Sunday, March 26, 2006

Mega Strawberries

We have been excited that strawberries are in season. At Wal-Mart, they had these HUGE ones. A lot of times when you get fruit that is freakishly large, it doesn't taste good, but these were fantastic. Carolina makes a fruit dip with cream cheese, brown sugar, and vanilla that is delicious on apples and strawberries. Posted by Picasa

Turning 98

This weekend, my family came to town, which was nice. They hadn't been to Searcy in a long time, and I was glad they came for a visit. Saturday, we went over to Missouri for my Great-Grandfather's 98th Birthday party. I think he's well on target to reach 100. I was talking with my cousin-in-law, Matt, and we agreed that we should take an inventory of some of the cool things we ought to do when we reach 98.

Granddaddy Adams is the most laid back person on the planet, and has been for decades. Every year, he doesn't even feel like coming down for his birthday party. Upon opening his presents, he said, "What am I going to do with all this junk?" He refused to blow out the candles, but did agree to pose as if he was blowing on them. The best part had to do with that diet coke in front of him. They served him his cake first, and gave him the coke, and then he picked it up, took a big swig of it, slammed it down on the table, and let a loud, confident sigh, "AAaaaahhhhhhh."

He's hilarious, but I'm not sure whether he always intends to be or not. Carolina and I sat down with him and talked a little. I don't really know what you talk to a 98-year-old person about. I know his TV is always on, but when I asked what he likes to watch, he said that he just has it on so there's a picture to look at, and sounds to listen to, but he doesn't care about any of it.

It is really striking that he has lived for this long, and has so few health problems. He's done nothing hardly for decades besides watch TV and eat junk food. I know many a person who's spent countless hours worrying about their diet and exercising regularly, but has died long before they reached 98.

Since my parents were at church, I began my sermon this morning by mentioning their presence, and telling everyone that my great-grandfather had just turned 98. Not thinking about what I was saying, I followed that with, "I've often wondered if any of those good genes got passed down to me. I guess most of you will never know." At any rate, since this blog is the closest thing I keep to a diary, here's a solid record of 4 generations of Adams men. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Country's Best Yogurt...Or Is It?

Tonight Carolina and I went to Cirque Du Soleil, or however you spell that. We liked it pretty well, but there were some things about it we didn't like so much. Overall, we're glad we went, but we don't plan to go again. I don't feel like writing a huge blog about it like I did the Trans-Syberian Orchestra.

I think my favorite part of the evening was actually in the car on the way there. We went with our friends Andrew, Poncho, Vianey (I can't spell his wife's name), and our friend Daniel was planning to come, but couldn't, so another friend of ours named Leonardo came.

Leonardo is from Costa Rica, which is an interesting country. They say "Costa Rica" like we do. They don't roll their R's down there. At any rate, I was asking him what he thought about the USA. We were talking about different restaurants and businesses, and somehow TCBY came up.

Leonardo got real excited, "They have TCBY here?!! I LOVE TCBY!" Carolina said, "Yeah, duh, it started in Arkansas, and had its headquarters here until just recently when the owner sold it."

I chipped in, "What did you think TCBY stood for? It's "The Country's Best Yogurt". Down there it would have to be "El Yogurt Mejor De Costa Rica...EYMDCR or something."

He said, "Oh, I just assumed it was "The Costa-Ricans' Best Yogurt"

I guess you had to be there.

Church of Christ Minister Found Slain

This is really bad, and I'm sure more details will be forthcoming, but here's an article that shocked me today.

Tennessee Minister Found Slain; Amber Alert Issued for Family
Thursday, March 23, 2006

SELMER, Tenn. A church minister was found shot to death in his parsonage,
and authorities were searching for his missing wife and three young
daughters Thursday.

It wasn't immediately clear if the woman and children were abducted or if
they were involved in the crime and fled.

Church members went searching for pastor Matthew Winkler late Wednesday when
he didn't show up for an evening service at Fourth Street Church of Christ,
police said. They used a key to enter the parsonage and found him dead in a
bedroom. His family was gone.

Selmer Police Chief Neal Burks said Thursday that Winkler, 31, had been

"We're just really puzzled," Burks said. He said investigators weren't sure
if Winkler's wife had the children or if any outsiders were involved in
Winkler's death and the family's disappearance.

According to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson,
there were no signs of forced entry at the parsonage.

The bureau issued an Amber Alert early Thursday for the couple's daughters,
Breanna, 1, Mary Alice, 6, and Patricia, 8. The alert said the girls may be
with their mother, Mary Winkler.

Mary Winkler was last seen late Tuesday afternoon picking up the children
from school, said Ed Jones, TBI assistant director. Burks said she worked as
a substitute teacher at the elementary school.

Arkansas state police were alerted to be on the lookout for the family's van
but said Thursday morning that they had had no sightings of the family or
their minivan.

The family had been living in Selmer, a town of about 4,600 residents in
western Tennessee, for about a year, Burks said.

An Idea For A Youth Group Activity

I've been teaching our teens' class on Wednesday nights. I try and find ways to integrate cartoons, video clips, and various visual aids to make the class engaging and memorable. I think in teaching teenagers, there is a line that has to be drawn, because sometimes we cater so much to their lack of attention spans, we make the problem worse. Most of our young people just need to learn how to think better without needing so many lights and sounds to get their attention. But that's another post...

Since most of them spend all day in a classroom bored, like I did, they are especially unenthusiastic about church on Wednesday nights, and I've been trying to find some activities to integrate with the class material to help them get something out of it, and be able to actively participate. I had an idea that we tried yesterday, and it went pretty well, so for any of you who are looking for youth activity ideas, here's on:

I wanted them to think about how to integrate their Christian faith in the various life situations in which they find themselves. I compiled a list of Scriptures that teach a principle for Christian living, and then I made a separate list of all kinds of places--some realistic and some rather unrealistic--in which the teens might find themselves. I cut up all the scriptures and locations and put them into two different cups. We break into two groups of 5-6, they draw one from each cup, then they come up with a skit that embodies the Scripture being taught in the setting they selected.

It has the potential to be a lot of fun, and it's been a good way to immediately get some of our visitors involved. The first week, the skits didn't go as well, but last night, they took them a little more seriously, and did a genuinely good job.

If you would like to try this yourself, dear reader, you can download the lists I used here.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Grizzly Bear Warning

Date: Thur, March 2, 2006 11:13:35 -0500

In light of the rising frequency of human/grizzly bear conflicts, the Montana Department of Fish and Game is advising hikers, hunters, and fishermen to take extra precautions and keep alert for bears while in the field.

We advise those at risk to wear noisy little bells on their clothing so as not to startle bears that aren't expecting them. "We also advise them to carry pepper spray with them in case they encounter a bear.

"It is also a good idea to watch out for fresh signs of bear activity. People should be able to distinguish the difference between black bear and grizzly bear poop. "Black bear poop is smaller and contains lots of berries and squirrel fur. Grizzly bear poop has little bells in it and smells like pepper."