Angels We Have Heard
Are High

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Cavalcade of Bad Nativities
it came upon a midnight weird

The Passion of the Tchotchke
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Stations of the Kitsch


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Tuesday, November 25, 2003

greetings from the midwest

I made it to Michigan without incident. Dennis drove me to the airport at a ridiculously early hour today, and then I just let United Airlines run my life for 6 hours. I'm here until Saturday. I'm spending tomorrow with middle niece MacKenzie, and have plans with Sarah, the oldest, on Friday. The three-year-old seems rather unimpressed with me thus far and is not seeking one-on-one time.

My mom made sugar cookies with Hershey's kisses in the middle and I think I've eaten a dozen so far.

I brought a bunch of books with me, since I never know what my mood will be once I get on the plane. I ended up continuing my re-read of Return of the King (embarrassing movie tie-in cover version - I always feel dorky reading those, like I couldn't be trusted to pick up a book that isn't already a major motion picture). I also read a crappy mystery that was 480 pages and lasted me only 2 hours of the flight. I left it on a chair in O'Hare with a note that said FREE!, so maybe it's on to someone who will enjoy it more. I should have planned ahead and had a bookcrossing number for it.

I'll wish you all a happy Thanksgiving now in case I don't make it back here!
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Sunday, November 23, 2003

model magic saved me

Another good day in Godly Play. The thing that has made the class work is so silly - I've been giving each of the kids a little piece of Model Magic (best. clay. ever., made by Crayola) before I start telling the story. I say that I don't want to see their clay, which means no throwing it, no using it to distract other people, etc. so it doesn't turn into clay-based anarchy, and then I go into the story. I've had two classes in a row where I've been able to tell the whole story with no interruptions and no extra fingers in the desert box. They all sit quietly and work their clay while they listen. It's amazing!

The other thing that's cool is that now they're really fired up about using the clay. Today we decorated the temple pieces that they made last time. I had told the story of the temple in Jerusalem, and all the things inside it, and they decided to make all of the pieces out of clay and let them harden. They have a bunch of new ideas about things they want to make next. I need to find out what kind of markers and paints work the best on Model Magic, because they were using sharpies today and it was frustrating.

One of the things we always ask during wondering time is where the kids think they are in the story. It was sad today to hear some of the kids say that they're out in the desert in exile. It's hard to be reminded that being 10 can really suck.

And then there are the kids who have total faith and you just want to slip up to them and ask if you can get a little of that.
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hi ho hi ho

My friend whose husband is the organist at St. Ned's once told me that when their alarm goes off on Sunday morning, they yell, CHURCH and then hit the snooze. Over and over.

I'm doing the same thing this morning, because I have to be there to teach Godly Play. It's my last time on this rotation, and then I'm off until January. I have mixed feelings about that, because I don't know if I can wait that long. I may have to find a way to worm my way into a classroom.

I'm teaching Exile and Return this week, which is good because it answers some questions the kids had last time. I learned that you shouldn't say "...and then the temple was destroyed later." unless you know who destroyed it, when, and why. Because they will ask. So I get to feel mildly competent this week and tell them what happened.

This was also the incident which made us realize that when we set up the classroom, we didn't put any Bibles in it. D'oh. So now there are Bibles and some other interesting books I think the kids will like, mostly about the historical period since they want to know what life was like then. I'm still looking for a really good Biblical atlas suitable for 5th graders. I keep checking at that place that I sold huge boxes of my old books to this summer, since I have a bunch of credit there I don't think I'll ever get through on my own.

Ranger Sara Laundry Tip: don't leave a spool of thread in your pants pocket. It's just not a good idea at all.
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