Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween, 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....

:) Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 30, 2006

They Are DONE!!!!

Three years ago, when we moved in, yarnpusher my good friend (aka Designated Knitter)gave me a very pretty basket and inside was a ball of sock yarn (Vegas Brights...don't they remind you of a Vegas marquis or the carpet in any number of casinos?)and a set of double-pointed needles. I started them, but found knitting incompatible with chasing around a one year old who had the ability to be mobile, but lacked any semblance of impulse control.

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!!!

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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

Current Happenings

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 yarn pusher knitting mentor thought it would be appropriate) I finished the first sock, only to get distracted by a couple of other projects....a scarf for my daughter and a pair of socks for my husband (that were an adventure in themselves). So I took up my socks again. To my dismay, I'd developed so much in my knitting and tension, that my 2nd sock was a full inch tighter than my first, and the first looked sloppy and amateurish. I was determined to be happy with it, but the more I saw how well my 2nd was developing, I even liked how much better the colors combined, I just couldn't do it. So I frogged the whole first sock. Number two is finished, and now I'm finishing number three. I have had to make three socks for every pair I've made so far. I need to find someone with three feet. Along with that, I'm making a scarf for Chris for Winter. I'd bought him red yarn to knit with last year, because he wanted to do it, but was discouraged, so he asked me to do it for him (turn down good yarn??). I will show you when it is finished, since my son can access my blog.

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). Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Why I Homeschool - Part VI - Religion

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.

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While I was out one day not so long ago, Chris embarked upon poetry writing.....its his first, and I think its pretty dang good!

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.
Catching Up

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

The Busiest Week of My Life.....

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!!!!