Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"I'm the Only Mother My Kids Have"

Check out this reminder and checklist, courtesy of Cheri Gregory:

Making Taking Care of Mom a Top Priority

And quit putting yourself last on your list, because you do nobody any favors when you do. 

Early Thankful Thursday -- Complaint-Free for Lent

Ooohh, boy, is this gonna be a tough one.  We've been in Lent for one week and already I have blown it on too many occasions....yowee.... :-)

Leanne over at Finer Femininity has offered this great post, Give Up Complaining for Lent?, which is superb.  Check it out.  The post is courtesy of The Happy Wives Club where it originally appeared.

For resources on carrying out this project:

Break Free from Baditude E-Book (free download)

Bragging on My Beloved Journal (free download)

I'm hoping to start tomorrow Thankful Thursday with some good reminders about how I can strive to be more thankful.  Thanks, Leanne, for this great post!


A Belated Thankful Thursday - The Dishwasher Story

Once upon a time there was a dishwasher.  It was the least expensive model that could be found, and it ran differently from the ones that the owners had been used to in the past. 

First of all, it did not dry dishes, even if it was put on the high heat wash/dry setting, which of course used more electricity.  The owners usually used the air dry setting.  The dishes were wet no matter what.  In order to put the dishes away, the owners had to run it and then immediately open the dishwasher and pull the racks out to dry overnight, to fill the cabinets in the morning.

Secondly, the owners realized a few years ago a neat little trick -- one could just as easily purchase two dishpans, wash the dishes by hand, carefully put them in the countertop dishrack to dry, and recycle the dishwater by pouring it on the outdoor plants.  This was found to help save a little on the water bill, plus the added bonus of saving on the electric bill as well, what with not running the dishwasher.

That being said, there was no question that the dishwasher was a Godsend, particularly when they had company.  So they used it, but just not as often as they once did.

Then one fine day, the dishwasher quit.  Kaput.  Nada.  After twelve years, it decided it was time to go to the Great Heavenly Kitchen.  May it rest in pieces.

And ya know what....I think it's great. 

We're washing all the dishes by hand now.  No problem there.  My kids are now having to be corralled into service to take their turns at the sink, something I neglected to do in the past. 

The dishwasher is still installed in the kitchen, just not usable.  Frankly, I'm rather hankering to remove the useless thing and install some more cupboard space in that area where it was (our kitchen is severely lacking in cupboard space), but Dad in the Shoe vetoed this idea, saying we really need a dishwasher.  I think I'll be seeing a new one sometime before summer. 

But he likes that I don't mind, and has said so. :-) 

Of course, the kids have to argue over who did one extra plate the last time.....funny thing how some people can have so much trouble with dividing fractions, yet can remember the precise number of plates washed in comparison to the far fewer number of plates the hapless sibling has washed.....

Ah, youth....what bliss it would be if the only problem we had was the fact that we washed Aunt May's salad forks twice, but the brother who basks in a life of ease has yet to lay a finger on the silverware, save to eat with it. :-)

So what am I thankful for?

I'm thankful for the opportunity to teach my children the valuable lesson of teamwork in washing the dishes by hand.  We are all better off with a little more elbow grease being used around here.  I am thankful for the opportunity to cut down on water and electric costs.  I am thankful for the warm sudsy feel of dishwater on my hands as I look out my kitchen window over my sink.  I am thankful for the dirty dishes to be washed, because it shows the goodness of God in providing us all we need.  And I am thankful for the husband who works so hard in cooperation with God to provide us all we need, as well as many things we want. 

Please join with me in yet another prayer of thanks, sort of similar along the lines of the dryer last year -  Praising God for Today and Its Gifts.  Can't believe it's been a year without that appliance.  We've had a couple of times where it was a little rough, but on the whole it's been great.  Good chore for the kids, too, gets them outside and there can be no arguing because if they want clothes, it's in their best interests to go outside and hang them up when told to, otherwise there'll be no dry clothes.

Deo Gratias!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

DIY Blog -- and Those Who Purport It's So Great -- *Sigh*

I have been reading several blogs by other traditionally-minded ladies recently.  One lady, who is just learning to sew, got quite excited by a D.I.Y. blog, which I will not link here because I checked it out and unfortunately, it's immodest.

This lady made an interesting tab sleeve tunic, which, while it's not my style, is definitely interesting if that's your type of thing. 

What did she model it with?

Jeans with rips in the front legs in various locales, as is "popular" today.  And as we all know, ladies' jeans are extra-tight -- much tighter than men's jeans.

Gladiator-style super high spiky heels -- spiky heels are very suggestive, so I have been told by those who seem to be in the know.  And gladiator-style strappy heels are even more so.  Plus, super high heels are terrible for your ankles and feet.

*Sigh*

OK, am I just picky here?

Or am I seeing even those who purport to be modest STILL succumbing to the styles of the day?

I'm living in the wrong day and age. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

More U.S.S. Arizona Artifacts, World War II and the Cold War

In view of the fact that this is the month in which we concentrate on state history in our home, I thought I'd share some of the things we are looking at during this week:

U.S.S. Arizona Salvaged Artifacts

We also have viewed the following documentaries recently.  We found all of these at the library.  Mr. Firstborn and Miss Eldest Daughter are ready for these, but not all are age-appropriate for the younger ones.  Films on the atomic bomb and the Blitz would not be good for children under age ten who are easily frightened or not accustomed to conversation regarding these subjects.  In our family, Pete is the exception. 

The Unsung Heroes of Pearl Harbor, is an excellent documentary which I think would be appropriate for most ages.  Contains interviews from many survivors.   

Another documentary we also viewed recently is The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall.  Mr. Firstborn and Pete were glued to it and we ended up watching it three times before it was due back at the library.  Action-packed and exciting.  It does contain shooting scenes and news footage/re-enactments of people escaping and some who are killed, but on the whole very sanitized. 

With the interest in the study of physics, which is the only area of scientific interest other than astronomy for Mr. Firstborn, and given that he is also interested in the study of weaponry, I decided it would be good to have him view 24 Hours After Hiroshima.  This is age-appropriate for teenagers and OK for the pre-teen set who is very interested in this era of history -- but  not for children who are easily frightened or who do not have the background information necessary to put it in historical context.  It will traumatize them. 

I would caution that it is important to realize that the bomb was used as a last resort.  It would be wrong to forget Pearl Harbor and the Bataan Death March.  Also, on the side of the U.S., the fire-bombing of Dresden and Tokyo can be easily forgotten in the light of the atomic bomb. 

The lesson that is important to learn from documentaries such as this is the realization that science can be a dangerous thing.  Einstein himself was horrified at the production of nuclear weapons.  We are not forgetful of the fact of those brutally murdered in the Bataan Death March, nor should we be forgetful of those who perished in Pearl Harbor, and we need to remember the mindset of seventy years ago.  The war could have dragged on for years.  We simply don't know.  There is no way to know.  However, we can all agree that it changed the world forever. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

"Old Fashioned"

I needn't elaborate on what the news is regarding a certain movie that opened this past Saturday.  Suffice it to say that it's bringing people out to protest with their Rosaries in hand. 

But you won't hear about another movie released this Saturday intended to be a counterattack on the fifty shades of pornography -- or shall we say the fifty shades of the fires of Hell, take your pick.  This movie is entitled "Old Fashioned", and I just heard about it from one of our homeschooling families.  They took their teenage daughter to see it.  Now, I personally would not take my teenage daughter to see it, because I think it's too mature for her and deals with issues we don't need to address right now, but on the whole it seems like it could be all right for the 18 y.o.+ set with some exceptions.  I wouldn't say it is along the lines of "October Baby" and "Gimme Shelter", the two pro-life movies, but it does address people who have lived wild lives in the past, repented of their sins, and are striving to live in accordance with God's laws. 

Here's the link to the review.

The mother who told us about it said that the theatre they were in was empty, while the theatre with the "other" movie was rapidly filling up....

The Valentine's Day Problem - Solution: Statehood Day

Problem??!!

Yep, problem.  At least I think it's a problem.  A big one. 

90% of all Valentine's Day cards are risqué and a monument to the decline of Western civilization.  We are a decadent, immoral and disgraceful excuse of a people, throughout Europe and the United States and anywhere else Western progress has seeped. 

Almost nobody realizes that Valentinus, a bishop, was brutally martyred for the Christian Faith under Emperor Claudius.  You can read a little bit about him here, and it is possible that there is more than one Valentinus. 

But, the fact is that his name has been associated with love from antiquity, which in itself is great, but it has degenerated over time.  Therefore, we do not celebrate it as a homeschooling family.  I, for one, am against it.

Here's why:

First of all, children have no business daydreaming about romantic love.  This is a dangerous thing only leading to their destruction.  It will either lead them into silly fantasies that are dangerous to their souls, or distract them from the business at hand, which is to study and prepare themselves for the future.

Secondly, the Valentine's Day business is set up in such a way that the prices of chocolate and flowers skyrocket, encouraging the spending of money one doesn't have for things that nobody needs.  It's a flagrant waste of money.

We have a great solution to this problem where we live.  In our state, February 14 is Statehood Day.  As a homeschooling family in the great state of Arizona, we can neatly include the large portion of our state history requirements in our day. 

February 14 is the day to go to the State Capitol.  It is the day to visit the anchor of the U.S.S. Arizona, standing right at the center of Wesley Bolin Plaza.

It is the day to visit the Capitol Museum, containing a lot of memorabilia from not only the territorial days, but early statehood, plus artifacts from the U.S.S. Arizona, which now lies in its watery grave in Pearl Harbor.

It is the day to view the original House and Senate chambers of the Arizona State Legislature. 

Here you can see some of the history contained at the Arizona State Capitol:

Arizona State Capitol

Here are photographs that show some of the monuments in Wesley Bolin Plaza to the east of the Capitol, including the anchor and mast from the U.S.S. Arizona.

In conclusion -- a far better way to spend Valentine's Day.