Saturday, December 18, 2010

December Unveils True Weirdness

I've just finished wrapping all the family Christmas gifts and stowing them safely under the warm lights of the tree. Ahh. Well, these were my thoughts as I surveyed the oh-so-normal looking packages, knowing the contents of each: If a Christmas thief were to invade my house some day between now and the twenty fifth of this month, he would probably shake his head in frustration as he tried to find anything worth pawning.

Don't look at me. I decided to buy what they wanted this year, so I visited their wish lists and chose something they had requested beforehand. Can I help it if they like strange things? Not really. I'm pretty normal myself. . . So when Elisha requests a tour book of Italy and an ethnodoxology textbook; Claye wants obscure books by Charles Dickens and a Celtic Thunder CD; Carina lists herbal teas and teeny, tiny mixing bowls that look like doll dishes; Art wants a flash light with twisty, magnetic legs, and Turtle fills his wish list with survival gear--since nobody has told him we live in pretty comfortable suburbia--I'm left with no normal gift choices, except for Marie, who doesn't even have a "wish list" and says she's happy with anything. (I'm guessing she'll have one by next year.)

Well, if I told you what I bought them, that would be spoiling the surprise, right? so I'll just use my grandkids as an example. There's little likelihood they will come investigating this blog to see what this grandma bought from their wish lists.

Six-year-old Zaya loves all things Biology and is particularly fascinated with deep sea creatures and germs. His thinkgeek list is swarming with stuffed animals--not the cartoon inspired ones, nor yet the all-little-boy favorite, dinosaurs; no, he collects stuffed microbes, knows them all by name and can't wait to add another one to his shelf. Here are several from his list. (I had to take a picture before I wrapped them together.)
Rabies is the red one with blood-shot eyes, Malaria is wearing a little green jacket around its middle, Gangrene is flat black velvet with a lime-green edge, and MRSA wears a superhero cape. As you can see, they are mighty cute little assassins. However, I'm not altogether certain that I like the idea of my grandson cuddling with them.

And what of five-year-old Mim? Well, she's not quite as fascinated by bacteria, but she did request one special one, so, along with the little girl butterfly bells and sticker books, I gave in and bought it for her. Meet Mono--the kissing disease. Notice her cute little eyelashes.

So when you open that sweater from your daughter, that chocolate from Aunt Sue, just be grateful you aren't getting a gift from me this year...cause you might just get the thing you requested and it would probably be weird.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Ubiquitous Moses and other Exodus Museum Exibits

Here's the final ubiquitous Moses mural...along with a salt map of the journey--prerequisite for any museum tour.

Ten Commandments and the explanation of our museum music, by the young composer herself.

Plagues of Darkness, Hail and Fire. Tabernacle model.

Plague of Frogs and a Golden Lampstand

The Land of Goshen and More Moses

The Battle of Amalek with Aaron and Hur Holding Moses' arms high, and a Passover meal.

A Walk through the Red Sea, Water from a rock, and the Nile turned to blood

Big brother explains his project.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fourth Grade Concert

Parents proudly peer through video lenses
at these precious presents given them
a decade ago.
They smile as they hear childish pitches,
and see the careful poses on high risers.
But I, feeling oddly older than the crowd,
hold high my well-worn camera
to catch the face of the young director,
my son.


One sunny fall morning in Gunnison, Colorado, my lean, home-schooled sophomore and I decided to climb a nearby peak for our bi-weekly physical education. After all, once winter came to stay for the next eight months, we'd be limited to dabbling in ice-skating and other in town activity. So we parked beside the road which led up into the hills, and took off, right up the backside ramp--an easy slope belonging to this group of cliffs called The Palisades.


Our idea was to reach the top and look out over the town without getting too close to the cliffs. Somewhat to our surprise, it was slow climbing for such an easy looking incline, because the ground seemed crumbly in texture, and our steps tended to slide instead of stick. After an hour or so, however, we made it to the top of the ridge--or almost to the top. There, running across the hillside, was a wire fence, one that we hadn't noticed from the road, and about a yard before that, sitting stolidly on a little post planted into the rock, was a sign:

Danger. No Trespassing.
This hill unsafe for climbing!

It turns out that the hill was composed of some kind of volcanic rock--shale, maybe, that frequently gave way to landslides, particularly when disturbed by feet--especially tennis-shoe clad feet of women who didn't know what they were doing on the side of a mountain.
Needless to say we turned around and made our way back to the bottom, not boinging about in our usual fashion either. All the way down we talked about the utter incompetency of the one who placed the sign at the top instead of at the bottom of the hill.

Three-Word-Wednesday prompt-lean, utter, dabble.