Thursday, June 23, 2011

Museum Musings

Since Katie is still in Iowa, Amanda and I have been taking surprise jaunts this week. Tuesday, we went to meg-art to paint pottery, to the $1 summer movies Wednesday, and today we visited the Schiele Museum in Gastonia.

We have a membership to the Western North Carolina Nature Center, which for $65 a year is an awesome bargain. This membership has reciprocity with tons of zoos and science centers including Discovery Place, the Schiele and the Catawba Science Center.

Anyway, since we had our card our admission to the Schiele was free. They had a great exhibit right off the bat (pun intended) about caves. It was well set up and had live animals including a raccoon and bats.

What I forgot about the Schiele is the "Evolution of Man" exhibit. We look at the exhibit, even though we believe in the truth of Creation, because I want my kids to know what is being taught so they can be prepared to defend their beliefs.

As Amanda and I were going through this exhibit, another couple of Moms came walking through. One of them proclaimed, very loudly, "How can anyone not believe this! They quote the Bible, but it is a book about how to live your life!"

Being non-confrontational, I walked on, but of course I wish I could have said something. Maybe I could have pointed them to Dr. Jobe Martin's DVD series, Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution. Dr. Martin was and avid evolutionist and his story is fascinating and can be read at his website The Evolutionist of a Creationist.

If you have not watched his DVDs, they are available through NetFlix. Each video shows different animals who have traits which do not fit into the evolutionary mold. One such creature, a little beetle, is what started Dr. Martin on his journey.

In addition to the issue of creation versus evolution is the part of the Mom's comment stating that the Bible is a guide on how to live your life. It is that - but it is so much more!

How much do we miss when we pick and choose what we believe in the Bible? So we take the good parts, the easy parts and toss the rest? We take the "love your neighbor part" and throw out the creation part because it is not politically correct?

It saddens me that this Mom and the comments she made are more of what the world believes, and what many Christians believe. We have watered down our theology so that it fits what science has purported to be true.

I applaud Dr. Ken Ham- Answers in Genesis- and other Young Earth proponents for standing firm in the face of ridicule. I wish more people would be open minded and explore what they have to say and stop taking the scientist's line as gospel.

Bypassing the Evolution exhibit shortened our visit to the museum considerably. We made a couple of other stops, and then came home to make cupcakes.

Much more fun, and tasty. But I still keep thinking about the comment. Maybe it's time to pray.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What a Difference a Decade (or 2 or 3) Makes!

Since the cancellation of DISH at our house, we have been watching NetFlix. One of the favorites of the younger set is the Cosby show. We seem to watch it almost every day.

As we have been watching this, it has become apparent how blatant feminist messages were in the t.v. shows of the 70's and 80's. We pretty much took them for granted then and cheered them on at the time. But today when I watch these shows, it grates on me.

It was a staple in the Cosby show that Claire, the matriarch attorney of the family, would take on any male who dared suggest that a woman do anything that was stereotypically female (a la June). Most of the time this would be Elvin, oldest daughter Sondra's erstwhile boyfriend and eventually husband, although there were other males who regularly made a hapless statement.

Elvin would make some comment about "woman's" work in front of Claire, which set off a head twitching feminist rant about equality. Claire got applause and cheers while Elvin was made to look like a bumbling, chauvinistic idiot.

I am all for equal pay for equal work. But, seeing these shows has made me think how indoctrinated we have become, and how much media played into and still plays into the indoctrination. Why wasn't and isn't being an at home Mom presented as a valid career choice?

And why did the message have to be presented so forcefully? Was it for the sake of the men involved? No, Claire was set forth as a role model, and the message had to be strong. After all, who wouldn't want to be a successful attorney married to a successful doctor and have 5 kids?

And I also wonder why the men had to be made to look like fools? Why was there never a civil conversation about equality and working outside the home, equal pay, division of household duties? No, it was always a scene to show the superiority of the woman, her wit, her verbiage and her intellect.

Media today still promotes women as the smarter of the two between men and women. You just have to see what passes as funny in advertising today to know that making the man look like an idiot sells

I am just using the Cosby show as an example here, but I know there were many others who promoted the same agenda. In mulling this over, I wonder what damage this has all done to women and society in general.

Growing up and graduating from high school at the height of the feminist movement, I can see how I shoved aside what I really wanted to be - what God wanted for me - because it was not "cool" to want to be a wife and a mom.

I went to college to be a teacher, still somewhere in the back of my mind thinking I could teach until the kids came. I ended up getting a degree in Human Development and Family Relations. If you don't think God has a sense of humor, think again!

I worked for 10 years in the nursing home industry, many in a nicely compensated position as a nursing home administrator. But, I was never happy with what I was doing. Something was missing.  
It wasn't until Katie was born and I began my new career as a wife and stay at home Mom that I understood.

Has it been easy? No. People assume you stay at home because you don't "have to work" and there are no money issues. I have heard it more than once "I wish I could afford to stay home" - well so do I! We have had to give up things that other people take for granted - DISH for example.

But I think what we have gained from my being at home, and also homeschooling the girls, has been far outweighed the things we have given up. Is it a mind numbing struggle some days? Of course. But isn't any job?

When it all comes down to it, I am doing what I know God wants me to do. In the end, it is doing what he asks of me that counts - despite what Claire Huxtable says.

Be blessed moms!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Not Yo Momma's VBS!


Amanda has been attending Vacation Bible School at another local church with a friend. As I was standing in line to pick her up the first night, I began to notice the elaborate decorations and props. 

Now, this is not unusual, our former church, and our current church all do VBS, and pull out all the stops when it comes to decorating and making the theme come alive.

It just made me think back to when I went to VBS, back in the olden days. Seriously, were we just that easy to please?

I remember our assembly/praise/worship time consisted of being in the sanctuary, singing the usual songs "Deep & Wide" for example. The lesson often included a mission theme - I particularly remember the year we focused on Japan, and they taught us to sing "Rolled Away" in Japanese. ( I still remember most of this but don't sing it out loud for fear I will remember it wrong and might accidentally insult someone!)

Our crafts were basic, and generally had no connection to the theme or country we were studying. I remember taking frozen orange juice cans (remember those?), painting them, putting some stickers on them, and presenting them to our Moms as pencil holders. I think my Mom still uses hers.

Snack time was on the grass outside the church. It consisted of sugar sweetened <gasp> Kool-Aid, and cookies that came out of a big bag. Chocolate chip, those coconut ones that looked like little planks, or our favorite - the butter cookies shaped like flowers with the hole in the middle.

The great mystery each day was what color Kool-Aid we would get - red was awesome, purple was gross. And, could you eat the flower cookie off your finger without breaking the ring?

We were just easily entertained? Have our kids gotten so high-tech that we have to do more, more, more to engage them? Has all this spilled over into our church life as well? 

It also made me think about how there were no Toys R Us stores when I was a kid. It was a great time when, before Christmas, all the stores had 3 or 4 rows dedicated to TOYS! (And this never happened until AFTER Thanksgiving!).

The toys that were in stores year round were simple things like jump ropes, kites, jacks, hula hoops, coloring books and paper dolls. Sears, Penny's, Roses (remember Roses?) had a big toy section for exactly one month out of the year, and that occurred around the time the Sears Wish Book hit the mail.

I just wonder if all our progress has really helped our kids, or hurt them. How many kids can be content to just play with a ball, or draw and color, or even pretend without an electronic gadget? How many parents spend way too much money trying to keep  their kids engaged with new technology?

And how much of that spending and providing is an attempt to compensate for less time spent with the kids?

Okay, I have pretty much just validated that I am ancient, old-fashioned (channeling June here) and most cannot relate. And, I am thankful that our churches are willing to spend the resources on our kids to reach out to them with the message. But I wonder if the message gets enhanced with all the flash or it gets lost. Something to consider.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sun(day Dresses

Yesterday I got the idea to sew. Actually this idea has been brewing for a few days. Friday I went to Hancock Fabrics and got fabric for dresses for all three of us girls.

Katie and Amanda's dresses were made from the pre-smocked sundress fabric, with grosgrain ribbon for the straps. I opted to make the straps solid instead of two straps to tie in a bow. I just kept thinking that big knot of ribbon on your shoulder would hurt after a while.

My dress was made from a McCalls pattern which was on sale for 1.99. The fabric was also on sale. I haven't sewn on knit for a long time, and about lost my mind trying to wrangle the fabric, which seemed to have a mind of it's own!

Despite all the grumbling, the dress turned out pretty well. I am thinking I can make another out of a cotton fabric, even though the pattern calls for knit. I think I can put a zipper in the side seam under the arm without any problems - ala 1950s dresses. I also think I might make the shoulders a bit narrower.

I have some more fabric I bought for a skirt, but it might end up being a dress. I also have some cute blue fabric with frogs on it to make a top for Amanda. Sew on!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday - I want a Do Over


 I thought Mondays were the dreaded day of the week. As it happens, this particular Friday has been rotten.

I could not sleep last night, so I had to resort to an Ambien. This meant I was still sleeping peacefully at 8:45 a.m. when Amanda woke me up to tell me that a neighbor kid wanted to know if we could watch him so he didn't have to go to his sister's graduation. Long story.

Now, I had planned to run some errands and then take the girls to the homeschool skate today. This put a damper on my plans. 

I was already irritable, and sitting with my kids and the neighbor kid just made it worse. Finally, the arguing between my two girls just set me off, so I had to go upstairs and have a good cry.

I ended up running my errands. Got some fabric to make the 3 of us girls sundresses. Now I need to muster the energy to do it.

I brought all 3 kids lunch from McD's, and the decided to send Amanda and the neighbor to his house. Katie went upstairs to work on school work, so I grabbed the chance to read and take a nap. Put my ear plugs in and was out like a light.

Amanda and her friend came back. John got home from work and we all headed to the pool. As soon as we got there - it thundered. 30 minutes before we could get in the pool. It was 6:30 and the pool closes at 7:00. Do the math - no pool for us.

Amanda and her friend decide to play in the hose. The were swinging the nozzle around and the neighbor boy lost a tooth - luckily it was already loose.

Anyway, I suppose it was nothing really big, just a bunch of frustrations and inconveniences that added up.

Now it is off to bed and hope that Saturday is a smoother day.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's All A Great Big TRAP!

Today we took an expedition to Walmart to get a new tire for the driver's side rear of the van. Now, mind you, we replaced the passenger side rear about 6 months ago, and the 2 front tires about 3 months ago. I asked at the time we were replacing the front ones if we shouldn't go ahead and replace the final rear tire.

You know what the answer was to that question.

The rear tire went flat yesterday while John had the van at work. So, he drove home on the donut they call a "space-saver spare". In turn, I drove to Walmart today on said donut to get the new tire.

We arrived at the Walmart service center to find 5 cars in front of us. They were almost all getting oil changes, so I thought it would be a breeze to get in and out with just a replacement tire. I thought wrong.

The tech who signed us in told us "give them a hour, it probably won't take that long, but just to be safe." In case you have never had your car serviced at Walmart, they give you this bar code tag and you can check the status of your repair by scanning it at one of those "Find The Price" here kiosks.

I had a few things I needed to get, so we grabbed a cart and started rounding things up. Periodically one of us would run to the kiosk and scan the tag - "Waiting". More shopping. We found tank tops for $4 for Amanda, so we tried some of those on and found 3 we liked.

Scan the tag. Waiting. Oh, I need envelopes to mail information in to the state for our homeschooling review. Scan the tag. Waiting.

Let's check our blood pressure. All good. Scan the tag. Waiting. It has been an hour. Surely the scanner thing is lying, so off to the service center we go.

The van is sitting in the bay. Are they working on it? Is it done? Scan the tag. Waiting. SIGH.

Off to get some band-aids for Amanda's hand. Scan the tag. Waiting. Well, might as well look at frames for some of the girls' artwork. Scan the tag. Waiting.

Text John. Anything you need? Yes, stop leak and anti-freeze. Off to the auto section again. Let's take a peek and see what's going on with the van. Still there. Still nothing.

Oh, we need soap. Back to health & beauty aids. Scan the tag. Waiting. Enough of this, we take the cart and park it outside the auto center waiting room and sit.

Finally I look and they are now taking the old tire off the rim. Progress! It is finally done, but not before we have gotten way more than we intended. Now granted, except for the Twizzlers and the Sno-Cone syrup, it was all stuff we needed.

Another lady was waiting with her grandson. She said the same thing. They had gone back into the store since they had to wait so long, and each time they came back with something else. In their case it was 4 squirt guns and a Pop the Pig Game.

I have determined it is all a big trap. Keep them walking the store and they will buy stuff. The longer we take to do the repairs, the more they buy. Bwhahahaha!

Rant over. On another note- how stinkin' cute is this? Who wouldn't want a crocheted gnome?

You can find the directions for Gnorbert the Gnome on the Red Heart Yarn Site - here:

Gnorbert the Gnome

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nothing to say

So, I actually have nothing to say.

It is quiet here.

Amanda is at a friend's house.

So is Katie (different house).

The cats are asleep.

The washer and dryer are running.

Candles are lit.

Time to read I think!

Maybe tomorrow I will have a great flash of inspiration.

Until then...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Time to Read Tuesday! Summer Reading Program Info

Good Morning! I have, indeed had my coffee so the world is now safe.

I have spent the morning searching for summer reading programs. Amanda especially loves the goals and prizes when it comes to reading. (Katie has unfortunately aged out of most of the programs.)

We love getting goodies and free books and such, so here are a few I found and thought I would share:

1) Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County - of course this only applies to those of us who live here, but most local library systems have some sort of summer reading incentive program.

PLCMC Summer Reading Program

These programs go from infant to adult. Prizes include being able to read down your over due fines, and earning book bucks for free paperbacks.

2) Borders - Read 10 books and earn a free book!

Borders Double Dog Dare Reading Program

3) Barnes & Noble - Read 8 books and receive a free book from a select group. (You can complete this one up to 2 times)

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading

4) Scholastic Summer Reading - read and log your minutes online to win digital prizes. Schools alos earn and you can register as a homeschool.

Scholastice Summer Reading Program

5) Half Price Books  - log your minutes between 6/1 & 7/31. Bring your log into the store to receive $5 in Back to School Bucks. Top reader in each age group receives $20. (NOTE: There is no HPB in the Charlotte area, but check to see if your will be traveling to a place where they have a store!)

Half Price Books Summer Reading Program

6) Pizza Hut Book-it Summer Reading Challenge -  Read 5 books and send in the entry form for a chance to win some cool prizes!

Pizza Hut Summer Break Book-It Program

7) H.E.B Summer Reading Club - This is a store chain out of Texas, but we did this one last year and got a really cute t-shirt and pencils!

H.E.B Buddy Summer Reading

8) Old Spaghetti Factory - read 5 books and be eligible for a free kids meal!

Old Spaghetti Factory Reading Program

9) Chuck E Cheese - read every day for 2 weeks and receive 10 free tokens

Chuck E Cheese Summer Reading

There are lots of fun programs to get kids reading this summer - ENJOY!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Musings

Monday again. Funny how that happens every week.

Today we went to a local minor league baseball game - the Kannapolis Intimidators. It was Education Day, and our home school co-op arranged tickets for us. The tickets were free, which was an added bonus.

The place was packed, lots of school buses in the parking lot. Our group was small, but Amanda brought a friend, and Katie met one of her friends there. I had some time for mom to mom talk.

John took the day off and went with us, although he stood at the top of the stands for most of the game. It was cooler there. Now I will be off all week thinking today is Sunday instead of Monday since John is home.

I always have great plans for Monday. Things like laundry and lots of cleaning, or a intense school session. Funny how life just gets in the way and that never seems to happen.

But, everything still get done. We always have clean clothes, and the house is tolerable (most of the time). My kids are progressing with the learning, and we still get to have fun.

Another one of the nice things about homeschooling!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Moving Day!

Awhile back I had a blog on another blog site with this name. I really loved the name, because it describes exactly how I feel most days.

However, I really like blogger and the ability to use Hot Bliggity Blog so I can have a really cool background without my having to figure out HTML.

I have been blogging on my Cats8People3 blog, but will be writing here from now on. Just seems to fit my life. Besides, 2 of our cats found great new homes, so we are now Cat6People4 and the title is just wrong!

So, I hope you will visit, sit a while and read.