Archive for the 'philosophy' Category

25
Nov
09

Thanks-giving

I feel like writing in ALL CAPS this morning.  I’m resisting, mostly.

I can’t help but notice we’ve turned a day of gratitude and contentment with what we have into part of the prelude to the biggest MORE-fest ever.  Kinda skipped over the Thanks part and went straight for the Giving.  Or Gimme.

Right now the kids are watching a cute PBS Christmas show with Curious George.  The focus so far?  Making a Christmas list out of a catalog and finding gifts for other people.  Maybe I should be happy they’re emphasizing giving.  But really, do we need to give more stuff at Christmas, in this culture of Way More Than Enough?

Part of it could be the idea of giving thanks.  To whom are we giving the thanks?  Our natural inclination is to ignore God whenever possible.  And who else do you say thank-you to for things that, according to the American dream, you worked so hard to get in the first place?

I hope to teach my kids to be happy with Just Enough.  And to figure out what that means.  I know I tend toward the Just A Little Bit More Will Be Enough, myself.  So that one is a challenge!

Be Thankful.

16
Jun
09

This Guy Is a Prophet.

In 1971, Urie Bronfenbrenner’s work, Two Worlds of Childhood, was published.  I know nothing about it beyond this one quote in The Well-Trained Mind, by Susan Wise Bauer.  In light of the incidents of kids shooting kids in schools, I think this man’s work perhaps deserves a closer look.  Here’s what he says, with SWB’s words in regular print, his in bold.

Thirty years ago, Cornell Professor of Child Development Urie Bronfenbrenner warned that the “socially-isolated, age-graded peer group” created a damaging dependency in which middle-school students relied on their classmates for approval, direction, and affection. He warned that if parents, other delights, and older children continued to be absent from the daily life of younger children, we could expect “alienation, indifference, antagonism, and violence on the part of the younger generation.”

Interesting.

The Well-Trained Mind has a nice chapter on the question, “But what about socialization?”  If you even mention, in a crowd of people who are not familiar with it, the idea of teaching kids at home, this will come up.  If you’re like me, at first you’ll launch into a list of ways you personally make sure your child has plenty of chances to interact with peers: church, sports, home school group events.  In other words, I bought into the idea that by not putting my child in school, I was depriving him of something necessary to his complete development.  After reading this chapter a few times (at least it took me a few times for it to soak in), you’ll understand that this is simply not true.  Your family is arguably the best, at the very least an appropriate, social setting for your children, and better prepares them for life in “the real world” than a classroom can.

By the way, in case you’re curious, William Golding’s novel Lord of the Flies came out in 1954.

09
Apr
09

Randomness on April Ninth

Gannon is officially 7 1/2.  Acadia is officially down with pneumonia and an ear infection.  Brian is officially down in DelMarVa, but on his way back up.  This evening, his parents will officially be on the road up here too.  My blogging has become considerably lamer.

None of these things are connected….or are they???

Actually no, they really aren’t.  Other than the whole “God’s beautiful plan” thing, I mean.

Parenting Tip: Before you clip your fingernails short, hide all the stickers from your 5 year-old.  You will not be able to peel them off the bathroom counter and other inappropriate places for Lisa Frank to show her rainbow-colored, big-eyed face.

I’ve been reading Miseducation, by David Elkind.  I’ve learned that I share the opinions of a well-educated, well-written, often-quoted, child researcher.  I feel validated.  Here I was, feeling fringie because of my ideas that infants and toddlers don’t need formal classes and, in fact, can be harmed by them.  Only to discover that other people (who have thought about it longer than I have) agree with me.  Kids have lots of work to do in the first 4-8 years of life.  It’s irresponsible to interrupt that with someone else’s agenda.  So there.

If you look at people who have excelled in their area of choice, you won’t find that they all received formal instruction in that area from an early age.  You won’t see them picking up skills as they emerged from the womb.  They will say that they have had unusually supportive parents.  If they’ve had an early mentor in their paricular field, that mentor gave them enthusiasm and passion, not skills.

Okay, enough randomness for one morning.

23
Sep
08

Burdens

I john 3:19-23

By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.

But how often does my heart condemn me? More than I like to admit.

Four of my friends are really hurting right now because of serious disappointment.  Two sets of parents, a few days and a few thousand miles apart, were expecting to begin parenting their newborns right about now.  They were expecting to be holding them, doing all the things that parents do for their newest babies and introducing them to their older siblings.

But it’s not happened.  One baby lies in the NICU and the other with a birthmother who has had second thoughts.  Someone else is taking care of these babies.

Where is God? we ask.  Why aren’t they in the arms of these parents who love God and love each other and love their children with a ferocious passion?  Is it fair that they’ve had their hopes taken away?  They have kept God’s commandments in loving Him and each other.  Why haven’t they received what they have asked for?  And why should the babies have their lives affected like this?  Haven’t we seen enough suffering?  I can ask this question personally and globally.

Where is God?

…more to come…

07
Aug
08

An Observation, and a New Way to Spend Your Money!

What am I describing:

It has the ability to suck all good thoughts out of those around it. Its kiss is a fate worst than death as it will steal your soul. It feeds on the positive emotions of human beings and forces them to relive their worst memory. Eventually, if kept in the company of one of these for too long, one will be driven insane by wallowing in one’s own sadness and horror. The power of the kiss is to suck up a person’s soul, leaving them an empty shell, yet not quite dead – just a soulless, jibbering person, incapable of a single thought.

Those knowledgeable of things Harry Potter will no doubt be able to yell an answer. In fact, I took the text for my description from two HP fansites (and added my own emphases). It’s those seriously spooky dementors, subjects of You-Know-Who.

I have noticed, however, a curious similarity to something in our own house. The television. After watching it, the children become either actively nasty to those around them, or passive, gelatinous blobs that communicate only with grunts and whines.

So that’s my new name for the TV. The Dementors. Heh heh.

Anyway…

Okay, on to the second thing on my mind today.
The opportunity now exists for you to relive the life of your favorite pet, over and over. The first pet dog has been cloned, giving its joyful owner the chance to have her faithful companion back after his (untimely?) death from cancer.

His name was/is Booger.

She wanted her Booger back. (I am laughing in a rather middle-schoolish way about the name, hee hee.)

The cost for the service for future patrons is over $100,000, but the owner of the Booger in question paid a mere fifty thousand, since she helped out the Korean company with publicity and things like that.

I know what I’m doing with MY tax return money next year.

I read these weird news stories and my imagination just runs with it. And I like to share that journey with you. Aren’t you glad? 😉 Oh, also, if you are amused (ashamedly or not) by that phenomenon known as Engrish, you can find some fun examples on the RNL Bio website (that’s the company who produced the litter of Boogers for this lady).

A litter of Boogers. Giggle.

11
Jul
08

Deep Birthday Ponderings

Me at a holiday dinner at my grandparents' house

Five years ago today was the day that Levi was “supposed to be” born. I was pretty sad about it at the time.

It was also the day I turned 30, which I wasn’t sad about.

Five years ago today, I was pregnant with Acadia but didn’t know it yet.

Hidden blessings.

Sometimes things are like that, where you don’t particularly feel the goodness of God, or wonder if He is in control of things or not. You have to believe and trust despite what you feel at the moment, even when “the moment” is more like everyday reality.

If we have been justified by Christ, we can take comfort in knowing that these experiences are truly temporary, yet God is using them to make eternal changes toward Him in our hearts.

Even when we never see tangible blessings here in our pre-eternity lives.

13
Mar
08

Actions and Reactions

Spitzer says he believes that people should take responsibility for their conduct. What his actions show, however, is that people should take responsibility for their conduct if and when they get caught. Show me someone who takes responsibility for such actions before anyone finds out about them.




RUNNING HOME


My blog. Herein read entries related to who and what is important to me. Feel free to leave comments. I feel free to delete them if I don't like them. So there. By reading about my life, readers should expect to begin to see their own lives as increasingly more organized and sophisticated, their homes cleaner and neater.

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Well, mostly this is for my family to see pictures and read anecdotes about the kids. It's also a venue for telling the story of my struggles and victories in my life as a Christian, a wife, a mother, and a teacher. Occasionally I toss in some weird or touching item that I've found.

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The Gospel is the news that Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over all his enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy. [as said by John Piper]

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