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.