster or the Tower of Terror.    That was fine.  The new Pirates Show/Adventure thing is lame, so not worth the time.   We did stay for the evening show.    Fantasmic is my favorite of the evening shows that Disney puts on.  Here some of the kids (including Lydia) standing in line for Fantasmic with Tower of Terror behind them.

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Now we head back to the hotel and this is the fun part!

At the hotel the kids are to get with their roommates and then they are assigned their rooms. They have to get their luggage from under the bus and all their carryons and get to their room.  It is now almost 10pm.  Lights out/curfew/tape-on-the-door will happen at 11pm.  There are only a few lists of assigned rooms and I am handed one by the director.  That is fine.  Even though I wasn’t the chaperone that was “assigned” to do tape-in I don’t mind.  I am then handed the roll of tape from the mom who was assigned that duty.  Hmmmm… she could have just asked for the list if she had planned to do the job.  But, oh yeah, she didn’t really do too much chaperone-y on the trip, but that is a whole other story.

So about 11pm my roommate and I head out to tape all the girls doors.  I think there were 20 of them (or something like that) on 2 floors.  The girls were on 4 and 6 and the boys on 5.  Some rooms were waiting on pizza delivery or chinese.  So we told them we’d be back.  We made our rounds, taped the doors, came back to the other rooms and by now it is 11:45pm.  The security guards are there and are worried about how they might get to the doors of a couple rooms because they have 2 rooms that are on the corners but inside a little lobby like area.  So, an extra door to go through to get to the room door.  Only the rooms hold the key to that door.  So… as good chaperones, we tromp down to the front desk to get keys to those corner rooms so we can get inside that “lobby” and thus get to their door.    Once we get the keys we go back to our room to get a pen so we can write on the keys which one goes to which room.  As we leave our room to figure that out.  WE LOCK OURSELVES OUT!  By now it is quickly approaching midnight.  We giggle our way down to the lobby to get a key to let ourselves back into our room.  Label the other keys and head to bed.  It was close to 12:15am.  Wake up time was 6:30am.  OH yeah…. had to ask for a wake up call because the clock in the room was set an hour ahead (didn’t conform to daylight savings?) and there wasn’t a way to change the time without unscrewing the back and the front desk never did that even after I asked them to.

We both (and all the chaperones, I’m told) slept like logs because after 20 hours “sleeping” on a bus sitting upright, laying down felt really good!!!  There was no issues with the kids staying in or escaping from their rooms.  The security guards (Roscoe and Bob – may not have been Bob, but I know one was Roscoe) were nice guys.  They had reading material and sat on the balcony/hall all night and probably wandered around too.

Day 2 came early and I will blog about that later.   🙂

Ever wonder?

Those of you that sent or will send your kids to church camp this summer, ever wonder what the staff does on the 36 hours they get off each weekend?  We had the pleasure of hosting some of them (just a handful) this weekend at our family’s cottage on Lake Erie.  Basically they just ate and slept.

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There was some playing in the water too.  And a few board games.  But mostly just sleeping.  Of course, the sleeping on the beach in the sun resulted in some very red backsides.  If you are at camp this week (busiest week of the year) and you have one of these lovely young ladies as your counselor and she doesn’t sit down, you now know why!

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It was  joy to be able to host them for the weekend.  I fondly remember the weekends we had off when I was on summer staff.  We got less time off than they do.  Current staff is off from 10pm on Friday night till 10am Sunday morning.  “Olden days” staff got off about 11am Saturday morning and reported back about 4pm Sunday afternoon.  We barely had time to do much of anything.  But we often went home with someone and slept on their floor and then had the opportunity to worship with their family.  Many times the staff as a group would worship together at someone’s church on Sunday and provide the special music.  Current staff returns on Sunday morning in time to worship as a whole at camp.  There is value in that too.

 

We had a discussion on how things have changed over the last 30 years with staff and how things are still the same.  Mainly because deep down 20-somethings/college kids are basically the same now as they have always been.  There are still the “good kids” and there are still some “bad kids.”  Bad kids in my day were mainly some boys that lived in cabin 1…. I won’t expand on that.  If you lived it you have already pictured those boys in your head.  I believe, however, that most of the “bad boys” from my day are now fine upstanding citizens.   Kids with the same vices are still on staff… just a result of being 20 and in college?  There are still issues with some kids being great at leading Bible study and some not so great at it.  Some having wonderful Christian witnesses and some that you wonder how they got on staff at a church camp in the first place.  Again…probably just a result of 20-somethings still finding themselves and searching for their place in God’s world.    There are still cliques of friends – though probably a few more these days since the staff is almost double what it was in the 80’s.

 

opcrossDespite the changes over the years in size of staff, building constructions, program offerings, staff responsibilities, some camp songs, etc.  Camp is still a wonderful place to send your children to make new friends, spend time in God’s creation, and learn more about how to be a Christian and Christ’s love for them.  If you have the opportunity and funds to send your child to a church camp, I would highly recommend it.  No matter your denomination or location in the country, I’m certain that you can find a church camp to send them to.  Of course, I am biased but if you are in the North East Ohio area, the best camp in the world is here.   🙂    Camp Wanake… the name tells the whole story… Wa Na Ke… the first syllables of Delaware Indian words that mean:  Beautiful Spiritual Place Among the Hills.

 

 

 

 

 

Books 5

Again, i’m not reading any new bookssssssssxssss… i am reading a really good story though.

It’s book quality and it’s not even finished.

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I’m reading I’ll Protect You on Wattpad. i found on one of those email things of storied you might like…. for once it was right. maybe i should pay attention to them more…… there’s 48 parts to the story already and adding. it’s really good. i have like 3 parts until i finish what’s written. but i could see this story becoming a book. Their writing style is like Veronica Roth and Lauren Oliver at times (because they read books like that). There is also the Greek Mythology mentioned a bit and Harry Potter. I could only dream of writing a story that good.

 

With me i will start a story with part of what i want to happen in my mind but then i will start thinking way tooooooo much about what i want to happen and instead of writing it i just daydream about it and then never write the story. i Have WAY too many unfinished stories from over the years. (mostly from third grace up) I mean if i was a publisher i would totally publish this story, and make it into a boook. but then i would have to study writing and possibly business and i just don’t want to do that!

There are stories that i get like 3 full great chapters in and then just quite writing them. I’m a terrible writer. Well most of the time, others don’ t think i am.

I cannot wait for HOUSE OF HAAAAAAAAAAAADES!!!!!!!! i say that a lot.

of subject for a moment but The Fosters is like Legit the best TV show in the world!!! it’s one of those shows where you watch every episode 50 million times each week while waiting for Monday to roll around. and being that there’s so far only five episodes that’s saying something!!!!!

There are those stories you can tell were just thrown together (mocking jay) and then there are those stories the writers don’t always think they did a great job but are really truly beautiful. Or those completely delusional writers who think that there story is the best ever and it’s just a sloppy mess because they didn’t use punctuation or proper paragraphing or any thought out plan of action to how they want to write the story and it’s just one big run on sentence. Like when you unravel a ball of yarn and instead of rolling it back up neatly you just shove it into a bag and it gets tangled and knotted beyond repair.

the only thing about I’ll Protect You becoming a book that i would change is the title. the title makes it sound like some love story about death and romance. that’s not all it’s about so i would give it a better title. The character development is amazing and i feel like i’m reading a real book written by some professional writer not a high school student.

 

-Lydia

Things that make you go hmmmm…

What do you get when you have two 11 year olds and a 14 year old and they have access to a means to videotape themselves, flashlights, makeup, and have mad editing skills?  You get the following video that they made at Lakeside.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arkHkfJBxYE&feature=youtu.be

 

Pretty nice sunset in the background.  If you ever need anything edited and set to music, I’ve got a 14 year old that will do it for you… for a price, I’m sure.

 

 

Fringe Living

fringe

1. a decorative border of thread, cord, or the like, usually hanging loosely from a raveled edge or separate strip.

3. an outer edge; margin; periphery

4.something regarded as peripheral,  marginal, secondary, or extreme in relation to something else.

Look at these scarves.  This is the majority of the scarves I made last fall/winter to give as gifts.  Out of the 32 scarves, there are only 5 with fringe.

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Why is that?  Because fringe is a pain in the butt to make.  You have to cut the yarn all the same length, then you have to divide it into equal groups, and pull them through a space in the knitting and then knot it and pray then ends all line up evenly or you readjust your knot and/or trim with scissors.

But… doesn’t fringe make the scarf?  Didn’t those scarves just SCREAM for fringe?  The fringe finishes the look.   Several of the others probably could have used fringe, but again, it is a pain to make.

How come then, when one seems to always be on the fringe of things, you don’t feel like you are needed.  That you truly are like definition #4 says:  marginal, secondary.  You feel useless, not wanted, ignored, ostracized, forgotten, and unnecessary.

I seem to live my life on the fringe.  Sure, there are times when I am the “scarf” but most of the time, I feel like I am on the outside looking in.  Maybe this is my personality.  Maybe this is one of my character traits – flaws?  Maybe it is a result of being an introvert, of being a loner?  That doesn’t mean it doesn’t bother me at times – a lot of the times.

I long to be included, invited, sought out, called for no reason other than to chat, visited with, sat with (even in silence or just watching TV), did I say included?  Again, maybe it is that I don’t have the social skills necessary to create that for myself.  I do remember my mother sometimes feeling like a fringe of her family, especially when her mother died.  So, I guess I come by it honestly.   I would like to not be ignored by people who should know me (but don’t want to admit it?).   I would like to be acknowledged as existing – a simple smile and “Hi!” would suffice most of the time.

I would love to have a circle of girlfriends that get together and do things. OK, I don’t like to shop, but that doesn’t mean I can’t walk along.  I don’t drink alcohol, but I do eat.   Once upon a time, I had a circle of 4 friends.  We did almost everything together – in high school.  I had a great circle in college too.  But in the “olden days,” keeping in touch was hard – you either had to write a letter or pick up and pay for long distance calls – so when college came along (and life after college), those circles disintegrated. Sure I still send them Christmas cards but we don’t get together.

Maybe I give off some sort of “vibe” that makes me unapproachable?  Maybe I just radiate something that says I don’t need a friend?  Maybe everyone thinks I have it all together and thus wouldn’t be interested in their mess of a life.  HA!  My life is such a mess!  Maybe having a friend to bounce things off of would help both of us.  Maybe the barrier I have built up inside because of the hurts is so evident that no one wants to take the time to overcome it.

This fringe life is highly evident here at annual conference.  People know who I am, but they walk the other way, do not make eye contact, do not say “Hello,” and seemingly marginalize me.  Sure, this is exacerbated by the recent events of our status, but it pretty much has always been this way.  Yes, I do poorly at this as well… that whole introvert thing. However,  I have attended the Clergy Spouses breakfast almost every year for the past 20+.   Every year, I reluctantly find a place to sit at a table with relative strangers because I don’t know anyone and everyone else is in a group or at least is there with someone they know and are friends with.  Do I have pastors wife friends (PWs)?  Yes… are they United Methodist and in East Ohio?  Uh – NO!  (That is a topic for another post.)  This year in table introductions, we were to state our name and where we lived/served.  I said “We live in Canton, we worship at Simpson.”  One of the ladies at the table said something like, “Oh, is your husband just being appointed.”  To which I replied, “No, he is on leave of absence.”  To which she said, “I was at the back of the auditorium on Monday at the end of executive session…”  I interrupted and said, “Yes, that is us.”  She replied, “I don’t know details, but it is really brave of you to be here.”  I don’t feel brave.  I feel at a loss.  I don’t know what else to do.  This is my life, this is what I have always done, have always dreamed of doing and I don’t know what else to do.

I walk the sidewalks and pier at Lakeside and see people that I recognize and know – some that I have known their whole lives – and now (Thank You, Bishop) they no longer acknowledge that I exists.  That is hard.  Back to that “guilt by association” thing, I guess.  I am made to feel secondary.  Sure there are a few Christians who can see past the issues and see to the relationship and value that more.  I am blessed by them and am so thankful for their small gestures of kindnesses. However, those 2-3 welcoming faces are dwarfed by the masses of others turning away.

Back to the scarves… even though it is a pain to make fringe, you do it.  You add it to the scarf and it completes the scarf.  It enhances the scarf.  It makes it even more beautiful.  Fringe people are beautiful too.  They can add so much to life.  You don’t know what you are missing by dismissing the fringe.  Fringe wouldn’t exist without a scarf to attach to – ok, it would but it would just be a pile of yarn pieces and you wouldn’t call it fringe.  Fringe people exist everywhere, because there are groups (scarves, if you will) of people that they are attached to.

I would venture to guess that fringe people often choose to be fringe or are that way because of their personalities.  For me that is the case most of the time.  That doesn’t mean we don’t long to be included from our place on the edge.

“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us,”  Romans 12: 4-6

Don’t underestimate the value of fringe.

Books? 4

Not reading any new books……… oh the lovely act of Procrastination. 🙂

I’m reading like 6 books (by reading I mean a chapter or two in) and yet I don’t ever read them. But I want to read The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, yet at the same time I really don’t because the one guy dies in the end. *spoiler* I only know that because I read a summary of the book and it was there.

Percy Jackson ends in two years…………………………………………………… I don’t know.

Panem’s Best EP by the Tributes is like the best album ever!!!! yes it’s hunger games based, but it’s amazing. its so easy to forget its hunger games related…. well no… what I mean is you can forget the annoyingness of hunger games. or something like that. I really don’t know what I mean to say.

those moments when you think you’re going crazy but then realize you’re already crazy.

So Twilight. Everyone (well the hate pages) think it’s only about the “importance of having a boyfriend” but it’s about so much more than that! that’s not even close to what it’s truly about. Twilight is about Family, and Friends. And the fact that you have a place in the world and it could take any amount of time to discover. About opening yourself up to be loved. Excepting who you are. Letting others find the beauty in you and your ways even if you don’t see it. It’s about being yourself and not changing who you are for someone. Never letting someone give up, or yourself.

Everyone thinks Bella is weak and childish. But she’s not. Look at Breaking Dawn Part 2…. your argument is invalid. She’s strong. She stands up for herself. She’s a shield. Every female lead is different.

Everyone hates when you judge a book by it’s cover. So stop judging twilight! give it a chance. you can’t say you don’t like something before you try it. before you give it a chance. you bash on it like it did something to you. Twilight doesn’t hate on you. they don’t go around posting pictures about how Katniss really didn’t do anything in the Hunger Games and just hid in trees and ran. Or how Hermione had no friends to begin with or didn’t have a boyfriend until Deathly Hallows. Twilight doesn’t do those things so why do you bash Twilight. Why do you feel the need? Stop criticizing Stephanie Meyer? She wrote an empowering book, a book of inspiration, which is more than I could say about you.

Well apart from all seriousness. (which likely not many will read) Katniss is planning to take over the world… well Suzanne Collins is…….. 🙂 (thought I’d warn you) Also Justin Beiber needs to go spend some time in REALITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-Lydia