Saturday, March 07, 2009

A Good Reason to Homeschool

While Mom reads aloud to little children, they keep their hands busy by brushing her hair, braiding her hair, putting barrettes and bows in her hair -- essentially a variety of scalp massages. Ahhhh! The only downside to this is when the UPS man arrives at the door, and Mom answers the door, forgetting that she has 47 baby-barrettes and 13 ponytails sticking out of her head in a variety of directions.

The Goofiness

I tried hanging clothes out on the line yesterday. It wasn't warm enough to dry them, but it shortened the time the dryer had to work. While out there, I noticed

TULIPS! You have to look close. But see? The tulip leaves are beginning to push through the soil. Exultingly, I told the kids I saw tulips while hanging up the laundry. Andrew asked, "Not just one?" No, I said. All along the back of the house, where they were last year.

"No. It wasn't just one lip?"

Good gracious.

So today I've got ham-n-beans simmering away for supper. Andrew comes into the kitchen and peaks into the pot to see what's on the menu.

"Oh, look, it's the Bog Monster trying to crawl up out of the depths."

Well, shove him back down under the surface. Maybe we can drown him.

But after shoving the bones back down into the bean broth, the bone floated back up to the surface.

So Andrew reports, "He won't stay down. He wants to come up where we can see him. He's such a ham."

(Are you rolling your eyes as much as I am???)

Today's Laugh

There were three guys who found themselves in purgatory: a Roman Catholic, a Lutheran, and a Christian Scientist.

The Roman Catholic knew why he was there. He had lived a good life, tried really hard to please God, but occasionally he had slept in on Sunday morning, admitted a few impure thoughts, and hadn't always helped his neighbors as he should've.

When asked why he was there, the Christian Scientist insisted, "I'm not really here."

When the Roman Catholic asked the Lutheran why he was in purgatory, the Lutheran admitted that he had done a good work once.

Dislike Your Name?

One of my children has complained about her name. She doesn't like her given name. She can tolerate her nickname. Gary ran across a website of worst baby names. A few minutes of scrolling through that, and it makes a kid's hated name sound really good in comparison! I mean, instead of calling her "Magdalena," we could call her "Zuma Nesta" or "Moxie CrimeFighter" or "Diva Thin Muffin."

Friday, March 06, 2009

Certain Hymns

When Lutheran Service Book was put together, there were two sections of TLH that were nearly entirely left out of the new hymnal. One was the section on the ministry, with prayers for our pastors and missionaries and that God would send out faithful pastors to do His work. And the other section was the "death and burial" part. I realize that those parts were seldom used because too many people saw them as useful only for ordinations/installations and funerals. And honestly, if that's all we use those sections for, there's plenty of great stuff in LSB that will do nicely. But there is a lot in those sections to guide us in our prayers for our pastors, and in our prayers that God would keep us faithful unto death.

I think we don't realize what a gift our pastors are to us, and we don't realize the assaults of Satan upon them and their ministries, and take it for granted that we will always have our pastors. They need our prayers. I mean, look at some of these:

The servants Thou hast called
and to Thy Church art giving
preserve in doctrine pure
and holiness of living.
Thy Spirit fill their hearts,
endue their tongues with power;
what they should boldly speak,
oh, give them in that hour!
Yea, bless Thy Word alway,
our souls forever freeding;
and may we never lack
a faithful shepherd's leading! (TLH 485)

Oh, may Thy pastors faithful be,
not laboring for themselves, but Thee!
Give grace to feed with wholesome food
the sheep and lambs bought by Thy blood,
to tend Thy flock, and thus to prove
how dearly they the Shepherd love. (TLH 493)

And then there's the section on death that barely got touched in TLH. After all, how many of us face death? It's not often. We sequester death away in the hospitals and the nursing homes. We have modern medicine that cures many things --and quickly-- so that we seldom must endure illnesses as happened in the past. And when we must face our own death or the death of those we care for, how many of us spend our time singing to them things like:

With peace and joy I now depart.
God's child I am with all my heart.
I thank thee, Death, thou leadest me
to that true life where I would be.
So cleansed by Christ, I fear not death.
Lord Jesus, strengthen Thou my faith. (TLH 585)

God's Son to our graves then takes His way,
His voice hear all tribes and nations;
the portals are rent that guard our clay,
and moved are the sea's foundations.
He calls out aloud, "Ye dead, come forth!"
In glory we rise to meet Him.

O Jesus, draw near my dying bed
and take me into Thy keeping
and say when my spirit hence is fled,
"This child is not dead, but sleeping."
And leave me not, Savior, till I rise
to praise Thee in life eternal. (TLH 592)

My sins, dear Lord, disturb me sore,
my conscience cannot slumber;
but though as sands upon the shore
my sins may be in number,
I will not quail, but think of Thee;
Thy death, Thy sorrow, borne for me,
Thy sufferings, shall uphold me. (TLH 594)

Do we yearn for people to be singing us such things upon our deathbeds? I think we are often too worried about causing the dying person to fret about dying, and so we avoid the providing comfort that can be found in such hymns.

But what started all my ruminations on this is current events. I think the day is coming in LSB's lifetime where our country will have changed so drastically that we will be facing death in a pervasive way that we're not used to: hunger and homelessness and war and devastation. And certain legislation is brewing that will threaten our pastors if they are to continue to preach God's word instead of the politically-correct word, and so they will need our prayers even more. These two sections of TLH are reason enough to hang onto that old book alongside my new hymnal, because the days are coming when those hymns will have the words we need to pray.

Lazarus's Graveclothes

John 11:44 -- And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go."

I have long wondered why John made such a big deal (20:7) about Jesus' graveclothes, and that the face cloth was folded up neatly, not lying with the linen cloths that had been about His body. I've heard some explanations that helped, but none of them is entirely right, so right that I can say, "Ah, yes! Of course! That's it!"

At Burt's funeral last week, I noticed this bit about the raising of Lazarus. It mentions how he was bound with graveclothes, and mentions the face cloth separately. This means something. I have no idea what. For now, it's just something to wonder about, to puzzle over, until someday we know why John included these details and why he knew they showed us something about Jesus and His love for us.

Today's Laugh


At Bible class yesterday, people kept asking how our family was doing. At first it confused me, but then I started to hear about all the different people who were sick. Apparently there's some flu-thing going around, and I was clueless as to the depth and extent of it.

Maggie mentioned a sore throat on Wednesday night. But it turned out that she barely ate yesterday, and flopped around with no energy and no brightness in her eyes all day. As I was lying in bed last night, Gary kept sneezing and reaching for a hankie, while somebody in the boys' room was barking.

Paul's due home today for spring break. When he was home for Christmas, people were not exactly healthy. That time, he was the one who infected us. I'm afraid we're going to return the favor this week. Bummers.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

We Are Marshall

For some reason, our kids have no patience for the sports-themed movies that Gary and I often like to watch. I don't know if it's because we raised them too devoid of sports outings, or if it's because they don't like the "perseverance" theme, or what. But when We Are Marshall arrived from Netflix, somebody groaned and said, "Another football movie??!!?"

It was a good football movie. But it was more. It's a true story of what happened in a college town when virtually the whole football team and coaching staff, as well as some of the boosters, died in a plane crash on the way home from a game. This movie wasn't just about rebuilding the football program. It was also a story of how people mourn. How they cope with loss. How different people have different perspectives on what it means to "honor the dead." I really really liked this movie. There's just something I enjoy about a movie where a ragtag group of guys is thrown together and turned into a team.

For those with kids, it's one of the cleanest PG movies I've seen in a while, although there are numerous instances of the s-word. There's also the plane crash that some kids will be bothered by. Of course, there's some less-than-stellar theology, but I can't ask for everything in a movie, now, can I?

Today's Laugh

QUESTION: Where do the characters go when I use my backspace or delete them on my PC?

ANSWER: The characters go to different places, depending on whom you ask:

The Catholic Church's approach to characters: The nice characters go to heaven, where they are bathed in the light of happiness. The naughty characters are punished for their sins. Naughty characters are those involved in the creation of naughty words, such as "breast," "sex," and contraception."

The Buddhist explanation: If a character has lived rightly, and its karma is good, then after it has been deleted, it will be reincarnated as a different, higher character. Those funny characters above the numbers on your keyboard will become numbers, numbers will become letters, and lower
-case letters will become upper case.

The 20th-century bitter cynical nihilist explanation: Who cares? It doesn't really matter if they're on the page, deleted, undeleted, underlined, etc. It's all the same.

The Mac user's explanation: All the characters written on a PC and then deleted go to straight to PC hell. If you're using a PC, you can probably see the deleted characters, because you're in PC hell also.

Stephen King's explanation: Every time you hit the (Del) key you unleash a tiny monster inside the cursor, which tears the poor unsuspecting character to shreds, drinks its blood, and then eats it, bones and all. Hah, hah, hah!

Dave Barry's explanation: The deleted characters are shipped to Battle Creek, Michigan, where they're made into Pop-Tart filling; this explains why Pop-Tarts are so flammable, while cheap imitations are not flammable. I'm not making this up.

PETA's explanation: You've been DELETING them??? Can't you hear them SCREAMING??? Why don't you go CLUB some BABY SEALS while wearing a MINK, you pig!!!!

IBM's explanation: The characters are not real. They exist only on the screen when they are needed, as concepts, so to delete them is merely to de-conceptualize them. Get a life.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Around the House

I finally got the computer put back together enough that I can download some pictures from the camera. Since Mom hasn't been to see the new house, here are some photos to give her (and some friends) an idea of what the place is like.

This one is taken from the driveway, looking north at the living room (with decorative huntress cat in the bay window) and two of the bedrooms:

This is the view from the front door, looking west, toward the entrance into the neighborhood:

This one, too, is the view from the front door, but faced south toward the end of our tiny little street:

This is taken from the deck, looking toward my clothesline and the neighbors across the street to the north:

This is the view from the kitchen window, looking east. You can see the neighbor's barn shed and the corner of the nursery that abuts the corner of our yard.

And this one is the view straight out the kitchen window in back, facing northeast. In both these last two shots, you can see deer tracks traipsing across the yard, right over the spot where we've dug up a garden-to-be. All those hoofprints is no good sign for the lettuces and tomatoes that I imagine could be growing right on Bambi-Highway.

I hope that gives a little bit of perspective for those of you who would've liked to have been able to visit, but so far haven't been able to.

Today's Laugh

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Stay-at-Home Moms

Katie was mentioning to me how much better behaved her cats are now. She said that when she was at work all day, out of the house, the cats could get by with any number of naughty stunts. But now that she is home with Alia during the day, she sees the cats, interferes with their naughtiness, stops them, punishes them, and generally prevents bad behavior. And now they mind her better and get into less trouble.

Does anybody think that children might react the same way, untended versus disciplined???

Today's Laugh

Forget love.
I'd rather fall in chocolate.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Today's Laugh

Top Ten Answers a Homeschooler Should NEVER Give When Out and About During the School Day and Somebody Asks, "What? No School Today??"

10. Well normally yes, but this time of year I need help with the planting and plowing.

9. Goodness, no!!! I graduated 18 years ago, but thanks for the compliment!

8. No, we homeschool. We're just out to pick up a bag of pork rinds and some Mountain Dew, then we gotta hurry home to catch our soaps.

7. What?! Where did you guys come from?! I thought I told you to stay at school! I'm sorry. This happens all the time. (sigh)

6. There isn't? Why, you'd think we'd see more kids out then, don't you?

5. We're on a field trip studying human nature's intrusive and assumptive tactics of displaying ignorance and implied superiority. Thanks for the peek!

4. On our planet we have different methods of education. (Shhhh! No, I did not give it away... keep your antennae down!)

3. Oh my goodness! I thought that today was Saturday... come on kids, hurry!

2. Noooooope. Me 'n Bubba jes' learns 'em at home. Werks reel good!

And the number one answer we should NEVER give to the question: "What? No school today?"

1. "What? No Bingo today?"

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Philip's Work

For Mom and other family members who might like to know more about Philip's job, here's a video segment from the news recently. (You have to put up with a 15-second commercial first.) And no, Philip did not end up in the finished segment. But he & Matt and some other friends did have a split-second on the news last night, from their stint waiting in line to win pizza.