Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Unconditional Love

It's very quiet at my house this minute.  Mr. H has gone for a run, Em is still asleep after returning from a camp job for the past few days, and El is still in Montana.  I was sitting in my favorite chair just now, knitting (something for me this time!), and thinking of all the things I have to be thankful for.

The list is quite long: I have 3 daughters that I love very much, who also don't mind being with me. They call when they need advice, when they are excited, and sometimes just whenever.  I have a comfortable home, a job that I enjoy, and things I like to do. But at the top of my list of all these earthly things, there is my husband.  He is always the first one I am thankful for.

He is patient and kind. In fact, he is all the things that 1 Corinthians 13 speaks of.  He loves me unconditionally. And then I started thinking, how do we really know if someone loves us unconditionally? People can't read each other's minds, we can't see into someone else's heart. So how do we really know?

What we can see is the evidence. In the 35 years we have been together, there has never been a time when his actions or words didn't display his love. I can't see into his head or heart, but I can see the outward evidence.

When I made that connection, I had an epiphany: We can display unconditional love to anyone we choose. It doesn't matter how we feel about them. What matters is the evidence. What does that other person see in our actions and hear in our words to them and about them?

You may be thinking that it's hypocritical to make someone think we love them when we don't always feel that way. Why? What have we lost? Have we injured someone by showing them love?

It's not about what we can get out of a relationship.
It's about the value we can add to a relationship.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Family Remedies

My eldest sent me a text this week about one of her cats and an injury it had sustained.  "Gumbo has a boo boo" were her exact words.  She instructed her husband to put Neosporin on it "because it will grow back lost body parts." He had never heard that particular inside family joke. His response was to Google if it's safe to put on cats.  As a matter of fact, it is. My mother would be proud.  She used it for everything. It does NOT, however, grow back lost body parts. Not for lack of trying on her part, though. She never recovered the last section of her index finger that was taken off by her Bassett hound, Wilber. (She probably blamed that on the fact the hospital ER did not use Neosporin in a timely fashion!)

The fact that my daughter remembered my mother's favorite first aid remedy took me on a stroll down memory lane. Both of my grandmothers had a favorite topical treatment. My father's mother preferred Dr. Tichenor's. (I love a company with a sense of humor.  This website just made me smile.) She kept a bottle in her bathroom medicine cabinet.  She used it as a mouthwash. As a child, I recall being lured in by the peppermint smell, then shocked by the experience of the actual taste! *Shiver* But if my brother or I scraped a knee or got bitten by mosquitoes or ants, that bottle came out, accompanied by a large cotton ball to dab it on with.

My mother's mother used a different remedy:  S.T.37. (*sigh* Alas, no sense of humor with this link.) It came in a beautiful blue glass bottle and smelled so sweet. Like the Dr. Tichenor's across town, it lived in the bathroom medicine cabinet and was applied with a cotton ball when not being used as a mouth wash. It was used liberally on the skin ailment of a certain dachshund residing in her household. He didn't seem to mind it a bit. Until recently, I had no idea that S.T.37 was still on the market. I was having a prescription filled at our local pharmacy, Edwards Discount Drugs, and happened to see it on the shelf. (note: if you have never experienced a local pharmacy, you owe yourself a visit. Edwards has a soda fountain and diner, as well as a nice gift section and gun department - a little something for everyone!)

I suppose if I had to name my go-to remedy for cuts and scrapes, it would be the generic bottle of hydrogen peroxide under my sink.  Yes, I have a small tube of Neosporin in the Band-Aid box, but I'm much more likely to open the peroxide bottle and just pour it on my finger over the sink. 

I know: no imagination . . . no magic. I think my daughters enjoy the idea of the mythical properties my mother attributed to her favorite. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

VBS: Day 3 Power Transfer

I've been looking forward to this day for quite some time!

Today is the day that we present the Good News that Jesus died for us.

For the wages of sin to be paid, there must be a death.  Not just an appearance of death, but a real death. Jesus REALLY died.  And then was raised from death with great power.  We have access to that power:  it is transferred to us.

Our science illustration for that transfer of power employs an instrument of death:  the dreaded mousetrap!

There is tremendous power in that spring.  What else can it be used for?  Powering a car, of course.  Transfer that power to the axle and watch it go.

We demonstrated 2 models in our Mad Science lab today.  One used the same wheels and axles that our RA's have used on their CO2 racers. For the 2nd model I used old CDs for the wheels.  Both models work really well.  One is faster, the other goes farther.

If you want to build your own, here is a link to a simple model using cardboard wheels.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

VBS: time for more science!

It's that time of year again: VBS!

And for me, that means more Mad Science.

Our theme for Day 1 was "Eyewitness". Just as John the Baptist was an eyewitness to the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus, our agents can be witnesses, as well.

And to practice those eyewitness skills, we observed several eruptions to see which was bigger.

What you need:
3 small containers such as film canisters or small cups
corn starch
baking powder
baking soda
Tray, pan or other vessel for containing the eruption

What you do:
Put equal amounts of corn starch, baking powder, and baking soda into separate containers. If using empty film canisters, 1 teaspoon will be plenty.  If using coffee cups, try using 2 teaspoons.  Place the containers into a tray or pan with raised edges.

Pour about 2 oz. of vinegar into the cornstarch and observe. Do the same with the baking powder.  Repeat with the baking soda.  Which made the biggest eruption?

Now try this: Bubble Bomb.

For a bigger eruption (but still indoor/kitchen friendly) check out this link to elephant toothpaste.  The experiment as printed calls for 20 volume (6%) hydrogen peroxide, which can be purchased at beauty supply stores.  I tried it in my kitchen using 3% hydrogen peroxide purchased at the dollar store.  That worked fine and I didn't have to worry about sensitive skin getting burned.

Be sure to touch this one!  It's an exothermic reaction, which means that it generates heat!