Tuesday, January 31, 2006

MORE Marital Tension?

Okay, you all know that I was kidding about the pants being an issue of marital tension, right?

Now let me fill in the blank spaces.

My husband folds pants differently than I do. Since he outed himself in regards to pants-folding style, I can explain.

I fold all casual pants and put them in drawers. I am all about not ironing - which is possible, if clothes are folded correctly. And I don't want to have to iron creases out of jeans, sweat pants, and khakis (although I don't think creased khakis look bad.) All dress pants that should have a crease, hang from the waistband in my closet such that the legs are creased.

My husband, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily WANT creases in all of his pants, but he IRONS them before he wears them.

I remember asking him about this once when I pulled a pair of jeans out of my drawer to find that they were creased down the legs. Instead of being thankful that he'd folded them, I just got mad because they were creased.

That was the extent of the argument.

Really, this isn't as much about him LIKING creases in his pants, as much as it is about me NOT LIKING them.

So, why am I posting about this?
a. our pants-folding differences have made me wonder how other people fold their pants.
b. this is just another step in the grand scheme for manipulating my husband into changing his disgusting pants-folding habits.
c. I wanted to see if this inconsequential issue could be made more exciting through my hyperbolic style of writing.
d. I just HAD to post about laundry, as fascinating as it is.

Thanks for your participation.

Marital Tension

There is an ongoing disagreement between Paul and me that I would like to settle once and for all. Here is your chance, fair reader, to minister to us in our time of need. What you say could change things forever in our house.

I won't tell you who is on what side of the argument, though those of you who know us could easily figure it out. But I am going to ask you all to cast your votes and settle this thing once and for all.

One of us (whose name I will not mention) swears that pants should be folded in such a manner as to leave a crease in the leg.

The other of us (also to remain unidentified) says that only dress pants should be folded this way. S/he maintains that casual pants should not have creases.

Heretofore banned from voting is anyone in Paul's or my immediate family... because you all are probably where we got our preferences in the first place. Paul and I are also banned, since our votes will just nullify each other anyway.

So, let's make this an unofficial poll. And whatever you all decide will stand (unless it is in disagreement with my preference, in which case I will maintain that I should not have to conform to a poll that isn't even "official.")

What say ye? Should all pants be creased, or just the dressy ones?

The polls are open.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Just wanted to point out

In response to a recent comment from the Desperate Houseplants post which makes reference to Sodom and Gomorrah:

It is not totally accurate to say that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of the practice of homosexuality. It is true that homosexual behavior was rampant in Sodom. So much so, that Lot knew better than to allow his visitors to spend the night in the town square. (See Gen 19.)

BUT, because that account in Genesis is immediately followed by the account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, I think we often assume that they were destroyed because of said behavior.

However, Ezekiel 16:49-50 says:

Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

One may argue that homosexuality qualifies as one of those "detestable things." But to say it was THE reason for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is to ignore the specific behavior that IS cited as the reason for their destruction.

And I think we need to guard against ignoring things clearly stated in Scripture.

And just so you know, this isn't something I figured out for myself. I learned it in a book by Ron Sider.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Special Gift

This past weekend, Paul took the kids to the museum during what should have been Mr. Bug's nap time. So, as one might expect, he fell asleep in the van on the way home. When they got out of the car, Paul unbuckled Bug and left him there, with the van door open, so he could come in whenever he woke up.

When I went out to check on him, Bug was awake, and having a fit because he wanted his dad to carry him inside. I offered, but was rejected. So, I left him there and went back in the house.

Paul, who was sleeping on the couch, was awakened by Ms. Boo, who is far too nosy to not know what was going on. She informed him that Bug wanted him to carry him inside.

Paul, not altogether happy about being awakened (and probably not altogether awake) went out to bring in Bug.

Fast forward to 2 a.m. Sunday: Someone is knocking on our front door.

So, I do what every wife does when they hear someone knocking on the front door at 2 am. I nudge my husband and say "someone is knocking on the front door."

Again, Paul got up.

And as he is walking out to the living room I am thinking I'll bet we left the van door open and someone just wants to let us know.

Sure enough, it was a policeman. They were driving through the neighborhood and noticed the open door. And, after giving Paul a heads up that there have been several break-ins recently (thanks for that comforting thought at 2 am...) he tells Paul to look in the van and see if anything is missing.

Paul looks. Nothing is missing.

What Paul doesn't realize is that not only is there nothing missing, but there is actually something EXTRA in the van.

Fast forward to 9:30 Sunday morning:
Paul was already at church practicing for some special music. I am about to load the kids in the van when I throw open the van door only to be greeted by:

the overwhelming smell of cat urine.

How lovely.

Right in Ms. Bao's carseat.

So, I had to take Bao's carseat out of the car (which I wasn't excited about b/c that only means I will have to put it back in, and I HATE installing carseats) so I could remove the seat cover and try to wash it. I practically had to get out a toolbox to get the cover off the chair. I sprayed the cover with odor-remover, and then washed it with detergent and Arm and Hammer washing soda.

I can now report to you that the cover still smells like cat urine.

The moral of the story:
Don't go to the museum during your son's nap time... unless, of course, you LIKE the smell of cat pee.


Desperate Houseplants?!?!?!

I recently saw a segment of Sesame Street entitled "Desperate Houseplants" that, honestly, gave me the heebie jeebies.

In it, these two houseplants are sitting in the window lamenting the lack of care they have endured. They say stuff like, "If only someone would water us..."

Then the gardener walks by. And they say something like "Oh, the gardener! He really knows what a plant needs." Then the gardener waters them and I am thinking (and hoping my memory serves me correctly) that one of the plants says "oh, that feels so good."

Has anyone seen it? Maybe it is just me overreacting. Or maybe it was the title that made me imagine there was some innuendo that was never intended. But it just grossed me out to see that on a little kids' show.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

My Apologies, Everyone

Without realizing what I was doing, I turned on the comment moderation feature for my blog. If you posted a comment that didn't appear to publish, it is up now... they were all waiting for my approval.

Comment moderation is now turned off. Sorry for the mix-up.

And, to my old friend with the new moniker (JO) I'd like to say that having you back is bittersweet. More like BITTERsweet. I wish you'd used your own initials, though, because then we could have referred to you as "stinkyface" whenever we respond to your drivel. :)

(And to the rest of you reading JO's comments, I'd like to point out that he is JUST KIDDING.)

Carry on.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Seriously, people.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sanctity of Life

If you are Southern Baptist, you are probably aware that yesterday was designated "Sanctity of Life Sunday."

The SBC Website gives the following position statement regarding "Sanctity of Life:"

Procreation is a gift from God, a precious trust reserved for marriage. At the moment of conception, a new being enters the universe, a human being, a being created in God's image. This human being deserves our protection, whatever the circumstances of conception.

That is not an excerpt. That is the statement in its entirety.

I have no disagreement with the above statement, and the presentation at our church was outstanding. But every year at this time, I find myself wishing that there was a little more to it. Well, a lot more to it.

Sometimes I think we talk about abortion as if it is the only "sanctity of life" issue there is. We are encouraged to vote for candidates who uphold the sanctity of life, read: candidates who won't support abortion. That's fine, but I kinda think there are other issues that might qualify.

If sanctity means "sacredness" then we need to look at all the issues where human lives are not being treated as sacred. Genocide. I wonder how many times we'd be encouraged to support a candidate who has a strong policy for resolving the conflict in Sudan? And if life really is sacred, why aren't we encouraged to vote for candidates who have viable plans for reducing poverty or the occurance of HIV/AIDS infection? What about child labor? Who has a plan for addressing that?

And forget about voting. Are we being encouraged, from the pulpit, to make changes in our personal habits that would support such changes?

I'm not saying there are no Southern Baptists or SB churches that are addressing these things. I just mean to say that I think we should hear from the pulpit about the importance of other issues and our responsibilities in addressing them. And stop pretending abortion is the only "sanctity of life" issue.


Me and my Babe

I was out walking with Ms. Bao today. I took her around the neighborhood in the wagon. She sat and watched. Sometimes she'd "say" something. I'd turn around and smile at her every so often.

Walking with her reminded me of when I used to walk with Boo. Being that she was the first, it was always "just us." I remember one walk when she couldn't have been much past 18 months old. We walked along and I would say, "I see a pumpkin." And she would look everywhere until she found it. We played that the whole time we walked. "I see a flag." "I see a dog."

On walks during the previous summer, I remember how Boo would stop every time she heard a plane go by, because she wasn't sure where the noise was coming from. I got into the habit of pointing to the planes whenever we heard them. I would squat down next to her so I could get at eye level with her, then I would point up to the sky, and we would watch the plane go by. I can't even tell you how many times I did that.

After enough walks where I'd spotted planes for her, Boo finally figured it out. She was a few paces ahead of me when she heard a plane in the distance. Immediately, she squatted down, and pointed to the sky. I remember that because I thought it was so funny that she thought she had to "assume the position" in order to point out a plane!

I miss how little she was. I almost can't remember it. And I don't think I have much memory left of when it was just the two of us... except for our walks. And today, I was remembering them fondly.

Here is one of my favorite pictures of her. She is about 19 months old.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Calm Down, Everyone

Unbeknowst to me until this evening, the obnoxious comment from the Chutes and Ladders post was someone I know trying to make a joke. Sorry to everyone who "went to bat" for me. Now, hand that bat to me... so I can turn it on someone's behind!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I cheated

The following is an exerpt from the "Chutes and Ladders" Rules:

Winning the Game
The first player to reach the Blue Ribbon Square #100 wins the game. You can get there 2 ways:
1. Land there by exact count. If your spin would take you past square #100, don't move. Try again on your next turn...

Ms. Boo and I were playing yesterday. I think Chutes and Ladders should be renamed "The Game that Never Ends." I went down two separate chutes, at least three times each.

Boo went down several herself.

Of course she got upset when I got to go up the biggest ladder. Because then I was winning. Not long after, I went down the longest chute too.

We traded places several times. I was ahead, but then I'd get sent down a chute. So she was ahead, until she went down another chute. The game went on and on and on.

Then Boo said she wanted to stop playing. Normally, this would have made me say, "No problem" and fold up the board immediately. But I could tell she wanted to quit because I was ahead, and she is a pretty poor sport about that kind of thing. So, in the interest of teaching her a valuable lesson about sportsmanship, I refused to quit.

And the suffering continued. Up a ladder, then down a chute twice as long.

Until I finally made it to square #96. I spun a "5."

Then I promptly counted out five spaces, ending my turn on an imaginary space in the margin of the game board.

"Oh, look, Boo," I said. "Mommy won."

Anyone familiar with Chutes and Ladders knows that there are pictures depicting children doing good deeds at every ladder, and naughty deeds at every chute. The directions proclaim "Climb up with a good deed" and "naughty deeds slide you back."

Well, there is no chute on the game board for cheating.

But don't worry. My punishment came in the form of a very whiney child who kept saying, "I NEVER get to win this game!" as she tossed game pieces angrily around the board.

Aye, aye, aye.

Is there a chute for throwing out your kids' toys when they aren't looking?

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Discipline and the Rearing of Children: Part I

I said in an earlier post that I'd been thinking about doing a post about discipline. I didn't do it because I didn't want it to become a rant. Then Addie said, " I'm curious about your discipline rant now. Do it!" So, if this turns into a rant, you all know who to blame. (I'm kidding...)

But, to keep Addie's mailbox from overflowing with hate mail, I'll try to keep myself civil... and you can direct your comments toward me if you have them.

I will preface this discussion with a hearty admission that most of these ideas were not mine, but belong to Tedd Tripp. I read them in his book Shepherding a Child's Heart. Available wherever fine, Christian books are sold.

What I believe about discipline:
- The goal of discipline is not punishment. The goal is to help children change their hearts so that they want to do what is right, and they don't want to do what is wrong.

- The purpose of discipline is not to change behavior. If that was the purpose, we'd just call it manipulation. The purpose is to help children see that we have sinful hearts which want things that really are not good for us. Ultimately, discipline should lead a child to an understanding that obedience to mom and dad, and later, to God, is best for us. And we submit to authority because it is the best thing for us, even if it isn't always what we want.

- Discipline is a process, not an act. By this I mean that taking care of an "infraction" cannot be accomplished with a simple spanking, or a time out. Alone, these are just ways of convincing the child to act differently, without ever helping them to understand why their heart WANTS to be bad or how God can give them the desire to be good. In other words, alone, these methods amount to manipulation: so we have kids whose hearts still desire to sin, but perhaps they have been convinced not to. But humans can only act contrary to their hearts' desires for so long - eventually we all end up "following our hearts," to quote a popular phrase. So, if only the behavior is addressed, the heart will still cause a problem in the long run. (To this end, I have found that the process of discipline, arising from a single infraction, can be terribly inconvenient and, frankly, style cramping. So be it. If you want to know more about what that process looks like, I can post about that another time... or you can read Tedd Tripp's book.)

- Children should never have to guess about what they will be disciplined for. There is no "I've had enough of that!" When we let our limits determine whether our kids are disciplined, we confuse them. The message they hear is that right and wrong are negotiable. They are left to wonder why "X" wasn't a problem yesterday, but now (because mom is having a bad day?) they are being disciplined for it. IMO, this fosters the "it isn't wrong unless you get caught" theory. In addition, I think the "I'm fed up" type discipline totally negates the message we are trying to convey. Astute kids will figure out that discipline isn't really about what's best for them, rather it is about not annoying mom and dad. It seems more likely that kids will buck authority when they see discipline simply as a parental annoyance reducer, rather than as something that has produced benefits in their own lives. I guess the idea here is - be clear about what is and is not acceptable, then be consistent.

- There is a difference between authoritative parents, and authoritarian parents. The former are firm, but loving, and are interested in having their children learn from discipline. The latter want only obedience, no ifs, ands, or buts. The problem I see with most authoritarian parenting is that much of what those parents require of their kids is determined solely by the arbitrary desires/convenience of the parent. This kind of parenting is detrimental to children. (More about this in another post.)

- There is no room for bribery in discipline. Neither is their room for guilt-tripping. We remind. We teach. But we need to remind ourselves that we can't control. So when it comes down to it, they either go with what they've learned, or they don't. That means that for young children, when we see that they are about to disobey, we LET THEM (assuming their safety isn't compromised.) And then we discipline them. I think children have to be allowed to make their own (age-appropriate) choices. This is where kids learn what it means to earn trust too. If, in a certain situation, they have repeatedly shown their unwillingness to obey, then they don't get to be in that situation for a while.

Those are my initial thoughts. I have not touched upon the particular rant-provoking issue, because I think it might be a post all it's own.

So, let's hear it... comments, questions?


Monday, January 16, 2006

New blog

I'm counting my blessings.


Check out the new blog over here or use the link in the margin under "2006 Blessing Count."

God rocks.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Eating Better

Over the last two years or so, I have been trying to make some small changes in the food I prepare for my family. I don't think our eating was terrible, but it could be improved upon. So, I started instituting the following changes:

Less rice, pasta, potatoes. I can't even remember the last time I fixed potatoes! We do an occaisional lasagna. We hardly ever do pizza. If we do rice, I try to make it brown rice. When I need a "starchy" side, I like to make barley, often with some chopped up carrots in it. Very tasty. The idea here is to reduce simple carbs and replace with complex ones. (My weakness here is Lipton noodles. Usually they are too expensive, so I don't even consider it. But when there is a good sale, it's hard for me to pass them up!)

Eat more veggies that are high in nutrients and/or fiber. Corn and green beans are the big culprits here (no real vitamins or minerals, but also full if simple carbs.) We eat them sometimes b/c my husband isn't a big fan of many other veggies. But I have figured out a few ways to sneak some better stuff into our food. I chop up carrots (really small, in a food chopper) to mix into meatloaf. This week I actaully added chopped cabbage too. No one could tell the difference. When I make salad, I replace about half the lettuce with fresh spinach and red cabbage. The cabbage keeps the crunch and the spinach, which really doesn't taste like anything, has more nutrient value than lettuce. I try to sneak squash into dishes, if possible. And I make a lot of steamed carrots and broccoli.

Related to this, I'd like to eat one vegetarian meal each week. Since Paul is allergic to poultry, we don't eat that a lot either. That means a lot of beef and pork. It gets to be too much. But even in homes where chicken is a regular meal, I think this is a great idea. I have a super recipe for a lentil, barley, vegatable skillet that is really good... even my kids like it. Spaghetti squash comes to mind too.

Also, someone just told me that you can prepare cauliflower like mashed potatoes. I tried it and they are good! I know that boiling takes a lot of the "good stuff" out. Plus, I added salt and butter. BUT, if I had to make a choice between mashed cauliflower or mashed potatoes, I'd choose the cauliflower in a second. So far, Bug and Bao gobbled them up like they couldn't get enough. Boo said she didn't like them. I have yet to see what Paul says about it. (I have also heard of people preparing carrots like they do sweet potatoes, but when they told me they had to put the brown sugar and marshmallows on it, I filed the idea in my "recycle bin.")

Eat more fish. This was going well until we learned that Paul is allergic to salmon. I was doing fish, particularly salmon (high in omega-3s,) about once a week. But now that he is allergic, we haven't don't much fish at all. It's not the first kind of fish he's become allergic to, so he is becoming leary of eating any. It is something I'd like to figure my way around soon.

Cut back on processed foods. No mac and cheese or hamburger helper. Most of those kinds of things have so much fat and sodium and they just ain't any good for you! The big thing that I need to change in this respect is that I have too many recipes that call for some kind of cream soup. I need to cut back on those.

Better snacks. My kids eat plain yogurt like it is going out of style. They LIKE the flavored kind, but I don't buy it. (It isn't unusual for them to eat yogurt for breakfast and for a snack. They'd choose the flavored kind if it was here, and that is just too much sugar.) We don't drink much juice other than orange juice. We don't buy pop. I also try to keep soynuts and soy crisps on hand for them to munch on. They especially like soy crisps... kinda like rice cakes. Lot's of fruits and veggies around the house to pick from too.

Less sugar... this is where we really gotta clamp down. Paul and I are probably addicted. And both of us have parents who are diabetic. We are working on this one.

I have been drinking green tea a lot too. Lots of antioxidants, and tastier than plain water.

I really like the information available at World's Healthiest Foods (even though the foods are actually healthFUL, not healthY, but I digress.) They have a list of their top 100 WHfoods and they give all sorts of nutrition information about all the foods they tout. Great ideas and a bunch of recipes that I'd like to try.

Okay, so does anyone else have any tips for simple ways to make meals a little more healthful?

Addendum I presented the cauliflower to Paul and asked him if he'd try it. I called it a "mashed potato alternative." He ate some, then smiled, saying "did you sneak something in there?" I told him what it was and asked if he liked it. He said it was okay. So, more to the point, I asked him if he'd eat it if I made it for dinner. He said "I'd eat it." Translation: this is a RINGING endorsement of the mashed cauliflower!!!


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Scripture Memory

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
-Colossians 3:16

Colossians. My favorite book of the Bible. It's the first one that really "came alive" for me in my own personal study. Good stuff.

But my time in the Word these last few months has not been happening. This is probably obvious from the topics of my posts. The truth of the matter is that when it isn't on your mind, you just don't live it out.

So, it isn't any accident that Heather's cousin asked her to join her in memorizing the Sermon on the Mount. And it's no coincidence that I read her blog, on which she invites others to join her. And it is not a mistake that the last piece of scripture that really spoke to me was part of said sermon.

So, I am joining Heather in memorizing these words of Jesus, in an effort to put my focus back on him and to let his word dwell richly in me.

If anyone would like to join, I am sure Heather would love to hear from you over at Heather's Thoughts. She explains how it will work over there. We start this week with Matthew 5:1-10.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bullet points

- I am reading Boltzmann's Atom, and it ROCKS. I am a total nerd and I love it! I could read the history of the development of atomic theory all day. I'm not kidding.

- My son correctly used the word "reddish" today.

- I am trying to decide if I want to do a post about the discipline of children, but I am not sure if I can do it without it turning into a rant.

- The ladies that I scrapbook with are beyond a blessing to me. These ladies are the real deal. Often we get very little scrapbooking done because we are too deep in conversation. What I appreciate the most is that there is a general understanding amongst us that we are all flawed and we all struggle... and nobody pretends otherwise. Refreshing. Haven't developed those kinds of relationships since college, sadly enough.

- I heart this picture:

- What's up with all the lurkers? I know who you are. Leave a comment already! (You can even make fun of me for still being in my pajamas after my kids are clearly ready for the day.)

- When it comes to transforming your housecleaning habits, I have found there is something strangely powerful about keeping the kitchen sink empty and clean. Who'd a thunk?

- I find it annoying when I hear Christians say that we are saved by faith. It seems clear from Ephesians 2 that we are saved by grace, not faith. But everyone thinks I am being nitpicky when I mention it. I don't think it's nitpicky. I think it makes a huge difference.

- I also find it annoying when people refer to the fruits of the Spirit rather than the fruit of the Spirit. I suppose I'd just be rehashing an old post if I get into that too much, but my position can be summed up thusly: if the Spirit dwells in you, then it makes sense that He bears His fruit in you, and HIS fruit encompasses ALL the good outworkings mentioned in Gal 5:22 (and then some.) Yeah, maybe I shouldn't have started down that road at all. But perhaps this will provide material for my lurkers to comment upon...

- I took a quiz at blogthings about what language I should learn. I about fell off my chair when it said Chinese. Does anyone else find that odd? Especially since I was already thinking about it...(You can take the quiz here.)

- I recently chatted with a friend I haven't talked to in a while. She is a stay-at-home mom too. I discovered that we feel very much the same about our jobs. And it was refreshing, because I don't think my feelings about it fit the general profile for SAHMs. Being a SAHM is not, for me, blissfully rewarding. Not regretting it. Not wishing I was doing something else. Definitely preferring it over putting my kids in day-care. ABSOLUTELY loving the benefits that my kids get out of it. But not getting utter fulfillment out of it. Result: I have to be purposeful about pursuing the things that "float my boat" and develop my talents/abilities. Anyway, it was just nice to hear another SAHM say the same thing, cuz that's not usually what you hear.

- I have three books checked out of the library right now. Clearly, I was on drugs when I did that, cuz there is no way I will be able to finish all of them before they are due back.

- Currently desiring to hear some Tears for Fears. Does this computer do that radio thing? Nevermind, it's too late for figuring it out...

Good night.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Por Que No Post-os?

I haven't been posting much. There have been a bunch of changes going on in my life and in my home. Good changes. And I am focusing on them. So, I don't post as much. There is still lots of stuff rattling around, it will just take a while before it all gets out on this blog... can you stand the suspense?

Here is one thing that has been on my mind as well as part of the changes I referred to. It is a portion of Luke 6 that we discussed in Sunday school a few weeks ago. Jesus said:

27"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

One, of many, things that this passage made think about was how I spend time with my kids. When they ask for my time, so I shoo them off, or do I offer even more of myself than they asked for?

So, I gotta get. Someone is yelling "MOOOOOOoooooooom" right now.

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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Reasons to Celebrate

For my 300th post, I thought we could celebrate with a few pictures of Ms. Bao's celebration.

She had such a good time last night. You'd almost think she knew the party was for her!

She sat with this Uncle Dave the whole time she was opening her gifts. Boo helped (a LOT!)

Here she is eating cake. It took her a while to get into it, but then she made a great mess which we caught on video.

And here she is playing with the other Uncle Dave. I love it that my kids have 3 great uncles. I loved watching Bao play with them last night.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Happy First Birthday, Baby Girl!


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Wistful Sigh...

-Been thinking about teaching, lately. Sometimes I miss it. Mostly I am glad that I don't ever have to go back... but sometimes I miss it.

I miss being able to teach. Chemistry, in particular. I find chemistry so fascinating and of great practical importance. And I got a great sense of accomplishment from making connections for kids that helped them make sense of the science.

I miss making a room full of kids laugh.

I miss watching kids learn how to use math for a purpose rather than just do math as an exercise. And seeing the satisfaction they get from figuring it out for themselves.

I miss challenging questions, though, to be honest - in the five years that I taught, I only got two questions that I would consider "challenging." So, in a sense, I missed them when I was teaching too. But both times it happened, I had no answer (which is probably why I thought they were challenging.) It forced me to learn something new so I could answer the question. It also made me think "this kid is THINKING," which always gets a teacher jazzed. The best part is that both times, the questions came from kids who were just average students.

Not too long after I left teaching, I saw one of my former students. She asked me why I left. It was one of those questions that had a complex answer. But, at the time, I was content to never think about teaching again, so I hadn't really formulated the answer in my own mind. What I ended up saying was "it was so hard."

Such a stupid answer. I wouldn't care if my job was hard. The issue was that I didn't enjoy it.... and that made the last 2 or so years very hard. I burned out.

And there was/is a lot going on in education in the state of Ohio that made/makes me want to run away, screaming and waving my arms, from any offer to teach in this state. So that didn't help matters for me. (Please note that I have resisted the urge to turn this into a rant. Maybe another time.)

I've said before that I would love to teach chemistry to someone who just wanted to learn. (I don't know if you have noticed, but teaching is one of the few jobs a person can have where they will be surrounded by large numbers of people who actually want you to NOT do your job as often as possible.) So it would be cool to be free of that, and free of state requirements, and school bureaucracy, and just teach someone who says "that's cool" a lot.

Yes. Now the title of this post makes sense, huh?

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