Sunday, January 29, 2012

Married to a Pastor: parsonage

Don't be jealous, but we live in a parsonage. It always strikes me as funny that we live in California, where the normal ministry rules don't apply, but we live in a parsonage.

This was a huge, scary deal to me when Steven told me that the church where he was interviewing had a parsonage. Oh yeah, and it's next door to the church. Great.

Honestly, we haven't had any issues with it, though. I wish there was a funny story behind this to make my blog post a better one. Hmmm.....anyone want to do something to change this?

We really wouldn't be able to make it here without the parsonage. We are at a small church and we live in stinking expensive California. The parsonage allows us to live here and serve at this church.

The house was built by the men at our church in 1970. There are parts of it that are really outdated and the carpet  is in sad, sad condition. But, it is solid house. I mean, I look around at the cabinets and the house is just built really, really well.

I think it's amazing that it was built by some of the members of our church, who are still around. (People live forever out here)

The church members are very giving with our needs for the parsonage, too.  When the dishwasher went out, I got to go pick out the new one. I had heard horror stories about parsonages before. Like families who have to have yearly inspections of the house (don't get any ideas!). That is not the way that we are treated here.  The house was freshly painted before we moved in. I mean, they even let my parents live with us.

There is a small part of me as a middle class girl that wishes we were building equity into something. But, really  does it matter? We are living in a house that is nice and it's actually convenient for Steven to work next door. If he has  a meeting at night, he can pop over and see the kids after school.

I need to work on my hospitality and have church members over more often. Right after we moved in, we had everyone over for Grilled (bbq'd) hamburgers. Mr. Jee, who helped build the house and is in his 90s, complimented something in the house and told me that it was the first time that he had been invited over to the house.

So, there's no horror story to go along with our stay in the parsonage. Our church is so gracious to us. Have you heard any crazy stories about pastors living in the parsonage?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


This is a picture that I took last Friday morning at McDonald's. 

George is one of Steven's friends. They eat breakfast at McDonald's and talk and talk and talk. 

Last Friday, they started talking about a radio show that George was on. George wanted credit for being on a radio show called "how does your garden grow?". So, Steven edited the wikipedia page. George thought this was great that you could edit the internet!

George is a very interesting man and can talk to a brick wall. He has met his match in Steven. They are really good friends and I snapped this picture while they were editing wikipedia. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Kitchen timer

Patrick's new favorite game is to take our Kitchen timer and use it like an alarm clock. He makes us pretend to go to sleep. We have to snore and close our eyes.

He sets the timer and makes it go off. Then, when the timer goes off, we "wake up" and yell and he laughs hysterically.

The funniest part is that Patrick calls this his clock.

Guess what letter he doesn't pronounce when he is saying clock?


So, Patrick runs around our house yelling "where's my cock?".

Friday, January 20, 2012

Creative Girl

Maggie decided to make a newsletter last night. This was totally unprompted by me. I promise. I had a newsletter when I was little that was called the "Kitty Comet". I sent it out to my friends and family and updated them on what was going on and had jokes in it.

My mom also had a newsletter. It was called the "Twinkly Times" and it was sent out to her friends, too.

Here's Maggie's newsletter. It's called "Maggie Cookie Jar Chronicles". She printed out 40 copies and handed them out to her classmates and friends at school.(the format didn't come out right on my blog...just imagine cuteness).

Written by: Maggie Cole                              January 19, 2012

Yesterday, I got a lot of new food. I could not stop eating. We got chocolate popsicles. We got Phineas and Ferb fruit snacks and a lot more. It was SOOO hard to stop eating!  School was okay that day.

Copper, my puppy, is kinda crazy and you might already know this, but he bites me a lot.  Copper likes to herd people’s feet, especially my brother, Patrick.
Angry Birds. It makes me kind of angry when I lose a level. I don’t like it when the pigs snort at me.

One time, a really long time ago, we were watching the show, Cupcake Wars. It was very frustrating when the team wanted to win did something bad. We made cupcakes one time for a baby shower. The cupcakes looked like cupcake suns.  Candy corns on the cupcakes were the rays of sunshine. The baby’s name was going to be Sunnie! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pastor's wife's expectations

Maybe I'll make this a Sunday blog topic. We'll see how vulnerable I feel.

Let me tell you a little story. When we moved to our church, there were about 40 people attending. About twenty of them were in their 20s and 20 of them were were over 50.

One of the people in the over 50 crowd came up to me one of the first Sundays after Steven started working at the church with a big smile on her face.

She said, "I hear you can play the piano."

Confused, I replied, "well, I took piano lessons in middle school. But, I'm not good at it."

She said, "No. THEY told me that you could play the piano."

I told her that I was sorry, but I couldn't play the piano.

She looked so disappointed. Then, she said, "I know what I'll do. I'll started praying that God will give you this gift."

I honestly don't remember what I said to this. I probably smiled and tried to cover up the emotion on my face.

It's so funny, but I understand what she wanted. She wanted our church to go back to hymns played on the piano (you know, the way God intended). She wanted the old pastor back who plays the piano beautifully. Maybe I could be the answer to that.

It's so cliche, isn't it? For the pastor's wife to play the piano? Isn't it a course that they offer seminary wives? (just kidding)

I haven't had to deal with situations like this very often. But, I think it gives me a glimpse into what some people expect for wives married to ministers.

Even if you aren't in ministry, you can probably relate. What have you expectations have you experienced in ministry or in life? How do you handle it when you don't fit the mold?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Patrick's world

Steven and I were talking about Patrick last night and really how bizarre it is that we are raising and loving for "someone else's child." I mean, he's ours, but isn't that kind of strange when you really think about it?

I noticed that he says a few words with a southern accent. Yes, we are raising him right.

Isn't that bizarre? He was born here and lives here. But, he is being raised by people from the south and Texas.(Texas isn't the south, according to my husband).

I started thinking about children who are adopted and raised in a culture that is different from there own. It's an amazing concept when you really think about it.

Not that being southern is exactly the same thing. But, don't worry, we are raising him well and true to his NorCal roots. Today, on the way to Sandee's house, we were looking for school buses and we passed an orchard. He said, "look, almond trees".

I was shocked. I mean, his vocabulary is coming along, but he doesn't use a lot of words that are clearly spoken. So, this was a big deal.

And he would never see almond trees in the south and he recognized them this morning. He will get to experience two worlds, actually. We go back at least once a year, so he will experience the Gulf of Mexico and southern hospitality and all the great things about the south. In fact, he will call adults Mr. and Miss even though it's not cool to do that here.

At the same time, he will live here and eat Tri Tip and play in the snow at Lake Tahoe and cough when they are shaking the almond trees.

But, don't worry, he will "grill" Tri Tip. Not BBQ it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Little Brothers

Isn't this picture the epitome of being a big sister? Maggie is standing next to Nikki and Jerry's wedding cake smiling and trying to keep her brother still. Patrick wants nothing to do with taking a picture. He just wants to DANCE.

Maggie is very patient and protective of her little brother. She does get aggravated with him at times. He takes her stuff and runs through the house. He grabs her blanket and taunts her with it before running away. He wants to play with whatever she has. He is always trying to get into her room to destroy something.

Sometimes, Maggie gets fed up and can't take it anymore.And I try to tell her that I completely understand. I had a brother who was 5 years younger than me. He was annoying. But, now, he is a great friend. I've been trying to explain this to her. She will eventually find him to be a good friend and not just an annoyance.

She looks at me like I'm crazy.

But, I see glimpses of their future relationship. They have been playing a game where they go on a train. Patrick is the conductor and has a whistle. Maggie makes up adventures for them to take. They hide behind the big chair in the living room and give us tickets for the next train ride.

This works for me cause I just have to sit on the couch while they drive the train.

I pray that they will have a good relationship and that they are laying down the ground work for a good relationship as adults. I just have to keep reminding Maggie that it's a good thing to have a little brother.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas break

Maggie had a different break from school than the usual get out of school the week before Christmas and have the week after Christmas off this year. She got out of school on the Thursday before Christmas and doesn't go back until tomorrow.

I have really loved it. I had a week off of work before she got out of school so I could finish up lose ends and wrap presents and that was great. Then, during the week after Christmas, we were all at home. But, I didn't have to work and I just got to hang out with the kids without the looming feeling of "oh crap, I should be working right now". We all slept late and played and went to the Machado's house to jump on the trampoline.

This past week was Nikki and Jerry's wedding, which was one of the most fun receptions that I've been to. Patrick was a dancing machine and Maggie was beautiful. Then, Patrick started going back to Miss Sandee's house and I started back to work. Maggie has been joining me at Starbucks during these mornings. She plays on her phone and draws pictures.

She has today off from school and goes back tomorrow. It's been one of the best school breaks that we've had so far. Just enough time together. I got a break from work. Steven's been working from home some and we've just enjoyed being together and playing with Copper and watching tv.

I guess I'm ready to go back to the real world tomorrow of getting up on time and getting everyone dressed, but it's been nice to be in this bubble for the past few weeks.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Being married to a pastor

There is no way to get all of my thoughts on this into one blog. So, I'll just start here and maybe be brave enough to hit the publish post button. Why is my heart beating so fast? Oh yeah, cause I hate controversy.

I can think of no other job where a husband's job determines so much about a wife.

I'm married to a man who is a pastor. I love him. I love that he is doing what he loves. I love that he is a  pastor. But, I would love him if he wasn't pastoring.

I don't like that his job defines me.

This has nothing to do with the people at our church right now. They are wonderful and like me for me.

I remember when Steven was interviewing for this job. He asked me what other questions he should ask them. I immediately said, "what expectations do they have for the pastor's wife?"

So, during the interviewing process, Steven asked this question to the group and I remember Daniel answering. He said, "we want her to be an active member of our church. We don't have any other expectations of her."

And I breathed a  sigh of relief.

Fortunately, this has been true. I mean, there have been some funny moments where people ask me about playing the piano, but that's for another blog.

I guess I find it frustrating when I meet people for the first time and they find out that I'm a "pastor's wife" and they apologize for cussing earlier. I don't tell people what Steven does for a living. I don't volunteer that information. I hate it when they start acting different around me. Or making a big deal about his job.

I don't make a big deal out of what their husband does for a living. I know that it's really just their insecurities coming out, but it's always awkward. And it makes me feel uncomfortable.

So, that's all I have for right now. I mean, there's more to this subject. I just want to be given more than just the "pastor's wife" title. There's more to me than that.

My artist

Maggie's been going with me to Starbucks this week while Patrick goes to Sandee's house. She takes colors and paper and her "new" iPhone and works while I am working. Luckily, it's an easy week for me, so I'm able to get the work done and talk to her at the same time.

Last Wednesday, she drew this picture for the lady who usually takes our order. The lady is so nice and knows Maggie's name and that Maggie gets a tall black iced tea with no sweetner.

Maggie got out her art supplies and drew this for her. The lady hugged her and thanked her.

Then, Friday, when we got to Starbucks, Maggie's picture was hanging up on the community bulletin board.

My little artist is getting famous!
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Friday, January 6, 2012

Maggie's thoughts during Tron

We are watching Tron Legacy tonight. Maggie is inserting her words of wisdom during the movie.

Here's a few of her thoughts:

What if every night in heaven is movie night?

What if we get to eat spaghetti every night in heaven?

I asked Maggie what happened to the main character's mom. She said, "Mommy, it's a disney movie. All the mommies die in Disney movies".

Isn't that hilarious? First of all, she knew it was a disney movie. Secondly, what 7 year old puts that all together? Third of all, why do all the mommies die in disney movies? What's up with that?

We're only halfway through the movie. I'll let you know if any other words of wisdom are spouted out.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Super Pat Pat

We were watching the Incredibles last night. Patrick wanted a cape, so I went into his room and got this for him. Patrick ran around the room to make the cape fly.

This was Jonathan's cape when he was little. So, I texted Jonathan to let him know that his cape was still being used to fight evil in Northern California.

Jonathan texted back: That's fine, but make sure he knows that it's mine.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Patrick is starting to really notice and talk about babies. When we pass a stroller, he looks inside and says "aww" at them.

There are twin babies at Miss Sandee's house that he talks about. Ezra came over the other night and Patrick was playing with him and kept saying "aww" over and over again.

We went to In and Out burger last weekend and we saw a mom pushing a stroller. Patrick pointed to the stroller and said, "".

I asked him if he liked babies and he said "yes".

Then, I asked him if he wanted Mommy to have a baby.

Without hesitation, he said "NO!".

(Patrick contemplating a baby)