Friday, December 24, 2010


Someone posted a video link on Facebook of "Mary Did You Know" about a month ago, and I stared at my computer moniter with tears streaming down my cheeks.  I don't know why this year, but the song's not "speaking" to me, it's beating me over the head.  Maybe because this Christmas, I am watching my first baby morph into her own little person - she's still some of me and some of my husband, all blended together, but she's her own person.  It's amazing.  It's miraculous.  And this Christmas, I'm holding another baby - and have a better idea of what is ahead for us.  It's overwhelming.

Merry Christmas, blog readers.  Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And Another Thing!

Also alternatively titled:  ILoveMyJobILoveMyJob

BG:  I've been training to be back up for someone else's position, which includes learning the ins and outs of a bajillion reports.  The first two gems came from the girl training me - and keep in mind, she's responsible for single-handedly compiling and generating stacks of reports with flawless accuracy.  The third came from my indirect boss, who is supposed to be responsible for making sure that I don't get overloaded.

Her:  Team #1 always has more revenue because there are like 10 times as many of them.
Me:  Actually, it looks like there are 15 on Team #1 and 10 on Team #2.  So it would be like 30% more... haha.
Her:  Yeah, well, same difference.
Me: ...

#2:  (In the Method of Procedure that she wrote for me to use as a guide while she's on vacation for the next two weeks)
"XXX never happens.  But if it does, PERSON A will send you an email and will help you to correct it in DATABASE B.  She should remember how, since she fixed it both times it happened last year."

Indirect Boss:  We have these files that were saved incorrectly and I need you to fix them.  It'll only take a minute.
Me:  Great, how many are ther?
IB:  I think there are about 100.
Me:  That sounds pretty time intensive, where will it fall on the priority list?
IB:  I fixed 3 of them and it took less than 10 minutes.  Do you think you can have them done by the end of today?
Me:  ... It's 4:15
IB:  I know.

Something to think about...

(alternative title:  I don't think I'll be spanking my kids)

I ran across a Peaceful Parenting website the other day, and this gem was part of a discussion:
Legal definitions: Assault is an act that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent, harmful, or offensive contact. The act consists of a threat of harm accompanied by an apparent present ability to carry out the threat. Battery is harmful or offensive touching of another. it's legally ok to spank a child, but not an adult that is fully capable of defending himself.

(paraphrased, because I can't find it again)
While I was looking for that to get the exact quote, I did find this story on a private board of a popular online parenting community:
"When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor's wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn't believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time.
One day when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking - the first of his life. And she told him that he would have to go outside and find a switch for her to hit him with. The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, "Mama, I couldn't find a switch, but here's a rock that you can throw at me." 
All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child's point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone. And the mother took the boy onto her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence.
And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because violence begins in the nursery - one can raise children into violence."

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Tablecloth

“The Tablecloth” - Author Unknown

A pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, reopened a church in suburban Brooklyn. Excitedly arriving in early October, they saw the opportunities to accomplish something good before them. When they first laid eyes upon the church, they found it to be very run down and in need of much work. They set a goal, though, to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc., and on Dec 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On December 19 a terrible tempest hit the area, lasting two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high. The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed a local business having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in.

One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church. By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. "Pastor," she said, "where did you get that tablecloth?" The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. To his astonishment, he found that they were. These being the initials of the woman. She had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria. The woman could hardly believe it, for the pastor told how he had just acquired the tablecloth.

The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. She was captured, sent to prison and she never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home, that was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighbourhood, continued to sit in one of the pews and stare at the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to the one that his wife had made many years ago in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike?

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety, and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

Sometimes small acts of service bring about miracles. May we all do something kind for someone unexpectedly for someone else this Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Big Things

...are on the horizon, just thiiiiiiis far away.
If they are what they appear to be, it will mean several incredible changes are in store for my family.  We should know by the end of the month, and until then, I'm trying not to wring my hands and to remember that God's plans are better than I can imagine.