Sunday, March 01, 2009

Following Up

A friend told me once that I tend to leave people hanging on my blog. Evidently I mention things and don't come back and tell you the outcome. So, with that in mind here are some follow-up things I should tell you (in list form, of course).

1. I tried the baked oatmeal--it was delicious. I ended up using this recipe instead of this one. My friend made the second one and declared it a new family favorite. I made mine in a 9x13 dish (with 1/2 applesauce, 1/2 oil and WAY less sugar) and it lasted us all week. I think I'm going to make a batch every week so that I can have an instant, healthy breakfast option. *I think the recipes are basically the same now that I look at them!*

2. Lots of you asked which Vera Bradley bag I got, here is a picture. It makes me happy.
(The style is Betsy, the pattern is Frankly Scarlet. I love it!)

3. I don't hate Facebook. I actually really like it, I'm just not a fan of the status updates. It occurred to me that I don't have to check everyone's status every time I log on. Problem solved. (By the way, I still think FB is a huge time-suck).

4. I don't hate playdates either.  I just don't like having them on weekends, and if my kids didn't get home from school at 4pm (isn't that NUTS?) I'd probably have them more often. I do encourage them to play outside in the afternoons when it's nice and if their friends from the neighborhood are out there too it's even better!

5. I decided to give up Starbucks for Lent. I had an almost three week head start, so I imagine by the time Easter rolls around I'm going to be really ready for a tall venti non-fat chai!

6. Will is enjoying his cell phone. We laid down some pretty strict rules when we gave it to him, and it's been a learning experience for all of us. He's had it taken away once, and we've had some interesting discussions regarding some of the text messages he's sent and received. Do you guys read your kids' texts? We told him at the onset that we'd be scrolling through at the end of each day and reading them. It's been enlightening to say the least.

7. The Blessing Bowl. I haven't posted sooner because I didn't pick it up until this morning!It's basically just a bowl filled with ceramic "stones" and each stone has a meaning. As best I understand it, The Blessing Bowl is meant to be a way to share your faith stories with family and friends. The "stones" are conversation starters.  

Before I tell you the meaning of the stones I painted, let me tell you that I ended up with only a few of my original eight stones. There were three of us there that night with the same initials, and I think that all of ours got mixed up! I have more that I didn't paint than ones that I did! Gotta get them swapped this week!

The sun (top left) is meant to represent Beginnings. I might hand this stone to one of my children on their first day of school and ask them to tell me a faith story (ex. I was fearful, but I know that God was with me.) Other beginnings might be: new job, new home, new friend, etc. 

The eyelash/tear stone represents Loss. This stone might be used to share a story involving the loss of a loved one, divorce, loss of job, etc. 

The orange stone with a hand in the center represents Care. Stories might include missions, caring for the environment, prayer, etc. 

The green one with a compass on it (bottom left) is meant to represent Quests. Examples might include: running a marathon, hiking Pikes Peak!, learning to play the trumpet, or really anything new and adventurous.

The purple stone has a candle on it (can't even tell, can you?) and represents Remembering. When we remember what God has done in our lives and share it verbally with our children, we are solidifying their faith. Examples of remembering might range from bible stories and songs to birthdays and important anniversaries. 

The dark green stone is a picture of  mountains made to represent Mountain Highs. These would be huge moments in our lives. Like maybe an engagement or the birth of a child. This stone might be used to talk about how God was in the details.

The last one pictured above represents Gratitude. What are things we are thankful for? Friends, family, health, beauty, and the list goes on and on. You'd use this stone to talk about all the things you're thankful for!

I painted one (gotta find out who has it!) to represent Valley Lows. Those low places/times in our lives that God uses to bring us to a place of greater intimacy with Him. Depression. Failure. Broken relationships. Etc.

There was one more stone I didn't have time to paint that represented Sacred milestones. That might include things like baptism, weddings, communion...or anything you deem sacred.

Does this make sense to you? In simplest form, I think the Blessing Bowl is a way to initiate conversation about our faith journey with family and friends. Here's a link to the original blessing bowl that our church got the idea from. I think it is an amazing tool and I plan to keep ours on our kitchen table!

Our church staff created some unique stone symbols to use during Lent, but I chose to use the ones above instead so that it might be more functional year round. I hope I don't regret it!

8. This is extra. It's not a follow-up to anything. I'm cooking for the middle school youth group tonight. Will requested chili, so I have a double batch simmering right now. And about to make some cookies for dessert. I'm trying to wrap my mind around the fact that next fall I'll have TWO kids in middle school. I don't quite know how I feel about that.

Happy Sunday.


Amber said...

The Blessings Bowl is so cool. I love it.

Love your Vera Bradley!!

Gretchen said...

Holy handbag, Batman! How did I miss that you got a Vera Bradley hand bag in (ahem) MY ( a pretty color??? :) Just one more thing to repent of this evening at prayer time. Covetousness.

Lurve the blessing bowl and the stones. What a great, nonthreatening way to share faith. I'm always on the look out for those types of things.

Have fun with the chili dinner. Very cute that your son still wants you to do those types of things for him. David and I are still close, but I wonder when he'll start to pull away...

We're in the same boat re: middle school. I'm sure it'll be the best of times and the worst of times. And if I know my dtr, plenty of drama sprinkled in.

Carpool Queen said...

Now I want to go to Amazing Glaze and make my own bowl. Looks like a wonderful teaching tool for the kids.

Still haven't made the oatmeal, but it looks like tomorrow's a snow day here, so I may do it in the morning.

And I can't wrap my brain around middle school. Right now I'm just praying they let us pass 3rd grade.

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

Did you keep the oatmeal in the frige? Did you end up using muffin cups?

LOVE the bag. Very cheery.

Odd that someone didn't check their stones -- or were the paintings all the same, too?

Tiffani said...

Love the Betsy!

And BELIEVE YOU ME..when Connor/JuJu have a cell phone you can GAIR-RON-TEE that I'll be reading Mom could've intercepted a LOT of mess if she be more in tune with my little sister's texts/calls...

WOW...that Blessing Bowl is just wonderful! I've gotta check in to places around here that may do something like that!

Middle school. wow. that IS hard to wrap around, huh! What does Will think about his sister joining him next year??

Jacquie said...

One time I "borrowed" my son's phone while he was sleeping because I was concerned about something... and yes, it's interesting, to say the least. I have also read messages on his phone when he was right there in front of me... it's my phone bill, so I reserve a certain right to check up on him if need be. He is MUCH older than Will is, so it's a whole different scenario.

But, kids learn how to erase text messages real quick, so...

Lauren said...

Have I told you how much I love your blog :o) The stones and blessing bowl were a GREAT idea!!! :o)

Jennifer said...

Cute Vera! I have a few that I've received over the past year that I really like. My fave is the one I bought on sale last spring. It's the small bookbag one.......I can't recall the pattern color. So fun and what a great buy at half off! LOL My favorite pattern is the one with the chocolate and blue but I do not have one item in that pattern. LOL

Love the idea of the blessing bowl.

I do check my son's texts often........and his email. Funny thing is that he doesn't use his email that much. LOL His texts are interesting but fortunately not bad. Yeah!

Next year I will have one in each level of school. Dylan will be in high school (we are selecting classes this week! Ugh!), Brandon will be starting middle school, and then Shelby will be in 1st grade. Oh where does the time go?

Have a great week Mer!

Michele said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blessing bowl. This is something I'm going to check into doing.

I agree about FB being a huge time sucker; I love it though, but I definitely try to get on and off quickly and limit the # of times during the day.

My friends who have kids with cell phones do random, unannounced checks that way their kids can't delete any received or sent texts. Just be careful about pornographic texts coming through. I've had a friend who had a problem with that and even the middle school principal had a problem with his own son with those type of texts.

Good for you for continuing giving up SB. I know its hard!!

I hope you have a wonderful week!