Sunday, December 31, 2006
I hereby dub this scarf the purple rainbow....
It's my first finished lace piece (I have a different scarf I'm working on for myself that is set aside). I'm rather proud of it. Every 6th row, you wrap the yarn around the needle 4 x and pull it through, then in the next row, you pull those out so that they are long, criss-cross 4 over 4, and then knit them into place.... I was thinking, when I cast on, that I wanted it to be loose and flowing, so I did a long tail cast-on, but when I bound off, one side was very structured, while the cast-on side was very loose, giving it a rainbow arch. Shouldn't be a big deal since it's draped over the neck, anyway! Living and learning.
Happy New Year everyone!!!
Friday, December 22, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Since I mentioned how nice I think our windows are here at Zion, I've had requests to post them. I only took the ones that are in the sanctuary itself, and the last 4 are in the narthex, side by side. We have more up in the balcony, but the light was shining through them, and the pictures didn't take well..
...and one thing that won't photograph well, is that above the chancel, we have as steeple that is stained glass. It doesn't really reflect on the chancel, but at night it shows out to the town...It really is pretty.
Here's the link, just click on the picture. I hope you enjoy. They are a mosaic style, which I love.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
It's unusual for the grass to still be green. Usually its yellow by late August. But its continued to rain weekly this year, and it has been unseasonably warm the last month or so.
So, a little late, but this is it this morning. More just started to come down. The mean old weather man is threatening 1-3 inches (which means .25)
There may not have been much snow on the ground, but it was enough to make Maggie happy this morning!
And it put a little puppy-step back into good ol' Sophie, too!
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Our church building is fairly modern. It does not have as its inspiration the beautiful cathedral churches in Fort Wayne such as St. Paul's or Redeemer that fill me with awe. But in its more modern architecture, the builders were careful to retain classical Christian representations, and the windows have filled me with awe many times (we've always been blessed to be at churches with incredible windows). But for the most part, the building, the decor, etc. is simple and straightforward, with a few surprises (kind of like me....)
Last night, before the sermon began though, I found my attention completely absorbed by our chancel area. It was the first service with the tree set up, and for the first time, I became very aware how every aspect that was up there spoke so clearly of the presence of Christ.
At the foot of our tree, next to the lectern is the manger scene (a little blurry here) . Right now, it is simply the stable with a few animals. As Advent progresses, the stable will continue to have new arrivals until on Christmas Eve, it will be complete with the holy family and the shepherds. On Epiphany, the Magi will join them. But what caught my attention was the tree. We don't have Chrismons, instead, the tree is entirely decorated with angels. At this moment, it in perspective with the star overhead and the angels literally covering the tree, it truly reminded me of the whole heavenly host filling the sky. But not only that, it also reminded me of Christ's presence in the Old Testament promise, in the dream of Jacob's Ladder..
And he had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth
with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, "I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. Your descendants shall also be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you
and in your descendants will all the families of the earth be blessed. And behold, I am with you, and will keep you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it." And he was afraid and said "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven."
I'd never really thought deeply about how strongly this promise describes that baby in the manger and all the things around the chancel area. From the stable and the angels, my attention went immediately to the processional cross...a crucifix. The reason why He came in the first place. From that, to the resurrected Christ on the wall against the blue backround, reminiscent of the sky. Interestingly, it is impossible to tell if Christ is ascending or returning in glory. The communion veil, depicting a single candle against the deep blue background of Advent, reminds me that Christ is the light of the world, the light no darkness can overcome. Underneath, are the elements that with His word, will soon become His very body and blood, shed for me for the forgiveness of sins. On the lectern is the oil lamp reminding us of the bridegroom coming, and that we are the bride waiting, and our light is fed by the blood He shed. The eternal flame to the side of the tree reminding us that He is with us even now.
My attention is not usually absorbed so completely by visual elements. Sounds, words usually have a stronger effect on me. Tonight, I was awed by the magnitude and the simplicity.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
My honey is a UCLA fan, which means that despite being from Los Angeles, he does NOT like USC (no matter how much I try to convince him that burgundy and gold are manlier colors than baby blue and pale yellow). So he NEVER roots for USC. Never. He even rooted for Texas last year....Texas wolloped UCLA last year and kept them out of the Rose Bowl, if I remember correctly (I tried to pay attention...but really, its football...it could've been basketball that Texas was playing USC over...but I just can't devote that kind of brain cells to the whole thing)
There is an exception, however. USC played Notre Dame last weekend. Spanked 'em, too....and my sweetie has too many Notre Dame fans around here giving him a hard time about how they beat UCLA this year...so that's how we came to even be watching the USC/Notre Dame game...and rooting for USC.
But the only thing that really caught my attention was a statement made by the ABC color commentator in the 4th quarter after USC made another touchdown.
"It looks like the road to Glendale Arizona is paved with Trojans."
All I can say is..... ewwwww.
p.s. sorry I haven't been posting. Life has been a bit too chaotic, but I have a brain full of things I WANT to post about...does that count?
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Diet Coke, Amaretto Sours
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? My husband insisted that his parents didn't "do" Santa, so he didn't want to do it with his kids.....turns out, he just found out about him at a very young age (he was the youngest). However, we haven't missed out on anything (not that we think anyone is evil who doesn't. We've had a lot of fun getting looks from people when we say we don't do it. Pretty similar to the three years we lived without a t.v. When I was a kid, I always knew it was from Santa if it was unwrapped. Santa didn't wrap. Personally, I hate wrapping presents and I think greeting cards are a scam orchestrated by Hallmark to make me feel bad because I always forget to send them.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? colored
4 . Do you hang mistletoe? No. I am such a Scrooge.
5. When do you put your decorations up? We put up manger scenes and such as Advent starts, but we actually don't decorate our tree until Christmas Eve...then we keep it through Epiphany. The trash men hate us.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Cranberry Compote and stuffing
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child: I don't know...it was always just a really nice time with family. My brother and sister were older and out of the house when I was still pretty young, so it was always a nice time to see them, and their kids.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? When I was seven or eight. Then in order to test it, I asked 'Santa' for a ten speed and asked my parents for a bike. I got a bike. But for years after, my mother insisted that if I don't believe in Santa, there will be less gifts, so I faked it, not that I was pulling the wool over her eyes or anything, just letting her have her fun. ;)
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We've done both, depending on what the arrangement was with church services and family get togethers. Now, we do it on Christmas day. (but correct me if I'm wrong...its common thought that Jesus was born at night and that the shepherds found him at night...and that the Wisemen followed a STAR at night...nothing wrong with Christmas Eve).
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? We get an ornament or two each year that seems to symbolize that year. Our tree is full of 15 years of memories. We started with our first year dating.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? There is nothing wrong with 75 degree Christmases!!! Jesus was born in a Mediterranean climate.
12. Can you ice skate? kind of. I can eventually get around the rink a few times
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Jeff got me a stuffed giraffe the first year we were dating. I remember that it's head was sticking out of the box through a big hole in the wrapping paper. We also got engaged 2 days before Christmas, so that would probably be my all time favorite "Christmas gift"
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? That Jesus Christ was born in order to die on the cross for me and that he rose again so that I will too.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Jeff's family make these INCREDIBLE cookies. Jeff's grandmother acquired an iron from a guy who'd had a cart on Coney Island (the iron says Coney Island on it) that makes wonderfully thin waffle cookies. They are light and airy, very mild. Every day after Thanksgiving, they make thousands of them. I never have to make them...just get to enjoy them.... (LOL)
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Putting away the Christmas stuff. Usually, I'm more than eager for it to go away again. I told you I am a Scrooge.
17. What tops your tree? An angel
18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Since I became a mom, giving. But I do like to see what others get me.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? hymn? Angels We Have Heard On High...In school the 6th graders always sang that one, so getting to sing it makes me feel "grown up" I love singing Glo-o-o-o-o-ria...in excelsis Deo. Otherwise, I really love Amy Grant's "Breath of Heaven." I think that will be a classic.
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Pretty cool, especially cherry flavored ones...but I like sugar cookies better.
Friday, November 17, 2006
1. Yourself: frazzled
2. Your spouse: adorable
3. Your hair: gray
4. Your mother: brave
5. Your father: loving
6. Your favorite item: books
7. Your dream last night: tornado
8. Your favorite drink:Diet Pepsi
9. Your dream car: fast
10. The room you are in: kitchen
11. Your ex: none
12. Your fear: antisolitarianism
13. What you want to be in 10 years? warm
14. Who you hung out with last night? Jeff
15. What you’re not? structured
16. Muffins: lemon iced
17. One of your wish list items: debtless
18. Time: ??
19. The last thing you did: IM
20. What you are wearing: cardigan
21. Your favorite weather: sunny-72
22. Your favorite book: Pride and Prejudice
23. The last thing you ate: pumpkind bread
24. Your life: precious
25. Your mood: exhausted
26. Your best friend: Jeff
27. What are you thinking about right now? sleep
28. Your car: minivan
29. What are you doing at the moment? hiding
30. Your summer: ok
31. Your relationship status: blissful
32. What is on your TV? : Food Network
33. What is the weather like? cold
34. When is the last time you laughed? a few minutes ago.
Friday, November 03, 2006
|What American accent do you have? |
Your Result: The West
Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.
|The Inland North|
|What American accent do you have?|
Take More Quizzes
Nope...pegged me right. I'm a Nevada girl through and through.....
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Chris decided to use his tank costume again this year.....he made it last year and is very proud of it.
Maggie was a fairy princess.....she's going to have a lot of fun with this dress for quite a while.....she loves to dress up.
Halloween was a raging success....we get to keep the chocolate, for the sake of the children (those awful dairy allergies....poor us) and the kids get the rest....
Monday, October 30, 2006
Three years ago, when we moved in,
Last fall, I picked up the needles again and started. Then I began thinking...I should knit a pair of socks for Jeff...and also for my goddaughter (baby socks don't take long, after all, especially if you don't MISSIZE them) and I can't leave out her sister......But last night, they were done...and I slept in them! Cozy.
This is a scarf I knitted for Chris. His favorite color is orange...no, its red....no, its orange. So I did this with some tweed red yarn from Cascade 220 combined with an orange from Lamb's Pride (I invaded Designated Knitter's stash for that...she'd knitted Chris mittens in it last year). I kind of designed the stripes in the center so that you can't tell where it stopped being a red scarf with orange stripes and became an orange scarf with red stripes.....I am pretty happy with the way they turned out.
Now the only thing on needles is my lace scarf that will probably be done by the time I kick my kids out of the house (it goes slowly...I have to actually count when I'm doing it, and that doesn't work well with either having children in the room, a husband that actually enjoys talking with me, or my ADHD...) So...I made use of my illness and actually accomplished knitting while I sat immobile on the couch hacking away incessantly..... Now that I can function again....there's a whole new list of tasks to do....BYE!!!
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Last night was the annual Altar Guild meeting/carry-in dinner. Since my husband is the only male that is required to be there, my kids also were there, as well as one other girl that is in my son's Sunday School class. I hadn't heard from the kids for a long time, and was rather enjoying it, when all of a sudden the girl's mother sat down next to me and said these dreaded words....
"I think you ought to know...and I know my daughter was just as involved in it, so I'm not blaming you....."
What dreadful deed did my son commit? What scandalous behavior had he engaged in? Would I have to drag him to therapy? Were they naked????
Nope. They were praying. Chris had decided to practice his acolyting skills and then led them in prayer. Kids get in trouble all the time for playing "doctor." My kid gets in trouble for playing pastor!!
Memories flood in of Chris when he was two years old, putting a measuring tape around his neck like a stole and saying "I'm a pastor!" Then there was the time that he was at Disneyland on the pirate ship.....There was a rail that marked off where the captain sat. Chris stood at the rail and started giving the benediction. The number of times that I've heard exegesis of fairy tales, I can't begin to count (The Three Little Pigs and building your house on the sand or on the Rock," the role of the hunter as savior in Little Red Riding Hood, etc.). His theological questions have left many a Sunday School teacher running back to my husband for help....and then when he asks who wants to know...invariably, the answer is "Chris."
God is showing me once again that he has a sense of humor. The Rebellious Pastor's Wife is not only married to a pastor....but is rather afraid of the fact that she might be the mother of one as well.....Lord have mercy on his wife!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
One of those nice things about homeschooling, too, I guess is that you can put it off! We just started regular lessons this week. With the fair, relatives being here, starting into the rest of the school year routine, it all just seems too much in September....and October seemed to have more than we originally planned...so here we are. But things seem to be moving forward.
Chris has a full venue with confirmation work starting to structure the majority of our catechesis and memory work. I'll add a few other memory projects later. Then we've started in on math after a year break, and surprise of surprises, he loves it again. We are focusing in on history - Middle Ages. I'm learning as much if not more than they are. We are in the "Dark Ages" for me personally, because the era between when the Roman Empire collapsed and the middle of the Middle Ages really are unknown to me., but they are fascinating. We're working through the Greek alphabet, and I won't put too much emphasis on much else other than recognizing the alphabet and putting together the sounds for a while. I probably will add Latin in January. Chris has seminary children's choir and piano lessons also. Jeff is going to be working with Chris on geography (which he gets a lot of in history, but the more the better) and art, since that is a phobia of mine.
Chris and Jeff just got back from an overnight Scout camp (it was 34 degrees at night....glad I was nice and cozy). They had fun though. Chris found he liked archery and he learned how to do jousting combat (the theme this year was Middle Ages) and apparently did quite well!
We're taking it easy with Maggie. Mostly play time. She got her Halloween costume yesterday....a princess gown complete with hoopskirt from Walmart. She's been having fun with it. I also set up her easel in the kitchen and got some paint cups that don't awaken my art/mess phobia so she's completely elated. She's learning to put together 3 letter words and is also learning her Ten Commandments 2 down, 8 to go. We sing hymns and other music, too. Then, "Wonderpets" and play time. There are virtues in going slow. She's already well ahead of most 4 year olds.
Knitting has been quite the adventure. I haven't knitted much all summer, but now that there is a chill in the air, my fingers have started to itch again. My first project ever was supposed to turn into a pair of socks in a bold variagated pattern called "Vegas Lights." (I'm a native Vegas girl, so my
Also, I am embarking on knitting my first piece of REAL clothing. A dress for Maggie, hopefully for Christmas (maybe Epiphany, which if last year is any gauge, she may get it by her birthday in June). I couldn't decide whether I really wanted to do a sweater (the idea of it hangs over me, taunting me) or cables....and then I found this pattern: Rowan has a set of children's books called Miss Bea, and they are cute little readers with a pretty non-existent story line, but the kids are in the most adorable sweaters and such, and then the patterns are at the back (about ten of them...not bad for $10.). And who needs plot when you have patterns? You can make your own plot! I would've spent hours as a kid dreaming about what I'd do if I was wearing those beautiful sweaters...
***note - NOT the dress I'm working on. Mine currently consists of 6 rows of dusty blue garter stitch.
Why couldn't I have discovered these when Maggie was younger??? Instead I sat pondering over Debbie Bliss patterns like they are written in cuneiform. (I still maintain that they are).
Thursday, October 12, 2006
I've gone away from this series for a while, partly because everything has been so busy, and also because I always approach this issue with trepidation. I do homeschool because of my religious beliefs and because of my desire to hand them down to my children, but I don't seem to approach this topic with the zeal that many other homeschoolers do.
Suffice it to say, I spent 7 years in a Lutheran parochial school and 6 years in public schools. I consider myself blessed to have gone to a Lutheran school because since it was not a strong part of our life at home,I owe the feeding of my soul to these teachers. Because of their diligent and clear teachings on the Divine Presence in baptism and holy communion, I could never become a member of another Christian denomination, no matter how much I wanted to (and at times, I did). I grew up relatively strong in Biblical knowledge, and because of weekly chapel that used the liturgy, I am still at home with the worship and hymnody of my heritage.
However, on every other count, I received a MUCH better education in public schools, and given that I know that my husband and I take the command of God very seriously to raise our children to know Him, and make it a part of our daily lives, not just our weekly lives, the religious environment would be less of a concern for us.
In fact, my concern is almost as high that my children not be taught the random faiths that the teachers have in the schools as I am concerned that the schools are teaching false values and evolution as truth.
I went to college in Utah. There, the cry to have God in the schools would mean the teachers would be teaching about the God of Mormonism. Actually, that God is taught in their schools. My nephew had Civics in 5th grade and he had to make a model of a town...complete with a Temple Square. My sister student-taught in a classroom where a series of books were read where the students didn't like the teacher, so they decided to get him fired by putting alcohol in his desk. They talked to Bobby, because his parents would have alcohol, because they weren't Mormon. LDS students are allowed to leave for part of the day to attend Scripture classes at education centers located conveniently across the street while non-Mormon students have study time. I attended a PUBLIC university where at the graduation ceremony prayers were said and the keynote speaker was Gordon B. Hinckley....who was the vice president of the LDS church at the time and now is the current president and prophet. He was given an honorary doctorate for his contributions to the Mormon church. The other three keynote speakers all had made contributions to the work of "the church."
I don't want God taught in the schools...because it just may not be my God....and may very well may not be what I believe about Him. A liberal Christian teacher might teach my kids that the Bible is not completely true. A Baptist might tell my kids that their baptism isn't valid. How would you even begin to regulate this??? And the government has no business teaching religion. That's part of the reason why my ancestors came over here from Germany in the first place.
With the state of our synod, I don't have much more faith in Lutheran schools, either. Some of what I was taught was terribly wrong (my favorite was "if you don't confess EVERY sin, you are going to Hell. By 5th grade, where the teacher said that, I'd luckily known enough to know that was wrong. I hope my classmates did. I also hope that teacher got that straightened out when he went to seminary). I also have had too many friends studying to be teachers or DCEs in Lutheran colleges and have heard what they have said, and I have seen a few too many churches where the teachers were the ones pushing the most strongly for contemporary worship and looser theology, or completely abandoning going to a Lutheran church at all in favor of the non-denominational church down the way, despite what their contract said.
Last month I was talking with a Lutheran school teacher and her husband, and the Augsburg Confession came up. "I had to read Christian Doctrine in school. That was arduous enough. I have no desire to read that," she said. With all due respect to the author, Dr. Koehler, a textbook that outlines our teachings is nothing compared to the actual living 50 page document that has the passion and zeal of men who were defining our faith for the sake of saving their lives. It is an EASY read, really. It is intriguing and interesting!!! Why are our teachers not reading this? Why not every student of a Lutheran college and every person who is trying to get certified to teach in a Lutheran school? I think our church secretaries should be required to read it to learn what we are about, whether they are Lutheran or not!!! How can they impart the beauty of our faith when church workers who profess to be confessional have not even looked at our confessions????? And I am to trust the bringing up in the faith of my children to teachers who are completely ignorant of anything that is not in the teachers manual of their class's religion curriculum...unless they have taken up educating themselves?
Yet, all these negatives are not why I keep my kids out of the schools. I do it because I LOVE to teach them to know God. I WANT to be the one who does this. I am responsible for it, because the Bible puts that responsibility on the head of the family (my husband) and on me because I am his helpmeet and the one responsible for the day to day education of our kids. It really is one of the most enjoyable tasks of our day. I am daily motivated by no stronger reason than this.Technorati tags: homeschool
The Mouse....by Chris and Ashley
In a house there was a mouse.
And that mouse wore a blouse
the blouse was red
the mouse was dead
oh that was so fun and now we are done
oh mouse in a blouse goodbye.
The last half of September and the first half of October have been insane. We had the "start of the school year," which for us is not marked by the return of lessons but the return of activity. Scouts starts back up, then Seminary Children's Choir, and also there are preparations for the fair. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it really is. To all of a sudden have two major activities start up, then all that goes into getting the rabbits ready for the fair, and then adding two trips to the fairgrounds every day to care for them simply wipes me out. My son is nearly as introverted as I am, so it wipes him out also.
As soon as the fair was done (our rabbits Roo and Bristol took Best of Breed and Best Opposite for Jersey Wooly), there was getting up to Michigan to see my parents off (they are the opposite of Snow Birds...they are from a hot place and they have decided to live on a Michigan lake in the Summer to avoid the heat.....of course, they were in a great hurry to leave before it got cold, also). Not that I hate going....its just finding the time. Chris started confirmation class, too when fair was over...so there's Wednesday night gone, too.......geeesh. I don't have TIME to send them to school. Then Kris and Brian came -- Kris is Jeff's cousin, and she and her husband are WONDERFUL people. When we left California, Brian was teetering on the edge of becoming a Christian. Now he has been baptized and is very active in the church that Jeff used to be a pastor at. It is such a treat to hear confessional statements coming out of his mouth. Several times I stopped and said a little prayer of thanks for Pastor D'Nofrio.
In the midst of this were three funerals that kept my hubby busy.
These last two days have been time for vegging. On Monday, we finally start actual "school." In many ways...I can't wait.
Oh yeah, and then there were the Dodgers.....well, the Dodgers are the Dodgers. I think it was clear when we actually had two guys get out at the plate in the same play, our left handed reliever got into some kind of bar-brawl and injured his pitching hand, etc....that this was not going to be our year. I'd had my doubts anyway. But given the sheer amount of "kids" on our team, I'm really proud of them, and I'm very hopeful for the future. It will be interesting to see if we re-sign Nomar or Gagne. I'm rooting for the Cardinals to beat the Mets now....but probably for the long haul...I like the Cinderella story of the Detroit Tigers.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Oh what a week! It was Fair Week here, and Chris showed his rabbits. He did well. Roo and Bristol took Best of Breed and Best Opposite of Breed, respectively, and the judges both had a lot of good things to say about our litter of babies. Chris told him that we were trying to decide which to keep and he said "Oh, keep them all! They are all three excellent." But we are keeping Rebecca. Guinevere will soon be on her way to Las Vegas to be a classroom rabbit, and Rowena charmed the heart of someone who saw her and she will be living the high life as a houserabbit. From what I hear, she's going to have a pretty spiffy "condo" cage. But it was a long week.
So between doing our regular things and adding that, I'm exhausted....but not completely because I have to yell this at the top of my lungs.....
GO DODGERS!!!!!! GO DODGERS!!!!! WOO HOO!!!! Playoffs here we come!!!!
Monday, September 25, 2006
Thursday, September 21, 2006
There was one "issue" conspicuously missing at the Image of God Conference. In the presence of so many discussions and presentations about how part of being in the image of God is to beget; with all the talk of contraception, abortion, divorce, illegitimacy, cohabitation, etc. the issue of how to provide pastoral care to those dealing with the issue of miscarriage and stillbirth was noticably absent to me.
Our theology readily confesses that life begins at conception, but in pastoral care, the very reality that God blessed a couple with a child and that child died before the parents could even look upon its face is often not treated as the tragedy that it is. Instead of the grace of God, the couple is often presented with trite phrases:
- "don't worry, you can always have another one."
- "at least you already had two kids."
- "It was God's will."
Or statistics like:
- "25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, so its bound to happen."
- "they say that first trimester miscarriages happen because the baby was genetically deformed. It's actually merciful."
To hear this from co-workers and neighbors is hard enough, but from those who are in the Body of Christ, and most notably from one's pastor, is something that should not happen. It does not matter that the parents never knew what color their baby's eyes were, what his laugh sounded like, whether he liked cats or ponies, or if he had 10 toes or 12. They lost their child. The beautiful blessing that God provided to them died, and everything in our sinful being screams out that it should NOT happen.
Often, the father's grief goes completely unacknowledged. Neither one of them know what to do with their pain. Sometimes, even they feel bad because they feel more than they think they ought, and definitely they feel more than the world seems to validate should be there, even months or years later.
They need to be met with the acknowledgement that their child died. They truly lost a child just as much as any other couple whose child died at any age. There is no denying that...though mourning may be decidedly different. Help them give a name to their child. Tell them "I'm sorry you lost your baby." Listen, pray with them, just as if the child had been older or if another family member had died....don't give glib statements like what has just been lost is merely the idea of a child. Suggest a memorial service. Confirm the baby's reality. Give them the comfort of the cross...the comfort that God is merciful and that they will see their child in Heaven.
Along with that, our Church seriously needs to address the pain of infertility. Sarah, Rachel and Hannah in the Old Testament; Zachariah and Elizabeth in the New -- their shame and anguish was clear. In his presentation "The Spitting Image of Love" Dr. Jastrum said that marriage is a reflection of the very Trinitarian nature of God....to not be able to beget is a deep and crushing agony for so many, and it often is not minimized even if the couple already has a child. They know the joy that a child brings, and hunger for more -- it is God-pleasing to do so. Adopting is a good thing, but I have never known a couple where it completely erased that pain. It exists on its own despite the love they have for their other children.
The answers that the world offers to infertility are often evil and dehumanizing, yet the anguished souls run to them without direction because they are not encouraged to seek comfort in God's peace.
We talked about the damage created when we deny the first blessing that God gave Adam and Eve as they were united in marriage "Be fruitful and multiply." What about the pain of those who have their desire and drive to fulfill this blessing thwarted? Both of these issues are part of what it means to be under the weight of sin. And those who are suffering from these anguishes, as well as every other tragedy that we confronted this week, need God's comfort.
Technorati tags: miscarriage
I really appreciated the flow that occurred in the presentation of the Image of God Conference. The first day had a focus on the beauty and joy that God gives us in sexuality and marriage. From Dr. Lauren Winner's presentation on the beauties of "ordinary sex," to Dr. Jastrum's presentation on how man is still created in the Image of God, and so is marriage -- and how marriage not only reflects the relationship of Christ to His church, but also the very relationship of the Trinity to itself -- distinct in persons, but one in nature...to Dr. Mielander's plenary on "Marriage as a Form of Life."
Day two seemed to have more of a focus on what goes wrong and how wrong it has gotten. By the end of the day, I was overwhelmed by illegitmacy and divorce statistics, horrific revelations on pornography and our children, and stories of divorce, abuse, IVF embryos in freezers, etc. The church needed to comprehend the sheer extent of the evil in order to realize the only thing that could meet it head on is the grace of God....not any method or program, etc.
Day three was once again a little more optimistic. Dr. Beverly Yahnke, with more bravery than I can imagine, got up in front of over a hundred pastors and told them what THEY needed to do to provide spiritual care to those who have been hurt by sexual sins of any and all kinds....and backed it up with examples of how it wasn't being done, and what should be done, while preserving the distance between her profession and that of the pastor with good, solid theology. There were also other seminars on how to meet these challenges, and then there is always blessing in hearing what Dr. Weinrich has to say on anything.
I was encouraged by the number of pastors and their wives present. You don't often see that at a theological conference. In fact, its the first one that I have made it a point to get a sitter and be at. It just seemed natural. I went as a social worker and a mental health counselor in training, but in the end over and above all, I was fed and nourished as a wife.
I couldn't begin to recount all the wise and interesting things said, as I'd hoped to do. All I can say is whatever the tapes or DVDs cost when they do come out...its worth it. If they put on another one, go. Rather than a complete absorption on individual issues and acts, instead it focused on the first gift God gave man, in fact what cannot be removed from man's very nature...marriage...Adam and Eve did not exist to each other outside of that state. Everything else was sin's corruption of that. All over there was a discussion of God's grace, the Means of Grace, the Sacraments and the comfort they bring....even with some presenters from outside the LCMS, it was beautifully and wonderfully Lutheran in all its glory.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
The Amazing Dodgers
I don't remember the Kirk Gibson homerun, even though it is a part of my soul as a Dodger fan. Its not that I wasn't old enough...I just hadn't discovered the joys of Lutheranism or baseball then (thank you for both, Sweetie). Yet every time I see it played on t.v, I get chills. I got chills Monday night....okay, Tuesday morning.
You have to understand the game chemistry. The Padres always have our number. While they are rarely able to get out of the bottom of the basement, they are always completely efficient at whomping us into the ground. It is not generally a REAL rivalry, because normally, the Padres want us a heck of a lot more than we really care about them. But this y ear, they are dangerous, because this year, they are good (at least when they are not in their own park). If you are watching baseball at all, then you know that this last week, we've been alternating back and forth with them in first place for the NL West. It's been a nail-biter to say the least. Sunday, when the Padres had given us a good pounding, edging their way into first place for the first time in a month, their third baseman commented on how this had been a game "to separate the men from the boys." The one thing you don't want to do if you're not done with a series is truly tick off your opponent, apparently.
Twice, the Dodgers were behind by four runs. Twice, the Dodgers came back. The 2nd time, they hit FOUR CONSECUTIVE HOME RUNS. To tell you how incredible that is, it hasn't happened since 1964. That means it is significantly more rare than hitting for the cycle, even than the triple play. It hasn't happened in my lifetime, or my husband's.
That was the ninth inning. Now we were tied. Unfortunately, in the next inning, the Padres hit another home run and went ahead. Then it was our turn. Marlon Anderson got on base, and Nomar came to the plate, and the instant the bat hit the ball, He let out a scream, pumped his fist, and started jumping....he knew it was gone. It was the most beautiful thing that I'd ever seen.
I'm in awe.
I'm also worried. Now the Padres are gone and the Pirates are here. They have nothing to lose, and they also have Jim Tracy. I weep at the loss of Jim Tracy as our manager. And no one seems to spoil our fun this year like former Dodgers....(fingers crossed...its baseball, I can be superstitious!). We're not smart hitters, either...we're leaving too many guys on base and hitting home runs when no one is on base... and our bullpen is getting tired. One week to the post season......
I am sorry that I have neglected to blog, now it seems like I have ten posts sitting in my head and I don't know where to start. I have been at The Image of God Conference hosted by the Cranach Institute at the Fort Wayne seminary. It really was incredible. I have long been interested in Theology of the Body and Theology of Marriage issues, and I can't even begin to describe the different presentations as of yet. I need them to gel a little further in my head first. I do pray that this is not a fleeting thing and that it is just the beginning of our church body heading toward a consistent and Biblically defined theology on one of the most precious earthly gift that God has given Man.
I do have to say the picture that they used bugs me a little. It looks like this sweet young woman is enduring this old man's kisses while reaching her hand into his purse. Well, maybe there is a sense of humor in that as well :)
A wonderful man and blessing to our church, Dr. Kurt Marquart, passed into glory on December 19th, only a little while after he had baptized Evan, his great-grandson. Dr. Marquart had suffered from ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. I know that he was one of my husband's favorite professors, and he was honored to study under him.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
What kind of yarn are you?
You are Shetland Wool. You are a traditional sort who can sometimes be a little on the harsh side. Though you look delicate you are tough as nails and prone to intricacies. Despite your acerbic ways you are widely respected and even revered.
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006
I was watching t.v. the other night and saw a "public service announcement" (and I use that term loosely) type commercial talking about HPV. In case you don't know about what HPV is, it is Human Papilloma Virus. Women are especially at risk, because HPV is a major cause of cervical cancer. The risk of a woman catching it in the course of her lifetime, they say is upwards of 75%. The commercial was recommending PAP tests and even had a mother hugging her teenage daughter saying "I'm going to bring it up with her doctor at her school physical."
The description that they offered of HPV was that it was a common infection. They didn't mention that the main way it is transmitted is through sexual contact, especially the types they are talking about. They also neglected to mention that the virus is so small that it can easily penetrate the membrane of a condom. In fact, because of this, HPV is often left out of the "Sexually Transmitted Disease" discussion, because it is one more point in the favor of abstinence over protection.
Now we have crossed over a line where a sexually transmitted disease is no longer even referred to as an STD, it is a common infection. And why not? If sexual behavior outside of marriage is considered to be a normal and common amusement, then the reprocussions of it will be just as common as sharing an elevator with someone who has a cold. Why should it be differentiated? Pretty soon the risk of getting gonnorrhea, syphillis, or even HIV are just the risks of being alive. Wash your hands, where your glove....
It amazes me at times that in a world where we are encouraged to bleach our countertops, use antibacterial soap, not share drinks or toothbrushes......that very few women look at the behavior of exchanging the most intimate of bodily fluids within their own bodies and say "Hey, maybe chastity makes sense, because otherwise, that's pretty gross."
Technorati tags: HPV sexual behavior
Monday, September 11, 2006
"WHAT????!!!" you say, "I realize that you hear a lot about socialization when you homeschool, but 3 posts is overkill!"
Please be patient with me, Dear Reader, I promise this is slightly different.
As I've said before "but what about socialization?" is probably the number one question that we homeschoolers get. I love the shocked look on people's faces when I reply "I'm completely against it." And I am. There is very little that the government does that the private sector can't do better...education included. I really don't feel it is in our best interests as citizens to have our children educated by our government. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, and I'm really not a cynic. Socialized education (as in "run by the government") is not the best option.
"But the government has an interest in having an educated citizenry." I completely agree. The government also has an interest in having an uneducated citizenry. That way they can buy into everything the media says, they lose the power to think through problems, and they learn to rely on the government for the majority of their livelihood. I do believe that most people in education are trying to do what is best for the children. I'm not trying to slam the educational establishment. I just don't believe they CAN do what is best for my children.
I subscribe to many of Charlotte Mason's theories, and I agree that the government does have an interest in having an educated electorate. But in the course of dealing with the masses, so much is lost in the idea of education. This can be seen in the very subject matter (textbooks are dry and unimaginative. They keep the child from actually getting excited about what is being studied), to the crowd control issues of dealing with a large number of kids all the same age, to the political issues of dealing with equality in the classroom and teaching to the level of those that are struggling rather than to those that are excelling. An assumption has to be made about what is normal, and apply that to everyone. This tends to hurt those who are struggling with developing at a different pace, either ahead of their class or behind, and can lead to misdiagnosis of learning disabilities as well.
Government regulation, aka compulsory attendance, also takes away my right as a parent to decide what is best for my children. Of course I want my children to have a good education, and I am willing to sacrifice to give them one. But all roles of deciding when this is the right time for my family, whether this option is right for my family , etc. are taken away. It was not too long ago that most children's education didn't start until eight years old, wasn't nine months out of the year, and still so much seemed to get done. Read Little House books. We're not just talking about the frontier. The parents' role in day to day education was actually most clear in
Now, as the quality of education diminishes, the age at which are children our required to be there gets younger. Mandatory kindergarten now exists in many states, and now the push is for "universal preschool." The fact of the matter is, while education is failing our children, the blame is getting put on the parents for not doing what they should be doing in the early years. "Well, they're coming to kindergarten not knowing their shapes and colors." It takes a lot less time to teach a kindergartener their shapes than it does a three year old. It shouldn't be an issue -- and that isn't why Johnny can't read in fifth grade.
When you take away the parents role in key decisions, you take away their involvement in the basic process. Many parents are resigned to having their kids basically belong to the government at age 5, even thinking that is what is best for them, or not thinking about it at all, since it is what everyone else does. Because their commitment to education is circumvented by it being required, their level of involvement is also. So the teachers get the blame when the child is struggling, and the teachers blame the parents for not helping with homework.
Charlotte Mason describes the parent's responsibility as this: Parents have both a sacred trust and a civil trust to educate their child. When God gives children to two parents, they have a sacred responsibility to educate their child to know God and to become educated so they can be good Christians. They have also been given a civil trust. The government relies on the parents to fulfill their civic duty in educating their children so that they may be good workers and good citizens. The parents can choose many different options in doing this, but in the end, it falls on them. Now, we are to trust the government to determine what is best for our precious child, that they don't know, don't care about, and only honor as a body occupying a seat, possessing a textbook, and symbolized by a mark in a log book.
I'm not an idealist. I know that many fall short in this. There are parents who don't look after their children's welfare or make poor decisions. But that doesn't mean the job should fall to the government either. There have always been other options, and there have always been those who care enough to keep trying new ones.
Okay, off my soap box. I'm sorry if this seems a little sporadic and doesn't make any sense. This is the area where I probably struggle the most with HOW to express my beliefs in this area. It is difficult because I am not paranoid, I'm not a hermit (though I'd like to be), and I'm not extreme politically. I even have loads of family that are school teachers. Yet on a practical level, I do believe that how things are being done now is not the answer. I also tend to see most private schools duplicating the way public schools do it and still claiming to provide a better education...or at least one that includes applying the same faulty educational principles to religion as well.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Friday, September 08, 2006
1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
2. Swam with wild dolphins (they were in the water nearby where I was swimming)
3. Climbed a mountain
4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
5. Been inside the Great Pyramid
6. Held a tarantula
7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
8. Said "I love you" and meant it
9. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris (Paris casino in Las Vegas? How about Perris, CA...been there too. not the one in France though)
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business (if my rabbits can be called a business...definitely not a profit involved)
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an expert
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas -- Grew up in Las Vegas!
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Eaten fugu (pufferfish)
89. Had a one-night stand
90. Gone to Thailand
91. Bought a house
92. Been in a combat zone
93. Buried one/both of your parents
94. Been on a cruise ship
95. Spoken more than one language fluently
96. Performed in Rocky Horror Picture Show
97. Raised children
98. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge - well, drove it
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication.
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray - some kind of ray, anyway
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat (remember what they used to say about Jack in the box????)
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey
135. Selected one important author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
I'm not bummed about it or anything, but I do have a memory going through my head of when the mom on "One Day at a Time" turned 35. "You're not middle-aged, Mom" Barbara said. "You're only 35. Why I was just reading the other day that the average woman lives to be 70."
I think I'm going to go get back on my email and listen to the card that my son sent me saying "You're OLD"
Sunday, September 03, 2006
I finished 'em. The first sock I did was a Christmas present to my husband (with the other one due on Epiphany). Then, while the length was fine, they turned out to be
Anyway...they are finished. And no small accomplishment...3 socks in doubleknit yarn with #1 needles. But I did it! If anyone calls attention to the fact that the left one looks a little smaller than the right one, they are
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Gene Edward Veith over at Cranach posted an excellent statement about homeschoolers and socialization. Since his blog gets so busy, and since it is just a paragraph, I hope I'm no offending him by quoting him here also.
In answer to a comment the other day saying that homeschooled kids lack social skills, etc.: I deny that! And my experience at Patrick Henry College, where 85% of the students have been homeschooled, gives me an abundance of evidence. Our students are MUCH better adjusted than typical young people their age, probably because they have had so much parenting. Their manners, deportment, personality, pleasantness, and conversational ability are far superior to their peers. It is NOT socially healthy for young people to spend nearly all of their time with children their own age, with little interaction with adults. Hang out at the mall or wherever, watch and listen to the typical pack of teenagers and tell me about their "social skills."
There is another side to the socialization discussion though. Of course, there are homeschoolers with "poor social skills." Rebecca Sealfon , winner of the 1997 Scripps Howard Spelling Bee and homeschooler who possesses some truly odd mannerisms, is a regular joke on Cheap Seats on ESPN Classic. But the fact of the matter is, everyone knows a few kids in school like her, too. Or like others. I had a terribly hostile nerdy type guy who sat behind me in science class. He was that way because his life was hard and everyone picked on him. I remember that. The fact is, in school, we are generally happy if we get through the day without someone finding something to scorn us for...and for those labeled "geeks" those days are few and far between.
When we were still in California, where it was nice enough through the Winter to have park days all year round, a family started coming to our homeschool group who were considering homeschooling their five-year old son. We started off each week with our Tiger Cub group, and their son had readily joined in. After a couple of weeks, the father said to me, "this is so great...these kids are the geeks. Yet they are free to follow their interests, and they can be themselves without worrying about it."
My first reaction was "Hey, my son isn't a geek!" but then I realized what he was saying. Deep down, he was scared that if he sent his sensitive, sweet boy to school, what he treasured most about him would be destroyed. His son would learn to be ashamed of one of his greatest strengths. I know that is the same with me. My kids are the same way. Often, their weaknesses are just the other side of their strengths. Sensitive, sweet kids are also emotional and easily stressed. Energetic, vibrant kids have a hard time sitting in their seats and get in trouble a lot. The very aspect of their personality that defines them often gets them made fun of or punished. Often they just need more time to learn to redirect it. In the classroom, they often have a label on them, or sometimes even a disorder, before they can do that. I've experienced it and I've seen it, time and time again. I don't think being in school and dealing with that (or not dealing with it) makes them stronger. I think it just hurts.
So next time, if you see some homeschooling kid with "socialization issues," remember not to simply assume that the parents cause the socialization issue by homeschooling. Maybe the homeschool because they know what would happen to the child they love if he was in school. Also, remember that growing up is an eighteen year process (at least), and that kid may just not be done yet!
go to part 4
Technorati tags: homeschooling socialization family life