Monday, July 30, 2007

Teaching Envrionmental Sustainability with Salsa

On Thursday, the Kenyon Conference Kid's Program learned about Environmental Sustainability by visiting an organic farm, learning about Worm Poop and using vegetables from that garden to make salsa:

Not only did the kids have a great time learning about taking care of natural resources and eating locally, they also made a really FANTASTIC salsa. There were 3 tables, so one made mild, one medium, and one hot.

Here's our recipe:
4 medium tomatoes or 4 handfulls of cherry/grape tomatoes
1/2 medium onion
1/2 green pepper
1 clove garlic
(for medium salsa, add 2 spicy banana peppers. for hot salsa, add 1 spicy bananna pepper and 1 jalapeno)
Chop all into small but varied-sized pieces. mix in bowl.
1 TB fresh parsley or other green herb
3-4 pinches salt
3-4 pinches sugar
juice from 1/2 lime.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Workshop Rotation MDGs

The Episcopal Church is very interested in the Millennium Development Goals
I'm helping with the Children's Program at this year's Kenyon Conference, and we are doing Workshop Rotation Model with the MGDs for the children this year. It's fun and exhausting, and really delightful what the children are teaching us.

Here is Tracy from LeaderResources teaching our preschoolers about how girls fetch water in other parts of the world.

And here is my Charlie playing a great game the kids did using small cups going to a "river" (blue tarp with pan of water) and returning to fill up a gallon jug.

And here is Charlie at the Elevation. Since he was just over 2, he has broken crackers or cookies or whatever he has and wants us to say, "Alleluia, Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us...Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia."

The kids just LOVE playing church. Surprisingly or not, it seems to be the kids whose parents are in full-time ministry that always want to play the part of priest. But even the kids who aren't jostling to be preist are still very engaged in the play.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Charlie's First Tomato

We did a little container gardening this year for the first time. We have planters on our deck, and we eat dinner their most nights. Every night, Charlie will show us each plant and the new growth on it.

By helping care for these plants, Charlie is learning the basics of caring for another. He can see the results if we forget to water it, or if caterpillars start eating them. And he can see what happens when he chooses to help the plant by watering it or picking off the bugs.
The things he's learning this summer at 3 1/2 with plants will grow into an ability not just to take care of plants, but to take care of pets, nurture friendships, and someday be a caring, helpful partner.

900 Messages a Day

Educators, parents and others get fairly anxious when they realize that average child see or hears 900 messages from the media and advertisers each day. They agonize over ways to counter those messages. Suddenly this week I had an epiphany:

God gives us way more than 900 messages a day, if only we attend to them.

I realized this after I had called Charlie away from his play to look at a tiny down feather I found on our deck. It was blue near the quill, beige in the center, and brownish red at the top. It was beautiful and tiny, and I wanted to share it with someone. The next day as we were walking out to the car after a rain, I saw that the moss on our fence post had bloomed, and we got out of the car to look at it, and compare it to the moss on the other fence posts and generally take some time looking at really tiny things.

We are surrounded by beauty and miracles. We can choose to attend to them, and encourage our children when they do. That is how to counter 900 media messages.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Amazing Prayer Request

Charlie had a rough night tonight. Being 3 1/2, it seems he sometimes just needs to melt down. He lost it just before he and Shawn were to play their nightly ritual of "Tickle Monster" which involves running around our king bed, lots of "ug!" and "Ha!"s and much giggling.

They went downstairs to get calmed down, and as that was happening, baby Luke fell asleep and I put him in our Amby (which was Charlie's until a month ago).

Poor Charlie, when he came upstairs ready to go, they couldn't play Tickle Monster because baby Luke was asleep in our family bedroom. And to add insult to injury, he was sleeping in (Charlie's) Amby.

Charlie cried some, but was able to hold it together. We snuggled into his bed and I asked him what he wanted to pray for. The one thing he said?

"Thank you that baby Luke grew in your belly and came out."

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Luke's Baptism

Luke was baptized on Sunday, and it went beautifully! When it came time for the baptism, the congregation sang Wade in the Water and then we all walked over to a statue of a couple of dancers where an empty bowl and a whole lot of small watering cans sat.

After the questions and prayers, it was time to add water to the baptismal bowl/font. The children were invited to do this, and we talked about how God's love for us is overflowing just like this bowl of water. Then the children joined me in blessing the water.

Oh, yes. And one of Luke's Godmothers couldn't make it to the service so we called her on my cellphone which I had in my breast pocket under my stole. Luke could hear her singing and responding, and kept wanting to grab the phone and talk to her.

Even though the water was very cold, Luke enjoyed being baptized and sealed with holy oil. Then, at the peace I told the children that it is traditional to sprinkle the congregation with the blessed water after a baptism. It didn't take long until the bowl was empty!
What a joyful baptism.