Thursday, October 30, 2008

Whoever said it, said it well....

Edit: attributes the quote below to William J. H. Boetcker, a Presbyterian Minister

This came from one of those e-mail forwards...' I'm not sure if Lincoln actually quoted it first or not but I did try to find out. I think it's well said tho....

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people' s initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

.....Abraham Lincoln

10/31 (call it what you will)

I am a Christian & I think b/c of that, I struggle most not with wanting to do things I know are wrong ... but with things I'm just not sure of....those things where one has to decide when in Rome, to do what the Romans do - or not. I'm increasingly convinced that the difference - when there is no clear cut right or wrong - between a good choice & a bad one, is the heart/motive that the decision is made in. That's where I really wrestle...especially when it comes to our kids --- which brings me to - dare I say it....trick or treating.

(Deep inhale on my part) We allow our children to trick or treat & we enjoy carving pumpkins together. (long exhale....) There.... it's out there ... at least I'm honest. Do I wrestle w/ this...yes --- every year... mostly tho' for fear of what other people will think...b/c God knows my heart. I see nothing inherently wrong in dressing up in fun costumes (hmm m/b I should call it role playing?) or in carving/lighting up pumpkins (hmmm...m/b I should eliminate the "jack-o"...& just call them lanterns?)--- or going door to door for candy (hmm... m/b I should have my children say "May I please have a piece of candy?" instead of "trick-or-treat!"?).

There's never a good reason to "celebrate evil" - but that is not what we do in any way, shape or form- & it's precisely why, day in & day out as we live in an evil & profane world, we try to keep our focus on the appropriate...& off the inappropriate.... which is the very same thing we do on 10/31 as we focus on the fun & fantasy/imagination/pretend/play (call it what you want) that is such an important part of a child's growth & development every other day of the year.

Can't help but wonder if we were to allow our children to play dress up on any other day except 10/31....or.... if we were to carve melons instead of pumpkins....or carve anything but silly faces into our pumpkins,.... would that somehow make it less wrong/more right (ie. politically correct?!)
I understand that pagans at some point did some of these things too ...but I gather the Christmas Tree has pagan roots...& so does body (ear?) piercing among a long list of other controversial things.

Some essentially hide from the world on 10/31 & on a daily basis --- others try to make "that night" fun/special/something to look forward to (celebrate?) for their children by providing some sort of good clean fun - & even some churches plan Harvest Festivals on "that night" in what seems to be a similar mindset (I just rec'd an invitation to one). I gather that the "why" behind what they're doing & not doing is quite similar to the "why" behind what we're doing & not doing .... & I respect them for it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Virtual Birth Announcement

Playmaker walked in the door Fri after school carrying an infant seat w/ a very cute baby (doll) that was hers - for the entire weekend. She named him Logan.

Now - This was not your typical doll - but rather a very high tech Child Development lesson in parenting & as close to real as it gets w/o being real! Logan weighed about 8 lbs...cried, slept & needed to be fed & changed much like a newborn. If he didn't get what he wanted when he wanted it, he cried LOUDER! Playmaker had a baby book she had to record in all weekend when he cried, how long it took to care for him & what activity it interrupted each time...which - true to form - was often sleep! She wore a wristband that essentially connected her to the baby for the whole weekend & she carried a bag w/ a bottle & baby supplies.

Altho' I was expecting this assignment, I can't tell you how taken aback I was when my "baby girl" walked in carrying that oh so real looking baby boy!! Yikes! Playmaker looked so grown up!!... & like she knew what she was doing! At first it was fun - & her friends who slept over tho't so too....but - by the time they left, I think they'd had enough! Baby Logan went to church w/ her, to a friend's house, to a hockey game ... all the while demanding her prompt attention off & on. By the end of the weekend ...& after being woken up several times each night... she actually broke down in tears of frustration....& I overheard her sounding oh so much like her own mother at times.

From Fri afternoon to Mon morning Baby Logan demanded her attention nearly 50 times!

Playmaker played "mommy" quite well - but I'm pleased to say she's in no hurry to have a real baby anytime soon!! I didn't particularly like the idea of being a grandmother at my age either....or loosing sleep b/c of a crying baby in the night --- but ---eventually I think I'd enjoy having grandchildren - so I hope she's not totally opposed to the idea of having children after all of this ...and when the time is right :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Carrot Cake, (Old) Cookbook , Comfort Food, etc.

Strike is at home in the kitchen....& b/c of that she helps make our house a home. Tonight we baked a homemade carrot cake together. As I type, it's COLD outside but our home is cozy & smells delicious! Strike must have inherited her love of baking from her Grandma on her Daddy's side. We used one of my mom's old cookbooks. It's a bicentennial cookbook (I was about 8 years old back then...) that may have been a fundraiser for the little town in Nebraska where it was made and where family friends lived (& who we stayed overnight w/ on our looong road trips to Indiana) ... You know...the kind of cookbook w/ the lady's names next to the recipes they submitted....& all kinds of really good(!) ... but not necessarily "good for you" recipes - ie. comfort food! The original recipes were typed with a typewriter!! Interspersed thru'out the book - on pages w/ extra space - are various words of wisdom. On the page w/ the carrot cake recipe:

The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

On the opposite page:

A careless person is an accident going someplace to happen."

Near the front .... a short poem:


If somebody goofed and forgot the salt,
Or flour, shortening, milk or malt;
Don't hesitate, best be sure.........
Pick up the phone and express your wonder
To the gal who signed her name down under.

It's all just very nostalgic....Feel like I should have a record player going in one room & a black & white TV in the other ... & the yellow phone w/ square push buttons/curly cord on the counter should be ringing any minute ... & instead of stainless steel, my fridge should be harvest gold - & I should've washed all my dishes in the sink w/ a tad of bleach & rubber gloves so my hands wouldn't get too dried out. Given that it's after dark, I have to ask myself if I left a gallon jar of sun tea out in front - & if the doorbell should guess is it would likely be the Fuller Brush man or the paper boy collecting his money. Given that it's late October....we should have our jack-0-lanterns in the front window & lit up for at least for a little while.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Leaf Peeping

New England is ablaze w/ color. This was THE weekend to be outdoors in our neck of the woods...& what better way to enjoy an Indian Summer Sunday than a family hike after church w/ friends right in the midst of the incredibly beautiful ring of fire ... & later a privately chauffered (Thank you, honey!) leaf peaping drive where I could hop in & out snapping pics to my heart's content (after leaving the camera home by mistake for our hike!)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Chivalry Lives!

Edit: Realized I probably shouldn't have posted "his" pic w/o I took "those" pics off and replaced it /w "her" pic instead :)

Our little girl is growing up! Playmaker went to her first dance Saturday. She's not allowed to date & just went as friends w/ the boy who asked her to his school's homecoming. We were both a little nervous ...but I have to say,
I was pleased with her "first dance" experience. Her "date" (only for lack of a better word :) showed up right on time (His mom as their chaueffer) & he was such a gentleman - So polite! So respectful! So handsome.... and -- w/ a dozen beautiful(!) white roses w/ pink edges in hand - that I later learned they searched high & low for! He was patient as we took some pics & polite as I made sure he knew how much I was trusting him... He opened the car door for her - His mom thanked me for trusting her son & gave me her cell phone number. He knew very well she'd never been to a school dance before (prior to this I believe her Daddy & her Grampa were the only men she's ever danced w/) & he was very considerate of that. We had a house full of friends over that evening - so....poor kids :) ....when they returned home and walked up to the door -- the light was on, the shade was up .....and --- there was a lineup of four - yes four(!) moms - as opposed to just her own mom - anxiously watching & waiting on the other side of the door/window to welcome them home! -- Guess you had to be there...but it was funny.... & I was grateful my friends were there to lighten the moment w/ some humor just then :)

Did I mention how
beautiful she looked? - or how pleased I was w/ how she handled herself - or how proud I am of her -- & how grateful I was for such a really nice "first dance" for her to really get dressed up - & experience what it's like ... and should be like .... to be treated like nothing less than the beautiful young lady she is?