Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A New Year's Resolution: Become a Better Me

Credit: "Calvin and Hobbes" Bill Watterson
My resolution this year is to become a better version of myself. I'm tired of feeling regret and the nagging and irrational self doubt I suffer. I can become better and I have a plan to do so. The following is a list of twenty changes I want to make in my life over the next year:

1. Go to bed six nights a week by nine at night, and wake at four in the morning. If I can change that one bad habit, of staying up late and oversleeping, I know I can change any aspect of my life.

2. Set high and achievable goals and persevere until they have been accomplished.

3. Write my goals down.

4. Maintain a to do list.

5. Focus on one goal at a time.

6. Eat healthier.

7. Exercise four to five days a week.

8. Listen to audio-books and talks every day, especially while I am crocheting or doing chores around the house.

9. Rediscover my love for reading (I know I love reading, but I need make it a priority).

10. Read 30 minutes a day, non-fiction.

11. Stay curious and pursue learning for the love of it.

12. Watch less tv.

13. Continue to avoid watching reality tv (OK, not technically a change, but a good reminder).

14. Do all I can to help my son, Colin, become a proficient reader and skillful in mathematics.

15. Encourage my children to be helpful and compassionate.

16. Teach my children good habits.

17. Make birthday calls.

18. Make friends with positive, optimistic people.

19. Eliminate negativity and delusions of failure from my life.

20. Believe that the good habits I make will lead to good fortune, health, happiness, and prosperity.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 13, 2013

What do I teach about politics?

I was reading aloud and article about the huge security snafu that allowed a known violent schizophrenic to work as a sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial service, and stand within four feet of Mr. Obama. It included the phrase, "President Obama" which I read over and didn't really think that much about it; but five year old Colin, with his sharp wit, noticed and asked me, "Mom, who's President Obama?"

It occurred to me that he has never heard me say those two words in that context, seeing as how I don't consider Mr. Obama to be president of anything (my opinion; you don't have to think the way I do).

Not quite sure what to say, I simply told him that Mr. Obama is the elected President of the Unites States, and dropped the subject, because I don't think sharing the details of my political opinions would be appropriate with a child that young.

Oh the challenges of being a homeschool mom! On the one hand, my children need facts (not necessarily my opinions), and a working knowledge of American politics. But on the other hand, too many of the facts surrounding this administration have turned out to be not factual, and I don't think I understand the political workings of our nation anymore.

Where do I turn for reliable information?!
I couldn't find a picture to fit this post, but I thought this would be interesting to look at.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dear Mr. Zielinski...


That's what's written on the MIA bracelet I got from you while you taught a class of rowdy eight graders at Pattengill Middle School about the Vietnam War. Whenever I see it, or put it on, I always give my first thought to Col. Anderson and the circumstances of his disappearance; but invariably, the next thought I have is of the history teacher who gave me the bracelet.

This morning my three year old daughter found it. After I got the bracelet from little Karyn, I promised to teach her what it meant to me when she was old enough to understand. Then, as usual I thought of the colonel, next I thought of you.

To identify myself, at the time my name was Hart; Christine Hart. I'm happily married and have changed my name to Hancock. I was one of those rowdy eight graders you taught in the school year 1995-1996, and to be honest I don't think is was the brightest of them; however I remember you and think about those months in your class frequently.

Mr. Zielinski, you stood out to me from among all the other teachers I had; maybe because you were recently a soldier and you taught from that perspective. I also never ever caught you in a lie. Everything you taught in history class, as far as I can remember, was verifiable by historical document, news report, or witness' testimony. I've had a number of teachers for whom the same could not be said. Another thing that stood out about you was that you taught us that history and wars are not just bland facts confined solely to dusty, poorly written texts; but that our history was real and the wars had not just dull political ramifications, but also human consequences. I think was Mr. Vance you had come give a lecture on what it was like to fight and lose friends in the Vietnam War; then of course was that infamous prank you pulled with the hollowed out grenade (Ahh, the days before zero tolerance policies) That object lesson still makes me smile and laugh, but I also remember the point, that any moment could be my last.

I know you also taught math. While it's not the thing I remember you best for, I am thankful to you for enlightening me as to how to add and subtract with fractions. Your lectures cleared some things up that I had been struggling with for a couple years, and made algebra in high school much less painful than it otherwise would have been.

You influenced at least one underprivileged youth for the better, and it's felt today. Thank you. I hope you are well, and that you obtained your degree, and that you are still teaching.

Best wishes,
Christine S. Hancock

Mr. Zielinski's self portrait. Yeah, the publisher missed him.

I was recovering from a mullet. I've been wearing my hair long ever since.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Why I Don't Share Sob Stories... as a rule

As a rule, I do not pass along sob stories that find their way on to my FB wall. To illustrate I've attached an article about a viral poverty story I've seen shared way too much.

Not quite that bad...
I did read that story and it made my blood boil so much that I could not finish it on the first try. While I felt a little sorry for her, more than anything I wanted to throw my android to the floor and smash it to bits because of the incessant whining and self pitying nature of the piece.

After I calmed down a little, I had the feeling I needed to finish reading the blog entry and when I got through it, I thought to myself that this is a talented, articulate, educated, and experienced writer... is the situation really as bad as she made it out to be?

Who am I to judge, after all, Vincent Van Gogh was very poor and highly disadvantaged too; so I said nothing, but couldn't help but think I was reading a work of at least partial fiction designed to garner attention and sympathy... Go figure.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Oh Noes! Christmas is Under Some Unspecified Attack!

The bone I am chewing on tonight is this perception that Christmas is under attack in some way.

Really? I mean, have you ever been prevented from buying toys for the kids, putting up Christmas lights on your home, singing Christmas Carols, or wishing people a Merry Christmas? When was the last time someone spied through your window, looking for a tree to burn or a Nativity set to smash? I've never seen it.

Not once, in my entire life, have I needed to celebrate the Lord's birth in secret. Isn't that wonderful. I am so privileged. I've never even heard of a government sponsored Bible burning, or contemporary Americans Christians being thrown to the lions by a dictator on American soil (maybe that will change this year, but I highly doubt it).

The phrase "Happy Holidays" seems to be raising some extra ire this year. Why? The Holiday Season has three HUGE holidays, back to back, that nearly every Christian in the US celebrates. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. Might it be possible that some people are saying "Happy Holidays" in order to cover their bases should they not contact you again between the holidays?

Then of course is the blanket politically correct statement that is intended when it comes from government and large businesses. By law the government may not endorse Christianity (although the individual members may offer Christmas greetings at their discretion), and businesses hurt their bottom line when people think they are promoting one faith above another. However, does any true Christian, from the bottom of his heart, think Christmas can not happen without a government endorsement, or (to quote Dr. Suess) "Christmas comes from a store"?

There seems to be this fear that if people stop saying "Merry Christmas", that the meaning will be lost. This is untrue to the point of absurd. Christmas is only lost when we really forget what it's about. 

The point of the holiday is not to say the name correctly or to be smiled upon by government and businesses; and even the celebration of the birth of Christ is only a part of what Christmas commemorates. The true message of Christmas is contained in the message from the angels to the shepherds outside of Bethlehem:

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (emphasis added).
(New Testament | Luke 2:10–14)

Remember, going to battle to defend against some perceived attack on Christmas will not preserve the true meaning of the holiday. If anything, it will only distract from God's true message of redemption, peace, and goodwill.

Tell you what, no matter which holiday greeting you get, remember that the intent was to express goodwill, not attack your faith. Do return goodness for goodness and say, Merry Christmas, if that's what you celebrate. I doubt that person will take offense; and even if they do return with a "bah-humbug", you can still wish that person a Happy New Year, or even a Good Afternoon.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Late but interested is better

Am I Common Core aligned? No, of course not.

Today, homeschool was informal. I let them watch Cars before school (I was having a slow morning), then we played with salt dough for while. After the movie we had a prayer, recited the Pledge of Allegiance and then we did some arithmetic problems in salt dough (no deep thinking, just the standard algorithm). After that we did a short reading lesson from a primer that is most definitely not Common Core aligned (long live the McGuffey Series and Mother Goose).

Now they are eating popcorn while I make pizza crust for tonight's dinner and do some cleaning.

I'm of the opinion that children should be pushed as far as they can go individually go academically, but until they are about eight years old, at least the better half of their academic day should be play time and personal interest.

Why blunt their brains by killing their curiosity in the name of education? No. Late with a strong desire to learn is better than early and disinterested.

Mother Goose. Not educational, possibly violent, not Common Core approved.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Righteous Teachers vs Unrighteous Teachers

I was studying in the Book of Mosiah today, my new favorite book, and I read Alma the elder's teachings on kings and teachers which I find very interesting.

His people asked him to be king over them, which he declined, feeling he was unworthy. He taught them to trust no man to be be king over them because (having first hand knowledge) not all men are righteous. He also said not to trust anyone not of God to be a teacher over them.

As I am a teacher of my own children and in Primary it stands out to me the importance of righteous teaching.

Eventually, even though they were a Godly people, they were taken into bondage by the Lamanites (this is a fallen world, bad things happen to everyone from time to time), but the Lord protected and favored them. The wicked priests of King Noah (of whom Alma the Elder was once counted before his sore repentance) were also placed in bondage.

The wicked priests gained political advantage and the King over the Lamanites placed them in charge of the people of Alma, and appointed them teachers.

How interesting what happens when unrighteous teachers are appointed. Alma's people are persecuted. and while it is true, the Lamanites benefitted economically by learning secular teachings; ultimately, because God's law was not taught, corruption and greater wickedness resulted.

In these days, while removing religious instruction from schools has not the cause of every evil in our society, I do note some similarities between our society and that of those mentioned above: Unrighteous people gaining political advantage, the elimination of God from schools, religious persecution. Now, obviously there are some differences between this story and ours. We don't have literal burdens tied to our backs, nor have I once been threatened with death for praying aloud in public; but the dangers of ungodly teachers and leaders has become more clear to me in recent years.

Eventually, the Lord enabled the people of Alma to escape, and the wicked priests of Noah were left behind to whatever fate befell them. I hope to be among the people the Lord favors in the end.

No more teachers. No more books. No more Lam'nites dirty looks!
lifted from here

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Not all Wrongdoing is Mom's Business

Do you think Mom will notice? lifted from this blog

Link to Blaze article

The above article reminded me of a situation I had with my five year old son the other day.

Colin was playing quietly in the living room while I was upstairs sleeping in a little bit as the baby, Gideon, was sleeping in. When he woke up I went downstairs with him to change his diaper and get breakfast going. Nothing in the living room appeared out of place or unusual, but Colin ran up to me and with a big mischievous smile and admitted he had been in the bassinet, which I had clearly and repeatedly told him not to even touch.

I hate moments like that, where Colin in his zeal to be honest admits to wrongdoing I never would have noticed or cared about. On the one hand, to maintain order in the house and keep my authority in tact, I have to enforce the rules. On the other hand, I am now in the terrible position of having to punish a child essentially for being honest.

I sent Colin to his room, which of course made him very unhappy, while I got matters settled before going back upstairs to address Colin's problem with the bassinet.

We sat down together and I explained that he was wrong to be in the bassinet and not to touch it again. Then, with a sigh and wondering what horrible can of worms I was opening, explained that not everything is Mom's business to know and that if I don't see anything wrong, and don't ask, then (most of the time) I don't need to know about it. I can not watch him all the time and some sins are strictly between him and God.

Since then I wondered if it was wise of me to tell Colin that essentially he can get away with wrongdoing as long as he keeps it to himself; somehow, after reading the above article on the Blaze I am reassured that I told him the right thing.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Productive Mess

My house is a mess, and I am properly ashamed of it, but not too much so. I've been very busy today.

I had homeschool with Colin and Karyn (our schedule is any five days between Monday and Saturday... I usually prefer to relax on Mondays).

I got started on the yearly dejunking and cleaning. I decided to start in the basement as that will be the biggest project. After moving most of our random storage upstairs for analysis and to get it out of the way, I moved the rest over to one side, opened the basement windows, and swept and mopped the other half with bleach water (even the best basement gets a few nasties in a year and needs disinfecting). I checked the furnace air filter for good measure and discovered it definitely needed replacing.

This afternoon, after Aaron got off work, I went shopping with Colin for groceries and sundries. Colin helped me pick out a pair of new Sunday shoes, went with me to the Goodwill and behaved himself very well while I found a bed frame and a few other useful items. I offered to get him a book or a toy, but he didn't want any today; so after I found a new air filter at the hardware store, I bought him his choice of a chocolate bar, which made him very happy. Then we bought some groceries and came home.

I made dinner, instructed Colin and Karyn on how to remove and replace the furnace air filter, and put the finishing touches on my projects for Primary Singing Time tomorrow. Then helped get the kids off to bed, put together the bed frame (finally my bed is off the floor... hallelujah!), washed some dishes, and now I am finally some taking time to relax.

The problem with relaxing right now, however, is my mind keeps thinking of more essential things that need to get done! Time for some chamomile.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sex Ed

I have heard that various school districts. including that one in Chicago have been having sex ed for kindergarteners. I am opposed to this. Sexual information should come from a child's parents, not the school. I know that's a conservative view point, but I also have some very solid reasons why.

Public schools, when they teach about human sexuality discuss the biological mechanics of reproduction. If that were all, it wouldn't be such a bad thing. I admit, they are better at explaining the science than I. However, the schools do not stop there.

Next, they try to explain inappropriate touching. They say, "Don't do this", and "Don't do that", and "Tell an adult if someone touches you in a way that makes you uncomfortable". It's a noble effort, but when you tell a child not to do something, more often than not, all you've succeeded at doing is giving that child a bad idea. Also, when it's an adult doing the "touching" most children don't know which adults they can trust or discuss it with.

More often than not, a discussion on birth control and STD's comes up after the "Don't touch" talk. In effect, they are saying a child can engage in sexual activity without physical or emotional consequences as long as they use the condom and/or pill. If that fails, then (for girls) "here is the address and phone number of a women's 'reproductive health' clinic where-in you can receive services without notifying a parent"; and (for guys) "if you get a STD that's just too bad, make sure you tell your next sex partner... oh, and never mind if your sex partner becomes pregnant" (I'm not sure if that's changed in recent years, but when I was in high school, that's where they left it with the guys).

Somewhere in the process a discussion of gender orientation comes up, but only in a "non-judgemental" way so that no one's feelings get hurt, and to reassure youngsters that if they are not attracted to anyone of the opposite sex, or attracted to both sexes, or have an unusual sexual fetish, then it is "normal" and "natural" they will never EVER change.

Most of the above is information is important and most of it should be taught (although I might leave out the fatalistic gender orientation part).

What is lacking is context (see Things We Should Tell Children About Sex). Sex is wonderful and important, but it has its place. Most of my generation has no idea what sex even means. We were told to just do whatever "feels right", without regards for truth or consequences. The President of the United States when we were in our youth spoke this pearl of wisdom before the Grand Jury to carried throughout the ages:

lifted from this website
"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the--if he--if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not--that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement....Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true." -Former President of the United States, Bill Clinton

Yeah, right. And the older generation wonders why the my generation is confused about sex.

About 9/11

Dear NSA, Facebook Friends, Family, and anyone else reading this blog,

Please don't misunderstand me. The events of 9/11 (I still can't call it by the name on the calendar) are very important and must be remembered. However, I won't celebrate it as a holiday, or post pictures about it, or make patriotic quotes to commemorate the attacks on our soil and the several thousand Americans that died that day. The memory still hurts and I'm not ready to relive it at this time.

Tomorrow, I will not be on Facebook, personally; and will most likely be avoiding news websites this week and next.

Make no mistake. I will be teaching my kids about 9/11 one day. I'll show them the footage and give the stats, and let them know just how I felt that day; but living it all over again by looking at the same old pictures and reports plastered all over the internet is not the way I choose to commemorate 9/11.

When I come back to my Facebook page this weekend, if I find FB friends that are excessively posting and sharing 9/11 pictures, quotes, and reports, those friends are the ones most likely to be blocked or unfriended at that time. It's not that I don't like you, it's that I'd rather focus on better things.

Respectfully Yours, Christine

A Morning Prayer and Priorities

lifted from this website

Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank thee for another day, and especially for my wonderful husband and my beautiful children. I'm thankful for the peace and safety we enjoy.

Please wilt thou bless me that I may be able to accomplish everything that's really important, some things that are less important, and to completely ignore everything that is not important.

In the name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

Yes. This really was my morning prayer today.

On the days when I actually set priorities and write things down, I put things in three categories of importance:

Category 1; Very important and must be done today
This list usually has things like studying the scriptures, teaching and planning homeschool lessons, cleaning the dishes and countertops, even exercise when I think there will be time in a day.

Category 2; Kind of important, but it won't kill me if it doesn't get done
Unless it's really bad, things like sweeping and mopping the floors, cleaning the bathrooms, and making the beds tend to be on this list.

Category 3; Things I can ignore
This is a list that I keep for three reasons. To keep things in perspective, make it known to myself that my feelings and desires are, in fact, important, and to remind myself of some of the things that are on the back burner. I may even do a number of these things if I have time. The items on this list include yelling at the kids, playing video games, and cleaning the basement.

You may get the idea that I'm not a very good housekeeper and rather short of patience with the kids, and that's sort of true; but home life would very unpleasant if I didn't take the time to think about my priorities.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Abortion is a game now?

lifted from this website

Choice: Texas Indigogo Campaign Video

A game about abortion. Wow. What a lame idea. Can anyone think of a more unplayable topic for video or PC game? My own conservative opinions aside, who the heck wants to play a game about such a serious, politically, emotionally, and medically charged topic.

The only people I can imagine would play this game are fetushists or lightly curious and extremely bored pre-teen girls.

When I play video games (yes, on occation I do) I do so with the thought in mind of relaxing and escaping reality for a while. I don't do it for education, or empathy training. I do it exactly for the opposite. There may be something I'm trying to forget, or maybe I'm in the mood to blow something up; or oh, the horror, maybe I'm just trying to have some fun!

Abortion, as far as I hear tell, is not escapist, is not sensational (usually I hope), and not fun!

Where did these people get the idea anyone would want to play a game about abortion?

further reading:

The Blaze


Should I Give Colin a Break?

lifted from this website

Now that the kids have settled down for a nap (I hope), I can ruminate on how the kids and I have been doing in homeschool this week.

Karyn loves going over shapes, numbers, and the alphabet. She has even asked me to teach her the letter sounds. I have no fears for her as far as pre-school education goes.

Colin is doing okay as a reader, in fact, far better than I would expect if I had decided he should go to public school. I should probably keep doing what I am doing with him as far as reading goes: flashcards, phonics instruction, and practice. I'm also starting to give more time and practice to lettering neatly and accurately, which Colin is enjoying. However, we seem to have hit a wall as far as progress in arithmetic goes.

I think he just needs a break. During math time, Colin has become so distracted, that he can not seem to focus. He understands the mechanics of single digit addition and subtraction, but his attention roams all over the place and it takes a long time to get even one problem done. However, when I proposed that we take a two week break from math (we've had school over the summer), he got angry. After twenty minutes and having only gotten through three of the ten math problems I assigned for the day, we were exhausted, and I very gently but firmly said we are going to take a break until Monday or Tuesday. Colin immediately dissolved into tears and cried, "I don't want to take a break from math! I don't wanna!"

If he wasn't so heartbroken I would have laughed out loud. I gave him a big, extra long hug, and told him we would still count by fives and tens, and that we would find some math games to play. That calmed him a little, but he still wasn't very happy.

I'm going to look around for some new ideas on practicing single digit addition and subtraction and decide whether we need some changes in the way we approach math. Next week we will come back to the subject fresh and rested... I hope.

Isn't it Ironic

Hmm. I wonder what kind of diversity. Lifted from this website

When I was a girl, I was called to regular school assemblies, and sat in classes where the only thing discussed was tolerance; namely tolerance of gays and people of color. No one should be bullied or beaten-up just because they have a different skin tone or prefer to (                        ) someone of the same sex. (Hurray for tolerance! Rah! Rah! Diversity!)

We were told ugly stories and shown violent clips of evil straight or white people (actually it was always white men, presumably heterosexual) oppressing and doing bad things to minorities. (Bad, intolerant, straight, white man! Bad! No treat!)

The importance of being polite and civilized with people that are different was made abundantly clear; and if I didn't have anything constructive to say or do for a protected class, then leave them alone.

To this day, when I see the Rainbow Flag outside a business or at a rally or parade, I simply say nothing and keep moving. It's what I call tolerance. I don't condone the lifestyle, and I don't persecute them for it. That's what I was brought to believe they wanted.

Unfortunately, I may have misunderstood. I've been reading about businesses that refuse to cater gay and lesbian weddings being forced out of business and the owners harassed and threatened for there beliefs (see this article and more like it).

Is this the kind of "tolerance" they were campaigning for? Tolerance only for those of their own world view? Slavery, open hatred, and death for the rest? I understand taking one's business elsewhere, and even the occasional peaceful boycott; but harassment, threats and fear are not the American way of doing things.

Disagreement is an American value. I have always loved that I can politely disagree and debate with those of other world views. Through the processes of civilized argument I have learned how other people think and see the world. Having my views challenged has made me think seriously about what I believe and how it fits into the larger picture, or whether I am wrong and need to discard those beliefs.

I find it terribly ironic that the very kinds of people (intolerant, violent and bullying people) the LGBTQ community fought so hard against seems to be what they are becoming.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What A Happy Place This Would Be...

lifted from this website. What happy place this will be if...

There seems to be this line of thinking among so many democrats that if enough law abiding people just give up on gun ownership, that criminals will stop murdering and attacking people.

Somehow happy feelings will prevail in a gunless society. Without guns, no one would have the means to kill each other, or the will to use blades, or the imagination to break a bottle, or the brutality to wield baseball bats. Of course no one would ever raise their fists in anger, much less strangle each other once guns are gone.

Once the guns are gun it will be a utopia of sunshine and lolly-pops, is that what they are saying?

No. I didn't think so.

How to remove blackened, burned on gunk:

This is not my kitchen. Do you know how you can tell? The stove is spotlessly clean!

This is cleaning advice for lazy, somewhat absent minded persons like myself: also why I keep a gallon of cheap white vinegar on hand.

The yesterday I burned spaghetti sauce to the bottom of one of my favorite sauce pot. Sunday, it was the charred remains of hamburger patties on my largest frying pan, before that zucchini bread drippings on a cookie sheet. As you can tell, "accificial" offerings happen with great frequency in my kitchen.

This is my recipe for safely and cheaply removing burned on crud from my stainless steel with minimal effort:

Enough water to cover the stained area
A splash of cheap white vinegar
A squirt of my favorite dish soap (or whatever dish soap I have on hand, as my favorite brand is an online exclusive and I don't always have the time or means to order more)

Stir until incorporated or bubbly and forget about it until the next day. Wash off with only light scrubbing at worst. If still uncomfortably spotty, repeat the procedure with two splashes of vinegar (although if only lightly stained, I may just ignore it and cook with it until the stain disappears on it's own through daily wear and tear.

The Selfie 2

This is the hypothetical letter I will write if I discover my daughter is posting racey "selfies". The facts can be adjusted should this come up.

Dear Daughter,
I have printed this letter and attached a printed copy of the selfie you took of yourself recently so as to keep this private. No, I didn't hack your facebook account, or sift through your phone, or do anything to openly violate your privacy. This picture came to me via an online acquaintance of mine who happens to be the mother of a friend of yours (small world isn't it). You friend happens to be a boy. If he is anything like the man I hope he will become then he will never touch you, and probably never speak to you again. You can not "unsee" what has been seen. But aside from consequences to your social life, let's talk about real life.

Did you know that posting overtly sexual or naked "selfies" can get you tagged with a sex offender charge? You can be put on the sex offender registry and that's a black mark that can ruin your life for years.

Did you know that future employers may do an online search for information about you and find that "selfie"? That picture can ruin your job prospects. Very few employers want a bad reflection on their company by hiring someone who projects nymphomania.

Did you know that I love you and want better for you in life that what you are asking for with that picture? I can take away your phone, you camera, your bedroom door. I can try to stop you from seeing friends and demand that while you live in my house you live up to my standards. However, ultimately I can't stop you from doing what you will do. One day I will not be there to shield you from the full consequences of your decisions. The best I can do is try to teach your right from wrong. I hope I've done so.

Love, Mom

P.S. You're grounded.

The "Selfie"

"If there is anything virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things..." Article of Faith 1:13

It seems to be the style for girls to post immodest "selfies" (pictures of themselves that they took themselves) online.

Lifted from this website

What I tell my children, and especially my daughter, is that the way we dress and present ourselves reflects our purpose. If we want to appear to be a over sexed, brainless, prostitute, with wares on sale, then yes, a half dressed selfie your tongue hanging out will do the trick.

However, if our purpose is to make friends that will look into our eyes, and love us for our minds and hearts and who we really are, then perhaps a different wardrobe selection should be considered... That, and if I think her "selfies" are going to attract the wrong crowd, she can say "good bye" to her bedroom door and digital camera, and "hello" to family game nights, family camp outs, mother-daughter shopping trips, and marathon sewing and home economics lessons. Hmm. Maybe that's the key to preventing nasty "selfies" being posted online in the first place.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Homeschool - Boys at Play

"Do you see the boys at play? Yes I see them; there are five of them. Tom is too fat to run fast. Nat can catch him. I like to see boys at play" -McGuffy's Eclectic Primer

I have good days homeschooling. Sometimes I think I'm not getting through, but today was proof that I am doing something right.

Today as a family lesson, I used "Nature - Evidence of Heavenly Father's Love", adapted for young children, from the Family Home Evening Resource Guidebook (which I will be using frequently as it promotes good discussions on a wide variety of topics). We had a fruitful discussion about nature, how plants purify the air, and the three states of water. It wasn't the most spiritual discussion we've had, but that will come another day.

During our quiet study hour, Colin surprised me by drawing two street signs (one of which he made up): a stop sign and a "go" sign. What surprised me was that he spelled the words correctly even though I have never gone over them with him. He just sounded out the words and wrote them down, taking note that the "o" in "go" is a hard sound. I guess I'm getting it right in teaching him phonics.

Watching Colin learn to write has been interesting. He has been learning to write the way a baby learns to speak. Starting with random letters, then copying words from a page, and over time is now starting to write simple words he thinks of by sounding them out slowly and writing down the sounds he hears. I honestly was afraid for the days ahead wherein I would have to teach spelling. This might not be as scary as I previously thought.

I give each of the kids one on one instruction time and will do so until each has become proficient in reading, writing, and arithmetic.With Karyn, I have been teaching the upper and lower case alphabet, the numbers 1 through 20, colors, shapes, and to predict simple patterns and observe differences. We play a lot of "One of These Things is not like the Others".

Colin has started lesson 19 in the Mcguffy Eclectic Primer. His reading gets better each week. I've heard boys can have a difficult time learning to read, but that doesn't seem true in Colin's case. Some days are more difficult than others, but over all he is making good progress. Actually, the bigger struggle has been learning to add and subtract with accuracy. He seems to understand the mechanics of single digit addition and subtraction, but the actual functioning is still difficult for him; but he will get there.

My kids are smarter than I was at their age. They are going to challenge me.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Meeting Fear

Written as a response to an article about a boy's shyness on Free Range Kids:

If a child's fear is becoming unhealthy, irrational, overbearing, or excessively inconvenient,  then it should be addressed.

Courage is a form of self discipline that most shy people can learn. It hurts, but not as much as a lifetime being paralyzed with fear. Know your child and what he is capable of, and set reasonable expectations. Don't be afraid to say, "No. I won't do for you what you can do for yourself". If he is healthy, then expect some tears and frustration, then watch for him to either do what he wants without you, or find something else to do. If it takes more than 48 hours for him to overcome his fear or find other things to do, or he gives an extreme and prolonged emotional reaction, you may need to see a specialist.

Recently my three yer old daughter overcame her fear of water. She had very good reason to be afraid. Last year a wave knocked her over and she went under and couldn't stand back up (she was 15-20 feet away from me, and thank God I saw her go under and got to her quickly). However, her fear was becoming a nuisance to the entire family. She would refuse to play in (or frequently near) the water while everyone else wanted to go swimming and wading. Even washing her hair at bath time was traumatic at times. Fortunately she has a daddy she trusts who her took her by the hand and walked her in ankle deep in the water along the shore of a still lake. She cried, and fussed, and after a while found some daisies growing at the water's edge. Then talked with him as they went out shin deep. Then she noticed the water was at her knees and squeaked a little, but realized she was safe. Now she plays happily with the family when we are out swimming. She doesn't have any problems now.

Obviously, fear of water is not the same as shyness. The reason I mention my daughter is to illustrate that fear can be overcome in the right conditions. It depends very much on the child, but sooner or later, their fears must be met.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

How Cookies Are Not Made

As I am writing this, my children are grounded upstairs. First thing in the morning, I do not coming down to the living room only to find what looks like the remains of a viking village raid...

Okay, that's overstating it, but it's really disturbing to come downstairs in the morning and see that it looks like an animal with rainbow blood (of liquid food coloring) was slaughtered on the "cocoa" table. It's rather aggravating to find that a minor explosion involving flour and sugar has occurred in the same area as the rainbow slaughter. Then I find six or seven discarded glasses with a viscous mixture of flour, sugar, food coloring, vanilla and mint extracts, and olive oil.

Upon inquiry, my two children justify the mess as an attempt to make cookies. Somehow I doubt that, as they've never seen me make cookies with ham slices and breakfast cereal.
No, children. This is not how cookies are made. Lifted from www.hurstwic.org

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My Mother Told Me...

"More and more good things will happen, and everyone will be happy".

I was a screaming, angry, nine year old girl; just furious with the world. Mom made me repeat it several times even though I did not believe her and just wanted to smack someone. I was exceptionally angry with her for making me say it when I felt like the world was ending (I can't remember what had set me off in that moment).

"More and more good things will happen, and everyone will be happy", I growled, thinking just the opposite.

Wouldn't you know it... she was right.

I am happy and everyone I surround myself with is happy. Sometimes I feel like crying about what I lack; and sometimes for a moment (several times a day) I get angry about people or things I can not control; but overall things work out. I have food on the table, a warm home, good friends, a close family life, and a God in Heaven watching over all. Life is good.

Friday, June 28, 2013

My Views on the Evolution of Species

lifted from april93's blog
Mankind has been observing changes in various species our entire existence. In fact, mankind has caused much change both directly and indirectly. We have observed evolution in action.

Directly, we have caused the evolution of domestic animals. We selectively breed various animals to enhance their desirable traits, while minimizing less desirable traits. However, a dog is still a dog, whether it is a chihuahua or a rottweiler; and genetically speaking, they can still interbreed (although it might not be practical or likely).

Then there are spontaneous adaptive changes in response to changes in the environment. I call it Evolution by Cataclysm. Salt and pepper moths changing from being mostly light in color, to mostly dark in color with in a few generations is a famous example. They blend in with of trees to hide from birds and predators. Soot from factories during the Industrial Revolution darkened the tree bark, thus favoring the darker of their species. Unfortunately, this is a poor example of evolution, given that it was relatively sudden and in the face of near extinction, and most species die out instead of adapt to sudden environmental change. What's more, they are still salt and pepper moths, with no genetic change that would prevent darker moths from breeding with lighter moths.

Then of course is the classic view of creatures that started out the same, but split and migrated and became separated by vast distances, slowly adapting to separate environments and evolving over millions of years until they became so genetically distinct that they could no longer interbreed and became distinct species. This is what was taught to me as the Theory of Evolution (I had a habit of calling out my school teachers when they made the mistake of listing classic long term evolutionary theory as factual on tests, a habit that got me both punishment and commendation) As a theory it is not unscientific, in fact it's quite as an good alternative explanation if you want secondary opinions on the origin of species, besides Intelligent Design. The only problem I see is that, given the Earth's theoretically relative youth, it seems a statistical unlikelihood that such a large diversity of contemporary creatures had time to evolve.

I adhere to a Christian viewpoint of intelligent design, although I'm frequently first in line to question whether a day to God is literally our 24 hours. I also like to point out that while God spoke it and it was done, the scriptures are unclear as to the exact scientific or technological process. A belief in God does not necessitate a suspension of reason or science.

In a free society, we have the right to respectfully debate all ideas, whether they are Atheistic, scientific, Christian, well reasoned, crazy, or just stupid. The above is just my opinions based on what limited knowledge I have on the subject. Debate it if it pleases you. I know it pleases me and helps me learn something new.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I Still Disagree with the Supreme Court

I've only heard two stated reasons why LGBTs want marriage. 1 Love; however no mature people marry the people they love simply because they love each other. Marriage is not now, nor has it ever been about love, otherwise there would be no legal or social prohibitions on close relatives marrying, having multiple marriage partners; or marrying children, pets, inanimate objects, or corpses.

Argument number 2 involves financial benefits and inheritance issues. Really, says I. The obvious truth is that signing on to a work or business contract that does not provide benefits to your lover is your own fault, not the government's. What's more, while you may petition a private business owner to change the terms of the contract, he is under no legal obligation to do so. As for inheritance laws and death taxes, the government is morally wrong to override the written and notarized wills of the dead in most cases.

Change the law. Get the Federal Government out of the marriage business. They should not have the right to pick winners and losers in the marriage debate.

I have a theory why marriage is being so hotly challenged, and it has nothing to do with love or financial incentives, but everything to do with communism.

From the 45 Goals of Communist Takeover of America

Congressional Record--Appendix, pp. A34-A35 January 10, 1963

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural, healthy."

40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.

It seems to me broadening the definition of marriage to include gay and lesbian relationships is well in line with these two goals.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

This is Me Angry and Confused at the Supreme Court

Dear NSA,
This is what I want from the Fed regarding marriage laws, definitions, benefits, taxes, inheritances, and so forth. They can eat my shorts!

I don't want anyone trying to legally force on me what they think marriage means. I have a moral definition that neither the Fed, nor any of the liberal left has succeeded at changing!

That marriage is between any two consenting adults of any sexual orientation, is an extraordinary claim, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence; evidence that the LGBT community and their supporters have not provided!

I want the Fed out of my bedroom, out of my marriage, out of my bank account and health and life insurance, and out of my inheritance rights.

I want the liberal whiners to learn proper, respectable debate and to start making logical claims as to why marriage laws and definitions must change.

Proselyting a new definition of marriage by legislation and the Supreme Court will not gain my respect, will not change my mind or heart, and may even shorten my tolerance.

As a whole, I don't feel hate in my heart for the LGBTs of this country, but if that's what they are trying to inspire, they are getting close.

There, I've written something angry about the subject. Maybe soon I'll write something more reasoned and gentle.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese for the NSA

Is it fattening? Yes! Is it loaded with carbs? Absolutely!

Here is my recipe for homemade macaroni and cheese, since obviously the NSA will care so much:

1 lb pasta (we prefer rotini or egg noodles)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
2 cups shredded cheese (we prefer 1 1/2 cups colby and 1/2 cup romano)

Boil the pasta in a large pot until al-dente, drain and put back in the pot.

In large sauce pot on medium heat, melt butter, whisk in flour until incorporated, whisk in milk and spices. Stir until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted and well blended. Remove from heat, gently stir into pasta. Serve hot. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Change of Policy for the Boy Scouts of America

lifted from Rotary International
Yesterday I found out via The Blaze that the Boy Scouts of America changed it's policy to allow for gay members (but not openly gay leaders).
The Blaze

 I was bothered, alarmed even, for that change. I thought for sure the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would drop the program over this type of change. I consulted the church website to see for sure, but to my surprise the church announced that they will continue with the association with the scouts:

I even upon reading other sources found that the church was one of the voices supporting the change:
nbc news

I spent several hours last night and this morning soul searching and praying about the matter. To be honest I'm still not 100% percent comfortable with the change; but I had a thought (greatly assited by the church'd official announcement) on the matter that helps me at least consider letting my boys take part in spite of the change:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches the Law of Chastity (no sexual relationships outside of lawful marriage between a husband and wife). That standard is expected of all members no matter the age, marital status, or sexual orientation. The law is taught to the youth and that taking part in church activities (including the scouting program) is conditional upon meeting church standards of conduct.

While the policy change on the national level makes me think twice about letting my boys take part in Boy Scouts, it doesn't seem to change how the Church operates the program.

I'm still worried, however, about whether the door is open to allowing gay scout leadership and the consequences that come with that; or how the boys will relate to each other once one of their members admits to being gay or having same gender attraction. Moral corruption and bullying are both inherent risks, but I guess that's just a bridge I'll have to cross only if and when I get there.

Previous post about the Boy Scout of America: Role Models

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What if it were One of Mine?

What if it was my daughter in a homosexual relationship? If she were the minor and I found out she was dating another, older girl, what would I do?

I hope first that I would be big enough to invite the two for a private and polite chat about where our family morals are and what the secular consequences will be if this relationship continues before the age of majority. I would explain that I am morally opposed to all extra marital sex as well as homosexual relationships. I would tell them that their sexual relationship is illegal if they are more than 3 years apart and that if this continues, my daughter will be removed from the school (that is if she is no longer homeschooling) and I will notify the other girl's parents that I oppose the two being together. I would also individually let my daughter know that if she sneaks out or runs away to be with her "girlfriend", I will have to involve the police and file statutory rape charges against the other girl. I would let my daughter know very clearly that as long as she is under age, she puts her "girlfriend" at risk for arrest and a lifetime of problems including reduced chances at college and career. No child of mine plays the "But I love..." card with me.

Now if it was my daughter as the older girl, I wouldn't even bother with meeting the younger girl. I would simply tell my daughter very clearly what the other family can legally do to ruin her life if this relationship goes on. I may even contact the other family and and find out what they know and what action they may take. No matter what the other family does or says, I will tell my daughter to leave the other girl (at least until the younger one has graduated high school and reached eighteen years of age) or I'll not let her drive the family car, not fund college, and if she is especially belligerent, not post bail should the other family press charges.

As a parent, it is my responsibility to teach my children about the law and the consequences of breaking the law.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Tragedy in the Moment, but a Potential Serial Killer Stopped

This story and the comments section has my blood up.


A quick synopsis of events: Andrea Rebello was with friends in her home when an armed intruder forced his way in and demanded money and valuables. They tried to appease him, but what they had on hand was enough. The intruder allowed one of them to leave to get money from the ATM, but she calls the police instead. When they arrive and the intruder finds out, he gets Andrea in a headlock and attempts to take her hostage to escape. The intruder made a move to fire on the police officer, and the officer fired eight shots, seven of which stuck the intruder, who died of course; and tragically, one struck Andrea in the head, killing her also.

Many comments disparage the police officer, other comments offer condolences to Andrea's family and empathy for the officer.

In my opinion, the police officer made judgement call, one he will have to live with the rest of his life. However, the officer is not the villain in this story, the armed intruder is. A beautiful woman is dead because of the armed crook, not the policeman doing his duty. Even though a young woman is dead, the officer is still the hero. The intruder would likely have killed everyone in the apartment when the money did not come, and the police officer, Andrea, and any number of other people who got in his way while trying to escape or rob again.

On the rare occasions when I have found an police officer or military man in the mood to speak candidly, they have never claimed that being in an armed conflict is good times. In fact one told me these are the moments that nightmares are made of.

Our heros need to make terrible decisions sometimes, but that's what they need to do to make it home to their families.

The survivors were lucky their assailant was stupid and over patient. Home invasions do not usually take long enough for the police to arrive. The police can only be back up or investigators. If even one of these friends had been trained and armed, this story may very well have ended on a better note.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Weekend Lesson Planning

I'm teaching Colin to add, just the x+1 family of math problems. Colin works best with a number line, so I am looking for a very good, proffesional looking number line that a kindergartener would like to use. However, Colin is very particular. This number line is not good enough:

lifted from Elizabeth Richards

He likes the above image because it has animals, but the number line is not "real" because it doesn't have arrows.

So far nearly every time I've drawn a number line, I've included arrows on the ends symbolizing infinity in either direction. It's an old habit from high school and college algebra. Now Colin won't accept any number line without arrows.

Here's the one he liked best that I found online:
lifted from Smart Exchange
Seriously. The absence of numbers does not matter to Colin. As long as it has points and arrows on both ends, he is very happy.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Lonely Lighthouse in the Storm

I am responsible. God gave me outstanding blessings for which HE made me responsible. HE gave me a mind so that I may think for myself. HE gave me a heart so I may feel HIS love and give love to those around me. HE gave me health and a strong womanly body so that I may have joy and bring children into this world. HE gave me my husband for me to have support, strength, love, and friendship. HE gave me children to cherish and raise to glorify HIM. How can I possibly turn away from these blessings?

I'm living in a world that confuses me. Schools, instead of nurturing young minds, are destroying them with misinformation and politically correct curricula. Hearts and feelings are being crushed by the harsh and false doctrines of the feminist movement. People are destroying their health and strength with drugs, poor diet, and sedentary lifestyles (I'm not perfect either, but at I'm trying to maintain my health). Husbands and wives are being abandoned, or marriage avoided, or redefined into obsolescence. And children... this is the worst tragedy of all, children are being murdered both in and out of the womb.

How has our nation fallen into such sin? How can we recover?

favim.com Tawas Point Lighthouse *
Sometimes I feel like a lonely lighthouse at the edge of a raging sea. I feel the winds and waves crashing against me, and I feel horror for those ships caught in the storm. I can't save them, all I can do is hold my light high and hope they see it to get their bearings.

It's like the scripture says, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
(New Testament | Matthew 5:16)

HE has given me mighty blessings, and those blessings are my light. I am not mighty to save. Only the LORD fits that description; but I can stand and hold up my light. Perhaps that is what is needed in the world right now. More people who have been richly blessed to hold up their lights and illuminate our world.

*a note about this lighthouse: Tawas Point Lighthouse on Lake Huron. Lake Huron is a small sea and like all the Great Lakes, rather prone winter storms and high winds. This lighthouse warns against a shoal. The nearby water (not pictured) is only a few inches deep for several hundred yards out. It's a place ships must avoid at all times and in all weather. This lighthouse is still in use today, although automated, of course.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Laws Concerning Firearms Are Officially Outdated

It doesn't look like much, but it's viable. The Liberator
Thank's to the invention of the 3D printer and Defense Distributed we now have "undetectable" firearms that anyone can simply "print" at home. Are we scared? The U.S. Federal Government certainly is. Should we be scared? I'm willing to say no, we should not be afraid.

An undetectable weapon is simply one that can not be detected by a metal detector or an x-ray device. With current security technology  these weapons can be smuggled into formerly weapon free zones, federal offices, sporting events, airlines, shopping centers, and so forth. It seems obvious why that would be worrisome for security purposes. A bad person with undetectable weapons can cause an incredible amount of death, damage, and chaos.

With this worst first thinking in mind, the federal government is trying to suppress the print information for plastic handguns and similar technology, instead of innovating a new way to detect unfriendly weapons or changing the laws concerning weapon free zones.

However, what they are failing to address is that this is a two sided coin. Bad people with plastic weapons can not detect if good people are similarly armed. In the hands of good people, undetectable weapons are a powerful tool. Imagine when an undercover officer needs to move quickly through a security checkpoint while in pursuit of a suspect without it being obvious whether he is armed or not, or that security personnel let him breeze through on purpose.

Now I can understand that the government would want certain places to be weapon free, but that won't be feasible until we have ability to detect offensive plastic. Perhaps, instead of taking draconian measures to suppress the information of how undetectable weapons are made, we should change the laws concerning weapon free zones. Encourage firearms training and ownership as a duty among the general adult population and allow them to carry wherever they will.

Such measures won't stop bad people from getting weapons or doing bad things, but it slams the door on mass shootings, armed robbery, rape, break ins and a host of other violent evils. If the Fed wants "common sense" gun control laws, they should first consult the original common sense gun control law, the Second Amendment.

Not only shall the right to bear arms not be infringed, Defense Distributed has proven that the right to bear arms CAN NOT be infringed.

Satire: A Proposal To Update The White House Electrical Wiring and Other Federal Facilities

Whereas there was smoke in the White House on May 11, 2013 emanating from a closet in the West Wing; whereas the cause of the smoke is unknown, all electrical wiring, fire suppression systems, and psychic advisors must be replaced, effective immediately in all federally own facilities including  but not limited to the White House, all congressional and judicial facilities, military bases, public schools, private homes, and holes occupied by the homeless.

Said wiring must be composed of 24K gold mined from sustainable sources by methods that meet or exceed all OSHA and EPA standards. Membership in the AFL/CIO Union shall be required of all employees of said mining project  No legal documentation, photo ID's, drug tests, vetting, background checks, English language or competency tests may be required or administered for employment in said mining project.

The 24K replacement wiring must be insulated in heat resistant Bengal tiger skin. Whereas Bengal tigers are a rare and endangered species, and whereas Bengal tigers are carnivorous and highly frightening and dangerous natural hunters, it is proposed that a new breed of Bengal Tiger, to be named The Obama Tiger, be created, bred and farmed, in the neighboring nation of Detroit, located on the border of the U.S. state of Michigan, and the international border of the Canadian Province of Ontario. Said Obama Tigers shall be bred to be docile, herbivorous, non-flammable, thin skinned, and democratic in nature. Said nation of Detroit shall be emptied of all current occupants of conservative political leanings and "humanly" relocate to a colony on Earth's orbital moon. Such humane tactics may include, as necessary, weapons confiscation, re-education, electric shock therapy, and repetitious viewings of all the works of Michael Moore. Whereas the conservative inhabitants of the nation of Detroit are few in number, the budget of said colonization project shall be minimal, but unspecified. Whereas certain animal rights groups may object to the genetic alteration, breeding, and farming of Bengal/Obama Tigers, an unspecified budget to placate all officials of said animal rights organizations shall be established.

The proposed budget for all projects above is slated at approximately U.S. $11,235,813,213 and no completion date has determined.
"Step two: Having firmly grasped your tiger tail, address him in a calm, clear and assertive voice..."
Lifted from: Economic Crisis Cartoon

Friday, May 10, 2013

Keeping Watch Over Mommy

Stay right where you are, woman!
My three month old son, Gideon, is on guard duty this afternoon. He is watching over me very closely to make sure I don't go anywhere. If I leave my seat he sounds the alarm and will not stop until I have picked him up, or sat back down.

He's actually kind of funny to watch. Gideon gets a very stern look on his face when I look his way, but as soon as he thinks I'm not going anywhere he starts to nod off. Then if I move or shift in my seat and he's awake again.

I think I'm going to start calling him "Warden", because I just can't do anything or go anywhere today without his express approval.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

What Would Happen If Public Education Were Completely Defunded?

lifted from: http://andrewburns.blogspot.com/
Just wondering. I suppose at first there would be a lot of people out of work: the teachers, administrators, maintenance, bus drivers, etc. Of course the teachers' unions would stage massive protests until they ran out of cash and were forced to find other causes or (gasp) real work.

But what of the students? I'm willing to say that private and homeschools will flourish, and more many churches will likely open up their facilities for schooling (...hmm... 4 R's... readin', ritin', 'rithmatic, and religion... now that's an education).

Defunding the schools will be no utopia, but imagine an America where parents controlled the education of their children. We would probably pick some different subjects besides environmental activism, socialism, and fuzzy-wuzzy-feel-good-math.


I'm trying to get the house clean today, but it just can't be done.
lifted from: FulcrumGallery.com

I try to wash the dishes, and Karyn wants to help by pouring the wash water into the rinse water. That's not helpful, so I clear and organize the kitchen counters and pick up some week old pizza boxes to tear apart and throw in the trash, butthey are glued together and indestructible  Next I try cleaning off the dining table which is the time Colin picks to get a butter knife and smash crackers all over the table. I'm losing my temper a bit and boil some water and make a cup of chamomile tea. There was a little water left in the pan which 2 minutes later Karyn splashes on herself with a startled and pained squeak  I get her sorted out and try again to wash the dishes and Aaron calls saying he'll be late, which is fine, but now I have to tell the kids, but I don't get to right away because Gideon wants to nurse and take his nap. Ok, that's done and I finally tell the kids Papa will be late and they are alright with that. The cup of chamomile is cold and doesn't taste as nice, but I drink it anyway and set a timer for three o'clock to remind me to take the kids to the playground, assuming Gideon is awake at that time. I'm about to get back to cleaning something, when Colin, while dancing on the table, knocks a glass of water off. It's sturdy and doesn't break, but now there is spilled water to clean up, which I tell Colin to take care of. He succeeds in spreading the water around, but not much is picked up. Then he helps himself to a popsicle and drops chunks of it on the floor while Karyn is in the kitchen hosing the counters walls and floors with the sink sprayer. I give up. It seems like the harder I try to clean the house the messier it gets.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Little Girl's Voice Raised In Song

How the song is supposed to go:

Loveliest of trees!
The cherry now
Is hung with bloom
Along the bough.
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

What I heard my three year old daughter singing this afternoon:

Loveliest of trees,
the cherry now,
is wearing blue
about the woodland ride!
Everybody does not want to
see your underwear.

Well, I tried to teach her a classic... I halfway succeeded.
lifted from: The Giraffopia Blog

Why I Married Aaron

To be honest, I had fallen in love with several other men. In fact, I had loved one or two others with a greater intensity than I felt for Aaron at the time (which, by the way, today I love him 100 times more than any other man... love does grow). However, I had turned done several proposals because I knew that as much as I loved these others I knew we would be at each others throats with in a short while.

I married Aaron because he was/is:
Morally Worthy (moral worth always tops the list)
God fearing
Loves children
Comes from a similar family and personal background
Is of the same faith
Straight (an absolute neccesity in a heterosexual relationship)
Goes to church and encourages me to do so
Works hard
Sees the world the same way I do
And yes, I loved him, and still do

I actually sat down and wrote two lists, one filled with reasons why I should marry him, and one filled with reasons why I should not marry him. The reasons why won by a very narrow margin. I kneeled down anyway to pray if it was right for me to marry Aaron. The Lord answered me that He wasn't going to choose for me whom I should marry. So I responded, "Oh Lord, stop me if I'm wrong".

He didn't stop me. Still hasn't said a word against our marriage, so I must have done the right thing. In any case I've been very happy with my choice.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Gun I Want

Lifted from: This Website
After I get the NRA membership, the proper training, and a good gun safe, the following is the kind of defense weapon I want:

I want something fairly easy to conceal, but with a large enough caliber to bring an attacker down without requiring a precision shot between the eyes. I want that person to know I didn't miss. If that means he gets a hole the size of a grapefruit ripped through his body for threatening myself or my children, so be it. In a high adrenaline situation, I'm not going to count on my ability to aim well enough to hit his heart with a small caliber round.

My gun will also need to be well balanced. It should feel comfortable and useful in my hands, otherwise I may be hesitant to take it to the range on weekends to practice.

My gun will be easy to disassemble,  clean, and reassemble. I do not want my gun seizing up, or worse, exploding in my face because I didn't clean it properly, or got something out of place.

This is a rather ugly thought process, and I pray I never find myself in a situation where I need to take a human life. If anything I hope the sight of my gun would be enough to drive away any assailant, which leads to another factor, intimidation. As much as I admire beautiful weaponry (would love a collection of antiques), I don't want some desperate criminal to think because my gun is pink, that I'm afraid to use it. Let my gun be shock inspiring to look upon.

Worst case scenario: Kill or be killed.
Best and most likely outcome: Criminal runs away like a little girl at the sight of my .357 Magnum.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Stupid. It Burns.

I worked as a volunteer intern for a state senator in Michigan one year. I learned there several important lessons, such as: Senators have no life outside of politics; yes, politicians are humans and just as prone to stupidity as everyone else (which leads to my final point); never drink a flaming shot.

I was in the Senator's office licking envelopes whilst learning about the law making process when I heard outside the door in the reception area, this conversation.

Secretary: Hi Matt... Oh my G--! What happened to your beard. (I'm not sure what Matt's position was)

Matt: Oh, I set my face on fire Saturday night.

Secretary: What?! How did that happen?

Matt: Well, I was with the fire marshal after a meeting and we went to the bar for a drink. I think I must have had a little too much, but I wanted to try a flaming shot. Tim didn't tell me I was supposed to blow it out first, and it set my beard on fire.

Secretary: Oh my G--! What did Tim do?

Matt: He just laughed.

Secretary: No way! Drunken b------d.

Matt: Yeah, and the bartender really freaked out. She was new and all, and didn't know what to do. I had to put it out myself.

lifted from: Fark.com
Secretary: Well, you look good for having set your face on fire.

Matt: I was red Sunday morning, but it's pretty much stopped hurting since then.

I was trying so hard not to laugh or be unprofessional. It is an interesting moment when you discover that the people we elect to office prove to be as stupid prone as everyone else.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

I'm Coming Out Of The Closet

It's so stressful to keep such a large part of myself a secret. I feel so guilty and torn for not telling my loved ones. I'm worried how I may have mislead them. So today I am being courageous and announcing it to the world that... (brace yourselves) I am heterosexual. Yes. I am a straight female; and what's more... a monogamous straight female.

I have at times been seen holding hands and being affectionate with a man, who is my male husband, who doesn't mind that people know he is straight and monogamous as well. I'm sure not everyone who reads this will be surprised; especially since we have had three biological children of our own (which of course that fact has been very difficult to hide).

I know it's not popular, or cool to be straight right now, and marriage obviously can be very risky, but I must come out of the closet on this issue.  I also know I'll be attacked by heterophobes who believe I am living an unnatural or unhealthy lifestyle; and I'll be accused of destroying society by bringing in children and raising them to be straight or celibate, and teaching them to get along with people of the opposite sex, to drive cars that run on fossil fuels, and to question or oppose socialist policies. However, I choose to accept the risks because I am so courageous.

Now that I've said that, and posted it on my blog, I expect to be called by talk show hosts and VIP's to congratulate me for my courage. My picture posted on the Wheaties box would be nice too, even though I am not a second rate football quasi-celebrity.