Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Back when S. was an itty bitty piggy tailed thing and F. was still drooling and bald we used to eat breakfast at this cafe every Sunday after church. Long, long before RCC and we changed our errant ways of not keeping Sunday as a day of rest for everyone, including waitresses. :)

S. used to dance while he played. He used to laugh at her and we used to talk to him a bit afterwards. He was a really nice guy, though he struck me as hurting a bit. Quiet.

Anyway, he seems to be getting pretty well known these days. I wonder if he would remember that little blond piggy tailed girl that always danced at Cafe Lenas?
Would one night of sleeping through the night be so much to ask?? Just one?

My oldest daughter has taken over my middle girls' schooling. What a boon! I has been so difficult for me to balance the little boys who need constant direction and supervision, and them. Not that it wasn't getting done, but it was certainly not getting done as I would want. Well, S. has taken over that ship entirely. She has them all upstairs here and sits with them and works on a quilt while they do their books. She has a grade book and everything. Last night my husband said "Wow, it sounds like she's doing a better job than you! Maybe she should show you a thing or two!" Thanks dear.

Well, she is certainly more structured about it. Its funny, when I first started homeschooling I thought the more "free-style" learning was the way to go. Maybe it was my left over hippy-isms or something that drew me to that, I don't know. But never yet have I met a homeschool graduate that says they wish their parents were more relaxed. Any who would have changed anything say they would give their kids less free time and make them work harder. I think we often are not expecting as much from our kids as we should.

But it has been fun to look over curriculum with her and make decisions together. Always before I just bought it all and brought it home and nobody had anything to say about it much. I'm just getting such a kick out of looking it over and telling her what I liked about one program or didn't like about another and having her agree or disagree. I experimented so much for years in our homeschooling. Hopefully she will have it a lot more down when it gets to be her turn.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I have problems blogging sometimes, not because I don't have anything to say but because I have too much to say. And I am so indecisive I can't pick one thread and just stick with it.

Anyway, Marbel has managed to provoke me a little with a post about a mega church in Georgia.

She also tried to provoke me earlier by sending me an email with this video included.

I didn't pick it up at the time. Maybe my mind was on something else, maybe I was tired.. I don't know. But today I've been up all night with insomnia and I've had about 6 cups of coffee..(go get me another, will ya S.? Thanks.)

Anyway, there's so many trains of thought I could go off on with this mega-church thing. The words 'Worship Center', the isolation of children, the idea that COLLEGE AGE is included in the definition of children, the idea that maybe there is a point that a church stops being a church and becomes a sort of social club, the idea of businesses operating on church grounds-secular businesses?-presumably operating on Sunday? I could even go off on a theological bent and discuss Calvinism, paedobaptism (Yes, I can see a connection) and step on a few toes... But hopefully in a friendly way. :)

But anyway, jumping from this paragraph in the article:

To that end, congregants are encouraged not to bring children into the worship experience center, where the message and the medium are specifically for adults. Instead, parents may drop off their children in a venue to receive an age-appropriate message and activity.

"A single mom can know her children will be cared for well," said Davis. "She can relax and connect meaningfully with God, without having to worry about her children. We don't want a 2-year-old to disrupt anyone's experience."

All right. I will probably sound like a snot here. But the words "Worship Experience Center" makes me wanna gag. It's like getting milk from a bovine lactose purveyor or something.

But what I really want to talk about is when did worship become an experience centered around me? We have constructed a form of Christianity that is almost entirely dependant on provoking emotional responses from people. If they are moved to tears or joy or whatever, we feel evangelism has done it's work. These parents are not being discouraged from bringing their children because the sanctuary needs to be quiet for teaching, they are being discouraged from bringing their children because it may interrupt someones experience. The worship isn't being done with the view of giving honor and glory to God, it is to give me peace, joy, a sense of an inner connection that is frankly so fragile that a baby's cry will stir me from it. And the only way for me to know if I have truly connected with God is if I have had that emotional response from my experience.

Emotions are not our guides. The word of God is. It isn't a firm foundation to tell someone that turning from sin and darkness will give them a release and joy like the girl in the video had. Sometimes turning from sin can be very painful. When the emotions are gone (and all of us who have been Christians for more than, oh say, two weeks know they will be gone from time to time) what will be the strength that will keep me from old pleasures, friends, comfortable habits?

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments
His praise endures forever. Psalm 111:10

Your word have I hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

The battle against sin is just plain hard. It is something we all deal with everyday. We need to be serious about our walk with Christ and not just look for an emotional fix with our latte.

And y'all know I've got nothing against lattes.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Your Personality is Very Rare (INTJ)

Your personality type is logical, uncompromising, independent, and nonconformist.

Only about 3% of all people have your personality, including 2% of all women and 4% of all men.

You are Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Judging.

Now, look at this? S. got more rare than me. And I think she got my personality too. Humph. I'm having serious questions about the integrity of this quiz...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
In those who hope in His mercy. Psalm 147:11

Once a while ago I was in the throws of guilt over a sin I had committed. My fault, my own fault, my own most grievous fault. No excuses. Guilty.

I felt so horrible. I couldn't find anyplace for my conscience to escape the accusations against me. I was reading my Bible, trying to find comfort and not doing too well until I came upon this verse. Suddenly it dawned like light in my head. God wants me to hope in His mercy! Mercy is something that only comes to those who don't deserve it. That is what makes it mercy and not merit. He was pleased with me when I turned to Him in hope that He would be merciful. I thought I deserved a good flogging, (and I was right.) but my trying to punish myself earned nothing with Him. He wanted me to hope in His mercy.

What a rich God we serve.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Your Personality is Somewhat Rare (ISTP)

Your personality type is reserved, methodical, spirited, and intense.

Only about 6% of all people have your personality, including 3% of all women and 8% of all men

You are Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Perceiving.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sometimes the Lord just decides it's time to tear us down in order to rebuild us properly.

He's gonna do it. There is no arguing about it. And fighting just makes it all the more painful.

But He is a loving Father and if we can submit and learn we can look ahead with the hope that He will build us back once again.

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

Friday, January 11, 2008

Hilary has just found her voice??


Now she'll never shut up!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Today S. informed me that she has about a week left of schoolwork to do. I can't believe it. I could probably go get her some more books, but I'm really excited for her to be done, actually. It seems like now we can get sown to work on 'vocational' type stuff. Last week we bought Quickbooks for her and she has been working through the book to figure out how to set up as a secretary for R. We are going to pay her so we can write it off on our taxes (not that we really need more deductions, what with 10 dependents on one income) and I am excited to really get into the homemaking type stuff with her. I think it will be fun. She has promised she won't see this as the end of learning, though, and so I'll continue to assign books. And she will keep up on her music-that I don't have to remind her. She has to be reminded that there ARE other things to do besides play piano and sing. It's a lot of fun to listen to her sing around the house. Well, most of the time, anyway. Sometimes I get a little tire of the "Phantom of the Opera" music.

It's amazing to me to watch S. grow into young womanhood. She is such a different 16 year old than I was. She lives in a completely different world. I was the public schooled, MTVed, troubled teen. By the time I was her age I barely ever came home anymore. She is always home. She's never even seen MTV. (She's reading over my shoulder and said "what's MTV?") The only time she's set foot in a public school was when she used to have to go with me to vote. (Oregon now has mail-in ballots) But she is much more mature than I was at 16, for all her sheltered life.

She and I like completely different things a lot of the time too. I like fabric, she likes beads. My idea of an island vacation is Ireland, hers is Hawaii. I tend more to rainy and gloomy, she likes bright and sunny. I go to bed early and get up..well.. kind of early.. she likes to stay up late and get up late. I like chocolate ice cream, she likes all kinds except chocolate (can you understand that? I just don't understand that.)

But we do like some of the same things too. We both are "very fond of walking" (Does the new Pride and Prejudice still bug you Lyn?) and we are not afraid of getting wet. Mexican food, salsa, country music (the hillbilly songs, not the redneck) and neither of us can function with out our morning coffee.

It's interesting to watch children grow up and become their own person. Suddenly rather than telling her all the time, we talk back and forth and she has her own ideas to contribute. Somewhere our relationship shifted and now even though I'm still in charge she is more and more my second in command rather than just one of the peanut section. (Which is what we tell the kids when they feel like they have to contribute their 2 cents on things that they weren't called on for. "we don't need to hear from the peanut section! :)

Well, anyway, it will be a lot of fun I think, to spend more time working on things side by side in the coming days. Maybe she can help me get organized.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Where have I been?
I don't know. But where ever it was, I sure am tired from it.

We had a good Christmas. I hope you did too. We spent it with some dear friends, played games, ate and talked. Since we had 4 pies to bake that day and 4 little boys to clean up and get ready to go, S. and I made the executive decision that we would not open family gifts that day. We didn't want to feel rushed. So we did that Sat. That was nice too. It is fun to watch the kids get gifts for each other. O. bought S. a Hershey Bar for her stocking the week before-with his own money, no less. He was just bursting with pride over that. All week he'd ask her "Do you like Hershey Bars?" And she would laugh and say "Oh yes, O, I like Hershey Bars." I was so cute. He was just so pleased when she opened it and acted all surprised. Funny guy.

We also had some dear friends over for New Years. And we had played games, ate and talked. Surprise, surprise. Well the real surprise is that we not only made it up to the New Year, but to 3:00! It was a lot of fun. I think my face ached from laughing.

Now I'm packing away all the Christmas stuff and I'm rather happy to get the house back to normal. December just seemed like unending interruptions so I'm really trying to get everyone back on track with school work and things. It isn't easy to regroup after so much going on. The little boys have been left to their own devises a little much, I'm afraid.

Now I'm feeling a little melancholy with the rain. It just comes down and down in one long unending cold plop. Yes, I know. I like the rain. But lately I've been thinking it wouldn't be so bad if it could just dry up for a day or two. Maybe it's just that I got the Pride and Prejudice piano music book for S. and she seems to pick the melancholy pieces to play.
Wouldn't a nice walk in a sunny garden be nice right now?
Oh, and by the way. On a completely different note-could somebody please tell the Republican Party that "Ronald Reagan isn't coming back!"
I think they might be a little confused on that point.