Wednesday, March 28, 2007


A long time ago, when I lived in southern Colorado, it was not at all unusual to have a sunny January morning with highs in the mid-6o's, followed by a foot of snow that evening. This led to the expression, "if you don't like the weather, just wait a minute and it will change."

I don't know who coined that term or if Colorado can lay claim to it, but surely, southern Oregon is a close second in the changeable weather pattern category. This week is a prime example. It's spring break here in our region...and boy, did it look it. The flowers are starting to bloom. You can smell fresh cut grass in the year. Gorgeous sunshine. It's's's spring.

And then came Tuesday....

The above shots were taken from one of the porches of our church. It snowed and rained all morning. At times, the flakes were as big as dollar pancakes! Fortunately, nothing stuck to the roads, but this and the afternoon winds made this a very chilly spring day.

March came in like a lion. But with only three and one-half days left, it remains to be seen if the month will truly go out like a lamb.


Okay, I like games, but I'm not what one could call a devoted game player. That, plus the fact that I was very tired the afternoon of my mother-in-law's birthday picnic, caused my dear family to say, "you could take a nap in the motor home while we play games at the picnic table." I thought that sounded I brought a book and some studying materials with me.

Well, it was cold outside and leftover winter snow had buried any chance of picnic table games (see previous post for details). So the family had game time inside the R.V. Since sleep was impossible (and after a little coaxing), I participated. The game: Charoodles!

I don't know how long this game has been around (knowing how much I follow games, it's probably been blogged about a dozen times in the past decade!), but I was pleasantly surprised. It is played like charades, only the participants are given four objects to use as props: an orange foam ball, a tube like thingy, a cup, and square piece of foam. You announce the category and then you have a short time to act out as many items on the list as possible. For example, the category could be "things to do on the beach". Items would be surfing, volleyball, swimming, eating, etc. Some of the categories require you to use a specific prop, while others are open. But a prop must be used and, just like charades, you cannot say anything.

What I liked most about the game is that it reminded me of and reinforced an activity from a children's workshop I attended; namely that as children's ministers, we can look at ordinary objects in extraordinary ways. A stick becomes a sceptre. A yo-yo becomes a pendulum. A couple of paper tubes becomes a pair of binoculars. Those of us who work with children are used to "thinking on our feet" with this stuff. Of course, there's a larger lesson at work as well: we need to have the imagination and courage to think outside the proverbial box, to see things not as they neccesarily are, but what they may become.

I'm very seriously considering taking Charoodles to our next staff meeting. It'll be fun!


Getting out for picnics and camping trips is always a bit of a challenge for us. We enjoy it...but it seems like we get to the end of the summer and wonder if we should have done more.
Well, spring has no sooner taken hold then we have already had two..count 'em..TWO picnics in the woods. Who knows? This could be the summer of the great outdoors for our family. Here's a couple of pics from a couple of pic-nics (hey nifty play on words, there!

This is our dog Drea, half lab, half retriever, and all attitude. She likes the great outdoors...and whatever it is that gets her attention and stops her in her tracks (not sure what it was!)We ate at a campsite called "Four-Bit Ford." Technically, the campgrounds are not even open yet. The winter debris was all around, the trash cans weren't set up, and there was not a soul around. But as the afternoon sun shone through the forest, with the smoke from our hot dog fire drifting along, it was a very pleasent outing.

A week after our Four-Bit Ford adventure, we headed up Highway 62 to some of our favorite spots. We were celebrating my mother-in-law's birthday, so she took us all in her R.V. for some picnicing fun. But we encountered sign after sign that announced the campground was closed (such as Union Creek above). We finally found a spot near a campground. It's called "Wayside" and it is mostly a big parking lot with a nice restroom. An amphitheatre and meeting gazebo are mere yards away, making this a great place for meetings and get-togethers. It was too cold to eat outside, so we had lunch and played games in the motor home. All in all, a nice relaxing time.One of the issues at the campsites was snow. Here is the meeting gazebo, surrounded by about a foot (maybe a little less) of snow.Snow or no snow, southern Oregon mountains have some incredibly tall pine trees to admire! As one kid said, "God sure must be big to make something so big." Yup!