unexpected rainbow

Summertime in Northern California is NOT known for rain.  In fact, it rarely rains this time of year.  Our rain comes during the winter.  The rest of the year, it’s dry, which is why we have so much wildfire danger around California.

Last night around 8:30, I went outside to dump out the pails of water we had collected in the upstairs bathroom (our upstairs bathroom takes a while to get hot water to it, so we collect the water in buckets until it gets hot, and then dump that water on our plants), in order to get the girls’ bath started.  Once outside, I noticed that there were some unusual clouds in the sky.  They were actually — clouds!  (We usually just see the marine layer coming in off the ocean, which is one giant cloud, but not really “clouds.”)  It took me a moment, but then I realized something else: the pavement outside was wet.  WET!!!  Not hugely wet, but definitely completely covered.


It smelled so wonderful that I called the girls right away to come outside and smell the rain.  Rain is truly a wonderful smell; I had forgotten. 🙂

With the setting sun casting slanting rays over everything, and with a few more drops of rain landing on our faces, I thought, “I bet there’s gonna be a rainbow.”  And was there ever!  I called JJ out of his office where he was doing final sermon prep (it was Saturday night, after all), and he took one look and grabbed the camera.

There was a beautiful, full rainbow, right over our little town, with one end of the rainbow landing right on the roof of our church.  It was truly a lovely sight.

The following pictures don’t do the rainbow justice, as pictures never do, but I hope they give you some idea of what we saw last night.  What a surprise to have rain, and a full rainbow, in July in northern CA!






Lyd was SO excited!  She kept making enthusiastic statements like, “This is the prettiest rainbow ever!” and “It’s so beautiful!” and “I can’t believe this!”  Pretty soon, even Curious J was noticing it and trying to say “rainbow,” although she was more excited to sit on my lap on the swings.

It was a lovely way to close out the day.


sitting quietly in church

I’m just saying…

… that if you want your kid to learn to sit through a church service, then you need to make it a “bad thing” for them to get taken out of church.  If you take the kid out of church and let them play for the rest of the service, they will NEVER learn to sit through church.  It’s simple psychology.  Either you implicitly train the kid to fuss until s/he gets taken out, or you purposefully train your kid (thourgh direct and/or indirect methods) to sit quietly in church and to not want to get taken out of church.

(Just for the record, I’m not talking about infants here.  I’m talking about kids who are old enough to be able to be trained act in a specific way.  Don’t ask me to set a specific age; I won’t.  Parents know when their kid starts yanking their chain.)

If you have to take the kid out of church, make it a not-pleasant event in some way.  Tell the kid how you expect them to behave, and bring the kid back in as soon as possible.  If they’re young, give them quiet things to occupy them in church, like books or crayons (or in our house, slates) and non-messy, non-noisy snacks if needed, but honestly, if you want your kid to sit in church, then they actually have to have opportunity to practice Sitting In Church!  Some parents even forgo quiet things altogether in church and teach the kid from the start to sit still and listen quietly!  I give those parents huge kudos.  I wish I could do that, but being on the organ many Sundays and with my husband up in front leading the service, I have chosen to use strategies to keep my kids quiet in church that other people can do, too.  I’m not comfortable putting other people in a position where they might have to discipline my child.  So, we use “props” in church, but my kids ARE learning to sit quietly, and that’s what’s important to me and my husband.

And remember, too, that kids learn by example.  If you’re sitting quietly in church and setting a good example, your kids will pick up on that, too.  Take them out when necessary, and when they’re back in church, provide them with a consistently good example of how to behave.  Children will learn; children will listen.

It’s not rocket science, people.  Kids learn what you teach them.  So the question becomes this: What are you teaching your child?