Sunday, December 28, 2008

..then we held hands & sang "Kum Ba Yah"

I went to church today with my parents in rural PA.

The pastor of the church spoke of how secular versions of the Christmas Spirit are already packed away for next year. But the true work of Christmas begins after the hub-bub goes away and the reality of God's love takes hold in each of us. God's Spirit stirs us to serve and love one another all year long. Where, instead of just sending Christmas cards, we send notes to one another all year to communicate how much we care. Instead of giving Christmas gifts, we give to one another all year out of the abundance we have received through God's generosity. People don't stop needing us to reach out to them just because Christmas has passed. The year 2008 is essentially over. We stand at the threshold of next will we spend it, how will we celebrate it, how will we join God in telling others that he loves them each dearly?

After the church service, we all went downstairs to the church basement to have a New Year's Party. We got to be the first in York County (or anywhere for that matter) to do a countdown, with hats, noisemakers and all.

As a local-ish tradition (it's actually a Baltimorean tradition) we all ate pickled Herring. It's kinda like German sushi on a toothpick. It was salty and vinegar-y, as I expected, but it had an unexpected sweetness to it.

Just so no one could get out of taking a taste, Pastor Henry had everyone stand in a circle and pass the plate of herring around. Allison was worried she was going to have to taste it. I told her don't worry, even some of the grownups didn't want to try it.
(see pic of my dad, not wanting to try it)

When it was all over, we sang Kum ba yah. Yes, we were standing in a circle, holding hands and singing Kum Ba Yah. It's not just a cliche anymore, it's a New Year. Welcome 2009!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Housework can kill you......

Beware of dirty dishes.

Cleaning them can kill you.

Zaap. zzzzaaaap. zzzzzzaaaap.
After feeling an electric shock for the umpteenth time from my kitchen sink, I decided to call an electrician. (the first few times I felt a shock I wasn't sure if I was imagining things, but today, I got a shock off the edge of my microwave.)

I knew there were some....funky.... things about a few of the plugs around the house, and we needed to install ground fault protection in the ones near water sources. But...

Today I learned that I had 120 volts of electricity soaring through me every time I: touched the kitchen sink, the microwave, the garbage disposal, and the stove. A little bit more can stop your heart.

Can I be excused from all kitchen-related housework now since its hazardous to my health?

Luckily the helpful electrician made some modifications to keep me safe short term. Now I can wash all the dishes I want (do I have to say Hooray?). We turned off all the electricity to that part of the kitchen. That means my microwave is plugged into a heavy duty extension cord, and I have no light over the kitchen sink. But I'm alive and well, ready to tackle another chore.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

First Place - It's the "tooth"!

Allison entered the Project Fair at the Homeschool Co-op and won 1st Prize!

Her project, titled "The 'Tooth' About Drink Stains" was about how different drinks stain the teeth. She used hard boiled eggs to simulate the enamel of the teeth and soaked the eggs in various drinks overnight. Afterward, she used a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean each egg to see how brushing removes some stains.

The eggs were soaked in: water, milk, grape juice, red juice, and soda. The most stained egg was the one in grape juice. (I couldn't believe how stained it was).

For the project fair, she had to give a presentation to the group and the judge. It was fun to see all the kids crowd around her and her project wanting to see what it was about.

I'm so proud of her hard work. Congrats, Allison!