Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanks-Giving!

Here it is, the day before the BIG day, the eve of the day we all actually plan to eat far too much food and lie around on the softest pieces of furniture we own, all while watching grown men in tight pants beat each other up on fake grass to get a pigskin ball. Oh, and the parade! Let's not forget that we also watch giant "balloons" and floating stages in a parade with too much commentary. And why do we do this every year? Got a minute?

Okay, so a very long time ago, some oddly-dressed ancestors who had come to this slab of land we call America in a big boat (or several) decided for one day after the Autumn harvest to practice what they preached - and they put aside their differences with the Indigenous Americans (they weren't in India, by the way) and shared a day of "Thanks Giving" for all their God (or Spirits, if you are one of the Indigenous Americans) had blessed them with to survive the coming winter months. Just gives us the warm, fuzzy feeling we look forward to all year.

Well, that is the watered-down version of the story anyway, the one we actually want to hear so that we can continue to celebrate what is actually said to have begun as a victory party following the horrible massacres of innocent men, women, and children that took place so frequently that President Washington finally suggested we just celebrate once per year rather than after every killing spree. Got any warm fuzzies now? Me, neither.

Tomorrow, when you sit down at the table to pig out with family and friends, take just a moment of your day to recognize the lives lost at the hands of the people we celebrate once a year. And celebrate instead that we, as a nation, have been blessed, and that we, as a people, can neither ignore nor repair the damage done. But in learning from the past, we can endeavor to never repeat such genocide.

The food is wonderful, and I wouldn't suggest we give it up. The parade is beautiful, and we should enjoy the wonder of it with our family and friends. And football... well, okay, I could do without football, but I think my husband's head might explode if he had to endure an entire day with all these people crammed together without the solace of football! But isn't it about more than all that?

This year, I thank God that I am free to speak openly about my beliefs, that I am free to disagree with my governmental authority (unless the investigation of "Joe the Plumber" gets pervasive), that I am free to educate my children at home, and mostly, that I am free to worship my God.

What do you give thanks for this year?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Hairs on Our Heads

Dania got her very first haircut yesterday!

Mommy was playing beauty shop with Dania and noticed how ragged some of the shorter hairs were on Dania's head. Mommy asked, "Do you want a real haircut?" Dania said, "Yeah."

Mommy trimmed a bit off the lengthy back layers, then shortened up some bangs in the front (Dania hates having her hair in her face!), and Viola! first haircut!

From Fall2008

By two years of age, the other two had already had several haircuts, but Dania's hair is just different - much like the child, herself. So it strikes me a bit odd to get excited about her first haircut when she is talking up a storm and using the potty! Oh, well, there are certainly no two alike!

Makes me think... The Bible says God knows the number of hairs on our heads...Does He also keep track of when they get a trim? (and was He more aware of my daughter's hair condition than even I was?) Does He know how many times that number changes, like when you have a baby and all your hair falls out? Oh, to be considered so special that even the hairs on our heads have importance!

May God show you today all the ways He cares about you.
We are Loved. And that is enough. In fact, it... is... everything.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Rain Washes Away...

...the remnants of Autumn...
...a layer of dust that had settled upon the earth...
...and my energy.

There is nothing quite like a cloudy, rainy day; but it takes its toll on my perkiness. My eyes want to drift close, my mouth is in constant YAWN, and my brain feels sluggish. Oh, to have nothing to do on a day of rain! Too bad it didn't work out like that for me....

The laundry needs doing, the children need teaching, the dishes need washing and putting away.
The toddler needs watching, the floors need a sweeping, and I'd rather watch movies all day!
The rain is the cold kind, the drizzle-all-day kind, and that kind of rain is just so draining.
I wish I could spend the whole day in pajamas, but then I'd have to do some 'splaining!

Hope your day is filled with all the energy mine is lacking!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dora... We Meet Again...

Oh, barnacles, the Little One has discovered Dora The Explorer! Rats! My sweet Puddin' walks around asking to "watta Dowa" on the "teedee" daily. She is adorable with it, though, because, unlike my anti-social older offspring, she actually interacts with the program! Isn't that the whole point of the obnoxious show? (actually, the older children recently informed me that they do not like the way Dora talks to them - I think they feel insulted!)

Anyway, though Dora the Explorer is not my favorite children's program, it is cute to watch Dania clap her hands with Dora, call out the Spanish words, and sing the songs! And let's not forget that during the episode, she is not climbing Mount Mommy to fiddle with my earlobe or scaling the pantry shelves in search of a "nack."

Ah, well, could be worse. She could be addicted to The Wiggles. {shudder} I never could get into that group.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Full House

One thing I have learned after having my third child: when kids come over to play, we hardly feel the addition of another person! There must be some magical chaotic setting that the third child initiates that just doesn't go away, because when other children are added to the mix, the chaos factor hardly rises at all.

Yesterday, we were blessed with a playdate with a friend as well as a playdate with a cousin - at the same time! The friend is 8 and the cousin is 1, but we all had fun, and the house was good and full! We played dress-up and "house," because naturally, when two little girls get together in a house with dress-up clothes and toddlers, "house" is the required game of the day! Plus, there was a tea party!! During the upstairs tea party, the little ones stayed downstairs with me, where I gave the 2-year-old a bowl of Sponge Bob Cheezits and bid her "share" - which she did, quite happily! (I have already learned that the 1-year-old cannot yet be trusted with a bowl of snacks!)
From Family & Friends 2008

A full house is so much fun, and when they all went home, our house was still full and we still had fun, but our day was all the brighter because of the time we spent with friends and family.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Crisis at Christmas

Okay, Christmas is coming... and the goose is too skinny this year. Seems like every where I turn, a family is struggling to put food on the table. Every other person I talk to is looking toward a meager Christmas. Maybe the focus is all wrong....

I am not trying to diminish anyone's anguish over financial struggle; I do know what they are feeling. However, I wonder if all this struggling could be a symptom of something bigger....

Faith is bigger than finances. Family is better than bow-topped presents. Hope is fancier than a fully-trimmed Christmas tree. Love is richer than Santa. And Jesus is the reason for the season, anyway.

"Away in a manger, no crib for a bed...." Jesus, too, had financial woes.

"The first noel, the angel did say, was to certain poor shepherds in fields where they lay...." Poverty doesn't remove you from God's sight, neither does it keep you from His blessings. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. (Check out Matthew 5)

"Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells, all seem to say, 'throw cares away'." Let us turn to the music of the season, and let our hearts be directed toward Him, the babe who came - to die so that we may live.

God is bigger than your budget woes, stronger than your housing needs, and more compassionate than your boss. Why not turn to Him this Christmas? It's His Holiday anyway.

In Christ,

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cold Snap!

Time to break out the bread bowls of stew, the lib balm, the fuzzy slippers and cozy fleece robes, and the throw blankets for the sofas! This morning, the weather turned colder - much more in keeping with the season, for sure. The snap in the air, the take-your-breath wind, and the gray skies tell me Ol' Man Winter is on his way. The poor toddler braved the dropping temps with Mommy this morning, and she was having difficulty covering her face and holding onto her blowing hair! Yup, it was sure "win-ny!"

Yesterday, my daughters and I went to see High School Musical 3 with some close friends, and we were all alone in the theatre! I LOVE HOMESCHOOLING! Heehee! It was a good movie, another wholesome family film, and we happened to take in the "sing-along" version, which displays the lyrics for every song on the bottom of the screen. My only complaint in this film was that Gabriella's dresses sure got dangerously short since the last two! But, overall, a catchy, fun, innocent-enough movie. Seems like maybe the ending was their way of telling us goodbye from all the seniors, who happen to be all the main characters. We'll see what that was all about when the next one comes out, I suppose!

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a lovely Autumn. I am looking forward to baking some apple pies and drinking some lactose-free egg nog! Have a Blessed weekend!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Deodorant, Mood Swings, and Zits!?!

Oh, may the Good Lord help us, I think we are entering the pre-pubescent years! Calysta started needing deodorant under her arms about 2 weeks ago, and last weekend she had mood swings from - that other place - and YESTERDAY, she developed a not-so-subtle zit on her face! Where did my child go??? The teen years are bearing down on us!! Aaak, puberty, here we come!

After the mood swings, we promptly purchased a parenting series that we had known we wanted to try when the kids got to this level. Now, we are impatiently awaiting that package in the mail while we deal with zits! I have to buy my child/preteen a book about the changes her body is going through, and that book is going to talk about s-e-x and where babies come from! ... and believe it or not, Calysta still believes the simple answer from when she was 3: that a Mommy and Daddy pray to God for a baby, and He can give it to them!! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?!?!?!?

Okay, deep breath, calm down.... If anyone has any advice on how to deal with this from a conservative standpoint, please let me know! I believe in honesty, so I will not lie to my child, but I also believe in preserving innocence whenever possible and for as long as possible.

So, I guess now we have body hair to look forward to.... *gulp*Aak!

Graying by the minute,

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Politics in America

Yep, I'm goin' there. Buckle your seatbelts, folks, here we go....

Americans in general seem to be remarkably undereducated about the structure and function of our government. The United States President is an individual who is in the forefront of our minds, so he makes a convenient scapegoat for all of our problems and gets credit for the good times. I am here to tell each of you that there are three branches of government in our great country: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. Each branch has equal weight in the running of the country, but each has a different role. Allow me to inform you:

The Executive Branch of the government consists of the President and Vice President, as well as other executive departments and independent agencies. This branch of the Federal Government is responsible for enforcing the laws of our nation. Did you catch that?? They ENFORCE the laws.

Okay, the Legislative Branch, also called Congress, consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. This branch of the Federal Government is responsible for making the laws that will govern our nation. Did you catch that one?? They MAKE the laws. You getting this??

The Judicial Branch consists of the Supreme Court, the Courts of Customs and Claims, the Circuit Court of Appeals, and the District Courts. This branch of the Federal Government is responsible for interpreting the laws and ensuring that the people's rights are protected. Most people don't seem to care enough about the judges in this country, but they have a very critical role: protecting the rights of the people and interpreting the laws. We don't give this enough weight in our political agendas.

Okay, so now that I have given you a basic third grade education on the structure of our Federal Government, let me say this: The people in positions of power today do not have an immediate impact on our lives. It often takes years to feel the impact of the decisions made by the Executive and Legislative Branches of government. For example, the economic crisis we are in right now was caused by decisions made in 1999. Was George W. Bush the President in 1999?? Nope. Were all the same people in charge in the Congress in 1999?? Nope. So why are you blaming the PRESIDENT????!!!

In addition, the President is NOT responsible for making laws you don't like. The President is NOT responsible for the banking decisions that crashed our economy. The President can ask Congress to do certain things, but the Legislative Branch is responsible for their own actions. They CAN AND DO REFUSE!!

Do I sound angry? You bet I'm angry. Millions of people elected a man for our future president BECAUSE HE'S BLACK!! Millions more people voted Democrat because they blame President Bush for the economy!! People who have no basic understanding of how the government works are making decisions for our country and it TICKS ME OFF!!!

Whether Obama makes a great or awful President will not change my opinions on this, either, so those of you who might be getting ticked at me because you think I am just angry because "my" candidate didn't win, you couldn't be more wrong. People are admitting to your face and on national television that they voted for Obama because he is BLACK. I thought we were supposed to be color-blind! Oh, that's right, only white people have to be color-blind. Black people can further their racial agenda as much as they want. We white people just have to tolerate it. How would the black people in this nation take it if white people all around them got on national television and said, "I voted for him because he is white" or said directly to their faces, "yup, I voted for him because he's white?" They'd SUE US!!! Why are we letting black people be prejudiced at the same time that they sue white people for being prejudiced?????!!!!!!

I worked for the State of Tennessee once upon a time, in an environment that was predominately black. I was treated like a second-class citizen by the black women, and I was discriminated against. I was urged by my superiors (white people) not to sue the institution when it decided not to pay me. I took their advice, but sometimes I regret it. We need to stop all forms of bias. Not just from whites, but from ALL Americans. This is ridiculous.

Folks, learn your facts about how the government works. And stop tolerating reverse discrimination. This country is getting out of hand, and we don't know enough about how it operates as a people to keep it from destroying itself. I believe that we all have a right to our own opinions, and while I may not agree with everyone on who is the best choice for government office, I at least want to see people making their decisions based on something honest and not something superficial (especially not based on ignorance).

That's my rant for today. If you are offended, then you are part of the problem.