Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday School Fun Today

Our focus for class was from the gospel lesson for today - from Luke 13:31-35, which included this; "Jesus longed to gather these children as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings."

We had such fun with the ideas for reinforcing today's lesson. One of my former Youth Group kids, now a young adult, Kyle, was such a good sport in helping out with our class today. He dressed in a chicken outfit and came in part-way through the class to "gather up the kids under his wings", and then stayed to help out as we made clay chicks, ate chick PEEPS and had wind up chick races, along with coloring, and praying and learning how Jesus cares so much for us.

It was a fun class with a fun bunch of kids!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Episcopal Church & Visual Arts NEW Call For Entries: In Fellowship & Communion

ECVA Newsletter, 2010.2., Call For Entries: In Fellowship & Communion Check out the newest call for art at the ECVA site.

Artists who are members of The Artists Registry @ ECVA may submit up to three images to be considered for this exhibition. You can become a member for FREE, and membership is NOT limited to just Episcopalians.

And be sure to check out the current exhibition, Part I of the Baptismal Convenant Series "I Will with God's Help - Recognition and Return"

But as for me, I will always have hope...

We received a call from a doctor at the VA Hospital, on Monday afternoon, that my father-in-law was not doing well. He has been in the hospital for a few weeks. My husband and his sisters and one of his brothers went to visit Paul a few weeks ago in TX to celebrate his 89th birthday. It was a good visit, and it was hoped that he would get better, and be able to go back to the assisted living place after some therapy. But, he has failed considerably, and the doctor indicated that it could be a couple of weeks, or it could be a couple of days... so John rushed to get things done, and since our daughter Kasey wasn't working, she was able to postpone a couple of photo shoots she had and drive down to Texas with John. Since I'm the only one who has work right now, I stayed home and am tending to work, and things here that we need to have done before the end of the month.

John and Kasey left early Tues. morning, arrived in TX on Wed. afternoon, and have been at the VA Hospital ever since. The staff brought in some reclining chairs so they could sleep in his room. Paul has been sleeping off and on, but knows that John and Kasey are there because he will die soon. He knows them, can talk with them, carries on conversations, but isn't eating at all, and has some discomfort ... he told them that "dying was horrible", which makes me sad for him, I think perhaps, the most horrible part of it is the emotional hurt, of leaving behind loved ones.
When I was praying for him I came across this scripture passage... "But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise You, Lord God, more and more." (Psalm 71:14)

Kasey is able to do Facebook on her cell phone, so she is keeping many of us up-to-date on what is happening, I asked her to tell Paul that I loved him, and that death in this life is not the end...we who hope on the Lord believe we WILL see each other again, and I will look forward to that time when we are reunited. But until that time, we will surely miss him, and hold him in our thoughts and prayers with love.

If you are reading this, please pray for Paul, and his transition, for peace, for his comfort, and perhaps that he can feel the love we send in our prayers for him too ...and prayers also for Kasey and John who are there with him. Thank you.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Happy 90th Birthday Aunt Evelyn!

Today after early church we headed to Portage to celebrate my husband's Aunt Evelyn's 90th birthday. She is in a nursing home right now recovering from back surgery, but doing pretty well. It was good to see the improvement she has made in the last few weeks since we last visited. Many members of the family came for a pot luck lunch and birthday celebration in her honor.
Happy Birthday Aunt Evelyn, you are a blessing to us ALL!! xoxoxox

Friday, February 19, 2010

Celebrating Brad, A Tribute to Life & Art - Tonight - Be There!

Celebrating Brad: A Tribute to Art & Life
Friday, February 19, 2010
Time: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
Location: Flux Design - 811 E. Vienna Ave. Milwaukee WI

Come for a night of art, music, and celebration in remembrance of Brad Germata, a great friend to many, and a friend of my daughter's, as well as a fellow MIAD grad.

There will be live music by The Sensationalists, a silent art auction, and plenty of food and drink for everyone!

All proceeds from the evening will benefit cancer research and establishing the Brad Germata scholarship for MIAD (Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design) communication design majors.

Ticket prices for the event are as follows:
$8.00 with a valid college I.D.
$10.00 in advance(go to to download an RSVP form)
$12.00 at the door

There will be many wonderful offerings of art and gift certificates from businesses and individuals to bid on. Come and help support a great cause, and tribute to Brad, and perhaps you can go home with some great things too!!

See you there!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Start of Lent - Recognition & Return Exhibit at ECVA

Today, Ash Wednesday, in Christian churches, is the first day of the penitential season of Lent.

On Ash Wednesday Christians have a smudge of ashes placed on their foreheads as a sign of penitence. The ashes are obtained from palm branches that were distributed the previous year on Palm Sunday, they are burned and blessed for use on Ash Wednesday.

Why we receive the ashes ...
In the ancient time people who did penance often did penance in "sackcloth and ashes". Christians have ashes placed on their forehead in the sign of the cross to show a spirit of humility and sacrifice. The ashes remind us of our mortality on Earth, and that Redemption is with Our Lord.

"Remember, you are dust, and unto dust you shall return"

This custom is from an old ceremony. Christians who had committed grave faults were obliged to do public penance. On Ash Wednesday the Bishop blessed the hair shirts which they were to wear during the forty days, and sprinkled over them ashes made from the palms from the previous year. Then, while the faithful recited the Seven Penitential Psalms, the penitents were turned out of the holy place because of their sins, as Adam, the first man was turned out of paradise on account of his disobedience. They did not enter the Church again until Maundy Thursday after having won reconciliation by the toil of forty days' penance and sacramental absolution.
Later on, it then became a custom that all Christians, either public or secret penitents, came, out of devotion, to receive ashes.


Starting today, The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts exhibit "Recognition & Return" is being featured at their website.
There is also a wonderful Lenten Meditation booklet you can download featuring art and reflections from some of the artists in this latest exhibit.

I am excited and honored that one of my assemblages, (Even the Stones Will Cry Out), is featured in the online exhibit there too. Check out ALL the wonderful and varied art, along with the reflections on each piece... great meditations for Lent!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Shrovetide! (Pancake Supper Nite..yum!)

Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras.... the day before the start of Lent. It's name is derived from the old English practice of confessing one's sins on this day in preparation for the holy Lenten season. The verb "to shrive" means to confess oneself and receive absolution. The three day period, Sunday, Monday and Shrove Tuesday, was known as Shrovetide.

The Reformation brought an end to the ancient Roman Catholic practice of pre-Lenten shriving, at least in the countries that adopted Protestant beliefs. Some of the more secular customs lingered on although their causes were removed.

The church bell which once called the people to confession on Shrove Tuesday began to be known as the "pancake bell". Shrove Tuesday was also called Pancake Day since pancakes were traditionally eaten, a custom which survives in the pancake suppers held by many Episcopal churches on the eve of Lent. Originally the practice was a means of using up the milk, eggs, and fat which were not allowed to be eaten during the strict days of Lent.

A verse from "Poor Robin's Almanac" from 1684 says:
But hark, I hear the pancake bell,
And fritters make a gallant smell,
The cooks are baking, frying, broiling,
Stewing, mincing, cutting, boiling,
Carving, gormandizing, roasting,
Carbonating, cracking, slashing, toasting.

The most famous pancake bell is that of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Olney, England. As far back as 1445, the pancake bell first rang in their church, calling the parishioners to confession.

Legend has it that one woman was making pancakes when the bell rang, and grabbing the frying pan, ran out into the street toward the church, cooking the pancakes as she went. Soon there developed among the women of the town an annual race to the church, the women flipping griddlecakes all the while. The race is still being held, the course being from the pump to the market square, a distance of four hundred and fifteen yards.

We have had pancake races for the kids at our Church before.. they are always a hit!

We're heading out soon to enjoy the feast of pancakes that the men in our parish prepare tonite!
Come on over too! Serving from 5 - 7 p.m. All are welcome!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Boxes galore for my Frames...thanks John!! xoxox

It was a looong day today... not being able to sleep early this morning, along with daughter Kasey who woke up too...we stayed up watching a scary movie called "Raising Cain"... a thriller! ... but a long one too... from 2:30 - 5 a.m. we were watching this nail biter...*L*...then stayed awake giggling my head off at ideas of sneaking over to where Kasey was sleeping and leaning down real low and just staring at her to try to get her to open her eyes and freak out! *EG* ... just thinking about it made me laugh outloud as Kasey thought I'd gone insane like the Cain character..haha.

After another short nap, I had to get to work.. 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. ... a long day! Of bookkeeping, bulletin master making, and closet and room purging again at Church. We're getting ready for a major rennovation, remodeling and needed repairs, we'll be temporarily relocating to another place for about 7 - 8 months, and have to pack up and clear out decades of stuff!

Kasey and Kyle have both been helping SOOOO much, and we appreciate their volunteering to do it. ANY and ALL help is appreciated...come and be a part of the fun, fun, fun date to help is Feb. 18th from 9:30 - 12:30 at Church.
Here Kasey and Kyle try out some of the moustaches they found as they packed up the costume department and parts of the Sunday School room.

We packed up a huge load in the back of my van too for Good Will, which was originally purchased from there for the hoe down events and other fun things ...but it's time to pass them back for others to use now..*L*

When I got home, I had a great surprise waiting... John had made me 4 boxes for some frames I'd found in the last few months... now I just need to decide what treasures to put in them, and how to finish off the boxes... stain, paint, decoupage, gesso, distress, antique them or what?

I'm afraid it may be a few weeks before I can really get into that... bookkeeping is starting to overtake my life lately... ugh!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Assemblages by Roberta

Check out some of my assemblages I recently made into a booklet with Shutterfly. Thanks for looking!

Click here to view this photo book larger

Monday, February 8, 2010

Granddaughter Jorden wearing her great-great Grandmother's dress...

My daughter Kasey and I had some fun this morning before I took granddaughter Jorden back to her Mom. I have a lot of cool older clothes, and cute outfits I LOVE to dress her up in. When Kasey was little I did the same with her - I'll have to go find some of those older photos in my pile of photos stashed away in boxes.

Until then... here is Jorden, in her great-great grandmother's dress... I LOVE these. I set up the backdrop, Kasey took the photos and I am playing around with some photo editing for fun. Here are a few of the photos. I love the old-fashioned look to them, and of course, the granddaughter in them too! *S*

The Lord is Glorious in His Saints...

A deacon friend I have posted this from a Litany for Morning Prayer .. an Antiphon that is said during the prayers before and after a psalm... it's pretty fitting after the Saint's win last night, eh? *G*

"Alleluia! The Lord is glorious in his Saints: Come let us adore Him. Alleluia!"

Congrats Saints!! Great game!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Husband....

Today is John's 58th anniversary of the day of his birth... Happy Birthday OLD guy!!

*G* heh... good thing he doesn't do computer things, so he won't read this comment!..*G*

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Fun Family Saturday

Our granddaughter Jorden is here for the weekend... and our grandson Jake had a hockey game this morning, so we went to see the Beloit Blades beat the Waukesha team ... 5 - 1! Way to go Jake and the Blades! Jorden had fun being one of the "rink rats" along with grandsons Josh and Jeff and watching the game from the heated box seats.

Josh shows Jorden how to do a dance after the Blades get a goal! *L* Josh, Jorden and Jeff have fun, and Jeff tells Jorden some of the finer points of hockey. Then it was time out for them all in the penalty box..ha!

Josh, Jorden and Jeff do a victory dance after the Blades win!


Later that day we celebrated (OLD) John's birthday (he'll be 58 on Sunday, Feb. 7th), we had everyone over for a Pizza and Birthday Cake Party. The grandkids have a lot of fun together...along with our kids and we older folks too....especially when the soft plastic ball wars start! *L*

This short video clip shows the chaos that ensued. Can you find all the things that are odd in this video?? *L* Yes, that is a grandson running around in his undies (which are on backward, btw)..*L* And Grandpa John, the birthday boy, is really getting into this war! *L* Grandson Jake doesn't hold back when pelting even his Gramma! And Kasey is laughing like a goof as she takes the video too..*L*

Jorden decided the only safe place might be on the shelf with her favorite monkey toy..*L*

Friday, February 5, 2010

Homelessness is not a crime, it's a tragedy...

Our church is one of about 10 - 12 that help in some capacity with a rotating Emergency Overnight Homeless Shelter. Of those about 8 are host sites...this is in ALL of Walworth County, WI. There are OF COURSE, many more churches, and many have been contacted about helping, but so far, they have not decided to help, for whatever reason.

With the way the economy is now, there are a record number of homeless men in the shelter. Last year at this time there were between 8- 10 men who were guests in the Overnight Shelter. This last week, there have been 18 men being housed overnight at the Church Shelter Site (which rotates each week to a different church).

Starting this Sunday, Feb. 7th until Sun. morning Feb. 14th, it is Christ Church's turn to host the Shelter.

We are a small parish, and any or all help from volunteers willing to stay the night with the men in the shelter would be SOOO helpful. Each guest has a background check prior to being able to stay, and the Shelter has a zero tolerance alcohol policy as well for guests and volunteers.

The Shelter opens each evening at 7 p.m. until 8 a.m. the next morning. We offer a dinner, bed, toiletries, showers, a breakfast and a sack lunch before they leave each day.

Please prayerfully consider volunteering at ANY Shelter Site... help is needed badly!!

Thank you for considering it. You can call the Walworth County Emergency Overnight Homeless Shelter cell phone at (262) 903-WARM (9276).

The shelter provides overnight housing in a safe environment for men who are homeless from the end of Sept. to May. The Shelter does not accept sex offenders or those with special medical needs. It rotates to a different church each week & is open each night from 7:00 pm - 8:00 am.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Will construction work EVER get going strong again?

As some know, my husband has a small construction company. John has been in business since 1982, and this is by far the worst year we've ever had (talking 2009 into 2010). Business is so slow, the guys are in the 4th straight week of being laid off now (after having a couple of weeks in December as well) - we're glad the crew can get the unemployment benefits, but the sole proprietor (John) isn't so fortunate. In talking with our other contractor friends, it's slow ALL over, electrician friends are having to lay off their employees, the lumber yard owner friends have laid off many of theirs too. Painters are slow, masons, roofers, drywallers, and other construction company owners have said the same. It is SOOO time for the economic boom to get into swing...*sigh*

"Trust in the Lord" and "Wait on the Lord", keeps coming back to my thoughts... sometimes easier said than done.

But, in looking at our life - we have food, we have shelter, we have many luxuries that would be considered extravagant by others... Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner (and complainer). Help me to be mindful MORE of the needs of others in the blessings we have, let me share them, let me "let go" and trust in You, Lord.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5,6)

"You will keep him/her in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on you, Because he/she trusts in You." (Isaiah 26:3).

Amen, let it be!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"SIX MORE WEEKS", says Phil

Hear Ye - Hear Ye - Hear Ye

On Gobbler's Knob on this glorious Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2010, Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators awoke to the call of President Bill Deeley and greeted his handlers, John Griffiths and Ben Hughes.

After casting a joyful eye towards thousands of his faithful followers, Phil proclaimed, "If you want to know what's next, you must read my text. As the sky shines bright above me, my shadow I see beside me. So six more weeks of winter it will be."

Many experts say Groundhog Day is appealing today because it provides a link, however tenuous, to the rhythms of nature and because it lightens the gloom of winter. "Part of the reason we have so many holidays during the winter is because of the need for festivity during that time," says Simon Bronner, professor of American studies and folklore at Penn State Harrisburg.

Groundhog Day falls at the midpoint between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox or start of spring. So there is technically always six more weeks of winter, if not wintry weather, no matter what the groundhog says.

That doesn't stop claims of meteorologic superiority in the groundhog circle, though, or parties & whacky celebrations on this day... So, PARTY ON PHIL!!..or wait, you went back to hibernate...okay, WE'LL PARTY ON FOR YOU!

Here ya go... sing this song today ...

"I See You" to the tune of "This Old Man" (or the "Barney Song")

I see you, my shadow
That means six more weeks of snow
With a great big chill and a blizzard, maybe two
Oh I wish this was not true!

Dammit Punxsutawney Phil!!