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February 17, 2002
two years ago
three years ago
four years ago

Going To Church and Rearranging the Office

8:37 pm: We got our act together this morning and went to church. It helped that John had had a four hour nap yesterday and was finally caught up on sleep as Jet got up at 4, ate, and then didn't go back to sleep until 5:30. He stayed asleep until 7:40, and John took care of him then, too. I stayed in bed until 8:20, and then put myself together, staggered out and took corned beef hash out of a can and made eggs to go with it.

It was a solid breakfast that did a great job of sticking with me until lunch. I nursed Jet at 9, and we left at 9:30. We arrived at the church a bit before 10, and as the service didn't start until 10:15, we had some time to get acquainted with how the church worked and where the child care and nursery was set up.

It turned out that the lady that usually ran the nursery wasn't there because her father had died. There were good substitutes, a guy who was four times a grandfather and who used to be a general practice doctor. With him was a mother of two. We sat with Jet for about fifteen minutes, just getting him acquainted with the place, with the people, and with the toys and where they were placed, and when they said the service was about to begin, we just got up and left while Jet was playing happily on the floor.

While I did look back towards the windowed quiet room at periods throughout the service, I never really saw Jet being carried or being upset. I did see the lady carrying one little boy who had looked reluctant to be left by his parents, and he was crying loudly enough to be heard through the walls; but there wasn't a cry that sounded like it could be Jet. I was very glad, again, that he was used to other kids and that even crying that loud wasn't bothering him.

The service was surprisingly like and unlike the ECC's. The format was nearly identical. With the prayers, the opening movements, the kids message, then the Bible readings, the sermon, the offering, the doxology, the benediction and closing. They had two co-ministers, so there were no lay leaders, and there was no lay sharing. All differences that made sense. The singing was from a choir that was in a loft with a big pipe organ, and they were definitely On High, and pretty good, too. The congregation has more than 600 members, so it's large, active, and the growing. They had fifteen youth that were at a camp during this weekend.

The message was more conservative than I was used to from a UCC; however, during the coffee hour, several people mentioned that the Sunday services were more conservative in flavor than the congregation's actual theology and the theology that was taught in the Sunday Schools. I wonder if I shouldn't sit in on the Sunday school and/or volunteer as a teacher sometime just to see what is taught.

They had a baptism today, which brought up the whole question of if/when/how we might get Jet baptized. There is the question of whether or not we should just leave it up to him. All told, we thought about it and talked it over a little while and there are enough social aspects to it that it may well wait until we can do it at the ECC if anything. We'll see.

They did have a kids' message portion, and I was surprised when the nursery lady brought Jet out with her to listen to the children's message. He rode, easily, on her hip and he was pretty happy to be up there, and he was good and quiet and amazed me mildly. The lady's daughter kept tackling her, while she was holding Jet, until the lady asked the girl to sit still and then she put Jet in her lap and the girl was obviously delighted. I guess that was why she'd been tackling her mom, to get her to put the 'baby' in her lap. Jet was happy either place, and was looking around and listening and drinking it all in. So he got a good dose of New Stuff with all this, and I think that might be the real reason I wanted to do this. Keeping up new stimulus for him, new stuff as frequently as possible, so that he can figure out how to assimilate New Stuff. I also think he's more content when he has new things to think about and puzzle over. He always seems happier after an adventure of some sort.

After the service we went back to get Jet, and the two caregivers were very enthusiastic about him, they said that he as welcome any time and that he'd done wonderfully and they really enjoyed him. One of the ministers later said, "He was great! They said that he was happy playing by himself, he was happy when they played with him, and he was pretty much a happy guy the whole time! They loved him, and would be happy to have him back." Yay!

I'm glad he did so well.

During the coffee hour, he spent some time in our arms, at first, but then he started wanting down and he'd crawl over to people to say hi, and he went over to the couch and used it to stagger about and we met a lot of people. Being a new visitor to a church, it was good to be on the receiving end of the questioning and the hello's. It's much nicer when surrounded by strangers. The spread they had for their coffee hour was very impressive, too. They had grapefruit sections, carrots, cookies, brownies, fresh blueberries and yogurt, grapes, and three kinds of coffee. They had regular coffee, decaf, and a French roast for those that liked it stronger! I was pretty impressed. Jet, of course, went right for a carrot, and everyone who saw him was amazed that with just four teeth, he could devour a carrot.

I don't remember any names. Ah well. Luckily, they all have name tags. We'll have to try this again, as it was enough of a success that we all had fun. Jet fell asleep on the way home, and stayed asleep for an hour, while John and I had some really tired vegetables out of our vegetable drawers for lunch in a yakisoba package that didn't have any MSG. I found it at the Safeway and I am pretty happy with it. I'll have to get the regular yakisoba flavor instead of the teriyaki one, though. It was good, but I just felt it was 'off' a little, and it's just because I was expecting yakisoba flavors.

When Jet woke up, I took care of him and then all three of us went upstairs for the Great remodeling, and John did all the work of hauling everything, replugging everything, and moving the home machine over. He hooked up the printer, we talked through the installation of the software and printed a picture of George with Jet in the sling at McGuckins'. That was a cool picture. Jet, however, got his hands on it and bit a hole out of the center of it. Oops. I'm going to have to try some of the nicer papers, eventually, but it was just good to know that it was all working and that I could, probably, even print out the color HTML work emails that have been going around.

John also was great about cleaning up the home machine's desk. He cleared it and cleared out a couple of the drawers and didn't even really look, too much, at the contents. There was just stuff we haven't used for years, and it was time to just move it into storage or do something else with it. Jet and I played on the other side of the fencing while John did all the cord stuff. Jet was fascinated by all the cord wrangling, but it wasn't like he was going to be able to really help out with it. So I just played with him on the other side. At one point, Jet stood up with one half of the top of his upstairs toy box in one hand. He lost his balance and fell, and the corner of the cover cut his cheek and chin.

Poor baby. I held him until he stopped crying, and then John took him down to feed him some solids. He actually ate oatmeal this morning, and had a good solids meal at this time, too. I stayed upstairs and finished off January for my regular journal. It was way past time, and I set up enough stuff so that installing February shouldn't be too much of a problem.

That took me all the way to dinner. I pulled out turkey that I'd frozen from last Thanksgiving, made stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and vegetables. I baked the stuffing on top of the sliced, thawed turkey while I made the gravy. Sometimes I think gravy is really a way of extending a single tablespoon of butter to where it can go over two people's turkey, mashed and dressing. Dinner was surprisingly good. The turkey was tender, juicy and didn't seem like it had been frozen for nearly as long as it had. I had actually taken the pieces, the night I'd roasted the turkey, and wrapped them in plastic and then put the plastic wrapped pieces in foil. So they were well protected against freezer burn, and were as fresh as possible from the roasting. There hadn't been at time of indecision and drying out in the fridge, and I was very impressed with how that had turned out.

The evening, as has been our custom these weeks, was just filled with watching the Olympics. I'm very glad Apolo isn't that badly hurt, and it was very cool to see the Canadian figure skaters awarded their medals. Yay!

I watched some biathlon during the day and I really was impressed by the cross-country skiing and shooting.

We also saw the men's cross-country ski relay race ending, with the Italian trying, so hard, to draft the *entire* way behind the leader, which is very bad form for these races. Just before getting to the stadium, the Italian broke past the other on an uphill, and the leader just tried to stay behind the Italian for a much needed respite, but at the top of the hill the Italian actually stepped out of the lane and tried to get the guy to go in front of him again!! The two of them stopped there for a while, both unwilling to take the harder lead position, especially at the end of the race where the guy in back could see where the other was far more easily.

Finally, the guy that had led the whole way just shrugged and went, as the German, in third place, was closing in on them both. The short rest must have helped him enough, because for the finally sprint he beat the Italian out. I was really glad of that, that the one who had more sportsmanship still won.

Curling was good, at the very end of the day, in part because one of the commentators was supposed to have been there for cross-country skiing commentary, and when the curling commentator got sick, he had to fill in for the other and he was completely clueless about the sport and about the color commentary's use of language. The really great thing was that he knew he was clueless so he was asking all these great questions of the guy who knew his stuff. So we'd get these wonderful explanations, some of them somewhat exasperated, of what the color commentator *meant* by the phrases he was tossing off so casually.

I learned that the four-foot is actually the inside of the target area, that each team has only 70 minutes to finish their part of a match, exactly how the scoring works (the number of stones of the color of the one that is closest to the center of the target at the end of an 'end'/inning), what some of the names of the more colorful combination shots really mean, and the fact that the scrubbing they do in front of a stone actually helps make the stone go straight instead of the natural 'curling' (i.e. curving in the way of the spin on the stone) when they hit rougher ice. So they actually use the brushes to direct the stone as much as making it go faster. I was pretty happy with all that, and I think I could watch a match with more knowledge.

That was pretty neat.

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