My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Writing Tips, Bible School, and Grateful Wed

I'd like to share a great site with you all. It's actually not a blog but a series of essays on writing. Very good. Also, if you have not checked out JKRowling's commencement address at Harvard, you must google it today. It's fantastic.

I'm teaching Bible school this week. I'm the person who 'teaches' the Bible story of the day. So I dress up like the character, study the story as much as possible, then do a 15-20 minute monologue as if I'm that character, telling the story. It's interesting because it's a lot like writing. A good monologue has to have an attention-grabbing beginning, a climactic middle, and then a memorable ending, preferably with a twist. Today I was Zacchias. (Is that spelled right?) You know, the wee little man? As I was preparing, I realized how much like Tony Soprano he was, so my monologue today had a New Jersey gangster kind of feel. Anyway, that kind of thought and interpretation made me think about how popular fractured fairy tales were so popular. Some fractured Bible stories would probably find an audience, wouldn't you think? If you kept the most basic truth, would it be blasphemous? What do you think? Not that I have a project pending, but it just made me wonder. OH, yeah! I just remembered. Veggie Tales already did it. And SO WELL! So anyway, for all you writers out there, I highly recommend such an exercise for you. Churches everywhere are looking for willing bible school teachers or maybe you're already teaching, consider taking on this portion of it. It's a great writing exercise, not to mention the whole jewels in your crown thing. I mean, is there any greater honor than relaying these old stories and making them real to kids today? Not for me.

Chautauqua is approaching and I'm very, very excited, nervous, intimidated, and wishing I had more time to write. If any Chautauqua attendees are reading out there, I need some packing tips, please.

Everyone out there remind me of this fact: packing kids for camp is a pain in the ass. Next year, no one's going to camp who can't pack him or herself. Actually, my kids COULD pack themselves, but then they get there, missing something critical and who's the fall guy? MOM! But anyway, aaaaaaarrrrrrrggggghhhhhhhhhh.

I challenge you all to have the no tv in summer rule. The first day or so is HELL, and when you go to other peoples' houses, you have to forbid your kids from running to THEIR television. But after a few days, they forget, really. My son spent HOURS building a whole lego village this afternoon and then reading a book. One of my daughters is finally reading the Harry Potter books after turning her nose up at them for years--yee haw. And my five-year-old is training for the whiny olympics with these two sentences: 1. Help me up on the trampoline. (tramp-ooooh-leeeeeeeeeen) 2. Puh-lease let me have another popsicle. (yes, his teeth and lips are permanently blue already) Okay, so he's not a good example although he has listened to his Bible school cd about a hundred times.

What are some of your summer rules? Please share because I need a few more, I'm sure, and so must all the readers. ( BTW, what's up with no one leaving comments? This blog had 34 hits yesterday and no comments?)

And I almost forgot, it's Thankful Wed. This week I'm thankful for the special blessings of summer.
1. I'm grateful for Bible school with all its fun, learning, music, and crafts. I especially appreciate all the people all over the US who work hard to provide this experience for kids.
2. I'm grateful for push-up popsicles. You know the kind that you can buy about 300 at a time? These are the best summer snacks for anyone. Also, if you eat about half the popsicle, then add vodka and refreeze propped up on something so it doesn't spill, it makes a good grown-up sickle.
3. I'm grateful for the beach. It's sheer perfection. God's gift to families--the ultimate playground.
4. I'm grateful for vinegar which is enormously helpful to even the worst jellyfish stings and makes one heck of a household cleaner. (yes, I've gone to Green Clean!)
5. I'm grateful for hot, fresh coffee and cold, ice water.
6. I'm grateful for summer baseball. There is NOTHING more entertaining than a bunch of 7 and 8 year olds playing a passionate game of baseball.

Have a great week! xoxox


Liz said...

I have had trouble logging on to leave comments- why oh why am I so challenged in this area??

We do a no TV rule from time to time during the school year but not usually in the summer. We do, however, mix things up a bit in the summer. Every year, just before school lets out, we make a list of new experiences we want to embark upon during the summer. One year I insisted that one of those experiences be "eat a tuna fish sandwich" because until then, both of my children had refused to eat one. I was so sure they would both completely love them that they would demand tuna fish sandwiches every day of their lives. That was the one and only time either of them has had a tuna fish sandwich. Alas, it was not to be. How does one dislike them? They are truly scrumptiously delicious!! (Hey! Remember Truly Scrumptious from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang??)

Another that same year was to take a trolley tour of our historic little town. Two for this year include going to Ocean Breeze Water Park in Va Bch and building their Dutch vocabulary (they are half Dutch). I usually throw in a new chore for them that will continue into the school year. It's fun- they love crossing them off the list as we do/learn. They are always a mix of educational, fun and practical. There are usually some left over (once we all get going, we come up with a lot of pretty cool ideas) and we save them for the next summer- something to look forward to.

Jody said...

My rule for my 13 year old daughter is, "You have to do your algebra before you use your computer." I know, sad life, but she's taking a full year of algebra over the summer (long story.)

I guess I don't have a lot of other rules.

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman