Sunday, October 28, 2007

You are who you are

In many ways, my brother and I are extensions of who we were as children. We've grown and matured, of course, but we spend our days in much the same fashion.

I was an indoor kid. I read piles of books, and, after Mrs. McNeil's third grade class, I wrote story after story. I liked to be in the kitchen. I still have my kids' cookbook with the inscription "To the Jr. Mom." At church, I was always in the nursery helping out and I usually had a couple of little kids trailing around with me. As I got older, I helped with VBS and I babysat just about every weekend.

Not too much has changed.

And the same goes for my brother. A climbing, scrabbling, never-sit-still kid from the time he could walk, Mom used to joke she had to check him for a tail. He was an outdoor kid, digging in his Oshkosh overalls then playing Rambo in camo and army surplus gear. He drew army men, read about army men, and studied planes and tanks and guns. We caught him on the roof one time, using my dad's expensive binoculars to observe the preserve behind our house.

Not too much has changed. Well, he doesn't wear the headband. And his gun doesn't have the orange indicator of a water gun.

He left for Afghanistan almost three weeks ago. When I called him a few days before he left, I just kept laughing at the voice that on one hand talks so seriously about his mission and his part of the country he'll be working in and the other that's doing Simpsons quotes and comparing K to Texas and how he'll still have to get haircuts. He complained, mockingly, that if he gets the night shift, he'll be so pasty. He wants to be out in the thick, where he can influence and affect change, not sitting inside at a computer.

That's my brother. He's been training for this all his life.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Theology according to Rebekah

At bedtime a few nights ago...
D: You know, Rebekah, when you get out of bed you are disobeying Mom & Dad. And that means you are disobeying God.....(continues with God-centered lesson in authority and submission).
R: But Dad, God takes away all our sin.
D: flabergasted and speechless

This morning...
R: Mom, where's God?
A: God is everywhere.
R: But we can't see him.
A: Right. Remember, God is a spirit and has not a body like a man. (That's Question 9).
R: But He has a mouth.
A: No, God is a spirit. He doesn't have a mouth like you and I do.
R: But he does cuz He speaks to us.

Sometime after getting in trouble (I've lost count and don't remember which exact instance)...
R: But Grandma loves me when I get in trouble.

I think Grandma meant more like "even when you get in trouble." She certainly has grace down.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Lightness of Eyre

Book club time again. We read the rollicking, good time read The Eyre Affair, a Thursday Next novel, by Jasper Fforde. Not for the nonliterary minded, its a sci-fi, crime mystery concerned with literary criminals, the security of original manuscripts, and endless debate on who really wrote Shakespeare's plays. In Great Britain in 1985, the Crimean War is still going on, characters can get out of their novels, people can stop time, and a group of special agents called LiteraTecs track down fraudulent manuscripts, keep the Baconians in line, and regulate the thousands of people who've changed their name to John Milton. In this story super-evil Acheron Hades has stolen the original manuscript of Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit and the evil Goliath Corporation, headed by Jack Schitt (gotta love that!), has a powerful weapon that can obliterate an army. Hades kidnaps Jane Eyre midway through her novel and threatens to kill her too. All the plot points do work together, trust me! While it definitely calls for major suspension of disbelief (people have genetically reproduced the dodo as a house pet), This is one of the most creative novels I have read. There are two more novels in the series involving more literary intrigue.

At the same time, while waiting for The Eyre Affair at the library, I picked up Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being which has been on my shelf for a few years. A completely different read than Eyre and certainly not light; the narrator begins by quoting Nietzsche. The story is relatively simple. In Czechoslovakia during the Soviet takeover, chronic womanizer Tomas finds himself torn between his inexplicable love for a young woman, Tereza, and his inability to be faithful to her. Their story, as well as that of his mistress Sabina and her lover Franz, explores the paradox of lightness and weight and soul and body, the futility of language, the charade and the reality of politics, propaganda, and resistance. The first half of the novel read fairly quickly even with all the philosophy but the second half took a more vulgar turn and got a bit bogged down in Soviet politics. It's an odd book and not one I would just recommend to anyone but intriguing.

P.S. Our next book club selection is Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity by Laura Winner. Many of us have already read it but Winner is coming to RTS in November and we're hoping to hear her. A fantastic, must-read for all Christians (even those already married and especially the ones with kids/teens). I have enjoyed and been challenged by her writing. Check out Girl Meets God (her conversion memoir) and Mudhouse Sabbath (on Jewish/Christian spiritual disciplines).

Sunday, October 7, 2007

It works for us

Today is our 7th wedding anniversary--I made it easy for Dave by marrying him in '00!

Friday night we had dinner at Silvano's--a favorite, quiet, really cozy place where they remember your face, name, and usually what you ate last time you were there. Of course, when you're my husband and order the pork chop (with either Gorgonzola cream sauce or balsamic reduction) it's pretty easy. They were busy Friday night so we left after dinner and drove around a bit thinking of where we could go for coffee and dessert, all the while listening to ESPN Radio for the Yankee game. But oh, the horror, the horror, at the 7th inning stretch, we were switched to coverage of Lake Brantley HS football. So we ended up sitting at the bar in TGI Friday's, ate a brownie sundae, drank coffee, and watched a few more innings until D was completely disgusted at his Yanks and we went home.

This is not so unusual for us, even on major celebrations or events. Let's see--attending UCF games together (sorta a first date), MNF after the first dinner I cooked for him, wedding reception during a FSU-Miami game where he got score updates throughout (we paused in the lobby of our honeymoon hotel to watch the final field goal attempt), even Sports Center cycling through while in labor with R.

So last night we got the kids in bed early and popped champagne. And by tonight, I'm blogging in one room while he plays NCAA Football on the XBox and gets more disgusted with the Yankees. Ah, the romance is still alive!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Listen to Your Mother

This one's been going around, I know, but hilarious!