Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hello again, big world!

I am still recovering from a sinus infection, but the great dizzying haze of sickness is clearing away with the morning sun. Long sigh. I am so very thankful for health. What must it be like to be continually sick, struggling for health? I am grateful beyond measure that I normally have good health. We are even back to the swing of school - and no real complaints! I think even the children can see that school is a blessing!

There is not much to say today as we have done just about nothing for a week and a half except lie around and watch movies. There comes a time when even movies stop being interesting to children - and that is saying something here.

On one of the few good days, we did manage to get our garden in. I am not sure how successful it will be with the Bermuda grass invasion we experience each year. Is there nothing that will stem the tide of that insidious plant? It can be *so* defeating! I hope that we can at least stop some of it from taking over, but we will see. We did plant sweet white corn, a tomato, snap peas, cucumbers, mellons, and a few pumpkin plants. We shall see if the clay that turns to rock in the summer heat here will give forth any pumpkin plants at all! We also planted Black-eyed Susan's and the three foot tall Zinnias. They are an explosion of color and last long in a vase. They were a discovery a few years ago and we just love them. Almost every color of the rainbow blooms and they are stunning.


Di, over at Circle of Quiet sent this to me quite some time ago, and here are my answers:

1) You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

I am not really sure what this question actually means, so I will do my best to answer it. I think I would like to be in The Lord of the Rings or Pride and Prejudice. Not too exciting as these are not terribly shocking answers if you know me.

2) Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

I have been pondering this question to see if I could remember any paper crushes from my childhood – for I was one that would have had them if anyone would have. I simply cannot remember that I have ever truly had a crush on a fictional character from a book. From the movies and music industry, well now, that is a different matter. Sean Cassidy comes to mind. “Somebody told that her name was Jill, da do ron ron ron da do ron ron…” and the Karate Kid, and of *course* I had a crush on “Jake” from Sixteen Candles, the real life, Michael Schoeffling. He was one handsome dude, and I was one young impressionable girl.

3) The last book you bought is:

a hardback book for the children from the thrift store called, Odysseus in the Serpent Maze, by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris.

4) The last book you read:

Just finished the Sarah Plain and Tall trilogy as my daughter said they were good, and I agree with her. Lots of sweetness in those stories, but mixed with the reality of hard pioneer life. In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer, by Irene Gut Opdyke was right before that and it was one of the most moving books I have ever read. The author was faced with such terribly difficult choices and circumstances for so very young a girl. I really highly recommend it. Be prepared for difficult and painful visual pictures – she did a good job of conveying what she saw. I think everyone should read this book. On the way to Disneyland I read Agnes Grey, by Anne Bronte. Agnes was a moral character with high standards for living. I have not seen this character’s equivalent in the literary world. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

5) What are you currently reading?

Far From the Maddening Crowd, by Thomas Hardy.

6) Five books you would take to a deserted island:

1) A Bible
2) A survival info. book (I *am* a camper, but hey – even I have my limits when it comes to survival!
3) Huge bound encyclopedia of information type book.
4) Tolkien’s complete works
5) Calvin’s Institutes

But, if I could add just two MORE:

1) Cadfael Chronicles
2) Jane Austen’s Complete Works

7) Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why:

I am not going to stick it to anyone, but will gladly offer anyone reading to tell us in the comment section what your answers would be!

Glad to be back in the world of the bloggers.


Friday, April 22, 2005

Under the Sky is Under the Weather

Thanks for the title, dear Di! And it is true. We have all been SICK for a week now with a nasty combination of ick and grossness not fit for my worst enemy. I will not dwell on this long because I have no energy to dwell on it, and you will not have any energy left if I describe it to you! I just wanted the few people who come here regularly to know that I am indeed in residence, but the synapses are not functioning up to the standard of regular blog fare. I would appreciate any prayers on our behalf for complete healing.


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

"Disneyland is moving!"

said my little four year old daughter the first morning of our adventure. It certainly was and we certainly did! From the time we got into the park we just kept going and going. We were like Energizer bunnies with a few hours of break time in between morning and nighttime to eat and rest up. We closed the park on Sunday at 11:00 after much excitement, Disney character interaction, chocolate, and, of course, roller coasters! I have never seen such delighted children. There was not a better gift from their Aunt and Uncle that they could have received than this trip. It was marvelous in every respect.

Not only was Disneyland clean, it was beautiful. There was so much living greenery in the park that when you were in Pooh’s area you felt you were almost in the Hundred Acre Wood. The plants and trees were everywhere and it was lovely. I had not been there for 11 years and what changes they made! We had a hopper pass for the California Adventure Park and that was just as fun. If I was going to go over the edge with roller coasters, this was the one to do it with. California Screamin’ was a stomach dropping, air catching, insanely fast, upside-down loop wild ride. Even my six year old was into it. Between you and me, I was darn happy to only ride it once! :+)

I think the one person of our group that surprised me the most was our four year old! She was a maniac in the fullest sense of the word! If she was tall enough, she rode it. No Matterhorn monsters, rocking bullet trains, steep drops or heights could dissuade her. She was up for it and more and would more often than not have her hands in the air. What a funny little person!

Not only did we have the fun of the parks, but we also visited the Medieval Times. This was a great show: real sword fighting with sparks and maces flying, beautiful well-trained horses, great riding, and jousting to boot! We ate with our hands, cheered for our blue knight, waved our flag in the air, and banged our steins. It was a royal feast and we were the honored guests. WHAT a marvelously fun knight!

We had three whole days in the parks, good food, three restful nights in a fabulous hotel, really wonderful fellowship with two generous and loving people plus two special cousins. The children have superb memories and a whirlwind of excitement that will stay with them forever. Thank you, Steve and Teri, for your kind and marvelous gift to us. We will never forget it.


Friday, April 08, 2005

It's a small world after all...

We are heading out to the Happiest Place on Earth on Saturday. Now, mind you, I don't know that I think it is *truly* the happiest place on earth because I think that is somewhere in Ireland. Since I have been to both places, I will be better able to give you the scoop when we come home on Tuesday.

We were truly blessed, overwhelmingly so, by Mark's Aunt and Uncle at Christmas time. They gifted our family with this trip - all expenses paid. All I have to do is bring the diapers for the baby. Now, mind you, I always said I would never bring a baby to an amusement park and that I would never allow my children on a roller coaster. Sigh. It is a humble thing to swallow one's words. We will be doing both. Although some may say that the baby is not quite a baby anymore at two years old. She is a baby to me though!

The children are like this:

and are counting the minutes until we leave and trying not to ask me too many times when we are leaving. It really is fun to do something so entirely for the children that they will so entirely enjoy! It will be just the seven of us and Aunt and Uncle for four days, a two-day pass to Disneyland, and the California Adventure Park.

My speech below on my laundry pile was successful and I spent two and a half hours folding laundry. I probably could do another two and a half hours, but I think we have enough clothes for the weekend. Not only that, but three of my children are already packed! My four year old even strapped on her full backpack tonight ready to hit the road!

It will be a whirlwind weekend and for those of you who pray, if you think of us, please do so for our safety, on the LONG drive down there (8-10 hours) and the roller coasters!!


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Speech to Myself

I see in your eyes the same mountain that would take the heart of me. A day may come when this laundry pile of mine overwhelms me, when I forsake clean towels and break all scoops of soap, but it is not this day. An hour of soiled shirts and dirty pants, when the laundry room comes crashing down, but it is not this day. Today, I fold! For all of the children in my house, and for my dear husband too, I tell you I will sit, and fold my laundry!

So... I guess I had better do it.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

In response to Jennifer...

Wow, I love a good discussion! I knew when posting the original write-up to Kim below, that there would be some interesting responses and I truly appreciate them all. I will address Jennifer (who responded in the comments to my post to Kim) because she was the only one with questions and/or comments that necessitate an answer. I am thankful your post was not an attack and appreciate the dialog we can have as people on a subject we may never agree on. You gave me the opportunity to do further study and I hope you take the time to read my answers.

Like I said in my original post, you really need to read the entire book series to understand a lot of what is behind their words, and I always recommend this. Perhaps that is unfortunately, but I do think you can glean a lot from the first book alone. I am not going to attempt to speak for them entirely because they have a website and can do that pretty nicely for themselves. I will say that their entire book/tape/VHS series *have* been viewed by the local child protective services and they came away just fine. They do not advocate abuse in any form, but correction that is intended to sting to be a reminder.

In reality they do not tell us that we are to “thump” our babies on their heads. In the entire paragraph dedicated to this subject in To Train Up A Child they only state: “When the baby bit, she pulled hair (an alternative has to be sought for bald-headed babies). Understand, the baby is not being punished, just conditioned. A baby learns not to stick his finger in his eyes or bite his tongue through the negative associations accompanying it.” He ends the paragraph by saying, “The biting habit is cured before it starts. This is not discipline. It is obedience training.” This is the same type of association that happens when a child sticks his finger in the fire of a candle for the first time. If they are smart they don't do it again! They are not asking you to thump or beat or hit your child, but to tug on their hair so as to associate biting the nipple as a negative. Associating negative things with slight pain – or really discomfort with hair pulling - is effective without being mean or abusive.

The training sessions are not setting your child up to fail, but are helping them to learn to succeed in obedience. If I want my two year old to obey me without question when I call then I need to make sure she will do it when she is engrossed in an activity at home - where she is safe. If she does not come she gets a “swat,” as they term it, not a beating! She gets a small reminder of her need to listen to me at any time. What if we were in the parking lot of a busy store and she decided not to come to me when I called her and a car was approaching us? I am a busy mother of five and I need her to listen for her own safety. How is this harmful? You call this “B.F. Skinner behaviorism techniques.” I have no idea if this is the case, but it seems pretty straightforward to me and not riddled with any real psychological dangers.

You wrote about the Pearl’s children: “The Pearls are lucky that their children were grown and out of the house before they published TTUAC or I would have called Child Protective Services myself!” Well, someone *did* call CPS on them and as I linked above, I will do so HERE as well. I would say that there is no issue with CPS and we all know how strict they are when it comes to children.

With regards to their faulty doctrine, I completely agree and said as much in my original post below. I am a Reformed Presbyterian and while I am no Bible scholar, I do understand they have glaring theological errors. See this article for a good write-up on that.

Yes, I also agree that children are to be treated with respect, love, and honor, but they are to be trained and disciplined too. Spanking is not punitive – at least not the way it is supposed to be done. Certainly it is possible to view it in that way, but that is not the way the Pearls view it. They have always clearly stated that it is to be for training and discipline. “Train your child in the way he should go…” Christ bore our punishment, absolutely, but we do require training and discipline from our Savior too.

In fact, the Bible does say quite a bit about training with the rod and even God using the rod at times:

2 Samuel 7:14 (New American Standard Bible)
I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him.

Notice that it says that he will use the rod of men, but that His lovingkindness shall not depart from him!

Proverbs 13:24 (New American Standard Bible)
He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.

Proverbs 22:15 (New American Standard Bible)
Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

Proverbs 23:13 (New American Standard Bible)
Do not hold back discipline from the child, although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.

Proverbs 29:15 (New American Standard Bible)
The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.

Now, do I think the rod is a means unto its own without the love behind it? Absolutely not! In their chapter entitled "Tying Strings," they state:
There is a mystical bond between caring members of a loving family. I can look at each of my children and feel that union. It is as if we were joined by many strings of mutual love, respect, honor, and all the good times that we have had together. When two or more people are living together, their interests, opinions, and liberties sometimes clash. Selfishness, indifference, pride, and self-will often cut the strings that unite. When there is not a constant tying of new strings, family members soon find themselves separated by suspicion, distrust, and criticism. The gap can grow so wide that family members become virtual enemies. When this happens between parent and child, it is a serious crisis.
Then they say later on in that chapter:
Tie some strings. You must be knit together with your child before you can train him. Confess your failure to God and to your child. Ask your child to forgive you for anger and indifference. At first he will suspect it is just a manipulative ploy on your part and will keep his distance. But when he sees that you are sincere, he will respond with forgiveness. Begin the rebuilding process immediately.
Then they say:
The strongest cord of discipline is not found in the whip; rather, it is the weaving together of the strings of mutual love, respect, honor, loyalty, admiration, and caring.
If you will cultivate fellowship with your child, you will have such cooperation and compliance that you will forget where you last left the rod.
This does not sound like abuse or punitive punishment to me.

As always, warmly written,