Sunday, April 30, 2006

There aren't enough words

Last week, our speaker at church was Carl Wilkins, an ADRA aid worker who was the only American to remain in Rwanda throughout the 1994 genocide in which over 800,000 people were brutally murdered. His talk was deeply moving and spiritual but, due to the many small children in our congregation, he only touched lightly on a few of the many horrors of the genocide and alluded to his role in saving the lives of over 30 orphans. He is clearly still deeply affected by the experience.

Last night, on the big screen at church, several of us watched the heartwrenching 2004 PBS program Ghosts of Rwanda. (Click on that link to read more about what happened and even see video clips from the show.)

I wasn't sure I could handle the pain of watching this all-too-true film and I might well have chickened out except that the OC was asked to be the projectionist.

I knew it would be hard to watch; I've coordinated our church children's sponsorship of first one and now two Rwandan orphans for close to 15 years so this is a country that has long been very close to my heart.

After seeing how just two or three determined, courageous people were able to make a life-or-death difference for many people (where was the rest of the world?), I came away with a renewed resolve to do what I can to impact othere, even just a few, for good. The specific details as to how that might play out I've no idea, suffice it to say that I didn't sleep well last night...

What can you do to spare someone hunger or pain?

Friday, April 28, 2006

Sewing again

B has moved on with her life, has a "regular" job and her own apartment. So, now that Gram is no longer coming and going, I've got my sewing machine set up again in the room she was using and I'm back to sewing. Only this time, sewing for (gasp) me! Nope, dream on, it's nothing fancy, just a grown-up size Bible times outfit--gown, robe (sort of sleeveless cloak) and headwrap. I've had the pattern and fabrics for months and finally now have the space and motivation to get at least one outfit done.

I've been asked to help out with an upcoming weekend Spring Escape at the church camp. Apparently there will be around 150 people--mostly 6-10 year olds and their parents/sponsors. I'll be helping with a couple of different presentations for rotating groups of 20 or so at a time. At the one in the morning on forgiveness, I'll be the primary presenter/activity coordinator. It's a good thing I'm only the helper for the one in the afternoon because I'm still confused about what spritual lessons Melinda is going to be drawing from ... cake...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Ten Commandments Movie

Turn on your speakers and click here for a cool little flash movie.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

No Gram

No Gram. Not here, that is. The siblings with the "power" have decided to make other arrangements for her care -- apparently hoping to keep her in her own home longer. I must confess that my heart is not broken. And even the OC is not sorry to miss having to clean the smeared poop off the toilet seat every, every, every single day. He was wonderful about doing it, though.

Oatmeal Pudding ... or ... Oatmeal-That-Even-Oatmeal-Haters-Will-Eat

It’s true. Here, at last, is a way to make oatmeal that will be not only be willingly eaten but even liked by kids and even by those people (such as the OC) who had to eat so much slimy gray oatmeal as children that they promised themselves that, once they grew up, they'd never, ever, ever eat oatmeal again as long as they lived. This recipe makes oatmeal is not slimy and not gray and does not even taste like cardboard!

Ready? Get out a sauce pan and bring to a boil:

4 1/2 cups of water

Generous 1/2 cup raisins

1/3 - 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (turn the water tan with the real stuff)

Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt

Once it's boiling, stir in 2 cups old-fashioned oats. Not instant or "quick". This is very important.

Boil (uncovered) gently for 5 minutes (set a timer), stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in flavoring. I like to use about 1/2 teaspoon (or even a little more) of a mixture of almond and (real) vanilla (one part almond to 3-4 parts vanilla). I've also occasionally added a light sprinkle of cinnamon, as well.

Cover and let stand at least five minutes. Then stir again. It can be eaten hot with or without milk, or left to stand a bit longer and eaten warm but our absolute most favorite way to eat Oatmeal Pudding is straight from the refrigerator as a dessert. Well, that's how the OC likes it. I like to pour some vanilla soy milk over it first...if he hasn't beat me to it and eaten it all up first...

Friday, April 07, 2006

I wish I knew

I wish I knew if Gram was going to be coming to live here or not. B, who has a new job that starts on Monday, is currently napping on the couch after spending most of last night finishing up her packing before heading for home early this morning. Her loaded car is in the garage awaiting Sunday when she begins the move into her lovely new apartment. And who will care for Gram? Gram, who really can't (or at least certainly shouldn't) be living alone. If that has been decided, we haven't yet been told. Her staying here for a lengthy "visit" is the back-up plan. It surely would be nice to know ahead of time if she's going to be here, though. Sigh. I know. It's time to practice developing patience...

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Making a difference

Remember those delightful guests we had last week? They left us a positively beautiful card to thank us for our hospitality. It was cross-stitched by hand by women in north-western Uganda and southern Sudan who, thanks to the sale of these very reasonably priced greeting cards, are able to support their families through their own work.

Contact Apples of Gold and you can make a difference in the world by sharing these beautiful cards yourself.

Monday, April 03, 2006

I'm not nuts, after all!

We had a delightful few days--with the most thoughtful and enjoyable guests imaginable! Not only did they share the bathrooms but left things tidy and came with mountains of food.

Grammie, though, had already forgotten about music clinic by this afternoon. Things are getting rather interesting, shall we say, on that front...