Monday, May 12, 2008

Wonderful Weekend!

After feeling really euphoric upon arriving back home Friday from our trip to Pittsburgh - and the grand tour Mandy and I sort of accidentally took when we got lost in the Steel City -I have to say the rest of the weekend, for the most part was all very nice too!

Saturday, I made a 5 gallon casserole of ham and bean pot-pie (with the homemade noodle/dumpling like things -two smaller dishes of an old Swedish favorite called "Panakaka" (it's sort of like a plain baked custard) and Mandy made a small orange-cranberry-nut cake to take out to the pot luck supper held Saturday evening at our church. The purpose behind this event was to give the parishioners a chance to meet and greet Pastor Carrie Anderson, from Wisconsin, the candidate we have for the pastoral opening in our church.

Mandy had briefed me a couple weeks ago after she got to meet Pastor Carrie at the church council meeting during which the council interviewed Pastor Carrie, and they then offered her the position on behalf of the church. She accepted the offer then which puts things in gear now to where this past Sunday, she did the service and sermon at our church after which the congregation then voted whether to accept her or not. Thankfully, the vote came down to 79 in favor and 3 not in favor of her so it was a pretty overwhelming vote by the membership. She now has asked to have a little time to think a bit more on this move, what it will entail for her, etc., to pray over her decision too and she will notify the congregation before this coming Friday as to her final acceptance - or not - of our church's offer. And I will definitely be saying prayers of my own, crossing my fingers, holding the rabbit's foot too maybe - whatever it takes -but hoping very much she will decide to come and lead our parish forward. Can you tell I was very highly impressed with her ability, her personality, etc.?

Sunday morning was quite an experience for Mandy and me as we had to take both the kids to church with us! The reason being Bill went to some kind of auction yesterday and normally, we just let Kurtis sleep in as long as he wants on Sunday morning and Bill is generally at home with him so we don't have to disturb the little fellow and deal with trying to teach him some behavior and manners with respect to being in church - and QUIET too -for at least an hour's time!

We sat in the same pew as our neighbors - sisters, Shirley and Kate and Kate's daughter, Karen. Maya decided right off the bat that she did NOT want to sit between Mandy and me but she wanted to sit half-way between Shirley and me. THis meant there was a fairly large gap of space then between her and me and her and Shirley too. Prior to the beginning of the service, Maya was busy coloring on some papers she had with her but when it came time for the opening hymn, as we all stood to sing and she realized everyone was standing, Maya hopped up and stood with everyone. She then reached for the large green hymnal and started leafing through it, which I thought was a nice gesture on her part. About a quarter through the first stanza of the hymn, I glanced down at her and was shocked to see she had the hymnal open to the very song we were singing! (After services, I asked Shirley if she maybe had helped her and opened the book for her to that page but she said she hadn't so we figured that she had seen the Hymn number on the board in front of the church and since she can read numbers fine and dandy, had managed to find that page in the hymnal.) After that, she then wanted to follow along in the liturgy of the service and was fumbling for the correct page number there that Pastor Carrie had announced, so I leaned down and found the page for her and then pointed out to her which line of the liturgy the congregation was on at that time. She again really amazed me and her Mom very much as she tried her level best to follow along with the service. She doesn't "read" in the full sense of the word but she can pick up enough words here and there that she could actually follow the service which we both feel is really an amazing feat for a 4 year old child to do! (Her old sister, who is 16, still can't or won't do that!)

After church, we stopped and picked up the Sunday paper so I could get my weekly crossword puzzle fix with the Sunday puzzle, then we all took a little nap too while the scalloped potatoes and ham I was fixing for supper cooked away in the oven.

The older daughter, Carrie, her fiance, Robert and older grandson - my Prince, Alex, came by, bringing me a new pair of the knee length casual pants and a beautiful top to go with them in a shade between a pale peach and pale coral. Very pretty color at any rate and it goes perfectly with a couple shirts I have that have a shade in them like that too!

The grandson gave me a card which, if my scanner were working, I would scan it in here for you to see but instead, I'm going to have to write in here about this card.

On the front, is a cartoon type animal -either a dog or a bear -kind of hard to discern that part -but it says "Grandma! Happy Mother's Day from y our Intelligent, Good-looking, Talented Grandchild!"

Then, when you open the card it says "And that's not conceit, it's Heredity!"

I read that and howled laughing, telling Alex that was exactly right too! Yep - no conceit in our family left cause Alex and I are sharing it all!

The only downside -to me -of this weekend was learning the other day that the young lady who is the head of the Drama Club at our local school here was getting a lot of flack apparently from several members of the school board, even to the point of dictating to her what topics MAY NOT be in any future plays the kids put on -if she is even retained as head of the Drama Club.

In previous years, the kids (and not just high school kids here either) at our school have worked and worked really hard to put out some fantastic productions - such as "Annie" - "Guys and Dolls" - "Fiddler on the Roof" - "West Side Story" and this year, it was "Pajama Game." The director, I know, puts in very, very long hours for 3-4 months in directing not just the kids but the choreography, all other production issues, etc., for a salary that is extremely meager, considering the number of hours she puts into these plays. And now, these people on the school board -of which not one single member had seen the most recent production or any other ones for that matter -took it upon themselves to criticize her judgment in the selection of these various plays the kids did! She had to explain to them about these plays, what the play was about, etc., and in the process apparently made a comment to the board that this is all important because it is "literature." To which one school board member retorted that to him, this was most certainly NOT literature! Gee willikers! Makes me wonder what on earth rock these supposedly intelligent people who are in charge of leading our school district forward just crawled out from under, ya know?

By the end of the grilling of the director, she was told the kids could continue to do a play but it could not contain ANY of the following things: no kissing; no foul language; no criminal activity, no references even to rape or murder or homosexuality and no mention of smoking of any type or any kind of drug usage!

When my son called home yesterday to wish me Happy Mother's Day, I told him what I knew of what was going on and he was livid. Keep in mind, my son was never what one would call a "student" -he was more of just a person who showed up and the school and if anything sunk in via osmosis, that was fine by him. But, the one class he did generally enjoy and did well with was English and as such, he really went on the offensive about the school board's attitude here. "Geez, Mom! If they are going to ban any of those things then what would they do if they had something by Shakespeare -or Edgar Allan Poe or who knows how many other greats from the literary field?"

It made me really, really proud to hear him speak up and out like that and the understanding he held of why this was censorship of the worst degree and should be fought against these actions too, long and hard! I don't have to tell anyone here, I'm quite sure, where I stand too on this issue, do I?

Apparently the school board feels by keeping these works out of the hands of the students they will be protecting them, but from what? In my opinion, they are not protecting them at all but allowing them to come full force in the face of reality and not fully understand it either then! What a ridiculous stance! How ludicrous is this attitude any way?

I'd love to hear your thoughts -ideas and suggestions too -on this issue so feel free to comment away!

Hope everyone had as great a Mother's Day as mine was as well as a great weekend too!

15 comments:

terri said...

I really, really hate when educators think that the way to protect kids is by keeping them ignorant of certain realities. When will they learn that trying to hide things from kids only makes the kids more curious and makes it more likely they will seek out that information from whatever source is offering it. Wouldn't an honest sit-down talk about sensitive issues teach kids so much more than pretending they don't exist?

dr sardonicus said...

This is the state where they were debating evolution not long ago, right?

Gene Bach said...

Everybody wants to have their own kingdom. Schools are famous for that. Our high school is run by nice people...if you likelying, thieving rats.

lattégirl said...

I am as amazed and thrilled as you are by little Maya's actions in church - is it possible that with her drastic improvement over the past while, she could actually "beat" her autism? Does one overcome autism?

As for the censorship issue, it, too makes me angry, but I don't feel like being angry today. :-)

Singing Owl said...

I love Maya! :-)

I'm glad you had such a pleasant day. And thank you for your gracious and kind comments over at my place. I'm pretty heavy hearted and feeling like a failure....so all encouragment is welcome. I will be praying for Pastor Carrie (YAY FOR THE LADY PREACHER FROM WISCONSIN!) and her choice.

Razor Family Farms said...

A five gallon casserole?? Wow. My Midwestern husband would be in hog heaven. He delights in casseroles. He happily strolls past risotto and steak in favor of casserole. I can't figure him out. Now five gallons... that would quiet his demands for a while. Do post the recipe!! LOL!

This is my first-ever visit to your blog and I just had to comment. I apologize for telling you WAY more than you ever wanted to know about me but I just couldn't help it.

Blessings!
Lacy

Jeni said...

OOPS! I just realized that I made a slight error in this post -it was a 5 quart casserole dish, not five gallons! Holy rip! Everyone and their brother within a five mile radius would have been fed with a five gallon container of the ham and bean pot pie!

Razor Family Farms said...

Jeni! I wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such a great comment! You made my day!

I'm always goofing up on things in my posts and depend heavily (sometimes too heavily) on my readers to make corrections. They are super for that.

I figured you meant quarts but was hopeful for the gallons -- you see, that would solve all my problems. I would have an endless casserole for the man. I could then freeze it in Josh-portion containers and wow him with my amazing ability to produce casserole on-demand!

Blessings!
Lacy

Smalltown RN said...

Jeni...that is so wonderful about Maya....little wonders all the time....what a wonderful Mother's Day gift....

As for the censorship issue with the School Board...first the one memebers comment about literature...it makes me wonder what his educational background would be....second...why are they in a fuss about this anyways...don't they have more important issues to tackle...like literacy rates, teacher/student ratios, school morale or other such things...your son is right...my gosh what would they do if the Drama director decided to do Macbeth? Oh the horror of it all......great post!

Minnesotablue said...

Great news about Maya. As for censorship, it's all about small minded people trying to exert their authority and make themselves feel important. So sad

Sandi McBride said...

Such a thought provoking post today Jeni...your son is right on the money here! I can't believe they are teaching censorship in a school in a land where censorship is almost criminal itself! Maybe someone should press that point!
Sandi

Travis said...

We should be nurturing teachers with that kind of dedication, not getting in their way with small-minded ideas.

Dianne said...

Amen to what travis (and several others) - nothing to add about censorhip.

Happy Belated Mother's Day Jeni and to Mandy too.

I'm just getting caught up after all the connection troubles but I was thinking about you on Sunday.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

gosh your comments are as good as your post honey! sorry to be late (again)...

i never liked to have to get a new pastor, i was methodist and we swapped them around quite a bit. it was like giving up a friend for a stranger every time and they are NOT all created equal! ha ha

sounds like a lovely mother's day...

smiles, bee
xoxoxoxoxxoxoxo

Sandi McBride said...

I forgot to say...how about a recipe or two...k?
hugs
Sandi