First, Mike told me that there was a frozen goose in a little pond off Hwy 6 that he has seen every day on his way home from work for the last week or two. He said he used to think it was tree branches or something because it never moved, but then he realized it is actually a frozen goose, sitting upright on a frozen pond in the middle of a cornfield. Maybe it's a fake goose, but that would be weird. Who would put a fake goose in a frozen pond in the middle of winter? I keep trying to figure out how this goose could freeze like this, though. It sure has been cold here again, but a bird wouldn't just sit there so long that the water froze around it, I don't think. But if it died, I don't think it would die sitting upright and not tip over or slump over or whatever. So Mike told me about it, and he said he would take a picture to show me. Then we actually ended up going out that way on Saturday, so I saw it for myself. Very weird. Here's the picture Mike took the other evening on his way home from work. I will be so interested to see what happens to the old bird when it starts to warm up a little.
Another random thing that has been on my mind involves Adam and Eve. Our church is doing a study this year called Year of the Bible, so our small group has been reading the New Testament. So far we've read all of Matthew and about half of Mark. Mike and I got a new study Bible, which is really interesting because it has all kinds of interesting notes at the bottom that help decipher what is being said. We call it the Cheater Bible. It's also been interesting to read these 2 Gospels and see how much of the stories are familiar to me from Sunday School, camp, confirmation class, and a couple of my classes in college. Mike always laughs in church when there's a Bible quote and I say, "I know a song for that," but that is totally ringing true now. I have also read many things where I've thought, "Hmm, I didn't realize that saying came from the Bible." Anyway, back to Adam and Eve. I was at a meeting last week for small group leaders, and the pastor that was leading it, Pastor Caroline, said something about Adam and Eve not necessarily being the first people on Earth. This was towards the end of the meeting, and I can admit, I was starting to lose focus, but this caught my attention. However, I thought I must have misunderstood what she said, and, not wanting to look like an idiot, I didn't ask the question I was thinking. I did bring the idea up to my small group (a group of 4 other couples who go to our church), and everyone was shocked by this possibility. Growing up in an ELCA church back home, I remember learning that not all things in the Bible are meant to be taken literally, and that there are certainly things that are or could be left out of the Bible. For example, obviously dinosaurs existed, but they're not in the Bible. And my pastor growing up said that evolution is not out of the question. I've always wondered how much incest had to occur for Adam and Eve to supposedly populate the entire earth, but never have really pressed the issue at all, probably because I haven't felt close enough to a pastor to do so. So I emailed Pastor Caroline and asked her if I understood correctly that she had said Adam and Eve were not necessarily the first people God created. Here's what Pastor Caroline said in her response:
"I think when we're clear about what Gen 1-11 is teaching us, this will make sense. Gen 1 is the creation story told in sweeping terms- God created the whole cosmos with humankind (plural) as the pinnacle of creation- Gen 1:26-31. So we learn that one God created out of nothing (he didn't need anything, just his words of power), his creation was good, and he created humans as his crowning creation to live in relationship with him and with each other.
So what went wrong? The answer is found in Gen 2-11. In Gen 2, instead of the whole cosmos, the focus is on one man and one woman, their relationship with God, how that relationship was broken and evil came into the world (Gen 3). The story of Adam and Eve doesn't exclude the idea that others were living on earth- why else would Cain be worried about other people killing him or where do the wives for Cain and Seth come from? Gen 4-11 shows how that evil multiplied and spread: Cain and Abel (Gen 4), the 'sons of god and daughters of man' (Gen 6), nations and Tower of Babel (Gen 10), so we finally get to the heart of the story, which is the call of Abraham and the story of his descendants (Gen 12)."
Pastor Caroline then went on to say how it is rare that any church will deal with the text in this minute of a manner in a sermon and that it is instead generally saved for a deeper Bible study, which would explain why I've never heard this possibility before. It really makes sense to me, though. It's very interesting to listen to Pastor Caroline- she is an OB/Gyn turned pastor- talk about a change of professions! She did a sermon once about how science and religion can go hand in hand, which was pretty cool for those who think that's not a possibility.
And now a third random thought. As I'm writing this I am watching Supernanny, and this couple over in Great Britain have 2 sets of twins- one set is 4 years-old, and the other set is 2.5 years-old. Up until the nanny came along, these parents were putting their almost 5 year-olds in diapers at night so the parents wouldn't have to get up to help the kids potty in the night, and they were still pureeing all their 2.5 year-olds' food and trying to feed it to them. The 2.5 year-olds of course never wanted to eat, so mealtimes were a total pain. And the parents were giving all 4 kids a bottle at night. Hello? Common sense, anyone?
Nothing else is really going on here. No new milestones to write about or cute pictures to post. It's still cold. I think it got up to about 6 degrees here today. We are making progress on getting new things on the walls since the house got painted. We got a couple of cool prints for the bathroom with song quotes on them at a gallery in Valley Junction, and I just got those matted and hung in the bathroom. We also ordered a bunch of frames to do a sort of photo wall in the dining room, and Mike just got all those frames hung this weekend. They have no pictures in them, though. With all the frames together, there are spaces for 4-5x7 photos, 6-4x6 photos, 4-4x4 photos, and 1-8x10 photo. Yikes. Now I've got to start figuring out just what pictures I want to put up. Ugh. Then I need to decide if I want a different picture above our fireplace, because I just don't think the one that's been up there for 5 years is big enough for that space. I think I'll just wait to post any pictures of the new decor until after it's all done, or at least mostly done, as it may be awhile for the fireplace picture, since I have no idea what to put up there.
Oh! Something fun did happen this weekend. I got to have a girls' night out, which was much needed and appreciated! Friday night I went out with my playgroup girlfriends. Four out of five of us used to teach together, and we get together every Friday for playgroup. It was so nice to get a chance to really talk and not worry about what the kids were doing. We went out to Bonefish Grill, which was delicious. I had the very tasty Bang Bang Shrimp and a couple of Pomegranate Infused Mojitos, which were really good. If you have a Bonefish Grill near you, I totally recommend it. We met for dinner at 7 and I didn't get home until close to midnight, and we never left our table. And, I have to say, I was quite proud of myself before dinner- I went to the 5:30 kickboxing class because I hadn't had a chance to work out yet that day. I left a few minutes early (it ends at 6:15), so when I walked into my bathroom it was 6:20. When I got out of the shower it was 6:23, and I had my make-up on and was drying my hair at 6:30. I was ready and waiting at the front door when Brea pulled up in my driveway at 6:42. As I said, I was quite proud of myself for getting ready in 20 short minutes. Here's a picture from the night of Brea, Tyra, Erin, myself, and Sara. I learned from this picture that I should not wear white and that I need a new haircut. Or maybe I learned I should take more than 5 minutes to do my hair, but really, I don't think it matters too much- I think I just need a change.