Friday, April 30, 2004

Two favorites
Favorite remedy for sleepless babies and children: foot massage with lavendar oil. Put a generous dab of unscented lotion (my favorite is Aveeno's baby lotion) in your palm and add a drop of lavendar essential oil. Rub your hands together to mix the oil into the lotion, then massage your child's feet and calves with the lotion. Works like a charm!

Favorite resource: America's Wars: A Biblical Overview and Evaluation, is a set of tapes from Christ Church's second history conference, speakers Steve Wilkins, Doug Wilson, and Tom Garfield. The first tape is an overview of the theology of warfare, including the Just War theory. The rest of the tapes discuss each war we've been involved in since the colonial days, focusing mainly on the ideology behind our involvement in each situation.
Public service announcement
Plenty of other folks have posted links to Doug Wilson's new blog, so I didn't think it was necessary for me to do so as well, however I've received several search engine hits lately looking for "doug wilson" blog, and I do so like to be helpful, so here it is: Blog and Mablog. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Ten thousand
At 6:45 this morning, someone did a google search on teacher, thy name sheep novel and clicking through to this blog, became my official 10,000th visitor. I say "official" because earlier this month Site Meter burped or something and lost four or five days' worth of hits.

And unfortunately for the visitor, by blog wasn't any help! (Well, not any immediate help, anyway.)

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Polling power!
Elaienar showed me how to do polls weeks ago, but I haven't thought of anything to ask... until now! In the comments to the thread below, Paul Baxter asked the question that sparked this poll. Please leave a comment after you vote, if you care to. Thanks!

Which best describes you?
Christian American
American Christian


Free polls from

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Why Christians keep voting for Republicans

The scene: London. Our heroes Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent are sitting in Arthur's house when, amidst the cacophony of machinery, there marches down the ramp of a space ship "an immense silver robot, a hundred feet tall."
It held up a hand.

"I come in peace," it said, adding after a long moment of further grinding, "take me to your Lizard."

Ford Prefect, of course, had an explanation for this...

"It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see...."

"You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?"

"No," said Ford..., "nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."

"Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."

"I did," said Ford. "It is."

"So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't the people get rid of the lizards?"

"It honestly doesn't occur to them," said Ford. "They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."

"You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"

"Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."

"But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"

"Because if they didn't vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in."

(Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish)

You don't have to choose from among the lesser of two lizards. There really is an alternative.
Filling in blanks
The other day, Suzanne said that when they got their income tax forms back, the accountant had filled in Suzanne's occupation as "none." For those of you who don't know, Suzanne is a fellow bon-bon eater, that is, she homeschools her seven children. ;-)

As far as tax forms go, I agree with Suzanne that "none" is just fine. I'd really prefer not to have the government decide that I'm doing anything taxable here. But the topic got me to thinking again about just what I should put into the blank that says Occupation, when I'm filling out forms.

If a form asks for my employer I just put N/A, and if it asks for my job, I usually put Housewife, in defiance of the people who denigrate that role. In the past I used to put Homeschool Mom, until I realized that the feminists have decided that Homeschool Mom is a valid career path for women who are fulfilled by that activity, and the fact that the main thing it says about me is that I'm a mom, when in fact being a mother is secondary to my role as Wife.

I've considered putting Rocks the Cradle, as in "The hand that..." Heh, heh. That'll show them how important my job is! The only problem with this one is that I think it originated as a plea to wealthy British parents to be very conscientious in choosing a nanny. Not quite the image I want to convey.

So, I'm back to "Housewife," or "N/A." There's always "Wife and Mother." What do you SAHMs do?
Found somewhere online
"Dentists are leftover travelling torturers from the Middle Ages. Stay away from them."


Wednesday, April 21, 2004

What Beatrix Potter
storybook character are you?

Take this quiz at
Sparrow's Song
Quiz Page.

I love Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and the story about her and Lucy is one of my favorites, but I'm not really like her - it must have been that I love the smell of clean laundry that pegged me. I really think I'm more like Mrs. Tabitha Twitchett, but that was probably not an option.

(Found at Carmon's blog.)

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Quick, Grab the Nearest Book!

"Nor is its [the Church's] importance confined to the Dark Ages from A.D 500-1000; it remains characteristic in some degree of medieval culture as a whole and its effects are still traceable in the later history of Western Europe." (Christopher Dawson's Religion and the Rise of Western Culture)

Follow the herd:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

(Found at TulipGirl.)

Saturday, April 17, 2004

For Valerie who wants me to blog something she doesn't already know: "What I've been doing the last two weeks."

Let's see. Actually I'm going to go back further than that. In February, knowing my regretable tendency to procrastinate, I bought fabric to make Easter dresses for my girls. Elai picked out a lovely periwinkle to make an A-line skirt, Mosey picked out a periwinkle calico to make a jumper, and I chose periwinkle gingham to make a jumper for my 5yo and a dress for my 1yo. The two oldest sewed their own during sewing lessons with Miss Emma. I cut out the gingham the week after buying it. I started sewing on the Monday before Easter. :-p

Well, with one thing and another, the machine breaking down, the kids getting sick, me getting sick, I didn't quite get the dresses finished in time for Easter. We didn't make it to church anyway since there were so many sick little ones, but we had a lovely day anyway. We had our own little worship service - Divine Service II, First Setting, out of the Lutheran Worship book - and then listened to a sermon for Sunday School. We've been listening to Doug Wilson's Bible Stories series and we were up to the lesson about Peter, which, as usual, was quite good.

Mosey had been saving and painting eggshells, which she stuffed with chocolate and hid for us to find - she even made one for me and Mike! It was fun, and it was the first Easter egg hunt I've been part of since I was probably 12 years old.

Mike was able to get off work most of the following week, so we spent that time doing Big Gardening. He built two new raised beds for me, so now I have three. We use the lasagne method for building new beds: make a wooden frame, put down layers of cardboard, newspaper, and leaves, then top with compost and topsoil. In one of the new beds I planted tomatoes, peppers, and marigolds. The marigolds serve two purposes, to look pretty :-) and to discourage nematodes. In the second new bed I will plant carrots, radishes, cucumbers, and salad stuff. I've never done broccoli or lettuce so I don't have any idea how well it'll turn out.

The old bed is going to be a Three Sisters bed - corn, squash, and beans. We planted the corn and the squash (crookneck and spaghetti squash, and pumpkins), and I'll plant the beans in a few weeks after the corn is up. Of course, after I planted the squash I found out you're not supposed to plant it until a couple of weeks after you plant the corn, and then you plant the beans a couple of weeks after that. Oh well, we'll see how it works out.

We also used some leftover bits of wood from other projects to put up a trellis to grow gourds on. This is so we can screen our very ugly compost area, and then we're going to make birdhouses out of the gourds to attract martins, which like to eat bugs.

There are so many crows and pidgeons here that they eat all of our seeds, so we covered the Three Sisters bed and the gourd patch with clear plastic to keep the birds out until the plants are big enough to survive.

Today, Mike and our two oldest sons have been going out to a friend's farm to collect rocks - great big rocks to make a retaining wall out of. When we built our blueberry bed in the front yard last year, we made a temporary retaining wall out of bricks, but it's not high enough, sturdy enough, or good-looking enough to be acceptable. I'd been wanting stone, but certainly didn't want to pay money for rocks! Then we thought of our friend the farmer. Farmers don't like rocks. Surely he'd be glad to have someone tote them away! Sure enough, he was glad to let us take away as many rocks as we want.

The stones are beautiful - white and gray and beige with fossils embedded in many of them. I have no idea what kind of rock it is, but anyway I'm sure it was made by Noah's flood. One has the most beautiful fossil of a snail that's about an inch and a half across. If nothing more impressive turns up, that rock is going to go at the end of the wall nearest the walkway to the front door.

As you can tell, we're doing companion planting in the vegetable beds - planting a variety of things together that benefit each other and eliminate the need for using synthetic pesticides and herbicides. We're doing something similar in the blueberry bed, called the "fruit tree guild." The basic plan is to plant a fruit tree, plant bulbs around the base, then herbs around that, and berries and flowering perennials beyond that. The fruit tree is obviously for food; the bulbs are for beauty; the herbs can be used for food, are beautiful, enrich the soil, and help discourage pests and weeds; the berries are for food again; and the perennials are for beauty and to attract beneficial insects. I'll give details about our bed later.

Well, I still don't have the girls' dresses finished, but I should be able to finish Grace's tonight after supper. I only have to hem it and sew on the buttons. Everyone's well now, so we'll be able to go to church tomorrow, Hallelujah!

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! He is risen!Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Friday, April 9, 2004

Isaiah 52
13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
Isaiah 53
1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Saturday, April 3, 2004

All glory, laud and honor,
To Thee, Redeemer, King,
To Whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.
Thou art the King of Israel,
Thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s Name comest,
The King and Bless├Ęd One.

The people of the Hebrews
With palms before Thee went;
Our prayer and praise and anthems
Before Thee we present.
To Thee, before Thy passion,
They sang their hymns of praise;
To Thee, now high exalted,
Our melody we raise.

Thou didst accept their praises;
Accept the prayers we bring,
Who in all good delightest,
Thou good and gracious King.
All glory, laud and honor,
To Thee, Redeemer, King,
To Whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.

Words: Theodulph of Orleans, ca 820
Tr. by John Mason Neale, 1854, alt.
Music: Melchior Teschner, ca 1615
Daylight Saving Time
I'm denying myself for Lent, so I'll forgo my semi-annual rant. :-D
Heh, heh.
Y'all better be careful how you talk around me. ;-)

You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

If your mission in life is not already to
preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you!

How grammatically sound are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

(Found at Emily's blog.)

Thursday, April 1, 2004

...I thought unaccountably of fairy tales...
I recently read for the first time Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, which is a really strange book. I had to keep remembering C.S. Lewis's exhortation not to judge the book while you're reading it, but to give yourself to it.

This must be the kind of book that Anne Shirley was fond of reading. It was so fantastic* - poor clergyman marries wealthy young lady, who is disinherited as a result of her marriage; he contracts typhus while caring for the poor and dies of it, soon followed by his young bride, leaving behind a baby who is rescued by her mother's wealthy brother, who dies shortly thereafter, but while on his deathbed makes his wife promise to raise the baby as one of their own; the baby's aunt promises, but neglects the child and eventually sends her to an orphanage where she is befriended by a lovely young girl who dies of consumption; the orphan grows up to become a governess and falls in love with her employer who has a sordid past...

Oh, yes, Anne loved this kind of story, but it drives me crazy. That mean old aunt, locking young Jane up in the frightening Red Room to teach her a lesson! That hypocritical old Mr. Brocklehurst, a clergyman no less!, making the orphans go without breakfast and cut off their braids in order to teach them humility!

Finally I realized that the book is a fairy tale, and keeping in mind Mr. Lewis's exhortation, I read the book that way, and then the fantastic events didn't bother me so much.

Or it could be an extended parable. In the author's preface, Miss Bronte says, "Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion.... appearance should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ." In Jane Eyre appearances quite often are deceiving, and it is vitally important to be so familiar with and commited to Christian principles that one is able to keep them in spite of one's violently conflicting feelings.

Anyway, I hope I'm reading it right. I would like to have read it in school with a teacher and a classroom full of students with whom to discuss it!

*I'm using definition 2a: Fantastic 1. Quaint or strange in form, conception, or appearance. 2a. Unrestrainedly fanciful; extravagant: fantastic hopes. b. Bizarre, as in form or appearance; strange: fantastic attire; fantastic behavior. c. Based on or existing only in fantasy; unreal: fantastic ideas about her own superiority. 3. Wonderful or superb; remarkable: a fantastic trip to Europe.